Rotten Romans computer game

Worth Playing

The Horrible Histories brand is an internationally bestselling series of history books for children, with more than 20 million copies sold worldwide since 1993. Author Terry Deary and illustrator Martin Brown have brought the past to life for millions of children in an uniquely entertaining way. The computer game version of their Ruthless Romans book will provide whole families with a fun way to learn about Roman history.

The main plot of Horrible Histories: Ruthless Romans follows the struggle of young Rassimus to achieve glory as a gladiator and obtain his freedom. Rassimus, a slave and an ambitious gladiator-in-training, has been raised as a foundling by the great gladiator trainer Lucius Gladius, and spent nearly 12 years in his service. Lucius has now given him a chance to begin his training, and Rassimus hopes that he will be successful and one day become a citizen of Rome.

Horrible Histories: Ruthless Romans is an entertaining and easily accessible adventure game on PC and Nintendo DS, and offers this fun even for up to 4 players on Wii. A total of over 30 mini games are available for aspiring gladiators. These and all quests are playable in any order. The in-game tutorial and a diary that provides useful information throughout the game make Horrible Histories: Ruthless Romans suitable for children, parents and teenagers. The title will be released in the second quarter of this year.

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More lingua Latina rediviva stuff

This rehearses the well-worn arguments, so just the headline as a link:

Veni, vidi, vici: College-bound students are conquering Latin

More about that film being made in Scotland, Centurion

Press and Journal

Highlanders dress part to play extras in movie Centurion
Actors Roman in the gloamin

By Nichola Rutherford and Johnny Muir

Published: 12/03/2009

When almost 200 armoured men marched through a Highland estate wielding spears and carrying shields, onlookers would have been forgiven for thinking: “The Romans are coming”.

But the dozens of local men spotted braving rain and snow on the Glenfeshie Estate this week had good reason for dressing as Roman soldiers – they were extras in the new movie, Centurion.

Men from across the Highlands and Moray volunteered to take part in the movie, ensuring they would spend their 13-hour day working alongside Bond girl Olga Kurylenko.

Filming in the Highlands began last month and the local extras played their part during a day’s filming on Tuesday.

It is understood their efforts will amount to little more than seven minutes of the film, which is set during the Roman invasion of Britain and tells the story of Quintus Dias, the sole survivor of a raid on a Roman fort.

Newcastle-born writer-director Neil Marshall is among a team now working on the film’s special effects, which include increasing the numbers of Roman soldiers to appear like many thousands.

Ukranian Kurylenko, who appeared in Quantum of Solace, plays Gorlacon, a Pictish Queen who leads the rout of the Roman legion. The film is expected to be released late this year or in early 2010.

Meanwhile, Inverness Castle, the hills above Loch Ness at Dores and swing bridges over the Caledonian Canal could all feature in a Bollywood movie due to be shot in the Highland capital next month.

Filming of the psychological thriller Purple Lake – based on Loch Ness – had been due to begin on Saturday but the start date has now been put back until the end of March.

Sue Bellarby, a UK-based locations manager for Indian film company ASA Productions and Enterprises, said Inverness and the Highlands would provide the movie’s backdrop during a month of filming.

She has scouted a multitude of locations which could feature in the movie, including Falcon Square, Inverness Castle, Midmills College, the city’s Red Cross building, the River Ness, the Town House and swing bridges over the Caledonian Canal.

The hills and moorland overlooking the east bank of Loch Ness could also be used to create an “eerie winter feel”. Woodland close to Inverness may also be used, while shooting could take place inside a city home.

Ms Bellarby said: “For the size of the city in relation to a lot of other places, Inverness has everything.

“It has everything you could possibly want – shops, a theatre, lots of facilities, but it is only 10 minutes away from some of the most stunning countryside on the planet.”

Ms Bellarby said the film could also give the Highland economy a lift, with the movie’s cast due to stay in the Kingsmill and Thistle hotels during filming.

It is also hoped that after the film’s release, which is due to be this year, visitors will want to come to Inverness and the Highlands to explore some of the sights featured in the movie.

The film’s start date has been put back because of difficulties in bringing Indian actors to Scotland.

Roman cleaners take to the streets of Thanet for Comic Relief

This is Kent

THEY may not have a hundred men working for them, but groundkeepers at the isle’s parks and public spaces will be dressed as centurions on Friday (March 13).

Grounds maintenance staff will be dressing up as Romans and carrying buckets to raise money for Comic Relief.

The team raised £850 for last year’s appeal and are hoping to better that this time around.

Deputy Chief Executive John Bunnett said: “Our grounds maintenance team not only do a superb job of maintaining our parks and open spaces, but they also do an excellent job of raising money for good causes.

“They put so much effort into finding unusual ways to get people to put their hands in their pockets for good causes, so if you see any Romans out on the streets of Thanet on Red Nose Day, please be sure to give generously. Hopefully, if everyone digs deep, then the team can raise a really good amount of money for Comic Relief.”

Mansions In Pompeii

Science Daily

Mansions In Pompeii: Ideal Measurements Of A Pre-Roman Model

ScienceDaily (Mar. 11, 2009) — Metrological analysis of ancient houses reveals the use of standard models that were ingeniously adapted to suit individual situations.

Pre-Roman atrium houses exhibited a striking number of similarities as part of a long Italic building tradition. Dutch researcher Noor van Krimpen analysed the measurements of primary mansions in Pompeii. As buildings were constructed according to a standard model, the adaptations to that model, required by the economical, practical and social demands of any particular project, provide a lot of information about the social significance of the houses of Pompeii’s elite.

Noor van Krimpen has added a new weapon to the archaeologist’s arsenal; the metrological analysis. This was already used to find out more about the design aspects of historical constructions. Van Krimpen, however, has now also used the method to add to our knowledge of the social significance of the houses of Pompeii’s elite. The main advantage of using metrological analysis is that it does not require further excavations and so the remains are kept intact.

The ideal measurements

The elite in Pompeii had architects to design their houses. Van Krimpen has demonstrated that these architects worked according to geometric figures and proportions, expressed in arithmetic approximations, a well-known tradition of classical mathematics. This resulted in a number of standard sets of ratios that were used by architects in the design of houses.

Despite the fact that the atrium houses in Pompeii show a high degree of homogeneity – all having been splendidly built around a so-called atrium, an inner courtyard with or without a roof – the architect’s skill and clients personal wishes ensured that each house retained an original character.

Dress to impress

Van Krimpen used a metrological analysis to establish what the original design must have been before subsequently examining how the houses were adapted to the particular circumstances. The adaptations revealed how a client exerted his influence on a design and how each situation required a unique solution. The primary mansions were mainly intended to receive friends and other notable persons and so had to be designed accordingly.

The Pompeii elite tried to maintain the illusion of a perfect home. The central symmetry was not solely maintained by juggling with the dimensions of the rooms. Van Krimpen even demonstrated how two neighbours had cooperated to outdo a third neighbour, one of the richest men in the city. They let their two houses be built behind a single facade so that their property appeared to be as big as that of their neighbour.

Van Krimpen investigated 18 primary mansions from Pompeii. Her research formed part of the broader project RUSPA (Ricerche Urbanistiche Su Pompei Antica) and was funded by NWO.
Adapted from materials provided by NWO (Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research).