november, 2020

2020thu05nov(nov 5)7:00 pmthu10dec(dec 10)8:30 pmHistory: Life in Ancient Rome£63 (£38 concession) Online group participation short course in the comfort of your own homeOnlineDay:Thursday length of course: 6 weeks


November 5 (Thursday) 7:00 pm - December 10 (Thursday) 8:30 pm



length of course

6 weeks


Course details

“Course details have been changed from the original programme”. Contact the office with any queries.


Looking at different monuments of ancient Rome this short course does not deal with the history of Rome itself, but at various aspects of daily life in the Roman world.

In a voyage of exploration we shall take a tour through the apartments and villas of ancient Rome. Discover what it was like to be a spectator during a battle between gladiators in the Colosseum, look into a rich patrician home and discover the frescoes on the walls and the stunning mosaics on the floors. Walk down the ancient streets and discover what Romans saw, heard and smelled, find out why rich people lived at ground level but poorer people lived on the higher floors and how clothing was made and dyed and why Romans washed their clothes in urine.  And much much more.

This course takes place online. To participate in online classes you will need an email address, a reliable internet connection, a computer/laptop/tablet with fully updated browser (preferably Google Chrome).


  1. The Colosseum: who built it and why, gladiator games, fights to the death, animal hunts, when did they stop using it for entertainment . 
  2. The Roman Forum: the teeming heart of ancient Rome for the social and political life, the most celebrated meeting place in the world, and in all history with the triumphal processions, criminal trials and religious celebrations. Many of the oldest structures of Rome were located here.  
  3. Ostia antica: life in an ancient Roman town, the streets, the houses, commerce, everyday life, the rich and the poor, merchants and slaves. Why was Ostia so important to Rome?
  4. Terme di Caracalla: public baths in ancient Rome, the warm room, the hot room and the cold room. Bathing rituals and hygiene rules. Could men and women bathe together?
  5. Pantheon: a temple dedicated to all the gods.  Roman religion and religious practices.  What deities did the Romans  believe in?  Who were the Vestal virgins? What was the Pontifex Maximus? 
  6. Necropolis of Porta Romana (near Ostia) Life and death in the Roman world: what we learn from a Roman necropolis, the people who are buried there, what they did, preparation of funerary meals, the festivals of the dead, what do the bones tell us.   

Extra cost to the course:

Learners will be given recap worksheets, which they can fill in as they wish. No extra materials are required.

What do you need for the first class:

Pen, Paper for notes. A laptop/tablet with a good internet connection.


Olga Joy is a native Italian speaker. Olga has studied modern languages at University in Rome and has taught Italian evening classes at all levels for many years as well as teaching Italian in schools in Cambridge. Olga’s father was a professor of Roman history as well as an archaeologist and epigraphist and also worked for many years at the Scavi di Ostia Antica  (the old port of Rome). Olga stated ‘I suppose my interest and curiosity for the world of ancient Rome is directly derived from him, but I also lived in Rome all my life before coming to UK, so I have enjoyed showing many people round Rome, friends and relatives for many years.’  


£63 (£38 concession price) contact the office on 01223 712340 to pay by card.


Olga JoyI am a native Italian speaker. I have studied modern languages at University in Rome and have taught Italian evening classes at all levels for many years as well as teaching Italian in schools in Cambridge. I have worked as an examiner for UCLES and Edexcel and as a translator and interpreter both in Italy and the UK.


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