Saturday, January 11, 2014

Life in Ancient Rome

For World History we've been studying Ancient Rome. Following is our list of books:

Everyday Life in Ancient Rome by F.R.Cowell  - This is a bit like an encyclopedia with the following sections:  I.The City of Rome, II.Growing Up in Ancient Rome, III.Family Life, IV.Slavery, V.Earning a Living, VI.Leisure Hours, VII.Relgion.
We're moving through this slowly as there is so much to take in and it isn't given in story form.  Still, it gives good descriptions.

Roman People by Olivia Coolidge was interesting but a bit advanced in content.  She uses nine short stories to present what life was like for different types of people during this time period.  There is intrigue and murder and the author seems to like surprise endings.  I found the above two books at a used book sale and we have enjoyed them.

I hope to watch Shakespeare's Julius Caesar in the next few weeks and see if it is appropriate for our family.  I found several different ones to try and ordered them in from the library.

I also copied Julius Caesar from Plutarch's Lives for Boys and Girls. The Baldwin Project: Plutarch's Lives for Boys and Girls - Julius Caesar.  It was longer than I expected - it may take us awhile to read.  I think we'll read it before we watch Shakespeare's play.  If you are interested in other versions - Here is Ambleside Online's list.  Scroll down to what you are looking for and click the link.

We read Beric the Britain by Henty earlier this year.  With Henty, the first chapter or two come slowly and then I don't want to put the books down.  I like how historical novels give a wonderful feeling of place and culture.  We've also started For the Temple, by Henty.  This gives the history of this time-period from the perspective of the Jews.

We're also reading The Eagle of the Ninth by Rosemary Sutcliff.  She is a wonderful writer.  This story has a Roman legionary and a British warrior who has been captured and made into a slave.  They become good friends and seek together to find the Eagle Standard that the Roman's father had been carrying when his legion disappeared into the British frontier.  This book includes description of a pagan initiation rite for young warriors.  It isn't graphic but young readers may find it scary.  I reminded our children that Jesus is stronger than these false gods that the British Druids worshipped.

I'm looking forward to reading The Runaway by my favorite children's author, Patricia St. John.  It is set in New Testament times.

We started using Simply Charlotte Mason's Matthew Through Acts & Ancient Rome (History, Geography, Bible for Grades 1-12) last year and I want to get back to it.  It uses Famous Men of Rome and A Traveller in Rome as well as map activities (I use Uncle Josh's Outline Map book).

My two older students are reading through Augustus Caesar's World.

Some other books they have read are, The Bronze Bow, Stephen a Soldier of the Cross, Detectives in Togas, and Mystery of the Roman Ransom.  The oldest has Ben Hur on her list. 

I own Galen and the Gateway to Medicine so we'll probably read that, too.

We're starting to have a good sense for this time-period.

Any other recommendations?

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