The Eagles Have Landed

 The resources below contain the introductory section and acknowledgements of the three introductory sections and each of the themes. All contain the relevant section of the original text from the Teacher Resource along with images and supporting resources.

In creating this pack we have sought to present a selection of themes and resources relating to the broader concept of empire, taking the impact of the Roman Empire on the people living in northern Britain as our starting point.

In particular we aim to encourage teachers working with students at Key Stage 3 level to take the Roman Invasion of Britain as a stimulus for exploration into issues of identity and image, power and resistance, regime change and the impact upon one culture when it is subjugated by another, not just in an historical context but also as reflected in more recent human history.

The Historical Framework reflects the content of The Eagles Have Landed touring exhibition which is to be incorporated into the new Roman Gallery at Tullie House Museum & Art Gallery, Carlisle.


The first section provides a brief historical background to the period and an introduction to some of the issues developed throughout the new exhibition at Tullie House Museum & Art Gallery. This is followed by a selection of activities developed to explore in greater depth not only the Roman past but also the resonances it has with the present and the more recent past.

Some of these have been trialled during an in-depth programme at Burnside Community College, Wallsend, Tyne & Wear and will be featured as a case study on the Education section of the Hadrian’s Wall Country website.

The last section is on the accompanying disc and consists of resources that can be used to support the activities and explore the themes raised throughout the pack.

Historical Framework: From conquest to Hadrian’s Wall

Download Historical Framework


Head of Vespasian, image of cast from the British Museum on loan to Tullie House

Museum & Art Gallery

‘Shock & Awe’ poster (Redman Brothers) from the Eagles Have Landed Exhibition

Detail from the Arch of Titus, Rome showing the treasures taken from the sacked temple at Jerusalem

Firka, marching pack for a Roman soldier

Supporting Resources

Description of the Battle of Mons Graupius by the Roman historian, Tacitus

Key events in the first century of Roman Britain

Propaganda and Spin: The Introduction of Coins

Download Propoganda and Spin


Dupondius of Vespasian, obverse and reverse

Denarii of showing Constantine in his role as priest; reverse of a different coin showing the Christian chi rho symbol signifying that Christianity was now the official state religion; two reverses from different coins showing a Roman altar and Roman Temple, emphasizing the emperor’s role as religious leader of the Empire.

Aureus of Vespasian, made of gold from the looted treasures taken from the Temple in Jerusalem, obverse and reverse

Coin of Domitianus, part of a hoard found at Chalgrove, Oxfordshire. Domitianus was emperor for about 1 week in AD 271 but still found it imperative to mint coins.

Supporting Resources

‘A Closer Look at Coins’ – for use by students, particularly suited for use during a visit to the Eagles Have Landed exhibition or other Roman site/gallery

‘Looking at Image & Logo’ - for use by students, aimed to open up a wider discussion of the prevalence and use of images and logos in the present day.

How we construct our reputations, an article by Lisa Jardine. This explores the construct of reputation and image by present day politicians.

Payscales chart for the Roman Army

Destruction, Assimilation and Expansion of Beliefs

Download Beliefs


Altar dedicated to Jupiter. The inscription reads:

I O M | To Jupiter, Greatest and Best

COH I HISPAN | First Cohort Hispana

CVI PRA | Commanded by

EST CCAB C | Caballius

PRISCV | Priscus

TRIB | Tribune

‘To Jupiter, the best and greatest, the first cohort of Spaniards, commanded by Caius Caballus Priscus, tribune (erected this)’

Tombstone of Vacia/Tombstone of Vacia line, the inscription reads:

D I S | To the shades [of the departed]

VACIA INFANS | Vacia, an infant

AN III | three years [old]

‘To the shades [of the departed] Vacia, and infant aged three years’

Tombstone depicting a victorious cavalryman defeating a British warrior, a familiar image denoting the subjugation of the Barbarians by the might of Rome

Balance scales and weight in the shape of the bust of a gladiator

Dragonesque brooch, an example of British design and craftsmanship

Bronze saucepan, standard issue to every Roman soldier

Roman pottery, an amphora, mortarium and facepot, introduced by the Romans

Carving of local god

Parade helmet from Crosby Garret, Cumbria

Theme 1: Searching for the Past

Download Theme 1


Use images of coins, pots etc from the other sections to support Part 5 of this theme

Supporting Resources

Texts – The Battle of Mons Graupius, The Evidence of Tacitus, Lists & More Lists

Theme 2: Romans and Tribes

Download Theme 2

Supporting Resources

Caratacus Fortune Line

Caratacus, life events

Cartimandua, life events

Cartimandua questions

Tacitus, the defeat of Caratacus

The evidence of Tacitus: Roman historian writing in the first century AD.

Theme 3: Exploring the Past in our Present

Download Theme 3

Supporting Resources

Other avenues to explore: suggestions of themes and ideas

Shamus’ Stories

Theme 4: The Romans through their pots

Download Theme 4

Images (rep=replica)

Amphora for containing dried fruit (rep)

Amphora handle showing potter’s mark

Samian Ware bowl and cup (rep)

Samian Ware plate with makers mark in the centre

Cooking pot (rep)

Cooking pot sherd

Mortarium replica and sherd, mortaria were specialised mixing bowls with a rough internal surface used for grinding herbs and spices and a spout for pouring the finished mixture into the cooking pan.

Samian Ware mould fragments. Highly decorated bowls were thrown on a wheel and then re-thrown in a mould to create the decorated surface.

Face pot. The use of these is uncertain but many were used as cremation urns.

Supporting Resources

Map of the Roman World based on Ptolemy’s map

Gaius’ Map of the World, guidelines for a creative project building on the activities outlined in this section.

Lists & More lists, two lists from Vindolanda, one a list of food distribution

Theme 5: ‘The Roman Conquest was a good thing’

Download Theme 5


Gaius at his wheel

Nest’s weaving comb

Victor’s firka

Supporting Resources

Maximus the Centurion

Gaius the Potter

Nest the Weaver

Sulwyn the Bronze Smith

Muriel the Herbalist

Shamus the Story teller

Victor the Auxiliary

Web Links

Information about Hadrian’s Wall and associated sites, making a visit and a wealth of other resources.

Information about and texts from the Vindolanda letters.

For more information about the coins of Domitianus, Vespasian and the aureus of Claudius struck to commemorate the conquest of Britain.

Roman Gold from Finstock, AD 70 at the Ashmolean.

Image sources

‘Shock & Awe’ poster, Redman Design, designers of the Eagles Have Landed exhibition and Roman Frontier: Stories Beyond Hadrian’s Wall, the new gallery at Tullie House Museum& Art Gallery

Dupondius of Vespasian, Tullie House Museum & Art Gallery

Denarii, Nottingham University Museum

Aureus of Vespasian, The Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, used with permission

Coin of Domitianus, The Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, used with permission

Balance scales and weight, tombstones of cavalryman and Vacia, Tullie House

Museum & Art Gallery

Roman pottery, Graham Taylor, Potted History

Parade helmet from Crosby Garret, Christie’s Auction House

Altar dedicated to Jupiter, Senhouse Roman Museum

Bronze saucepan, University of Nottingham Museum

Samian Ware bowl and cup, Samian Ware plate, cooking pot and shard, mortarium replica and shard, Samian Ware mould fragments, Facepot, all University of Nottingham Museum

Weaving comb, Tullie House Museum & Art Gallery

Gaius at his wheel, Ken Lister

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