Socrates: Genius of the Ancient World

Socrates: Genius of the Ancient World

Series 1



One of the classical world's premier iconoclasts, Socrates lived a life infused with controversy, tragedy and drama.

Here, we learn how he waged war on ignorance and superstition, wrestling ethical responsibility away from the gods and planting it into individual minds. "Is wealth a good thing?" he asked. "What makes us happy?" Although Socrates spent years in search of answers, he had the humility to admit his shortcomings when he didn't find them.

Bettany Hughes takes to the streets of Athens to try the Socratic method of enquiry for herself. The city's glowing panoramas provide a beautiful backdrop to this illuminating story.


Bettany Hughes' series profiling the most celebrated thinkers of the Ancient world continues as she turns her attention to Socrates. Heading to Greece, she details how the Athenian philosopher secured a reputation as an influential maverick. She also highlights how his contributions as one of the founders of Western philosophy did not please his detractors, as his outspoken defence of his beliefs ultimately led to his execution.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Bettany Hughes
Executive Producer Mike Smith
Producer Rob Cowling