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First Contact
Music: Jan Ladislav Dussek
Julius Caesar came over from France expecting to silence the noisy neighbours, but things did not go according to plan.

ONE night late in August, 55 BC, Julius Caesar set sail from Boulogne with more than eighty ships. Eighteen more, carrying his cavalry, were to follow.

Dover’s towering cliffs, lined with defiant Britons, prompted Caesar to land his ships at Walmer.

His men, reluctant to disembark into unexpectedly deep waters, were rallied by their standard-bearer.

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Grammar and Composition

Distinguish using sentences: Ship. Boat.

Use as a noun and also as a verb: Tower. Land. Storm.

Use together in one sentence: Part. Night. Cry.

More games: Précis. Sevens. Jigsaw. Confusables. Spinner. Opposites. Verb or Noun? Active or Passive? Subject and Object. Adjectives. Word Classes.

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The Golden Age of Carausius
Music: Henry Purcell
A Roman commander facing court martial took refuge in politics, and for ten years London was an imperial capital.

IN 286, Carausius was appointed to command the ‘Britannic Fleet’, patrolling the English Channel to keep Franks and Saxons from raiding Britain’s southern coasts. Rumour had it, however, that he let some raiders through so he could pocket their plunder for himself, and Emperor Maximian summoned him for a court martial.

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Grammar and Composition

Distinguish using sentences: Honest. Frank. Blunt.

Use as a noun and also as a verb: Court. Coast. Face.

Use together in one sentence: Year. Through. Raid.

More games: Précis. Sevens. Jigsaw. Confusables. Spinner. Opposites. Verb or Noun? Active or Passive? Subject and Object. Adjectives. Word Classes.

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A Pyrrhic Victory
Music: Edward German
The ancient Greek King knew victory had cost his army more than it could afford to lose.

AFTER they had fought till sunset, both armies were unwillingly separated by the night, Pyrrhus being wounded by a javelin in the arm, and his baggage plundered by the Samnites; in all there died of Pyrrhus’s men and the Romans above fifteen thousand.

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Grammar and Composition

Distinguish using sentences: Mislead. Mislay. Lose.

Use as a noun and also as a verb: Make. Part. Till.

Use together in one sentence: Backward. Part. All.

More games: Précis. Sevens. Jigsaw. Confusables. Spinner. Opposites. Verb or Noun? Active or Passive? Subject and Object. Adjectives. Word Classes.

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The Rewards of Treachery
Music: Richard Jones
Cicero warns those who seek power through civic unrest that they will never be the beneficiaries of it.

MEN of another class, though crushed by debt, still expect to rule, still covet political power, nursing a hope that public unrest might bring honours they could never dream of in untroubled times.

Let it be clear to one and all, right now, that their quest is hopeless.

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Grammar and Composition

Distinguish using sentences: Beside. Besides.

Use as a noun and also as a verb: Rule. Hope. Class.

Use together in one sentence: City. Blood. Plot.

More games: Précis. Sevens. Jigsaw. Confusables. Spinner. Opposites. Verb or Noun? Active or Passive? Subject and Object. Adjectives. Word Classes.

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St Helen Finds the True Cross
Music: Charles Villiers Stanford
The mother of the Roman Emperor goes to Jerusalem on a quest close to her heart.

EMPEROR Constantine the Great secured his crown by displaying the sign of the Cross in battle, and soon afterwards, in 326, he encouraged his Christian mother, Helen, to go to Jerusalem to find Christ’s original, true Cross.

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Grammar and Composition

Distinguish using sentences: Quiet. Quite. Quit.

Use as a noun and also as a verb: See. Guide. Father.

Use together in one sentence: Pray. Nothing. Angrily.

More games: Précis. Sevens. Jigsaw. Confusables. Spinner. Opposites. Verb or Noun? Active or Passive? Subject and Object. Adjectives. Word Classes.

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Xerxes Scourges the Hellespont
Music: Frank Bridge
The Persian King felt that a lord of his majesty should not have to take any nonsense from an overgrown river.

MEANWHILE, his men were bridging the Hellespont from Asia to Europe. But no sooner had the strait been bridged than a great storm swept down, breaking and scattering everything.

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Grammar and Composition

Distinguish using sentences: Hear. Attend. Listen.

Use as a noun and also as a verb: Man. Pair. Throw.

Use together in one sentence: Pair. Thus. Fetter.

More games: Précis. Sevens. Jigsaw. Confusables. Spinner. Opposites. Verb or Noun? Active or Passive? Subject and Object. Adjectives. Word Classes.

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