Listen to “The Shreds of Rome” poem, written by Roland “Roly” Keates. Roland has written poetry all his life. With his interest in mythology, he came up with this beautiful poem.
The poem for the film has to be written as if the Roman was talking to himself and questioning why he was not with his brotherhood but locked in the new world. Roland sat down for a week and re-read the poems of Publius Vergilius Maro (Virgil) entitled ‘Aeneid’ and ‘The Gods of Roman Britain’ to give him more insight into Roman world and their mythology.
The birds the wind were silent,
Augur, did you not forsee, or hear?
Mithras, oh Mithras, I engage your help,
To fight these foes of darkness and evil.
The bull with it’s blood of life, bitten by scorpions might,
Is this the cave, of dog and snake?
Prancing in this mysterious cave
Of light and dark, with the devils cavern.
Bear in hibernation, walking through the centuries,
Eating, drinking, the blood of nature.
We’re the Ninth Legion of Hispana on the March, proud and strong,
Conquering, pillaging, building with each engagement.
Friendships’ won and lost, women found and gained,
Miles and miles we march in the summers glow.
Swords sharp, shields raised, war cry echoes day and night,
Through howling wind and rain storms, we’re led by an almighty force.
The painted redheads, the skirted foes,
the sorcerers of the north, cursed our victorious charge.
Flash of light ended our reign, no one about but a burning flame,
Where are you Mars, the God of War?
I only see Saturn, he’s used his power.
My hand feels numb and void,
No shield no sword to protect or serve.
I should be admired and feared and not stirred,
These Brigantes, with clothes so fair.
I walk through landscape, township, so foreign
Funny horse drawn carriages, so noisy and smelly.
March, with no direction or purpose
The end is close
I can see the bright light until my time again
In the poem Roland referenced many Roman Goods and wise men
Augur – a prophet or a seer
Mithras – The pagan God of sun
Mars – God of War
Saturn – God of Time
‘The bull with it’s blood of life, bitten by scorpions might, Is this the cave, of dog and snake.
The above donates to the ‘Mithraic Mysteries which were a mystery religion practiced in the Roman Empire from about the 1st to 4th centuries AD. The name of the Persian god Mithra, adapted into Greek as Mithras, was linked to a new and distinctive imagery. Romans also called the religion Mysteries of Mithras or Mysteries of the Persians. The mysteries were popular in the Roman military.
Worshippers of Mithras had a complex system of seven grades of initiation, with ritual meals. Initiates called themselves syndexioi, those “united by the handshake”. They met in underground temples (called a mithraeum), which survive in large numbers and an example is in London – see website. Numerous archeological finds, including meeting places, monuments and artefacts have contributed to modern knowledge about Mithraism throughout the Roman Empire. The iconic scenes of Mithras show him being born from a rock, slaughtering a bull.’
The painted redheads, the skirted foes – Just a reference to the Scots fighting the Roman’s at Hadrians Wall
Roland had wanted a none English Latin voice-over artist to read the poem and this was a challenge in itself to find. By chance, he found through Facebook Raul Mates who spoke Latin and contacted him and the rest is history.