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Athens: The Dawn of Democracy

Athens: The Dawn of Democracy is a two-part documentary series presented by historian Bettany Hughes, exploring the 'Golden Age' of ancient Athens at the dawn of democracy. Bettany Hughes searches for the truth about the 'Golden Age' of Ancient Athens, investigating how a barren rock wedged between the East and West became the first democracy 2,500 years ago. Democracy, liberty and the freedom of speech are trumpeted as the bedrock of western civilisation, but what was Athens really like? Bettany Hughes goes deep underground to explore a treasure trove of pre-historic bones and ancient artefacts. In silver mines and tombs she uncovers evidence for what this society was really like. In the second part of her exploration of ancient Athens, Bettany Hughes examines how, as Athenian democracy progressed, it became embroiled in the clash of new and old ideas; so much so that Athens started to tear itself apart.

Athens: The Truth about Democracy


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