The novelistation of 'The Romans' was written by Donald Cotton.
Back Cover Blurb
The TARDIS crew members have taken a break from their adventures and are enjoying a well-deserved rest in a luxury villa on the outskirts of Imperial Rome.
But in the gory grandeur that is Rome, things don't stay quiet for long. If the time-travellers can save themselves from being sold as slaves, assassinated by classical hit-men, poisoned by the evil Locusta, thrown to the lions, maimed in the arena and drowned in a shipwreck, they still have to face the diabolical might of the mad Emperor Nero.
As if that isn't enough, the also discover that, although Rome wasn't built in a day, it was burnt down in considereably less time...