Report on the Dorchester Roman Day

From the Dorset Echo. I note that this is to be held every two years. Click link for two pictures.

By Dee Adcock

ROMANS marched through Dorchester to launch a two-day festival that captured life in the town nearly 2,000 years ago.

Shoppers and visitors watched in amazement as the re-enactment group
Legio II Augusta set out from Dorchester’s Roman Town House and through
the town centre to Maumbury Rings where they set up camp and welcomed
young recruits.

The town’s amphitheatre once again became the focus for Roman-style entertainment including marching and games.

Hungry Romans of all ages enjoyed a hog roast at the site.

The festival continued with workshops at Dorset County Museum where
children could try their hand at weaving and making Roman bullas –
lucky charms – and where renowned historical author Lindsey Davis gave
a talk about her popular Roman detective novels.

Attention was focused on the Roman Town House on Sunday for a Roman extravaganza.

The re-enactors staged living history displays to show domestic
skills in cooking, medicines, toys and midwifery as well as talking to
visitors about what life was like for soldiers, slaves and aristocrats
in Roman times.

The day also included storytelling, archaeology and advice on finds from a Portable Antiquities Scheme expert.

Mayor of Dorchester Kate Hebditch said: “What have the Romans ever done
for us? Well, they’re largely responsible for the shape of our town –
the Walks mark the line of the Roman walls. Their mosaics have been
found all over Dorchester and visitors come from far afield to see the
Roman Town House.

She added that she was delighted to welcome the Romans back to Dorchester.

The festival featured Roman music and walks tracing Dorchester in the days when it was known as Durnovaria.

Dorchester’s Roman Festival was funded by the Lottery Awards for All
and supported by West Dorset District Council, Dorset County Council,
Dorchester Town Council, the Dorchester joint heritage Committee and
Dorset County Museum.

The organisers plan to develop it into a major Roman weekend event in the town every two years

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