Ancient History

This week, English Teacher Online takes you back in time to explore the ancient history of the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans and Barbarians.

Archaeologists and scientists look for ways to learn about ancient people by studying their geography, government, religion, inventions and daily life. They discover how people lived and what they accomplished thousands of years ago.

Ancient Civilizations

A civilization can be defined as a type of culture and society developed by a nation or region at a certain time in history. The Iron Age enabled many ancient civilizations to grow, including ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome.


Over 5,000 years ago, Egyptian civilization began along the mighty Nile River. The Egyptians were artists who used pictures to write with called hieroglyphics. The rulers of Egypt were called pharaohs, who built enormous pyramids. We know that they buried their dead in these tombs because archeologists found their mummified remains surrounded by treasures.

Egypt’s greatest scientist was Imhotep the wise, the founder of Egyptian medicine, high priest to the pharaoh and architect of the first step pyramid.



Around the Tenth Century BC, there were many powerful towns, called city-states. They were the Greeks, and Athens was the greatest of these city-states. The Greeks had many Gods such as Zeus and Athena. They built the Parthenon for Athena and named the mighty city of Athens after their goddess of wisdom.

Athens produced great teachers such as Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. Euclid taught the world geometry and the Greeks were great builders. They also made beautiful statues and painted figures on pots.

The Greeks had powerful soldiers called hoplites. Alexander the Great used this hoplite army to conquer a large part of the world, from Egypt through Persia and Southern Europe.


After a few hundred years, Rome became the most powerful city-state. The Roman army was very powerful and invaded Greece. The Romans conquered large parts of southern and western Europe, plus Egypt and Carthage in north Africa.

The Roman Senate was the government in Rome. Julius Caesar became army general and consul, and was the first Roman emperor. Later, Marcus Aurelius became maybe the best emperor Rome ever had.

The Romans also had many gods, such as Jupiter and Venus. But in 312 AD Emperor Constantine became a Christian and soon the whole Roman Empire worshiped the one God.


North of the Roman Empire, there were people called barbarians who did not have advanced civilizations. They did not write or have high art. They fought a lot and eventually invaded Rome in 476 AD. In the west, they split up the Roman Empire into smaller states to govern themselves. But the eastern, Byzantium Empire did go on.

How Do I Research Ancient Civilizations?

Choose an ancient civilization that you want to learn about, Egyptian, Greek, Roman, etc.

Choose a topic that you are interested in, fashion, art, army, etc.

Now you have a ancient topic to research, Egyptian Fashion, Roman Army, Greek Art, etc.

Write some questions to get you started.

What was Egyptian fashion like?

How did the Roman army train soldiers?

Why were the Greeks interested in math?

Write a few more (what, when, where, who, how, why) questions and explore your ancient civilization. You should be able to write about 50-100 words on each topic.

TIP: Don’t try to learn too much, keep it simple. You can contrast the fashion of Egypt and Rome or you may just want to research a few topics about the Greeks.

Please ask questions or share some of your research in the comment section.

Author: Teacher Steve

Teacher Steve is 52 years old, happily married but has no children of his own. He's a fully qualified teacher who has been teaching English in sunny Thailand for over 15 years. Teacher Steve loves to write and decided to start English Teacher Online, in December 2016, to help students study English for free. He works tirelessly so that students can become fluent in English, empowering them to work and travel the world. You can also watch him teaching live at

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