Underground London: Discovering Relics of Ancient Rome with Dr. Alan Montgomery

Underground London: Discovering Relics of Ancient Rome with Dr. Alan Montgomery


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Can't make this time? A video recording will be sent to all participants after the seminar.

The modern city of London is a riot of steel and glass skyscrapers, but just a few feet below its busy streets lie the remains of Londinium, the capital of the Roman province of Britannia. Founded soon after the Roman invasion of Britain in 43 AD, Londinium would become the largest city on these islands, a hub of trade and commerce, with rich and poor living cheek by jowl in a dynamic, ever-changing community. 

Today it is possible to find many impressive relics of London’s Ancient Roman past glories, from its high defensive wall, still standing tall centuries after its construction, to the remains of a grand townhouse and bath complex hidden in the basement of a 1960s office block. The city’s huge amphitheater was rediscovered and opened to visitors in the late twentieth century, while a temple to the mysterious Persian god Mithras also survives and has been theatrically restored as part of the development of the iconic Bloomberg building. From fragments of mosaic in a medieval church crypt to an ancient gateway in an underground car park, signs of London’s classical origins are everywhere – if you know where to look! 

Led by a historian and Context guide with a special interest in the ancient world, this interactive seminar will explore a selection of London’s Roman sites both large and small. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an insight into the beginnings of one of the world’s most exciting and historic cities. 

Alan Montgomery was born and raised in Scotland but has spent most of his adult life in London. Having achieved an MA in Art History at Glasgow University, he worked for many years in the art world at both an international auction house and an antique dealer. In recent years he has returned to academia, achieving an MA in Classical Civilisation in 2011, and has recently completed a Ph.D. in which he analyzed eighteenth-century attitudes towards the ancient Roman world. In addition to his work for Context Travel, Alan also writes catalog essays on Contemporary Art for a leading auctioneer. Elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland in 2017, his first book, entitled 'Classical Caledonia', was published by Edinburgh University Press in August 2020.

This conversation is suitable for all ages.

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

Customer Reviews

Based on 4 reviews
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C.F. (Santa Monica, US)
A Great deeper look at London’s Roman past.

This is a wonderful conversation, particularly if you’d like archaeological sites and digs. It is very interesting to see where there are so many pieces of the early Roman empire still peeking out through the modern city of London. Dr. Montgomery is also very interesting, and he tends to highlight the kinds of unusual and interesting things that one does not usually see on the usual tours.

G
G. (South Hamilton, US)

This was a really good mix of background info on the history of Roman London, with specific examples of sites to visit in present day London. Dr. Montgomery was engaging, had great visuals, and explained how to get to the somewhat obscure locations. I felt like I was walking around London. This reminded me of another very enjoyable Context talk on Mont Saint Michel, in both cases it was almost like visiting the places with a guide. Worthwhile Q&A session also - Montgomery really made the most of it to talk about some interesting aspects of Roman times.

J
J. (Washington, US)

Another excellent presentation by Alan. As always, he thoroughly knows his subject matter and presents it in a comprehensive and engaging manner.

K
K.M. (McLean, US)
Underground London is another winner!

"Underground London" is a new presentation for Dr. Alan Montgomery. The research he did to prepare for the seminar must have been extensive, because the talk was just as enjoyable and authoritative as the other seminars he offers. It offered those of us who are unlikely to see these sites in person a wonderful way to view and learn about them. Bravo, Dr. Montgomery!

Customer Reviews

Based on 4 reviews
100%
(4)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
C
C.F. (Santa Monica, US)
A Great deeper look at London’s Roman past.

This is a wonderful conversation, particularly if you’d like archaeological sites and digs. It is very interesting to see where there are so many pieces of the early Roman empire still peeking out through the modern city of London. Dr. Montgomery is also very interesting, and he tends to highlight the kinds of unusual and interesting things that one does not usually see on the usual tours.

G
G. (South Hamilton, US)

This was a really good mix of background info on the history of Roman London, with specific examples of sites to visit in present day London. Dr. Montgomery was engaging, had great visuals, and explained how to get to the somewhat obscure locations. I felt like I was walking around London. This reminded me of another very enjoyable Context talk on Mont Saint Michel, in both cases it was almost like visiting the places with a guide. Worthwhile Q&A session also - Montgomery really made the most of it to talk about some interesting aspects of Roman times.

J
J. (Washington, US)

Another excellent presentation by Alan. As always, he thoroughly knows his subject matter and presents it in a comprehensive and engaging manner.

K
K.M. (McLean, US)
Underground London is another winner!

"Underground London" is a new presentation for Dr. Alan Montgomery. The research he did to prepare for the seminar must have been extensive, because the talk was just as enjoyable and authoritative as the other seminars he offers. It offered those of us who are unlikely to see these sites in person a wonderful way to view and learn about them. Bravo, Dr. Montgomery!