Learning Classics is a bit like putting on a magic pair of 3-D glasses. Once you start delving into the language and the culture, you'll start to see it all around you. This blog is a record of the club's journey through the worlds and language of ancient Rome and Greece... and through modern times, too, searching for the influence of classics all around us. You'll also be able to find vocab, home tasks, links and generally enlightening info here, too.

05 July 2015

Going underground

The outline of the amphitheatre
sub arbores cenabamus
What perfect weather for our trip to see some hidden archaeological gems in the City of London. First things first: a picnic in leafy Finsbury Circus before the short walk to the Guildhall. The Guildhall, home since the thirteenth century of the Mayor and various bodies of tradesmen ('guilds'), was built on the site of the
old Roman amphitheatre, the outline of which is marked in the courtyard pavement (above). But the real treat lies below ground, where sections of the Roman amphitheatre can be seen, along with a modern reconstruction of what the terraces would have looked like. 2,000 years ago, the amphitheatre was the site of gladiatorial combats, wild animal fights and public executions, and the stands could hold a large proportion of the city's inhabitants: the gory goings-on were evidently popular!

Into the unknown
The next part of our archaeological trail was a little more... maverick. I'd read about a massive, well-preserved piece of the Roman city wall. It just happened to be in an unnamed underground car park. Undaunted, we set out along London Wall (guess why the road has that name!) to find the entrance to the mysterious car park. And find it we did. As we walked through the long, blissfully cool underground passage, we saw cars, bikes, more cars, more bikes... but no sign of any Roman wall. Until, right at the end of the car park, standing out like a sore thumb, there it was. 2,000 years old, with a car park built around it. This just goes to show that you never know what's right under your feet.
tandem murem invenimus!