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The Ides Of March—Good Books And Resources To Learn About Julius Caesar And The History Of Ancient Rome

It is the Ides of March. You should beware.

Here is an explanation of what the Term Ides of March means.

(Above–The Death of Caesar. This work was painted in 1798 by Vincenzo Camuccini.)

What books can you read to learn about the events surrounding the rise of Julius Caesar and the fall of the Roman Republic?

I can suggest three.

A classic is The Roman Revolution by Sir Ronald Syme. This book was published in 1939 and has stood the test of time.

A more recent title is Rubicon–The Last Years of the Roman Republic by Tom Holland. This book was published in 2003.

Rubicon is a bit more modern in style and worthwhile to read. Though the Syme book remains the standard by which histories of the last years of the Roman Republic and the rise of Augustus are measured.

A quality biography is Caesar–Life Of A Colossus by Adam Goldsworthy.  This book was published in 2006.

Though these events may have been long in the past, the impact of the rise of Caesar and the history of Rome is still felt today.

Here is a comprehensive timeline of Ancient Roman history.

Here are some essays Ancient Rome from the BBC.

(Below—Whoopee! It is Cleopatra and Caesar as painted by Jean-Leon Gerome in 1866.)

March 15, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

While You Can’t Learn About Thomas Jefferson In Texas Schools, You Can Learn About Jefferson At This Blog

The so-called Texas State Board of Education has decided to remove Thomas Jefferson from the curriculum taught to school kids in Texas.

(Above–Jefferson as painted by Rembrandt Peale in 1800.)

From a blog in the science magazine Discover

“Board member Cynthia Dunbar wants to change a standard having students study the impact of Enlightenment ideas on political revolutions from 1750 to the present. She wants to drop the reference to Enlightenment ideas (replacing with “the writings of”) and to Thomas Jefferson. She adds Thomas Aquinas and others. Jefferson’s ideas, she argues, were based on other political philosophers listed in the standards. We don’t buy her argument at all. Board member Bob Craig of Lubbock points out that the curriculum writers clearly wanted to students to study Enlightenment ideas and Jefferson. Could Dunbar’s problem be that Jefferson was a Deist? The board approves the amendment, taking Thomas Jefferson OUT of the world history standards.”

The blog post above was written by the scientist Carl Zimmer. Mr. Zimmer often writes about evolution.

Evolution is real.

However, just because you can’t learn about Thomas Jefferson in our Texas schools, does not mean you can’t learn about our third President here in Texas.

You can learn about Thomas Jefferson right here at Texas Liberal.

Here are three strong resources to learn about Jefferson—

The Miller Center for Public affairs at the U. of Virginia has excellent profiles of the Presidents. Here is the profile for President Jefferson.

Here is the link to the plantation home of Mr. Jefferson. This Monticello web site is very well done.

Here are the Thomas Jefferson papers from the Library of Congress. There are also essays about Mr. Jefferson at this site.

Our Texas State Board of Education wants people to be ignorant. Yet we should not be ignorant.

March 15, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments