Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Created and hosted by historian Bettany Hughes, this three-episode PBS documentary series charted the rise and fall of the ancient, militaristic, communal civilization of Sparta in the Peloponnese. Through a combination of athletic and combat knowhow and stringent self-discipline, the Spartans were determined to vanquish all their neighbors and establish a Utopian society founded about strength and power. The series details the long, sometimes bloody, sometimes ideological war between the Spartans and their aesthetic counterparts, the Athenians. The climax shows how the Spartans collapsed under the weight of their own refusal to change their basic philosophies, as personified by the reactionary, "retro" King Aegesilaus. Premiering August 6, 2003, The Spartans was originally telecast to coincide with the publication of the book of the same name by Paul Cartledge.
ancient-civilizations, ancient-history, Greece, warrior, self-discipline, archaeology, fall [downfall], war, Utopia