History | 1960 | Sound | Colour
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Reconstruction of life in ancient Rome, especially for a schoolboy at a Roman school.
Emperor salutes the people of Rome. Procession of Roman soldiers and slaves (all on an epic scale - clips from a feature film).
Reconstruction of the Senate. Two young boys on a Roman street. One points. They join other boys on broad steps for a 'lesson'. One kid yawns. They each hold a tablet and styles. Their teacher looks across at the forum. A chain of passes by. The boys all look. The children 'write' on their wax tablets. The teacher reads from a Greek hook (scroll). He speaks to them, gives a speech. Close-up of pendant against boys' tunic. (it is a BUCA?) The lesson ends. The two boys are met by an adult. The three of them walk on a country path. The boys throw their sticks as though they were javelins. The boys play at fighting with their sticks (now staffs). A man with a whip urges on slaves carrying bundles of fire wood. A platoon of soldiers passes. Orchards, vineyards and Olive Groves. A bowl of fruit. A woman pours wine into clay cups. A matron supervises work in the kitchen. A meal served outside / al fresco. The boy greets his father and mother, then joins boys his own age at a smaller table. The father and his guests eat in a recumbent position. A maid attends them. Inside, the children play chequers, with stones for counters.
They throw chestnuts into a vase, as a game. The family retires to bed. Claudius searches for slave - friend, who ambushes him. They 'fight'. Claudius drives a two-horse chariot. The slave falls off and injures himself. He is carried away. In bed, his head is bandaged. The family and slaves stand beside his 'cot'.. Claudius, anxious, sits in his bed. A young girl plays a lyre. The matron and two slaves 'showing' Claudius watches over his friend. Claudius prays before Jupiter. Claudius in attendance on the slave boy, now up and about though his head is bandaged. The two boys fight with wooden swords. A cart is loaded with possessions. The slave boy and his parents depart the villa. Claudius' family bids them farewell.. Claudius gives his friend his pendant.
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