Zig Zag: Ancient Greece

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started28th Oct 1996
ended25th Nov 1996
last rpt24th Mar 2004on CBBC
8 school years
duration20 mins
subject 🏛️History
age rangeAge 7-9
languageenIn English

Zig ZagHierarchyPrevious.gifPrevious unit: Danger DetectorsNext unit: Village, Town, CityHierarchyNext.gif
Primary HistoryHierarchyPrevious.gifPrevious unit: A Walk Through TimeNext unit: PyramidHierarchyNext.gif

Ancient Greece is a unit of the BBC Schools TV series Zig Zag from the 1990s & 2000s, covering history for primary school pupils.

A mixture of documentary and drama about society in Ancient Greece.

Greek presenter Crissa Venetti visits modern Greece to explore its history and takes part in recreations such as a masked theatre production and an ancient Olympic race.

Meanwhile two "imagined" characters from ancient times talk about their lives and interests. Stephanos, a potter, and his slave Lydos, an artist, describe their trades, discuss events, and Stephanos tells stories including the myth of Theseus in programme 1, and the Wooden Horse of Troy in programme 2.

Primary History

In 2003 this unit was repeated as part of the new series Primary History, with amended opening titles but otherwise intact.

After this final repeat run it was replaced by a new Primary History series on Ancient Greece in 2004.

Titles & Theme Music

Episode List

# Title Broadcast
1. Theseus and the Minotaur #1996-10-28-00-00-0028 Oct 1996
2. The Wooden Horse of Troy #1996-11-04-00-00-004 Nov 1996
3. The Persians #1996-11-11-00-00-0011 Nov 1996
4. The Parthenon #1996-11-18-00-00-0018 Nov 1996
5. The Olympic Games #1996-11-25-00-00-0025 Nov 1996


Year Term Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Channel Details
1996-97 Autumn 1996 Monday, 11:10am Wednesday, 1:25pm BBC2
1998-99 Summer 1999 Monday, 11:20am Thursday, 11:15am BBC2
1999-2000 Summer 2000 Tuesday, 11:20am Thursday, 11:20am BBC2 Eps 1, 2, 4 & 5
2000-01 Autumn 2000 Monday, 11:50am BBC2 Eps 1, 2 & 5
2002-03 Summer 2003 Monday, 11:30am BBC2 Primary History

Learning Zone

Also broadcast overnight on BBC2's Learning Zone broadcasts, from 2am on Tuesday 15th April in Summer 1997.

CBBC Channel

Also broadcast on the CBBC Channel 'Class TV' service of schools programmes:


Presenter Crissa Venetti
With Hugo Myatt as Stephanos
Chris Pavlo as Lydos
Music Peter Howell
Designer Alan Spalding
Script writer Derek Farmer
Producer Nicholas Whines


There were teacher's notes, a resource pack, a Factfinders book (Ancient Greece), a Video Plus pack and software for Acorn computers available.

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