Roman emperors, on the other hand, may well have objected to our fake Roman coins and lapel badges transforming Julius Caesar's words Britain, "Vini Vidi Vidi" (I came, I saw, I conquered), into the more homely "Vini Vidi Museum Brittanicum" (I came, I saw the British Museum).
But today I wouldn't mind swapping a Roman gladiator for the 1,000 schoolchildren who troop through the shop. The leftover debris of 27 school parties includes six clipboards, two exercise books, one plimsoll and a Jurassic Park lunchbox filled with an unidentifiable sticky substance.
Tuesday: Since working here I've come to appreciate the organisational skills of dinner ladies everywhere. Several school parties descend on the shop at once and I am triggered into canteen mode. "Form a queue," I bark. "Have your money ready and make sure you've got enough."
This warning does not prevent the first child putting five hieroglyphic badges, some colouring-in papyrus, four mummy masks and a pencil on the counter, before confidently producing 32p to pay for it all.
The glare on his teacher's face has no effect, but gives me a shiver I haven't felt sinceIwell, since I was at school.
I've heard that teachers get special pay allowances for taking on responsibility for particular tasks; if there's a Hard Stare Allowance this one should make the shortlist. And is there something called a Compassion Allowance? If there is, she could get one for subsidising most of her pupils' purchases.
Wednesday: I speak to another candidate for a Compassion Allowance - compassion for us this time. A teacher from the ominously named Charge Junior School telephones to order a parcel of 140 scarab beetles and 140 souvenir badges for his school party. "It'll be a lot easier than taking the kids round the shop," he tells me.
I'm so impressed I nearly ask him to marry me. Could school visits by telephone be part of a code of good practice?
Thursday: One of the pleasures of serving children is their frankness - they often tell you which members of the family they're buying for. "These coins are for my grandad and grandma," explains one little girl. "We've got a cat like this, he's called Bouncy," pipes up another, showing me a postcard of a 3,400-year-old Egyptian stone cat with a ring though its nose. "Bet it wasn't a punk cat like that one," says the boy behind her.
Friday: A schoolchild with "Evin" on his name badge (did a K get knocked off?) interrupts my attempts to describe an Egyptian scarab beetle to a German tourist (Me: "It lived in dung and was supposed to bring good luck." Him: "Er - what is 'dung' please?") "My friend's just been sick on the floor," announces Evin. I suddenly find that it's my lunch break, and in the staff cafe consider a new product line to be sold in the shop - punk cats. "Bouncy the punk Egyptian cat" could be popular. Next time Evin comes in I'll ask him whether he's thought of product design as a career.
Rebecca Reynolds is a postgraduate student working temporarily at the British Museum.