The best books for kids on Ancient Rome

Caroline Lawrence Author Of The Thieves of Ostia
By Caroline Lawrence

The Books I Picked & Why

Eagle of the Ninth

By Rosemary Sutcliffe

Eagle of the Ninth

Why this book?

Possibly the best historical fiction for kids set in Roman times. Set in Roman Britain rather than Rome, it is full of action and suspense. Although it was written in 1954 it is still considered a classic.


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Minimus Pupil's Book: Starting out in Latin

By Barbara Bell, Helen Forte

Minimus Pupil's Book: Starting out in Latin

Why this book?

There are many books for kids who would like to learn Latin but this charmingly illustrated book, also set in Roman Britain, is one of the most accessible, especially for children in primary school.


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Cambridge Latin Course Book 1

By Cambridge School Classics Project

Cambridge Latin Course Book 1

Why this book?

‘Caecilius est in horto!’ For slightly older children the Cambridge Latin Course has now become such a part of pop culture that some of its characters have been referenced in Dr Who. And what other language textbook can reduce pupils to tears – the good kind! – in the final chapters?


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The Ancient City: Life in Classical Athens and Rome

By Peter Connolly, Hazel Dodge

The Ancient City: Life in Classical Athens and Rome

Why this book?

Kids will love seeing what Ancient Rome might have looked like, and in this book they get Ancient Athens in the bargain. The late, great Peter Connolly illustrates every aspect of ancient Rome, not only the famous monuments but ordinary homes, what people wore, their artefacts and even their gods. This is such a meticulously researched and clearly presented book that scholars use it, too.


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Asterix and Cleopatra

By René Goscinny, Albert Uderzo

Asterix and Cleopatra

Why this book?

A Belgian series of 36 comic books originally written in French, these have been brilliantly translated into English. Set in the time of Julius Caesar with a small band of Gauls as the heroes and the Romans the ‘baddies’ this series offers many surprisingly accurate insights into the world of ancient Rome. A colourful, humorous, visual format means it will appeal to even the most reluctant readers. Start with Asterix and Cleopatra just to get them hooked.


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