Documentary Series

The Greeks: Crucible of Civilization


The remarkable story of the heroes, thinkers and visionaries of ancient Greece

Actor Liam Neeson narrated the three-part series, which brought pre-archival history to life with the most cutting-edge advances in computer and television technology of the time, boasting special effects usually only reserved for feature films. In its dramatic storytelling and distinguished scholarship, the program vividly recounted the rise, glory, demise, and legacy of the empire that marked the dawn of Western civilization.

More than 2,500 years ago, against a backdrop of war and feudalism, the ancient Greeks developed democracy and built an empire that stretched across the Mediterranean from Asia to Spain. They laid the foundation of modern science, politics, warfare, and philosophy, and created a body of literature, drama, art, and architecture that still inspire.  This series tells the stories of this astonishing civilization through the lives of some of its greatest citizens: Cleisthenes, who built the first society of equals; Themistocles, the general who protected the new freedom; Pericles, the genius leader of Athens at its height; and the philosopher Socrates, who freed the mind.


Available for viewing on PBS.


PBS Website

Take a step back in time and view the website that went live in January 2000

At the time viewers who wanted to continue their journey through ancient Greece could access an accompanying website. The site allowed visitors to connect the past with the present at the ‘click of the mouse.’


Series Images


An epic poem… Beautifully told.


A benchmark for pre-archival filmmaking, a lyrically cinematic work that draws on the latest technology to bring the world’s first democracy to life.




Liam Neeson


Series Producer

Anthony Geffen


Writer & Director

Cassian Harrison


Line Producer

Patricia Wrobel





Director Of Photography

Lee Pulbrook


Music Composers

Simon Fisher Turner

Michael Gibbs



Mel Quigley

Maggie Choyce

Scott Mcewing