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.
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