Horrible Histories Rotten Romans Book Review
Everything horrible you wanted to know about the Romans is featured in Horrible Histories Rotten Romans. Kids will find out about everything from The Rotten Roman Army and The Battling Britons through to religion, food and Roman games in a fun but gory way with all the rotten details included in all their foul glory!
How Rotten Were the Romans?
Really rotten we think if this book is anything to go by although in fairness with most ancient civilisations it’s a similar story. The Romans were a very intelligent people that boasted talents that would not go amiss in the modern world we live in today. Our son was really interested in the Roman Army and he loved the idea of the “test your teacher quiz” which is a question and answer forum with three alternative answers. Whether his teacher will have the same enthusiasm remains to be seen!
Kids will read about how the Romans invaded Britain and some of the battles that took place. The book is filled with amusing anecdotes such as the one about Emperor Hadrian http://www.ancient.eu/hadrian/. He was visiting the public baths and saw a man rubbing his back against a marble pillar. He asked why the man was doing this and the man said because he couldn’t afford a slave to scrape his back. Hadrian thinking, he was being generous gave the man money and slaves but the next day when he visited the baths there were lots of men rubbing themselves against the pillars. Word had got around! The question is asked what would you have done if you were Hadrian? A great discussion point to have with the kids!
There is also lots of information about the Celts in Rotten Romans showing us what they believed and so on. Facts like their obsession with heads where the Celts would offer severed heads to the gods by throwing them in a lake or sticking them on spikes around a fort. There is a really funny picture of a Celt man and wife in their dwelling surrounded by loads of severed heads. The wife is saying “Can’t we put some of them outside?” Imagine that scenario in your kitchen. As our kids said “YUK”.
Kids will read about Roman rulers and what they achieved plus what rotten things they did. This section is great as each biography is set out in the same way being divided into
- The rulers favourite saying
- Their nastiest habit
- Their rottenest act
- Their sticky end
For instance, Emperor Tiberius’s nastiest habit was breaking the legs of anyone who didn’t agree with him. We bet he was always right don’t you? Or Emperor Caligula - http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/historic_figures/caligula.shtml’s rottenest act which was feeding live criminals to his animals so as not to have to buy food for them. This is really rotten!!
Our kids are really glad they weren’t born in Roman times after reading what life could be like for kids then. Secondary school children could be whipped while being held down by other pupils if they were deemed to have committed a terrible offence. Girls suffered the most as they were adjudged to be inferior to boys. Once a girl reached the age of fourteen they were passed on to be married with no say in the matter.