Many aspects of the Roman Empire still influence our lives today. Modern ideas about religion, politics, morals and the arts have a basis in Roman culture. The Roman period began in 753 BCE and lasted until the dismissal of the last emperor in 476 CE. During this, time Rome grew from one of the world's first republics to an empire. This is a vast topic and so many types of projects are possible.
Mapping the Empire
Look at maps showing the Roman Empire at different times. Examine the size of the empire and write about why it grew. Find out about important events in the growth of the empire and create a time line. Decide which emperor was most successful in expanding the empire. Compare the Roman Empire with other empires throughout history, such as the British Empire in the 19th century.
Ancient Roman Travel Guide
Watch extracts from documentaries about Rome or films like Ridley Scott's "Gladiator." Make notes about daily life in Rome. Examine Roman dress and customs. Expand your knowledge further by consulting historical sources. Present your findings as a travel guide for people visiting ancient Rome. Look at modern travel guides and set your guide out in a similar way.
Research an important Roman figure, such as Julius Caesar. Write an imaginary interview with the person and create your own documentary. Enlist the help of a fellow student to play the role of the interviewee. Produce a script and aim to make your information as accurate as possible. Perform the interview in front of the class. Alternatively, you could video your performance and create your own TV talk show.
Roman Art and Architecture
Look at pictures of Roman art and architecture and recreate an example of your own. Create a Roman mosaic using small coloured tiles (see Resources). Or build a model of the Coliseum out of cardboard or wood. Try to make your artwork as accurate as possible and label different features to reflect your research.
Create a Roman "newspaper." Write reports about some key events of the time, such as the destruction of Pompeii in 79AD. Include a sports section to talk about Roman gladiator battles and chariot races and a gossip column to expose the escapades of the upper classes.