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Up until now Melbourne's Docklands has been a pretty unlikely place to have a run-in with a gladiator, catapults or battering rams, but all of that is about to change. The craftsmen who brought you The Da Vinci Machines Exhibition have chosen Melbourne for the world premiere of their new historical extravaganza, The Ancient Rome Exhibition: The Empire That Shaped the World, where it will run from 31 March to 15 July.
You've just got to love those ancient Romans. Amidst their famous legacy of roads, aqueducts, windows and concrete, did you know they also supplied us with satire and socks? With so much imagination and innovation to choose from it must have been hard for exhibition organisers to know where to begin. The Ancient Rome Exhibition: The Empire That Shaped the World focuses on a few major areas of Roman achievement. Civil Technology, Logistics and Measurement and Culture and the Arts should satisfy the diehard history aficionados while Military Genius and the Colosseum and Gladiators should really appeal to children in the same way they revel in adventurous tales of pirates and medieval knights.
A team of artisans, historians, scientists and engineers has recreated a range of ancient machinery and technology for the exhibition using materials from the time such as brass, bronze, wood and copper. They are led by the Niccolai family who have previously brought life to the incredible imagination of Leonardo Da Vinci. This is not an exhibition where you'll be confined to looking at carefully-labelled specimens in locked glass cabinets. This is living, vibrant history that puts you squarely in the Roman Empire of 52 BC.
Saturday, 4th of January @ 08:30am - $99 - 3 places left
The exhibition's director, Thomas Rizzo, says that the best way to become engaged with history is "to encourage visitors to participate by using hands-on and interactive exhibits and participate in group activities". At this family-friendly exhibition you may find yourself as a Roman legionnaire in the famous Testudo (tortoise) military formation, or you can learn to tell time from a sundial, make a mosaic or use maps and scrolls to chart a course of discovery through the known world. You will see a working Roman onager (a type of catapult) and a battering ram, amongst other weapons and operating machines.
Details When: From 31 March to 15 July 2012 Hours: 9.30 am to 5pm daily, except Fridays when the exhibition will remain open until 8pm. Where: Waterfront City Pavilion, Docklands (opposite Harbour Town Shopping Centre) Tickets: Only available at the door Cost: Adult - $22, Concession - $17, Children aged 4 -13 - $12, Family A (2 adults and 2 juniors) - $56, Family B (2 adults and 2 full-time student concessions) - $66.
Extras School sessions will be available from 16 April. Special rates are available for school groups. See the Information for Schools page on the website.
Personal guided tours are available. They last about forty minutes and cost $100. You can book by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Private functions and events can also be booked. If you've got something to celebrate or just want to enjoy the exhibition with your own group you can book the venue for 2 hours outside regular business hours. Get further information by emailing email@example.com