The Story of Civilization Volume 1: The Ancient World (Complete Set)

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Children should not just read about history; they should live it. In The Story of Civilization (35 lessons), the ancient stories that have shaped humanity come alive like never before. Author Phillip Campbell uses his historical expertise and storytelling ability together in tandem to present the content in a fresh and thrilling way.  

The Story of Civilization reflects a new emphasis in presenting the history of the world as a thrilling and compelling narrative. Within each chapter, children will encounter short stories that place them directly in the shoes of historical figures, both famous and ordinary, as they live through legendary battles and invasions, philosophical debates, the construction of architectural wonders, the discovery of new inventions and sciences, and the exploration of the world. 

Volume I: The Ancient World, begins the journey, covering the time periods from the dawn of history and the early nomads to the conversion of Emperor Constantine. Children will learn what life was like in the ancient civilizations of Egypt, Mesopotamia, Persia, Greece, Rome, and more, as well as learn the Old Testament stories of the Israelites and the coming of Christ. 

The strength of the content lies not only in the storybook delivery of it, but also in the way it presents history through the faithful prism of the Church. Have you always wanted your children to learn about world history from a Catholic perspective? Here, you’ll have the trusted resource you’ve always wanted.

Did You Know…

  • That young people in the Minoan culture participated in bull-leaping games?
  • That King Xerxes of Persia once ordered his soldiers to whip the waves when the ocean became rocky beneath their boats?
  • That the Greek inventor Archimedes built a giant heat ray to protect his hometown, catching enemy ships on fire through the use of sunbeams?
  • That the powerful Carthaginian general Hannibal used elephants to march his army over the Alps on his way to attack Rome?
  • That Julius Caesar of Rome fell in love with the famous Cleopatra of Egypt?

Embark on the journey now to learn of all these wonders and more!

Complete Set

The Complete Set includes the Text Book, Test Book, Activity Book and Teacher’s Manual, Video Lecture Series, and the Audio Dramatization, as well as a FREE copy of the Timeline Poster.

Dramatized Audio Book

Talented voice actor and audiobook producer Kevin Gallagher returns to bring children the history of the world in this riveting reading of The Story of Civilization Volume 1: The Ancient World. This follows his immensely popular reading of TAN’s The Story of the Bible. Your children will be transported back in time through the sound effects, music, and voice acting that complement the reading of the text.

Whether looking for entertainment on a long road trip, enhancing the experience with the text, or catering to the needs of a child with a reading disability, this audio dramatization will open up a new world of adventure for kids of all ages.


Test Book (Suggested for 5th to 8thgrade)

This test book serves as a companion resource to The Story of Civilization: The Ancient World. With this book, students can test their reading comprehension and further educate themselves on the content found in the text.

One quiz corresponds to each chapter in the textbook. Questions for each chapter are suitable as a study exercise or as an objective answer test, with an answer key for teachers in the back. The questions include matching items, multiple choice, and true/false.

Activity Book and Teacher’s Manual
(Suggested for 1st to 4th Grade)

The Activity Book and companion Teacher’s Manual provide a complete review of everything read in The Story of Civilization Volume I: The Ancient World, along with creative activities to accompany each chapter, including:

  • Reading comprehension questions
  • Narration Exercises
  • Map Activities
  • Coloring Pages
  • Crossword Puzzles and Word Searches
  • Craft Projects unique to each chapter
  • Fun Snack Ideas and Recipes
  • Science Projects that illustrate the lessons learned in the chapters

These books provide a complete and creative overview to the teacher and student alike, reaffirming the content found in The Story of Civilization.

*While the Teacher’s Manual contains answers and directions to the exercises found in the Activity Book, it also has its own additional activity suggestions for parents to do with their children. 

Streaming Video Lecture Series

In this lecture series, the author of The Story of Civilization, Phillip Campbell, leads students on a chapter-by-chapter journey, reviewing the events, characters, and lessons that make up Volume I. This companion piece to the text is meant to assist parents and allow a hands-off approach to their lesson planning.

In each lecture, students will find:

  • A 10-minute narrative review of each chapter
  • A discussion of key figures
  • Further explanation of historical events
  • Engaging visual aids and graphics
  • A short quiz to test their knowledge

After viewing these lectures, students will be able to turn to their workbooks and test books with confidence!

Streaming videos will be available in the "My Account" area of your account. Buyers of the Complete Set will receive a card with a digital Access Code to add the videos to their account.


Timeline Poster

Keeping track of the people, events, and dates that shaped history can be difficult. With this fun, comprehensive, and engaging timeline that employs an easy-to-follow format and vibrant illustrations, students will have the help they need to track the chronology of the story of civilization.

This timeline mirrors the scope of The Story of Civilization textbook, beginning with the early nomads and running to the conversion of Emperor Constantine. Within these bookends, children will be introduced to the pharaohs of Ancient Egypt, Greek inventors and philosophers, Spartan warriors, the famous figures of the Old Testament, infamous Roman Emperors, and the Holy Family. A fun “Timeline Trivia” section can be found on the back for students to test their knowledge!

Features include:

  • Laminated format capable of being written on with a marker
  • 36 x 18 size when unfolded
  • Easy-to-follow structure
  • 40+ illustrations
  • Covers over 75 major events and people
  • “Timeline Trivia” on the back


Phillip Campbell
Chris Pelicano
TAN Books
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TAN Academy: The Story of Civilization Volume 1
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6 Reviews

  • 5

    Posted by Meghan on May 24th 2023

    My first grader loves history, thanks to this series! He (and his younger brother) enjoy listening to the audio book, coloring the pictures, and the activities. The snack activities have been a big hit! I appreciate having options for the activities, and having an audio version.

  • 5
    Great for all ages

    Posted by Michelle on May 24th 2023

    My children and I have really been enjoying this series. I think it can be geared toward children of all ages, including High School. I plan to use it all the way up.

  • 5
    Great for every age

    Posted by Michelle on May 24th 2023

    I'vebeen using this history program with my 5th and 8th graders. They ask me every day to read the next section and we are actually finishing the book early! That never happens for us! I plan to use this all the way up through high school (I;ll supplement with note-taking and timelines).

  • 4
    Overall good, but lacking in some areas

    Posted by Amanda Z. on May 24th 2023

    This history program is very good for younger students, but you might want a more thorough one for high-school level. I recommend at least getting the audiobook if you don;t want to get the videos, they really help make it fun, interesting, and accessible for children. The crafts are well thought out and fun, helping to reinforce the week;s lesson. This set works very well as a spine, but I found that it does need some supplementation. There were several civilizations that were not covered (Celts, Indus Valley, Yellow River Valley, Native Americans, etc.), but it was not difficult for me to slip them in between lessons. There is also a lack of color or photographs of actual archeological sites, artifacts, etc. Again, easily supplemented, but enough is missing that I feel justified docking a star. I would, however, recommend this to Catholic families. Overall, I'm happy with this purchase and would recommend it, but also would heavily encourage that it not be the sole source for your history lessons.

  • 5
    For the first time in

    Posted by Jennifer A. on Sep 9th 2022

    For the first time in my life I can say, I enjoy history and It's all thanks to these wonderful books.

  • 5
    Wonderful addition to my homeschooling

    Posted by Maura M. on Mar 26th 2022

    My children would complain EVERY TIME they had to do history, but now they look forward to it and actually do not want to stop the lesson!

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