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The Spartans Reviews

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June 28, 2010
This is a mildy interesting docu that occasionally comes up with something interesting about the Spartans of the Classical Greece period. Bettany Hughes narrates and adds some color to the otherwise static shots of Greek ruins and battle sites. A major problem with doing anything lengthy about the Spartans is they left virtually no written materials, relatively few artifacts and not much else. So a lot of what we know about them was written by their enemies, such as classical Athens, Sparta's principal rival. The docu doesn't exactly say it but it has a lot to do with why it spends a fair amount of time talking about Athens and not Sparta.

What is well-known is that Sparta aspired to the perfect state through a system of breeding the perfect warrior. Most remembered and immortalized for the 300 Spartans' defense at Thermopylai, for a time they were the class act on the battlefields of old, their matchless discipline much admired by later civs who cherry-picked elements of the Spartan philosophy. Spartan women had far more freedom and influence than females in any other classical civ. That Sparta also had a crude eugenics program via a particularly ruthless form of infanticide, roaming terror squads that killed anyone remotely an enemy of the state, and enslaved fellow Greeks to free themselves of labor are less admirable elements of their extreme culture. After a long decline, they never recovered after they lost their slave-based economy.

The production is pretty low budget with a camera following Hughes in her funky vehicle, with a little drama added with some reenactors marching around as Greek hoplites. I always thought their helmets were cool :cool: Anyone needing an Antiquity fix or in need some elective CEU's you could do worse. Its' all 4:3 and mono.
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