“I think the Romans had the right idea. Why should we sit up to eat our meals?” This remark by Hal to his fellow Latin class members started the ball rolling for a really different party.
The girls in the crowd got together and dreamed up the party. They made invitations out of stiff Manila paper to represent a Roman scroll and sent the following proclamation to their classmates:
Oh Noble Lords: We your slaves ask you to dine while you recline in truly Roman fashion, at the home of Ginny Reynolds on Saturday at six o’clock. Please dress in togas and sandals.
The night of the dinner the arriving guests were indeed a sight for astonished eyes. Their togas, upon close inspection, turned out to be cleverly draped bed sheets. Their sandals smacked of beach wear. The school’s football captain bound his crew-cut hair with a Roman headband.
The dinner was served on folded card tables placed flat on the floor. Plate doilies were used and the place cards were tiny Roman scrolls wound on toothpicks. Blankets were spread along the tables upon which the guests reclined. The dining room was candle lighted.
The girls, acting as Roman slaves, served the reclining Lords their dinner. The first course consisted of deviled eggs on lettuce, stuffed celery, olives and crackers. There were no knives, forks or spoons. Everything was eaten with the fingers.
The main course consisted of cold meat, string beans, carrots, and buttered buns. Grape juice and lemon punch was served with the dinner. Dessert was individual pumpkin pies. Trays of dried prunes, apricots, figs and raisins were passed.
At the close of the meal the Roman custom of freeing the slaves for the day and crowning one of them King was observed, only in this case the slaves were all girls, so the Lords crowned a Queen. Immediately the ex-slave Queen ordered all the Lords to Hades to receive judgment for the way they had bossed the slaves during dinner. Each Lord chose an ex-slave lady to accompany him.
To reach Hades it was necessary, of course, for each one to cross the river Styx which was well guarded, according to Roman mythology, by Cerberus, the three-headed dog. The river Styx was a strip of floor covered solidly with twigs and sticks. Three boys under one blanket, except for their heads, impersonated the dog. The three heads made considerable noise with their barking.
When all had crossed the dangerous river each victim paid obeisance to Pluto, king of the underworld. Then each Lord or Lady appeared before three judges to plead his or her cause. The three judges were chosen from the erstwhile slaves.
If the judges decided that the prisoner’s lordly manner at dinner was natural and not acquired, he was sent to the Elysian Fields. But alas and alack, few were found to be without fault, and the guilty were promptly condemned to Hades. They were, however, given a chance to redeem themselves. Each was ordered to do a stunt which would meet the approval of Pluto.
Some of the stunts assigned to the guilty would do credit to a truth-or-consequence program. Two of the most studious lads were blindfolded and given bean bags to throw at each other. Each lad to succeed in placating Pluto must hit another lad with the bean bag before he could be released from Hades.
A Roman party takes all the children back to the time of Roman empire. They love to practice some of the famous Roman Customs, Roman tradition and lots more about Roman, which also increases their knowledge.