The Roman Society

Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies

1910-2010 Centenary Celebrations

The Roman Society celebrated its centenary in 2010 with a full programme of events (including conferences, lectures, museum visits and a trip to Rome), the launch of two projects (the digitisation of the Society's slide collection (IMAGO) and a new Roman World website for schools) and the award of dissertation prizes and museum bursaries.

The Society was also delighted to be associated with many of the events to mark the AD410 anniversary, including the conference AD410 Debating the End, hosted by the British Museum and a number of regional Roman Archaeology Conferences in different parts of the country.

The events were organised by a Centenary Committee

  • Mr G.E.A. Kentfield (Chair)
  • Dr V. Arena
  • Dr A Burnett
  • Dr F.K. Haarer
  • Mrs E. Matthews
  • Dr S. Moorhead

A number of others also helped to co-ordinate events, and we especially would like to thank:

  • Professor B.C. Burnham
  • Dr K. Gilliver
  • Dr L.H.C. Grig
  • Dr P. Guest
  • Mr S.C. Hunt



The Society holds an extensive collection of over 5,000 slides of buildings, monuments, mosaics and sculptures from across the Roman world - from the Antonine Wall in the west to Palmyra in the east, and from the Republic to Late Antiquity. These slides have been donated over many years and they can be borrowed by members of the Society to support teaching in schools and universities. However, slides are seen as somewhat ‘old-fashioned’ in the 21st century and recent years have witnessed a decline in donations and lending requests. Therefore, to commemorate the Roman Society's centenary, and to provide a fitting legacy for the next 100 years, the Society plans to digitise its slide collection and make this comprehensive and extremely useful resource available via the new website. Members will be able to search for images of Roman monuments and antiquities based on location, type or date, which can then be downloaded in a variety of resolutions and formats. The aim is to launch the image bank at the official centenary celebrations in June 2010, by which time we should have found a more memorable name to represent the Roman Society’s slide collection in the digital age (suggestions welcome!).

Dr Peter Guest
Chair, Archaeology Committee

See the digitised images on IMAGO


BA Archaeology Dissertation Prize

The Roman Society is pleased to announce that the winner of the Centenary Prize for the best undergraduate dissertation in the field of Roman Archaeology submitted in 2008/9, is Rebecca Blackburn from the University of Reading.

Rebecca's dissertation, Grooming in Roman Britain: a study of the Cyathiscomele from Silchester, examined the mainly unpublished medical or cosmetic spoons recovered during the Society of Antiquaries' excavations on the site of Calleva Atrebatum between 1890 to 1909 and currently in Reading Museum. The spoons are drawn, classified and arranged into a dated typological sequence, while Rebecca's analysis explores the spatial and social distribution of these instruments at Silchester. The judges felt that Rebecca produced an extremely interesting and valuable piece of work and the Archaeology Committee congratulates her on her achievement. The Sociey's President, Dr Andrew Burnett, presented Rebecca with her prizes (a cheque for £250 and a year's subscription to Britannia) during the opening ceremony of the eleventh Roman Archaeology Conference hosted by the University of Oxford in March 2010.

Click here to see the abstract for Rebecca's dissertation.

PGCE Research Paper Prizes

The Roman Society was delighted to award two prizes. The winners were:

Jay Weeks (Cambridge): Primary School Latin: an evaluation of the methods and motivations for the teaching and learning of Minimus

Eleanor Nicholl (KCL): Differentiation strategies for teaching a new Latin grammar point to a mixed ability class

Centenary Poem

Celebratory verses presented to the Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies on the occasion of their centenary by the Society for the Promotion of Hellenic Studies

Composed by Armand D’Angour, English by Colin Sydenham

Arma si magni celebras Maronis,

nec minus nugas lepidas Catulli,

seu tibi carmen placet expolitum

vatis Horati,

si parum cauti recitas Petroni

fabulas, cenamque Trimalchionis,

sive quos acres Juvenalis atrox

iactat iambos,

Livius si quos Tacitusve mordax

fi ngit annales Italos recordans,

Tullii seu tu petis eloquentis

discere dicta,

sculpta seu priscae monumenta Romae

pertinax quaeris tabulasque pictas,

sive rimaris foliis refertam


huc veni, lector, studiis Latinis

maxime aut forsan modice peritus:

ecce, Romanos licet hic abunde

visere libros;

pande thesaurum, veterisque turbae

conscius gaude socius vocari,

quae per aetatem deciens bilustrem

munera tendit.

Sapphicis olim numeris renatum

saeculum Romae cecinit poeta,

Helladis sic vos Socii renatos


If Virgil’s epic, or Catullus’s

seductive pleasantries are what you praise,

or Horace’s exquisite skill to craft

the jewelled phrase;

if brash Petronius and Trimalchio’s

epicurean orgy suit your taste,

or the indignant barbs of Juvenal

with poison laced;

or if to Livy or sharp Tacitus

in search of Roman history you go,

or for the arts of eloquence you turn

to Cicero;

if sculpted monuments from Roman times

and frescoed villa-walls attract your gaze;

if bookishly you scour the library’s

well-furnished bays;

come hither, reader, of whatever grade,

expertly or more moderately skilled,

by Roman texts in plenty here your needs

shall be fulfi lled;

unveil the treasure, and rejoice to be

a member of a long-respected band,

whose life of service now a hundred years

has proudly spanned.

To greet renewed Roman society

a Sapphic song was once the poet’s choice:

To your renewal we Hellenic friends

now raise our voice.


100th Anniversary of 1st Roman Society Meeting - Celebrations at the British Museum

AD 410 Conference

Trip to Rome - The Forum

Rebecca Blackburn receiving the BA Archaeology Dissertation Prize from the President

The Roman Society
Senate House
Malet Street
London WC1E 7HU

Telephone: 020 7862 8727


The Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies (The Roman Society) is a registered charity in the UK.

Charity Registration Number: 210644
Company Registration Number: 114442