Within my top five dvds in the past decade
Louis J. Sheehan | Harrisburg, PA USA | 11/18/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The dvd covers the salient historical events, but also covers aspects of Spartan male life that they never taught us in high school. Covers Spartan women (enjoyed the story of Kynisca ... as will you). A cerebral/intellectual approach which exposes the very many unpleasant aspects of Spartan society. The roots of many of our English words is enlightening. Any chance the Spartan Crypteia was the source of the name for the street gang known as the Crypts? Yes, and the hostess is easy on the eyes.
-- Louis J Sheehan"
Excellent Series for Classical History Fans
Spencer Taylor | Philly, PA | 07/16/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I will be a bit briefer than the other reviews. I have seen the entire series twice in HD on WNET PBS out of New York and will be purchasing the DVD - unfortunately there is no Blu-ray version, which is a shame. As a student of history and philosophy, and a lover of well-told stories and cinematography, this series shines in every respect. This is easily the best modern examination of the Spartans available. When most people think of ancient Greece, they usually think of the Athenians. This series will change their minds. In reality, the Spartans are just as important to ancient Grecian history. I also appreciated the very realistic and straight-forward depiction of Spartan society. As another reviewer mentioned, homosexuality was the norm for Spartans, who where amongst the greatest warriors in history. So much for the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy of the US Armed Forces. It is an interesting contrast to our modern American "values". Homosexual soldiers didn't seem to affect the Battle of Thermopylae.
Lastly, Bettany Hughes is an absolute revelation. She can be my history professor anytime:) Seriously though, Hughes brings a great charisma, charm, and immediacy to this presentation, which she also contributed greatly to as a scholar as well as "host". The production values are also outstanding. This is a first-class production all the way. In my opinion, the only historical documentary in the last decade to surpass "The Spartans" is Michael Woods immensely ambitious "The Story of India"."