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    Famous Men of Rome Reviews

    Hello!
    Certain reviews of FMofR caution parents to read the book in advance due to the detailed description of suicides and lack of distinction between myths and facts. They also state that some parents do not find it age-appropiate. Could somebody kindly explain/confirm this? Thanks!
    ***3A and 6A cores for 2018-2019***

    #2
    Re: Famous Men of Rome Reviews

    What age/grade do you plan to use it with? I have not had any problems using it with my oldest two when they were in fourth grade.
    Festina lentē,
    Jessica P

    SY2019-2020 · 8th MP Year
    @ Home, HLN, & MPOA
    S · 10th, MPOA Henle 3
    D · 8th
    D · 5th
    S · 2nd

    Highlands Latin Nashville Cottage School

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      #3
      Re: Famous Men of Rome Reviews

      This would be for 4th grade.
      ***3A and 6A cores for 2018-2019***

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        #4
        Re: Famous Men of Rome Reviews

        We have used this book for many years now too and have not had any concerns or issues. I would have to go back and check the book to see if I can find exactly what those reviewers found, but they are packed in boxes for moving right now.

        But a couple of things I do know are that such events do take place in Roman history, in Greek history, in American history, in the history of the Birtish monarchy - basically any history we read to our children will involve the undesirable actions of man that make us cringe and shudder. The key for me is how it is handled. We have read through The Story of the World books and have been exposed to a lot of that. We study the Greek Myths and learn a lot of gruesome stories there. Same with the fairy tales we read to our kids. Again, what matters for us is how it is handled.

        Memoria Press has a firm commitment to making sure our children's educational materials are age-appropriate, and that is why when many of us long term users hear things like that, we startle and look confused, because we have not come across things that concern us.

        I think when it is presented, how it is presented, and what other things the child has been exposed to all play a big part in a family's comfort level with these types of subjects. But MP is on our side and I have not found anything to be troubling.

        Hths,
        AMDG,
        Sarah
        2019-2020 - 9th Year with MP
        DD, 18, Homeschool grad; Art major/philosophy minor
        DS, 16
        DD, 14
        DD, 12
        DD, 10
        DD, 7.5
        DD, 5.5
        +DS+
        DS, 18 months

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          #5
          Re: Famous Men of Rome Reviews

          I agree with being vigilant about that kind of thing, but that text was written more than 100 years ago by a scholar of, I would say, great restraint and good judgment. It would never have occurred to me to use the word "detailed" for his descriptions of suicide or other deaths. As I recall, the deaths are handled and dismissed in one sentence, no lingering over details. The whole story of Lucretia is handled with admirable restraint and sensitivity. The fact that suicides are included (but not graphically recounted) will be helpful in the student's later understanding of the ancient view of suicide, especially by soldiers, vs. the Christian view.

          Best.
          Bonnie

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            #6
            Re: Famous Men of Rome Reviews

            I agree wholeheartedly with Bonnie's explanation - I used FMoR with my 5M this past year and will use it this fall with my 4A. My 5M is a girl who does not like blood, guts and gore - she was relieved that there was none of that in FMoR. As Bonnie stated, it is written in such a way as to avoid unnecessary details while still providing children with a very good idea of the events of the time. Ancient Rome was downright cruel at times, with suicide, violence and persecution at the forefront of some reigns. This is not avoided; rather, discussed in a way that's very appropriate for children 4th grade and up.
            Mary

            DD14 - 9th core + CLRC Ancient Greek
            DS12 - 7th core
            DD7 - Still finishing 1st core at her own happy pace :-)

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              #7
              Re: Famous Men of Rome Reviews

              People have this critique about Greek Myths too. In fact, I discovered a whole niche of curriculum last year that is, in part, based off of the "dangers" of classical education and having young kids read Greek myths and Roman history. I mean, there's more to it than that, but there are some people out there who are very reactionary to classical ed, and not in small part because they think that it is some sort of bad influence on kids.
              Jodi
              ~~~~~~~
              2018-19 School Year:
              Ethan (6A)
              Matthew (4A)
              Silas (K)
              Eleanor (3yo, chaos & charm)
              Blueberry (arriving Oct '19)

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                #8
                Re: Famous Men of Rome Reviews

                Thank you! Glad to hear that incidents of suicides are not "graphically" explained. This was my main concern. As long as they do not describe how they committed suicide, it'll be appropiate for us to read to our children. We decided not to continue with D'Auilares Greek Myths, but we did find other resources that we felt more comfortable with, so our children are familiar with the myths but we avoided certain details until later. I appreciate your comments and respect everybody's opinion. I know that it'll be different for other families 😉.
                ***3A and 6A cores for 2018-2019***

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                  #9
                  Re: Famous Men of Rome Reviews

                  Originally posted by Bonnie View Post
                  I agree with being vigilant about that kind of thing, but that text was written more than 100 years ago by a scholar of, I would say, great restraint and good judgment. It would never have occurred to me to use the word "detailed" for his descriptions of suicide or other deaths. As I recall, the deaths are handled and dismissed in one sentence, no lingering over details. The whole story of Lucretia is handled with admirable restraint and sensitivity. The fact that suicides are included (but not graphically recounted) will be helpful in the student's later understanding of the ancient view of suicide, especially by soldiers, vs. the Christian view.

                  Best.
                  Bonnie
                  What that word, gobsmacked? I completely missed that there was any mention of suicide anywhere. I'm feeling like a dork.
                  Plans for 2019-20
                  DD #1 : 24, heading to Chase Law School NKU Fall 2019
                  DD #2 : 13 8A: HLS Cottage School Louisville, MPOA
                  DS #3 : 11 4A + Simply Classical 5/6; HLS Cottage School Louisville
                  DS #4 : 11 4A + Simply Classical 5/6; HLS Cottage School Louisville
                  DD #5: 7, MP 2 at home, HLS Cottage School Louisville
                  DS #6: 5, MP K at home

                  [url]www.thekennedyadventures.com/all-about-our-memoria-press-homeschool[/url]

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                    #10
                    Re: Famous Men of Rome Reviews

                    Doesn't Lucretia commit suicide after she is dishonored? That's the only story I can think of with suicide in it.

                    Tanya

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                      #11
                      Re: Famous Men of Rome Reviews

                      Caius Gracchus ordered a slave to stab him to the heart. No details. Brutus fell upon his sword held by a slave. End of story, no details. And there are Marc Antony, who stabbed himself, and Cleopatra, who used an asp to kill herself. Lucretia used a dagger, and there is a mention of bleeding.

                      Bonnie

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                        #12
                        Re: Famous Men of Rome Reviews

                        Oh, wow! In my defense, my children are 23 and 26, so it's been awhile.

                        Tanya

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                          #13
                          Re: Famous Men of Rome Reviews

                          It did not occur to me before that this book is in the public domain!. I'm not sure if it has been edited by MP or if the following excepts are from the same version they published, but here are a few of said sentences I have come across so far:

                          --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                          *MANLIUS TORQUATUS.- "Go, bind him to a stake and cut off his head."
                          "...So the brave young Manlius was led to a stake and bound, and with one stroke of the lictor's axe his head was cut from his body..."

                          *THE GRACCHI.- "...He knew that the nobles would be satisfied with his own death, so he ordered a slave to stab him to the heart.."

                          *CATO THE CENSOR.-"...They were willing to lose their lives, but Scipio stayed behind his own walls and refused to fight. Rather than trust to the mercy of Rome the Numantians killed themselves..."

                          *AUGUSTUS.-"...After the battle Brutus requested one of his slaves to kill him. The slave refused, but when Brutus still pressed him to do it, he held out his sword and Brutus killed himself by falling upon it."
                          "...Antony went back to Egypt with Cleopatra. His friends and supporters then left him, and his power was gone. Soon after, he stabbed himself, and so died. It is said that Cleopatra died from the bite of a poisonous serpent called an asp, which she placed on her arm on purpose to kill herself..."

                          *NERO.-"...Seneca was a very good man and a great writer. When he received the cruel order from Nero, he knew that if he did not obey it the tyrant would send some one to kill him, so he had the veins of his arms cut open and he died after much suffering"
                          "Now dig a grave for me," he said to the slave, "and I will kill myself!"
                          "With trembling hand Nero placed his dagger at his throat, but did not have the courage to use it. The slave then seized it and plunged it into the emperor's throat, and the wicked Nero fell dead. "

                          --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                          I will need to reconsider this! Thank you for all your input.
                          ***3A and 6A cores for 2018-2019***

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                            #14
                            Re: Famous Men of Rome Reviews

                            MG,
                            I understand that you have made a decision for your family. And I respect you for doing that at the threshold that is right for your family. But the thought that keeps nagging at me is that we encounter things quite similar to the events you described when we read our Children's Bible. I included a few examples verbatim, and then even more just as events. And this is our Bible that I read to my Primary kids (K-2) before heading into the Golden Bible:

                            Cain and Abel:
                            "He determined to kill his brother. One day when they were out walking in the field, Cain struck his brother and killed him."

                            The Flood:
                            "Because men have turned away from Me, I will send rain for forty days. A great flood shall rise to wipe away every living creature from the earth...The waters rose higher and higher till even the mountains were covered. Every living thing - bird, beast, and man - was drowned."

                            Abraham and Isaac:
                            "Just as Abraham was about to strike his son with the knife, an angel touched his hand and said, 'Abraham, do not kill your son..."

                            Jacob and Esau:
                            "When Esau found that Jacob had taken away his blessing, he was very angry and he wanted to kill him. The mother warned Jacob, 'Your brother will kill you if you stay here...'"

                            Joseph's brothers plan to kill him, soak his coat in blood and present it to their father: "It is my son's coat! Some wild beast has torn him to pieces," cried the father.

                            Pharoah commanded every Israelite baby boy should be thrown into the Nile; the angel of death passed through Egypt killing the firstborn of the Egyptians; Pharoah and his armies were drowned in the Red Sea; God sent serpents to bite the complaining Israelites, and many of them died; the people of Jericho were either slain or taken prisoner; Joshua defeated the Canaanites; Samson chose to die when he brought down the building where the Philistines feasted; David took the giant's sword and cut off his head; Daniel's enemies were thrown in to the lions and killed...

                            Nearly every story we read in the Old Testament involves some theme of death, in some way. I would not avoid reading these stories to my children because of these themes, but rather, use them for what they are: an introduction to the major stories of the Bible that I consider essential for my children to learn. They learn these stories again when they encounter them in Christian Studies. And again when they read them from the "real" Bible at older ages. I want them to know the events well, so I offer a lot of chances for them to learn it.

                            I think this mindset is what makes studying the history of the Romans so important. The events of Roman history, or Greek, or American are essential for our understanding of Western Civilization. They are so important that I want my kids to have more than a one-time-through when they are older. We do a basic level once over with FMOR, and then return to the history again when we study Mills' Story of the Romans. But I do not know how it is possible to study these histories well if we try to avoid the actual events that took place.

                            Again, I understand your need to make the right decision for your family. But I also want to give you encouragement that even though we adults read these things and understand completely what they mean, our children are reading them at their threshold, and only taking as much of it as they can. Jessica has been good at pointing out that we should not answer a question before it is asked. As your children get older, they will understand more and more...but very often they can handle more than we think they can because they are not reading it the way an adult would.

                            Just some more to think about.
                            AMDG,
                            Sarah
                            2019-2020 - 9th Year with MP
                            DD, 18, Homeschool grad; Art major/philosophy minor
                            DS, 16
                            DD, 14
                            DD, 12
                            DD, 10
                            DD, 7.5
                            DD, 5.5
                            +DS+
                            DS, 18 months

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                              #15
                              Re: Famous Men of Rome Reviews

                              We have not read Famous Men of Rome, yet. We will be reading it this year. I think every family needs to determine for themselves what is appropriate for their children. One of the many reasons we choose to homeschool is because we ( my husband and I) want to be the first authority for our children on all sensitive subjects. I would consider any form of death a sensitive subject. Unfortunately, death has become a regular topic of conversation in our home in the last few years. We have grieved many loved ones. Some of them were expected (illness and old age) and others were shocking. My children have proven themselves very capable of conversing about this subject and are comfortable talking to us about it. Honestly, they are more capable than some adults I know. Even though I would have chosen to not have these conversations if given the option, I have watched my children grow in faith because of them. They have hope in Christ and their innocence allows their minds to freely imagine how grand Heaven will be. Before we had real life experience, they were exposed through the truths of the Bible. Christ did not have a clean, easy to discuss death. The events surrounding his death were cruel and anything but child friendly. There was even a suicide. I wouldn't try to censor Scripture and historical records help prove it's accuracy. For that reason, I wouldn't want to censor trustworthy history texts either. I would never consider FMoR to be an equivalent with Scripture. I do think that learning history, even when it's difficult, can offer our children an opportunity to ask us questions. It creates a safe space for hard discussions. I hope you read this hearing a gentle voice. I just wanted to offer my perspective.
                              Joyfully, Courtney
                              DS13 7th, DS11 6th, DS9 4th, DD7 2nd

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