Ancient Rome Study Program

The Ancient Rome Study Program covers the history of Rome from its legendary founding by Romulus and Remus to the fall of the Western Empire. It is part of the Heritage Classical Curriculum and includes:

See the Heritage Curriculum FAQs page for more information.

Why Study Ancient Rome?

Ancient Rome was one of the longest lasting and most influential civilizations in human history and the story of its rise and fall has lessons for every student. Other ancient civilizations deserve credit for establishing some of our most cherished arts and institutions, but it was the Romans who perfected these practices, spread them throughout their empire, and made them into a permanent bedrock of Western Culture.

In addition to preserving and building upon Greek traditions in art, architecture, philosophy, theatre, and politics, the Romans made many unique and invaluable contributions. They were outstanding engineers and built roads, aqueducts, bridges, baths, sewer systems and fortifications on a scale unprecedented in human history. The Roman legal system formed the basis of Western law, and Latin evolved into a universal language of trade and government.

The Pax Romana, or Roman Peace, which lasted from the reign of Augustus until the third century, allowed imperial civilization to flourish for hundreds of years without substantial interruption. Notwithstanding civil wars of the Imperial age, the long-term peace and security afforded by the Roman government was unprecedented.

Roman civilization was astonishingly sophisticated. It wrestled with many complex problems in government that still confound modern nations. It experienced periods of both heroic virtue and luxurious decadence and in many ways is eerily similar to our own.

Reading Recommendations

The Heritage Ancient Rome Library includes dozens of student histories that cover Roman history at all reading levels. PDF, EPUB and online versions of all books are available so they can be downloaded read on any device. The two we recommend as 'core' reading selections for the first five units (Kingdom to Age of Caesars) are:

There are fewer selections that adequately cover the late Imperial age. For the final two units of Roman history (Height of Empire, Fall of West), we recommend selected chapters from these two volumes:

There are many exellent supplemental texts for advanced students in the Ancient Rome collection, but a few that we highly recommend include:

The following links provide more information about reading options for Ancient Rome.

Study Resources

Study Aids are provided to help students review important characters and events. Some resources relate to all of Roman history and others to specific historical eras.

Historical Maps Outline Maps
Timeline Major Characters
Wars and Battles Era Summaries

Study Aids organized by Historical Era

Review Questions

Students who are using the History Quest quiz game to study Roman history may find these sample questions helpful. The History Quest app can be used to check answers and to help win knowledge medals in all categories.

Kingdom of Rome Early Republic
Punic Wars Decline of Republic
Age of the Caesars Height of Empire
Fall of Empire Rise of Christianity

Download History Quest program from Android or Apple App Stores to review study questions interactively.