Return of the Romans Days

Tags: Roman, re-enactment, military, horses

On 2nd and 3rd July the Classics Centre held two themed days of Roman Britain themed events. talks, activities and re-enactment shows! The days were organised to coincide with the Year Six Transfer Days, so incoming students could learn all about the Ancient Romans while attending Cheney School for the first time. The Year Sixes were divided into four different legions, each "commanded" by Year Nine Classics students who had created their own shields and were dressed in full costume for the two days. In their legions, Year Sixes were handed soldier's ration bags and then experienced workshops on a range of Roman themes, before heading to the field to experience live Re-enactment shows!

Re-enactment organisation Comitatus came to camp on site at the school overnight for two nights, bringing with them eight Re-enactors, two beautiful white horses and their groom, and a dazzling array of armour and equipment. They held six shows on the Athletics Field across the two days for Cheney students, Transfer Day students and also a community show for local primary school groups and other visitors. Their shows involved displays of their weapons including archery and javelins, a ballista, throwing axes, swords and more. Throughout the shows, Catherine Conyard commentated, explaining the use of weapons in battle by the Romans, and the historical sources used to recreate these items. Once the shows were over, students were able to try the helmets and shields for themselves, as well as meet the horses and Re-enactors!

Alongside the shows were several Roman-themed stalls, including face-painting, mosaics, a Roman lucky dip, Roman bracelet-making and hairstyles, a Roman sundial stall, as well as a display of some of the artefacts the Classics Centre is lucky enough to own.

As well as the shows and stalls, we were delighted that Dr Philippa Walton came to talk to Cheney students about Roman artefacts found in Piercebridge, and Jane Harrison delivered a talk on the Romans in East Oxford to Sixth Form students. We were also privileged to have author of the Roman Mysteries, Caroline Lawrence, delivering a lively talk to Year Sevens who will start studying Latin next year.

A fabulous two days was had by all – with many thanks to all the many Cheney students and local volunteers who supported and helped at these events.