In a bid to raise awareness for Colchester's Roman Circus restoration appeal, local school children were invited to enter a competition to either write a mini saga in 50 words, or design a new version of Colchester's famous chariot beaker. (right)
Here are the great winning entries of the mini sagas:
(remember, only 50 words allowed!)
A Day out at the Circus by Ceri A, Gosbecks Primary (1st)
The wind was rushing past my face as my snow white horses galloped at light speed. I could hear the chants of the crowd. I could smell fear in the air. I looked up, the finishing line was so close I could almost touch it. There it is! Yes! Winner!
A Day out at the Circus by Joseph K, St. Teresa’s Primary (2nd)
I’m in Camulodunum. My bones shaking, waiting for the start of the race. I could smell the blood of the previously unlucky charioteers. The quadrigas were off. Already I was needed, I ran forwards, hoping not to get hit, as the crowd shouted, “NAUFRAGIUM”. I picked up the unconscious slave.
A Day out at the Circus by Jessica A, Highwoods Primary (3rd)
I Augustus of Gaul, great chariot racer took part in todays race. The emperor was giving a gold laurel wreath to the winner. My horses flew into the lead leaving my wrecked enemies in pieces. As I received my prize the crowd cheered me on as if I was a god.
A Day out at the Circus by James T, St. Teresa’s Primary (Runner up)
I waited for the race to start. I could feel the tension rising. My hooves were raring to go. The fans’ cheers could be heard all across the track. The race started, my mane flew back. The sand spiralled away into the distance. I had won and was basking in glory.
And here are the winning beaker designs:
My fave is Jasmine's (detail below) for its bold lines, grinning and shocked gladiators (yes, gladiators sometimes battled in the Roman circus) and the wonderful metae (turning posts) found at either end of the spina. I also love that although Jasmine really looked hard at the beaker, Crescens becomes Creschav! lol. Well done, Jasmine! Well done, one and all!
For an exciting story that puts you right in the middle of the world of Roman chariot racing -- and tells you what naufragium means -- get The Charioteer from Delphi. Don't take my word for it. Read Juliette's review on Pop Classics Blog!