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 5 The Macedonians – Alexander the Great uses his father’s tactics to conquer the Persian Empire. From the day these warriors fought, war would never be the same. They would march farther than any soldiers before them and outfight every army they met. In one afternoon they would defeat the proudest civilization of their day. Led by the greatest general in history they would forge an empire larger than any yet seen and leave their footprints forever on the world.
Thousands of years ago, Myths were used to help frame the world of the ancients, and dictate the guidelines of their societies. Today, they are often the first stories we learn as children, iconic tales in which good and evil clash, and humanity and fantasy collide. But what is the reality behind these stories? Each episode connects ancient myths to actual historical events, as well as to events in the Bible and other cultures mythologies, gaining important historical insight from renowned scholars in search of the truth behind the legends. Episode 3 Hades – Hades is the lord of the underworld and the keeper of dead souls. This episode tells how Hades came to this position, why he was so feared, and what the Greeks thought awaited them after death.
Homer wrote his epic, The Iliad, in 700 BC 500 years after the Trojan Wars were supposed to have taken place. Did the Trojan war ever happen,or was the city destroyed by natural causes? It’s fascinated poets, painters and Hollywood directors for over 2,500 years. Join Michael Wood as he combs the cradle of civilization from Greece to Turkey and points beyond Germany, Ireland and England in search of archaeological evidence that may validate the fantastic battles immortalized in The Iliad From Schliemann’s initial cavalier bulldozing of the mound at Hisarlik, to Homer’s epics, the Hittite Empire, and the role of slave women, Wood journeys back and forth across the Aegean and elsewhere to illuminate the dawn of Western literature, myth, and history. The Singer of Tales – The role and long time fidelity of oral traditions. Homer’s reliability challenged.
It is 114 B.C. and the Republic of Rome is a small empire clinging to the rim of the Mediterranean. Suddenly, terror grips the Romans as the first barbarian attack smashes through the imperial boarder, paving the way for what would become one of the most tumultuous eras in the history of mankind. Filled with dramatic re-enactments and action packed battle scenes, Rome Rise and Fall of an Empire chronicles the dramatic story of one of history’s greatest empires from its first major battle to its remarkable military feats and through its eventual fall. This is the History Channel series, not BBC. Julius Caesar – It is 60 BC. Over powerful generals and money corrupts the Roman Republic. The empire churns with civil war, and violence and murder run rampant in the streets forest.
From a small Italian community in 15th century Florence, the Medici family would rise to rule Europe in many ways. Using charm, patronage, skill, duplicity and ruthlessness, they would amass unparalleled wealth and unprecedented power. They would also ignite the most important cultural and artistic revolution in Western history the European Renaissance. But the forces of change the Medici helped unleash would one day topple their ordered world. The Birth of a Dynasty – Europe, 1400 A continent torn apart by war and plague is dominated by the authority of the Catholic Church. In the towns and cities live merchants and entrepreneurs who sense that their world is changing. With increasing trade and wealth an appetite for enlightenment develops. No longer neglected in the shadows of the Church, classical philosophy, poetry, art and sculpture begin to reach a new audience. This is especially true in cosmopolitan cities like Florence, home of Cosimo de’Medici.
What really went on at the ancient Greek oracle at Delphi, how did it get its awesome reputation and why is it still influential today? Michael Scott of Cambridge University uncovers the secrets of the most famous oracle in the ancient world. The programme investigates the oracular sanctuary of Delphi in ancient Greece and asks how it managed to survive as the omphalos, the bellybutton, of the ancient world for over 1000 years and what Delphi still has to say to us today. The programme examines not just the activity of the oracle at Delphi, but the stories of the many other gods, athletic games, monuments to unity and civil war that populated the sanctuary, showing how Delphi evolved to reflect and affect the changing world around it. With locations ranging from the grandeur of Delphi to caves in the Parnassian mountains, from the glory of Athens to the cosmopolitan city of Istanbul, and with contributions from French, British and Greek archaeologists, this documentary helps unravel the mystery of the place. A vital force in ancient history for a thousand years, it is now one of Greece’s most beautiful tourist sites, but in its time it has been a gateway into the supernatural, a cockpit of political conflict, and a beacon for internationalism. And at its heart was the famous inscription which still inspires visitors today – “Know Thyself”.
They were the dreaded forces on the fringes of civilization, the bloodthirsty warriors who defied the Roman legions and terrorized the people of Europe. They were the Barbarians, and their names still evoke images of cruelty and chaos. But what do we really know of these legendary warriors? From the frigid North Sea to the Russian steppes, this ambitious series tells the fascinating stories of the most fabled groups of fighters in history, tracing 1,000 years of conquest and adventure through inspired scholarship and some of the most extensive reenactments ever filmed. Goths Goths reveals why this once fearsome people subjected themselves to Roman rule, only to rise up again at the battle of Adrianople.
Decisive Battles of the Ancient World presents the 13 defining points of ancient warfare moments that altered the course of history and shaped the modern world. It is a comprehensive account of the famed leaders that commanded victory and the brilliant military tactics that swayed destiny. The show used the game engine from Rome: Total War to present 3-D versions of the battles. Attila the Hun 451 A.D. Battle of Chalon – No ruler in history represents the barbarian brutality as much as Attila the Hun, who swept through 5th-century Europe and emerged holding its future in his grasp.
Dig into the sands of time with this exploration into lost civilizations. Scientists, archaeologists, and historians alike search for evidence of cities that may have forever been lost to time. Some are ancient while some are surprisingly recent. Extensive archaeological research and cutting edge visual technology come together in this series that aims to bring ancient cultures and civilizations to new life on screen. Episode 3 The First Christians – In the aftermath of Jesus’ crucifixion, only a hundred or so of his followers survived. But within a few decades, Christianity had spread around the Mediterranean and across the Roman Empire. This episode draws on the expertise of a team of field investigators using the latest research, expert analysis, and cutting edge graphic technology to return to the earliest years of Christianity. From the port of Tarsus, where St. Paul was born, the program follows the systems of trade and transport that helped him travel 20,000 miles.
Look outs on the English coast have been expecting the Spanish Armada for 3 years and now they’re here. The Spanish called it the Enterprise of England a massive sea born invasion. What happened next has been celebrated by the English ever since. It is one of the ways the English define themselves: it’s pluck in the face of adversity, it’s coolness under fire, it’s effortless superiority, the English David against the Spanish Goliath. That’s the legend but the real Armada story is a country defended by pirates, who through cunning caution and ingenuity managed not loose … just.
Two thousand years ago, at the dawn of the first century, the world was ruled by Rome. Using the experiences, memories and writings of the people who lived through this remarkable age, The Roman Empire in the First Century A.D. brings to life the greatest empire the world has ever known. The program uses diaries, poems, private letters and public records to tell the stories of emperors and slaves, poets and plebeians who built the most sophisticated society the world had ever seen. Episode 2 Years of Trial – In 14 A.D., Augustus died and the empire stood at a crossroads. Would Rome continue on course or return to chaos? Much depended on his successor, Tiberius Then the only surviving heir to the throne was Caligula. He was murdered by his closest advisors then followed by his uncle, Claudius. To everyone’s surprise, he worked hard and did well. This period also witnessed major change in other parts of the empire. In Judaea, a charismatic leader named Jesus challenged the religious and political establishment. The local furor barely touched Rome, but the legacy of Jesus would one day engulf the entire empire.
For 25 centuries the Parthenon has been shot at, set on fire, rocked by earthquakes, looted for its sculptures, almost destroyed by explosion, and disfigured by well meaning renovations. It has gone from temple, to church, to mosque, to munitions dump. What could be next? How about a scientific search for the secrets of its incomparable beauty and astonishingly rapid construction? With unprecedented access, NOVA unravels the architectural and engineering mysteries of this celebrated ancient temple.
Certain landmarks have captured the imagination and awe of modern architects and engineers around the world as they work to solve the mystery of how their ancient forebears were able to construct such beautiful, timeless and revolutionary structures with none of the machines and materials available to modern engineers. Episode Hagia Sophia – We peel back the layers of this great church of Hagia Sophia to reveal its engineering secrets,and bring to life the story of its construction.
Bible Mysteries is a series of programs exploring great figures and events from biblical times. Historical, archaeological and anthropological evidence combined with stylish drama re-enactments, CGI graphics and expert opinion offers a comprehensive exploration into some of the Bible’s most compelling people and stories and gives fresh insights into the historical realities of the times. Episode Who Killed Jesus? – No trial or execution in history has had such a momentous outcome as that of Jesus in Roman occupied Jerusalem, 2000 years ago. But was it an execution or a judicial murder, and who was responsible? This documentary focused on three suspects, Caiaphas, the Jewish High Priest, Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor, and, most surprisingly of all, Jesus himself.
Luxury isn’t always a question of the expensive and beautiful for the rich and powerful, it’s always been much more and more important than that. The story of luxury is about an idea that touches on democracy and patriotism on social harmony and epic courage and even on the divine. Because it is so important there has always been more than one definition of what luxury actually is. One thing all can agree on is that luxury is a rare thing, it divides society into the haves and have nots. Host Cambridge University academic Dr Michael Scott asks the question “Do we love luxury or hate it or both?” He presents the view that the best way to understand today’s anxious response toward luxury is to think about how it operated in the past and to understand how that past continues to impact society today. Episode Luxury in the Middle Ages – follows the clash between luxury and Christianity which convulsed medieval Europe. Luxury was a roadblock on the road to heaven, so the church was quick to condemn the jewellery and gorgeous weapons of the early medieval world. Yet the church also had its own form of luxury, in the form of manuscripts designed to do the work of God through astonishment and display. And to some extent it worked, as by 1200 medieval boys’ toys like warhorses and tournaments were suffused with Christian ideas of chivalry and gentility. But trade growth brought new luxuries to Europe, condemned in turn by the church, like exotic spices from the East, spicy food led to spicy conduct and to the sin of lechery, said the preachers. But soon the Black Death paradoxically liberated luxury from the church by initiating a new world of relative luxury and consumerism, the luxury world we inhabit today.
This series follows local man Francis Campbell in his role as the UK’s ambassador to the Vatican. Delving beneath the ceremonial duties, we get an unique glimpse into the real life of a diplomat operating within the hidden world of the Vatican. Episode 2 – In this episode, ahead of the G8 summit, cameras follow Francis deep into the Vatican for high level meetings.
This documentary tour de force on the world’s greatest battles and the fearless men who won them. The Conquerors examines 12 legendary figures that altered the course of history through military brilliance and sheer willpower. Diary entries, interviews with scholars and heart-stopping reenactments examine the strategies, weapons of conquest and the significance of each engagement in the annals of history. Hosted by decorated war veteran Captain Dale Dye. Episode Caesar Conqueror of Gaul – Follow the extraordinary campaign that extended Rome’s influence to the Atlantic. Examine the tactics that allowed the Roman legions to subjugate a continent. In 58 BC, Julius Caesar pushed north from Rome into the unruly lands of the barbarians. Less than eight years later, the empire extended all the way to the Atlantic, and Roman Legions were making incursions into Britain. The key to Caesar’s victory lay not in the superiority of the Roman war machine but in his mastery of strategy, tactics, discipline, and military engineering.
This is where it all began, Adam Hart-Davis first foray, directly inspired by the Monty Python sequence from “The Life of Brian”, where the People’s Front of Judea discuss “What have the Romans done for us?”, into how the foundations of modern society were laid by the surprising cultural and technological achievements of the Roman empires. This is the first series of “What The … Did For Us” hosted by Adam Hart-Davis. Episode 1 The Life of Luxury – After hundreds of years of occupation many generations of people in Britain had grown up surrounded by Roman culture, and after a long period of stability that culture was showing visible signs of wealth, success and good living. This 2,000 year old Great Roman Temple enclosing a natural spring is one of Bath’s foremost visitor attractions. The site of a celtish shrine to the Roman goddess, Sulis Minerva, it boasts a beautifully preserved bath, temple and pump room. A well-preserved cavalry fort, complete with a bath house and which features an impressive museum. Original artifacts are on display. Cooking implements, demonstrated by food historian and chef Sally Grainger, were used to create 3 course Roman meals.
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 7 The Spartans – Spartan culture is geared to producing the perfect warrior. They were soldiers unlike any others before or since. Their nation was an armed camp, they knew no trade but war. In 480 B.C. in Thermopylae, they met an army 100 times their size and stood their ground. For them the trumpets never sounded retreat. Their name has become a synonym for hardship willingly endured and death stoically faced.
Discovery Channel Alexander the Great’s triumphs over the Persian and Egyptian empires are some of the most spectacular campaigns of conquest and exploration in history. But what inner conflicts drove this great military leader? Follow the story of a man who assumed power at the age of 22 and died at 33, planning his next expedition across North Africa and Europe.
Homer wrote his epic, The Iliad, in 700 BC 500 years after the Trojan Wars were supposed to have taken place. Did the Trojan war ever happen,or was the city destroyed by natural causes? It’s fascinated poets, painters and Hollywood directors for over 2,500 years. Join Michael Wood as he combs the cradle of civilization from Greece to Turkey and points beyond Germany, Ireland and England in search of archaeological evidence that may validate the fantastic battles immortalized in The Iliad From Schliemann’s initial cavalier bulldozing of the mound at Hisarlik, to Homer’s epics, the Hittite Empire, and the role of slave women, Wood journeys back and forth across the Aegean and elsewhere to illuminate the dawn of Western literature, myth, and history. The Women of Troy – Plundering in Bronze Age. The taking of women and children as slaves and their economic and political role. The recent African slavery parallel.
It is 114 B.C. and the Republic of Rome is a small empire clinging to the rim of the Mediterranean. Suddenly, terror grips the Romans as the first barbarian attack smashes through the imperial boarder, paving the way for what would become one of the most tumultuous eras in the history of mankind. Filled with dramatic re-enactments and action packed battle scenes, Rome Rise and Fall of an Empire chronicles the dramatic story of one of history’s greatest empires from its first major battle to its remarkable military feats and through its eventual fall. This is the History Channel series, not BBC. The Forest of Death – As the Roman Empire expands its reaches into what is now Germany, its legions are faced with ferocious Germanic tribesmen. In 9 AD, their chieftain, Arminius, raised in Rome as a hostage of peace, uses his Roman military training to slaughter the Roman General Varus’ army at Teutoburg Forest. This landmark battle establishes the Rhine River as the frontier between the Empire and its growing barbaric enemies.
From a small Italian community in 15th century Florence, the Medici family would rise to rule Europe in many ways. Using charm, patronage, skill, duplicity and ruthlessness, they would amass unparalleled wealth and unprecedented power. They would also ignite the most important cultural and artistic revolution in Western history the European Renaissance. But the forces of change the Medici helped unleash would one day topple their ordered world. The Magnificient Medici – Florence, August 1466 Lorenzo de’Medici, the 17 year old heir to the dynasty, foils a murderous plot against his father and saves his family from a coup d’etat. The Medici still dominate Florence, but now take extra precautions, picking a useful bride for Lorenzo. Clarice Orsini, a baron’s daughter and cardinal’s niece, brings connections, class, and military muscle to the Medici dynasty. In the workshops of Florence, business has never been better. Under Medici patronage, artists like Sandro Botticelli go on to redefine the Renaisssance itself. For now, Botticelli’s Adoration of the Magi confirms his position at the heart of Medici power.
A look at the making of the Gladiator and the historical aspects presented within the film. Interviews with cast, crew and historical professors about certain locations and characters that were in the movie. Originally aired on Discovery Channel as a promotion for the 2000 film. Interviews with cast, crew and historical professors tell us a little bit more about certain locations and characters than what was in the movie.
Ten thought – provoking episodes bring a fresh perspective to Scotland’s past and challenges many of the perceived notions of Scottish history. Using the very latest in historical research A History of Scotland is a sweeping and insightful chronicle of an often turbulent, but continuingly fascinating nation. Episode 1 – At the dawn of the first millennia, there was no Scotland or England. In the first episode Oliver reveals the mystery of how the Gaelic Scottish Kingdom Alba was born, and why its role in one of the greatest battles ever fought on British soil defined the shape of Britain in the modern era.