When you’re writing an email or text message, did you ever stop to think that the letters you’re typing come from an alphabet that’s thousands of years old? Ancient Rome may be long gone, but its legacy lives on in the Western world in just about every area of life: law, engineering, language – the list goes on and on. In this issue, the far-reaching contributions of the Roman Empire, for kids, are explored in a way that will leave them with a new outlook on just about every facet of modern life. In architecture alone, Rome gave us the dome, new uses for the arch, and designs for stadiums and public buildings that still influence modern construction today.
The power of the Roman Empire, kids will learn, came from its massive and highly trained army, which not only expanded the empire’s borders but also kept order within them. Daily life is described through the prism of rich and poor: Rich Romans enjoyed graceful living in villas with plumbing, while the poor crowded into rickety five-story apartment buildings and shared public baths. Even their pastimes were different: Wealthy Romans enjoyed concerts and plays, while the poor loved watching bloody gladiator games. But eventually, all of this civilized (and uncivilized) living came to an end, in the 5th century, when Huns and Goths toppled the Roman Empire; for kids who like to hear about ancient battles, these accounts will be gripping.