Young Readers—Ancient Rome

750 B.C. to 450 A.D.
Romulus to Fall of Rome

Era Summary       Characters       Timeline       Reading Assignments      

Era Summary—Ancient Rome

Roman Soldier
The Ancient Rome division of the Young Readers collection is fairly limited, since most introductory histories of the period are written at an intermediate level. Roman history, as well as Greek history, is fundamental to understanding Western Civilization, so younger students should at least be familiar a few of the major characters.

Ancient history is especially attractive to young students, partly because it is so rich in mythology, and partly because it has an exceptionally interesting military history that is quite appealing, especially to boys. Rome rose on the strength of her exceptionally well organizing fighting forces, and declined over a long period, when her civilization became corrupt. Rome's history therefore, is full of terrific military adventures and moral lessons which can easily be appreciated by younger students.

In terms of heroism and adventure, the attractions of Roman history are even greater. Few modern heroes can compare with Horatius, Pompey or Julius Caesar, and few modern villains are as interesting as or Attila the Hun. The Young Reader's collection includes only a few books that focus only on Roman history, but stories about famous Romans are also included in several anthologies of famous stories and works of historical fiction.

Most of the Young Reader Study Questions that relate to Roman history are taken from Lemon's Stories from Greek History and selected stories from the Famous Stories series by Baldwin. Heritage History offers many more books of interest about Roman history in the Ancient Rome Academy Course for intermediate students.

Characters—Ancient Rome

Character/Date Short Biography

Kingdom of Rome

771–716 BC
Legendary founder of the city of Rome, with brother Remus.
Tarquin Superbus
~ 535 BC
Killed Servius and usurped throne, eventually overthrown but tried to regain throne by force.
535–509 BC
Hero who held the Sublican Bridge against Porsena's entire army.
Lars Porsena
~ 508 BC
Etruscan king, and supporter of the Tarquins who raised an army to march against Rome.

Roman Republic

500–450 BC
Hero, provoked to turn traitor. Convinced by his mother to spare Rome from destruction.
519–439 BC
Called to be dictator when Roman army was trapped. Saved them, and then returned to his farm.
247–182 BC
Carthaginian general, invaded and laid waste to Italy for sixteen years.
Fabius Cunctator
250–203 BC
Elected dictator to resist Hannibal; counseled delay, not direct assault.
Scipio Africanus
234–149 BC
Roman hero of second Punic War. Led armies in Spain and Africa. Defeated Hannibal at Zama.
Tiberius Gracchus
163–132 BC
Promoted Land Reform and fought for people's rights. Murdered by senators.
Gaius Gracchus
154–121 BC
Continued reforms of his brother, but was undermined by the senate.
106–48 BC
Very renowned general. Defeated pirates. Led opposition to Caesar in civil war.
Julius Caesar
100–44 BC
Conquered Gaul, prevailed in civil war. Mastermind of Roman empire. Killed by senators.

Roman Empire

83–30 BC
With Octavius, led empire after Caesar's death. Liaison with Cleopatra caused downfall.
Marcus Brutus
Leader of conspirators to assassinate Caesar. Committed suicide at Philippi.
Augustus Caesar
First emperor. Reigned for over fifty years. Established the Imperial system.
First Christian emperor. Unified empire. Moved capital to Constantinople near Black Sea.

Timeline—Ancient Rome

BC YearEvent
750 Kingdom of Rome is established by Romulus.
510 Roman Republic is founded by Junius Brutus. Tarquin Superbus, the last king of Rome is exiled.
280 Rome defeats Pyrrhus, conquers all of Italy.
202 Hannibal is defeated at Zama, end of Second Punic War.
168 Roman Macedonian Wars—Greece and Macedonia fall to Rome.
146 Carthage and Corinth are destroyed; Rome controls all the Mediterranean.
52 Julius Caesar conquers Gaul.
49 Julius Caesar crosses the Rubicon, conquers Rome.
44 Julius Caesar is assassinated.
31 Augustus Caesar gains undisputed control of the Roman Empire.
68 Death of Nero, last of the Caesars.
313 Constantine issues the Edict of MilanóChristianity is recognized by Roman Empire.
410 Rome is sacked by Visigoth army.

Recommended Reading—Ancient Rome

Book Title
Selected Chapters (# chapters)
Dalkeith - Stories from Roman History    entire book
Cowles - Our Little Roman Cousin of Long Ago    entire book
Winlow - Our Little Carthaginian Cousin of Long Ago    entire book