Colchester Archaeology Talks: Roman Life – Chariot Racing

Chariot racing was the greatest spectator sport of the Roman period. With its racing teams, star drivers and celebrity horses, it provided sports fans with all the elements necessary to engage and excite. The fanatical support of a team colour is just of the legacies. Emperors also came to realise that the races served a political role – especially in Rome. The provision of games kept the populace ‘on side’, acting as a safety valve on social unrest.

BUY TICKETS HERE for Richard’s online talk at 7.30pm, Thursday 25 March 2021.

The ‘Roman Life’ series of talks from Richard Bale explores different aspects of living in Roman times using archaeological and historical evidence. Each talk seeks to reveal the hows and whys of a topic, so that we can understand both the similarities and differences with our Roman ancestors.

Colchester Archaeology Talks: Roman Life – Gladiators

Romans both admired and despised those who were unfortunate enough to become gladiators. Despite being considered to be at the lowest level of society, images of gladiators were used decoratively in homes and mementoes were produced of favourite fighters e.g. the Colchester Vase. This talk will explore what it meant to be a gladiator, their training, and the dichotomy around this briefest of career paths.

BUY TICKETS HERE for Richard’s online talk at 7.30pm, Thursday 25 February 2021.

The ‘Roman Life’ series of talks from Richard Bale explores different aspects of living in Roman times using archaeological and historical evidence. Each talk seeks to reveal the hows and whys of a topic, so that we can understand both the similarities and differences with our Roman ancestors.

Colchester Archaeology Talks: Searching for the Colosseum’s backstage team

They called it the Flavian Amphitheatre. We call it the Colosseum. In 80AD the largest amphitheatre in the Roman Empire was inaugurated with 100 days of Games. But the Games didn’t just happen. They were made. The backstage team of the Colosseum are never mentioned, yet a 50-70,000 seat amphitheatre could not possibly have staged Games on the scale we read about in historical sources without a large and complex team behind the scenes. How does an author of historical fiction go about recreating the invisible team at the heart of the most famous building left to us by Imperial Rome?

Join us online for a fundraising talk in aid of the Colchester Archaeological Trust with Melissa Addey, author of From the Ashes, first in a new series of four novels focused on the backstage team of the Colosseum. From initial ideas and research trips through to working with experts in the era to perfect minor details, as well as the reasons behind her fictional choices, Melissa will explore the history behind the storytelling. All ticket proceeds go to supporting the Colchester Archaeological Trust.

BUY TICKETS HERE for Melissa’s online talk at 7.30pm, Thursday 15 April 2021.

The money raised from this series of talks will allow the Trust to develop future self-sustaining income streams to support its valuable work.

From the Ashes is the first book in the Colosseum series, a quartet of novels following the fictional backstage team of the Flavian Amphitheatre facing dangers and rewards through the elements of fire, water, earth and air. It is available as an eBook and in paperback via Amazon, CLICK HERE.

Melissa Addey has a PhD in Creative Writing and was the Leverhulme Trust Writer in Residence at the British Library. She writes historical fiction set in 11th century Morocco, 18th century China and 1st century Rome. She lives in London with her husband and two children. CLICK HERE to read more about Melissa and explore her books,