Roman game pieces

Have a go at making a Roman board game and learning how to play it. Try and beat your family members.

Download the activity sheet

If you would like to have a printout of the activity, please download the PDF here.

Let's play

Look at and read about the Roman game pieces below.

Have a go at making a Roman board game and learning how to play it. Try and beat your family members.

Roman game pieces

Much of ancient Roman life revolved around negotium (work and business), but there was also time available for otium (leisure). 

Entertainment enjoyed by Romans in ancient times were not much different from today. Archaeologists have found evidence that games were played by the soldiers at Arbeia in the forms of bone and clay dice and game counters.

What games do you play that use counters, dice, and a board?

Make your own Roman Rota (like Tic Tac Toe) board game and counters from materials you have at home. That History Bloke shows you how to make and play Rota on YouTube.

1. First, draw a circle. You can use paper, card, cardboard, old cereal box etc.
2. Next draw a plus sign in it (+) and then an X. (See picture above)
3. Draw dots at the end of each line and in the middle
4. You can cut your circle out if you like.
5. Now you'll need counters.
6. Each player gets THREE counters.

TOP TIP: You can use coins (different coins for each player), buttons, pebbles, or design and make your own, but remember, each player must have different designs.

How to play:

1. Each turn, players can put one piece on the board in any open spot.
2. After all three pieces are on the board, a player must move one piece each turn.
3. A piece may move along any line or curving edge of the circle to the next empty spot.
4. A piece may not jump other pieces nor move more than one spot.
5. The first person to get three in a row is the winner.

Share your creations

We'd love to see your creations.

Tag us on Twitter at @arbeiaromanfort, use the #Arbeiaathome hashtag, or post them on our Facebook page.