Life in the Roman World

Roman Leicester (Ratae Corieltavorum) is one of the most excavated urban centres in Britain and archaeological evidence shows us that it was a vibrant multicultural centre from its earliest phases. This website provides a wealth of resources, activities and information which examine the nature of everyday life in Ratae and the wider Roman world, focusing on the experiences and responses of ordinary people over four centuries of Roman rule. It is inspired by recent archaeological discoveries in Leicester carried out by University of Leicester Archaeological Services (ULAS) and is informed by the research of the School of Archaeology and Ancient History (SAAH), University of Leicester.

We are grateful to Leicester Creative Business Depot, the Friends of the Jewry Wall Museum, Leicestershire Archaeological and Historical Society and Classics for All for their support.

Build like a Roman

Roman Leicester’s inhabitants lived in a wide variety of houses. Create your own Roman house in Minecraft or Lego, or draw or paint a house. For inspiration, have a look at examples on our information sheets.

Baking with the Romans

This online class is tailored for young apprentice pistores trying their hands at Roman baking for the very first time! Find out about bread and bakeries in ancient Rome, and then learn how to make a 2,000-year old Roman bread recipe as described by Cato the Elder.

Roman soap sculpture

Creating a stone sculpture is expensive and takes a lot of time, space and skill to produce. Learn how to create a Roman sculpture out of a bar of soap.

Weaving the past

Today, most of our clothing is knitted but in the Roman period all clothing was woven. Learn how to weave with a paper plate.

Putting your stamp on it

In the Roman period, using a stamp with your name, your initials or a special image (maybe a picture of your face) was an easy way to mark your belongings as your own. Learn how to make a stamp and paint out of root vegetables and garden plants.

Curse like a Roman!

Has someone annoyed you recently? Or stolen something? Perhaps they’ve eaten the last biscuit or broken a favourite possession. Why not get revenge the Roman way and curse them!

Keeping the town entertained!

Romans loved to be entertained, whether it was gladiatorial combat, chariot races, athletics, public speeches and spectacles or theatre. Learn how to make your own Roman theatre mask and learn how to play ancient Roman board games.

A soldier of Rome

Did you know that the earliest known person to have lived, that we know by name, was a Roman soldier? Find out more about the fascinating life of Marcus Ulpius Novantico and have a go designing and making your own Roman shield.

Mucking about with mosaics!

Some of the best examples of art in Roman Britain are the mosaics which floor villas, townhouses and public buildings. Find out more about Leicester’s Roman mosaics and have a go designing and making your own.

Dress to impress – The Toga

The toga is the garment we most associate with the Romans. It was worn on civic occasions by every male citizen from Marcus the retired centurion in Leicester to the emperor in Rome. Find out how to make your own toga and how to wear it correctly.

Get new content delivered directly to your inbox.