HUNDREDS of Romans descended on York city centre over the weekend as a popular festival took over.

The Eboracum Roman Festival, a family friendly and free event for everyone to enjoy, returned to York Museum Gardens on Saturday (July 8) and Sunday (July 9).

Visitors had the chance to explore the day-to-day lives of citizens and centurions through living history demonstrations, expert talks, hands-on activities and storytelling for all ages.

This included demonstrations of military techniques, crafts such as coin casting and leatherworking, as well as learning how to write in Latin script and how to play Roman board games.

York Press: The Eboracum Roman Festival returned on Saturday and SundayThe Eboracum Roman Festival returned on Saturday and Sunday (Image: Frank Dwyer)

A spokesperson for the festival said: "The popular Kid’s Army and Gladiator School also returned this year, giving children the chance to get involved with our exciting Roman re-enactments.

"To explore fashion through the Roman age, we were thrilled to welcome back Lorie Ann from California's Legion Six Victrix in Los Angeles to host a light-hearted look at "Classical" Couture."

New for 2023 was the ‘Circus Maximus’, a chance for families to get creative with a range of hands-on activities, including making a hobby horse to enter in either the chariot race or equestrian dressage.

For further Roman fun, visitors had the chance step inside the Yorkshire Museum to enjoy some of Yorkshire’s most significant collections, including the current exhibition ‘The Ryedale Hoard’, which includes a 1,800-year-old bust of the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius. Then explore the Roman galleries and walk on the real Roman mosaic.

York Press: The event is family friendly and free to attendThe event is family friendly and free to attend (Image: Frank Dwyer)

For the keen readers, around 10 authors and experts were present in a bibliotheca, whose works cover all aspects of Roman life.

The authors included Simon Elliott and historian academic, illustrator Graham Sumner, who both produce academic, non-fiction work.

Nancy Jardine also takes things from a Celtic perspective, saying there are Romans in her books, but the Celts were powerful in North Brittania.

Ross Cronshaw from York is a member of the history group Magister Militum.

He was looking fine as a soldier and says the bronze is cleaned using peat, not Brasso, and the gold helmet is cleaned with a cloth.

York Press: A young visitor poses with Roman shieldsA young visitor poses with Roman shields (Image: Frank Dwyer)

Mike Everest, also from Magister Militum, spoke of the ropes made at the time. They included ropes made of nettle and brambles and others made from leeks.

The Yorkshire Museum is home to some of Britain’s finest archaeological treasures from the city’s Roman, Viking and Medieval past as well as a nationally significant natural science collection.

In 1960, the gardens and the Yorkshire Museum were given in trust to the City of York Council and, since 2002, have been managed by the York Museums Trust. The gardens are open daily and are free to visit.