An Ancient History Curriculum by Grammaticus Books

Readable translations with a continuous narrative

providing students an eyewitness understanding of history

History students can now immerse themselves in key events firsthand with the innovative approach of the Becoming Civilized series. Each book features primary source authors with additional text to maintain the narrative, giving students a road map of the sources for each historical period.


Enjoy the original ideas and heroes of the Greeks: the developers of philosophy, history, drama, geometry, architecture, and science. Their achievements have had an immeasurable impact on the world today.

Hundreds of images, maps, and diagrams are provided, so that even a beginner can thoroughly appreciate the accomplishments of these intellectual pioneers.

- Over 200 images, maps and graphics

- Diagrams of offices and assemblies

- Biographies of each historian

- Masterpieces of art showing the timelessness of Greece


The name “Rome” brings to mind an array of images: a Senate, an empire, an army, the Seven Hills, the seat of Christianity, and the marvels of engineering and architecture. Becoming Rome weaves together an exciting historical narrative with accounts from the Romans themselves.

Enjoy Rome as they did, with images, maps, and diagrams that enable even a beginner to thoroughly appreciate how the Romans have helped us to become more civilized, and what led them at times to be uncivilized. Understand their society, their values, their heroes, their victories, and their defeats.

Article in Cavalcade Magazine

You can download an article from Cavalcade magazine explaining our approach and the importance of using history to prepare students for life.

Students are better prepared for life when they understand the struggle in Greece and Rome to establish justice for all of their citizens, to balance the limited resources of society in a fair and stable way. In this regard, studying their successes is just as important as analyzing their failures. Any modern society can learn from this early democracy and republic.

We believe students become more “civilized” when they learn that:

  • Cicero strove to defend the Republic using rhetoric rather than military force;
  • Cleisthenes avoided civil war by uniting Athens into demes from every social class;
  • The plebeians struggled to be more “included” by the Roman patricians;
  • Homeric and Roman values affected the decisions these societies made;
  • Philosophers, poets, and dramatists influenced social mores: for example, Antigone’s noble defiance of King Creon when she piously buried her brother.

They also learn from potential “blind spots” of the ancients:

  • The descriptions in Hesiod of the often fragmented relationships among their gods, between gods and mortals, and between men and women. These religious and social beliefs had a direct impact on how their societies functioned.
  • Their practice of undertaking wars simply for glory, enslaving captured peoples, and enslaving those in debt.

Videos for Class Preparation

To help teachers prepare their classes with Becoming Civilized, we are creating an online course called “The Morning Huddle.” Here is a sample:


After graduating from Notre Dame and receiving a commission in the U.S. Navy, Mr. Dardis worked as an IT consultant with Ernst & Young in New York. From 1996 to 2011, he founded several character development initiatives in St. Louis and Chicago. He and Thomas Cox, a fellow Heights faculty member, published Becoming Rome: Foundation, Republic, and Empire in the Words of Eminent Romans. He has led service projects and summer camps in the U.S. and Mexico, including several in his hometown of New Orleans. In 2018 he founded the DC Accelerator, a professional orientation program for recent college graduates. Mr. Dardis teaches the 8th grade Core Class, 8th grade Religion, and 7th grade Religion at The Heights School

Born and raised in Southern California, Tom Cox attended Hillsdale College in Michigan. After college, he went on an 18,000-mile road-trip exploring America and, while touring the country with his barbershop quartet, was offered this job at The Heights. He lives in Northern Virginia with his wife, Nicole, and five children. In the summer of 2019, he completed a Master’s Degree in Liberal Arts at St. John’s College in Annapolis. Being a Johnnie sharpened his pedagogy while expanding the tools he uses in the classroom, from seminars to oral exams. When he isn’t speaking or reading Greek and Latin, he enjoys reading (English), hiking, and spending time with family and friends. Tom teaches Latin and Greek at The Heights School


Becoming Rome has sold copies in 26 states, and has been integrated into the curriculum of several private, religious, and classical schools throughout the country. If you are interested in purchasing Becoming Rome or Becoming Greece, you can order directly from The Heights bookstore below. (The books are available on Amazon, but we cannot offer school discounts using that portal.)

Becoming Greece or Becoming Rome


If you represent a history class of 5 or more students and would like to request a free ​evaluation copy of either Becoming Rome or Becoming Greece, please fill out the ​form located here. We ask you to only do so if you might use the books in the future. ​We have done everything possible to write books of the highest quality, but also ​affordable, and on a limited budget. Evaluation copies are expensive, but we want to ​help teachers make the right decision. Thanks so much for your interest and ​consideration.

To discuss adding Becoming Civilized to your curriculum or if you have any questions ​or feedback, please contact