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The Roman Legion of Caerleon, the Second Augustan Legion, celebrates its 2000th birthday on 23 September 2004, and the Roman Legionary Museum will be on hand to mark this momentous occasion, with a lecture given by noted Roman archaeologist, Mark Hassall.

Although the Emperor Augustus, who raised the Legion, would have celebrated with parades and gladiatorial combat in the Amphitheatre, this year's celebrations will be slightly less blood-thirsty and more low key!

In honour of the birthday, the Roman Legionary Museum has put on a lecture by the University of London's reader in Roman archaeology, Mark Hassall. The re-enactment group, the Ermine Street Guard will be in attendance to provide an honour guard for the speaker and to parade the Legion's standard. Ticket holders are then invited to the Museum to toast the Legion's health for the coming year.

"It's fantastic that the Museum is keeping up such a long standing tradition," says Richard Brewer, Keeper of Archaeology at the National Museum and Gallery, Cardiff, "it makes history come alive, and it's a great for the local community that they can identify in such a way with the people that once lived in their village."

The lecture is held at Caerleon Endowed School Hall at 7pm on 23 September. Tickets are £3 each and can be obtained in advance from the Roman Legionary Museum, 01633 423134.

Entry to the museum is free, thanks to the support of the Welsh Assembly Government.