I’d second Scarrow as a good read, though set later in the Roman Empire’s history.
The “First Man In Rome” series by Colleen McCullough is a brilliant portrait of the main characters of the period and the machinations at a political level. Well worth a read.
Steven Saylor’s “Roma Sub Rosa” series featuring Gordianus the Finder and, even more so, Lindsey Davis’s “Marcus Didius Falco” series are both excellent whodunnits and an excellent intro into the Roman world.
Rosemary Rowe’s “Libertus” series, set in post-invasion Roman Britain is also worth a read.
Robert Graves’ “I, Claudius” and Howard Fast’s “Spartacus” almost go without saying – watch the movies if the books are too heavy going for you.
On movies, the two series of the HBO/ BBC 2/ Rai Due miniseries “Rome” would be well worth a watch and covers the right period.
Finally, have a look at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fiction_set_in_ancient_Rome and see if anything takes your fancy.
Growing old is mandatory, growing up is entirely optional!