Steven Saylor is best known for his Roma Sub Rosa series of detective novels about Gordianus the Finder, set in ancient Rome.
Roma is a Micheneresque saga, spanning 1000BC to 1BC, in a dozen vignettes following the holders of an ancient amulet. Starting with a crossroads frequented by traders, it shows the evolution of Rome from a village to the great power of the Mediterranean, led by Augustus Caesar, the first of the emperors. It’s an easy introduction to much of Roman history, but the episodic nature of the story means that we see only fragments of that history. Each of the characters introduced necessarily gets cursory treatment, leading to a disjointed set of short stories.