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Episode #102

series: Spartans

air date: 12/13/12 8:59 PM

The second hour explores the bitter rivalry between Sparta and Athens and their startlingly different views of women. They are two cities with opposite views of the "good life." For Athens, Sparta is a frightening place that turns its children into fighting machines. Worse still are Sparta's women: liberated, independent, opinionated, they take an active part in sport, race horses and chariots, celebrate nudity and wield power in the absence of their men. They are unique in the ancient world -- and an affront to Athenian notions of femininity. When war between Sparta and Athens finally comes, it rages for decades and splits the Greek world until on the island of Sphacteria, the reputation for fearlessness of Sparta's famed warriors is shockingly undermined.

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