The Greeks: Crucible of Civilization

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The Greeks: Crucible of Civilization is a documentary and TV series about the rises and falls of Athens. Liam Neeson narrates throughout the documentary of the civilization of ancient Greece. The filmmaker Anthony Geffen covered both the fourth and fifth centuries B.C. Actors were also used to portray historical events and people during this period. The documentary starts with the history of Athens beginning with the rule of Peisistratos whom transformed the city. He needed allies, in that way his son could have the throne. Peisistratos encouraged farming and provided loans and soon Athens was exporting olive oil to nations around the Mediterranian to Egypt, Persia, and Phoenicia. The booming trade made Athens wealthy and prosperous. Athens became the big apple of Greece. At this time potters were the lower of the lows in Athens. After the death of Peisistratos, his son Hippias took over. He ruled fairly at first, but after his brother’s death, he turned to be a tyrant. Self defense was his only motive and since his only threat was from aristocrats, he turned against them. The aristocrats under the leadership of Cleisthenes captured Hippias and banished him from Athens. The people of Athens then took destiny into their own hands. Isagoras and his partners locked themselves in the Acropolis, but they were forced to surrender and he was forced into exile. Cleisthenes was recalled from exile and asked to form a Government. He came up with the idea of people, both rich and poor, discussing the issues facing them and casting votes to make a decision. On issues like rising of taxes, building of roads and going to war, votes were cast, with a white stone for yes and a black one for no. The super power in the world at that time was Persia. Athens was attacked by the Persians in the battle of Marathon. Athens asked for Sparta’s help, but did not receive it. Though outnumbered, Athens won the battle. A man who participated in the war was Themistocles. He was risen to power...
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