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Friday, April 05, 2013

Sowing Beside All Waters (Salem Ridge Press) - TOS Book Review

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If your student is studying, or will be studying Roman history, I recommend adding Salem Ridge Press' Sowing Beside All Waters - A Tale of the World in the Church to your personal library. The story, originally published in 1875, is set during the Roman Empire, 313 - 363 A.D. It is one of the books in Emma Leslie's Church History Series.

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It begins during Constantine's Roman Empire reign. As Emperor he declares Christianity as the official religion of the nation.

A man by the name of Quadratus, who is one of the Emperor's special guards, goes home to Alexandria and learns that certain pagan customs are still being performed by his sister, Melissa, who is a Christian; Placidia, his other sister has become a nun and will not have anything to do with the outside world, and his brother has left his home and become a hermit. Shortly thereafter, a riot sweeps through the city and Quadratus' home is vandalized by some Jewish people; his mother dies, and his sister Placidia disappears.

Turmoil occurs between the church and the country. Church's begin to take up pagan ways, and a Christian priest named Arius begins teachings against the Trinity, causing division among Christians.

After Constantine's death, Christians once again are persecuted by the new Roman Emperor, Julian, who no longer wants Christianity to be the religion of Rome, but instead brings back the old pagan religion.


Although fiction, the story is based on certain true events such as the First Council of Nicaea, and real historical people which include: Constantine, Arius, Athanasius, Eusebius, Saint Anthony the Great, Julian, John Chrysostom, and Augustine. There is a brief summary of these people listed at the beginning of the book.

It also includes the Nicene Creed of A.D. 325 and a map of the Eastern Roman Empire. You'll find a handful of illustrations throughout the book.

You can read the first chapter of Sowing Beside All Waters here.

Ages: 12 - Adult
Pages: 265
Cost: $14.95 (Softcover); $24.95 (Hardcover)

My Thoughts

What I most enjoyed about this story was its mix of history with Christian faith. Therefore, while learning about Roman history, you also learn about Jesus' love, His forgiveness, and the power of prayer.

The story includes a very rich vocabulary and definitions for certain words are provided at the bottom of the pages. This was very helpful when coming across a word which I did not understand.

I would suggest prior to having your child read the book, that he/she look up the correct pronunciation of the historical names.

You can read other Crew reviews concerning other book titles available through Salem Ridge Press by clicking on the banner below.

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