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Greeks, The: Crucible of Civilization 3x55

An Empires Special

It was perhaps the most spectacular flourishing of imagination and achievement in recorded history. In the fourth and fifth centuries, B.C., the Greeks built an empire that stretched across the Mediterranean from Asia to Spain. They laid the foundation of modern science, politics, warfare and philosophy, and produced some of the most breathtaking art and architecture the world has ever seen. The Greeks: Crucible of Civilization recounts the rise, glory, demise and legacy of the empire that marked the dawn of Western Civilization.

The story of this astonishing civilization will be told through the lives of the great heroes of Ancient Greece. The newest advances in computer and television technology will be used to rebuild the Acropolis, recreate the Battle of Marathon and restore the grandeur of the Academy, where Socrates, Plato and Aristotle forged the foundation of Western thought. The Greeks: Crucible of Civilization combines dramatic storytelling, stunning imagery, groundbreaking research and distinguished scholarship, rendering Classical Greece gloriously alive.

THE REVOLUTION tells the story of the troubled birth of the world’s first democracy, Ancient Athens, through the life of an Athenian nobleman, Cleisthenes. In the brutal world of the fifth century, B.C., the Athenians struggle against a series of tyrants and their greatest rival, Sparta, to create a new “society of equals.” The program closes on the eve of the new society’s first great test: invasion by the mighty empire of Persia.

THE GOLDEN AGE recounts the Greeks’ heroic victory against the mighty Persian empire through the life of Themistocles, one of Athen’s greatest generals. Greece, now master of the Mediterranean, undergoes one of the most startling intellectual and physical transformations in history. Pericles, the elected leader of Athens, oversees the building of the Parthenon and an extraordinary flourishing of the arts and sciences, laying the foundation for what we now call “Western Culture.”

THE EMPIRE OF THE MIND describes how Athens, at the height of her glory, engaged in a suicidal conflict with her greatest rival, Sparta. Through the eyes of Socrates, Athen’s first philosopher, we see the tragic descent of Athenian democracy into mob rule. As defeat piles on defeat, the Athenians, shattered and stripped of their Empire, take revenge on their most vocal critic and condemn Socrates to death before a people’s court.