The programme opens with aerial film of Greek roads, mountains and agricultural land. The general topography is described and the kind of farming indicated. Shots of olive groves. Further shots of coastline. Aerial views of countryside. Animated maps are used to indicate the main Greek states, particularly Athens, Corinth and Sparta. Another map shows the areas of Greek colonisation. Over this and pottery scenes depicting trade and war John lists different ways that Greek states dealt with the problem of overpopulation. Aerial shots of the Eurotas Valley and site of Sparta. The classical town is described. Over a map showinn Sparta and Messenia the Spartan conquest of the latter is described. More aerial film of the area. Animated map of the League of Poloponnesian States, over which Sparta's political success is described. Shots of Spartan pottery and sculpture Sparta's early cultural achievements are described and their later rejection explained. Relief map of Greece emphasising Corinth. Over this and aerial film, the main features of classical Corinth and its environs are described. Reasons are given for Corinth's success in trade. Map showing the town's harbours and Diolkos. References to Corinth's wealth over shots of terracottas and pottery. Film of the chief archaeological sites of Corinth, which are described in some detail. Brief comment on her political position. Map showing Athens and her Attic neighbours. Aerial views of Athens. The city's dominance of Attica is described. Film and commentary examine the agricultural hinterland of Athens. Athenian pottery, coins and sculpture are considered. Over film of the Athenian forts in the Boetia passes John indicates their strategic importance. A number of locations in Attica, including Marathon, Brauron and Cape Sounion, are shown in aerial shot and their classical importance considered. Film of the mines and workshops of Laurion and Thorikos which are examined in detail. Maps Showing Attican cities and the relation of Athens to Piraeus. John comments on the small size of the region. A variety of Athenian classical sites are seen in aerial phots with explanatory commentary. A map indicates the street plan of ancient Athens. John comments on the importance of the Agora over views of the city.
This programme looks at how the topography of Greece affected the developments of its city states. The influences of a mountainous and often infertile terrain upon political ambitions and achievements are illustrated, and the importance of sea routes, both for trade and war, made clear. The Greek city state, or polis, was a phenomenon which grew up partly in response to the physical nature of the land. The character and functions of those city-states, each with its acropolis and Agora, are examined, and related to political, commercial, legal and social activities.