Western Culture: The Romans 2
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Western Culture 2-2: Roman Historians

The Historians is the second unit of The Romans, year two in the Old Western Culture curriculum on the Great Books. Watch the rise and fall of the Roman Empire through the eyes of its historians.


The Historians is the second unit of The Romans, year two in the Old Western Culture curriculum on the Great Books. Join Wesley Callihan as he guides students through the writings of Livy, Tacitus, Sallust, Julius Caesar, Plutarch, Quintilian, and Cicero. Discover the original works that chronicle the early history of Rome from Monarchy, through Republic, to Empire. In this unit you will discover how the Roman philosophy of history shaped the lives and culture of the Roman people, how the Roman historians recognized the signs of cultural decay in their own day, and finally, how the persecution of the Early Church played a critical role in the spread of Christianity throughout the empire.

Includes 12 lectures, a Student Workbook & Answer Key (PDF), and a Guide to the Art booklet.

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Wesley Callihan


DVD, Streaming




1/2 HS Literature/History






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Old Western Culture” is a literature curriculum named after a term coined by C.S. Lewis to describe the fabric of ideas that shaped Western Civilization. For centuries, a “Great Books” education lay at the heart of what it meant to be educated. It was the education of the Church Fathers, of the Medieval Church, of the Reformers, and of all the Founding Fathers of the Unites States. It is a CLASSICAL EDUCATION, based on the great books of western civilization. It is a CHRISTIAN EDUCATION, which sees the history and literature of the West through the eyes of the Bible and historic Christianity. It is an INTEGRATED HUMANITIES CURRICULUM, bringing together literature, history, philosophy, doctrine, geography, and art. And it is a HOMESCHOOL oriented curriculum, made by homeschoolers with the needs of homeschooled in mind, including flexibility, affordability, and ease-of-use. We bring a master-teacher into your home, and encourage parents to gain an overview of Western Civilization themselves by watching the video lessons with their children.


Old Western Culture is a video course. It is built around a master teacher, Wes Callihan. With decades of teaching experience, he guides students through the story of Western civilization. Each unit of The Romans (year 2 of Old Western Culture) contains 12 video lessons (48 in year 1, approx 30 min each). Each lesson begins with a brief review before jumping into summary, commentary, analysis, and inter-disciplinary connections of the works covered. After each lesson, students complete the assigned readings, and answer comprehension questions in the Student Workbook.


The Romans is divided into 4 units:

1. The Aeneid. Works covered: Vergil’s Aeneid, Ovid’s Metamorphoses

2. Historians. Works covered: Livy: The Early History of Rome, Books I-V; Sallust: Catiline’s War, the Jugurthine War, Histories; Julius Caesar: The Gallic Wars; Tacitus: The Annals of Imperial Rome; Plutarch’s Lives Vol. 1; Suetonius: The Twelve Caesars; Pliny the Younger: The Letters; Quintillian: The Orator’s Education, Vol. I; Cicero: Selected Works.

3. Early Christianity. Works covered: Selections from early Christian fathers; Eusebius: The Church History

4. Nicene Christianity. Works covered: Augustine: The City of God & Confessions; Athanasius: On the Incarnation & Life of St. Anthony; Basil The Great: On the Holy Spirit; Boethius: The Consolation of Philosophy.


Wes Callihan is a master story teller! With a remarkable ability to communicate a passion for history and literature, he makes profound ideas accessible, relevant, and interesting. Also known for his distinctive “rabbit trailers,” forays into funny and obscure historical anecdotes, which have a way of showing up at the dinner table. (After all, rabbit trails are “hooks for the imagination and memory.”) Wes Callihan is a true classical scholar, fluent in both Latin and Greek. He lectures only from the notes in the margins of his worn copies of the Great Books.

If your question or problem isn’t addressed here, please Contact Us.


1. Livy I: Philosophy of history and the monarchy
2. Livy II: Beginning and Heroes of the Republic
3. Livy III: Threats to the Republic
4. Tacitus I: Philosophy of history and Tiberius
5. Tacitus II:Claudius
6. Tacitus III:Nero
7. Sallust: The Jugurthine War and the The Conspiracy of Catiline: The Republic in Decay
8. Julius Caesar: The Gallic wars
9. Plutarch’s Lives I: Demosthenes and Cicero
10. Plutarch’s Lives II: Alexander and Caesar
11. Cicero: Against Verres and Against Antony
12. Overview of The Historians


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