Adrian Goldsworthy was educated in Penarth and then read ancient and modern history at St. John's College, Oxford, where he subsequently completed his doctorate in ancient history. His DPhil thesis was the basis for his first book, The Roman Army at War 100 BC–AD 200, which looked at how the Roman army actually operated on campaign and in battle.
For several years Adrian taught in a number of universities and then began to write for a wider audience. A succession of books followed dealing with aspects of ancient military history, including Roman Warfare, The Punic Wars (which was later reissued as The Fall of Carthage), Cannae, In the Name of Rome, and The Complete Roman Army. More recently he has looked at wider themes, combining the military focus with discussion of politics and society in a biography of Caesar and a study of the decline and fall of the Roman Empire titled How Rome Fell.
Adrian is now a full-time writer and a visiting fellow at the University of Newcastle. He frequently gives one-off lectures and talks both to universities and other groups in the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, and Europe. He often appears as a talking head or presenter in TV documentaries and has acted as consultant on both documentaries and dramas.