Ancient Rome: Epic Innovators and Engineers at MOSH through Jan 28

Centurion Helmet (Imperial Gallic style), Museum of Science and History, MOSH, Jacksonville, Florida
Centurion Helmet (Imperial Gallic style)

JACKSONVILLE – Imagine traveling back two thousand years to a time of mighty heroes and powerful emperors. Now imagine having the opportunity to use mighty Roman war machines, sundials and water clocks, grinding mills, pottery wheels and much more. That is what is coming to the Museum of Science & History (MOSH) on September 23, when the acclaimed and award-winning Italian exhibition, Ancient Rome: Epic Innovators and Engineers, opens to the public and runs through January 28, 2018.

The interactive exhibition explores an epic period during which Rome conquered much of the ancient world through military ingenuity, oversaw significant feats of construction and pioneered technological innovations that affect our lives today. It features artifacts of ancient technology reconstructed using designs dating from the height of the Roman Empire, giving Museum guests the opportunity to use and interact with some of these incredible inventions and machines and learn how they function.

Ancient Rome: Epic Innovators and Engineers, colosseum, Museum of Science and History, MOSH, Jacksonville, Florida

“Ancient Rome is a dynamic exhibition that features more than two dozen replicas on display, as well as numerous models and hands-on, interactive elements that allow guests to be directly involved in operating the many mechanisms that testify to Roman ingenuity,” said MOSH curator Paul Bourcier. “These engaging experiences not only help guests understand history, but also key concepts of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). MOSH embraces this learning-by-doing approach, especially when it comes to exploring principles of physics, which are in no short supply in this exhibition.”

For some, ancient Rome conjures up an image of gladiators fighting to the death for the amusement of a large audience. Ancient Rome reveals some of the technology behind these spectacles. Included in the show are models of the Colosseum and a hypogeum with a lift used to hoist deadly wild animals from the Colosseum’s basement and release them into the arena. Museum-goers also will see armor and weapons used by gladiators, which are different from the armor and weapons of Roman soldiers, also on display. The exhibition includes other items, such as a water clock, a sundial, a battering ram, an assault tower, a bridge, a catapult and an aqueduct model. Museum guests will also see a fresco, mosaics and a potter’s wheel that Romans adopted from earlier cultures.

MOSH will host a public opening of the exhibition on Saturday, September 23 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. featuring the following activities: anengineering workshop, make-a-mosaic masterpiece, Museum-wide scavenger hunt, build your very own car with the Jacksonville Hot Wheel Club, 3D printing instruction with Forge Co. and a special presentation at 2 p.m. in the Bryan-Gooding Planetarium called Ad Astra: To the Stars.

Ancient Rome is created by Artisans of Florence – International and NICCOLAI TEKNOART S.N.C. (Firenze). The exhibition is included with Museum admission. For tickets and more information, visit or call 396.MOSH (6674).

About MOSH

The Museum of Science & History (MOSH) is located at 1025 Museum Circle near Friendship Park. MOSH, first chartered in 1941, inspires the joy of lifelong learning by bringing to life the sciences and regional history. Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday – Thursday; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday; and noon to 5 p.m.Sunday. Admission is $12.50 for adults; $10 for youth, students, active and retired military and seniors. There is no admission fee for children 2 and under or Museum members. Admission is $5 on Fridays. Learn more at

Museum funding is provided in part by the City of Jacksonville and the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville, Inc.; the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, and the Florida Arts Council, and the National Endowment for the Arts; Historic Museums Grants-in-Aid Program assistance provided by the Bureau of Historical Museums, Division of Historical Resources, Florida Department of State, Secretary of State.

About the Artisans

A strong passion for history and engineering together with the ancient techniques perfected in their workshop have allowed the Artisans of Florence to reconstruct ancient machines and tools designed and documented by ancient architects and engineers like Vitruvius (80BC – 15AD) in a manner never seen before. The exhibition is the work of three generations of Italian artisans, and allows visitors the opportunity to interact with the ancient technology that has been so important in shaping our modern world.