Remembering the Romans – the day we took over the Ashmolean

On 22nd November, we were in our element, as organisers of the all-day event ‘Remembering the Romans’ at the Ashmolean Museum. The day was designed to celebrate the installation of new Latin inscriptions around the museum, including a new, hand-painted columbarium in the Reading and Writing Gallery (photos of the new installations to follow soon!).

Visitors were offered a series of free activities, including tours with Alison Cooley, workshops on how to read a Roman tombstone with Janie Masséglia, lectures from Keeper of Antiquities Paul Roberts, and Roman object-handling with Hannah Cornwell. The AshLI team members were all helped by postgraduates from Warwick and Oxford Universities, who all showed their dedication to their subject by wearing Roman costume.

Colleagues from the Ashmolean Education department ran a craft session involving inscription-writing attended by more than 200 children, Helen Ackers guided groups around the Roman portraits in the Cast Gallery, and professional Living History expert Tanya Bentham offered Roman story-telling and costume demonstrations. Young actors from Gruffdog Theatre’s production of Julius Caesar also dropped in to give a lunchtime performance in the grand setting of the Randolph Gallery. At the end of a very busy day, with each activity being repeated several times, the museum estimated that around 1500 people had taken part directly in the day’s events.



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