Prepare To See Full-Scale Gladiatorial Battles In The City

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Prepare To See Full-Scale Gladiatorial Battles In The City

This is a sponsored article on behalf of the Museum of London.

London's only Roman amphitheatre is coming alive this August bank holiday for an exciting Roman festival, transporting visitors back to Londinium to witness full-scale battles courtesy of the epic Gladiator Games.

Just 30 years ago, archaeologists uncovered the ancient remains of a Roman amphitheatre under the Guildhall's courtyard. Rewind 2,000 years, and this stadium would have been thriving with battle cries and shining armour. It will once again be the site of clashing swords this summer, as it plays host to some of the country's fiercest gladiators.

The 60 minute Gladiator Games show will be performed by Britannia, a collective who've worked on historical dramas and films from Horrible Histories to the epic Ridley Scott film, Gladiator. The battles you will see are all based on extensive research, using images drawn on Roman coins, and seen on artefacts such as mosaics.

As well as the main event, there will be a Roman festival, complete with musicians, crafts and artefacts, so you can get a real taste of London life circa AD50. Get up close to the actual ruins of London's amphitheatre, and even handle real Roman objects.

Take the family to a history lesson with a difference — this is the opportunity to get hands on and involved with all aspects of Roman history. The Gladiator Games, though, contains simulated scenes of bloodshed and combat, so this bit may not be suitable for very young children.

The Gladiator Games are part of Londinium, a three-month festival hosted by the City of London Corporation celebrating London's Roman heritage. There are plenty of walks, talks and exhibitions from 28 July to 19 October — check out the city-wide celebrations here.

You may not want to take to the arena yourself, but the chance to witness these true-to-life Gladiator Games shouldn't be missed. The crowds are a big part of the action though — get ready to take sides and encourage the Emperor to save or spare the fighters.

Get the lowdown on what's occurring at the Museum of London this August bank holiday weekend, 25-28 August — all information on the Gladiator Games can be found here.

Last Updated 10 August 2017