Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Best Book of Ancient Rome

The Best Book of Ancient Rome

Deborah Murrell
For ages 5 to 8
Kingfisher, 2004   ISBN: 0753457563

This is the story of a great city and the people who built it. Like most places, it had humble beginnings and was greatly influenced by the powerful peoples who lived around it. It is believed that both the Greeks and the Etruscans had a profound effect on Rome and her people, influencing the way the Romans built their city and later their empire.

As Rome grew in power, it was decided that Rome would form alliances with other tribes to defeat mutual enemies. After a time, Rome was the biggest and strongest city in the “league” and then Rome took over, its army spreading the influence of the city far beyond the borders of modern day Italy.

While these advances took place far from Rome, great political upheavals took place in the city with new leaders displacing the old, assassinations, and other political disruptions. However the average Roman went on with life, going to the baths every day, doing the marketing, entertaining friends at home, and going to the games to watch the gladiators and chariot races.

There finally came a time when the empire began to crumble. Political problems in Rome, disease, famine, and discontent led to the empire breaking in two. Though the Roman Empire no longer exists, it has left a mark on the world. In many counties in Europe and in the Mediterranean ruins of great Roman buildings, bridges and aqueducts still stand. Many modern languages such as French, Spanish, German and Italian have a Latin root and the governments of several modern republics are based on the Roman model.

This well written and very accessible book will provide young readers with a wonderful introduction to the fascinating world of the Romans. Full page art and lots on interesting and intriguing details will capture the attention of even the most reluctant would-be young historian.

This is one of the book in the “”Best Book Of” series.