Roman Relaxation Primary History


Roman Relaxation

Educational programme for 7- to 11-year-olds. Rom introduces Romola to the 21st century, visiting Bath, Chedworth and Caerleon.


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Transcript


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-What did Romans do in their spare time?

-Did they live in luxury?

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-What were villas like?

-Was there Roman entertainment?

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-Oh, Romulus, there you are. I'm so pleased to have found you.

-My lady.

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Please, do call me Romola.

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Then you must call me Rom.

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Nice to see you, my... Romola.

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I was expecting your husband, Marcus Verimus Richmus.

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We'd planned a trip to the 21st century.

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-He was looking forward to it. He's been called away on business.

-Right.

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-Thanks for telling me.

-Don't cancel the trip.

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I thought I'd come along instead. You don't mind?

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Er...

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No. No.

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Wouldn't want to take up your time.

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Don't worry. I'm free all day.

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I thought you could entertain me until my banquet this evening.

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What's the 21st century like?

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Oh, it's very different. It's not like Roman times at all.

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-Oh, dear. How dreadful.

-Some people think it's better.

-Really? Who?

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Women, for example. They have a lot more freedom.

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-Do they?

-Yes.

-How is that possible?

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I have lots of freedom. I arrange everything that goes on at my villa.

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And I have 20 slaves working for me.

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Oh, really. You're very lucky.

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Yes, I am, aren't I?

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And I make all my own decisions.

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First thing in the 21st century, I'll visit the baths.

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It's very hot in here.

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-I'll need to freshen up. You don't mind, do you?

-No.

-Next stop,

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21st century. Mind the time gap.

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We're here. How splendid.

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-Is this the 21st century?

-It is.

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-We're in Bath.

-How exciting.

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-This isn't a bath. Surely this is some kind of street.

-It is.

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A street in Bath. Bath is the modern name for this city.

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In Roman times we knew it as Aquae Sulis.

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People named it after our baths.

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Really? Where are they? I can't see them anywhere.

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They're underground now. They're just round the corner.

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Thank goodness we've found them.

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-I love a bath. Don't you?

-Oh, yes.

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Perhaps some slaves could help me.

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I'll need my strigil to scrape off the dirt.

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And oils from the East, like the ones you sold me last week.

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-I do hope the baths haven't changed much.

-I think they probably have.

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And you won't find any slaves.

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People here don't have them.

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How very inconvenient. I thought you said

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-women had more freedom in the 21st century.

-They do.

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-So do the slaves.

-Oh.

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I suppose I could do without them.

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-Shall we go in?

-Please.

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-Rom, I can't have a bath in here.

-You wouldn't be allowed to.

-What?

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These baths are 2,000 years old.

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Tourist attraction now, visited by people from all over the world.

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-Oh. Don't people in the 21st century have baths?

-Yes, of course they do.

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Roman public baths were special.

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-Were they? And do modern people think so, too?

-Yes.

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Baths are a cross between a leisure centre and a health club and a pub.

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Just as popular with women as men.

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-Pity you can't have a bath. Have some water.

-Not if it's from there.

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No. Comes from the spring we Romans used, though.

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Cheers.

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Mmm.

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It's quite nice.

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I'm glad the water's still here.

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But I wonder how the baths got into such a state?

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Maybe my gadget could help.

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It's a jolly clever thing, isn't it?

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I hope it can tell us what happened.

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The goddess Minerva would be angry if she saw this mess.

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Before the Romans came to Britain, Bath was known for its water.

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Sick people swam here and prayed to Sulis, a Celtic goddess

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who they believed might cure them.

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When the Romans took over they had their own goddess, Minerva,

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who was also believed to have healing qualities.

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They built a temple for her right next to the baths.

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The Romans treasured their baths,

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but generations that came after them weren't so interested.

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Baths were buried and forgotten.

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In the 19th century they were rediscovered and repaired

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and people now come to see them.

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How could people let these baths be forgotten?

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-It must upset Minerva.

-It's amazing that there's so much of them left.

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The caldarium - a very hot bath.

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Tepidarium - a warm one.

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Frigidarium - freezing cold.

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Because we Romans had the hypocaust we could have hot water.

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A hypocaust? I don't think I've seen one of those.

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It's an underground heating system. We Romans used to build

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our floors on small columns.

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Warm air heated from a furnace was circulated around them.

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Anything above kept warm and cosy.

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We Romans are clever, aren't we?

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We certainly are. Maybe the goddess Minerva was clever enough

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to preserve these baths for the generations.

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-Where are we going now?

-I thought YOU made all the decisions.

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Perhaps we could visit a Roman villa. I think I'd like that.

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We might find one like mine - all lovely and newly decorated.

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-If only I could freshen up first.

-Ah.

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-There we are.

-Oh.

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-What's this?

-How they freshen up in the 21st century.

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Oh.

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How splendid.

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Thank you.

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-What are villas?

-Did all Romans have them?

-Were they in town or country?

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Rom, where have you brought me? All I can see are more ruins.

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I thought we were going to a villa.

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This is a villa -

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-Chedworth Villa in Gloucestershire.

-There's so little left.

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-Why don't 21st-century people look after their buildings?

-They do.

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This isn't one of their buildings.

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It's Roman. People from other generations didn't look after it.

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Modern people care about historic buildings, so we can visit this.

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Come on. I'll show you some more.

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But surely this can't have belonged to rich Romans.

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-Why not?

-Because it's so untidy.

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But it wasn't in Roman times. This has been under earth for centuries.

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They uncovered it 100 years ago.

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This man was digging in the woods. He uncovered signs of us Romans.

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Then archaeologists uncovered more.

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How can they tell it was Roman?

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-Well, they found evidence of a rich way of life.

-Where?

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I can't see it anywhere.

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Come on. The mosaiced bath house.

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The water shrine where they prayed.

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Farmland in every direction.

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All that is evidence of how this was once an impressive Roman villa.

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Look. This is the Chedworth dining room.

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Fantastic, isn't it? There's been some Roman hospitality in here.

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All those parties with food grown off the estate. Just picture it.

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But that's just it, Rom.

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I can't. Oh, I do wish

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people could see my villa.

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I could show them my dining room and tell them about my banquets.

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They'd love it, don't you think?

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-Yes, I'm sure they would.

-Hey! You could come and see my villa.

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We could travel back in time.

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Yes, we could. I thought you wanted to see more of the 21st century.

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I do, but I want to show you my villa first.

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And, after all, I am making the decisions today,

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aren't I?

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You certainly are.

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Here we are. This is my villa.

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Oh, it's truly wonderful. I think everyone should live in luxury,

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-don't you?

-Oh, yes. I'm sure they'd like to.

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Oh, isn't this courtyard splendid? And so fashionable.

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Just like they have in Rome.

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Come on. I can't wait to show you my frescos.

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This is my favourite room.

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-It's wonderful, isn't it?

-Yes. I like the paintings on the wall.

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They're not just paintings, Rom.

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They're frescos, the latest thing.

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The paint is made from plants,

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natural stones and animal dyes mixed with egg-whites to thicken them.

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-Delicious.

-You paint carefully onto wet plaster so they last longer.

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-What are Roman banquets like?

-Did wealthy Romans entertain?

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This is the life, isn't it?

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I love relaxing in this dining room, thinking about banquets we've held.

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My husband loves entertaining.

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We have guests most nights of the week. The food comes from the farm.

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I'm famous for my dinner parties. Perhaps you've heard of them.

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Yes. I heard about Sickius spending all night in the vomitarium.

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That wasn't at one of my dinner parties. My guests never overdo it.

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They drink a lot of wine, though.

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I know because I supply it. Comes from all parts of the Roman Empire.

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Yes, well, we have to buy some things

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like wine, olive oil, fish sauce.

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But most of the food my slaves prepare and serve

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is really very fresh indeed.

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Tonight we're having my favourite.

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Dormice cooked in honey,

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served with poppy seeds.

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Oh, lovely.

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My life is so luxurious.

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I can't possibly see how it could be any better in the 21st century.

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Yes, but you haven't really seen enough of the 21st century to know.

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Perhaps we could take a trip back there and visit another Roman site.

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Somewhere a bit more entertaining.

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Very well, Romola.

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Let's go.

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Rom...

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where have you brought me?

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It's very quiet. Are you sure this is somewhere entertaining?

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It certainly is.

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The best Roman amphitheatre in 21st-century Britain.

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-6,000 people once sat here.

-HE IMAGINES APPLAUSE

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Where's the audience now? And where's the entertainment?

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-Are there going to be gladiators? I love gladiators.

-There won't be any.

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-These people don't have them.

-Don't they?

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They find it too violent.

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-They don't like watching people being killed.

-Why not?

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It's very exciting.

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I absolutely love blood sports,

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especially a fight to the death between two brave gladiators.

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-What were gladiators?

-Were theatres used for any other entertainment?

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What entertainment can 21st-century people possibly have

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to compare with the gladiators?

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They have entertainments and celebrities.

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-They have stadiums. They're a bit like amphitheatres.

-Not like this.

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Where's it gone? It's grassed over and there are hardly any seats.

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There are Roman features. You just have to use your imagination.

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CROWD ROARS Rom,

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is any of our Roman entertainment still popular in the 21st century?

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People don't tend to like our blood sports these days.

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Some of them enjoy celebrating us. They dress up as Romans

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and put on special events and festivals. I'll show you.

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I run a company called Roman Tours.

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We put on a Roman Chester Festival.

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People come and experience

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the life of the Romans in Britain.

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It's full of everything about Romans - chariot races, gladiators,

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dancers and musicians, potters and craftspeople.

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We have three Roman legions

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to demonstrate a brief view

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of what life in Roman Britain was like.

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DECLAIMING IN LATIN

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The event's been hugely successful. It's become an annual event

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and it takes place over two days.

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Over the weekend, we usually see about 32,000 people taking part.

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We've been developing this fortress.

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We've used 68 ton of timber. It was built by six people in six days.

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Indicates how quickly the Roman army would have been able to make a fort.

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The Roman period has many aspects.

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People like to see a gladiatorial battle.

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To think people entered an arena

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and fought to the death, and the people cheered.

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It appeals to people today. They want to see the recreation.

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I'm so glad some people are still interested in gladiators. We Romans

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must've been braver than people now.

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I suppose we were, yeah. Romans are still popular in the 21st century.

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People still celebrate us and we haven't ruled Britain for years.

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What happened to us? Why did we stop ruling Britain?

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Where did we go?

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That, Romola, is a very good question.

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The Romans controlled Britain for 400 years but gave it up in 410 AD

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when their empire was being attacked by Barbarian enemies.

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The rulers and Roman army had to leave to fight elsewhere.

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Most ordinary citizens stayed.

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They lived off the land alongside other settlers

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when the Romans no longer ruled.

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-Now, this building does look Roman. Where are we now?

-This is

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-the Roman Legionary Museum.

-Smarter than the other buildings

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-we've seen.

-It is. It's not Roman.

-Isn't it?

-It's made to look Roman.

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It contains information about the Roman army.

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Well, it's been most entertaining visiting the 21st century.

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But I prefer Roman times.

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I couldn't do without slaves or not being able to see gladiators.

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-Life would be very different.

-Let's go back to the villa.

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-You don't mind, do you?

-Course not.

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After all, you are the decision maker.

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Educational programme for 7- to 11-year-olds. Rom the Roman introduces Romola the Roman Lady to the 21st century, visiting Roman sites at Bath, Chedworth and Caerleon. Together, they discover why these places are still popular in modern times.


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