17th August 2012

HAIL, GLADIATOR!  BECOME A ROMAN AT WROXETER ROMAN CITY There’s no better way of learning about history than actually stepping into it – and that is precisely what visitors can do this summer at Wroxeter Roman City, near Shrewsbury. Every Tuesday and Wednesday from 31 July to 22 August, they are invited to come and join the Roman army or try their hand at gladiatorial combat as English Heritage’s Time Travellers Go... Roman!

Titus the Centurion and his Optio (second in command) Valens will be recruiting soldiers to join history’s most impressive army as part of Wroxeter Roman City’s summer of interactive fun, learning about the strategy, offensive and defensive combat techniques that made the Romans such a powerful military force.  Working as part of a team practising the tortoise formation, or honing their skills with sword or shield against the ‘pylof’, a stout wooden post driven into the ground that was used as a mock enemy!

Each day, parents and children alike will be invited to participate in a recreation of a gladiatorial combat event.  With the audience taking the roles of everyone, from the Roman Emperor himself to the lions and tigers that are released into the arena, visitors will get a taste of life at the Coliseum and a better understanding of how these major spectacles played an important part in Roman society.

“Gladiatorial combat was an event that would last all day, and which would be attended by citizens from every walk of life, from political leaders to humble traders – if you had the vote, you could come along,” explains English Heritage’s events manager, Charlie Evans.  “They would start in the morning with a procession into the amphitheatre, and then would follow round after round of fighting involving soldiers, slaves and animals - from lions to flamingos!”

Even younger children will be able to play a role in the arena event, donning foam helmets and taking up foam swords in a modern nod to ‘dwarf fighting’ which was used as an entertaining interlude by the Romans between more serious bouts!

The Time Travellers Go... Romans runs from 11.00am to 5.00pm each day, with Wroxeter Roman City itself, including the newly-furnished Roman Town House, open daily from 10.00am to 5.00pm.  Admission prices are £5.00 for adults, £4.50 for concessions and £3.00 for children, with a family ticket (two adults and up to three children) available for £13.00.  There is an additional £1 charge per child (member and non-member) to help fund the Time Travellers activities.

For further details, please visit or call 01743 761330.