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Roman Festival 2009

Event, York, North Yorkshire

The city of York was founded and named Eboracum in the year 71 AD by the Romans. They made it the capital of their Province of Britannia Inferior. The famous IX Legion was based here and it is therefore fitting that York today hosts a Roman Festival. The festival aims to celebrate the rich Roman history of the city, at the same time entertain and educate both visitors to the York, as well as local people.

York played a distinguished role in Roman history, as the entire Roman Empire was governed from here by Septimius Severus.

During the Roman period other influential historical figures, such as Constantine the Great, became associated with the city, there is a statue dedicated to him outside York Minster's main entrance.

The main camp of the Roman Festival was in the Museum Gardens, where those taking part were entertaining visitors with demonstrations of ancient methods of wood turning, cooking and pottery, plus historical narrations of York's Roman past.

Special guests included author Ben Kane, who gave a talk on the famous forgotten IX legion. Plus in attendance and presenting prizes to the children were the Lord Mayor (Councillor John Galvin) and Lady Mayoress of York (Val Galvin). Supporting them were Sheriff of York Hon Alderman David Wilde and the Sheriff's Lady, Mrs Annebel Wilde.

The festival included parades through the city and a March through Deans Park to the rear of York Minster, battle drills and re-enactments too.

At the far end of the Museum Garden, Celts demonstrated a combat training session with swords and axes, preparation no doubt for an uprising against the Roman forces.

Even the 'City Screen' cinema became involved with a showing of Spartacus. And in the undercroft of the York Minster, re-enactors gave lectures and entertained visitors.

A right Roman turn out indeed. I couldn't help but notice a lady and her husband thoroughly enjoying the event, they told me they were on holiday from Japan. It reminded me of the travel shows presented on TV where we examine foreign culture. This for them was definitely a trip down the road of British culture - timing being everything.

The York Festival official website includes information about the festival and a brief history of Roman history in York. There is also information about the Roman involvement with York to be found on the Wikipedia.

York's tourist information centre also has information of visitor attractions and historical objects around the city with a Roman connection.

Roman Festival Website: http://www.yorkromanfestival.com/

Constantine Statue: http://www.pureyorkshire.co.uk/yorkshire/listings/l0026.shtml

Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/York

 

 

 

 

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