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Essays - "Letter from the Frontier" Print E-mail

In the early Spring of 2004, ACE asked its students to write about the far flung edges of the Roman Empire, but also required that the students bring in the "Personifications"so often used on coins, e.g  "Spes" (Hope), "Concordia" (Harmony, etc., as part of the Essay.   For a marvellous site on the Personifications shown on Roman coins, see http://www.beastcoins.com/Topical/Deities/AncientDeities.htm - each student should choose one Personification to highlight for the essay they will write. 


this is the reverse of a Gordian III Antoninianus showing Laetitia

Instructions to students for this essay.  

Topic:   Having chosen one of the Personifications, the student will write a Letter from the Frontier to a young person (ages 10 - 16) back in Rome. The student will assume the role of an adult (father, uncle, guardian in the Roman military or civil service). The young person to whom the adult writes is his son, daughter, nephew, or ward. The details of the essay need to fit the historical context of the period of the emperor/empress whose coin the student has chosen and illuminate the significance of the deity/personification chosen.

A Variation on the Topic: An alternative to the above scenario is that the student writes the letter from the point of view of an adult in a well-established Roman province. This adult could be male or female (mother, aunt, elder married sister), and the experiences of the adult should reflect the long term influences of Roman occupation (perhaps, for example, the presence of Roman theaters, aqueducts, circuses, amphitheaters, temples, etc.)

 Specifically, the essay should :

a) describe events that would have occurred within the time period of the emperor whose coin the student has chosen. ;

b) make reference to the qualities ascribed to the particular deity or personification on the coin's reverse. What might be the reasons that the emperor/empress chose that particular Deity ? What is the meaning of the deity for general citizens of the Roman Empire? Remember that coins were often used as a sort of " media" tool to convey policy the emperor wished to stress.:

c) Head the essay as in this example : From ........... to his nephew, ........., written from Eburacum in the province of Britannia, in the reign of the Emperor........., 200-220 AD.


Courtesy of Beast Coins, a beautiful coin of the Emperor Trajan

Click the links below to read the winning essays

Junior winner Emily K. 12 (pdf 12kb)

Intermediate winner  Michael H. 14 (pdf 15kb)

Senior winner Tina P. 15 (pdf 14kb)
Senior winner Mike C. 24 (pdf 23kb)