For Athens - Episode 2
For Athens is a French-produced docu-drama that follows what happened to Athens and the Persians in the aftermath of the Battle of Marathon. There are subtitles in this production. This documentary is found on the YouTube Channel Odyssey and History Hit TV. If you play this documentary on YouTube, there are History Hit commercials in the documentary. The run time for this documentary is 52:54.
It has been ten years since Persia was defeated by the Greeks at the Battle of Marathon. You would think that would make the Persians pause about attacking Greece again. However, they want revenge. Even though the defeat at Marathon did not diminish the Persian Empire, Darius the Great was left with a bitter taste. It broke the myth of Darius’ invincibility. He wants that sense of invincibility back and will lead his troops once again to defeat the upstart Greeks. With Athens’ decline, will the Greeks be able to come together again to defeat the enemy?
The story begins ten years ago when Darius the Great invaded Asia Minor. Athens’ hearing of the Greek Colonies’ plight in Asia Minor gives their support. The Persians are defeated at the Battle of Marathon. It is something that Darius would never forget. One year after the Battle of Marathon, the general who led the Greek troops against the Persians passed away. However, peace does not reign supreme over Greece. The Greeks live in separate city-states and oftentimes squabbled. The City-States came together to defeat the Persian Empire.
The Athenians never had a good navy and were regularly bested at the sea by sailors from the Aiginai Island. It was the Aiginai Island sailors that rule the seas. However, it would be a bigger navy that would threaten Athens. One man wanted Athens to build a navy to protect Athens. A navy would be expensive, and the man who foresaw the need for a navy designed a ram to help protect the ships. This man foresaw that the Persians were the biggest threat to Athens. The Persians had a lot of ships and these ships could transport a lot of men, which made the Persian Navy so powerful. It would not take much for the Persians to invade and conquer Greece.
Four years after the battle of Marathon, Darius the Great dies. He has not finalized his revenge. There have been troubles in the Persian Empire which caused the delays. His son becomes king – King Xerxes. He wants to finish what his father started. However, the Egyptians were rising up against him and they needed to be dealt with first. This campaign would be the first to cement Xerxes’ place as King. Once the Egyptians were dealt with and made an example of, Xerxes would turn his attention to Athens.
In the meantime, the naval architect is perfecting his ram for the ship. The ram is powerfully built and should give the Athenians the advantages. How to pay for the fleet would be another manner. Then suddenly a seam of silver was discovered. This silver brought wealth to Athens and the citizens were flushed with money. Perhaps this was enough wealth to fund a navy.
In the meantime, King Xerxes defeated the Egyptians and they are punished severely. Xerxes is becoming known as a Warrior King and has done his duty in expanding the Empire. Back in Persepolis, Xerxes makes his plans for invading Greece. He will invade overland and conqueror the Greek city-states one by one. He begins his preparations on an unprecedented scale. His plans are detailed and thorough, there will be nothing left to chance.
In the meantime, the Aiginais have attacked again. The squabbling between the Greek city-states is blinding the Greeks to the real threat: the Persians. When the profits from the silver mines are distributed, these naval architects suggest that they use the profits to build a navy. He argues that the Aiginai are preventing Athenians from eating their full. He did not mention that the Persians were a threat. The ships are going to be built. Will Athens finally rule the waves? Will these ships be enough to defeat the Persians? Tune into the rest of this documentary to find out.
This documentary had an old-school feel to it, and I dare say that there was plenty of green screen use in this documentary. It was still very good and would be something that I would to a classroom.
Bettany Hughes explores the world of Ancient Athens and uncovers the truth about democracy. She explores the bronze age of Athens and how it lead to the golden age of Athens. She talks about democracy, warts and all. Athens was a place that women did not have a voice or identity, where they constantly voted to go to war and where slaves outnumber citizens.
How did democracy operate in Athens? Hughes explores the interesting machine the helped determined who would serve on the jury. They pressed forward towards war with every other city-state. Sparta found themselves as saviors in the Greek World, they were the ones who saved the Greeks from the tyranny of Athens.
She explores the war with Persia and how the Persian Navy was defeated by the Athenian Navy. The Delian League was formed after the war, with Athens leading the league and providing protection for the rest of the city-states since they had a navy. The league was found on the island of Delos, since not only was it a sacred territory but also a neutral territory...at least until Athens started thinking empire. There was evidence of a treasury that was being built but abandoned. The grain is the oil of the ancient world, and whoever controls it can control the world. Athens was desperate for grain and received tribute in grain. They took their tributes and instead of spending them on defense, built the Parthenon.
This enraged the people. They rebelled and were punished for it. There was no room for contradictory opinions in Athens. This attitude towards contrary ideas culminated in the suicide of Socrates. He was a man who asked uncomfortable questions. He was the man who questioned everything. It did not endear him to the people. He was finally asked to commit suicide.
To learn more continue to watch this documentary.
For use in the classroom, just highlight, copy and paste into a word or google document. You can format it in any way you want to. All questions can fit onto one page.
You can access the YouTube video here.
Athens: The Truth About Democracy Questions:
Athens: The Truth About Democracy Answers:
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