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.


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

  2. 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 πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  3. 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! πŸ™‚ 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

  4. 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. πŸ˜€ — Suzanne


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: