Answer Key: There Once Was a Great Nation

Lesson Plan: “There Once Was a Great Nation With an Unstable Leader”

II. While Reading Activities

Word Inference

  1. dour |do͝orˈdou(ə)r| adjective-relentlessly severe, stern, or gloomy in manner or appearance: a hard, dour, humorless fanatic.
  2. grandiose |ˈɡrandēˌōsˌɡrandēˈōs| adjective-impressive or magnificent in appearance or style, especially pretentiously so: the court’s grandiose facade.
  3. incompetent |inˈkämpədənt| adjective-not having or showing the necessary skills to do something successfully: a forgetful and utterly incompetent assistant.
  4. extravagance |ikˈstravəɡəns| noun-lack of restraint in spending money or use of resources: his reckless extravagance with other people’s money.
  5. luxurious |ˌləɡˈZHo͝orēəsˌləkˈSHo͝orēəs| adjective-extremely comfortable, elegant, or enjoyable, especially in a way that involves great expense: the bedrooms have luxurious marble bathrooms | many of the leadership led relatively luxurious lives.
  6. tyrannical |təˈranək(ə)l|adjective- exercising power in a cruel or arbitrary way his father was portrayed as tyrannical and unloving.
  7. narcissist |ˈnärsəsəst| noun-a person who has an excessive interest in or admiration of themselves: narcissists who think the world revolves around them | narcissists preening themselves in front of the mirror.
  8. unhinged |ˌənˈhinjd| adjective-mentally unbalanced; deranged: the violent acts of unhinged minds.
  9. sarcophagus |särˈkäfəɡəs| noun (pl. sarcophagi |-ˌjī| )a stone coffin, typically adorned with a sculpture or inscription and associated with the ancient civilizations of Egypt and Rome.
  10. offended |əˈfendəd| adjective-resentful or annoyed, typically as a result of a perceived insult: she sounded slightly offended.

Reading Comprehension


Edward Champlin, a historian of Rome at Princeton University, says that Caligula pursued “a love of pranks that a 4-year-old might disdain” and had a penchant for “blurting out whatever is on his mind.”

 Grammar Focus: Structure and Usage


These rash statements rippled through Rome.


Caligula was a coward.


He supposedly rolled around on a huge pile of gold coins.