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Historian’s second YouTube animation reaches 10,000 hits in first 24 hours

Rome animationThe second animation in a series of educational cartoons on Ancient Rome by Ray Laurence, Professor of Roman History and Archaeology at the University of Kent, has launched on YouTube to over 10,000 hits in the first 24 hours after release.

Titled ‘Four Sisters in Rome’, the cartoon follows Professor Laurence’s first animation - ‘A Glimpse of Teenage Life in Ancient Rome’ - which has been watched by over 190,000 people, so far. ‘Four Sisters in Rome’ focuses on what life was like for young girls in the city almost 2,000 years ago and seeks to respond to a demand for knowledge of the role of the young in the city at that time.

As well as the success of the cartoon, the partnership to create it - undertaken between Professor Laurence and Folkestone-based Cognitive Media - has been shortlisted in the ‘Commercial Collaboration’ category of the Canterbury Culture Awards.

The animation series is an innovative way of presenting Professor Laurence’s research which focuses on Roman betrothal and children's graffiti in Pompeii. Comments on YouTube have highlighted significant engagement with the research that is not found in textbooks, as well as seeing this method of presenting information as the ‘best way of learning’.

Professor Laurence, of the University’s School of European Culture and Languages, said: ‘The aim of the video is to use the familiar awareness of the modern family to highlight major differences between Roman culture of the past and modern-day life. It is designed to engage a wider adult audience with history and to create a new way to see children in the city of Rome.’

The videos are also part of a wider educational initiative called TED-Ed which seeks to create innovative lesson resources to be shared with other educators on its dedicated online video platform. The new cartoon can be watched here.

Ray Laurence is Professor of Roman History and Archaeology in the department of Classical and Archaeological Studies at the University. He is also the Chair of the Canterbury Heritage Partnership and has published extensively on Roman history and culture.


Story published at 2:10pm 22 May 2013

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Last Updated: 23/05/2013