The Warrior of Rome series is written by Harry Sidebottom, an Oxford lecturer on Ancient history. The series (now four books) tells the remarkable story of Ballista rising through the ranks of the third century Roman army while fighting the Sassanid Persians, other Romans, Barbarian hordes and his own ghosts from the past. The books are a perfect balance between the fictional details surrounding Ballista and the real history of the time. I could not put these books down and they are a true inspiration (and motivation) for anybody wargaming in this era.
If you enjoy intrigue, togas, gladiators, treachery, midnight raids, barbarians, siege warfare, civil war, assassinations, horse chases, strategic debacles, Roman politics, betrayal, loyalty, bloody combat, narrow escapes, sacrifices, frenzied battle-lines, daring rescues, religious zealots or Roman military life then these books are a must read.