Channel 4 Learning

When The Romans Came To Wales
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Aims | Outline | Curriculum Relevance | Activities | Links | Image and Link to Print Version

When the Romans Came to Wales
Programme 3: The Romans
Daily Life Around AD 100


Each programme is divided into four sections:

  • Past and present
    The presenter, David Petersen, is seen on location finding historical clues.
  • What's the story?
    A story related to one of the characters in the series is told through re-enactments.
  • How do we know?
    Viewers are shown how historical evidence is used to create interpretations of the past.
  • Find out more
    Suggestions are given for children's enquiries in their own localities.

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Series Outline

When the Romans came to Wales focuses on aspects of life in Iron Age and Roman Wales from the mid-first to the mid-second centuries AD. The programmes follow the change from native 'Celtic' society, the conflict with the invading Roman forces and the eventual creation of a Romano-British society.

The story is told through the lives of four generations of a typical family of the time. Tadia and Tadius are historical figures. The characters of Bran, Tadius' grandfather, and Buddug, his grandmother, have been invented in order to create a Celtic lineage for Tadia and Tadius.

Programme 3: Outline

At Llanmelin Hill, David wonders why the Silures left their hill fort. The answer lies in the valley below where the Romans established the first city in Wales, known as Venta Silurum.

The programme goes back to AD 100. The Silures have accepted Roman ways and Bran's family have become Romanised. They have moved from the hill fort to the comfort of Venta. Bran's daughter, Tadia, describes some of the changes in their lives, including her visits to the baths.

Returning to the present, David stands in the remains of the baths at Caerleon. Many discoveries have been made in the drains, including children's teeth. Maximus, a Roman surgeon, explains how they came to be there. Finally, viewers are invited to find out what changes might have taken place in the lives of the Celts in their own area.

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Curriculum Relevance

The programmes have been primarily designed to meet the needs of the Key Stage 2 Programme of Study for the National Curriculum in Wales, 'Life in Early Wales or Britain'. Although Welsh characters and locations are featured, the programmes support a more general study of Iron Age and Roman life and viewers in other parts of the UK will also find it relevant to their curricula.

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Before viewing

  • Introduce the character of Tadia. Place a picture of a Roman girl on the timeline of the Romans and Celts at AD 100.
  • The children should have some knowledge of the different kinds of settlements established in Britain by the Romans. There were civilian settlements containing villas, cities such as Caerwent, and military settlements such as Caerleon.

After viewing

  • Research what foods were available in Britain in Celtic and Roman times. Make a chart with the headings: What Bran could eat, What Tadia could eat, Food that Bran and Tadia would not have eaten.
  • Make a collection of different mosaic designs from sites in Roman Britain using books and the Internet. Find out what scenes were depicted and what kind of geometric patterns were used.

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This web page contains links to other websites that are neither controlled nor maintained by Channel 4 Television. Channel 4 Television is not responsible for the content of these sites and does not necessarily endorse the material on them.
When the Romans came to Wales is supported by a website, available in both English and Welsh, containing stories, activities and information about the Celts and Romans in Wales.

'Tadia's Family in Roman Isca' published by Dref Wen in English and Welsh, tells the story of Tadia and her family. Available from Dref Wen, 28 Church Road, Whitchurch, Cardiff, CF12 2EA. Price £3.00 + £1.00 postage (cheques made payable to 'Dref Wen').

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