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The Greeks: Crucible of Civilization

This superb companion site to the PBS special of the same name that previewed in late February offers a wealth of information and interactive elements for learning about Ancient Athens. The site centers around in-depth examinations of five key Greeks: Cleisthenes, the founder of democracy in Athens; Themistocles, the creator of the Greek navy; Pericles, Athens's most famous ruler; Aspasia, "the 'first lady' of Athens"; and of course, Socrates. The narratives are supplemented by video clips from the broadcast that can last as long as five minutes but download quickly and easily. In addition, an expandable timeline offers descriptions of a millennium's worth of key events in the history of Ancient Greece. The site's more innovative interactive elements include a map that lets the user choose to zoom in on different portions and structures in ancient Athens and learn more about their role in Athenian life as well as an interactive keyboard that lets users see and hear the ancient Greek alphabet and compare it to modern English equivalents. Most impressive are the real time Webcam of the Acropolis, a detailed 3-D animation of the Parthenon and entire Acropolis as it was in the glory of Classical Greece, and a substantial videoclip showing and discussing the Parthenon in particular. Finally, the site offers educational materials in the form of lesson plans geared to major figures and events.
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Date of Scout Publication 2000-03-07
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