Roman Medicine Roadshow stuns the crowds at Light Night Liverpool

May 24, 2013

Roman Medicine Roadshow stuns the crowds at Light Night Liverpool

The Wellcome Trust Roman Medicine Roadshow launched the first of its public outreach events last weekend in conjunction with the LightNight Liverpool festival.

Over the course of two days (17th & 18th May), close to 8000 people joined Big Heritage to explore the history of medicine in the Roman world, the science and stories behind bones, and the influence of classical medicine on our own western culture. All this was kicked-off in dramatic fashion with a series of (quite literally) full-blooded Gladiator battle in the centre of the Museum atrium, where Ludus Scorpius stunned the crowds with armed combat, This was clearly not an event for the faint-hearted, but the public flocked to watch not only the fighting, but the demonstrations of Roman surgery techniques carried out by Galen of Pergamum live in the Museum.

Despite the personalities and skimpy gladiator outfits, the star of the show was somewhat quieter, as Shirley Curtis-Summers ran the ground-breaking Bones Lab - allowing the Liverpool public to get face-to-face with the skeleton of an adult male who had received a number of injuries and displayed signs of multiple diseases, The Bones Lab sessions were entirely sold out throughout both days, testament to the quality of science and medical enquiry provided brilliantly by Shirley.

Julia Bryan, Senior Education Manager at the Museum of Liverpool said: "The event was a huge success, with visitor feedback indicating how well it was received. It was museum education at its best – engaging for all ages, dramatic, multi-sensory and underpinned with scholarship. What more could we ask?"

The Roadshow continues to visit schools across the North West, and will be visiting a number of public venues in the summer, including the iconic Whitley Castle Roman Fort,.


Galen observing wounds on a gladiator at the Roman Medicine Roadshow.