Jump to content
UNRV Ancient Roman Empire Forums
Sign in to follow this  
GhostOfClayton

Rome Wasn't Built in a Day

Recommended Posts

This one looks entertaining:

 

'Rome Wasn't Built in a Day'

 

Country: UK

Channel: Channel 4

Date: Thursday, 20th January

Time: 2100 GMT for 60 mins

Episodes: not sure, but it seems more than 1 (to be confirmed)

Link: Channel 4

 

 

Six builders attempt to build an authentic Roman villa working with only the tools and materials that the Romans themselves would have used.

 

In this first episode, the builders meet Prof. Dai Morgan Evans, the archaeologist who's designed the Roman villa they're attempting to build with just authentic tools and materials.

 

He strips them of most of their modern tools and shows them how to consult the Auguries to make sure the gods approve the site.

 

The first critical phase of the build is the stone work, which includes half-metre-high base walls, which will support a vast oak frame, and full-height bath house walls. So the six men need to hand hew 150 tonnes of sandstone, mix 30 tonnes of ancient lime mortar and build a cart to shift it all about.

 

Thousands of stones will have to be hand shaped, just as the Romans did. It's a steep learning curve as they must master a new range of skills including quarrying stone, making lime mortar and using Roman tools including a Roman surveying device, the groma.

 

Plasterer Tim falls in love with the Roman recipe for mortar, carpenter Fred struggles to make a working cart without his power tools and foreman Jim's blunt management style gets on everyone's nerves.

 

One month into the build they are already slipping behind schedule and in desperate need of help. So labourer Ben takes to the local airwaves appealing for volunteers to come to the rescue.

 

75dfda6d-7432-4d4a-876d-d02bdb98460a_625x352.jpg

 

As usual, this one will be on 4OD after broadcast. Not sure how long for, or of international availability.

 

By the way, does anyone recognise the wall behind the men in the photo - I reckon I do. A prize for the first person to correctly identify it!

Edited by GhostOfClayton

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Did anyone watch this on Channel 4 last night? Very entertaining. The premise is that English Heritage employed 6 builders to build a Roman villa using only tools, materials and techniques available at the time. Not really specifically an educational programme (though there was much to be learned), it mixed a light and amusing style with a genuine exercise to further understand Roman building work.

 

Star of the show: The Geordie plumber who seemed to have a T Shirt with a different misogentistic motto each time you saw him.

Best bit: The Professor of History, (tasked with overseeing the historical accuracy of the job) giving the builders a real tongue-lashing for daring to bring wheelbarrows onto site.

The one you feel most sorry for: The Cockney labourer who was given all the unskilled jobs, and as a result seemed to pick up new injuries on an almost daily basis.

 

. . . and I bet any Safety Inspector watching found it difficult not to vocalise strongly the lack of PPE being used at times.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was up to my eyes with an urgent task so only saw part of it but from what I saw it was an interesting premise and more in line with what Peter Reynolds tried to do at Butser Farm before his untimely death than what the TV company who got involved afterwards did instead.

 

I particularly liked the 'townies' builders confusion about what to do to check on the augaries especially the one who didn't seem to know that sheep don't come flat-packed from his local supermarket. ;)

 

BTW for those not in the know the Vale Pet! title above is a reference to a UK TV programme from a good few years back ago chronicalling the misadventures of a bunch of Geordie (North-east English) builders working in Germany - followed up a few years back with a one-off special set partly in the USA.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I definately do but as you have unfairly banned me from entering I'm not saying :angry:

 

But for everyone else it looks like the tallest piece of freestanding Roman wall left in the country. :whistling:

 

Do I get the prize?

 

BTW it seems to be six episodes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've just caught up with episode one and I'm hooked. The young builder's labourer from London who is amazed at seeing real sheep at Wroxeter is the true star. The mad Welsh professor of archaeology, following Vitruvius to the letter, loses his rag because the crafty builders sneak three wheelbarrows on site - he insists there was no such thing used by Roman builders. Anyone else following this on UK's C4? And anyone know about Roman wheelbarrows?

Alistair

 

Link: Channel 4

 

This one looks entertaining:

 

'Rome Wasn't Built in a Day'

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I rather suspect that given the number of donkey/ mule or small horse bones that are found on many Roman sites the Romans may have made extensive use of pack animals rather than wheelbarrows per se.

 

Wiki and a few other web sites although claiming a Greek prototype can only cite a single 4th century Roman reference for one-wheeled vehicle in Scriptores Historiae Augustae Heliogabalus 29. so far I have been unable to track a copy of the original to cross-check precisely what it says.

 

BTW I actually got to see the second episode and it was a joy to watch the culture shock as the building crew were whisked off to see Ephesus, as one of the best examples of standing Roman architecture in the world, although with so much of the later build dependent on him like the rest of his team I really do have a few concerns about the skill level of their 'chippy'.

 

That said the English Heritage website is indicating that the replica town house will be opening to the public on 19 February so someone must have finished off the job if they didn't manage themselves - 'all will be revealed' by episode 6...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

BTW I actually got to see the second episode and it was a joy to watch the culture shock as the building crew were whisked off to see Ephesus, as one of the best examples of standing Roman architecture in the world, although with so much of the later build dependent on him like the rest of his team I really do have a few concerns about the skill level of their 'chippy'.

 

He seemed to do a good job with the interlocking frameworks that constituted the windows, especially considering he started with a log, and didn't use a saw.

 

Best quote was once again from the Geordie plumber: "We've already got Shrek, now we've got the donkey."

 

I really must go to Ephesus!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wiki and a few other web sites although claiming a Greek prototype can only cite a single 4th century Roman reference for one-wheeled vehicle in Scriptores Historiae Augustae Heliogabalus 29. so far I have been unable to track a copy of the original to cross-check precisely what it says.

 

It's here, but in Latin. it seems to refer to a single word somewhere in this:

 

XXIX. 1 Habuit gemmata vehicula et aurata contemptis argentatis et eboratis et aeratis. 2 Iunxit et quaternas mulieres pulcherrimas et binas ad pabillum vel ternas et amplius et sic vectatus est, sed plerumque nudus, cum illum nudae traherent. 3 Habuit et hanc consuetudinem, ut octo calvos rogaret ad cenam et item octo luscos etitem octo podagrosos, octo surdos, octo nigros, octo longos et octo pingues, cum capi non possent uno sigmate, ut de his omnibus risus citaret. 4 Donavit et argentum omne convivis, quod habuit in convivio, et omnem apparatum poculorum, idque saepius. 5 Hydrogarum Romanorum ducum primus publice exhibuit, cum antea militaris mensa esset, quam postea statim Alexander reddidit. 6 Proponebat praeterea his quasi themata, ut iura nova dapibus condiendis invenirent, et cuius placuisset commentum, ei dabat maximum praemium, ita ut sericam vestem donaret, quae tunc et in raritate videbatur et in honore; 7 si cuius autem displicuisset, iubebat, ut semper id comesset, quamdiu tamen melius inveniret. 8 Semper sane aut inter flores sedit aut inter odores pretiosos. 9 Amabat sibi pr[a]etia [rerum] maiora dici earum rerum, quae mensae parabantur, orexin convivio hanc esse adserens.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm afraid that my Latin is insufficient to identify the requisite word but courtesy of Bill Thayer's invaluable Lacus Curtius site I do now have a translation of the relevant passage (footnotes etc removed from copy below):

 

29 His chariots were made of jewels and gold, for he scorned those that were merely of silver or ivory or bronze. 2 He would harness women of the greatest beauty to a wheel-barrow in fours, in twos, or in threes or even more, and would drive them about, usually naked himself, as were also the women who were pulling him.

 

3 He had the custom, moreover, of asking to dinner eight bald men, or else eight one-eyed men, or eight men who suffered from gout, or eight deaf men, or eight men of dark complexion, or eight tall men, or, again, eight fat men, his purpose being, in the case of these last, since they could not be accommodated on one couch, to call forth general laughter. 4 He would present to his guests all the silver-plate that he had in the banqueting-room and all the supply of goblets, and he did it very often too. 5 He was the first Roman emperor to serve at a public banquet fish-pickle mixed with water, for previously this had been only a soldier's dish

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I guessed at 'pabillus', which was then confirmed by wiktionary.

 

Is it worth a separate thread for discussion of 'Rome Wasn't Built in a Day'? (Rather than the original notification post)

Edited by GhostOfClayton

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Split as requested.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been watching this show and I'm loving it. It really makes you realise just how skillful innovative the Romans were.

 

I think they've picked a good mix of guys for the build, they're all pretty funny fella's especially the young labourer, he does make me chuckle, as does the geordie plumber. I thought it was funny on the last show when the, shall we say rather tubby plasterer from Yorkshire got a touch of sunstroke and the self appointed first aider, the rather tubby labourer started to give him grief about his weight then decided that a nice sugary treat should sort him out!!:lol:

 

I've gotta say though that the carpenter guy is bloody rubbish!!! The guy still hasn't built anything that actually works!! He wouldn't have lasted two minutes back in the day!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Argh, I wish that I could watch this from Greece :hammer:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wish I could watch it also. I keep going to the site and clicking on "Play", thinking the video will magically begin.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm guessing the '4OD' service isn't available to watch outside of the UK. Can't really think of a way round it. No doubt someone with more computer-nouse than me could think of a way to get at it using some kind of Virtual Private Network. Let's hope they bring it out on DVD.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Map of the Roman Empire

×