Scenes from a Roman dinner
Relating to Others – Roman Style!
Relating to others and participating went to new lengths when Years 7 and 8 and Year 12 Classical Studies combined to experience a Roman cena (dinner).
The interaction among these classes was not only a result of their shared knowledge of Latin and Classical Studies, but also a collaborative exercise between the Food Technology and Classics Departments. Computing skills acquired in classes were utilised as well. Year 7 students designed and produced beautiful and innovative invitations to Years 8 and 12 students, along with place-names for the tables. Mrs Davy and Mrs Shears worked together on the menu for the dinner and during their Food Technology class, Year 8 students prepared a three course meal for 36 people. The meal consisted of an appetiser course, a gustatio of olives, dates, nuts and grapes, the main course, the cena, of chicken, fish, bread, eggs, chickpea puree, cheeses and apricots, and the dessert course, secundae mensae, of fruit pastries. Everything was presented and garnished beautifully.
On the day, Year 7 students made ivy garlands which, wearing slave-like tunics, they gave to guests on arrival. They served drinks to the diners, then each of the courses in turn. The guests sat in mixed groups and were able to recall and relate to the social conventions of the Roman dinner party. Throughout the meal, the “slaves” also proffered finger bowls and towels so the guests could comfortably eat with their finger. The cena was thoroughly enjoyed by everyone and Year 7 students are now looking forward to next year when it will be their turn to be waited on.