Beijing is one of the world’s great cities and it was made capital of China by a great man. That man was Kublai Khan. Kublai declared himself Great Khan, supreme ruler of the Mongol empire in 1260. But his main interest was in China where he reigned until 1294 and founded the Yuan dynasty. He was the first significant non-Chinese ruler to rule over the entire Chinese empire. Kublai was the grandson of a the legendary Mongol warlord Genghis Khan. Like his grandfather Kublai crushed his enemies with brute force yet he ruled his own lands peacefully, setting up governments, creating systems of taxation, and promoting culture and commerce. He made Beijing the capital of the biggest empire the world had ever seen. But his greatest achievement was the unification of China it survives to this day. Although he reined over 700 years ago his story is one that has great significance because he ruled a great multi-cultural society and he presided over a global economy, it was globalization in the middle ages.
For 27 years Mao Tse Tung held absolute power. This is the first full account of his life ever shown on television. This documentary shows the torment, beatings and killings of Mao’s cultural revolution and the terror and famine that preceded it and killed tens of millions. For the first time Mao’s intimates speak out including, his granddaughter, his doctor, his valet, his english teacher, his bodyguard and commrades of his early days in the communist party. Together they provide the keys, not only to China’s past, but to an understanding of China today. Hosted by Philip Short, BBC correspondent and author of Mao: A Life. The first half of the documentary covers the course of the Chinese revolution up to the Cultural Revolution. The second half covers the Cultural Revolution to Mao’s death.
Each half hour episode looks at a major fighting people or force and charts the reasons for their rise to dominance and subsequent fall. The show explores the motivations of ancient soldiers, as well as how they lived, fought, trained, died, and changed the world. It also uses battle re-enactments and computer graphics to demonstrate military strategy. This series from the Discovery Channel is especially good for the lesser known groups of warriors. Episode 17 Shaolin Monks – The Shaolin pattern their martial arts on animal motion. In the year 621 China was ruled by chaos. Warlord fought warlord, no one was safe, not even the emperor. His estates were seized, his subjects murdered, and his son taken hostage. A peasant found the princes imperial seal and took it to a monastery nearby. The monks resolved to find the wicked warlord and rescue the emperors son. For despite their peaceful manner, they knew a hundred ways to kill a man. They were the shaolin masters of the deadly art of kung fu.
They were skilful administrators, the first global players who guaranteed the uninterrupted exchange of goods and ideas between the Orient and the West for nearly 200 years. They were also far-sighted, bringing merchants, traders and settlers with extensive agricultural know-how to their lands. Only after the collapse of Mongol influence in the mid-14th century did routes to the Far East become unsafe. Episode1 The Empire of Genghis Khan – This program focuses on the life of Genghis Khan how he was raised, how he united the Mongols and how he conquered lands ranging from northern China to the fringes of Europe.
In the series, nova crews attempt to ferret out long forgotten secrets of early architects and engineers. How did they design and erect the medieval war machines known as trebuchets? Egyptian obelisks? The Easter Island stone monoliths called moais? Roman baths? The rainbow bridges of ancient China? China Bridge – The ancient Chinese relied on bamboo, one of nature’s most versatile building materials, to lash together their famous rainbow bridges. In this section, learn more about this amazing plant and about China’s most noteworthy inventions, including paper money, gunpowder, and the compass. Also, play an interactive game that challenges you to use the right bridge type to span a span.