Episode one examines the origins of democracy. In the sixth century BC, Athens was run by Tyrants; rulers who governed with absolute power. To help his cause one young aristocrat decided to appeal to the 'power of the people'. But, by getting the common people on his side to defeat a rival, the genie was let out of the bottle. Once they had tasted power the people, the 'demos' were unwilling to give it back. Historian Bettany Hughes goes beneath modern-day Athens to discover the treasure trove of artifacts and human remains excavated by American archaeologists over decades -- vivid evidence of the Athenians who lived and died here at the dawn of democracy.
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Episode #101 / Length: 56 minutes