|The British Museum at night|
I've just been to the British Museum's fab new exhibition called Life and Death in Herculaneum and Pompeii. [N.B. This show has now finished!] For the benefit of teachers, parents and kids, I thought I would highlight twelve of my favourite objects, ones you could try to spot when you visit the exhibition!
|famous plaster cast of a Roman dog|
|herm of Caecilius|
|Lupus paints a fresco in book #6|
|It's used for WHAT?!?|
|marble boy and dolphin fountain|
|another puteal from Herculaneum|
|oscilla in situ at Herculaneum|
|Bacchus & Vesuvius|
Roman Mysteries link: In The Twelve Tasks of Flavia Gemina, our heroine detectrix gets a visitation by Dionysus the god of wine. Always a bit dangerous!
IX. Skeleton mosaic - This black and white mosaic of a female skeleton (once a beautiful slave-girl?) holding wine jugs looks quite creepy and indeed it is. But it's a memento mori, a reminder that one day we will all be dead so we should eat, drink and be merry while we can. Roman Mysteries link: In The Sirens of Surrentum, my most romantic Roman Mystery, set one year after the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, a rich patron named Pollius Felix serves wine in silver cups decorated with skeletons to remind everyone that vita is brevis. You will learn about Stoics and Epicureans in this book. And also how to commit suicide with a sponge-on-a-stick. You can still visit the ruins of the remains of the fabulous seaside villa of Pollius Felix on the Capo di Sorrento.
|"Don't eat me!"|
|pouring plaster into man-shaped hole|
XII. Two books by me! Along with fun books like Dorkius Maximus and The Rotten Romans, you will find two of my Roman Mysteries in the children's bookshop at the end of the exhibition. Despite the "Famous Five-ish" cover, The Secrets of Vesuvius and The Pirates of Pompeii are full of accurate facts and they will transport you back to AD 79 so you can experience what children went through before – and after – the eruption of Vesuvius! You can also watch a BBC TV series based on the Roman Mysteries though it is not as accurate, and please visit my Facebook page where I post fun news about Ancient Romans regularly. Let me know YOUR favourite item in the exhibition by leaving me a comment below. And if you want to learn more about Roman kids or critters, read the summaries of two talks I gave in May: Animals in Herculaneum and Pompeii and Children in Herculaneum and Pompeii
Want more? See TEN MORE THINGS, including curator Paul Roberts' fave item.
And visit my Pinterest pages: Vesuvius, Roman Children and Roman Toilet Habits...
P.S. This show has now finished.
Caroline Lawrence is a graduate of UC Berkeley, Newnham College Cambridge, SOAS and UCL, but has the mentality of an 11-year-old thus making her eminently qualified to introduce kids aged 7+ to the world of Ancient Rome. Best of all, she teaches through stories: The Roman Mysteries, The Roman Mystery Scrolls and the new Roman Quests series, set in Roman Britain!