The Spartans (Channel 4) [DVD]
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Who were the Spartans and how did they earn their fearsome reputation as some of the mightiest warriors the world has ever known? In this critically acclaimed Channel 4 Series, Bettany Hughes reveals one of the most extraordinary city states of ancient Greece and the secrets of its people. Having enslaved their neighbours and turned the day-to-day tasks of society over to them, the Spartans devoted their entire lives to producing the ultimate warriors.
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Top Customer Reviews
If I had one complaint to make, it would be that it was a little short. Two and half hours to cover the history of this fascinating period of history and the Spartan people isn't enough.
That said though, well worth the price! More please Bettany, how about "The Athenians" next?
THE SPARTANS opens at Thermopylae and with the epitaph of the Three Hundred -- and very stirring it is to hear this spoken in the original Greek -- before introducing some of the topics that will be addressed in the program. (Hmm. The claim that "male homosexuality was compulsory" is extremely dubious; the first boldfaced assertion as fact of a subject hotly debated among ancient and modern experts.) After the introduction, we journey to the Dark Ages of Greece, the end of the Achaean Age and the coming of the Dorian Greeks to the Peloponnesus and Laconia. An effective look at the development of hoplite warfare is presented. Next comes the Messenian conquest, then the establishment of the Spartan constitution. The upbringing of Spartan youths, warts and all, is then addressed at length.Read more ›
I had hoped The Spartans might be in the vein of Michael Wood and his excellent productions. It tries the same method of an engaging host, modern day shots of historic places, and a travelogue feel. But the series struck me more as the sort of thing you show general audiences or maybe a high school history class on a Friday afternoon. That's not to say it's not well done: it just doesn't go into depth. Dates are not so important as just providing a flavor for the history of Sparta. To be fair, with only three hours to cover 300 years or whatever, Bettany does have to move fast.
The Spartans are most known for their militarism, the radical freedoms it accorded to its women, and the stand of 300 Spartan warriors at Thermopylae. For that, and considering how decadent and anti-woman Athens could be, I had some respect for Sparta. Yet after watching this series, I have learned that Sparta enslaved its neighbors, gave up its able male children at 7 for military training (and killed those after birth who were not deemed to be strong), and so separated the sexes that both turned to homosexuality and were almost at a loss to come together and mate at the time of marriage. Its emphasis on self-denial and constant warfare--all while enjoying the fruits of an economy based on slavery and disenfranchisement means that Sparta was little better than a 20th Century totalitarian regime.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Pretty poor, lacklustre, and pitched at quite a low level intelligence in my view, not giving the viewer enough credit.Published 23 months ago by Macktastic Slim
THE SPARTANS, (2004). A BBC Channel 4 British television series by popular presenter Bettany Hughes that focuses on the ancient Greek city state of Sparta. Read morePublished on 6 Dec. 2013 by Stephanie De Pue
Most people will have heard of the Spartans and their heroics at the battle of Thermopylae in ancient Greece. There is of course much more to them than that. Read morePublished on 19 April 2013 by Speedigee
Item has not arrived yet, so I can't say anything about this item. Although I have seen this history dvd before.Published on 8 April 2013 by Avenger
"The Spartans", a three-part documentary series originally aired on Channel 4, is a programme I remember most fondly, as the first episode and half of the second episode... Read morePublished on 22 Feb. 2013 by Andrew Norris
I purchased this DVD along with 'Spartan Warrior 735-331 BC' as I am starting to study the wars between Sparta and Athens at the moment. Read morePublished on 25 Jan. 2013 by Will Staffs