Terror in a Toga

An evening of gladiator
warfare and celebration is planned
for all of Rome to enjoy.

At the heart of the excitement sits Felix Festus, a lanista looking to win the public favor – and in doing so,
a Senate seat – with the donation of his gladiators for exhibition. While no lives will be taken in the ring;
honor, pride and the grand champion title are all at stake in the exhibition.

Although lives will be spared in the arena, the same will not hold true at the festivities.

One Roman will take their last breath at the party and it will be up to you to search out
the guilty from the guileful. Was it the brute in a fight for his freedom?
A senator unwilling to award another seat? A socialite who will not accept a rising of the classes?
Or perhaps a slave whose secret runs so deep that murder is the only way to silence it.

As you defend your own innocence, you will be called upon to
decipher between
 the downtrodden and the downright deceitful…
that is, unless the murderer is you!

Download Mystery Intro

Guest Info

Guest Breakdown

With 20+ guests: At least 8 male guests, 8 female guests and 4 gender-neutral guests

With 15-20 guests: 7-8 male guests, 7-8 female guests, 1-4 gender-neutral guests

With 10-15 guests: 4-6 male guests, 4-5 female guests, 2-4 gender-neutral guests

With 8-12 guests: 4-5 guests, 3-4 female guests, 1-3 gender-neutral guests

 

* The upgrade is only able to upgrade the 15-20 guest version to the 20-80 guest version. The upgrade DOES NOT work with any other size of party.

The Cast

*Note that the cast listed below is provided only to give an idea of the types of roles available, and not presented in any order relevant to the plot. Not all cast members are included in every version.

  • Justice Ruler

    Senator

    Born into the upper class, Justice is not one to open the Senate doors, or his understanding, to those from different classes or families.

  • Claudia Ruler

    Senator’s Wife

    Wealth and prestige have always come easy to this woman of privilege. What will she do when her power and dominance are in jeopardy?

  • Marcus Augustus

    Senator

    With an open heart and an open mind, Marcus proves to be a different type of leader, but whether he is one that will prevail and retain his Senate seat is yet to be decided.

  • Cecilia Augustus

    Senator’s Wife

    With a troubled past, this diva has made it into the upper class not through her money, but by her romantic exploits.

  • Cicero Augustus

    Senator’s Son

    Aspiring to be just like his father, Cicero may be following in Marcus’ footsteps in more ways than one.

  • Felix Festus

    Lanista

    With his sights set on the Senate, Felix needs to capitalize on his popularity with the people, as well as prove that his managerial skills extend beyond the arena.

  • Fabiola Festus

    Lanista’s Wife

  • Anthony Aurelius

    Soldier

  • Amelia Aurelius

    Soldier’s Wife

  • Antonia Aurelius

    Soldier’s Daughter

  • Titus

    Grand Champion Gladiator

  • Brutus

    Gladiator

  • Hadrian

    Gladiator

  • Livia

    Slave

  • Sabina

    Chamber Servant

  • Tatiana

    Servant

  • Trader Livinius

    Merchant

  • Speedius Ryder

    Charioteer

  • Gossipus Maximus

    Town Cryer

  • Iovita Investigatus

    Constable

Party Tips for Throwing Terror in a Toga

 

THE GOOD NEWS: Roman clothes were very easy to make and to put on. They were usually just made from a single piece of rectangular material, with no special shaping and very little sewing.

 

MORE GOOD NEWS!: There are a wealth of resources out there to help you. We have concocted this page with an overview on how to dress, but the internet is loaded with great ideas. We encourge you to search out your own as well. (If you find a really good link, let us know and we will add it here, too!)

 

THE EVEN BETTER NEWS: If you are not into making your outfit, and have no time to look, we have plenty of costume options.  Just check out the online costumes link to the left! (if it is not there, it is coming soon!)

 

Let’s begin with making your own outfit!

 

Benefits: cost and originality – no one will have a costume the same as you!

 

Tips:

 

  • Look for bedsheets on sale, at discount or second-hand shops.

 

  • Don’t like the color of your inexpensive sheets? Buy some fabric dye (approximately $3) and change it to a color you prefer.

 

  • Buying yardage of fabric can be less costly (and more original) than purchasing new bedsheets.

 

  • Look at the fabric store for gold tassels, cords, etc. to use as embellishments.

 

  • Don’t know how to sew? You can use pins, stitch withery and/or a glue gun for the construction of most outfits.

 

  • Don’t overstress. Anything goes!

 

<< CHECK THE TABS TO THE LEFT FOR MORE IDEAS!!! <<<

 

TUNIC: 

The basic item of male dress was the tunic, made of two pieces of undyed wool sewn together at the sides and shoulders and belted in such a way that the garment just covered the knees. Openings for the arms were left at the top of the garment, creating an effect of short sleeves when the tunic was belted; since tunics were usually not cut in a T-shape, this left extra material to drape under the arm. Men of the equestrian class were entitled to wear a tunic with narrow stripes, in the color the Romans called purple (although it was more like a deep crimson), extending from shoulder to hem, while broad stripes distinguished the tunics of men of the senatorial class.

How to make a Roman tunic (eHow with pictures)

TOGA:

The toga was the national garment of Rome and only male citizens were allowed to wear the toga. It was made of a large woolen cloth cut with both straight and rounded edges; it was not sewn or pinned but rather draped carefully over the body on top of the tunic. Over time, the size and manner of draping the toga became more elaborate. The cloth was folded lengthwise and partly pleated at the fold, which was then draped over the left side of the body, over the left shoulder, under the right arm, and back up over the left arm and shoulder. It was held in place partly by the weight of the material and partly by keeping the left arm pressed against the body. Togas were costly, heavy, and cumbersome to wear; the wearer looked dignified and stately but would have found it difficult to do anything very active. Citizens were supposed to wear togas for all public occassions.

 Ehow link on How to Make Your Toga

 

<< CHECK THE TABS TO THE LEFT FOR MORE IDEAS!!! <<<

Think this one is un-makable? We found this AMAZING tutorial of how to make a Roman soldier costume out of cardboard!  Check it out here! 

 

Inspiration. Search on the internet for an image of a gladiator that you would like to portray. You can find many gladiators in the Hollywood world from Russell Crowe’s Gladiator, to Kirk Douglas’ Spartacus, to any one of the gladiators in the Starz Series Spartacus. Once you have that image of what you would like to create, go about collecting things that would help you create it. Be it, old belts, fake leather straps, old sports pads, spray paint, hot glue, etc.

 

Gladiator Accessories and Weaponry:

  • fascina: harpoon
  • galea: visored helmet
  • galerus: metal shoulder piece
  •  gladius: sword
  • hasta: lance
  • iaculum: net
  • manicae: leather elbow or wrist bands
  • ocrea: metal or boiled leather greave
  • parma: round shield
  • scutum: large oblong shield
  • sica: curved scimitar
  • subligaculum: loin cloth


And check out the tutorial on how to make a weapon for your night!

 

A  TUTORIAL ON WHAT TO WEAR:

• Costumzee: How to Make a Gladiator Costume

 

 

Footwear can be a simple sandal or leather slipper that you have in your closet. This was very tpical of the time and would suit your outfit wonderfullty. OR, you can go all out and find some fun and funky Roman style shoes.

If you are ever so daring you can make your own:

• How to create Roman Sandals from scratch!

 

<< CHECK THE TABS TO THE LEFT FOR MORE IDEAS!!! <<<

Similar to Roman men, the basic item of clothing was the tunic, though women’s tunics were fuller and longer, usually extending to the feet. There were two basic styles of tunic, both similar to tunics worn by Greek women.

 

 

PEPLOS:

The peplos was made from two rectangular pieces of cloth partially sewn together on both sides; the open sections at the top were then folded down in the front and back. The woman pulled this garment over her head and fastened it at her shoulders with two large pins, forming a sleeveless dress; she then tied a belt over or under the folds. FInd more info here.

 

 

CHITON:

The more common sleeved tunic worn by women was similar to the Greek chiton. Two wide pieces of cloth were sewn together almost to the top, leaving just enough room for armholes. The woman pulled this garment over her head and used several pins or buttons to fasten it at intervals over her shoulders and arms, forming a dress with sleeves which could be belted under the breasts, at the waist, or at the hips. The length of the sleeves was determined by the width of the cloth. Statues clearly show the manner of fastening the sleeves as well as various modes of draping and belting the tunic. Tunics could be brightly colored or made of lightweight fabrics such as linen or silk. FInd more info here.

Here is a GREAT blog on making a chiton. Click here.

 

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HAIRSTYLES:

 

  • Roman women were simple in dress, but elaborate in hairstyle.

 

  •  Often if their hair was not thick enough for the current hairstyle, a woman would wear a wig.

 

  • Red and blonde wigs were very in fashion.

 

  • Use false hairpieces to make hair longer, curlier or thicker.

 

  • Hair up: carefully arranged with jeweled hairpins to hold it in style.

 

  • Hair down: curled with ringlets

 

SOME LINKS FOR HAIRSTYLES:

• Roman women hairstyles

 

• A little history on Roman Haistyles

 

 

Feeling fancy? Check out these great examples of ways to adorn your head the Roman way!

Check out this tutorial here!

 

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HEADWEAR

Let’s start with the basic — a laurel wreath goes with any Roman outfit!

DIY on how to make one here!!!

 

 

Feeling fancy? Check out these great examples of ways to adorn your head the Roman way!

Check out this tutorial here!

 

 

OR, CREATE A HELMET FOR THE EVENING!

Check out directions here!

Check out directions here!

 


Footwear can be a simple sandal or leather slipper that you have in your closet. This was very tpical of the time and would suit your outfit wonderfullty. OR, you can go all out and find some fun and funky Roman style shoes.

If you are ever so daring you can make your own:

• How to create Roman Sandals from scratch!

 

<< CHECK THE TABS TO THE LEFT FOR MORE IDEAS!!! <<<

Get the lowdown  on the other party goers! Click here.

 

 

See the Costumes Tab above!!!

 

 

An informational piece on what it was like in ancient Rome. Click Here.

 

 

 

Salutations! Gratitude! Apologies! Download this list of words and phrases to help you speak like a Roman the night of the party… and decode what others are saying to you.

 

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When in Rome, do as the Romans do.

 

Who Said It: St. Ambrose
When: 387 A.D.

 

The Story behind It: When St. Augustine arrived in Milan, he observed that the Church did not fast on Saturday as did the Church at Rome. He consulted St. Ambrose, bishop of Milan, who replied: “When I am at Rome, I fast on a Saturday; when I am at Milan, I do not. Follow the custom of the Church where you are.” The comment was changed to “When they are at Rome, they do there as they see done” by Robert Burton in his Anatomy of Melancholy. Eventually it became “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.”

 

 

Friends, Romans, Countrymen…

 

Why were Romans called Romans and not Italians?

Romans were Italians – end of story. However, a Roman looked down on mere Italians, as Rome was totally dominant in its sphere of Italy.

As usual winners, Romans considered themselves as dominant, and even though eventually the other Italian peoples and cities were allied to them, they did not treat them as equals – Romans had superior legal rights, and exploited them too in commercial dealings with their allies. It was a close run thing, and when they eventually scraped home, Rome learnt and extended Roman citizenship to all its Italian allies, who, while Italians too, also became Romans.

 

Roman citizenship was gradually extended to other ethnics as the empire expanded. By three hundred years later, all peoples in the empire were given Roman citizenship and became Romans, whether they were Latins, other Italians, Greeks, Gauls, Britons, Spaniards, Syrians or other ethnicity.

 

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FAMILY TIES: The Social Ladder

 

UPPER CLASSES

  • Senatorial Class (aka the senators)
    • This class was political and dominated by nobles whose ancestors included at least one consul.

 

  • Plebeian Class
    • This class was based on economical standards. One could formally be enrolled in this class based on his stable minimum amount of money and could only be elevated if elected into the Senate. This was seldom and hard to do.

 

LOWER CLASSES

  • Commons: All other freeborn Roman citizens.

 

  • Latins: freeborn residents of Italy and of certain other Roman municipalities who had some legal rights but were not full Roman citizens.

 

  • Foreigners: all other freeborn men and women who lived in Roman territories.

 

  • Freedpeople: men and women who had been slaves but had bought their freedom or been manumitted. They were not fully free because they had various restrictions on their rights and owed certain duties to their former masters, who now became their patrons, but they could become citizens if their former masters were citizens and they had been formally manumitted.

 

  • Slaves: slaves were born into slavery or sold into slavery through war or piracy. Slaves were the property of their owners by law, but by custom some slaves (especially urban, domestic slaves) might be allowed their own savings with which they might later buy their freedom, or their masters could manumit them, so some mobility into the previous class was possible.

 


BRAGGING RIGHTS: Your Identity in Rome

It was the public opinion of an individual that dictated a Roman’s worth. Because of this, of this, good deeds were rarely done unless the deed could draw much attention and praise. With public judgement was king, Romans tried to elevate themselves in the eyes of their peers in order to climb the social ladder. Any achievement by an individual was blatantly bragged about to make absolutely sure everyone knew of their good deeds. Citizens who wre too dignified to do the bragging oneself, simply found others who would boast for them. The credit a Roman gained among his peers was immediately used to advance their political fortunes; all in the hope of finally achieving that distant goal – a seat in the Roman senate.

 

MORAL OF THE STORY: In Rome, where nobility, military and political leadership were all intertwined, there was no end of bragging, showing-off and a boundless supply of flattering rumours. So should it be at your party.

 

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More on the Gladiators and their Games!

 

GLADIATOR OATH: “I swear to be burned, bound, beaten, or die by the sword in pursuit of honour in the arena.” Learn it. Love it. Repeat it at the party for kicks. 

 

TYPES OF GLADIATORS:

As the contests became more organized, gladiators became more specialized.
There were five types of gladiator, each with their own unique weapons.

  • The Mirmillones were heavily armed and wore helmets decorated with fish.
  • Thracians carried just a shield and scimitar, making them much quicker on their feet.
  • The Retiarii were armed with just a net, a long trident and a dagger.
  • Samnites had a sword, an oblong shield and a helmet with a visor.
  • The Bestiarii fought wild animals.

Which type of gladiator would you be?

 

 

FUT TIDBITS ABOUT THE ROMAN COLISEUM

 

Unsuspecting spectators
At least one emperor ordered his guards to toss unsuspecting spectators into the arena, for various reasons. The victim may have previously angered the emperor. Or, the victim may have been a complete stranger but the emperor disliked the way he was behaving in the Coliseum of Rome. Sometimes the emperor’s motive was simply to amuse himself by randomly selecting a spectator to meet his death in the arena.

 

One emperor participated
Commodus was the only emperor to fight in the Coliseum of Rome, which he did many times. He killed but was never killed. His matches were rigged by selecting opponents who were under-armed, poorly skilled or physically impaired from previous fights). He is the person portrayed as the malicious emperor in the Academy Award winning movie, Gladiator.

 

Audience segregation
Spectators were seated in the Coliseum of Rome by rank, social class and gender. The emperor had his own “court side” box. Senators were allocated choice ringside seats. The rich & well-connected had the next best seats. Male commoners (the largest audience segment) sat behind them. Women were relegated to the upmost tier – except for those trying to survive in the arena.

 

Some gladiators gained freedom
If a gladiator earned a reputation for fighting well and bravely in the Coliseum of Rome, the roaring crowd would implore the emperor that he be liberated. If the request was granted, the gladiator was handed a wooden sword, signifying that he was a free man and would never have to fight again.

 

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Chariots of Fire!

Chariot Racing was one of the most popular ancient Greek, Roman and Byzantine sports. Chariot racing was often dangerous to both driver and horse as they frequently suffered serious injury and even death, but generated strong spectator enthusiasm.

 

In the Roman form of chariot racing, teams represented different groups of financial backers and sometimes competed for the services of particularly skilled drivers. These teams became the focus of intense support among spectators, and occasional disturbances broke out between followers of different factions. The conflicts sometimes became politicized, as the sport began to transcend the races themselves and started to affect society overall. This helps explain why Roman emperors took control of the teams and appointed many officials to oversee them.

 

The sport faded in importance after the fall of Rome in the West, surviving only for a time in the Byzantine Empire, where the traditional Roman factions continued to play a prominent role for some time, gaining influence in political matters.

 

For more on Chariot Racing

 

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THE ENTRANCE

 

• Have Felix Festus (the lanista) welcome your guests to the party. If Felix would rather focus on hosting duties, consider having Anthony Aurelius or Iovita Investigatus (and/or other soldiers) to greet guests as they enter.

 

• If you are throwing a party outside, have an area roped off to make your “arena.” Cover the roped off area with sand. (Instructions on how to create sign included with mystery.)

 

 

 

 

AROUND THE SPACE

Included with the mystery packet will be directions to make your own stone or marble-like signs and designs to print out for signs around the party space! (pictured below)

 

 

One of the defining characteristics of Roman or Greek culture is vine garlands and grapevine. So while you have your decorations for a toga party, do not forget ivy wine garlands and have mock grape vines!

 

Hanging floral pieces, like ivy and ferns accompanied with clear Christmas lights on the backdrop of a column will be absolutely lovely.

 

 

Create your own laurel wreath crowns using faux greenery and spraying them with gold paint. You can display these on the buffet table or individual tables as a centerpiece.

 

 

Use props, such as, classical busts, toy swords and shields.  You can display classical busts on pedestals and hang a toy sword and shield on a backdrop. To make a roman bust, try taking a styrofoam wig mannequin head and cover it with white modeling clay.

 

 

Create a large banner that features a Roman theme, such as, S.P.Q.R.  S.P.Q.R. is a Latin noun phrase that stands for, “Senatus Populusque Romanus” meaning “The Senate and the Roman People.”

 

 

Make some gold colored Roman eagles. (How? Find an novelty eagle and use spray paint.)

 

 

Decorate plastic goblets by spray painting them with gold and glue multi-colored plastic jewels on them for that royal effect and then display them on the buffet table or bar.

 

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ARCHITECTURAL ELEMENTS

 

HOW TO MAKE SOME AUTHENTIC ROUND ROMAN COLUMNS!
Included in your Terror in a Toga packet will be directions on how to make these fun and authentic Roman columns. You can place them by doorways, with other pedestals and urns or to make a backdrop for pictures!

 

 

HOW TO MAKE SQUARE COLUMNS!

  • Visit your local hardware store and purchase some faux-marble contact paper, a small sand bag and enough wood tag board to construct your columns (check the discount bin).

 

  • Cut the tagboard into 4 equal,rectangular pieces and nail or screw the pieces together to create a square column.

 

  • Cover column with contact paper.

 

  • Cut out 4 squares of tag board- 2 squares that are larger than the base of your column and two squares that are larger than that base.

 

  • Cover all of the squares with contact paper.

 

  • Screw your bases and tops together. Place sandbag within the column (to keep it sturdy), then screw square column to base and screw top base to top of column.

 

 

 

A MARBLE FLOOR OR BACKGROUND: You can purchase inexpensive linoleum squares from the local hardware store (we found ours for 99¢/square) and tile a piece of inexpensive wood (check the discount bins).

 

 

Your party is not complete without classical terra cotta urns and statue busts and most of all, balustrades and pedestals.
— We found many inexpensive urns in the garden section of our local home-improvement store. Additionally, we found Roman pedestals at Michael’s Craft Store (national chain)

 

 

To make a roman bust, try taking a styrofoam wig mannequin head and cover it with white clay.

 

 

Build a chariot for Speedius Ryder to arrive in.

 

Directions here for a chariot!

 

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SETTING YOUR TABLE

 

  • If you are serving dinner, have a table set close to the ground with big pillows to sit on.

 

  • As mentioned above, pick a table cloth that accentuates your color scheme.

 

  • Accessorize it with complementing colors in your napkins, paper/plastic plates, and cutlery.

 

  • Decorate your plastic cutlery by using a gold or purple paint pen and draw Roman numerals or a Grecian block pattern on the handles of the cutlery.

 

  • Tie a gold or purple ribbon around the cutlery.

 

  • For the chairs, you may want to consider adding a gold or purple bow in the back of each chair to help it blend in with the colors of the table as well as the overall color scheme.

 

  • Drape gold ivy garland along the edges of each table. Don’t have gold ivy? Use your spray paint to create it.

 

 

CENTERPIECES

 

  • A floral arrangement makes a lovely centerpiece for your table.

 

  • Place the floral arrangement inside a clear glass vase and display it inside a laurel crown wreath for that Roman touch.

 

  • Create your own laurel wreath crowns using faux greenery and spraying them with gold paint. You can display these on the buffet table or individual tables as a centerpiece.

 

  • Display an assortment of faux fruit on the buffet table in a lovely gold fruit bowl consisting of a bunch of red and green grapes, apples, bananas, and pears.

 

  • Spray paint the bowl gold or purple to bring through the color scheme.

 

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COLOR SCHEMES:

Two popular color schemes for a Roman party are white and gold or white and purple.

 

To pull the color scheme through to your whole space consider the following:

  • Consider draping white or gold gossamer across the ceiling, walls, and edges of the tablecloth when decorating a large area or to make an area look more intimate and festive.. Combine two colors for a fabulous appearance.

 

  • A little spray paint can go a long, long way. Spray paint novelty items, vases, old wine bottles, etc. to help bring out the color theme and add inexpensive decoration to your party.

 

  • Have a tablecloth—whether plastic or fabric – the colors of your choice.

 

  • Accentuate your tablecloth with the alternative color by using paint pens or fabric paint to paint on decorative Roman accents.

 

 

LIGHTING 

Needless to say, the Romans didn’t have electricity. When considering the lighting for your party, you will not want anything too harsh or bright. Consider the following and what might work best within your space:

  • Christmas lights – drape around trees or inside of fabric

 

  • Candles – place in jars or on their own

 

  • Solar lights

 

  • Torches

 

  • Lanterns

 

  • Oil burning lamps

 

 

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CREATING A BACKDROP FOR A PHOTO SPOT!!!

Give your guests an unforgettable souvenir by setting up a backdrop where everyone can take a picture to help remember the night!

 

Some ides for backdrops/areas:

  • Convert a chair into a Roman throne by draping a piece of gold fabric over it, along with a piece of purple velvet for that regal feel.

 

  • Make a marble background by piecing together pieces of linoleum and hanging them on the wall behind where you are photographing.

 

  • Place a few Roman columns by the backdrop.

 

A few suggestions:

  • Pick a place where there will be good lighting.

 

  • You can make it as elaborate or simple as you want.

 

  • Accessories and decorations can make the difference. Have some extra props on hand that your guests can pose with. Consider extra vases, shields, swords, laurel wreaths, etc.

 

  • An easy way to create a background is to use a “scene setter.” These affordable rolls of images transform your room instantly and make for a good backdrop to your picture.

 

  • Make sure there is enough room to fit everyone in to the frame.

 

  • For individual shots of guests, designate someone to be in charge of pictures as your guests arrive.
    o Consider your character list and which character would fit the role of taking the picture. Ie, if you want mug shots, perhaps ask the investigator to be in charge of taking the pictures.

 

  • For a group picture, take one just before the introduction is read or right after the solution is read (before people may start heading out).
    o These are two times when you can count on everyone being around and attentive.

 

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“The Romans served many different appetizers to begin their banquets. The most popular items were seasoned eggs and egg-based dishes, vegetables, salad, mushrooms and truffles, assorted shellfish, cheese with herbs, olives, sausages, and even more filling dishes, such as complicated fricassees and casseroles, which today would be considered complete meals in themselves.”

 

 

IDEAS FOR YOUR ROMAN MENU

 

  • Make a Greek snack platter with cheese, bread, grapes, figs, and nuts

 

  • Greek Salad — lettuce, tomato, feta cheese,and olives with a vinaigrette dressing

 

  • Ambrosia — food of the gods– in this case more of a marshmallow, jell-o salad

 

  • Pig on a Spit — If you’re going all out, a roast pig with an apple in its mouth makes a great toga party food

 

  • Wine served in jugs

 

  • Kegs of Beer

 

  • Water or Sparkling Grape Juice for those who don’t drink alcohol

 

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TIPS AND IDEAS ON MAKING THE PERFECT ROMAN MEAL FOR YOUR GUESTS

 

  • Roman meal usually began with eggs and ended with fruit.

 

  • Fill gold or silver platters (can bepurchased inexpensively at a party store) with fresh chunks of cheese in a variety of colors, huge bunches of grapes still on the vine, fruits, dates, figs and nuts, and big whole loaves of bread in varying sizes.

 

  • Dishes were eaten with bread —that was never absent.

 

  • The Romans seemed to be particularly fond of sauces as it gave a cook the opportunity to make a dish seem a little bit more exciting that it may have been without the sauce.

 

  • For heartier fare, serve chicken with figs, a phyllo spinach tart, and garlicky olives.

 

  • Whatever you serve, you can put it into this Roman menu template and have it listed for your guests. (Menu design included with Terror in a Toga mystery packet.)

 

 

 

 

SERVING YOUR FOOD:

 

  • Cover the platters with ivy vines.

 

  • Serve robust wine from a terra cotta urn or golden pitchers.

 

  • The Romans ate mainly with their fingers and so the food was cut into bite size pieces.

 

  • Slaves would continually wash the guests’ hands throughout the dinner. 

 

 

ROMAN TRADITIONS FOR YOUR MEAL

 

As soon as guests arrived in the home of an ancient Greek host, servants brought in vases of water so they might freshen themselves. After the guests had washed their hands and feet, they were given goblets of wine and stood around gossiping until summoned to dinner.

 

Among the Romans there was usually a place of honor at the dining table. The highest in rank sat at the head, the next in rank at the upper end, and the third highest in social position sat at the lower end. All guests washed their hands at the table before eating, a ceremonial washing that began with the highest in rank and ended with the lowest.

 

After a period of Roman history when chairs or stools were used around a table, the Romans adopted the dining couch. Generally, three couches were at a table, with one side left open to receive the service. Four people could dine comfortably from one couch. They were low, without backs, and covered with rich fabrics. The host and his wife sat at the head table with the guest of honor. The rest of the guests took places at the other tables according to rank.

 

 

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SETTING YOUR TABLE

 

  • If you are serving dinner, have a table set close to the ground with big pillows to sit on.

 

  • As mentioned above, pick a table cloth that accentuates your color scheme.

 

  • Accessorize it with complementing colors in your napkins, paper/plastic plates, and cutlery.

 

  • Decorate your plastic cutlery by using a gold or purple paint pen and draw Roman numerals or a Grecian block pattern on the handles of the cutlery.

 

  • Tie a gold or purple ribbon around the cutlery.

 

  • For the chairs, you may want to consider adding a gold or purple bow in the back of each chair to help it blend in with the colors of the table as well as the overall color scheme.

 

  • Drape gold ivy garland along the edges of each table. Don’t have gold ivy? Use your spray paint to create it.

 

CENTERPIECES

 

  • A floral arrangement makes a lovely centerpiece for your table.

 

  • You can place the floral arrangement inside a clear glass vase and display it inside a laurel crown wreath for that Roman touch.

 

  • Create your own laurel wreath crowns using faux greenery and spraying them with gold paint. You can display these on the buffet table or individual tables as a centerpiece.

 

  • Also, consider displaying an assortment of faux fruit on the buffet table in a lovely gold fruit bowl consisting of a bunch of red and green grapes, apples, bananas, and pears.

 

  • Spray paint the bowl gold or purple to bring through the color scheme.

 

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MUSIC

 

Play a musical compilation of lute or harp music in the background.

 

If going all out, you could hire a harpist.

 

If feasible, have different people take turns playing musical instruments to entertain the guests.

 

For free musical scores, check your local library.

 

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Check out this well-thought out blog on “How to Host a Mystery Party”. Although she threw Murder at The Deadwood Saloon, she has some good tips about throwing a murder mystery party.

 

Additionally, you can always look online at our Terror in a Toga gallery to see what other hosts and hostesses have done for their parties and learn from their experience.

Or, check out this Terror in a Toga Party of the Month.

 

Check out some of these movies or t.v. shows that depict ancient Roman times: Spartacus (the movie), Spartacus (Starz t.v. series), Rome (HBO series), Gladiator, The Eagle, 300, Troy, Cleopatra.

 

Additionally, we have made a Pinterest board to give you more ideas on food, decorations, etc. Follow it to keep updated!

 

Not to mention, when you purchase the mystery, you will receive some “Party Extra” designs and how-tos on things like making your own Roman columns, your own menus, wine labels, scroll invites and much more!

 

Provide an assortment of accessories to help your guests “get into character” including: laurel wreaths, sheets for togas, swords, shields, helmets, etc. You can find a number of these items on our Costumes Page.

 

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One thing that could really set your party apart is creating and delivering these scrolled invites for your guests to come to the party! Design and directions included in the “Party Extra” section of your mystery packet when you order!

 

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Included now with the Terror In A Toga Mystery packet is a number of tips and designs to help you make your own added extras! Among those are: directions and designs for making a scrolled invite, a personalized menu, roman columns, wine labels for awards, signs for around the venue and much more!

Pictured here: sample menu, wine label awards and arena sign.

 

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Each month we highlight one of our customers who has posted on our blog and award them a FREE party!

 

To get your $5 coupon AND be entered in the Party Of the Month contest for a chance to win a FREE party, please email nompartyofthemonth@gmail.com

 

Don’t forget to add all the important details and party highlights that made your party one to remember! We love to hear about all of the hard work you, as host, put into your party. From the decor, to the food, costumes, whatever. As well as how you and your guests acted (and reacted!) throughout the night! Everything that made your party one your guests will never forget — tell us about it! And be sure to attach some pictures!!!

 

Upon submitting, we will email you back a coupon to use for $5 off your next party AND enter you in our “Party of the Month” contest, where you could win a FREE party! One submitted, you will not have to resubmit, but will be entered EVERY MONTH until your party wins!

 

Check out some of our past winners here! Night of Mystery POM Blogs

 

Thanks again for hosting with Night of Mystery and we can’t wait to hear all about your party!!!

 

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Hosting Tips

Download Intro

Testimonials

Purchase Terror in a Toga

Terror in a Toga includes:

Mystery PDF that includes: A Host Guide, A Schedule of the Night, An Introduction, Designed Invitations, Background Information, Character Descriptions, Character Objective Sheets, Name Tags, Evidence, Accusation Sheets, a Detailed Solution, Award Certificates, and more!

Download Intro