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Classics Teaching Resources

Replicas - to buy and to make

1. Buy them.

Many museums sell replicas of their best items. The British Museum caters for most pockets, with replicas of items from the Elgin Marbles down to tiny bronze mice.
replica_pots The 'face' pot is from Cologne museum; the Corinthian pot on the right is from a Greek tourist shop. Know your genuine pots before you go shopping! The other pots are from the UK.
The statues are from Hadrian's Wall and the British Museum - rather pricey, but I have got lots of use and pleasure from them. If you buy, get the best you can. You'll regret it if you buy rubbish.
hermes_replica socrates
Replica coins are easy to pick up at any popular Roman site. Not nearly as impressive to hand round in class as the real things, but at least pupils can see what Julius Caesar looked like on his coins.

Garden centres sometimes sell amphorae. I bought mine in Cyprus, but have seen them since in the UK.

2. Make your own replicas.

Here are some ideas:

Roman gaming board. Scratch the pattern on an old tile. That's what Roman soldiers did.
For guidance on board design and how to play, consult this Roman board games site.

Click on latrunculi or tabula.
abacus - click to enlarge
Abacus: a flat board marked out with paint, flat beads as counters. Good for illustrating Catullus. I'm sure that when he writes 'Give me 1000 kisses, then 100', he was laying a bead in the appropriate column. Then when he writes 'conturbabimus illa ... ' - we'll mix them up - he gave the board a shake. Try it when you teach the poem!
Sistrum: ask the DT department to bend and drill a ribbon of metal; fix wire and jingles.
Or buy a cheap shaker in an ethnic shopsistrum
Tabulae: those wax writing tablets are easy to make. Just get a flat piece of wood about VI unciae by IV unciae (15 x 10 cm) and gouge out a few millimetres, leaving a rim of wood. Then drip candle wax (ideally beeswax) into the trough you have made. A nail will do as a stylus.

When visiting museums or reading illustrated books, pick out artefacts you could replicate. Some of my ideas came from the Saalburg museum in Germany - an excellent museum to visit if you get the chance, with an excellent web site.

See also the Minimus Blog here for a Roman-type comb, and here for glass and pottery.


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