Take eight intrepid staff and volunteers from YAC and the CBA, add in Roman tunics, helmets, spears, shields, swords, a standard and a replica Roman trumpet and you have a crack Roman unit, otherwise known as a
contubernium, ready to conquer six laps of York's City Walls in aid of the Dig Deep for YAC campaign! And conquer it we did on Wednesday 1st February!
Setting off at first light (well eight o'clock) on a chilly but clear morning we entered York's City Walls at Bootham Bar without any resistance from the locals. In fact those driving past in their cars were more inclined to offer friendly, if bemused, waves! We had a long way to go to cover the distance a Roman soldier walked in a day but we were up for the challenge. With a rallying call on our trumpet we marched our first lap and soon realised just how fit Roman soldiers were. Our helmets, shields and spears grew heavier on each lap and our trumpet calls became less impressive as the day wore on. We certainly needed our Roman army rations of oat cakes and dried fruit to keep our aching muscles moving.
By lap three we had met many people and spread the word of the Dig Deep for YAC campaign aimed at saving the fantastic UK-wide network of YAC Branches for young people up to the age of seventeen. Our Dig Deep for YAC banner, in the form of a Roman standard, was held aloft above the walls for the passing traffic to see and the occasional toots of car horns spurred us on. Many tourists will be returning home with interesting photos of their day out on York's walls and their Roman encounter. Though to answer one person's question, no, we don't do this every day but we certainly now admire those Roman soldiers who did!
More at Romans Conquer York! | The Council for British Archaeologyhttp://www.britarch.ac.uk/news/120203-romanconquest