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New Accessible Lesson: Ancient Rome’s Veterans with Disabilities: Roman Accounts and U.S. Veteran Comparisons

Published on Tue, 01/08/2019

Stone with a man on a horse and a fallen man carved.
Cavalryman rides over fallen soldier on a tombstone in England’s Grosvenor Museum, Chester, UK in this primary source for an accessible lesson on Ancient Rome’s Veterans with Disabilities.

Teachers have been striving to make their curriculum more fully reflect the history of all members of a community, to tell the stories not only of kings and generals, but of the young and the old, women and men, and those with both extraordinary and ordinary abilities and challenges. The lesson added to our resource library this week is an example of how to bring this perspective to the study of the Ancient World, using the words of writers at that time, as well as images of artifacts, and drawing comparisons with examples from U.S. society, both past and present. It will enrich the study of ancient Rome by social studies classes and by Latin classes, the more advanced of which can read the sources in the original Latin. This lesson features both ancient texts referring to the lives of Roman soldiers after they were wounded in battle and images and recordings of American veterans. Students will compare how two societies, separated by centuries, think about and act toward veterans who live with a disability. The lesson includes activities that offer opportunities to move in the classroom, write, draw, collaborate, and learn from varied primary sources in written, visual, and audio media. The comparison to contemporary experiences of wounded American soldiers invites students of ancient Rome to more vividly imagine the needs and lives of soldiers centuries ago, prompting reflection and inquiry. View this and other teaching resources on Download PDF.

Alison Noyes

Manager, Emerging America
Alison Noyes is the manager of the Emerging America program at the Collaborative for Educational Services, where she leads the English Learner Collaborations project funded by a Library of Congress grant to the Massachusetts Council for the Social Studies.