10 Best Ancient History Books You Should Buy

Understanding history makes us understand the change that took place in different eras. A lot of historians who hold expertise in interpreting the transformation of various civilizations and societies have written about it. You get to understand different institutions, cultures, ideas, traditions, and how they have changed over the course of time.

The writers analyze different perspectives of both the past and the present with some intensive research.

History books are a reflection of the current, national, and global relationships between people and societies. If you are an avid learner and want to know more about the best history books, then this is the right place for you.

In this article, you will learn about the 10 best ancient history books available both online and offline.

Let’s get started!

Best Ancient History Books

1. The History of the Ancient World

The History of the Ancient World – From the Earliest Accounts to the Fall of Rome


Author: Susan Wise Bauer
Publication Year: 2007
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company


This spectacular book is written by Susan Wise Bauer. It is undoubtedly an engaging and lively narration of history. There are several depictions of various cultures and historical events including that of Europe, China, and the Middle East. Various characteristics of each country are explained intricately.

The writer has vividly attracted the attention of the readers with her great style of writing.

There are plenty of maps that describe the geographical locations of great events that took place in the past. Moreover, the mentioned timeline in the book helps the readers to attain a sense of cultural interconnection. The book is fully loaded with some interesting private letters, traditions, literature, and accounts.

In a nutshell, the writer takes you on a fast-paced journey depicting the ancient worlds of several countries. Countries such as India, Egypt, Greece, China, Rome, and Mesopotamia.

You must read this book to gain some interesting insights into the historical events.

You can buy this book here.

2. History of the World Map by Map

History of the World Map by Map


Author: DK
Publication Year: 2018
Publisher: DK


The book contains a remarkable overview of human history with a total of 140 maps. Maps are not just a way to explain the earth’s topography but it also explains the movement of ideas and people. There is a detailed description of the pivotal events that took place in the past.

The book has plenty of pictures, information boxes, as well as timelines that provide you with a better understanding of historical events. Interestingly, the book also contains maps depicting the events of the scientific revolution, colonization of North America, Britain’s control over India, and even Napoleon’s advances.

This will further give you an insight into how the continents have shaped in the course of time due to these events.

If you are curious to understand the history, you would love this compilation, as it covers a wide timeline as stated below:

  • Prehistory 7 MYA-3000 BCE
  • The Ancient World 3000 BCE-500 CE
  • Middle Ages 500-1450 CE
  • The Early Modern World 1450-1700
  • Revolution and Industry 1700-1850
  • Progress and Empire 1850-1914
  • The Modern World 1914-Present

To know more, you must purchase this book.

You can buy this book here.

3. History: From the Dawn of Civilization to the Present Day

History From the Dawn of Civilization to the Present Day


Author: Smithsonian Institution
Publication Year: 2015
Publisher: DK


It is a comprehensive visual encyclopedia that would give you in-depth detail about world history. The timeline covered in this book is from the origin of life on earth till the 21st century.

It is a hefty book but contains a great amount of knowledge. The information about global history is illuminating for the readers. There are several illustrations and images that attract the readers. It further helps to visualize by reading the text and gaining a better understanding of the events.

The book has neatly covered contemporary issues along with the climatic changes as well as social media. This transformation is very well knitted with the past.

It is a classic book that would grace your bookshelf and expand your knowledge base.

You can buy this book here.

4. Babylon: Mesopotamia and the Birth of Civilization

Babylon Mesopotamia and the Birth of Civilization


Author: Paul Kriwaczek
Publication Year: 2012
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin


Babylon depicts a detailed account of events that took place in Mesopotamia. The writer has described the early settlements in 5400 BC to the events in the sixth century BC. It shows how dynastic power rose and fell during this period.

The complete description of social and cultural life and inventions have been mentioned in the book. Inventions such as the civil, the wheel, the division of labor, sculpture, education, mathematics, and much more. The Amorite king, Hammurabi unified Babylon between 1800 and 1750 BC.

Although the Babylonian power fell over a period of time, it managed to retain its religious, cultural, and political importance. It came to an end after Cyrus the Great of Persia invaded it in 539 BC.

You can expect to understand the history, politics, culture, topicality, of Babylon in the best way possible. To explore this interesting book.

You can buy this book here.

5. The Penguin Historical Atlas of Ancient Civilizations

The Penguin Historical Atlas of Ancient Civilizations


Author: John Haywood
Publication Year: 2005
Publisher: Penguin UK


The book amalgamates the events of the early civilizations covering that of Mesopotamia Greece Egypt and Rome to the Far East, Europe, and America. It is an apt choice for both the students and curious history readers. It mentions a lot about the evolution of technology and the nature of several societies.

The theoretical information of the civilization is graced by plenty of maps with good illustrations. Intensive research has been done by the writer to describe the civilizations intricately. There are five major sections namely:

  • The Ancient Near East
  • The African Civilisation
  • The First Civilisations of Africa
  • The First European Civilisations
  • The Ancient Americas

It is an easy-to-understand, fast, and informative book describing ancient civilizations across the globe with several pictures and diagrams.

To unravel more, You can buy this book here.

6. The Ancient Celts

The Ancient Celts, Second Edition


Author: Barry Cunliffe
Publication Year: 2018
Publisher: OUP Oxford


This is a superbly written book that talks about the early signs of the authentic tradition from 1000 BC to 1000 AD. It is surely a challenging task to write about such a vast time period. But the writer has remarkably written in an organized and clear way.

It is highly informative and helps you to expand your knowledge base regarding the Celtic era. There are a number of photographs, maps, and drawings in every chapter.

If you are a novice learner of history, you might find it a little complicated. However, this is a perfect choice for scholars and experts in the field.

You can buy this book here.

7. The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Volumes 1 to 6


Author: Edward Gibbon
Publication Year: 2010
Publisher: Everyman’s Library


This book has six volumes in total. The writer has published each book in detail. This remarkable compilation is a major literary achievement of the 18th century. The first volume was published in 1776.

There is a proper description that covers the Roman Empire from 180 to 1590. A lot of behavioral changes and decisions have been mentioned that led to the fall of the Empire. This book virtually became the writer’s life as he devoted a large chunk of his life to it.

Gibbon has stated how the empire succumbed to the invasions due to the loss of civic virtue. The empire became weak and the defense was given to barbarians and eventually, they took over. There are a lot of superstitious and dark age matters of the Middle Ages.

You can buy this book here.

8. The Rise of the Roman Empire

The Rise of the Roman Empire (Penguin Classics)


Author: Polybius
Publication Year: 1978
Publisher: Penguin Classics


Polybius was a Greek statesman who understood and started writing about the Roman Empire to make the people aware of how Rome dominated the world. The book starts with its initial chapter Punic war that took place in 264 BC. A lot of critical stages related to the Roman expansion are described carefully.

It starts from several campaigns that took place in the Mediterranean to the setbacks faced by Hannibal and ultimately the destruction of Carthage.

While writing this book, Polybius took into account the experience of several eyewitnesses. It further makes his work more credible and efficient. You can consider it as a primary sourcebook to gain knowledge about Ancient Rome.

You can buy this book here.

9. Alexander the Great

Alexander the Great


Author: Philip Freeman
Publication Year: 2011
Publisher: Simon & Schuster


Philip Freeman foretells the spectacular life led by the great conqueror, Alexander the Great. He was a much-celebrated king who was an enduring figure in history.

Alexander was born into a royal family of Macedonia. This kingdom was soon to rule Greece in the upcoming times. He was trained by Aristotle as a boy and had a remarkable mind when it came to finding solutions in military campaigns. He also invaded the Persian empire and continued to do the same in the South, in the deserts of Egypt, and the far East that is present-day Pakistan and India.

This is one of the most lively biographies of Alexander. His achievements and bravery have been beautifully mentioned in the book.

Alexander was undoubtedly impulsive, magnanimous, petty, as well as farsighted. He was very ferocious and competitive.

To explore some more interesting facts about Alexander the Great.

You can buy this book here.

10. Caesar: Life of a Colossus

Caesar Life of a Colossus


Author: Adrian Goldsworthy
Publication Year: 2008
Publisher: Yale Univ Pr


Adrian Goldsworthy has written an extraordinary trajectory of the great Roman Empire’s emperor. Caesar was a great emperor and an incredible orator. Overall, he was an extremely complicated character in history who was a great political and military leader.

Many labels were given to Caesar such as a prisoner, rebel, dictator, politician, army leader, etc. This biography is termed as a landmark biography that examines Caesar and all his roles within Roman society.

The storytelling and the research done by the writer are phenomenal. All the controversies surrounding Caesar’s life have been very well formulated in the book.

It is a long book that has various monochrome photographs tagged with maps. However, you will enjoy it if you are a person with a passion for history or for Julius Caesar.

You can buy this book here.


History is an interesting subject that gives us an understanding of our past events and tells us how things reflect in the present. After all, the present time is a reflection of all the historic past events, wars, and revolutions that took place. It is important to know about our countries as well as the world’s history. Such incidents also give us an insight into how our ancestors lived with different cultures and traditional values.

If you are an avid learner or a lover of history then you must explore some great history books.

This article entails the 10 best history books available online for you. We hope that the information provided above assisted you in the best way possible.

Keep learning, keep exploring!

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