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Outlines of Ancient History: The Jews, the Greeks, & the Romans ~ Textbook

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Textbook for History 1 ~ Ancient & Classical

The Outlines of Ancient History is intended to begin the historical study of those peoples from whom we have inherited Western civilization.The Jews, the Greeks, and the Romans each in their own distinct way have contributed to the molding of the Western mind, and the narrative of their achievements has become our story.At times in our past, we have looked back to these great peoples to find our bearings, and to navigate our way forward, all the while realizing our debt to their contributions.This work is a compilation and adaptation of three distinct tomes which cover the history of the Jews, the Greeks, and the Romans, and its purpose is to introduce students to a basic chronology that focuses upon the essential achievements which have most contributed to the development of Western civilization.The shaping of the West by no means stops with their stories.During the Christian age the ideas and philosophies of these ancients blossomed and grew into what we understand Western civilization and culture to be.The study of the West must also include a careful study of the Christian age alongside that of the ancient world.However, that is outside the scope of this work.The student will find in these pages a concise historical narrative broken down into three parts—the Jews, the Greeks, and the Romans—summarizing the events which most influenced the Christian age.

Part 1: The Jews

Part 1 covers the history of the Jews and is an adaptation of Outlines of Jewish History by Rev. Francis E. Gigot, D.D. (originally published by Benzinger Brothers in 1918).Father Gigot, writing about the purpose of his work, states, “Its object is to represent to the modern eye, in a vivd and accurate manner, the several phases of actual existence of the Jewish nation.For this purpose, it narrates the facts supplied by every available sources of information, illustrates the manners and customs of the Jews, describes the countries which they have successively occupied, and taking notice of every development in their literary, commercial, political and religious life, it sets forth a faithful picture of the origin, growth and decline of Jewish civilization” (p. 1).Indeed, such is the purpose of this adaptation.The student reading this history will understand the significant political, literary, and commercial developments of the Jews from Abraham to the birth of Christ.This work does not include the history of mankind prior to Abraham, but is truly a history of the Jews as a distinct people which begins with the patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

Part 2: The Greeks

Part 2 is an adaptation of Outlines of Greek History: With a Survey of Ancient Oriental Nations by William C. Morey (originally published by the American Book Company in 1903).Professor Morey states that “the purposeof this book is to give to young students a general idea of the growth and character of the civilization of ancient Greece,” and that “his aim has been to point out, as clearly as possible, the most essential and significant facts in Greek history, to show their bearing upon the growth of the Hellenic city state, to indicate their influence upon the development of Greek culture, and to suggest the important place which this culture holds in the civilization of the world” (p. 5, 8).

Part 3: The Romans

Part 3 is an adaptation of William C. Morey’s Outlines of Roman History (originally published by the American Book Company in 1900).Like his Outlines of Greek History, Professor Morey has taken much care “to select and emphasize those facts and events which illustrate the real character of the Rome people, which show the progressive development of Rome as a world-power, and which explain the influence that Rome has exercised upon modern civilization” (p. 5).

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"I purchased Alpha Year last summer for my first grader, and we have so thoroughly enjoyed the program. My 2 and a half year old son even loves it!  He loves to recite the poetry and the history. What really astonished me, however, was his ability to apply the information he learned from the songs. I was talking to my husband about our history lesson, and I mentioned 'the king of Persia' and he shouted, 'that's King Cyrus!' " Camille in California

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