This children's book was written as a first introduction to Roman history for elementary students. It is too short to introduce Roman history in a comprehensive manner, but instead recounts stories about some of the most famous heroes of Republic Rome. Subjects include Horatius and Coriolanus, heroes of the early Republic; Hannibal, Fabius Cunctator, and Scipio Africanus, military leaders of the Punic Wars; and Pompey and Julius Caesar, protagonists of the Caesarean Civil War, which brought the republic to an end.
ROMULUS AND REMUS
About This Book
This book is not big enough to hold all the stories that might be written about the Romans, and at first it was puzzling to know how to choose. One day after reading and reading Roman history, I shut the book more puzzled than ever. Then I must have fallen asleep; I dreamt I was in Rome. To me as I stood in the great city there came an old man, saying, "I know why you are here, and I can help you to choose." He led me into a beautiful temple where there were many men gathered together, all clad in flowing togas and crowned with wreaths of laurel.
"Who are these?" I asked. "They are the heroes of the Roman Republic," answered the old man. "Mark well those to whom I give greeting," and he began to wend his way from one end of the building to the other. Romulus, Horatius, Coriolanus, the Scipios, the Gracchi, Pompey, Julius Caesar, they were all there, and many more, and he greeted them each in turn, but when we came to Julius Caesar, he sighed deeply. "What chance had the Republic against such a man!" he said; then turning to me, he added: "Write your stories about these men—heroes of the greatest Republic that ever was, and leave the Empire and its tyrants to the history books." "Who are you?" I asked wonderingly. He smiled. "I have written the stories of all these great men," he said. "You are Plutarch!" I cried . . . and awoke, and lo! the stories were chosen. My dream had done this for me together with gentle Plutarch, whose book you will surely read one day—that is to say if you like this one, as I hope you will.