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The First War For Western Civilization (8 Episodes)

Epic Historical Docu-Drama Series

Free: Watch the "Making of" Special
Buy Now: 3-DVD Set: USA (NTSC-format); Europe, Australia (PAL-format)
Streaming Now on TVs/Online: Amazon (USAUK, JapanWorldwide

Telephone Orders (DVDs Only): USA: 866.216.1072; Outside of USA: 1.206.266.2992
Also available for worldwide streaming at Vimeo.

Watched it twice, worth every cent.
Robert Bruce
Buyer of The First War for Western Civilization.
The Greatest Story NEVER told, until now!  The perfect television documentary complementing the 2014 movie 300 - Rise of an Empire, the sequel to the 2006 blockbuster movie 300.  8 Episodes Descriptions.  300 Spartans: The Real Story is a shorter version of this documentary that takes a detailed look at The Battle of Thermopylae in 480 BC, leading to the last stand of the 300 Spartans.

"Go back 2,500 years to the wars between ancient Greece (West) and Persia (East).  The Greco-Persian Wars 2,500 years ago were a clash between two peoples, two cultures, two systems of government and two continents.  The first clash between East and West.  A clash that has, sadly, continued all the way to today."
-- Dr. Michael Scott, Host (NOVA, BBC, PBS, History Channel & More)
Hosted by Michael Scott, cambridge university
Very good! Nice balance of information and interest. Definitely can see The First War for Western Civilization running on The History Channel one day, hopefully soon.
Mark Whalanaus
Buyer of The First War for Western Civilization.
The first democracy in the world spawned the Greco-Persian Wars 2,500 years ago that shaped most of the world today, particularly our politics, but it also gave us some of the most iconic moments and curious mysteries in history...a time when history really did become legend. Leonidas and his 300 Spartans and The Battle of Thermopylae; the Battle of Marathon; Themistokles vs. Xerxes and Artemisia at the naval Battle of Salamis; The final battle at Plataea; The Roots of Democracy; and, now, the story of Athenian Generals Miltiades (Father) and Kimon (Son).  

However, other than the 3 days of the 300 Spartans at Thermopylae, the rest of the 49 year war between Persia and Greece has been almost completely overlooked, and has never appeared in full as a documentary or drama. Presented by Dr Michael Scott of Cambridge University, with contributions from nine other experts and four researchers and using the latest research, satellite  positioning, and imagery, the series gives complete coverage of the story. Included is a detailed analysis of two of the oldest mysteries in history itself, what really happened at the Battle of Marathon and what really happened to King Leonidas and his 300 Spartans at Thermopylae.  Re-examining the 2500 year old text of Herodotus, the “Father of History”, has revealed some missing links.

Answering some unanswered questions:

  • What was the real cause of the war?
  • How did the Greeks win, was it just legend and propaganda?
  • What really happened at the Battle of Marathon?
  • What was the real mission of Leonidas and the 300 Spartans
  • Were Leonidas and the 300 always on a suicide mission?

The story is told through the life of Kimon, a real person whose heroic military life coincided with these world changing events. Kimon was the wealthy son of revered Athenian military leader Miltiades. Miltiades is credited with the victory of the Greeks over the Persians at Marathon, but died in an Athenian prison within a year. Kimon was a drunken womaniser in his early life, and his story includes his incestuous seduction by his sister (frowned on but not illegal at that time) and his love for the woman Isodice. Although his fortune is lost through no fault of his own, it is regained by an action which leaves him feeling guilty through his life, and, most of all, his courage and love for Athens and Greece, for which he sacrifices these other loves. He never sought political power but was the architect of the rise of Greek power to its greatest height.

The life of Kimon has remained in the shadow of other heroism during the period, but he came closest to uniting Greece, and humbled the mighty Persian Empire in the process.

While being historically accurate, research has produced an engaging story with all the dramatic elements, the loves and courage of Kimon, the treacheries of Histiaeus and Ephialtes, the ambition of Mardonius, the heroism of Leonidas, the arrogance of Xerxes, and more. Most of all, this production is detailed and informative, keeping your interest while history unfolds. It shows the brilliant tactics and good fortune of the Greeks while defending their country against the Persian Kings Xerxes and Darius and their vast army and navy. It dispels many of the myths surrounding the story.

It is told as a docu-drama with narration and expert analysis. Every major event and battle is covered in detail and there is extensive use of satellite based maps. Most Historians include this period as the first major turning point in history, as a free Greece was the source of many ideas that influenced and changed the world. The fledgling Athenian democracy had to win to survive and is the basis for the most pervasive form of government in the world today. But Sparta has given us an equally important and different legacy.

Shot in Australia and Greece, and using actual back-plates from Greece, this production involved nearly 400 actors and extras.  Computer 3D modelling and special effects bring the ancient Greek and Persian cities and battlefields to life.  It is shot on widescreen HD video.

No stone is left unturned. The six major battles are covered in detail with technical direction by Dr Chris Matthew, historian, and author of A Storm of Spears. It includes a myth busting section to show how the Greeks actually turned the tables on the huge, all conquering Persian army. 

Structure and Episode Outline (Top of page)

The First War for Western Civilization is structured in 8 episodes (each averaging 44 minutes).  The DVD set is 8 parts on 3-DVDs.

Episode 1: THE BEGINNING

Our modern connection to this period, the importance to us here and now. The three major players, Athens, Sparta and Persia.  Greece & Persia, where each came from and what made them different to each other. A closer look at Athens and the beginnings of Democracy.

Episode 2. TREACHERY

The Spartans and their unique position in  Greece. How Greece & Persia came in to conflict.  The disloyalty of Histiaeus. The Ionian Revolt, Kimon and Miltiades in Athens, meeting Isodice, Athenian betrayal, the first Persian Invasion.  Events leading up to the Battle of Marathon including the mystery of Marathon.

Episode 3: MARATHON:

The Battle of Marathon, the Marathon Run, war heroes, the fall from grace of Kimon's family, prison, bankruptcy, incest, recovery and marriage.  Why did the Athenians call for help, then attack the much larger Persian army at Marathon without waiting for that help?

Episode 4, RISE AND FALL:

Some myth busting about how the Greeks beat the Persians at Marathon after losing every Battle up to that time. The Marathon Run, war heroes, the fall from grace of Kimon’s family, prison, bankruptcy, incest, recovery and marriage. Athens builds their fleet.

Episode 5, THE GREAT INVASION

The Great Persian Invasion of Greece by King Xerxes, the construction of the bridges over the sea at Hellespont and the canal at Athos,and the lead up to the Battle of Thermopylae, days 1 and 2. The betrayal of Leonidas.

Episode 6: THERMOPYLAE AND SALAMIS

The disaster of Thermopylae and sacrifice of the lives of Leonidas, his 300 Spartans and other Greeks, trying to delay the enormous Persian forces of King Xerxes.   What really happened there? Were the 300 Spartans always on a suicide mission? The evacuation of Athens, Spartan timidity and indecision.  Victory at the naval battle of Salamis Themistocles brings on the naval battle. The lead up to the Battle of Plataea.

Episode 7:  THE DECISION IN GREECE

Stabilization and the lead up to the Battle of Plataea. The Battle of Plataea and the pledge made there.  The new League of Greek Allies (Delian League), Kimon made commander in chief, Battle of Eurymedon (Kimon, the Conqueror of Persia), death of his wife Isodice, Ostracism (exile) of Kimon, his return to power, the death of Kimon and the Peace of Callias/Kimon.

Episode 8: THE AFTERMATH AND LEGACY

Was it all worthwhile?  Less than 50 years after the death of Kimon, why did the mighty hoplites of Kimon and Leonidas become the hirelings of Asia? The legacy of Greece. The legacy of Sparta.

Highlights

  • Greece vs. Persia 2500 years ago.
  • 50 actors, 350 extras, 10 experts and 4 researchers.
  • An event that has done more to shape the way the world is today than any other.
  • For the first time anywhere, the FULL story of the greatest war of all time.
  • Presented by Dr Michael Scott of Cambridge University.
  • Dispelling the myths and legends and revealing the full story.
  • The latest research, satellite imagery, re-enactments and ballistic tests.
  • The missing links from the ancient texts of Herodotus.
  • The Legacy.
  • No major detail left out.
  • The actual battlefields, the tactics, the strategies, the weapons. 

Download Full Treatment: .PDF    
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