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Series Descriptions

Most of the books in the Ancient Rome library are part of a series, either by a single author, or by a group of authors under the direction of a specific publisher. Some of these series focus mainly on ancient history, while others cover a broad range of civilizations.

Whether a series contains only one book about Ancient Rome or several, it has been included in the table below. A short description of each series is followed by a complete list of book titles. Roman History related titles are highlighted, but all other titles are listed as well, along with the Compact Libraries on which they can be found. We have provided this information because when a student does find an author or a series he enjoys, he often desires to locate similar books. These series descriptions are intended to help interested students identify books and authors of interest to them on other topics besides ancient Rome.

Although an overall description of each series is provided, the content of specific books is not indicated. To see a short synopsis of individual books included in the Ancient Rome library, see the Book Summaries page.

Series Title Description Volumes
Famous Men of the Ages Collective biographies of the most notable men of various ages. 1 of 4
Guerber's Elementary Histories Introduction to classical history for young students 1 of 7
Macgregor's Intermediate Histories Introduction to ancient history for intermediate students 1 of 4
Morris's Historical Tales Historical tales from Western Civilization 1 of 12
Tappan's Stories of Ancient People Social histories of Greece and Rome 2 of 3
Adapted Plutarch Various adaptations of Plutarch for young people 3 of 4
Church's Historical Fiction Historically relevant fiction for advanced readers 5 of 8
Church's Adapted Classics Simplified classics from ancient authors 3 of 10
Church's Historical Vignettes Short stories from history for advanced readers 4 of 5
Makers of History Biographies of prominent ancient heroes 5 of 26
Story of the Nations Advanced Histories of the Nations of the World 5 of 50
Stories from History Short historical anecdotes from various countries 1 of 6
Lake History Series Historical Readers written for Sixth/Seventh graders 1 of 4
Cousins of Long Ago Historical Fiction set in pre-modern times 2 of 9
Story of the World World history from biblical times through the 20th century, emphasizing British history. 1 of 5
Life Stories for Young People European Biographies for middle school students 1 of 21
Heroes of All Time Famous Men from World History 2 of 17

Famous Men of the Ages

by John Haaren and A.B. Poland

As an introduction to classical history for students of any age, one can hardly do better than the well-known Famous Men  series, by written by John H. Haaren and A. B. Poland. Both men were school teachers and administrators for many years and understood very well the best way to interest young people in their historical roots.

These books are exceptionally well written and beautifully illustrated with many reproductions from classical artwork. They can be easily read by a reasonably sophisticated grammar school student, and simply introduce the main characters of Western Civilization, beginning in Ancient Greece and ending in the mid 19th century.

The first two volumes in the series are Famous Men of Greece  and Famous Men of Rome. Although these books are organized as a collection of biographies, they can be read as an introductory history because the characters are part of a single civilization, and their lives are woven together in a fairly seamless manner. The later two books, Famous Men of the Middle Ages  and Famous Men of Modern Times, provide excellent portraits of many of the most important characters in British and European history. They are just as well written and interesting as the former two, but are unable to weave the lives of the characters into a coherent narrative simply because they occur over such disparate times and societies.

Famous Men of the Ages by John Haaren and A. B. Poland
Title Compact Library sheets
Famous Men of Greece Ancient Greece 94
Famous Men of Rome Ancient Rome 93
Famous Men of the Middle Ages    Christian Europe 98
Famous Men of Modern Times    Modern Europe 117

Guerber's Elementary Histories

Helene Guerber was an American author who wrote a series of juvenile histories that provides an excellent introduction to several of the major civilizations in western history. She writes specifically for a late grammar school/middle school audience, and every book is divided into very short chapters, each of which deals with a specific character or event. Guerber is an excellent writer who tells her stories with great interest. She understands her students mindset well, and states in one of her introductions:

This elementary history of Greece . . .is made up principally of stories about persons; for, while history proper is largely beyond the comprehension of children, they are able at an early age to understand and enjoy anecdotes of people, especially of those in the childhood of civilization. At the same time, these stories will give a clear idea of the most important events that have taken place in the ancient world, and, it is hoped, will arouse a desire to read further.

Guerber wrote around the turn of the century, primarily for the American Book Company, which at the time, supplied a great many textbooks for use in American public schools. Her histories were therefore very popular with American students in the early decades of the 20th century.

Classical Histories for Young People by Helene Guerber
Title Compact Library sheets
Story of the Greeks Ancient Greece 116
Story of the Romans Ancient Rome 114
Story of the English British Middle Ages 146
Story of Old France Christian Europe 165
Story of Modern France Modern Europe 142
Story of Thirteen Colonies Early America 141
Story of Great Republic Early America 151

Macgregor Intermediate Histories

Mary Macgregor was one of the principle authors of juvenile history, who wrote for the British Publishing House, E. C. & T. C. Jack during the early years of the twentieth century. She collaborated on several children's series of books, including Told to the Children  and Children's Heroes. She also write storybook histories for middle school children, focusing mainly on Ancient Civilizations.

At the time Macgregor wrote, her publishing house was the premier producer of historical and literary works for children in Britain. Many of her books were widely read classics, republished for many years in both the British Empire and the United States. Macgregor's histories were beautifully illustrated with dozens of original color plates, and were in print more or less continually from the earliest years of the 20th century until the 1960's.

Macgregor's Histories of Greece and Rome begin with the legendary past of these classic civilizations, and focus mainly on the more romantic earlier years. Her Story of Greece begins with a thorough review of many of the most famous Greek myths and covers all of the well-known incidents, characters and battles of Classical Greece. Her history ends at the age of Alexander. Likewise, her Story of Rome begins with the founding of Rome by Romulus and Remus and continues through the kingdom and republican periods, ending during the reign of Caesar Augustus.

Intermediate Histories by Mary Macgregor
Title Compact Library sheets
The Story of Greece Ancient Greece 167
The Story of Rome Ancient Rome 201
The Story of France Christian Europe 226
The Netherlands Christian Europe 132

Stories of Ancient Peoples

by Eva March Tappan

Eva March Tappan was one of the most prolific American authors of juvenile history in the early years of the 20th century. She authored over fifty books, and edited many more. Her Ancient Histories, which focus on the stories of Greece and Rome, were used extensively in schools for dozens of years and were republished for at least forty years after they were written.

Tappan was a classroom teacher for 20 years, and her books take a slightly more "textbook" approach to teaching than some other histories offered by Heritage History. At the end of each chapter, for example, she highlights the main points and offers suggestions for study questions. Her chapters are somewhat longer than the "storybook" style histories of Guerber and Macgregor, and she emphasize social and lifestyle issue to a greater degree than some other authors.

In spite of the longer chapters, and greater emphasis on social factors, Tappan's books are exceptionally enjoyable and easy to read. They are richly illustrated, well-organized and considerably shorter than some of the other comprehensive histories of the Ancients.

Stories of Ancient Peoples by Eva March Tappan
Title Compact Library sheets
Story of the Greek People Ancient Greece 114
Story of the Roman People Ancient Rome 109
Old World Hero Stories Ancient Greece, Rome 58

Morris Historical Tales

Charles Morris was a prolific American writer of the late 19th century. After a brief career in academics, he began publishing a great number of books and articles under various pseudonyms, but his piece de resistance  was his Historical Tales, a collection of romantic and entertaining stories from history in twelve volumes.

Although these tales are organized by civilization, and the stories occur in roughly chronological order, these books cannot be read as comprehensive histories, as he makes no particular attempt to tie them together, contenting himself to jump from one fascinating episode in history to another. For this reason, they are best read after one is already familiar with the basic outline of the history of a particular civilization.

On the other hand, Morris is an outstanding writing, and he picks fascinating subjects for his stories. The stories are selected largely for their entertainment value rather than purely for historical significance so Morris provides a compelling introduction of many "secondary" characters and events. He tells all of his stories in enough depth to make them truly entertaining, even when he is dealing with already well-known events. The Historical Tales  are an entertaining treat, and though they are not recommended for introductory reading, they are terrifically rewarding for intermediate or advanced readers of history.

Only two of Morris's Historical Tales are included in the Greek and Roman Collection. The complete set may be found in our collection for Mature Readers.

Historical Tales by Charles Morris
Title Compact Library sheets
Historical Tales: Greek Ancient Greece 141
Historical Tales: Roman Ancient Rome 131
Historical Tales: American I Early America 139
Historical Tales: American II Early America 138
Historical Tales: Latin American Spanish Empire 129
Historical Tales: English British Middle Ages 142
Historical Tales: German Christian Europe 134
Historical Tales: French Christian Europe 136
Historical Tales: Spanish Spanish Empire 130
Historical Tales: Russian Modern Europe 136
Historical Tales: Scandinavian   144
Historical Tales: Japanese and Chinese   143

Adapted Plutarch

Sometimes small incidents, rather than glorious exploits, give us the best evidence of character. So, as portrait painters are more exact in doing the face, where the character is revealed, than the rest of the body, I must be allowed to give my more particular attention to the marks of the souls of men."     —Plutarch

The following books are not part of a uniform series, but were published by several different authors who sought to retell the great Lives of Plutarch for young people. Plutarch, of course, was one of the most influential authors of all time. His biographies of famous Greeks and Romans and his comparisons of their lives, were read with enthusiasm by classical scholars from the time they were written in the first century A.D. until fairly recently. He was likely the most popular classical author read in Europe during the Middle Ages, and unquestionably influenced Dante, Chaucer, Shakespeare and many other great literary figures.

Plutarch was, to a large degree, the very archetype of classical wisdom, but his brilliant and sympathetic understanding of human nature is now, unfortunately, shunted aside by the modern aspiration of trying to understand human behavior by means of "scientific" observation instead of thoughtful insight.

The problem with "re-telling" and simplifying Plutarch of course, is precisely the same problem of "re-telling" Shakespeare: One can competently retell the stories, but it is difficult to simplify the works of either author and retain that which make their work a masterpiece. Plutarch's works are not simply biographies, but "lives"—rich in anecdote and commentary, much of which must inevitably be stripped out in order to make them accessible to young people.

The following books are all greatly simplified, but each author takes a different approach. Gould's Children's Plutarch  volumes are severely abridged, for fairly young audiences. Gould leaves out a great deal, but retains some anecdotes, and delivers a few moral lessons that are easily understood by elementary students. Kaufman's Our Young Folks' Plutarch  provides very through biographies, and could almost be used for a standard reference, but omits much of the commentary that makes Plutarch, with his vivid insights into human nature, so fascinating.

Both Gould and Kaufman cover all fifty or so of Plutarch's lives, and shorten their versions correspondingly. Weston, on the other hand, in his Plutarch's Lives  focuses only on fourteen men—probably the most famous of Plutarch's subjects—and is therefore able to retain more of the original tone of Plutarch. His versions eliminate detail, extraneous secondary characters and side plots, but retain more of the commentary for which Plutarch is best known. It is therefore, most likely, the best of the lot.

Plutarch Lives for Young People
Title Compact Library sheets
Children's Plutarch: Greeks   by F. J. Gould Ancient Greece 64
Children's Plutarch: Romans   by F. J. Gould Ancient Rome 69
Plutarch's Lives   by W. H. Weston Ancient Greece, Rome 155
Our Young Folks' Plutarch   by Rosalie Kaufman Ancient Greece, Rome 259

Church's Adapted Classics

Rev. Alfred J. Church is one of the most prolific authors that can be found on the pages of Heritage History, and is without peer in his ability to transmit a great interest in the Ancient classics to an intermediate student. His intended audience is not beginners, or unenthusiastic readers, but rather, young people with some background in Greek and Roman History who desire to become familiar with the great works as painlessly as possible.

Educated as a classicist, Church began writing books for a general reading audience in the late 1870’s. His first books were simplified classics, and although he wrote in many other genres, he is most well-known as an author who rewrote a variety of classical works, mostly from Latin and Greek, in manner that is accessible and entertaining to the non-scholar, and yet retains a great deal of the flavor and scope of the original.

His two books based on Herodotus for example, Story of the Persian War, and Stories of the East are a reworking of much of the most famous sections of Herodotus’ Histories. Church’s versions are much less cumbersome than the original, but retain the same flavor, humor, and style of the original. His Stories from the Greek Tragedians, and Stories from the Greek Comedians, likewise provide significantly abridged versions of many famous Greek plays, but use excerpts from some of the best English translations at key points in order to preserve the humor, depth and cadence of the original. His summaries communicate not only the basic plot line, but also the poetry of the classical playwrights.

Two of Church’s first works, translated and simplified from the original Latin, were Stories From Livy and Stories from Virgil. In the Last Days of Jerusalem Church recounts the fall of Jerusalem, as told by the historian Josephus. Other works from Greek and Latin sources include Nicias and the Sicilian Expedition which is based on Thucydides account, and The Greek Gulliver based on Lucan.

Adapted Classics by Alfred J. Church
Title Compact Library sheets
The Persian War (from Herodotus) Ancient Greece 82
Stories from the East (from Herodotus) Ancient Greece 79
The Greek Tragedians (from Sophocles, et al) Ancient Greece 78
The Greek Comedians (from Aristophanes) Ancient Greece 137
The Sicilian Expedition (from Thucydides) Ancient Greece 43
Stories from Livy (from Livy) Ancient Rome 75
Last Days of Jerusalem (from Josephus) Ancient Rome 47

Although most of Church's revised classics are directed toward young adults, he also wrote significantly abridged versions of the Aeneid, Iliad, and Odyssey for elementary age students. These versions are completely rewritten from the original, as they inevitably must be to make them accessible to younger children, but they benefit from the authors thorough learning of the subject, and are highly faithful to the originals. All three are action-packed and have no difficulty holding a reader's attention. The Boys and Girls Classics was one of Church’s best-selling and most widely read series.

Homer and Virgil for Boys and Girls by Alfred J. Church
Title Compact Library sheets
The Iliad for Boys and Girls (Homer) Ancient Greece 63
The Odyssey for Boys and Girls (Homer) Ancient Greece 63
The Aeneid for Boys and Girls (Virgil) Ancient Rome 59

Church's Historical Vignettes

Alfred Church was a classical scholar, and one of the world's most eminent writers of juvenile history for college prep students during the late 19th century. He is especially gifted at exciting a real interest in history in the intermediate student; and his books provide an excellent transition from introductory level history to college studies.

The books in this series can be considered episodic history, rather than comprehensive history. Most cover only a specific era, rather than attempting to cover the whole breadth of the civilization, and each chapter tells the story of a particularly interesting person or event, in moderate detail. These books are most enjoyable for an intermediate or advanced student who is already familiar with the basics of Greek or Roman history, and desires to increase his knowledge.

In Roman Life in the Days of Cicero, Church provides insights into characters who lived during the decline of the Roman Empire, based partly on the observations of Cicero. In addition to his famous contemporaries, Caesar and Pompey, we read about Verres, one of the most corrupt magistrates in Ancient Rome, who Cicero prosecuted, Clodius, a demagogue and enemy of Cicero, and Atticus, Cicero's banker and a close friend.

In Pictures from Roman Life and Story Church tells stories about Livia, the wife of Augustus, the Piso Conspiracy during Nero's reign, and tells detailed stories of Otho, Galba, and Vitellius, the three emperors who each reigned briefly in 69 A.D. In his book on Greek Life and Story he also gives interesting accounts of such heroes as Cimon, Thucydides, Pausanias, and others, that are sometimes passed over in introductory courses.

Helmet and Spear covers both Greek and Roman history, but focuses entirely on famous battles of antiquity that changed the course of history. The final book in this collection, Stories from Ancient Rome, covers only the earliest years of Rome, particularly those incidents related in Livy's famous history.

Vignettes from Ancient Times by Alfred J. Church
Title Compact Library sheets
Stories from Ancient Rome Ancient Rome 37
Roman Life in the Days of Cicero Ancient Rome 78
Roman Life and Story Ancient Rome 107
Helmet and Spear Ancient Greece 112
Greek Life and Story Ancient Greece 102

Church's Historical Fiction

For anyone interested in a classical education, the Historical Fiction of Alfred J. Church is an invaluable resource. He is especially gifted at exciting a real interest in history in the intermediate student, who is already superficially familiar with the history of Greece, Rome, or England, but would like more interesting and in depth knowledge of these areas. Church's works are full of many of the fascinating details of history that introductory courses must leave out, and they inspire an abiding interest in the ancients.

Church's approach to Historical fiction is to introduce as much history as possible into an action packed narrative. The plotlines may be outrageously contrived, but they are never dull. His heroes are buffeted from one historically significant event to another, with just a few asides for love interest and dramatic escapes and rescues. Church's ability to weave tremendous amounts of historical detail into his stories without becoming tedious is astounding.

Church’s two major fiction works relating to Greece are Callias: The Fall of Athens, set during and after the Peloponnesian War, and Young Macedonian in the Army of Alexander the Great, set during the Wars of Macedonian Conquest. In both cases, the fictional heroes are involved in almost every major event of the period, and meet almost all the major characters.

Fiction work involving Rome includes Lucius, Adventures of a Roman Boy, set in the period of the late republic after Sulla but before Caesar. Its hero is rescued by Spartacus, kidnapped by pirates, and held captive by Mithridates among other adventures. Lords of the World  is set during the third Punic war and covers the destruction of Carthage as well as the nearly simultaneous fall of Corinth in Greece. The Burning of Rome  is one of Church's most exciting stories. Its coverage of a failed assassination conspiracy against Nero reads like a romance novel, when it was, in fact based largely on historical accounts.

Several of Church’s books may be of particular interest to Christian readers, since they cover events that are important in Church history, as well as political history. To the Lions  is the story of an early Christian community in Asia Minor that is persecuted during the governorship of Pliny the Younger. Crown of Pine, set in Greece during the early years of the Roman Empire, also has a Christian subplot. Finally, The Hammer is the story of the Maccabee rebellion against the Macedonian overlords of Judea a few hundred years before Christ.

Church only wrote one historical fiction book intended for younger children. Three Greek Children recounts several important stories from Greek History, as they are communicated to young children who lived in Athens during the Peloponnesian War. Church's real gift, however, is as a story teller to mature audiences rather than to youngsters, and most of his best work is in that area.

Historical Fiction from Greece and Rome by Alfred J. Church
Title Compact Library sheets
To the Lions Ancient Rome 70
Burning of Rome Ancient Rome 115
Lords of the World Ancient Rome 131
Lucius - Adventures of a Roman Boy Ancient Rome 137
Crown of Pine Ancient Rome 92
Callias: the Fall of Athens Ancient Greece 128
Young Macedonian in Alexander's Army Ancient Greece 108
The Hammer Ancient Greece 135
Three Greek Children Ancient Greece 57

Abbott's Makers of History

"I want to thank you and your brother for Abbott’s series of Histories. I have not education enough to appreciate the profound works of voluminous historians, and if I had, I have no time to read them. But your series of Histories gives me, in brief compass, just that knowledge of past men and events which I need. I have read them with the greatest interest. To them I am indebted for about all the historical knowledge I have."
—Abraham Lincoln

As the quote from above shows, even Abraham Lincoln was a fan of the Abbott Histories. Their famous series was so well-known and widely read that they were staples of virtually every American library from the time they were published in the mid-nineteenth century until after the First World War. Both informative and terrifically entertaining, the Abbott brothers had an enormous talent for writing biographies, and selecting those stories and anecdotal episodes from histories that are of most interest to the general reader.

Jacob Abbott (1803-1879) was possibly the most prolific American writer of juvenile literature of the nineteenth century. He was born in Maine, the second of seven children. He and each of his four brothers graduated from Bowdoin College, studied theology, and became teachers or ministers. Three of the five boys became authors and with his brother John Steven Charles, Jacob authored the famous and widely read Makers of History series of biographies.

It was not until about 1848 that he and his brother embarked on the idea of doing a series of biography aimed at young people. His target audience was age "15 to 25", and the Abbott brothers eventually produced a set of biographies that were critically acclaimed, and widely read. Within a few years of their publication, the Abbott biographies became standard reference works of juvenile history, and were available in libraries throughout America. They were originally published as the Illustrated History series, but were republished many times during the next sixty years in various collections, entitled Famous Characters of History, Famous Queens of History, and others. They were most recently republished in the early 1900’s as the Makers of History series.

The Abbotts had a terrific gift for narrative, and their books all read as if they were high suspense novels. Although the vocabulary level is relatively high, more appropriate for high school or college than elementary schools, the writing style is not difficult, and the stories move along at a fast pace. The Abbott biographies have a delightful combination of action and adventure, along with truly interesting personality portraits, intriguing subplots, and fascinating secondary characters which should be appealing to both young men and women.

The complete collection of the Maker so History Series includes over 32 volumes. Only the ten related to Ancient History are included here. The complete set of Abbott Biographies can be found in our Mature Readers collection.

Makers of History by Jacob Abbott
Title Compact Library sheets
Cyrus the Great Ancient Greece 77
Darius Ancient Greece 78
Xerxes Ancient Greece 82
Alexander the Great Ancient Greece 75
Pyrrhus Ancient Greece 83
Romulus Ancient Rome 80
Hannibal Ancient Rome 78
Julius Caesar Ancient Rome 72
Cleopatra Ancient Rome 84
Nero Ancient Rome 82

Story of the Nations

The Story of the Nation series was produced by G. P. Putnam & Son. The complete series contains over fifty volumes each dedicated to telling the tale of a specific nation in detail. It includes volumes on well-known nations, such as Rome and France, but also includes a great many volumes on lesser known peoples, such as the Goths and Phoenicians. It is primarily valuable for assembling all known information on some of these secondary nations, and presenting it in an engaging manner.

Although the authors of most of these books are professional historians, the books themselves are written for a general rather than an academic audience. Most volumes are between 300 and 350 pages and include many pages of illustrations. Obscure details are relegated to the footnotes so that they don't detract from the narrative, and all of the authors are skilled story tellers who do an excellent job of relating the most interesting points of history, while avoiding tedious details and academic controversies.

Because the Story of the Nations is a large series, we have only listed those volumes included in the Ancient Rome collection.

Story of the Nations by various authors
Title Compact Library sheets
The Story of Carthage Ancient Rome 108
The Story of Rome Ancient Rome 122
The Jews Under Roman Rule Ancient Rome 143
The Byzantine Empire Ancient Rome 133
The Story of the Goths Ancient Rome 144

Stories from History Series

The Stories from History series, in common with the Children Heroes series from the same publisher, is a short, nicely illustrated series of books that introduce elementary readers to some of the most famous stories from history. The series features tales from the history of Greece, Rome, France and England, as well as stories from the Vikings and Crusades during the middle ages.

Instead of attempting to tell the entire history of each country in such a short book, the authors selected between six and ten especially famous stories to tell with enough detail to be of interest. By carefully selecting their stories, each writer manages to get across the most important events and characters of their subject civilization in a manner that is appealing even for young children. The books are short enough to be read in only a few hours by an older elementary school student, or read aloud to a younger one.

Stories from History by various authors
Title Compact Library sheets
Stories from the Crusades Christian Europe 31
Stories of the Vikings Christian Europe 43
Stories from Roman History Ancient Rome 37
Stories from French History Christian Europe 35
Stories from Greek History Ancient Greece 36
Stories from English History British Middle Ages 39

Lake History Series

This series of introductory history readers is directed at sixth and seventh graders, but might be enjoyed by students of any age. The series includes brief, introductory histories of Greece, Rome, the Middle Ages, and England, assumes no previous knowledge of world events, and relates interesting and informative stories of many of the most important characters and events of western history. It's author was a well-known writer of histories for both children and adults.

The series was published by a company that specialized in school textbooks, and later versions of each of the books include study questions and outlines that might be helpful for formal instruction. Even without these aids however, the books read very well, cover important topics, and can easily hold the interest of most students. The series was very popular in public schools throughout the United States in the early years of the 20th century.

Lake History Series by Samuel Harding
Title Compact Library size
Greek Gods, Heroes and Men Ancient Greece 59
The City of the Seven Hills Ancient Rome 116
Story of the Middle Ages Christian Europe 100
Story of England British Middle Ages 170

Cousins of Long Ago

The Our Little Cousin series was introduced by the Page Company in the early 1900's. It was based on the idea of introducing world geography through the stories of children who live in various countries. After its initial success, a new series was initiated, entitled Our Little Cousin of Long Ago. These books differed from the original in that they were centered on ancient civilizations instead of modern ones. Most were set in the midst of important historical events, but the central drama is always fictional, and the historical events and characters play out in the background, rather than the foreground of the story.

Like the original series, the books are intended to focus on the every-day life, beliefs, customs, and livelihoods, of the characters rather than to tell a particular historical tale. In many cases however, the character is present at an important battle, or during the sacking of monastery, or during some other key historical event. But the main plot typically involves the curious adventures of a ten-year-old boy rather than a particular historical incident.

Little Cousins of Long Ago by various authors
Title Compact Library sheets
Our Little Spartan Cousin of Long Ago Ancient Greece 43
Our Little Athenian Cousin of Long Ago Ancient Greece 36
Our Little Roman Cousin of Long Ago Ancient Rome 37
Our Little Carthaginian Cousin of Long Ago Ancient Rome 36
Our Little Saxon Cousin of Long Ago British Middle Ages 34
Our Little Viking Cousin of Long Ago Christian Europe 49
Our Little Celtic Cousin of Long Ago British Middle Ages 37
Our Little Norman Cousin of Long Ago British Middle Ages 41
Our Little Crusader Cousin of Long Ago Christian Europe 48

Story of the World Series

The Story of the World series comprises a set of five volumes, written at an introductory reading level, that cover all major events in the history of Western Civilization, from stories of Biblical history to the close of the nineteenth century. Each of the fifty or so chapters in each volume, tells the story of some individual or event that is key to understanding the major developments of the era. While statesmen and military commanders figure heavily in the narrative, stories of explorers, scientists, artists, authors, and religious figures are also presented.

M. B Synge writes in an engaging fashion, using dialog frequently to bring scenes to life. She juxtaposes events happening at the same time in different parts of the world in a style similar to the "World" Series by Genevieve Foster. This series is an excellent introduction to world history for older readers as well as for children.

The first book in the series, On the Shores of the Great Sea, begins in old testament times, and covers the whole history of Ancient Greece and the years of the Republic of Rome. The second book in the series, The Discovery of New Worlds begins around the time of the birth of Christ and covers the rise and fall of the Roman Empire, and the early middle ages. It ends with Columbus and the Discovery of America. The third book, The Awakening of Europe, covers the settlement of the colonies in the Americas, and the Reformation throughout Europe and in the early 18th century. The fourth book, The Struggle for Sea Power, begins during the age of Empires, as France and England struggle for control of colonies in the New World and India and ends with the battle of Waterloo, which culminated the Napoleonic Wars. The final volume, The Growth of the British Empire, covers the 19th century, beginning with the liberation of Latin America, and concluding with the Boer War in Africa, at the turn of the 20th century.

Story of the World by M. B. Synge
Title Compact Library size
Shores of the Great Sea Ancient Greece, Rome 74
Discovery of New Worlds Christian Europe 78
Awakening of Europe Christian Europe 83
Struggle for Sea Power British Empire 87
Growth of British Empire British Empire 89

Life Stories for Young People

The Life Stories Series is a collection of short biographies written for intermediate students that were originally published in Germany. At the time, the German national school system was widely admired by educational reformers in the United States, and many of its features were incorporated into the American public school system.

The subjects of these books are mostly European, but they cover a wide variety of personalities and interests. There are a number of famous national heroes, of course, such as William the Silent, Frederick the Great, and Eugene of Savoy. But there are also explorers, musicians, and legendary heroes. At least five of the books in the collection are written primarily from the point of view the queen or Empress of a prominant European monarch, rather than principle ruler himself. A number focus on the childhood of famous personages, rather than their political career. In all cases, an effort has been made to maximize the interest for younger students in the lives of the subjects, rather than to emphasize political lessons.

The original German for many of these books were published in the 1880's and 1890's but the American translations, done by the Chicago Music critic, George P. Upton, were not completed until 1907 through 1914. The collection was very well received, and was gaining popularity in children's libraries when the first world war broke out. Because of anti-German sentiment, however, publication was stopped during the First World War and never resumed.

The original series was written by a variety of authors in German, but the translator of the entire series was George P. Upton, a well-known music critic and self-taught expert on European culture.

Life Stories for Young People Translated by George P. Upton
Title Compact Library size
Herman and Thusnelda Ancient Rome, Christian Europe 41
Barbarossa Christian Europe 55
Charlemagne Christian Europe 30
The Little Dauphin Modern Europe 46
Youth of the Great Elector Christian Europe 46
Elizabeth - Empress of Austria Modern Europe 48
Eric the Red Christian Europe, Early America 40
Prince Eugene Christian Europe 50
Eugenie - Empress of the French Modern Europe 50
Frederick the Great Modern Europe 50
Gudrun Christian Europe 46
Joseph Haydn Modern Europe 57
Louise - Queen of Prussia Modern Europe 39
Maximilian in Mexico Modern Europe, Spanish Empire 42
Mozart's Youth Modern Europe 36
Nibelungs Christian Europe 64
William of Orange Christian Europe 41
The Swiss Heroes History Christian Europe 43
William Tell Biography Christian Europe 36
Maria Theresa of Austria Modern Europe 43
Undine Christian Europe 46
Emperor William First Modern Europe 40

Heroes of All Time

This outstanding series of biographies is of special interest to the intermediate student. The subjects of this series tend to be individuals of important historical consequence, rather than merely men or women of action. Their stories are told with great interest, but also with enough explanation of circumstance so that a middle school or older student can begin to understand the dilemmas faced by these heroes and the consequences of their actions. The biographies are told in enough detail to give valuable insights into the subjects' lives, but they are not overly long. Each book is slightly less than 200 pages.

This series was originally produced in Great Britain, so a good number of its subjects are Englishmen and women. However, characters from all of world history are considered, from Julius Caesar and Augustus, to Washington and Lincoln. In addition to political figures a number of important religious leaders are also considered. Some of these include Buddha, Mohammed, Luther, and Anselm.

Heroes of All Time by Various Authors
Title Compact Library size
Alexander the Great Ancient Greece  
Augustus Ancient Rome 56
Julius Caesar Ancient Rome  
Anselm Christian Europe  
Jeanne d'Arc Christian Europe  
Thomas Becket British Middle Ages  
William Caxton British Middle Ages  
Martin Luther Christian Europe  
Oliver Cromwell British Middle Ages 68
William the Silent Christian Europe  
Garibaldi and his Red Shirts Modern Europe 75
Marie Antoinette Modern Europe 58
Peter the Great Modern Europe  
Heroes of Modern Europe Modern Europe 102
George Washington Early America 81
Buddha   59
Mohammed   64

The size listed indicates the number of 8½ by 11 sheets of paper required to print the entire book, single-sided. This number is about half the number of pages in the original book, since approximately two "pages" of text are reproduced on every sheet.

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