A NEW online tool to teach primary school children about the Roman invasion of Cumbria almost 2,000 years ago has been developed by Tullie House museum in Carlisle.

Using the social networking site Twitter, students will now be able to read the hopes, fears and experiences of a fictional 26-year-old Roman soldier called Marcus in 140 character online updates.

Schools can follow @iTweetus on Twitter and there Marcus will recount the vivid story of thousands of Roman soldiers marching in to occupy Cumbria in the winter of 72/73 AD.

Tim Padley, Keeper of Archaeology at Tullie House, said: “Using Twitter to tell a personal story of a Roman soldier is a new twist on history or 'Twistory'.

"We also want Marcus to answer the sort of questions people now want to know – how old are you, what colour is your hair, where are you from, what can you see, what are these lands like and what are you doing here?

“This will help people and particularly younger people understand what it was like being a Roman soldier and why they were here.”

Roman experts at the museum have created the back story of Marcus the Roman soldier after finding a letter adressed to a ‘Marcus Julius Martialis’ during a historical dig in Carlisle.

The iTweetus name is a play on words of the celebrated novel I, Claudius, written in the form of an autobiography of a real Roman Emperor, Claudius I.