The Deeper Meaning
While this book is designed to be read by students in Level 1, there are some issues which might initiate some deeper thinking with your students. Here are a few larger questions to consider.
Early in the book, we learn that Decius does not sleep well. and that Leo is a comfort to him. While we have very little information about PTSD in the Roman military, it is certainly possible that they too may have suffered from it as well. Some questions for thought - "Why does Decius awaken perterritus? What may have happened? What do you think he may be dreaming about? How is this similar to issues that modern soldiers have? Would Decius talk to any other people in the camp about this? Why or why not?
At the end of the book, the friendship Aia establishes with Leo proves to be a greater deterrent to war than the superior numbers of Roman soldiers, encamped in Atuatuca. Is this realistic? Are relationships important in war? In treaty negotiations? Are there any historical events where a relationship was more persuasive than military force?