There’s no shortage of entertainment in America today. Hundreds of movies are released each year, many more TV shows, live events, stage plays, concerts, books, magazines, and endless streams of content for the web, like this series. But what’s the point of it all? Is there more to it than escapism?

In ancient Greece, it was about art’s capacity to inform. Audiences swarmed to the theater to engage with the critical issues of their time. It wasn’t just art for the sake of art every play, poem or public contest carried a message.

Looking back at ancient art and entertainment, can we uncover how it inspired greatness in their society and how it still does in ours today?

Video courtesy of The National Hellenic Society.