How To Survive The Roman Empire, By Pliny And Me [15md]

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15MD0120151026
15MD0120151026

Pliny the Younger and his mother go shopping for a slave in Rome in the 1st century AD.

First century Rome was a dangerous place. The Emperor had informers everywhere; no one was safe. One person who survived Domitian's purges was Pliny the Younger. Orphaned at an early age, Pliny was adopted and brought up by his famous uncle, the scientist Pliny the Elder, who died in the eruption of Vesuvius when his nephew was just 18.

In this first episode Pliny and his mother go shopping for a new slave. Pliny wants someone with secretarial skills to help him get his letters ready for publication. His mother has other needs in mind. They choose a man who was captured by the Romans when they invaded Wales and who has learned Latin and Greek from his previous master. Back at the villa the nervous new member of the household meets Doris, the Greek cook, an unsuccessful prophetess who was pipped to the post of Oracle at Delphi by another girl. If Pliny and his household are to survive the snake-pit of Imperial Rome, they must negotiate a political minefield, keep their eyes peeled for spies and most of all, not do anything to annoy the Emperor. Hattie Naylor's drama is based on real letters written by Pliny to his friends and colleagues nearly two thousand years ago.

Music composed by Pete Flood and performed by Pete Flood (percussion), Laura Cannell (recorder, crumhorn), Rhodri Davies (harp), and Paul Sartin (oboe, cor anglais)

Historical Consultant: Dr Peter Jones

Sound: Nigel Lewis

Production Coordinator: Eleri McAuliffe

Produced and Directed by Kate McAll.

15MD0220151027
15MD0220151027

Pliny the Younger and Venta, his new Welsh slave, go hunting for boar.

15MD0220151027

Venta, who used to be a free man called Cadwalader of Caerwent, has now been slave to Pliny the Younger for a month. He's been welcomed into the household, especially by Pliny's mother - though not by Doris the cook who resents him interrupting her divinations. With a picnic basket of stuffed dormice, Pliny and Venta go hunting for boar, though Pliny would much rather write a letter to his friend Tacitus than actually get his hands dirty - after all, he's got Venta to do that for him.

Hattie Naylor's drama is based on real letters written by Pliny to his family and friends nearly two thousand years ago.

Music composed by Pete Flood and performed by Pete Flood (percussion), Laura Cannell (recorder, crumhorn), Rhodri Davies (harp), and Paul Sartin (oboe, cor anglais)

Historical Consultant: Dr Peter Jones

Sound: Nigel Lewis

Production Coordinator: Eleri McAuliffe

Produced and Directed by Kate McAll.

15MD0320151028
15MD0320151028

Pliny has an unnerving visit from his fellow lawyer, and arch-rival, Regulus.

15MD0320151028

Venta has now been Pliny's servant and scribe for four months. They've been happy months, despite living under the unstable Emperor Domitian. But as time goes on, news of arrests and executions begins to circulate. Doris the cook sees portents of evil everywhere, especially in the entrails of small animals. The uneasiness only gets worse when Pliny receives a visit from his fellow lawyer, and arch-rival, Regulus. Then Pliny makes a trip to Comum to open a new library he has built for his old home town. When he drops in on his former mother in law, and is given preferential treatment from one of her slaves, Venta too begins to worry about his future.

Hattie Naylor's drama is based on real letters written by Pliny to his family and friends nearly two thousand years ago.

Music composed by Pete Flood and performed by Pete Flood (percussion), Laura Cannell (recorder, crumhorn), Rhodri Davies (harp), and Paul Sartin (oboe, cor anglais)

Historical Consultant: Dr Peter Jones

Sound: Nigel Lewis

Production Coordinator: Eleri McAuliffe

Produced and Directed by Kate McAll.

15MD0420151029
15MD0420151029

Pliny the Younger and his mother are invited to dinner with the Emperor.

15MD0420151029

Venta has been in the household of Pliny the Younger for five months, as secretary and scribe. Meanwhile, the Emperor Domitian's reign of terror continues. There's a rumour that he entertains people one day, then has them executed next morning on some trumped up charge. The atmosphere in the normally calm villa is uneasy. Pliny hears stories of slaves who are spying on masters. And then an invitation arrives - to dinner with the Emperor. They are instructed to wear black so Marcella arranges for their togas to be dyed. The night of the dinner arrives, and it proves just as alarming as they feared.

Hattie Naylor's drama is based on real letters written by Pliny to his family and friends nearly two thousand years ago.

Music composed by Pete Flood and performed by Pete Flood (percussion), Laura Cannell (recorder, crumhorn), Rhodri Davies (harp), and Paul Sartin (oboe, cor anglais)

Historical Consultant: Dr Peter Jones

Sound: Nigel Lewis

Production Coordinator: Eleri McAuliffe

Produced and Directed by Kate McAll.

15MD0520151030
15MD0520151030

Pliny is put out when one of his dinner guests fails to show up.

15MD0520151030

Pliny is put out when one of his guests fails to show up for dinner, though his mother is delighted by another guest, Martial the poet, much to Venta's disapproval. Venta has a visitation in the night from Pliny's dead uncle, Pliny the Elder - or was it just a dream? Then a visit from the obnoxious Regulus gives rise to a secret that Venta is compelled to keep from his Master. Pliny, meanwhile, in fear of his life at the hands of the Emperor, is thinking about his legacy.

Hattie Naylor's drama is based on real letters written by Pliny to his family and friends nearly two thousand years ago.

Music composed by Pete Flood and performed by Pete Flood (percussion), Laura Cannell (recorder, crumhorn), Rhodri Davies (harp), and Paul Sartin (oboe, cor anglais)

Historical Consultant: Dr Peter Jones

Sound: Nigel Lewis

Production Coordinator: Eleri McAuliffe

Produced and Directed by Kate McAll.