Dr Michael Scott Videos

Dr Michael Scott

Guilty Pleasures; luxury in Ancient Greece  58 mins

This documentary follows the debate about luxury which convulsed ancient Greece from the beginning of the classical era.

In Athens, it explores the role of luxury in the beginnings of democracy – how certain kinds of luxury came to be forbidden, and others embraced. A simple luxury like meat could unite the democracy, and yet a taste for fish could divide it. Some luxuries were associated with effeminacy and foreigners. Others with the very idea of democracy.

Yet in Sparta, there was a determined attempt to deny luxury, and the guilty contradictions of this eventually brought what had been the most powerful state in Greece to its downfall.

When Sparta was replaced by the Macedon of Philip II, father of Alexander the Great, the absolute luxury of his court set new standards for luxury as political propaganda. Yet the guilty anxiety of ancient Greece could not be suppressed and still affects our ideas of luxury today.

Delphi 58 mins

ANCIENT GREEKS: Who Were They?       Two Videos  See them on right side of site and view by clicking on them.

 

 

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