Visiting Roman centurion makes ready-for-battle soldiers out of Prep School children.
Girls in Year 3 and Year 4 have begun their topic on the Romans this term, kicking off with a visit from high-ranking officer Aquilifer Suavis of the 14th legion. Before his visit, the students designed, made and painted their own army shields. Their new leader than readied them for battle, teaching them how Roman soldiers march and fight and explaining how any soldier worth his salt embarks on a special 25-mile march every month.
With a jingling and jangling of armoury and medals, he proceeded to kit out his new soldiers with the correct attire – leather sandals on their feet and bronze or (very heavy) iron helmets on their heads as protection from blades and javelins.
The recruits also learnt that Romans wore linen under tunics and woven wool tunics beneath heavy-duty chainmail. The latter could be produced from as many as 10,000 iron rings, taking up to 500 hours to make and weighing 12kg or heavier. Prepped for battle against marauding barbarians, the new army then stepped out to the quad to practise their marching.