Tuesday, October 28, 2008


The Eastern Roman Empire (The Byzantine Empire) was small after the barbarians took over the land. The Byzantine Empire was Constantinople and a little bit of land around the Aegean Sea. Then Justinian, the Emperor, made it bigger.

Justinian was the son of farmers. When he grew up, he did not want to be a farmer. He asked his parents if he could go to Constantinople and live with his uncle Justin, commander of the palace guard. His parents said, "OK." He went on a long adventure to Constantinople. When he got there he went to school. School was tough for him. He helped his uncle then his uncle became Emperor. His uncle adopted him because he really liked him. Justinian's uncle died so Justinian became emperor.

Justinian wanted to take back the Roman Empire. Was he successful? Yes, he was. Justinian had a problem. People had different laws in each part of the Empire. Justinian made a set of laws that everyone had to follow. He called the laws The Code of Justinian.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Barbarians and Attila the Hun

Name some barbarian groups:

Vandals, Huns, Visigoths

What happened to the Western Roman Empire?

It was defeated by the Vandals and the Visigoths?

What year do we say is the end of the Western Roman Empire?


Did the Eastern Roman Empire try to save them? Why or why not?

No, the Eastern Emperor was afraid that his city would be attacked if his soldiers left because he did not have enough soldiers, neither did the Western.

Who were the Huns?

The Huns were from Asia. They were nomads. People said their only home was on the back of a horse.

Who was Attila the Hun?

He was a greedy warrior. The Eastern Roman Emperor paid him to leave. Then Attila went to take the Western Empire. Honoria, the WRE's sister, sent him a letter asking him to save her from having to mary a weak man she did not love. Attila thought she wanted to mary him but she didn't. He made it South of the Alps and the Pope came to talk to him.

What did the Pope say that convinced Attila to leave and not go into Rome?

The Pope gav him a gift of gold and said there was no food in Rome and disease was everywhere.

Attila never married Honoria.

Monday, October 6, 2008

From Diocletian to Constantine

Diocletian Constantine's vision

The Roman Empire was way too big. Diocletian figured they needed another emperor to help. So, what diocletian did is he split the Roman Empire into two pieces, the West and the East. Diocletian ruled the East and another ruler ruled the West. They were worried that other people would not obey them, so they told people they were gods. Because Christians worshipped one God, Diocletian persecuted them. He persecuted them by hurting them, putting them in prison, and making it illegal to be Christian.

But then....after Diocletian retired people stopped persecuting Christians. 7 people shouted that they wanted to be ruler. But Constantine won. He saw a vision of a flaming, firey cross. Then he told his soldiers that all of them must have the letters of Christ's name and a cross on their shields. Then they went into battle and they won. Constantine became the ruler and a Christian. Constantine moved the capitol to Byzatium and then he renamed it Constantinople.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Saint Valentine

Today we read Saint Valentine by Robert Sabuda. It was about a doctor from ancient Rome. He was executed because he was a Christian on Febuary 14, 270AD. His name was Valentine. I thought that the book was a nice book. I liked the end of the book when one of Valentine's patient's were healed just from one of Valentine's letters and a prayer.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Circus Maximus and the Colosseum

Circus Maximus means the biggest circle. Circus Maximus was a race track for charriot races, like NAASCAR today. All of the people in St. Paul, Minnesota could fit in Circus Maximus. It was 7 football fields long. People went there because they wanted to see the races. They had their own teams they wanted to win, like we do today. Chariot racing was not safe at all because the people who were driving the chariots had to tie reigns on their chest. If the driver fell out of the chariot he would have to cut the reigns very quickly or he would get trampled and dragged and maybe die.
All of the people in Mankato, Minnesota could fit in the Colosseum. The Colosseum was for entertaining people. People liked to see Gladiators kill and fight each other. I do not think that that would be a good entertainment at all. Gladiators were slaves and prisoners. They fought because people forced them to.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Mount Vesuvius Errupts

This picture is copied from here.

Around the time of Nero, there was a little city called Pomeii. Close by Pompeii there was a mountain called Mount Vesuvis. Mount Vesivius was a volcano. The volcano was about to errupt. The people in Pompeii were having a nice time and a good morning, the same morning as every morning. People would go, taking their carts into the streets, they would sell vegetables, cooks would cook their bread and visitors in Pompeii would look at fine jewlrey. In other places people would pray and eat. No one knew that Mount Vesuvius was going to errupt. Then Mount Vesuvius errupted and the people were trapped under hot ashes and they died. Other people escaped. Pliny, a little boy, saw this hapenning from a safe place. Pliny did not forget that day. When he got older he wrote stories about Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius. No one knew were Pompeii was because it was covered completely. Then some people were digging a well and they hit something hard. They thought it was a rock, but no, it was not a rock, it was a statue. They also found a stone that said POMPEII and they were extrememly excited that they found Pompeii.

For more information, you can read Pompei...Buried Alive by Edith Kunhardt.

Thursday, May 29, 2008


After Augustus Caesar died there were a whole lot of emperors. Some of them didn't care about Rome. Nero was one of them. He like to play an instrument called the lyre. He liked to dress up and have fun. Nero was having a fun time with some of his favorite friends 35 miles from Rome. While, in Rome, it was burning. Some of the people were homeless and some of them died in the fire. Their things were all burnt. Nero thought that was fine, he didn't even care, he just sat up, watching the fire, and playing his little lyre. When he saw that Rome was burnt, he was very happy, he wanted to build a mansion and a huge garden. He built it and the people thought he made the fire. Nero knew he made a mistake and the people were very mad, so he tried to find somebody to blame. He blamed the Christians. Some Romans believe Nero's lies and they killed Christians. Finally, the Senate got really mad because Nero did not care about Rome. They sentenced Nero to death. When Nero hear about this, he was really scared and tried to run away but some soldiers found him. Nero knew he would die in the soldiers' hands so he stabbed himself. That was the end of Nero.