Roman Baths Museum
Resources for teachers of Latin, Classical Civilisation and Archaeology in secondary schools:
interpreting original source material to understand more about the people who lived in the Roman town of Aquae Sulis.
Roman inscriptions followed set patterns, and this makes them easy to interpret if a few basic rules are observed. The native Britons did not let the fact that they were written in Latin deter them from taking up careers as stone-masons and you can find at least 3 spelling mistakes if you look carefully at the inscriptions!
The videos and two Decoding leaflets enable ALL students to feel confident about translating Roman inscriptions, whether they and their teachers know any Latin or not
- but -
ALL inscriptions are translated for ease of reference.
Index of available resources
N.B. These are draft resources and they will be re-formatted by the Roman Baths museum Education staff for inclusion on the museum's website, so fonts and colours etc will change and the two 'How to ..' decoding leaflets will actually fold into three sections neatly! The two videoclips will be re-done to look more professional.
Web Pages, some including video clips
Religious inscriptions - a web page including explanatory video, with notes to help students to understand the types of religious inscriptions in the museum.
Tombstones - a web page including explanatory video, with notes to help students to understand the inscriptions in the museum, so that they can begin to work out what the people commemorated here wanted future generations to remember about them.
Public information, Publicity and Propaganda - a web page illustrating why people wanted to leave specific kinds of written material at the Baths. It includes building inscriptions, advertising material and personal artefacts.
Powerpoints to use in introductory and plenary lessons
Romanisation and Aquae Sulis Part 1 and Romanisation and Aquae Sulis Part 2- a two-part powerpoint presentation to download, illustrating the fusion of Roman and Celtic culture as represented by artefacts in the museum. Part 1 concentrates on Sulis Minerva and Part 2 on the other gods and goddesses worshipped at Aquae Sulis.
Society and individuals at Aquae Sulis 1 - the first of two powerpoint presentations to download, illustrating the reality of Romano-British society as represented by artefacts in the museum, and getting to know some of the inhabitants of Roman Bath. This builds on some of the ideas in the 'Romanisation' presentation and deals with citizenship, multiculturalism, slavery and the position of women.
Society and individuals at Aquae Sulis 2 - a powerpoint presentation to use in a plenary session after students have watched the videos on the web-pages and completed the individual tombstones and religious stones worksheets with the aid of the two Decoding leaflets (see below). This enables students to extract information from primary source material, to analyse it and to draw conclusions from it.
Curse tablets - a powerpoint presentation to download, illustrating some of the curse-tablets to be seen in the museum and showing how these can be translated.
"How To ..." leaflets - printing these on different coloured card or paper will distinguish between the two different Decoders.
How to Decode religious inscriptions - a double-sided .pdf document designed to be printed for students to use both in the museum and as introductory / follow-up work with the worksheets, web pages and 'Society' powerpoints. Its use is explained in the video clip on the web-page.
How to Decode tombstone inscriptions - a double-sided .pdf document designed to be printed for students to use both in the museum and as introductory / follow-up work with the worksheets, web pages and 'Society' powerpoints. Its use is explained in the video clip on the web-page.
Worksheets and Teacher Reference material
Suggestions for using these resources - a pdf document with suggestions for how this material can be incorporated into teachers' Schemes of Work.
Translations - a pdf document giving all translations and transliterations (except for the Curses, since translations are included in the Curses powerpoint).
Worksheets for all Powerpoints . These are pdf versions of all the worksheets used in the powerpoints.
Worksheets for interpreting religious inscriptions . These are designed for all students, whether they know any Latin or not. Students can research possible solutions on the webpage, using the decoding leaflets (and possibly the Translations sheet). This can be set as a homework task.
Worksheets for interpreting tombstone inscriptions . These are designed for all students, whether they know any Latin or not. Students can research possible solutions on the webpage, using the decoding leaflets (and possibly the Translations sheet). This can be set as a homework task.
Line Drawings - a powerpoint presentation with line-drawings of the inscriptions and some carvings.
Link to Pyrrha website
Original video for original tombstone decoder can be seen here
Original video of tombstone workshop from the video 'Roman Writing Unravelled' can be seen here.