On Tuesday evening the fourth form were informed and entertained by bestselling historical author Ben Kane.

Ben, wearing full Roman military dress and equipped with sword, shield and even a Roman Swiss Army knife, spoke about ancient Roman daily life. No gruesome details were spared – whether gladiator sweat bottled and sold to rich women, the dangers of going out without an armed bodyguard at night, or the fire risk of living in a block of flats made of wood.

We learned not just that Roman soldiers in camps in northern Germany seasoned their food with coriander, but we found out what this meant: since two thousand years ago coriander only grew in India, this spice must have been transported by boat along the Silk Road via Egypt, bought in a market Rome and carried, on foot, up into northern Germany to be sold.

Pupils were bursting with questions, and left buzzing about a culture that has done so much to shape our own.