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air date: 12/06/12 8:59 PM
The first hour explores the birth of the unique Spartan social system. Militaristic, communal and disciplined, the state enforces eugenics and euthanasia. Priests decide which babies should live and which should be left to die. Seven-year-old boys are forced to fend for themselves on the harsh mountainside. Policed by secret spies, the society is supported by a nation of slaves. Sparta can be seen as a premonition of modern-day totalitarianism, but Sparta is the first Greek city to define the rights of its citizens. And in the pass of Thermopylae, its warriors fight bravely to their deaths, living up to the boast of their city in a heroic last stand against the Persian invader.
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