Discussion Forums - Historical Fiction

Topic: Nonfiction - Civilizations

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Subject: Nonfiction - Civilizations
Date Posted: 12/2/2007 3:12 AM ET
Member Since: 11/11/2007
Posts: 469
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My husband has said that he enjoys reading the histories of people. The things they did, games they played, what they ate, how they went about every day life. Said no when I asked him, "Lifestyles?" but sounds basically to me like that's what he means.

Anyone have any suggestions of authors or books, or somewhere I can start to search for these types of books?

Any suggestions on a people who are particularly interesting to read?

Date Posted: 12/2/2007 6:26 AM ET
Member Since: 3/18/2007
Posts: 782
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Well, I am a Roman fan, so I am biased but here are a few suggestions for them:

Daily Life in Ancient Rome: The People and the City at the Height of the Empire Author: Jerome Carcopino

Handbook to Life in Ancient Rome Author: Lesley Adkins, Roy A. Adkins

Everyday Life in Ancient Rome Author: Lionel Casson

Life in Ancient Rome Author: F.R. Cowell

Ancient Rome on Five Denarii a Day (5 Denarii) Author: Philip Matyszak


I'm sure I can find more, but I have to go to work. I will try to look some more when I get home this afternoon! Hope this helps a little!

Date Posted: 12/2/2007 8:03 AM ET
Member Since: 5/29/2007
Posts: 13,347
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I too enjoy the facts of other civilizations.  Not much on a story that includes drama, that's what I read fiction for, so just the facts please.  And I enjoyed this book.   http://www.paperbackswap.com/book/details/9780684832128-IN+SEARCH+OF+THE+OLD+ONES

Date Posted: 12/2/2007 5:22 PM ET
Member Since: 10/29/2005
Posts: 3,823
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Norman Cantor has written several books about the Middle Ages that are very readable, and interesting.

A couple that I've read recently and enjoyed:

1700: Scenes from London Life by Maureeen Waller

1945 by Maureen Waller - I can't remember the exact title for this one, but it decribes life in England during 1945 and after.

The Year 1000: What Life Was Like at the Turn of the Millennium by Robert Lacey

A Medieval Family: The Pastons of 15th Century England by Frances and Joseph Gies - This book is centered around the actual correspondence of the Paston family. There is a lot of info about lifestyle, manners, etc. Very interesting!

Last Edited on: 12/2/07 5:25 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/2/2007 10:41 PM ET
Member Since: 6/8/2007
Posts: 49
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There are a couple of good medieval books, I think the authors were Gies or something like that.

Life in a Medieval Town

Life in a Medieval City

Date Posted: 12/2/2007 11:11 PM ET
Member Since: 11/11/2007
Posts: 469
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These are great! Thanks, all!

I'd love more Ancient history suggestions. We homeschool the boys and are starting ancient history after Christmas, and it would be neat for dh to have the extra insight to be able to share now and then.

Anyone have anything on Greece, China, India, or Biblical history? (And we'd love more on Rome too, Jennifer!)

I'm sure we'll check out all of these suggested. Thanks again!

Date Posted: 12/3/2007 7:34 AM ET
Member Since: 10/29/2005
Posts: 3,823
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I'd forgotten about the Gies books! Great suggestions! I think the author's first name is Joseph.

If you want more Roman history, Jennifer is your girl! She's our local Roman scholar. ;-)

Date Posted: 12/3/2007 9:51 AM ET
Member Since: 3/18/2007
Posts: 782
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DaLynn, if you are going to be homeschooling in Ancient History this looks like an excellent book to use for Greece:

The Greeks

And for Rome:

The Romans

After doing a little searching I found several books by Mike Corbishley covering topics ranging from pre-history to Greece and Rome, and they seem to focus on "lifestyles: how people lived, ate, were educated, etc. As far as I can tell, most of these are for school age children, as are the books I listed above. However, I believe that they would still be interesting for adults.

Growing Up In Ancient China

Growing Up In Ancient Greece

Growing up in Ancient Egypt

Old Testament Days: An Activity Guide --this one got really great reviews!

The Story of the World: History for the Classical Child: Volume 1: Ancient Times: From the Earliest Nomads to the Last Roman Emperor

Ancient India (People of the Ancient World)

Ancient Mesopotamia: The Sumerians, Babylonians, And Assyrians

Life in Ancient Mesopotamia

The Life of the People in Biblical Times by Max Radin-- adult oriented

Last Edited on: 12/3/07 10:24 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/3/2007 11:47 PM ET
Member Since: 8/12/2005
Posts: 809
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One of my favorite history books ever is about Dark Ages Ireland: How the Irish Saved Civilization

After the Roman empire fell, barbarian hordes swarmed across Europe, but they didn't bother to cross the sea to invade tiny Ireland. As a result, Irish monks had peace and quiet to laboriously copy the Gospels and the great classics of Greece and Rome, possibly saving these works from becoming lost. As peace returned to Europe, Ireland became a center of learning. This book was filled with details about the everyday lives of monks, missionaries and soldiers and was a delight to read.

I have a copy of "In Search of the Trojan War" on my shelf. It's about the archeological evidence behind well-known Greek legends, such as Helen of Troy and the Trojan War.

Date Posted: 12/4/2007 1:50 AM ET
Member Since: 11/11/2007
Posts: 469
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Jennifer - you rock! :D Instead of Story of the World curriculum, we'll actually be using one called Mystery of History which is in similar format but has a much more specifically Christian worldview. I put the first two you listed on my wish lists, and I'll have to navigate through the rest! (I wont have credits until after Christmas probably. LOL)

And thanks to you, Felicia! I may look into the book you mentioned having if you still have it after the holidays. :)


Like I said, mostly right now I'm looking for readables for dh, who says he enjoys the "history of people" and just thought it would be fun to coordinate the time periods with what the kids are learning etc. These are all fantastic! Thanks a mil!