Slave, anyone?

Currently in the very lovely and lively York, and by a stroke of luck it’s their Roman Weekend.  By a further bizarre coincidence the only person I know in the whole city was walking out of my Bed and Breakfast just as I left to go exploring this afternoon. Hello Sandra!

This evening’s drinks in the Black Lion were being served by slaves, following an auction in which the reluctant and chilly bunch below were sold to the highest bidders. The auctioneer was careful to check that they all had their own teeth: it was clear that even at the rock-bottom prices he offered, nobody wanted a sickly slave.

Slaves waiting to be auctioned

It’s that time of year again

The Whitehall Villa dig is under way in Northamptonshire, where the erudite and entertaining Jeremy Cooper will be recording events in his now-traditional blog. I’m looking forward to joining the usual suspects in the mud.

Meanwhile if you’re near the Lakes, this is the time to drop in on the Senhouse Museum at Maryport, where they’re at last digging up more of the Roman fort. Maryport is where Victorian farm workers found several altars so perfect that they looked as though they had been buried yesterday.  Details of how to see the latest finds are here.

And finally, a solution to the common problem of not being able to get the staff these days. Pop up to York this Saturday for the slave auction – part of their Roman Weekend.

This was Deva

Photos of the fabulous Roman Weekend in Chester are over on the Facebook page, but here’s one to give you the idea…

Gladiatrix defeating condemned prisoner


Roman Tours, who organised the event, would love to build a Roman marching fort – and they may be one step nearer to it very soon. They’ve been chosen by Barclays as finalists in the ‘Take one small step’ competition for grant money. You can see their entry – and vote for it – here:   Or just text ‘ROMAN’ to 62555. Even better, do both.