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In this programme, Professor Homer Thompson takes the viewer on a guided tour of the Agora excavation. The Agora of Athens was the focal point for much that happened in the city, and the archaeolog...ical evidence which it provides tells us a great deal about the commercial, political, social and judicial activities of the period from 478 to 336 B.C.
Metadata describing this Open University video programme
Module code and title: A292, Greece 478-336BC
Item code: A292; 02
First transmission date: 20-03-1979
Published: 1979
Rights Statement:
Restrictions on use:
Duration: 00:24:24
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Producer: Mary Hoskins
Contributors: Garard Green; Homer A. Thompson
Publisher: BBC Open University
Keyword(s): Archaeology; Law; Socrates
Footage description: The programme opens with shots of the Acropolis and the Agora over which Green briefly traces the excavations of the Agora conducted by the American School of Classical Studies. He introduces Homer Thompson, Field Director from 1947 to 1948. From the Agora Thompson describes the problems involved in excavating the site. He points out a boundary stone and explains how such finds helped define the site. Over views of the Agora and animated plans of the classical site Thompson outlines the evolution of the Agora as a public meeting place and describes the range of shops that stood there. Pottery scenes and a quotation from Xenophon illustrate this commercial activity. From the ruins of the Tholos Thompson uses examples of official weights and measures to explain how commercial activity was controlled in Athens. From the Agora Thompson describes the democratic reforms of 462 BC. Drawings are used to show the different auditoria that occupied the Pnyx site, and to show the building that hosted the meetings of the Council of Five Hundred. Thompson describes features of this building, including pottery discovered there, Drawings are used to show the situation of the Eponymous Heroes and the public notice board. From the site Thompson describes the function of this board. Film of the Agora site and of the ruins of the lawcourts. Thompson comments on Athenian litigation and uses examples of bronze ballots to explain how the jury system worked. An animated plan of the Agora indicates the location of the Heliaia, which Thompson describes in voice over. He demonstrates the use of a waterclock which was used for timing speakers. Thompson describes the Greek method of ostracising possible dictators. He indicates examples of the pieces of pottery that were used for voting in cases of ostracism. From the site of the Athenian prison Thompson comments on the confinement of Socrates. He describes the prison with the help of a graphic reconstruction. Shots of phials that held hemlock and of a hemlock plant growing in the Agora. Shots of the Stoa of Attalos. Thompson explains the function of such buildings, and describes the painted Stoa, the Royal Stoa and the Stoa of Zeus. Stills of excavations and graphic reconstructions are used. Thompson describes a Hero shrine and other religious sites in the Agora. Over vase paintings he describes some of the public events that took place in the Agora.
Production number: FOUA020P
Videofinder number: 451
Available to public: no