Chichester Roman Week Returns

The award-winning Chichester Roman Week is back this May half term. Celebrating Chichester’s vibrant Roman history,   the week features a packed programme of district-wide events, including ‘Romans at the Museum’, which will take place at The Novium Museum on Wednesday 29 May.

Led by The Novium Museum, Chichester Roman Week takes place every May half term and offers a diverse and engaging range of events and activities across the city and surrounding areas, designed to engage visitors of all ages. This year’s Roman Week will run from Monday 27 May to Saturday 1 June.

Chichester was first established as Noviomagnus Reginorum, which translates to ‘New market of the proud people’, after the Roman invasion in AD43. The Roman legacy can be found across the city, including magnificent features such as the Roman walls surrounding the city and the Roman bath house located in The Novium Museum.

The highlight event of the week welcomes leading re-enactment group Legio Secunda Augusta back to Chichester for a ’Romans at the Museum’ day on Wednesday 29 May. Taking place at The Novium Museum, the event will bring the Roman period to life with everything from gladiators in combat, to Roman soldiers in action. Other demonstrations will cover aspects of civilian life including home life, slavery and religion. This immersive event will be free to attend, with donations welcome.

Some special new events have been added to this year’s Roman Week, including an interactive storytelling workshop with Chris North, of ‘Freedom Through Fun’. Recommended for children aged 5 to 10 years, children will creatively explore what life was like for both Romans and Celts. Using drama, fabrics, musical instruments, artefacts, imagination and fun, participants will be enabled to lift history off the page and immerse themselves in a different and memorable world.

Also new to this year’s programme is a unique Roman poetry and music evening, overlooking Chichester’s Roman bath house. In collaboration with South Downs Poetry Festival and with thanks to guidance from Armand D’Angour — Professor of Classics at Jesus College, Oxford — a recital of the famous lyric odes by Horace will transport visitors to ancient Rome. Guest poet Timothy Adès will be reading his own translations from Horace and other poets, overlooking the splendid Roman bath house.

Visitors will also be able to experience two mosaic workshops — one for children, and one for adults. Children can create their own ‘mosaic masterpiece’ using air drying clay, while adults will use paper instead of tiles to create a traditional Roman-style mosaic.

Councillor Jess Brown-Fuller, Cabinet Member for Culture and Events at Chichester District Council, says: “Roman Week is an established highlight in the district’s events calendar, and we are so pleased to be able to bring such a fantastic range of events to Chichester again this May.

“Our interactive re-enactment event has been extremely popular and a real crowd-pleaser in previous years. This year will see an exciting new take on the event, with Legio Secunda Augusta taking over The Novium Museum for the day — this event is sure to be a hit for all ages!”

Fishbourne Roman Palace, Butser Ancient Farm, Pallant House Gallery and Chichester Cinema at New Park will also be running events throughout the week.

A full programme of events is available on The Novium Museum’s website: www.thenovium.org/romanweek

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