Ancient Times Ancient Egypt

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Ancient Times

Ancient Egypt

If we could travel back 3000 years before Jesus Christ (that’s 3000BC folks!) to the Nile River in Africa, we would find one of the oldest developed civilizations in the world: the Egyptians.

The Egyptians made remarkable achievements in farming, building and business. Most likely, Egyptians were successful because of their geographic location along the Nile River. The Nile is a massive river which begins in the mountains in the interior of Africa and flows northward, cutting through the Sahara desert, and exits into the Mediterranean Sea. Each year the water of the Nile River overflows its banks and floods the dry land along the sides of the river.

  1. Study both the information above and the map on this page. List three ways that their geographic location along the Nile might have helped them prosper. (3)

Egyptians traveled and traded along the Nile River. This allowed them to share ideas, news and wealth.

Their leader was a Pharaoh (Fair-Oh) and he held great power over the people. The Pharaoh maintained control through his nobles, who were wealthy landowners. Other free citizens were the business people who traded goods and services along the Nile. Like most societies in Ancient Times, the Egyptians supported their civilization on the backs of slaves. The slaves were forced to do the hard work. Many were mistreated and poorly fed.

The Egyptian pyramids were built by slaves. The pyramids are huge structures; in fact the largest – the Pyramid of Giza (Ghee-zah) – is one the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The pyramids are tombs to their Pharaohs.

While the Egyptians worshipped many different gods, they also tried to lead a good life. They knew they importance of right actions because they understood that there was an afterlife and that they would be judged according to their behaviour. They believed that after death each person’s soul was weighed to discover if his good deeds surpassed his bad ones. Also, they understood that the soul does not die with the body; so, in order to preserve their bodies from decay, their scientists would spend time carefully embalming them. These embalmed bodies are called mummies.

  1. Using the map from the cover of this booklet:

    1. Label the Nile River;

    2. Draw a triangle on the location of the pyramid of Giza.

    3. What is the capital city of Egypt?

  1. Describe the one thing that you learned about the ancient Egyptians which you found to be most interesting.

The Hebrews

By all worldly measures, the Hebrew people should have been forgotten to history: they did not achieve any great advances in science; they never built a Wonder of the Ancient World; and they certainly didn’t lead any massive armies to conquer large swaths of land. They were simple shepherds who lived and worked along the mountains and valleys east of the Mediterranean Sea. Yet, they are the most significant people who ever lived!

The Hebrews were a literate people who left us a priceless record of their own history. This forty-five book collection of history books make up the Old Testament of the Holy Bible. And the Bible is the most important book in the history of the world. The Bible is the history of God’s promises and the Hebrews are His chosen people; today we call the Hebrews, the Jews. The Bible is the single most important book in history because it is the Word of God. It contains the instructions that God gave to the Hebrews to lead a good and holy life.

All the nations of the ancient Mediterranean world were pagans, which means they worshipped many gods. However, the Hebrews knew and worshipped the One True God.

The founder of the Hebrews was Abraham. God promised that Abraham’s descendants would be numerous and blessed. This is significant to us, because if we follow God’s Law, then we are included in the promise as Abraham’s numerous and blessed descendants.

  1. Define “pagan”.

  1. Provide three ways in which we are connected to the ancient Hebrew people. (3)

  1. Using the map on the cover page:

    1. Draw a Bible next to the Hebrews;

    2. What is the capital city of the ancient Hebrews (the modern capital of Israel)?

The Ancient Greeks

Situated on a central peninsula, which jets out into the Mediterranean, were the extremely advanced ancient Greeks. The Greeks had a deep thirst to know the truth of things. Whatever it was – mathematical formulas, simple machines or scientific realities – the Greeks longed to know. It helped that they were geographically located at a central stopping point along all trade routes throughout the Mediterranean. Here, the Greeks would have access to the information, discoveries, knowledge, news, technology and advances going on everywhere throughout the ancient world. If one civilization made a discovery, you can bet that the Greeks would soon hear about it. Moreover, the Greeks made many advances on their own. As a result, their civilization quickly advanced in all areas.

The Greeks also appreciated beauty. Their homes, pottery, literature, statues, temples and cities illustrate their love of beauty. In fact, many building today still copy the Greek architecture.

In Greece, a number of small independent city-states, like Athens, arose. While locally governed city-states are normal throughout history, the Greeks had one significant difference: their government was a democracy. Strangely, the people governing many of the Greek city-states were not in power because they were the most powerful, or had the most wealth, or because they inherited the throne; they governed because they were elected or chosen by the majority of the people.

The Greeks worshiped many gods. They believed that the gods lived on Mount Olympus (Oh-limp-us). As you will see, the Romans later worshiped many of the same gods, only with different names. In order to please their gods, they held dances, processions and athletic festivals. The most famous sporting event, the Olympic Games, were a pagan event which honoured Zeus. Zeus was the father and king of all the gods.

  1. Define “democracy”.

  1. List three ways how the geographic location of the Greeks benefited them.

  1. Use the map on the cover of the booklet.

    1. Identify the capital city of Greece.

    1. Draw a light bulb, which represents an idea, next to the Greeks.

Greek / Roman gods and goddesses

The Romans

The last of the ancient civilizations that we will be studying is also the single most important civilization to come out of world history: the Romans. No other civilization has contributed more!

The Roman homeland is the Italian Peninsula that juts out into the Mediterranean Sea. On the map on the cover of the booklet, you can see that it is shaped like a boot. It almost divides the Mediterranean into two parts. The Italian peninsula is like a fortress in that it is surrounded by sea on three sides and has the towering Alps Mountains protecting it to the north.

This piece of land is so important that all the history we will be studying for the rest of social 8 has its origins here.

  1. Use the map on the cover:

    1. Label the Mediterranean Sea

    2. Label the Alps and draw three upside down `v`s to represent the mountains.

    3. What is the capital city of the Roman Empire?

    1. Circle the entire Italian peninsula in order to indicate its importance.

Roman History

The city of Rome is located in the heart of the Italian peninsula about 20km from the sea on the Tiber River. The city was built on seven hills. Just south of Rome was the plain of Latium (LAT ee um) and the people who lived there called themselves Latins.

Legend says the city of Rome was established in 753B.C. Twin brothers, Romulus (ROM you lus) and Remus (REE mus), had a quarrel which resulted in Romulus murdering Remus. Romulus was so proud of himself that he named the city in his own honour.

Regardless of the truth of the legend, historians are sure that the Latins have been occupying the city of Rome since around 700BC, which makes the city over 2700 years old!

Latin Language

As a result of trading with the Greeks, the Latins began to use the Greek alphabet. This is still the alphabet we use today. Then, as the Romans conquered the land around them, they taught the language to other people. The Latin language is the direct ancestor of the English language. In fact, the languages of Italian, French, Spanish and English all come from Latin and are called `Romantic` languages.

The Romans also used their alphabet for counting. Roman numerals are actually letter put together in order to do basic mathematics.

  1. Write the Roman numerals in order to fill out the chart.


























Roman Religion

The Romans also liked the Greek religion. Soon the Greeks and Romans worshipped the same gods, but with different names. (See cartoon images above.)

  1. Using the cartoon images of the Greek and Roman gods, fill in the chart. You must draw a picture of and describe each. You may use other resources to complete this activity.



















Roman Law and Government

Starting around 500BC, the Romans developed a `republic`. In a republic system of government, the people elect officials to govern or make decisions for them. These officials would run the public affairs. The United States is a republic.

In the Roman Republic, the people would elect two `consuls` for one-year terms. This was wise because it avoided having one man with too much power. These consuls were in charge of the `senate` who were a group of wealthy elders. The senate was in charge of making laws, declaring war and making treaties.

When the Romans would conquer a people, they would govern them too: as provinces. While Roman citizens could elect their consul, the conquered people in the distant provinces had no say in the government. These people were treated poorly and taxed heavily. The provinces were ruled by a governor who was appointed or sent by the senate. You may remember that Pontius Pilot was the Roman governor in Jerusalem when Jesus was condemned to death.

However, despite some of the poor treatment of the people in the provinces, Rome did rule with law and order. Again, you will remember that Jesus had a trial before his execution. Rome was a vast empire with many races and nations within. For over a half millennium they ruled this empire with laws. These laws managed to keep the empire relatively peaceful and allowed to trade between the provinces. This law and order resulted in Pax Romana, or Roman Peace.

  1. What are two ways that our government is based on the Roman system

Roman Conquest

From 146BC until the Fall of Rome over 600 years later, the empire expanded through military conquests. Eventually, Rome had control over all the land around the Mediterranean Sea, which included the ancient empires of the Egyptians, Greeks and Hebrews.

  1. Who defeated the…

    1. Greeks

    2. Egyptians

    3. Hebrews

    4. Romans

Roman Engineering and Construction

The Romans were excellent engineers and builders. Many of the buildings and engineering projects they designed are still around today and some are still being used. Here are some of the projects that the Romans excelled in:

Roads: Roman Roads were important to the economy and the military of the Romans. They allowed for easier commerce or trade between towns and cities and also allowed the Roman Legions (soldiers) to move quickly around the expanding empire.

The Colosseum: The Colosseum in Rome is a great example of Roman engineering and construction. The Colosseum was a large outdoor stadium that could seat around 50,000 people for various forms of entertainment such as gladiator games, mock battles, and dramas.

Aqueducts: Aqueducts were long channels that the Romans built to carry water into the cities. Many of the Roman aqueducts were below ground. The water that was carried into the cities was used for drinking water, baths, and sewers. It was generally carried to a public fountain where people could then use buckets to get their water. Roman plumbing became so advanced that many of the large wealthy houses had running water.

Architecture: Roman engineering had a large influence on Roman architecture. Arches were used a lot due to their strength. The Romans also used domes as they enabled them to build large ceilings with wide open spaces.

Fun Facts about Roman Engineering

  • The Romans built over 400,000 km of roads including 29 highways that lead to the city of Rome.

  • The Latin word for road is via. Roman roads generally had the name via in them, like the Via Appia.

  • It is estimated that the Romans built over 900 bridges in their empire.

Ancient Rome: Roman Army

The Roman army was the backbone of the Roman Empire and one of the most successful armies in world history. It was well-trained, well-equipped, and well-organized. In order to guard such a large empire, the army took advantage of well built Roman roads to move about the empire quickly.

Who were the soldiers? The soldiers in the Roman Legionary were all Roman citizens. They signed up to fight for 20 years. At the end of the 20 years they were generally awarded land and/or a large sum of money. This way the army was made up of trained and experienced soldiers. It also put land in the hands of loyal soldiers. There were also non-citizen soldiers called auxiliaries. They joined for 25 years and were awarded Roman citizenship at the end of the 25 years. Roman citizenship was a big deal and came with lots of privileges.

How was the Roman Army organized? The army was divided up into Legions of around 5400 soldiers. Legions were led by a Legate who was usually a Senator or a Governor. Legions were made up of ten groups of soldiers called cohorts. Cohorts were then further divided into groups of 100 men called centuries. The officers, or leaders, of each century were called centurions.

Armor: The government knew the importance of the Roman army and provided them with good armor and weapons. The iron made the armor strong and the strips made it flexible. They also had iron helmets and shields.

Weapons: The Roman soldiers used a variety of weapons including a pugio (dagger), gladius (sword, see picture to the right), spear, and bows and arrows. The soldiers were trained to fight with their weapons and practiced on a regular basis. They would sometimes spar with each other using wooden swords.
Fun Facts about the Roman Army

  • Officers, such as centurions, wore large crests on their helmets. This allowed the soldiers to see them better in battle.

  • The average legionary carried at least 90 pounds of weight and often had to march 20 miles a day.

  • At its largest, the Roman army was made up of 30 legions, or over 150,000 soldiers. Counting the auxiliary soldiers, some estimate there were well over 1 million soldiers in the Roman army.

  • The Romans used catapults to throw huge rocks which could knock down walls. They also used large crossbows called ballistas to fire arrows that were more the size of spears.

Ancient Times – Assignment

  1. The five world religions to come from ancient civilizations were:

      1. ______________________________

      2. ______________________________

      3. ______________________________

      4. ______________________________

      5. ______________________________

  2. We studied the following civilizations in each continent:

    1. Africa = ______________________

    2. Europe = _____________________ and _________________________

    3. Middle East = ________________________

Ancient Egyptians

  1. The first ancient civilization we studied were the ancient Egyptians who lived in the continent of ___________________________ along the ____________ River. This river helped the Egyptians with farming because it would _______________ its banks, which watered their crops.

  2. One of the unfortunate reasons why the Egyptians were so successful is because they owned ___________________. In fact, that’s how they were able to build the pyramids. The most famous pyramid is known as ___________.

  3. One of the most fascinating aspects of the Egyptians is that they would carefully embalm the bodies of the dead, these preserved bodies are called __________________. They took the time to care for these bodies because they knew that our souls do not __________.

  4. Since the Egyptians worshipped many gods, they are called _________________.

The Hebrews

  1. It seems as though the Hebrews made no great achievements to human history, yet Mr. Wiley writes, “They are the most significant people who ever lived!” Their importance lies in the fact that they are _________ chosen people. Also, because they were literature, which means they could _________ and __________, they left a written record of their history; this record can be found in the ___________.

Ancient Greeks

  1. The Greeks were an extremely advanced ancient civilization and they had a deep desire thirst to know the ___________ of things. Historians theorize that they were so advanced due to their ____________________________ location; this is because they were at a ____________ point along all the trade routes in the __________________________ Sea.

  2. The most important of the Greek city-states was __________________. Throughout all history, the Greek city-states are different because their people could actually elect their government representatives; this made them a ____________________.

  3. The pagan Greeks believed their gods actually lived on ___________________________. Here are the names of some of the Greek gods and goddesses:

    1. ________________________ was ruler of the all the gods and his queen was ________________________;

    2. Zeus has two brothers, __________________________, the god of the Sea and ________________________, the god of the underworld; and

    3. The god of war was known as _______________________ and the beautiful ________________________ was the goddess of love.

Ancient Romans

  1. The Italian Peninsula is easy to find on a map because it _______ out into the __________________________ Sea and is shaped like a ____________.

  2. The city of Rome was built on ______________ hills, it is surrounded by the _____________ Plains and can be found along the ______________ River.

  3. Apparently it was established in __________ by a murderer named __________________.

  4. Both the ________________ and the Romans were literature and used the same written ___________________. Our language also comes from the Romans, which is why it is called a ______________________ language; the two other languages in the Latin family are ____________________ and ____________________.

  5. The Romans were also pagans and they even worshipped the same gods are the ________________.

    1. The Roman name for Zeus was ______________ and his wife, the queen of the gods, was _________________.

    2. The Romans would turn to their gods in a time of need: if a young woman was searching for the right husband, she would likely pray to _____________; If a soldier was looking for victory, he’s likely pray to ______________; or if a sailor was hoping for a safe voyage home, he’d pray to _______________.

    3. The god who would ride his golden chariot across the sky from the East to the West each and every day was likely ___________________.

  6. The Romans had a democracy, also called a ______________________. In this system of government the people would elect two ____________ for one-year terms. These men were in charge of the Roman ______________.

  7. As the Romans expanded, they needed to govern their foreign lands. These distant lands, which were called ______________________, had no say in the republic and were ruled by an appointed ____________________. Moreover, they were treated _______________ and _________________ too much. Despite all this, Rome did rule with ________ and ___________.

  8. Another way in which Rome was advanced was their engineering and construction feats.

    1. The Roman cities had water, which was brought in to the cities through a complex network of ______________. Some wealthy Romans even had indoor _____________.

    2. Roads built by the empire increased _______________ with distant lands. In fact, there were around ____________________ kms of roads!

    3. One of the greatest building achievements of the ancient world was the stadium, called the _______________, used to entertainment. Interestingly, this stadium not only hosted gladiator battles but entire battles fought on _______________.

  9. The Roman army was organized and structure well. The individual soldiers were called ________________. Each of these men was part of a larger unit of 100 men called a _____________. And these units of 100 were all part of a _________________. A typical soldier carried _______________________,_________________________, and ______________________. And his armour was made of ______________.


In a minimum of 250 words (approximately ½ typed page or one hand-written page), argue in support or against the source:

Rome was a great society.”

  • Thesis Statement which clearly states your argument;

  • At least three specific reasons supporting or disputing the source

  • At least three specific details, quotes, examples, or facts (properly cited) that support your reasons

  • Conclusion Statement clearly summarizing your opinion; and finally,

  • Strong vocabulary and a variety of sentences structure.

Use a separate sheet of paper for your good copy!

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