Sophie (age 7) and Ellie (age 5) tell the story of gruesome executions from history – feeding Christians to the lions, the punishment of the sack, decimation of soldiers and more.
We start with the punishment of the sack. Romans kept this punishment for people who killed their father. They would put the person inside a large sack. Then they would put a live monkey, a snake, a dog and a rooster in the sack too. The sack was tied up with everyone inside. They it was thrown into the river so that everyone drowned.
Next we tell of how the Christians were punished by the Romans. The Romans wanted Christians to agree that there’s was not the only God but there was also the Roman gods – Jupiter and Venus and others. Christians would not agree. So many of them were taken to the Colosseum in Rome. This is where Gladiator fights happened. The Christians had no swords or armour. The Romans had wild animals like lions and tigers. They had not been fed for ages so they were now hungry. The Romans let them loose on the Christians. The Lions and tigers ate the Christians.
However, in Roman times it was not only the Romans who were fierce.
There was a Roman General called Crassus. He was very rich. He led an army to invade Parthia. There was a battle fought in the desert. Instead of attacking the Romans, the Parthians attacked the wagons with the water in them. They broke open the barrels of water and the water drained into the desert. The Romans had to surrender because they had no water. When the Parthian Emperor had the Crassus in his hands, he poured molten gold down Crassus’ throat to mock his wealth.
The Romans knew that losing battles was a bad idea. So they had a way of making sure that their soldiers did not run away. If a unit ran away in battle then after the battle there was a terrible punishment for them. Everyone in the unit had to draw straws. Some of the straws were long, but some were short. There were nine long ones to one short one. When you were drawing the straws you could not tell if the straw was long or short. Everyone who had a long straw too a club and stood in two lines facing each other. Everyone who had a short straw had to run between the two lines. The people with a short straw were then beaten to death by the people with a long straw.
They called this decimation which means killing one in ten.
It wasn’t only men and soldiers who faced terrible executions. The Romans had priestesses called Vestal Virgins. They kept a sacred fired in Rome burning. They lived in luxury but they were not allowed to have boyfriends or get married. If one of them did get a boyfriend then she faced a terrible punishment. It was not allowed to kill a Vestal Virgin. So she was locked in an underground room without any food and left there to starve to death!
We had so many stories this week that we have saved some of them for our Patrons’ episode. We have there a follow on episode. It has stories of death by rat, death by elephant, death by red hot poker, death by cannon and death by being hung, drawn and quartered. You can join at www.patreon.com/historystorytime.
Sophie (age 7) and Ellie (age 5) tell the story of the Eastern Front in World War Two between Germany and the Soviet Union.
Hitler and his Nazis rule Germany. Stalin and his Communists rule the Soviet Union. They hate each other. Hitler decides to invade the Soviet Union and conquer it. The Soviet Union is huge and has many people in it. However, it is poor and its army is old fashioned. The Germans have invented a new way of fighting battles with tanks and airplanes. It called Blitzkrieg which means Lightning War.
The Germans invade the Soviet Union without warning. They quickly smash through the Soviet lines and surround hundreds of thousands of soldiers. Then they push onto Paris. However, Moscow is so far from Germany that it too them until the start of winter before they arrived. The Soviet solders fought desperately. They were helped by Soviet soldiers from Siberia who were used to the cold. The German generals wanted to retreated but Hitler would not let them. He was right this time.
The Germans just held on.
In 1942 the German attacked again. This time they attacked South. They wanted to capture the oilfields to stop the Soviets having petrol for their tanks. They captured lots of land but had to capture the city of Stalingrad first. There is fighting for months. Secretly the Soviets mass tanks outside the city. They attack and surround the city. Hitler will not let the Germans retreat. It is a mistake and the whole German army is forced to surrender.
Meanwhile, Hitler’s evil plans continue. His soldiers kill many ordinary people and, in particular, they start killing Jews.
The next year Hitler attacks for the last time. There is a massive tank battle. The Germans lose.
The following year the Soviets attack. They force the Germans back.
Just as the Soviets are about to invade Poland they stop. The brave Poles rise up and fight the Germans. They beg for help from the Soviets. However, Stalin is happy to see the Poles be killed by the Germans because he wants to rule Poland after the war.
The following year the Soviets close in on Berlin. They are cruel to many ordinary German people, especially to women. After brutal fighting the Soviets capture Berlin. Hitler kills himself, and he kills his dog too. The World War in Europe is over.
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Sophie (age 7) and Ellie (age 5) tell of the First Afghan War of 1839, where the British invaded Afghanistan and were forced into a disastrous retreat from Kabul.
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