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:
Bettany Hughes explores the strange world of Sparta, where equality was enforced, and military discipline was for everyone. These were a group of people who were determined to be as perfect as they could be. However, for all their determination to perfection, they were not the best writers. As well as the fact that there wasn't much left behind by the Spartans. What we know is from other historians as well as what the digs can fine. Even the Greek Ancestors found their civilization shocking.
Hughes starts off her tale of the Spartans with a trip to a burial mound, it is a place where 300 men were buried while fighting the Persians. They were massacred by the invading Persians, but their sacrifice continues to echo through history. The Spartans were famous for frugality and the fighters. They had a spirit of cooperation among the people. They also encouraged individual achievement and competition.
Money was outlawed and weak infants were killed. The women were more free. Equality was enforced. It defined the rights and duties of the citizens and helped saved Western Civilization. They participated in the Trojan War. They claimed that their kings were descendants of Hercules. When the Spartans expanded their territory, they didn't colonize, they took over, enslaving the population. They were a people wary, always afraid of slave rebellions.
They were the most extreme civilization in the world. Spartan men would just fight or train or hang out with their fellow fighters. All male Spartans had to earn their citizenship. Babies that did not meet Spartan standards of physical perfection, were thrown off the cliff. Boy infants were tossed, and it was the city elders that made the decision and not the parents. Then at the age of 7 they were placed in the training system. An older boy was put in charge of their training and discipline. They were encouraged to supplement of rations by stealing and if they were caught they were flogged for getting caught. There was a legendary secret service brigade, who were like a death squad, roaming the countryside.
If you want to find out more about the Spartans, continue to watch the documentary. You can use clips of it for the classroom setting. Bettany Hughes is an excellent narrator and this is one of the top documentaries I've seen on Sparta.
For use in the classroom, just highlight, copy and paste into a word or google document. You can format it anyway you want to. All questions can fit onto one page.
You can access the YouTube video here.
The Spartans Questions:
The Spartans Answers:
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