Presented by Marcus Aurelius Dorsuo, a legionary from the XX legion based at Camulodunum, and Queen Boudicca on the eve of the Eceni / Iceni rebellion. Twin sessions, with each presenter setting up in their own classroom and students swapping between them to get an equal understanding of both cultures.
Our historical educator [Presenter] arrives in full 1st century Roman legionary armour, with weaponry, and holding a pack containing miscellaneous Roman items of the period. Children are taught a Roman greeting & hand salute, ‘Salvete” and “Ave Caesar”. Presenter proceeds through describing and naming his arms, armour and clothing, handing pieces around for examination and study. Names are written on a board in English and Latin. Questions and answers on this session.
Children are taught Roman numerals up to 2018, and are challenged to work out some interesting dates, such as 1999, 1066, 43 etc. A wax tablet is handed round so that everybody gets a chance to write a number on it with a stylus. Next comes the Pantheon of Roman gods, goddesses and links to planets, days of the week, etc. Quick discussion on ‘what makes a civilisation?’ and the barbarity of the Gladiators/Crucifixion.
Dressing-up time [prepared in advance with school]: we have toga and female attire for two children (Emperor, Empress or senior officials). All other children have made swords and shields, representing either Romans or Celts. Offerings to the gods of the artefacts brought by Presenter (oil lamps, mirrors, combs, jewellery, strigil and olive oil for bathing, samian ware pottery, glass vials, mortarium for grinding corn, etc.). The artefacts are passed around and listed on the board, with explanations about everyday Roman life.
BATTLE! Children are taught the “sin dex sin” march and proceed into the playground. Photo time. Then ‘Romans’ make a testudo of interlocking shields as ‘Celts’ attack.
Boudicca appears as a Queen of the Eceni tribe- looking at Iron Age culture, life in a roundhouse, with a wonderful collection of period artefacts.
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