Color documentary about the birth of democracy in Athens, Greece. Running time: 120 minutes (in English). Narrated by Bettany Hughes, directed by Timothy Copestake.
In the sixth century BC, Athens was an authoritarian society until one young aristocrat decided to use the "power of the people" to defeat a rival. In a single stroke of politacal genius, democracy was born. Athens has since been renowned as the birthplace of freedom, equality, and free speech.
Yet Athenian freedom was not without contradiction and conflict. The fledgling democracy might not have survived without slavery, voting restrictions, the discovery of silver mines, and the Battle of Salamis.
In Athens, historian Bettany Hughes explores the "Golden Age" of Athens at the dawn of democracy. She examines how the people now hailed as the originators of democracy rose to become the leaders of all of Greece, and how they exported their ideas to a burgeoning empire.