Many of our roots with anything history-related probably come from Horrible Histories, the hilarious series of illustrated history books of Terry Deary for children and the outrageously comedic historical sketch show born from the books. Horrible Histories taught us about the Groovy Greeks, Vicious Vikings, Terrible Tudors, Gorgeous Georgians, Vile Victorians and many more in an easily digestible family-friendly way which to be honest could still appeal to older audiences. And now they’ve even partnered up with the British Museum on an exhibition all about the Rotten Romans.
Legion: life in the Roman Army, is the first time the British Museum has partnered with Horrible Histories, author Terry Deary and illustrator Martin Brown’s bestselling book series. The exhibition will feature an interactive family-friendly trail led by the show’s host Rattus Rattus.
What to expect from the exhibition
Held in the museum’s Sainsbury Exhibition Gallery from February 1 – June 23, 2024, families will join Rattus, who will be renamed Claudius Terrattus, on a journey to become a soldier in the Roman army. Throughout the exhibition, Rattus will face the same trials and tribulations that soldiers 2,000 years ago would have endured. Along the way, he’ll explain his ambitions to become a soldier and witness the dangers and rewards of life in the army. Legion will share stories of real legionaries and challenge some of the perceptions of what it meant to be a Roman soldier in a formidable empire.
Along the Horrible Histories-themed trail there will be a variety of interactive stations. Visitors will be able to take part in the exhibition and immerse themselves in Ancient Rome. Along the way, guests will find over 200 carefully chosen family-friendly exhibition objects, with commentary from Rattus himself.
Richard Abdy, Curator of Roman and Iron Age coins, comments: “Fun facts are well-remembered facts, so a pinch of humour is a welcome ingredient. Horrible Histories excels at entertaining while reminding kids of all ages that history can be a lot grimmer than the popular imagination – the perfect antidote to a show on the Roman army.”
The exhibition hopes to instil curiosity about what daily life was really like for the men, women and children who were part of the machine that helped Imperial Rome master its empire in an exciting way for children of all ages.
For more information, head to the British Museum’swebsite .
Legion: life in the Roman army runs from February 1 – June 23, 2024.