A Body in the Bath House Falco at Fishbourne19th Oct 2024
Fishbourne Roman palace in Sussex is one of the most unusual buildings in Roman Britain. A huge palatial villa, built in the Mediterranean style, with luxurious mosaics, wall plaster and baths. What is unusual is that this was built within 60 years of the Roman conquest and was undoubtedly the residence of someone of high status and importance in the new Roman province. Suggestions have ranged between a local client King, the governor, or a wealthy merchant. Important visitors may have included local notables, imperial officials and military commanders.
A slightly lesser visitor during the AD 70’s was the private informer, Marcus Didius Falco, despatched on a mission form Rome by Anacrites the Chief Agent, to investigate corruption, political intrigue and a body in a bath!
Author Lindsey Davies has been writing about the adventures of Falco and his family in ancient Rome for some time and her tales have become a staple of historical fiction. This is your chance to not only see one of the UKs great archaeological sites in the company of the author and a specialist archaeologist, but also to listen to Lindsey speak on the task of creating one of Rome’s finest private eyes.
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What to Expect
- Enjoy early access to Fishbourne Roman Palace as it opens exclusively for our Study Day group
- Take part in a privileged finds and handling session in the expert company of curator Rob Simmons
- Spend the afternoon with award-winning novelist Lindsey Davis, who will talk at length about her association with Fishbourne and its role in her work, as well as her latest book
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Day by Day Itinerary
09:30 – 11:30 – Visit to Fishbourne – Exclusive early entry at 9.30 am. Tour of the site with Dr David Rudling. The palace grounds are extensive and include the covered northern wing with its mosaics and the reconstructed palace garden.
11:30 – 12:15 – An opportunity to explore the shop and have a coffee break.
12:30 – 13:45 – Finds and handling session with Curator Rob Simmons.
13:45 -14:30 – A sandwich lunch in the Fishbourne café.
14:30 – 16:30 – In the afternoon we will be joined by historical novelist Lindsey Davis. First, she will talk about her long association with Fishbourne and how she came to write one of her Falco novels specifically set in the Palace, during a key moment in the Flavian expansion of the building. She used her experience as an ex-civil servant dealing with Major Works projects, to imagine how the new design and construction may have happened – and in The Body in the Bath House, how it could have gone wrong! In the final session Lindsey will talk about her brand new Flavia Albia novel and afterwards sign copies of books bought at the bookshop.*