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Ancient Times Newspaper

Updated on May 29, 2013

The Kids' Newspaper of Ancient History

Here's the news from ancient days as it may have appeared in an elementary school newspaper (if there were such a thing). TK (age ten) and RG (age 8) wrote these articles as part of their homeschool Bible and history studies.

Read about Assyrian battle technology and Nineveh's astonishing repentance at the warning of the prophet Jonah. Learn about King Solomon's wise judgements and his trade agreements. Peruse stories about Medo-Persian and Judean kings. You are welcome to contribute letters to the editor or contact the reporters for additions and corrections.

Image: Giovanni Battista Tiepolo [Public domain]

Ancient History for Kids - Yea or Nay?

Should elementary school children study ancient history? Proponents of classical education say yes. Others would argue that social studies should be more immediately applicable to students' lives. What do you think?

Should twenty-first century children study ancient history?

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Solomon Calls for a Sword
Solomon Calls for a Sword

King Solomon's Wisdom

Solomon Uses Wisdom to Find Real Mother

Two women each claimed a baby as her own. Solomon threatened to cut the baby in half. The pretender was satisfied with this decision. The real mother offered to give the baby away.

The two mothers lived together in the same house and had babies at about the same time. One mother rolled on top of her baby in the night and killed it. She put the dead baby by the other woman and took the living one for herself. The two mothers brought the living baby to Solomon to decide who was the true mother. Solomon asked for a sword and commanded that the baby be cut in half and given to both mothers. That was when the real mother pleaded for its life.

Solomon received this wisdom from God when he was sleeping. God asked what he wanted and Solomon said he wanted wisdom. God said he asked for wisdom, so God gave him long life, and riches and honor too.

Solomon's wise decision became known throughout Israel, and all of the people respected him greatly.

Article by RG. Image: James Joseph Jacques Tissot [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Construction of Solomon's Temple
Construction of Solomon's Temple

Solomon and Hiram Make Trade Agreement

Israel Trades Food for Building Materials

Solomon is paying 125,000 bushels of barley and wheat,and 115,000 gallons of wine and olive oil for timber for the temple which he is building. Hiram's part of the agreement is to cut trees of cedar,pine,and algum, make them into rafts ,and float them to Joppa . Then Israelites will haul the logs to Mt. Moriah.

The temple is going to be 90 feet long, 30 feet wide, and 45 feet high.Everything inside will be covered with gold, even the lamp stands.

Solomon will build his palace with the Phoenicians as his father David did before him. Solomon will reinforce and rebuild cities too.

Article by TK. Image By UNKNOWN; Illustrator of 'Speculum humanae salvationis', Cologne, [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

King Hezekiah
King Hezekiah

King Hezekiah is Cured!

God Heals Almost Dead King

Hezekiah was super sick. Isaiah came and said, "You are not going to get better. You are going to die." Hezekiah prayed to God and cried.

God told Isaiah to tell Hezekiah, "You are going to get better in three more days and live 15 more years ." Hezekiah asked for a sign, so God made the shadow go backwards 10 steps.

Isaiah told the doctors to spread figs on a cloth and put it on Hezekiah's boil.They did it ,and Hezekiah was healed.

Article by RG. Image: King Hezekiah [Public Domain] via Wikimedia Commons

Assyrian Siege Tower Attacking a City
Assyrian Siege Tower Attacking a City

Assyrians Storm Cities with New Battle Techniques

Paired Soldiers, Siege Towers, and Dirt Ramps Make a Strong Army

When Assyrians attack a city, they pair up and close in. Half of the men have shields, and the other half bows and arrows. An Assyrian way to break a city's wall is to use ramps and siege towers.

Shields that are held by half of the soldiers are made by baskets tied together with leather. The baskets are light, and can keep arrows and spear points out. Sometimes the other half of the soldiers have slings. A lot of times, when attacking, the soldiers march close together to make a wall with arrows and stones spitting out of it.

The Assyrians are so strong that defenders retreat into their cities. The Assyrians make ramps of dirt against the wall. Then some people go into a siege tower and shoot arrows and throw rocks. Soldiers also ram the wall with a battering ram. After that, the Assyrians fight until the defenders surrender.

If a cities rebels and Assyrians defeat them, they punish rebels by throwing salt on their crops, burning their houses, breaking the wall, taking them captive, and killing them.

The Assyrians have defeated strong nations like Babylon and Egypt. The Assyrian empire extends from Egypt to Persia.

Article by TK. Image: Assyrian Battering Ram - Public Domain

Whale Spitting up Jonah - stained glass
Whale Spitting up Jonah - stained glass

Nineveh Repents

People and Animals Wear Black Clothes

People and even animals wore black clothes and fasted. They responded to Jonah's message that God would crush Nineveh in 40 days. The king ordered them to repent and God forgave them.

At first Jonah didn't want to go to Nineveh, so he tried to go to Tarshish. God sent a big storm and Jonah was thrown in the water and got swallowed by a fish. He repented and God gave him another chance.

Jonah's people and Nineveh were enemies. Jonah didn't want Nineveh to be saved.That is why it is so amazing that Nineveh repented to the God of Israel.

Article by RG. Image by Reinhardhauke (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Haman Begs for Mercy
Haman Begs for Mercy

Esther Becomes Queen

Saves Jewish People

King Xerxes replaced Vashti with Esther. Esther married the king of Persia even though she was a Jew. She was more beautiful then the other girls who tried to become queen. Mordecai was her adopted father.

Bigthema and Taresesh planned to kill Xerxes. Mordecai heard about it and sent a warning to Esther. Esther told the king about the plot and Xerxes wasn't killed.

Haman wanted to destroy the Jews. Esther begged that the Jews won't be destroyed. Xerxes said not to kill the Jews. Haman got killed instead.

Article by RG. Image: Rembrandt - Haman Begging the Mercy of Esther [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Esther and Mordecai
Esther and Mordecai

King Xerxes Gives Exiled Jew His Royal Seal

Mordecai Makes New Law to Reverse Unjust Law

Mordecai, the kings new official, got the royal seal and made a law so that the Jews could kill any enemies. Mordecai passed this law so the the law made by Haman could be reversed. The king`s best horses then sent the law to all his empire. Mordecai could make laws because he had saved the king's life and his adopted daughter was queen. The Jews killed 75,000 enemies, 800 in Susa, the capital city of Persia, including Haman`s ten sons.

Hamen had tried to wipe out the Jews by making a law that everyone could kill their neighboring Jews. Esther wisely asked for her people to be saved from Haman. The king killed Haman, his highest official. Then he gave the royal seal to Mordecai. Mordecai became a very high official and did only good to his fellow Jews.

Article by TK. Image: Aert de Gelder [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Daniel in the Lions' Den
Daniel in the Lions' Den

Daniel Survives Lion's Den

Governor prays to GOD of Judah

Daniel disobeyed King Darius's law to only pray to and worship Darius for 30 days. Daniel was willing to suffer, but not to worship Darius. Darius tried to stop Daniel from being thrown in the lions' den but could not. Daniel was helped out and not a scratch was found on him. Daniel said that an angel closed the mouths of the lions.

Daniel worshiped and obeyed God. Daniel is from Judah. He eats and drinks only vegetables and water because it is part of God's law for Israelites not to eat certain kinds of meats. God gave Daniel big success. He had a high place of authority in four kings' reigns.

Daniel was given wisdom from God and could interpret dreams. He answered many riddles wisely. He also read strange writing. God was so good to him.

Article: TK. Image "Daniel in the Den of Lions" François Verdier [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Athens Sparta Map
Athens Sparta Map

Sparta and Athens: Government and Education

Do you know the difference between Sparta and Athens?

As Greek people, Sparta and Athens wore the same clothes, ate the same food, and participated in the Olympics together. They did the Olympics (so they thought) to please their gods which were also the same. The cities, if fighting, would stop so travelers could travel safely to the Olympics. The winner always gets an olive-leaf crown.

In many ways Sparta and Athens were alike, but there were some differences. Sparta and Athens both had successful governments:

Sparta in war and Athens in fairness. Sparta had two kings to help balance power, and a council that decided laws, served as judges, and decided policies. Athens had a council that made laws and citizens, 40,000 men, voted for everything like roads, taxes, public buildings, or whether to go to war or not.

With different kinds of governments, Sparta and Athens needed a different kinds of education. In Sparta, boys born to citizens had to go to a camp to learn to be good, obedient soldiers. They did this in the ages between 7 and 20. Then the men had a test . If they passed, they could be full citizen. Athens taught their children law, reading, writing, astronomy, and how to vote.These systems made Sparta and Athens big time rivals for a long time.

Article by TK. Image: Peloponnesian War Map GNU Free Documentation License via Wikimedia Commons

Letters to the Editor - Ancient Times welcomes reader feedback. Please leave your comments here.

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    • MisterJeremy profile image
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      Jeremy 5 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @JoyfulPamela2: Thanks, Pamela. Let me know if your kids publish. I'd like to read, and share with my kids, anything their peers write.

    • JoyfulPamela2 profile image

      JoyfulPamela2 5 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      Your young writers did a fabulous job! We started school today with Creation as our Bible, history, and science topics, so we will have to try to write a newspaper, too. Thanks for sharing your wonderful ideas!

    • jlshernandez profile image

      jlshernandez 6 years ago

      Updating ancient history to modern day kids is a wonderful tool. Wonderful way to educate.

    • dani3l lm profile image

      dani3l lm 6 years ago

      I love ANYTHING history, this is a great idea.

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 6 years ago from Southampton, UK

      I think this is a really great idea, it helps children bring history to life. Teaching history to children from an early age is I believe very important. Everything that we are, and the way that the world is, is because of history. I came, I commented, and I left a blessing behind.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      How wonderful that you were able to pull these wonderful headline stories from the srchives of time! Very creative!

    • profile image

      moonlitta 6 years ago

      Thumbs up, (and up!) for the idea. Great presentation and pictures too! (I think you should add an option to the poll why should kids study -because it's interesting:)

    • Senora M profile image

      Senora M 6 years ago

      Very cool lens! Nice job on the reporting! :)

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 6 years ago from Central Florida

      What a fun idea. I hope we'll see more newspapers from these young writers.