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Augustus Caesar's World

3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  1,046 ratings  ·  40 reviews
Considered the innovator of "horizontal history," Genevieve Foster became frustrated when her two school-aged children complained about the boring presentation of history in their school texts. This frustration led to Foster's first book, George Washington's World (1941). In her unique approach, Foster weaves a story of the world around her central character; rather than f ...more
Paperback, 330 pages
Published June 1st 1996 by Beautiful Feet Bks (first published 1947)
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Rick Davis
This is an extraordinary book. The way it presents history makes it ideal for using with children, but it is a good crash course for highschoolers or adults who want to brush up on their history of the Roman Empire as well. Unfortunately, though so adept at weaving history, Foster can't help but speak nonsense whenever she tries to explain or talk about various religions. Her modus operandi seems to be to ignore as much as possible any differences between various religions and to make it appear ...more
Rachel Worley
This was the second book I read for my Omnibus IV Secondary Summer class.

I definitely enjoyed "Augustus Caesar's World". Genevieve Foster wrote "horizontal history" so that she not only covered events in Rome during Augustus Caesar's life, but also around the world surrounding his lifetime. So the narrative would often jump from the life of the Caesars in Rome to the life of Jesus Christ to the Palestinian Jewish Zealots and other events that impacted history during that time.

My favorite section
Jan 20, 2008 Nicole rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: teens and adults
Genevieve Foster's writing is easy to understand and digest, and her presentation of history in narrative form definitely holds the reader's attention, while her drawings add charm and interest. A fascinating look at what was going on not only in the Roman Empire, but in other civilizations during the life of Augustus Caesar. This book was written for young adults but I learned a lot from it as an adult.
Great primer on world history during the first century. Age appropriate content for grade school children. A great refresher to create or revive an interest in Roman History. Love all of Foster's books for this purpose. There are no footnotes or bibliography, so if you question her accuracy, you will need to "google".
Sheryl Tribble
Highly readable, I thought. Her religious stuff is wonky a lot -- her version of what Gautama Buddha taught is much closer to the modern Americanized version than what he actually said -- and she niceifys a lot (Tacitus wouldn't recognize her Livia). I would have liked to see the genealogy she posts page 306 as a frontispiece, or at least waaaaay earlier, because I have a hard time keeping track of who's related to who, and in what way.

Aside from religious stuff, and despite the fact that the b
I recently read this with my nine year old daughter. Up until now, she hasn’t been a great fan of reading history, but this book was interesting enough for her that she would request that I read it.

Foster’s writing style is a little stilted, but the story doesn’t suffer for it. The content is rich with vignettes into the lives of the various characters around Augustus Caesar throughout his life, as well as explanations about the people who lived at the edges of the Roman Empire during his reign.
Stories and the characters who people them are powerful tools for bringing history to life. In Augustus Caesar's World, Genevieve Foster uses this technique to weave together multiple cultures touched by the Roman Empire during the period from 31 B.C. to 14 A.D. Children will come away with a better grasp on who the major players, events, and religious beliefs than they would from a fractured study of multiple books and time lines. Adults too will find that Foster has presented them with a view ...more
this book covers the world during the time period of Octavian/Augustus Caesear's world, (just as the title says).
So it includes Julius Caesar's relationship with Cleopatra. Then her relationship with Antony. The struggle Octavian had with Antony to follow in Julius's footsteps. The gods Roman's worshiped; and there were A LOT! The book covers: Virgil, Pythagoras, Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, the Mayans, Lao Tzu, Confucius,and Buddha, Tiberius, and the German tribe that killed three legions o
What a great book for introducing junior high or high school students to the ancient world at the end of the first century B.C.! Incorporating history and culture, Genevieve Foster connects the busy and self-important civilization of Rome to the more humble province of Judea which is anxiously awaiting a Messiah. Very readable yet full of interesting details.
Foster puts an interesting twist on the conventional method of writing history by employing a kind of historical parallelism--that is, she explains the events in Rome as Octavian was slowly becoming emperor, but she then turns and looks at China, India, and Persia to relate some of the significant political and religious changes/events in those countries. She does an excellent job of describing all of the important events of the time period, as well as adding some hypothetical details about a ch ...more
This was an outstanding book to use for ancient history. It covers from 44BC to 30 AD with exceptional story telling and language that kept a 14yo all the way to 6yo engaged. I particularly liked how it weaved the Biblical history we are so familiar with, along with the Roman history, giving me a fuller understanding of how the world functioned at the time of Christ. Knowing the major players, from the first Caesar to Constantine, as characters in a story, truly made this history jump off the pa ...more
Dec 11, 2013 Nolan added it
This was a wonderful book not only because of the unique perspective on Augustus Caesar, but also the representation of the events circling his lifetime: Buddha, Confucius, Jesus Christ's life, and the Jewish uprising are just a few of these events.
Foster, the author, seemed to believe that all religions lead to heaven, though she might seem to come off as a Christian at first. I would strongly disagree with her on the idea that all religions will end in heaven. This is still a terrific book,
This book was written over 60 years ago so I expected it to be outdated. It is still a beautiful and very usable book written in the narrative style, making history accessible and engaging for children. I particularly appreciated how the author presented a parallel view of the history of the world, explaining what was happening in the Americas, Egypt, China, and Japan as the main events were unfolding around the Mediterranean.
good history stories for younger readers
Not done, and I gave up. I kept beginning and never finished.--but really enjoying reading this book with the boys. The funniest thing was the review that I came across that said, "It was good, but it had a lot of facts." ISN'T THAT THE POINT??!!!!!! So we are reading this book for the historical--and it is a LITTLE too over the boys' heads, but we're really learning a lot.
I initially enjoyed this book and enjoyed reading it with the kids; however, as time went on, I fell out of love with it. Part of that is due to the fact that our history studies have taken us into The Dark Ages, and Augustus Caesar just doesn't seem relevant anymore.

If you enjoy reading about this period in history, though, this book brings it to life.
Our family has really enjoyed Ms. Foster's books. They're so much more interesting than a typical history text. We really appreciate her unique approach of taking a "slice" of world history based on a prominent individual's life. It really helps tie events around the world together and gives perspective to what happened when.
Great book for learning about Roman history in more of a story form. Jordy and I read this for 7th grade history assignment. I learned so much more than dates and places. Got to know the characters who shaped the world and the circumstances that shaped them. Looking forward to the next G. Foster book assignment.
Rick Pierce
Fantastic history book, her method of "horizontal history" is fascinating and very informative. Highly recommend her works
This was a great Christmas book. I was able to understand the background to world leaders and history around the time of Christ. It comes from a Christian perspective which was easy to share with my children. I learned tons, and will read it again... maybe next Christmas?
Mary Ann
This was my second time reading this aloud, this time to my youngest 3 7yo,11 yo & 13 yo. They liked it. It brings the dry History to life. I appreciate the way it ties in the world by including what was happening in Palestine, China and elsewhere.
This history book is written in an interesting and engaging style. One of the things I most appreciated about this book was that it helped me better understand the culture surrounding biblical accounts.
Foster does a great job of telling history in an interesting way. This is a great supplement to historical fiction from this period. I like how the book is broken down into two-page themed sections.
I have used many of Genevieve Foster's books for history in our homeschool. I enjoy the storytelling's of her histories even though they may not be 100% accurate. Much more flavour than a textbook.
Heather Denigan
I love the way Genevieve Foster lays out all the story threads in parallel. I love her illustrations. And the "When Julius Ceasar was . . . " pages are so helpful for visual learners like me.
One of the best world history books for the middle grades. Foster's books weave the events of one famous person's life with what was happening around the world. Wonderfully written!!
Viewing the history of ancient Rome through the life of one of its most famous leaders really made it come to life for my kids. They also enjoyed the coloring pages.
Feb 18, 2012 Bookwyrmgyrl added it
Shelves: biography
I really liked this book - easy to read, informative, and without too much interpretation. She has several books that would be worth reading.
A wonderful History read aloud to children. Even my 6 year old followed along and was able to enjoy it! THe older children learned a lot!
Jenny Wells
Highly recommended as a middle school text for Ancient History, especially for those interested in studying history in a Biblical context.
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Genevieve Foster (1893-1979) wrote and illustrated nineteen books of history and biography before her death on August 30, 1979. In 1922, she married Orrington Foster, and they had two children: a boy (named after his father but called Tony) and a girl, Joanna, four years later.

Ms. Foster was fascinated by the idea of looking at history "horizontally" and seeing how events and the lives of people i
More about Genevieve Foster...
George Washington's World Abraham Lincoln's World The World of Columbus and Sons The World of Captain John Smith The World of William Penn

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