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episode of Lost Worlds examines the city state of Athens during the
period of Pericles, their democratically elected leader for 30
consecutive years and never ostracized. Pericles had a vision of what
Athens should look like and this episode tries to show you what it was
in historical context.
Athens at that time was also a direct democracy and it was during this period that it achieved its height and its glory, but it was very short-lived. Due to disease and military conflict, Athens eventually had to surrender to Sparta.
This documentary focuses on the architectural, cultural and military history of the period. It begins by looking at the Acropolis but more specifically at the Parthenon, one of the most perfect buildings ever constructed and the most duplicated building and architectural style for hundreds of years worldwide. For people who have never seen the Parthenon in person or for those who have, this episode provides you a closer look at the interior of the building, how it was constructed and it’s long history, a few of the things that you may have missed on your visit to the Parthenon! They end the segment by showing you how it most likely would have looked like in the past with its statues and its elaborately painted exterior.
This Lost Worlds episode also examines in-depth the Agora just below the Acropolis – the heart of ancient Athens. It looks at its uses, some of the important buildings that were located there and it provides you with a graphical reconstruction of the area and its buildings. because other than the well-preserved Temple of Hephaistos, everything else is in ruins or not discernible without a guide book or knowledge of the area.
The episode also looks at the military aspect of Athens. Due to Athens’ impending conflict with Sparta, Pericles decided that it was necessary to build and reinforce its walls that protected its access to the sea and its navy. Although the massive walls were never breached by the Spartans (who never had siege warfare at the time), they no longer exist today. The episode also tries to reconstruct graphically how these walls may have looked like during Pericles’ time.
The show also goes into detail on the Athenian navy and their famous triremes which were critical in protecting Athens and in its long war with Sparta.
In summary, this is an excellent Lost Worlds episode about Athens. Lost Worlds does a great job in showing you what currently exists, the history and the historical background behind what they are going to talk about and they provide excellent graphical representations of what Athenian buildings, structures and triremes would have looked like in the past. If you have visited Athens, you will appreciate this documentary and be able to view these impressive monuments from a different perspective.