THE FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE

Mr. Gilbertson wasn’t going to give up.

He looked at the bored faces of his class. Every year he brought his pupils to Rome. Every year he was convinced they would return home enthralled and inspired. Whether or not this was reflected in their grades wasn’t a concern to him. He wanted to make a real difference to their understanding of the world.

In the courtyard of the Capitoline Museum, they stood by the remaining pieces of the Colossus of Constantine. The massive head and hand sat on separate plinths. Mr. Gilbertson smiled at his class. If this didn’t get them hooked, nothing would.

‘Look at the size of these pieces. Imagine the size of the full statue,’ he spoke in awe. ‘Does anyone know what Constantine the Great was famous for?’

Blank looks answered his question.

‘He was the first Roman Emperor to convert to Christianity and decreed that Christianity should be tolerated in the Roman Empire. Imagine what the world would look like if he had not done that two thousand years ago.’

Billy Sims piped up. ‘Yes, Mr. Gilbertson, but apart from that, what have the Romans ever done for us?’ There was giggling and stifled smiles from the group.

Mr. Gilbertson sighed. Maybe next year he would just come on his own to admire The Eternal City.


180-11-november-6th-2016

Written as part of Sunday Photo Fiction. Write a story of around 200 words based on the photo prompt given (above). For more details visit HERE.

A debt of gratitude to Monty Python’s The Life of Brian film for my effort this week.

To read more stories based on this week’s prompt, visit HERE.

27 responses to “THE FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE”

  1. I laughed out loud with the “Yes, but what have the Romans ever done for us?” Excellent story, and I for one would have loved to have been in Mr Gilbertson’s class on that trip. The wonders of ancient Rome are only a little way behind my love of the wonders of Ancient Egypt.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree, love Rome and I’m sure school kid’s today would appreciate it really. Many thanks for the prompt and compliment, glad I raised a laugh 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the reblog 🙂

      Like

  2. Mr Gilbertson seems to be fighting a losing battle. Nice take on the prompt.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Poor Mr Gilbertson. Kids are so ungrateful! I’ll go to Rome with him next year. I know the statue you mean – that head with the staring eyes. Really great Iain and you raised a smile here too 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Lynn. I hope it’s just my fictional kids that are ungrateful, I know I would have loved a school trip like this! Glad I raised a smile 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Me too. And with an enthusiastic guide like Mr Gilbertson too! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Haha! Great take! I’d definitely be enthralled! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Many thanks, me too 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. At least they didn’t ask if it was going to be on the test.
    😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha, very true. Thanks Liz 🙂

      Like

  6. Clever story, Iain, and great punchline.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Lol…had to laugh cos we had a Latin teacher a Mr Culbertson at one point and we always led him dances like this. Great piece again Iain. And I do love Rome

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha, thanks Shehanne. Wish we did get trips to Rome with school, I’m sure most school kids would love it 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Excellent story! I’ve been to Rome and can’t understand how anyone couldn’t be fascinated by it, so I can relate to Mr. Gilbertson.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Same here, many thanks 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Funny, I thought that bit about “but what else have the Romans done for us” sounded familiar but I wasn’t fast enough to place it before I saw your reference to the movie. Might have to get out that old DVD and watch it again soon! 🙂 And poor Mr Gilbertson; I’m with him, just go alone, or find other like-minded souls who will appreciate the historic significance – like me!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Joy. A classic film but I wasn’t sure how many people would remember it! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well in my experience, all the fun people remember it. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Sounds like he has some ignorent students. Nice write Ian.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Good piece, Iain. That’s a funny bit of humor. If this was true I’d advise Mr. Gilbertson to prepare the next class beforehand. Sorry, that’s the teacher speaking. Good writing. 😀 — Suzanne

    Like

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