| Famous Men of the Middle Ages|
|by John H. Haaren|
|Attractive biographical sketches of thirty-five of the most prominent characters in the history of the Middle Ages, from the barbarian invasions to the invention of the printing press. Each story is told in a clear, simple manner, and is well calculated to awaken and stimulate the youthful imagination. Ages 9-14 |
THE study of history, like the study of a landscape, should
begin with the most conspicuous features. Not until these
have been fixed in memory will the lesser features fall into
their appropriate places and assume their right proportions.
The famous men of ancient and modern times are the
mountain peaks of history. It is logical then that the study
of history should begin with the biographies of these men.
Not only is it logical; it is also pedagogical. Experience
has proven that in order to attract and hold the child's
attention each conspicuous feature of history presented to
him should have an individual for its center. The child
identifies himself with the personage presented. It is not
Romulus or Herecules or Alexander that the child
has in mind when be reads, but himself, acting under
Prominent educators, appreciating these truths, have long
recognized the value of biography as a preparation for the
study of history and have given it an important place in
their scheme of studies.
The former practice in many elementary schools of beginning
the detailed study of American history without any
previous knowledge of general history limited the pupil's
range of vision, restricted his sympathies, and left
him without material for comparisons. Moreover, it denied to him a
knowledge of his inheritance from the Greek philosopher,
the Roman lawgiver, the Teutonic lover of freedom. Hence
the recommendation so strongly urged in the report of the
Committee of Ten—and emphasized, also, in the report of
the Committee of Fifteen—that the study of Greek, Roman
and modern European history in the form of biography
should precede the study of detailed American history in our
elementary schools, The Committee of Ten recommends an
eight years' course in history, beginning with the fifth year
in school and continuing to the end of the high school course.
The first two years of this course are given wholly to the
study of biography and mythology, The Committee of
Fifteen recommends that history be taught in all the grades of
the elementary school and emphasizes the value of biography
and of general history.
The series of historical stories to which this volume
belongs was prepared in conformity with the foregoing
recommendations and with the best practice of leading schools.
It has been the aim of the authors to make an interesting
story of each man's life and to tell these stories in a style so
simple that pupils in the lower grades will read them with
pleasure, and so dignified that they may be used with profit
as text-books for reading.
Teachers who find it impracticable to give to the study of
mythology and biography a place of its own in an already
overcrowded curriculum usually prefer to correlate history
with reading and for this purpose the volumes of this series
will be found most desirable.
The value of the illustrations can scarcely be over-estimated.
They will be found to surpass in number and excellence
anything heretofore offered in a school-book. For the most part
they are reproductions of world-famous pictures, and for that
reason the artists' names are generally affixed.
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