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Famous Men of Greece Review by Kris Price and Jill HardyJohn Haaren and Addison Poland
4105 Bishop Lane
Louisville, KY 40218
4103 Bishop Lane
Louisville, KY 40218
Famous Men of Greece by Memoria Press would make a great addition to any study on the Ancient Greeks. This paperback book contains 32 chapters in almost 140 pages. The first chapter covers information about the gods of Greece. The next nine chapters contain stories from many of the Greek Myths; many of these popular stories are still well-known today. The reader will meet Perseus, Medusa, Achilles, Odysseus - these characters and more are introduced in stories about their adventures and heroics from the rise of Greece through the fall of this ancient era. Black and white maps, drawings and artwork enhance the stories and there is no nudity in the drawings (this is a major plus for a book covering this ancient culture!)
The next 21 chapters cover the time period of 825 - 221 B.C. beginning with Lycurgus and ending with Cleomenes III. Many of the names were not recognizable as I have not studied Ancient Greece before. However, I did recognize several names - Socrates, Alexander the Great, Aristotle and Ptolemy. Each chapter holds the child's interest because it reads like an interesting story. No boring textbook writing here! Each chapter is broken down into one to three sections, depending upon the length of the chapter. These disctinctions make it easy for mom to assign readings for the week.
The final chapter briefly touches on the fall of Greece. This is not a very detailed section, but covers the material in just over one page. This book is probably best geared for grades 1-6. Of course, anyone who hasn't studied Ancient Greece would benefit from reading this book, but the read-alone level is probably about 4th grade and up. Because Classical homeschoolers usually study Greece in grades 1 and 5 if they are following the typical 4-year rotation, this book could be used at both levels. The parent might want to use the book as more of a springboard for further discussion and research in grades 5 and up.
I would like to see the following additions in future editions - a timeline and a bibliography of more books to read on the subject matter in the book. This title seemed familiar to me when I first received the book and I realized that Greenleaf Press published a book under the same title. This issue is addressed at the website on the Famous Men of Rome page - "What is the difference between the new Memoria Press Famous Men of Rome and the old Greenleaf edition? The stories are essentially the same but with (Memoria Press') editing. In the Memoria Press Famous Men of Rome, we also have added a Glossary of People and Places, Improved Images, and New Maps of Rome, Italy, and the Roman Empire. The page numbers have also changed slightly." This series also includes a third title, Famous Men of the Middle Ages. At this time, the book retails for $16.95 and I believe that this is a good price for the book. I liked Famous Men of Greece and found it to be an informative and ejoyable read.