Adrian Goldsworthy

Dr Adrian Goldsworthy is a British Historian specialising in ancient and military history. He read Ancient and Modern History at St John’s College Oxford and remained there to complete his D.Phil, which was subsequently published as The Roman Army at War (OUP). This was recognised by John Keegan, the general Editor of The History of Warfare Series, as an exceptionally impressive work, original in treatment and impressive in style.

Since then he has written:-

  • Roman Warfare (Cassell), a volume in the History of Warfare Series.
  • The Punic Wars (Cassell), later re-published as The Fall of Carthage in 2003
  • Cannae (Cassell)
  • The Complete Roman Army (Thames & Hudson)
  • In the Name of Rome: The Men Who Won the Roman Empire (2004), Caesar: The Life of a Colossus (2006), The Fall of the West: The Death of the Roman Superpower (2009), Antony and Cleopatra (2010) were all published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson, and were widely and favourably reviewed.

Adrian has been sought out by many television and radio production companies as historical consultant on their programmes, recently working as consultant on the BBC drama 'Hannibal', and appearing in its accompanying documentary. He was also the historical consultant and an on-screen expert in both series of the BBC’s innovative 'Time Commanders', in which teams of players controlled one army in a computer simulation of an historical battle. In addition Adrian was the historical consultant on the drama documentary 'Hannibal of the Alps' produced for Channel Five and National Geographic. He appeared as a talking head in this programme and has fulfilled the same role in many other documentaries including the History Channel’s 'The Conquerors' in their episode on Caesar in Gaul, and UKTV History Channel’s 'Ancient Worlds'. In 2005 he appeared as a guest expert in Channel Four’s 'Time Team Big Roman Dig', which was broadcast live.

In 2010 Goldsworthy, began writing a series of military novels – based not in Roman times but in the Napoleonic era and concentrating on Wellington’s redcoat army, another period which he has extensively researched and on which little historical fiction has ever been written. His first novel, True Soldier Gentlemen, was released by Weidenfeld & Nicolson in 2011 and was well and widely received. It was followed by Beat the Drums Slowly, Send me Safely Back Again, and All in Scarlet Uniform. Weidenfeld & Nicolson published the fifth novel in the series, Run Them Ashore, in August 2014.

Adrian has written a biography of August, Augustus: From Revolutionary to Emperor, that was published by Weidenfeld and Nicolson in August 2015. Recently he has also written Pax Romana: War, Peace and Conquest in the Roman World, published by Weidenfeld and Nicolson in August 2016, and Hadrian's Wall, published by Head of Zeus in January 2018.

He has written a series of novels set in Roman Britain at the very end of the first century AD. They follow Titus Flavius Ferox, centurion of Legio II Augusta and a man torn between two worlds. For over twenty years he fought the Romans, but in the end he and the rest of his people were beaten down and became subjects of the empire. The first in this series, Vindolanda, was published in June 2017 and the second, The Encircling Sea, was published in June 2018, both by Head of Zeus. The third novel, Brigantia, was released in June 2019.

His book Philip and Alexander was published in September 2020 by Head of Zeus, who also published his book The Fort, The City, and The Wall of the City of Victory series, 2021-2023. His most recent book, The Eagle and the Lion: Rome, Persia and an Unwinnable Conflict was published by Head of Zeus on 6 July 2023.

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