New Project Announcement: collaboration with the Cambridge Schools Classics Project and the Bar of Amarantus and his Neighbours (BAN)

I’m really excited to finally be able to talk about the new project I’ve been working on since the Summer – a collaboration between the Cambridge Schools Classics Project  and BAN, helmed by Dr Sophie Hay and Professor Andrew Wallace-Hadrill, along with the fabulous children’s author of historical mysteries Caroline Lawrence, and me!

“Amarantus and his Neighbourhood is a new KS3 History initiative from the Cambridge Schools Classics Project based on the soon-to-be published study of Region I, Insula 9 in Pompeii, led by Dr Sophie Hay and Professor Andrew Wallace-Hadrill: The Bar of Amarantus and His Neighbours (BAN).

CSCP is part of the University of Cambridge’s Faculty of Education, and has over 50 years of experience in supporting teaching and learning in the UK and across the globe.

The Amarantus project brings together CSCP’s experience of producing internationally successful teaching materials and the exciting work of historians and archaeologists to introduce students to the study of one of the world’s most famous historical sites.

Extensive teacher resource will enable even teachers with no background of Ancient History to successfully cover:

  • The very latest research into the reality of Roman life for all members of society: slaves, citizens, non-Romans, men, women and children.
  • How historical knowledge is constructed from a range of sources and why different interpretations of the past exist.
  • Important historical questions and the key concepts which underpin historical enquiry.
  • The terminology and methodology of historical and archaeological study.

Writing by Caroline Lawrence (Roman Mysteries) and Laura Jenkinson (Greek Myth Comix) will bring the research of the BAN team to life and students will use high-quality digital materials to examine a myriad of sources and investigate life in Pompeii in 63 AD.”

The project was announced at the teacher event ‘Caecilius is Listening’, a review of the Cambridge Latin Course, last Saturday in Cambridge. The project is aimed at existing Classical Civilisation teachers, but even moreso at History teachers interested in bringing Ancient History to their students, and even self-study students and anyone interested in learning more about the fantastic site of Pompeii and all it has to teach us.

The project will be piloted in the 2019-2020 school year, and pilot schools are currently being recruited. For more information, or to volunteer as a pilot school, visit the official site:

For now, the project has just been launched in the UK, but an update for the US will come soon. 

For me, this an utter honour: to work with such important and well-respected names in the world of Classics, teaching, and children’s literature on a project that will bring to life a newly-documented region of my favourite historical site, and develop a whole new slew of memorable characters for the Caecilius Universe!

Amarantus original (graffito from Region I Insula 9)

Amarantus reimagined

For the site: while you may have noticed this is a Roman project, not a Greek one, it doesn’t mean I’ve abandoned my favourite genre or that I’m abandoning my existing projects, but it does mean I have a lot of new deadlines I’ll be working to which will delay other work. I’m intending to try and complete the Life of Heracles in the near future, but the any additions to the work-in-progress Odyssey will definitely be delayed – sorry!

You may not know this, but I’m not a full-time illustrator. In fact, I’m a full-time school teacher, teaching Classical Civilisation, Latin and Ancient History. I have a lot of course materials to make, being in the first years of new GCSE and A Level courses, as well as a lot of marking, and, currently,  lot of parent-teacher evenings. I’m also getting married quite soon (yay!) Thus, my time is a teensy-tiny bit limited at the mo. I’ll pick up the slack when I can – promise!

For now, you might be interested in following these twitter accounts for progress updates on the project, as well as other interesting tidbits from the Ancient world:

To be continued…


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