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 twenty part documentary series from the Discovery Channel was aimed at the school market so it’s as good an introduction as possible for such a small time period and should not be taken as an exhaustive investigation of the topic. It is especially good for the lesser known groups of warriors. Episode 1 The Assyrians Masters of War – The Assyrians employ the first standing army. No army had ever carried war so far, they conquered an empire from the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean Sea. They despoiled great cities of Babylon and enslaved the tribes of Israel, even the Pharaoh of Egypt paid them tribute. Their army became the largest the world had ever seen, their warriors the greatest and their warfare the cruelest.
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 The Disciples – Nobody knows for sure just how long Jesus’ ministry, teaching and traveling throughout Israel, lasted. Some say three years others as little as one. That Christianity grew, after such a brief inception, into the world religion we know to today is testimony to the power of the message Jesus preached. But it is also due to a much simpler and often over looked fact. He had more than a little help from his friends.
Decoding the Past is a series that “decodes” the past by looking for unusual, paranormal, and mysterious things written about throughout history that may give clues as to what will happen in the future. How would you recognise the most evil person on Earth? According to many historical texts, you should look for a brilliant, enigmatic public figure who transforms the world for good, for a while. Basically, the last person you’d tap as Satan’s human emissary. While many believe the Anti-christ has come and gone, just as many believe he will soon arrive, if he’s not already in our midst. This documentary takes a harrowing look at an evil so obscure that he answers only to Satan. Follow the emergence of the Antichrist from pre-Judaic texts, through the Book of Daniel and Revelation, into Christian writings of the Middle Ages, and beyond. Aided by interviewees with eminent clergy, scholars, historians and psychologists, this incisive program examines the evil enigma from every conceivable angle.
Michael Wood goes in search of four of the world’s most famous myths. These gripping adventures take the viewer to some of the most extraordinary places on earth, exploring stories that have captivated the world for thousands of years. Jason and the Golden Fleece The tale of Jason, the Argonauts and the Golden Fleece is one of the oldest stories in all of Greek myth. In this episode, Michael Wood traces the route of Jason and his famous boat, the Argo, along its route from Greece to Turkey and Georgia.
Mysteries of Asia, produced for The Learning Channel, explores historical fact and theory surrounding some of the oldest structures in Asia. New footage of the areas under examination is complemented by film clips and animated maps, narrated by Michael Bell. Episode Jewels in the Jungle – The ancient Khmer temples of Cambodia, much of whose history is undocumented. This program examines the unusual mix of Hindu and Buddhist religious figures among the temples and gates built by the Khmer, and examines the walled city of Angkor in some detail. Cambodia’s bloody recent history under Pol Pot is also discussed, and the program celebrates the survival of the ancient dances of Angkor, the only remaining cultural link to the distant past.
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 Invasion of Britain – It is 47 AD. The new emperor Claudius has lost the respect of those he seeks to rule. He can only hang onto his throne by waging a spectacular conquest. He chooses Britannia, a legendary land which fascinates and inspires fear in the Romans. Proud and warlike, the Britons use the island’s treacherous terrain and dark forests to lure the legions to ruin. Led by magic wielding Druid priests and a charismatic warrior named Caratacus, the Britons resist in the face of the greatest military machine the world has ever known.
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 Cortes Conqueror of Mexico – See how a Conquistador ordered not to engage in combat destroyed the mightiest empire in the New World. He is one of the greatest conquerors in history, and among the most brutal. Hernan Cortes’ thirst for gold and power led him to Mexico in 1519, where he launched a conquest unlike any other in history. In approximately two years, Cortes owned the Aztec empire, and their once proud ruler Montezuma was dead. Through brilliant execution, from an often precarious military position, Cortes killed hundreds of thousands of Aztecs and brought down the 300 year old empire the first major American civilization to fall to the Spanish.
Time Life’s Lost Civilizations combines cutting edge digital effects technology (for 1995) with powerful dramatization. Dazzling spectacles re-create rituals and events, original location cinematography in 25 countries. Computer graphics make lost worlds live again! Episode 3 Aegean Legacy of Atlantis – Follow the trail of clues that lead from the ancient myths of the Aegean world to their real life counterparts. Experience the lives of the legendary heroes as they are rediscovered in the ruins of this ancient Mediterranean world.
Insight into the Battle of Alesia, the climax of Julius Caesar’s eight-year campaign to conquer Gaul and subdue its hostile natives. In one of the greatest sieges of ancient times he managed to rout the army of Vercingetorix, who had succeeded in uniting the Celtic tribes against the Roman invaders, and secured a victory which would shape the future of the Western world. Julius Caesar’s Greatest Battle is told through the eyes of Mark Corby a Roman historian with a professional admiration for Caesar and Neil Faulkner an archaeologist for whom Rome’s great achievement was no more than robbery with violence. Mark takes on the role of Caesar and Neil that of Vercingetorix in this gripping documentary.
How could a civilization which thrived for over two thousand years just suddenly disappear? Today many believe that a giant drought killed off the Maya, but is this really the case? World Maya Expert, Nikolai Grube began by looking at the Maya’s own historical records their fantastic hieroglyphic writing. Hidden within them he found two extraordinary figures: Dark Bat King and a Cold Killer Queen. Never before has the story of these remarkable individuals been brought to life. By resurrecting their spirit, Grube has come to the groundbreaking theory that the Maya collapse cannot be blamed on natural forces, but on the violent world of human politics and power struggles.
Throughout the ages, civilizations have risen up and then disappeared. Traditionally, the disappearance of certain ancient civilizations has been left to the theologians and historians to explain. Now scientists have entered the fray. In this series geologists, archaeologists and climatologists explain their findings. Ancient Apocalypse seeks to explain how human achievements were destroyed by the forces of nature. Episode Sodom and Gomorrah – The Bible describes how Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed in a storm of fire and brimstone. Could the inspiration for this story come from a natural apocalypse around the Dead Sea in the Middle East?
Ancient X Files travels around the world to solve some intriguing riddles. Each story is a piece of detective work by an expert trying to make sense of some puzzling ancient artifact, to find the truth behind some extraordinary legend, to discover the origins of a bizarre myth or to establish the authenticity of a venerated religious relic. Join intrepid investigators as they delve into some of mankind’s most enduring mysteries. Episode The Holy Grail & The Minotaur – Follow investigators to a mountaintop monastery in the quest for answers about the legendary Holy Grail. And, meet the knights who’ve vowed to risk their lives to defend the Valencia Chalice, a sacred cup they believe to be the Grail. Then, enter the Minotaur – a terrifying monster of ancient myth. NGC investigates: was this blood curdling story based on real places? Watch as we descend into a dark, complex cave system in an attempt to uncover the mystery.
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.
This four part series takes the viewer into the heart of Egypt to sites never before seen on film. Included are the first ever filmed looks at legendary sites such as the Tomb of Ramses II, the Abydos Boat Graves, and the skeletons at Mendes. State of the art archaeological equipment and cutting edge computer technology are employed to offer a deeper, fuller analysis of artifacts and sites, thereby creating a greater understanding of the lives and civilization of the Ancient Egyptians. Host Peter Woodward. Episode 2 The Great Pharaoh and His Lost Children – Archaeologist Dr Kent Weeks explores a tomb in the Valley of the Kings, where the bodies of Ramses II’s many sons were buried. Explore Ramses’ dedication to his family at his funerary temple, the magnificent Ramesseum, where he depicted his children on various temple walls and reliefs. Then, Dr. Kent Weeks takes us through the mysterious and long-forgotten KV5, the tomb of several of Ramesses’ sons, which proves to be ancient Egypt’s greatest family mausoleum.
Japan blossomed into its Renaissance at approximately the same time as Europe. Unlike the West, it flourished not through conquest and exploration, but by fierce and defiant isolation. And the man at the heart of this empire was Tokugawa Ieyasu, a warlord who ruled with absolute control. This period is explored through myriad voices the Shogun, the Samurai, the Geisha, the poet, the peasant and the Westerner who glimpsed into this secret world. Episode 1 The Way of the Samurai – Tokugawa Ieyasu unifies Japan and establishes a dynasty that will rule Japan for over 250 years.
After thousands of years of debate and question this series explores many of the greatest tales of Scripture. Filmed on location throughout the Holy Land and utilizing modern scientific techniques and newly found archaeological discoveries Mysteries of the Bible reveals surprising facts and theories behind the legendary figures and fabled stories of the Bible. Episode
Series on Ancient Egypt. Screaming Man – Scientists attempt to unravel the mystery of a 3,000 year old “screaming” mummy. The man was recovered from a tomb with his features locked in a screaming expression, devoid of the usual trappings of Egyptian burial. Who was this man and what does his fate reveal about the ancient Egyptian attitude to the afterlife
Life after death is an important element of many religions. Dead bodies were embalmed and mummified and, depending on the wealth of the deceased, equipped with both utility articles and precious ritual objects. When you think of a mummy what comes to mind? Most of us usually picture an Egyptian mummy wrapped in bandages and buried deep inside a pyramid. While the Egyptian ones are the most famous, mummies have been found in many places throughout the world. In this series Dr. Bob Brier, whose work usually involves Egyptian archeology, follows an Italian team into the crypt of the Florentine family the Medicis and also investigates the biblical legend of the Three Wise Men. Episode The Three Kings – The Three Wise Men who visit Christ are the most mysterious characters in the Bible. They are the first recorded Christians in history, the first to worship Christ. Each year they appear on thousands of Christmas cards, and hymns about them are sung in cathedrals around the world.
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 2 Invasion – When the Roman army invaded Britain in force in the spring of A.D. 43, they brought with them technology that must have astonished the native Celts. To begin with the Roman weapons were far better, they had good swords, spears, and several machines to throw missiles. Built on an archaeological site, this faithful reconstruction of a military complex includes a granary, ramparts and a museum of Roman artifacts. Pre-fabricated forts, such as the reconstruction at Lunt visited by Hart-Davis, secured the victory and exemplified their engineering skills.
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 Pyramids – The Great Pyramid of Giza is the only ancient Wonder of the World still standing. Can the architects cut and move the 2 million stones? Around the pyramids rise to many myths, but its real story is the story of triumph despite insurmountable obstacles, an outstanding human skills and an unquenchable thirst for one man to live forever.
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. Huns Huns probes the truth behind the mysterious warriors who were led by man whose name remains synonymous with bloodshed and destruction Attila.
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. Herman the German 9 A.D. Teutoburg Forest – The patrician leader Arminius, or Herman the German, was at the helm of one of the darkest ambushes in the history of Rome, dispelling the aura of invincibility that had long marched ahead of the vaunted legions.
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 Ancient Greece – follows the debate about luxury which convulsed ancient Greece from the beginning of the classical era. In Athens, it explores the role of luxury in the beginnings of democracy – how certain kinds of luxury came to be forbidden and others embraced. A simple luxury like meat could unite the democracy, and yet a taste for fish could divide it. Some luxuries were associated with effeminacy and foreigners, others with the very idea of democracy.
As the world approaches the 21st century, this new series hosted by Michael Woods and produced in 1991, reminds us that other nations and cultures prospered for hundreds or even thousands of years. Now all that remains is the legacy of their civilizations, present and influential in our own. Shot on location on four continents, Legacy takes a different viewpoint from other series that concentrate primarily on the the Western view of history. Visiting China, India, Egypt, the Middle East, Greece and Meso-America, this series traces the rise of both Asian and western civilization. Central America The Burden of Time – Isolated from the rest of the world, the Mayans and Aztecs created sophisticated civilizations that in many ways paralleled ancient Mediterranean empires. god like kings and a priestly ruling class dominated splendid cities of temples and pyramids.