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Spartans - The Rise & Fall (Including the story of the 300) - History Channel [DVD]


Price: £9.66 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Spartans - The Rise & Fall (Including the story of the 300) - History Channel [DVD] + Ancient Civilisations - The Greeks Box Set [DVD] + Rome: The Rise and Fall of an Empire (6 DVD Gift Pack)
Price For All Three: £34.03

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Product details

  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: IMC Vision
  • DVD Release Date: 24 Sep 2007
  • Run Time: 200 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000UGY5YQ
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 50,847 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

48 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Moon Cheese on 30 Dec 2007
Roughly three hours of high quality documentary are on this DVD, and (at the moment) at only £7 represents a bit of a bargain. With scholars like Barry Strauss (Trojan War, Salamis) Donald Kagan (Pericles, The Peloponnesian War) Paul Cartledge (too numerous to mention) and others, the DVD is not only entertaining but highly educational too. There is no `dumbing down' of the subject, and although The 300 is mentioned, it doesn't take up too much space. You get a broad military and social history of Sparta from Helen all the way to their eventual defeat at the hands of the Thebans.
Although not as high profile as the very good `Sparta' with Bettany Hughes, it is just as good, and with the other currently out of press this is only 1/4 of the price, so get it while you can.
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46 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Rowena Hoseason HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 29 Feb 2008
This two-episode documentary explains much more about the ancient Greek civilisation than just a resume of the Spartan 300 episode (when 300 Spartan warriors held off tens of thousands of Persian invaders; a glorious tale captured in graphic novel form by Frank Miller and filmed with staggering visual results in the 2007 movie).
'Spartans: the Rise and Fall' is a complete history of the Spartan civilisation. It explains how a warrior caste was bred and trained, how it fit into the city-state geopolitical situation of the time; how it reached for glory, how it expanded in a generational war against Athens, and how it eventually collapsed after failing to win the peace. The episode of the 300 is only a small piece of the Spartan story and, in three hours, this dvd tells all of it.

The story is explained by half a dozen extremely well versed American historians. You get the impression, as the film cuts between them, that they know the detail and depth of the lives of individual Spartan warriors. These academics have studied Spartan society and its heroes for their whole lives, and their enthusiasm for sharing its quirks and personalities is evident throughout the two episodes. (All the historians have strange hair styles, however, something which has no relevance but you tend to notice after a couple of hours....)
The talking heads are backed up by the inevitable drama reconstructions of well-built men in red cloaks waving swords around, and a very useful series of maps so you don't spend too much time trying to remember where all the vying Greek states were located. You don't get to see too much in the way of Spartan archeology or artowrk -- mainly because they didn't make pots or statues or pictures, but instead made war and killed people!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Kian2002 on 22 Aug 2010
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Don`t confuse this with the excellent Channel Four (UK) Bettany Hughes version, which is much its superior. Saying that it is still a good documentary, for beginners, to learn about Sparta. Although the American contributors sound a little unconvincing when telling their bits of the story of Sparta. Plus they skirt around the subjects that offend current American values - homosexuality and feminist ideals. Be warned.
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Paul Williams on 14 Jan 2010
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Lightweight, inaccurate and repetitive (for those with a short concentration span). Lots of out of focus, slow motion footage of actors dressed as Spartans clashing swords. There are a couple of eminent talking heads but they are probably seriously embarrassed about being involved in this dumbed down production.
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By C E Ferguson on 20 Mar 2013
Verified Purchase
A good history channel documentary video. I learned a great deal about Spartan culture and reasons for developing such a strict culture of war even though they rarely went to war
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