This weekend for a Roman extravaganza in Nîmes

From May 3rd Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 500 re-enactors from France, Italy, Croatia and Germany meet in the exceptional setting of the Arènes de Nîmes to take part in the ‘Great Roman Games’, a unique event which has established itself as the greatest historical reconstruction of antiquity in Europe, in the best preserved amphitheatre in the world.

For three days, the Nîmes coliseum offers to relive the legendary ludi as occured 2000 years ago. This will include the Imperial Court, a parade of Roman legionnaires, chariot races and gladiatorial combat.

This edition honours the Barbarian Kings and the invasion of the Cimbri, Teutonic and Ambron that the Romans had to face between 113 and 101 BC. The Barbarian Kings recounts the epic of the barbarians following their victory over the Romans in Arausio,  which is the French city of Orange, and the triumph of General Marius during the famous battle of Aix-en-Provence in 101 BC.

From the 1st to 5th passionate reenactors will live as in the Roman era, 24h / 24h for 5 days, setting up a Roman camp exactly as it was. There is the opportunity to interact with historians and archaeologists in period dress and to participate in several workshops and demonstrations.

About forty AERA specialists will offer a series of workshops, presentations, demonstrations and military trainingon Camp Romain.You can learn how to make Roman military bread and discover military tents decorated by the objects used at the time. The reenactors, in military uniform of different ranks, will present the packages owned by the Roman soldiers of the time. A centurion, a specialized historian, will present the different strategies put in place by the Roman army during their conquests.

The whole town of Nîmes turn out and it becomes taken over by Roman themed events and promotions.Enjoy “Cimbrious Wars and the Battle of Orange”by Alain Deyber, archaeologist and doctor of history and civilization of Antiquity with free conference on registration at

Conference “Marius, imperator of the Roman Republic”by Éric Teyssier, professor of Roman history at the University of Nîmes free registration at

  • Throughout the town there will be marching legionaries and Roman civilians, Celts and dancers
  • Saturday May 4th from 11h to 12h6 different courses in downtown streets.
  • Torchlight Night Paradeon Saturday May 4th from 11h from 21h to 21h30
  • Emperor’s triumphal parade
  • Ceremony of the imperial cult
  • The navy in antiquity
  • Antique marketthat takes up residence on the Esplanade in front of the arena and exposes during the 3 days of festivities, on about twenty stands showing faithfully reproduced helmets, textiles, pottery, antique jewels, belts, coins and other handicrafts.

And of course this year is the 60th, and so the diamond, anniversary of Astérix the wonderfully French protagonist of the Romans. Supported by Dogamatrix, Unhygenix,, Obélix, Vitalstatistix and others – Astérix holds out against the Roman overlords. Watch out as this anniversary promises to be one for the history books with a flurry of exhibitions and celebrations everywhere. For more information visit

But if you really want the truth . . . Head down to Nîmes this coming weekend and see how it really happened (well almost!)

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