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'Arrivederci Pet!' - the Geordies Who Built the Colosseum.

Updated on May 26, 2020
The part of the Colosseum that survived the most. Built by Geordie brickies.
The part of the Colosseum that survived the most. Built by Geordie brickies.

Recent archaeological discoveries have shed new light on the construction of the Colosseum in Rome in ancient Italy.

For the first time Historians now have confirmed evidence of the rumours and theories that have circulated for decades in the academic world.

The evidence that the workforce that built the Colosseum was not solely comprised of Hebrew slaves and local labour.

Proof has now been found that paid craftsmen were employed for specialised trades to complete the classical 1st century stadium.

Seated around at their workplace in the Colosseum are three contracted workers imported from the island of Britannia. They are bricklayers Dennis Paterson and Leonard Osbourne, both from the northern Tyne area, and their comrade Barry Taylor a torch artisan from the Midlands of the country.

Oz: "Where's that cockney git Wayne then?"

Barry: "Yeah! Where is he? He's late again"

Dennis: "Well wouldn't ya know bonny lads? He's a got a special dispensation from the bloody Emperor no less"

Oz: "Dispensation? What d'ye mean man?"

Barry: "Ow, a dispensation is like an exemption yow know Oz. Sort of permission to be released from an obligation. It actually comes from church law and.........

Oz: "Aye awreet Barry man! I know what it is! I mean how come that Ronnie Wood lookalike got one and we didn't?"

Dennis: "Because Oz! He's been gettin his leg over again at one them there orgies they keep havin'"

Barry: "The jammy beggar!"

Oz: "I'll give 'im jammy so I will. I'll batter two bricks the gether and crush his plums"

Dennis: "Now hold on Oz! Give it a rest will ya. They got enough eunuchs around these parts without another one"

Oz: Well!!!!! It'd soon put a stop to him poking them Roman bints an'all"

Dennis: "That may be so! But I think you're just a wee bit jealous man"

Oz: "Nae wonder man. How come that toe-rag gets all the royal invites to the nookiefests?"

Dennis: "Oh I dunno Oz! Maybe he's got some boyish charm and a nimble turn of phrase that's sadly lacking in the rest of us poor sods"

Oz: "Away man! You're talking through yer arse!"

Dennis: "Quod erat demonstrandum”

Oz: "And what's all that gibberish when it's at home?"

Dennis: "Never mind. Just somethin' I picked up from the local lads ya know"

Barry: "It's not a literal translation but it loosely means.....

Oz: "Shurrup Barry!!"

Dennis: "You an'all Oz, gimme some peace"

Oz: "Nah Nah man! What you doing fraternising with the natives again Dennis. What happened to camaraderie, brother in arms an'all that"

Dennis: "I don't see anything wrong with the Romans. They're canny lads most of them"

Oz: "Rotten basta'ds burned down me village in Gateshead"

Neville: "It's called 'Portae Capita' now"

Another bricklayer from the Tyneland had just arrived and joined in the conversation

Oz: "Oh look what the cat's dragged in and don't you start with that Latin stuff an'all Neville. Where you been all night man? You and Wayne have a foursome over at the Emperors hut"

Neville: "Away Ozbollocks! You know I'm forever faithful to me Brenda back home. Nah! Me and Bomber crashed out with the decorators last night after a few bevvies. We've been helpin' out this morning on the frescoes an that"

Barry: "Is Bomber not coming to join us then?"

Neville: "Nah man. He's gettin ready for his Gladiator combat this afternoon"

Barry: "Eh? I thought the Romans had banned him from that. Unnecessary roughness they said. He knocked out a top centurion last week. That's eight of them he's seen off"

Neville: "Ah know man but 'Old Vespa' likes him and reckons he's good training for them"

Oz: "Another pet poodle of the Emperor Vespasian. I dunno, I really dunno"

Dennis: "That's our Bomber. Tough as nails. And he better not hear you calling him a poodle neither. Talking of nails, who's gonna build all them crucifixes if Wayne's not about? Have they got another chippy then?"

Neville: "I really hope so. I didn't like Wayne making all them. It's not right is it?"

Oz: "Ach gimme peace man! You didn't complain when you were laying the bricks for that military stockade on the Tyne did ya?"

Neville: "Aye! But that's different"

Oz: "Nah it isna! It's an army contract all the same"

Neville: "Ah know but I just don't believe in capital punishment.

Oz: "Well you'll soon be believin it awreet if they hear ya talkin like that. So best to keep shtum if you know what's good for ya or they'll feed you to Bomber"

Dennis: "Look lads. Let's forget about it eh? We've got our half-day today so we can go and watch the big man unleash seven tons of excrement on them ponsy Romans. Now! Let's get to work and we can get this job finished"

After work they gathered for a few calfskins of wine and a large lunch of roasted ox. Then the lads headed for the local amphitheatre for the Gladiatorial combat. Their colleague Moxie from Scouseland was already there waiting for them. He had been working on plaster for the sculptural workshop all morning. The group were not long seated when a relaxed but tired-looking Wayne Norris eventually showed up.

Oz: "Aha! Look who it is! Hey, you not got an executive box ya Roman toady?"

Wayne: "Stick and stones Oz, sticks and stones. How was your night in the hut. Have a nice evening playing with your jigsaws and dominoes?

Oz: "You'll not be laughing down at the VD Clinic mate. Them Roman docs don't mess about with that red-hot poker"

Dennis: "C'mon lads. Give it a rest. We're here to have a good time an'all. We're all gonna see Bomber"

Wayne: "When's he on then?"

Moxie: "I've bought a programme. Lemme see now. Wow! He's top billin by the way. He won't be on for ages"

Wayne: "Cor blimey! That's torn it"

Dennis: "What d'ye mean?"

Wayne: "Well I thought he'd be on earlier again so I'd planned a little romantic assignation kinda thing. Know what I mean?"

Dennis: "You just don't know when to stop do ya?"

Wayne: "No bleedin wonder. Those birds in the togas. Doesn't take much time to get them in the altogether. You know the old saying? 'When in Rome' y'know what I mean?"

Barry: "What saying? I've never heard of it"

Oz: "How about this one Londinium? My fist your face!"

Dennis: "Look! Will you pack it in for Christ sakes"

Barry: "Ow now! Don't mention him around here Dennis"

Neville: "Dennis is right. Let's all just settle down, slug some vino and enjoy the fights"

Dennis: "Agreed!"

Oz: "Ach away man. Ah'm for the off!"


With that he deserted his friends and wandered off on his own

Thereafter several bouts of variable sporting prowess and entertainment value ensued.

Then it is time for the Main Event, which is Bomber's big fight.

He strolls confidently out into the arena and salutes the great Emperor Vesparian who acknowledges him from from his vaunted position in the Royal Box.

Moxie: "There he is lads! Go on Bomber!!"

The big Avon man looks up to his mates who are in their usual seats in the away end. He waves enthusiastically and shouts over.

Bomber: "Hello lads! Keep the wine cold for me. I'll be up in a jiffy!"

Combat commences and true to his word Bomber sees off his opponent in a short but fierce bout of swordsmanship, flailing punches and head-butting. He then stands proudly in the centre of the arena enjoying the roars of the crowd.

Dennis: "Good on ya Bomber lad. Magic!"

Neville: "Yeah! He did it again. What a fight"

Oz: "So he won again did he?"

Oz had just reappeared in the amphitheatre after his unexpected departure much earlier.

Moxie: "Hey Oz, where you been? We thought you'd maybe joined up with Wayne to do some coppin with the girls"

Oz: "Nah lads. I went on a wee special mission while everybody was preoccupied-like in here"

Barry: "What was that then?"

Oz: "Ah'll tell yous when we get back home. Only 2 weeks left of the contract"

Neville: "Ah c'mon Oz man! What you been up to?"

Dennis: "Aye spit it oot man!"

Oz: "Nah! Nah! I might get into real trouble if it gets out. Let's just say Ah've planted a wee souvenir and a wee bit of Italy will be forever Britannia"

Dennis: "Bloody Oz! International man of mystery"

The air of mystery cultivated by Osbourne was only unveiled to his friends on their return to England at the end of the contract.

But the secret was revealed recently to the academic community in the archaeological investigations on the Colosseum. During their probing into the newly disturbed stonework in the fabric of the ancient stadium they discovered a hidden artefact.

An ancient trowel had been encased within the rocks. This was extracted and closely examined but one thing was immediately visible without the aid of microscopic scrutiny. On the flat blade of the implement there had been an inscription crudely engraved by hand.

It bore the words "Geordie nos hic puerorum. Puteus shag omnes mulieres tuum et bibe cervisia" And so it seems that Osbourne had actually immersed himself in the culture of ancient Rome of 70 A.D. after all.

Roughly translated into modern English the phrase means "Geordie boys we are here. We'll shag all the women and drink your beer".


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