Tracing the history of the militaristic Greek city-state, which thrived for some 300 years (650-371 B.C.). It was, says host Bettany Hughes, `one of the most radical and extreme civilizations that history has ever known.'
Conclusion. By the end of the fifth century BC, Sparta finally prevails over Athens in the Peloponnesian wars but Spartan society has difficulty adapting to changing times and it fades as a power. Historian Bettany Hughes hosts.
Part 2 of this three-part history of ancient Greece's military utopia focuses on Sparta's cultural differences---and military engagements---with Athens in the fifth century BC. Athens, a naval power, was dynamic (it was entering its “golden age”) while the xenophobic Spartans wished to maintain the status quo. “Sparta,” says host Bettany Hughes, “made an enemy of change itself.” But in one area---the role of women in their society---the Spartans were far more progressive.
In this three-part documentary, British historian Bettany Hughes traces the rise and fall of ancient Greece's military utopia, “one of the most radical and extreme civilizations that history has ever known.” Part 1 traces the Spartans as they settle in Greece's Peloponnese sometime around 1000 B.C., and set up a society that is frugal, disciplined and totalitarian, but also egalitarian (except for its many slaves) and centered on a “warrior elite.” Indeed, says, Hughes, “the whole of Spartan society became, in effect, a military training camp.” It worked for some 300 years, beginning around 650 B.C., when the Spartans enslaved their neighbors, the Messenians.
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