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Alex Woolf

Encounters With The Past (Series): Meet The Ancient Romans

YEAR: 2014

COUNTRY: United Kingdom

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Title of the work

Encounters With The Past (Series): Meet The Ancient Romans

Country of the First Edition

Country/countries of popularity

United Kingdom, United States of America, Australia

Original Language

English

First Edition Date

2014

First Edition Details

Alex Woolf, Meet the Ancient Romans (Encounters with the Past), London, Sydney: Franklin Watts (Hachette), 2014, 32 pp.

ISBN

9781445151335 pb

Genre

Handbooks and manuals
Instructional and educational work

Target Audience

Young adults (Juvenile readers)

Cover

Cover courtesy of Hachette Children’s Group.


Author of the Entry:

Ayelet Peer, Bar-Ilan University, ayelet.peer@gmail.com

Peer-reviewer of the Entry:

Lisa Maurice, Bar-Ilan University, lisa.maurice@biu.ac.il

Susan Deacy, University of Roehampton, s.deacy@roehampton.ac.uk

Male portrait

Alex Woolf (Author)

Alex Woolf is a prolific British author for children and young adults. He writes both fiction and non-fiction. Among his books are: Iron Sky Series, The Shakespeare Plot and Soul Shadows.


Profile at amazon.com (accessed: February 5, 2020).


Bio prepared by Ayelet Peer, Bar-Ilan University, ayelet.peer@gmail.com


Summary

This book is a combination of a guidebook of ancient Rome and a time traveling adventure book. It combines information about ancient Roman institutions (the senate, arena, baths, temples, shops and draftsmen) with everyday life, such as food, clothing etc. The reader participates in the Roman daily life and also receives additional information on the origin of certain institutions or positions in the Empire. The plot take “you” a school boy/girl through a mysterious wooden door to the city of Rome in 83 CE. The book notes: “your mission is to meet people and find out about their lives. The mission will last six hours.” The reader then moves through the city and interviews various characters, such as a senator, gladiator, priestess etc. The textual information is accompanied by photographs (with actors taking various parts) and of related themes such as mosaics and statues. At the end there is a glossary and further reading section.

Analysis

The time traveling elements makes the reading of facts about ancient Rome exciting and entertaining. It resembles a “choose your path” book, in which the reader takes the part of a mythological hero. For example Hercules.

Choosing the year 83 CE under the rule of the crazed Domitian may potentially add to the danger and thrill in the time travel, although there is no reference to Domitian’s rule. 

The aim is pedagogical, learning about the ancient Roman Empire via the means of an imaginary adventure narrative. Through walking in the city as part of the Roman crowed and not a distant reader, Roman culture becomes more accessible and close to a modern reader. Rome therefore leaves the history books and becomes a vivid and exhilarating city, in which the daily life of the Romans (such as baths, tending to the sick, etc.) become clearer. 

In the end, the traveling ends and the reader returns to his modern history class. Hopefully, he will enjoy it more. The aim of books such as these is to show that the Romans were people as well, who were busy with their daily lives, just as we are. They did not only engage with great battles, but also did everyday mundane things. They had dark side to their society, the most prominent example of which is slavery, and this is an important aspect of their culture that one should learn about as well.

The book could also be used to form short sketches in the classroom, with the different interviews. Therefore it can be utilized for various activities.


Addenda

The entry refers to the 2016 paperback edition by Arcturus publishing.

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Leaf pattern
Leaf pattern

Title of the work

Encounters With The Past (Series): Meet The Ancient Romans

Country of the First Edition

Country/countries of popularity

United Kingdom, United States of America, Australia

Original Language

English

First Edition Date

2014

First Edition Details

Alex Woolf, Meet the Ancient Romans (Encounters with the Past), London, Sydney: Franklin Watts (Hachette), 2014, 32 pp.

ISBN

9781445151335 pb

Genre

Handbooks and manuals
Instructional and educational work

Target Audience

Young adults (Juvenile readers)

Cover

Cover courtesy of Hachette Children’s Group.


Author of the Entry:

Ayelet Peer, Bar-Ilan University, ayelet.peer@gmail.com

Peer-reviewer of the Entry:

Lisa Maurice, Bar-Ilan University, lisa.maurice@biu.ac.il

Susan Deacy, University of Roehampton, s.deacy@roehampton.ac.uk

Male portrait

Alex Woolf (Author)

Alex Woolf is a prolific British author for children and young adults. He writes both fiction and non-fiction. Among his books are: Iron Sky Series, The Shakespeare Plot and Soul Shadows.


Profile at amazon.com (accessed: February 5, 2020).


Bio prepared by Ayelet Peer, Bar-Ilan University, ayelet.peer@gmail.com


Summary

This book is a combination of a guidebook of ancient Rome and a time traveling adventure book. It combines information about ancient Roman institutions (the senate, arena, baths, temples, shops and draftsmen) with everyday life, such as food, clothing etc. The reader participates in the Roman daily life and also receives additional information on the origin of certain institutions or positions in the Empire. The plot take “you” a school boy/girl through a mysterious wooden door to the city of Rome in 83 CE. The book notes: “your mission is to meet people and find out about their lives. The mission will last six hours.” The reader then moves through the city and interviews various characters, such as a senator, gladiator, priestess etc. The textual information is accompanied by photographs (with actors taking various parts) and of related themes such as mosaics and statues. At the end there is a glossary and further reading section.

Analysis

The time traveling elements makes the reading of facts about ancient Rome exciting and entertaining. It resembles a “choose your path” book, in which the reader takes the part of a mythological hero. For example Hercules.

Choosing the year 83 CE under the rule of the crazed Domitian may potentially add to the danger and thrill in the time travel, although there is no reference to Domitian’s rule. 

The aim is pedagogical, learning about the ancient Roman Empire via the means of an imaginary adventure narrative. Through walking in the city as part of the Roman crowed and not a distant reader, Roman culture becomes more accessible and close to a modern reader. Rome therefore leaves the history books and becomes a vivid and exhilarating city, in which the daily life of the Romans (such as baths, tending to the sick, etc.) become clearer. 

In the end, the traveling ends and the reader returns to his modern history class. Hopefully, he will enjoy it more. The aim of books such as these is to show that the Romans were people as well, who were busy with their daily lives, just as we are. They did not only engage with great battles, but also did everyday mundane things. They had dark side to their society, the most prominent example of which is slavery, and this is an important aspect of their culture that one should learn about as well.

The book could also be used to form short sketches in the classroom, with the different interviews. Therefore it can be utilized for various activities.


Addenda

The entry refers to the 2016 paperback edition by Arcturus publishing.

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