Category Archive: Ancient History

Books and Curriculum relating to Ancient History

Apr 17

A Failed Conspiracy against a Tyrant

Nero first attempted to kill his mother by wrecking her boat at sea.

The executioner advanced and laid his hand on the prisoner’s shoulder. He started at the touch, and grew ghastly pale. “Caesar,” he cried, appealing as a last chance to the feelings of the Emperor, “Caesar, we were once friends, and worshipped the Muses together. Will you suffer this?” Nero only smiled. He had long ago steeled his heart against pity. Lucan he hated with that especially bitter hatred which wounded vanity sometimes inspires. Then the unhappy man’s courage broke down. “Stop!” he cried, “I will confess. I am guilty of conspiring against the Emperor.”

Feb 25

Plutarch and the “Marks of the Souls of Men”

Sometimes small incidents, rather than glorious exploits, give us the best evidence of character. So, as portrait painters are more exact in doing the face, where the character is revealed, than the rest of the body, I must be allowed to give my more particular attention to the marks of the souls of men.” —Plutarch

Jan 01

January 1st, the Day Roman Consuls Took Office


Have you ever wondered how January 1st become established as the beginning of a New Year? Among his many other achievements, Julius Caesar is responsible for reforming the Roman calendar to force it to align with the solar year. There have been minor changes since that time, but our modern calendar is very similar to …

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Dec 18

Which Children’s Bible is Right for Your Family?


These stories from the Bible, simplified for children, are a treasure trove of historical information as well as moral instruction. Many Biblical characters symbolize universal virtues, vices and moral difficulties, and their stories communicate truths about human nature that are well understood even by young children.

Nov 06

Abraham Lincoln’s Favorite History Series

Lincoln reading with his son Tad.

“I want to thank you and your brother for Abbott’s series of Histories. I have not education enough to appreciate the profound works of voluminous historians, and if I had, I have no time to read them. But your series of Histories gives me, in brief compass, just that knowledge of past men and events which I need. I have read them with the greatest interest. To them I am indebted for about all the historical knowledge I have.” —Abraham Lincoln.

Oct 17

Ancient Classics for Teens: Alfred J. Church


Alfred Church is especially gifted at exciting a real interest in classics for the intermediate student. He does not write introductory histories, in the style of Guerber, or Macgregor, but rather, he writes for junior or senior high school students who are already familiar with the basics of Ancient history, but would like a more in depth knowledge of these areas, without having to tackle college-level classics. Church’s works are full of fascinating details that introductory texts leave out, and they inspire an abiding interest in the ancients.

Oct 16

Homer’s Epic Simplified: The Iliad for Boys and Girls

Achilles drags the body of Hector around the walls of Troy.

Achilles answered: “I will do as you bid; for he who hears the gods is heard by them.” So he thrust back his sword into the scabbard, and Athené went back to Olympus. Then he turned to Agamemnon and cried: “Drunkard with the eyes of a dog and the heart of a deer, hear what I tell you now. See this scepter that I have in my hand. Once it was the branch of a tree; now a king carries it in his hand. As surely as it will never more shoot forth in leaves, so surely will the Greeks one day miss Achilles. And you, when you see your people falling by the swords of the Trojans, will be sorry that you have done this wrong to the bravest man in your army.” And he dashed the scepter on the ground and sat down.

Aug 16

Ancient History Core Reading Selections

Ancient Greece Classical Library

Heritage History recommends that every student of Ancient History read at least two comprehensive histories (sometimes called “spines”) for both Greece and Rome. Instead of writing individual reviews for a dozen such histories currently available from Heritage History, this review gives an overview of book sets from five different authors that we recommend as “core” reading for beginning and intermediate students.

Aug 10

New Book: Peeps at Ancient Assyria

Peeps at Ancient Assyria

Peeps at Ancient Assyria by James Baikie This account of Ancient Syria does an excellent job presenting the story of Ancient Assyria in a manner appealing to middle school students. Much of the history of Assyria is known by archeological excavations as well as Biblical era chronicles, and Baikie does an excellent job of presenting …

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