Book recommendation: The Flames of Rome

If you like historical fiction, check out The Flames of Rome by Paul L. Maier.  He is a professor of Ancient History at Western Michigan University.  I have heard him on various radio shows and read a few of his books and have always been impressed with his passion and accuracy. 

The story of Emperors Claudius and Nero and some of the early Christians was fascinating by itself, and the exhaustively researched and documented facts provide a simultaneous history lesson.  I had heard bits about this period of history but nothing this comprehensive.  It doesn’t hold back on the excesses of Nero and others.  

The author is very disciplined with his rules for historical fiction: No proper names are invented, nothing knowingly contradicts historical facts and great care is exercised to fill in gaps.  Any created or assumed portions are documented in the end notes. 

Where multiple theories exist, such as the source of the great fires of Rome, the most likely scenario is used in the narrative while others are analyzed in the end notes. 

This gives you a glimpse of how the early church started and the challenges they faced.

3 thoughts on “Book recommendation: The Flames of Rome”

      1. I hadn’t seen your review previously, but I did see the one on Pontius Pilate, which I got at the same time and also autographed. I was looking for a book review on “Heaven Is For Real,” because I saw it last week on one of the blogs I follow and couldn’t remember which one!

        Paul Maier has been at, I believe, four of the apologetics conferences we’ve attended. He always teaches historical heresies and such, showing how today’s stuff is not new. Brilliant man to listen to.


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