Ancient Rome for Kids

This collection of poems celebrates the lives and achievements of one of the most successful race of people in human history - the Ancient Romans.

Here you will find a poems about Julius Caesar, Hadrian's Wall, Anthony and Cleopatra, and many other famous Romans. Written by Paul Perro between 2008 and 2015, the poems are fun and easy to read, but they are historically accurate, so you might also learn a thing or two as well.

Note some of these poems contain subject matter that might not be suitable for very young children.

When you have finished enjoying the poems, please scroll down a little further for more interesting facts about Ancient Rome and the Romans.



Ancient Rome
Poems for kids by Paul Perro


The Romans used to rule the world
A long long time ago.
They came from Rome in Italy
And spoke Latin, don’t you know.

They were a great civilization
But also, as we shall see,
Roman rule could be harsh and cruel
Let’s find out more, shall we?




Julius Caesar

You'll often hear about him in
A book, movie, or ballad.
He's the most famous Roman.
He even has a salad!

Yes, Caesar was a great man, but
He met a nasty end.
Stabbed, on the Ides of March,
In the back by a friend.



Pompey

So successful in battle
They nicknamed him “Pompey the Great”
Until he fell out with Caesar and
Became “Pompey the Late”



Cleopatra


Mark Antony 

Mark Antony was Caesar’s loyal friend
And he did avenge the great man’s slaughter.
Then he fell in love with Cleopatra
The queen who bathed in milk (not water).



Augustus Caesar

Octavian had a bossy wife,
And he always tried to please her.
He made himself the emperor
And changed his name to Caesar


Caligula

The Emperor Caligula -
He made a consul of his horse.
Historians have always said
He was quite mad, of course.


Claudius

Claudius was a funny chap.
He limped and had a stammer,
But his wisdom made up for
What he lacked in glamour.


Nero

Emperor Nero liked music;
He liked to play the lyre.
One day while he was fiddling
Rome itself caught fire.
Nero was a terrible man -
He murdered his own step-brother.
He also chopped his wife’s head off
And poisoned his own mother.



Hadrian
The Romans had some enemies
There were thieves and vandals about.
So Hadrian built a wall
To keep the rotters out.



So now you’ve heard a little
About some folk from Rome.
There are so many many more,
Too many for this poem


Here are some more poems about Ancient Rome that you might enjoy:

 The Destruction of Pompeii
The story of the worst natural disaster of the ancient world.

Hannibal
Hannibal led an army (including war elephants!) across mountain to attack the Romans in Italy itself.  

Spartacus
This poem tells the story of an escaped gladiator called Spartacus, who led an army of slaves, who fought bravely against their former masters, the Romans.  

Boudicca, the Warrior Queen
One of the most fearsome women ever, she fought against the Romans to defend her family honour.

What the Romans did for us
Find out what the Romans did for us, with this funny poem.
  

The Fall of Rome
 by Paul Perro

The Mighty Roman Empire
For centuries all was well;
But nothing lasts for ever, and
Eventually it fell.

It had faced many big problems,
Like political corruption,
Slaves revolts, mad emperors,
The Vesuvius eruption.

They also suffered greatly with
Economic instability –
Lack of money caused by the
Tax-dodging nobility.

The biggest problem though, was
Invaders from abroad
Goths, Huns and Vandals
Made up the barbarian horde,

The Empire fell for good when
Rome was attacked by Vandals.
That was the end of the Empire
Of Latin, togas and sandals.




Facts about Ancient Rome for Kids

  • The Roman Empire, at its peak, stretched between Scotland and Turkey

  • By around 300AD Rome was the largest city in the world with over a million people.
Caesar

  • Julius Caesar was a successful general who expanded the empire in northern Europe. In 47AD he declared himself dictator of Rome. A few years later he was murdered by his political enemies, and Brutus, who he thought was his friend.

  • After the death of Caesar, there was a power struggle between Antony and Octavian. Octavian won, Antony and Cleopatra (Antony's wife, the Egyptian queen) committed suicide.

  • Octavian was influenced by his unscrupulous wife Livia. He change his name to Augustus Caesar because he wanted to be associated with Julius Caesar, who was respected and worshipped.

  • Later emperors include Nero, Caligula, Claudius, and Hadrian.

  • There is a story that Nero "fiddled while Rome burned” but this cannot be true, because the fiddle had not been invented, although he did play the lyre. Nero’s bad reputation may well be based on lies told by his enemies, we cannot be sure.
  • Claudius had a stammer and some physical problems, probably the result of brain damage at birth.

  • Hadrian's wall in Northern England was over 70 miles long, and still stands today in places. He built other walls at other boundaries of the empire too.

  • The Forum was the government district in the centre of Rome. It was a market place surrounded by offices and law courts, and was a popular meeting place.

  • Roman men and women wore tunics with loose-fitting robes made of long strips of cloth over the top. A woman might wear a dress called a stola and a thick coat called a palla. a man might wear a cloak called a toga.

Roman Soldier
  • The Romans went to the public baths in order to relax. These huge buildings were more than a place to get clean, they were also fitness centres and places to meet friends.

  • The Colosseum in Rome was a huge arena used for gladiator fights and mock sea battles. It could seat 50,000 people and was built of stone, marble, and concrete.

  • Romans admired gladiators for their strength, bravery, and skill. However their lives were short - most died fighting in the arena, either against each other, or wild animals such as lions. Most gladiators were either prisoners of war or criminals.

  • Some Romans preferred a day at the races. Horses pulled fast chariots round race tracks called "circuses". The most famous was the Circus Maximus in Rome.


Back to Ancient History








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