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Talmud/Later Ancient

350 BCE – 500 CE (3,410 – 4,260 on the Jewish calendar)

This page provides an overview of book options for History and Literature for both Jewish and Secular studies. The Jewish studies on this page provide only an overview of Jewish history and Jewish texts written during this time. For a more in depth study of Jewish texts please see our separate page for Judaic Studies

History

Jewish History Secular History
Elementary:
Sand And Stars, Volume 1 by Yaffa Ganz and Rabbi Berel Wein
Understanding Jewish History, Volume 1 by Sol Scharfstein

Middle grades:
The Sages of the Mishnaic Age: The Tannaim by Nissan Mindel
The Sages of the Talmudic Age: The Amoraim by Nissan Mindel
2000 Years of Jewish History by Chaim Schloss
 
High School:
History of the Jewish People: The Second Temple Era by Hirsch Goldwurm
History of the Jewish People: From Yavneh to Pumbedisa by Meir Holder
The Jewish War: Revised Edition by Josephus
The Oral Law of Sinai: An Illustrated History of the Mishnah by Rabbi Berel Wein
Vision & Valor: An Illustrated History of the Talmud by Rabbi Berel Wein
Understanding Second Temple and Rabbinic Judaism by Lawrence Schiffman
The Story of Tisha B’Av (The Torah Anthology), translated by Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan
The Mystery of Bar Kokhba by Leibel Reznick
Note: It was imperative to choose history selections that represented both the West and the East as Jewish history is very much tied to both. Susan Wise Bauer was the only narrative author of history that we felt met this criteria and also represented a secular view of history. Some families may wish to skip certain sections depending on the ages and needs of their families.

Elementary/Middle Grades
The Story of the World, Volume 1: Ancient Times by Susan Wise Bauer (chapter 25 to the end)
The Story of the World, Activity Book 1: Ancient Times by Susan Wise Bauer
The Story of the World, Volume 2: The Middle Ages by Susan Wise Bauer (chapter 1 thru 5)
The Story of the World, Activity Book 2: The Middle Ages by Susan Wise Bauer

High School/College
The History of the Ancient World by Susan Wise Bauer (chapter 68 to the end)
Study and Teaching Guide: The History of the Ancient World by Julia Kaziewicz
The History of the Medieval World by Susan Wise Bauer (chapter 1 thru 26)
Study and Teaching Guide: The History of the Medieval World by Susan Wise Bauer

Literature

Jewish LiteratureSecular Literature
Elementary:
Original Talmud Period Texts

Pirkei Avos
The Artscroll Children’s Pirkei Avos by Shmuel Blitz
Interpretations of Original Texts
Tallis Ends and Other Tales by Dov Channen
Miracle of the Rock and Other Stories by Genendel Krohn
Miracle at Sea and Other Stories by Genendel Krohn
The Miracle of the Golden Dove and Other Stories by Genendel Krohn
Our Sages Showed the Way by Yocheved Segal
Tales From the Gemara – 1 – Berachos by Y. Weinstock
Tales From The Gemara – 3 – Rosh Hashanah / Yoma / Succah by Rabbi Hillel Danziger
Tales From The Gemara: Taanis by Y. Weinstock
The Family Book of Midrash: 52 Jewish Stories from the Sages by Barbara Diamond Goldin
Books about Talmud Period
The Stone of the Altar by Meir Baram
The Kingdom Didn’t Fall by Meir Baram
On One Foot by Linda Glaser
One Little Chicken by Elka Weber
The Key Under the Pillow: A Story about Honoring Parents by Leah Perl Shollar
The Story Of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai by Genendel Krohn
Drop by Drop: A Story of Rabbi Akiva by Jacqueline Hechtkopf
 
Middle grades:
Original Talmud Period Texts

The Illustrated Mishnayoth Shabbath Mishnayos Shabbos by Rabbi Daniel Haberman (Hebrew and English)
Interpretations of Original Texts
Stories from the Talmud
Books about Talmud Period
In Those Days In This Time by Etka Gitel Schwartz
Swords and Scrolls, Book 1 by Yehudis Litvak
Spies and Scholars, Book 2 by Yehudis Litvak
Secret and Sacred, Book 3 by Yehudis Litvak
And Rachel Was His Wife by Marsi Tabak
Joshua, fighter for Bar Kochba by Irena Narell
The Dead Sea Scrolls by Ilene Cooper
 
High School:
Original Talmud Period Texts

Schottenstein Edition of the Mishnah Elucidated Complete 23 Volume Set
Schottenstein Edition of the Talmud English Volumes 73 Volume Set
Interpretations of Original Texts and Study Aids
Rambam: Maimonides’ Introduction to the Mishnah translated by Avraham Yaakov Finkel
The Essential Talmud by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz
The Rambam’s Guide to the Mishnah and Talmud by Rabbi Zvi Lampel
Who Is Who in the Talmud by Shulamis Frieman
The Tannaim and Amoraim – A Guide to the Chachmei HaTalmud by Rabbi Nosson Wiggins
The Juggler and the King by Rabbi Aharon Feldman
Aggadah: Sages, Stories and Secrets by Rabbi Immanuel Bernstein
Learning to Read Midrash by Simi Peters
Be’er Hagolah by Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein
Books about Talmud Period
Ithamar by Marcus Lehmann
The Morning Star by Rabbi Meir Uri Gottesman
The Harp by Rabbi Meir Uri Gottesman
Chains by Leah Gebber
Akiva by Marcus Lehmann
Herod: The Man Who Had to be King by Yehuda Shulewitz
Nezirah by Tzirel Greenberg
Note: There are no original texts for this time period because all of the original texts had to be translated into English, thus making them interpretations.
Elementary:
Interpretations of Original Texts

Romulus and Remus by Anne Rockwell
Books About Late Ancient Period
The Librarian Who Measured the Earth by Kathryn Lasky
Who Was Alexander the Great? by Kathryn and Robin Waterfield
Who Was Julius Caesar? by Nico Medina
A Triumph for Flavius by Caroline Dale Snedker
Voyage to the Pharos by Sarah Gauch
Rome Antics by David McCaulay
Nine Animals and the Well by James Rumford
Cleopatra: The Queen of Dreams by Haydn Middleton
Euclid: the Man Who Invented Geometry by Shoo Rayner
The Emperor Who Built the Great Wall by Jillian Lin
What was Pompeii? by Jim O’Connor
Where is the Colloseum? by Jim O’Connor
Miranda the Great by Eleanor Estes
The Empty Pot by Demi
Archimedes and the Door of Science by Jean Bendick
Galen and the Gateway to Medicine by Jean Bendick
Barbarians! By Steven Kroll
 
Middle grades:
Interpretations of Original Texts

Stories From the History of Rome by Emily Beesly
Our Young Folks Plutarch by Rosalie Kaufman
Books About Late Ancient Period
Alexander the Great and Ancient Greece by Miriam Greenblatt
National Geographic Investigates: Ancient Rome by Zilah Deckker
National Geographic Investigates: Ancient Maya by Nathaniel Harris
Augustus and Imperial Rome by Miriam Greenblatt
The Eagle of the Ninth by Rosemary Sutcliff
The Silver Branch by Rosemary Sutcliff
The Lantern Bearers by Rosemary Sutcliff
The Outcast by Rosemary Sutcliff
Gladiator by Richard Watkins
The Roman Colosseum by Elizabeth Mann
The Ancient Celts by Patricia Calvert
Han Wu Di and Ancient China by Miriam Greenblatt
Year of the Tiger by Allison Lloyd
Attila the Hun (Ancient World Leaders) by Bonnie Harvey
In Search of Pompeii by Giovanni Caselli
The Terracotta Army of the First Emperor of China by William Lindesay
Science in Ancient Rome by Jacqueline L. Harris
Science in Ancient China by George Beshore
The Young Reader’s Shakespeare: Julius Caesar by Adam McKeown
 
High School:
Interpretations of Original Texts

Plutarch’s Lives, Volume 1 by Stewart and Long
Plutarch’s Lives, Volume 2 by Stewart and Long
A Charlotte Mason Plenary Plutarch Resources
Books About Late Ancient Period

The Lays of Ancient Rome by Thomas Babington Macaulay
Augustus Ceasar’s World by Genevieve Foster
Julius Ceasar by Shakespeare
Frontier Wolf by Rosemary Sutcliff

While this list represents the best stories from this specific time period, you will likely need to add more literature selections from our Jewish Reading List and our Secular Reading List as your children/family have time.

For those families that need/choose to add Mythology resources this year, we have created a separate page for Mythology that offers several different levels of content so you can choose the level that best meets the needs of your family.

Additional Resources

Jewish Resources Secular Resources
Audiovisual
Crash Course in Jewish History by Rabbi Berel Wein
Hillel and Shammai by JLI
The Jewish Revolt Against Rome by JLI
The Dead Sea Scrolls by JLI
 
Books
Mystery of the Dead Sea Scrolls by Hagit Allon and Lena Zehavi
The Shul Boy by Rabbi Meir Uri Gottesman
Deep Blue by Rabbi Meir Uri Gottesman
The Chase by Rabbi Meir Uri Gottesman
Three Special Days by Rabbi Yaakov Meir Strauss
Seven Special Weeks by Rabbi Yaakov Meir Strauss
One Special Prayer by Rabbi Yaakov Meir Strauss
King’s Special Loaves by Rabbi Yaakov Meir Strauss
At Masada by Sara Ester Varnai
Audiovisual
History of Rome Podcast
Ancient Rome 101 by National Geographic

Books
The Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander
City by David Macaulay
Detectives in Togas by Henry Winterfeld
Mystery of the Roman Ransom by Henry Winterfeld
Adventures in Ancient China by Linda Bailey
Who Were the Romans? (Starting Point History) by Phil Roxbee Cox
You Wouldn’t Want to Be a Roman Gladiator by John Malam
100 things you should know about Ancient Rome by Fiona Macdonald
How to be a Roman Soldier by Fiona Macdonald
See You Later, Gladiator by Jon Sciezska
Pompeii – Buried Alive! by Edith Kunhardt