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 Machu Picchu – Rediscovered only 100 years ago, Machu Picchu remains today one the most awe inspiring and mysterious monuments in the world. On the distant mountain range, located high in the Peruvian Andes, are the ruins of the ancient city. 600 years they stood under the onslaught of torrential rains and mudslides.
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. Franks Witness the birth of a barbarian empire as the Franks, led by Merovich the legendary warrior said to be half-man, half-monster descend upon Gaul, cutting a swath of devastation and conquering both the Roman and Visigoth armies.
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. Crassus Rich Man Poor Man 53 B.C. Carrhae – Although he may have been the richest man in Rome, Crassus was the political poor relation in the First Triumvirate. He needed military laurels to raise him up to the level of Pompey and Caesar, and he chose to try to get them in Parthia.His vanity was to cost the lives of seven Roman Legions, his son, and his own head. The Roman force was wiped out in the desert and the legionary eagles lost that day would not be restored until the time of Augustus.
Leaving the dusty history books behind, Engineering an Empire takes to the streets – as well as the sewers, mountaintops, jungles and beyond – to trace the magnificent physical achievements and technologies of past societies. Engineering an Empire circles the globe to re-examine history’s most magnificent civilizations by surveying the architectural and engineering triumphs they left behind. CGI graphics and location footage reanimate the ancient streets, while expert interviews trace the rise of each empire and the technological achievements that paved the way for their gravity defying masterpieces. Host Peter Weller, RoboCop actor and lecturer at syracuse University, travels around the world and, assisted by cutting edge computer renderings and note perfect dramatizations, far back in time to chronicle the innovation and architectural brilliance that gave birth to modern civilization. Episode Rome – One of the most powerful civilizations in history, the Roman Empire roled the world for more than five centuries. Although renowned for its military prowess, Rome s real power stemmed from its unprecedented mastery of urban planning and engineering.
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. China The Mandate of Heaven – Many breakthroughs on which the modern world is based were discovered in China long ago: iron-casting, gunpowder, even printing. When introduced to Europe, these things changed Western civilization. This episode presents the synthesis of East and West.
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 The acclaimed A & E series Mysteries of the Bible provide a wealth of astonishing discoveries and unforgettable revelations. Episode The Ten Commandments, the code that has come to signify for many the very definition of moral behavior. What is it about this simple code of ethics that has made it the bedrock of Western civilization for thousands of years? This documentary looks at the Decalogue as it’s revealed in Exodus and Deuteronomy. Also The “revolutionary” commandments dictating a weekly day of rest and the care of the elderly.
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? Pharaoh’s Obelisk – The soaring stone monuments known as obelisks were the Egyptian pharaohs’ way of capturing a ray of revered sunlight in stone. In this section, follow nova’s ultimately successful attempts to raise an obelisk of its own. Also, learn where ancient Egypt’s obelisks have ended up today, explore other Egyptian monuments using QuickTime VR, and more.
The presented by Bettany Hughes chronicles the rise and fall of one of the most extreme civilizations the world has ever seen, one founded on discipline, sacrifice and frugality where the onus was on the collective and the goal was to create the perfect state and the perfect warrior. Hughes reveals the secrets and complexities of everyday Spartan life. There was bitter rivalry between Sparta and Athens, two cities with totally opposed views of the “good life”. By setting out to create a perfect society protected by perfect warriors, Sparta made an enemy of change. A collapsing birth rate, too few warriors, rebellious slaves and outdated attitudes to weaponry and warfare combined to sow the seeds of Sparta’s destruction. Episode 1 – Th the arrival of the Dorian settlers into the Eurotas valley, and the dark age culture of Menelaus and his wife Helen of Troy. Once established, the Spartans expand westward, enslaving the entire population and becoming the dominant power in Laconia. Lycurgus transforms the Spartan constitution into a militarized state. The training of Spartan youths is explained, from their enrollment in the Agoge system right through to their attainment of citizenship. The class structure of the Lacedaemonian state (Helots, Perioeci, and the soldier-citizens themselves) is also covered. The episode ends with the battle of Thermopylae.
Horizon puts Graham Hancock’s controversial theories about the past to the test, dissecting his evidence for a lost civilization. Although scientists believe they have categorically disproved the myth of Atlantis, the idea is more popular now than ever before. Graham Hancock offers various pieces of evidence to support his theory. He claims that the mysterious lost civilization left its mark in ancient monuments, which he calculates were built to mirror certain constellations of stars. Horizon journeys across the world to examine Hancock’s evidence for a lost civilization and puts his theory to the test. In a film full of contentious debate and powerful arguments, Graham Hancock’s claims are pitted against cutting edge scientific analysis to discover whether his popular theory could be true.
Based on the best selling book by Karen Armstrong, A History of God descents into the ancient roots of Abrahamic religions and analyses today’s three major monotheistic religions Judaism, Christianity and Islam. This searching, profound comparative history of the three major monotheistic faiths fearlessly illuminates the sociopolitical ground in which religious ideas take root, blossom and mutate. Armstrong also acknowledges that the idea of a personal God can be dangerous, encouraging us to judge, condemn and marginalize others.
In China, there exists an astonishing place. A burial ground to rival Egypt’s Valley of the Kings. In 221 B.C., China’s first Emperor united warring kingdoms into a nation that still exists today. To memorialise this achievement, he bankrupted the national treasury and oppressed thousands of workers to build one of the world’s biggest mortuary complexes. China’s second dynasty, the Han, inherited the daunting challenge of building larger tombs to command respect and establish their right to rule without running the nation into the ground. Although no Han emperor’s tomb has been opened, the tombs of lesser Han aristocrats have revealed astonishing things and at least one corpse so amazingly well preserved some believe Han tomb builders knew how to “engineer immortality”.
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 Revelations aka The Revelation The End of the World? – The Book of Revelation, the last book of the Bible, has fascinated and puzzled Christians for centuries. With its vivid imagery of disaster and suffering the Battle of Armageddon, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, the hideous Beast whose number is 666 many have seen it as a map to the end of the world. Some say it predicts global warming, AIDS and even the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. But Biblical scholars, having studied the text and the social and political history of the time, have a different interpretation.
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. Prophecies Of Isreal – The Tanakh of the Jews is an acronym that identifies the Hebrew Bible equivalent to the Old Testament to Christians. Within the 24 books of the Tanakh (or Mikra as it was called during the period of its recording) are astounding predictions of the future. Many of the prophets who authored or appeared in the scriptures prophesied about the fate of the Jewish people and the State of Israel. Examine the prophecies and chronicle the birth death recent resurrection and possible future of Israel.
When the explorer Cortes arrived in the New World in 1519, he found the present day nation of Mexico dominated by the Aztecs. Skilled farmers, builders and merchants, the Aztecs were also savage warriors who practiced human sacrifice on a massive scale fueled by the belief that blood nourished their gods and sustained the world. This is the definitive profile of one of the most fascinating civilizations of the Ancient World where beauty was balanced by savagery, and mysticism was soaked in blood. Leading scholars trace the rise of the Aztecs from their island in present day Mexico City to the pre-eminent culture of ancient America, and reveal how the Spanish were able to bring this mighty society to its knees in mere months! Tour the Great Temple of Tenochtitlan in Mexico City, where ongoing excavations are unraveling some of the enduring enigmas of the Aztecs. Director Eduardo Matos Moctezuma provides a behind the scenes look at the seat of the ancient empire and reveals astonishing new discoveries. And see how the long vanished civilization’s influence is still felt in Mexico today.
Rome’s legions met their match in the highlands of Scotland. At the archaeological dig of the Roman garrison at Vindolanda, countless artifacts help recreate the life of Roman armies, from their aqueducts to their slaughterhouse Narrated by James Woods. This is the amazing story of one of the most remarkable archaelogical finds of the Roman Empire. Archaeologists examine treasures of letters, lists and notes written on wooden tablets 2,000 years ago by Roman soldiers stationed in Britains northern frontier at their fort at Vindolanda.
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.
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.
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 2 Ancient Egypt Quest For Immortality – Discover the enduring legacy of the pharaohs in the magnificent riches of their tombs and among the fragile relics of their mummies. Explore the ancient Egyptians’ fascination with death and their quest for immortality.
Athens, Greece is a city alive with commerce and culture. It is also a city of faith, Greek Orthodox faith, part of the great eastern arm of Christianity. But there was another world here, one of which only tantelizing fragments remain. Those who reach back through time, both above ground and below, go in search of a world that was equally alive and equally devout. The world of the ancient Greeks. It still speaks to us today through one of it’s legacies Greek Mythology. It was populated by many gods and godesses. Each with certain powers in the world and each with a story of their own. For tens of thousands of years predating biblical times stories of the gods and their doings was passed down by storytellers.
The legend of Helen of Troy has enchanted audiences for the last three thousand years. A Hollywood film staring Brad Pitt and Orlando Bloom is about Troy. But is there any reality to the myth? This documentary has unprecedented access to the scientist with the answers. Since 1988 Professor Manfred Korfmann has been excavating the site of Troy. He has made amazing discoveries, how large the city was, how well it was defended and, crucially, that there was once a great battle there at precisely the time that experts believe the Trojan war occurred. But who had attacked the city and why? This documentary follows a trail of clues, the ancient tablets written by a lost civilisation, the sunken ship rich in treasure, and the magnificent golden masks and bronze swords of a warrior people. Korfmann is using science to get closer than ever to the truth behind the myth by digging in tunnels deep beneath the excavation site.
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 Mysteries of the Minoans – A look at how the Minoan civilization, situated on the Mediterranean island of Crete, was wiped out 3,500 years ago by a volcanic eruption on the nearby island of Thira.
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 Blood of Christ & The Phaistos – Less famous then the Shroud of Turin could the Shroud of Oviedo actually be Christ’s burial cloth? NGC traces the blood-stained relic to Israel in a quest to determine whether it holds Christ’s DNA. The Phaistos Disk is a curious archaeological find, most likely dating from about 1700 BC. Its purpose and meaning, and even its original geographical place of manufacture, remain disputed, making it one of the most famous mysteries of archaeology.
Get to the bottom of the world’s great cities – literally! Sink into subterranean discovery lead by intrepid explorers Eric Geller and Don Wildman. With each step below street level you travel back decades, even centuries, into the fascinating past of the world’s great cities. What mysteries await discovery in the dark corners of these subterranean realms? This is the stuff of fantasy exploring secret chambers and forbidden passages beneath city streets, unlocking mysteries of the past and discovering forgotten relics. Episode 4 Rome’s Hidden Empire Rome, Italy – Eric Geller, with the help of experts on Roman history, archeology, and architecture, explores the ruins that lie beneath the city of Rome. He focuses on a pagan temple devoted to the worship of Mitheras; an ancient apartment building known as the Vicus; Domitian’s stadium; the functions and buildings belonging to the Basilica; Roman contributions to architecture; and Caesar Augustus’ efforts to build and staff fire stations, provide law enforcement, and deal with the problems created by pollution and mistreatment of the environment.
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 1 Mansions of the Spirit – First watch restoration on one of the greatest monuments to the dead ever created, Queen Hatshepsut’s exquisite Deir el Bahari, and her Red Chapel, a smaller temple near Karnak. Then host Peter Woodward leads viewers into the inner sanctuaries of the Great Temple of Karnak to explain the sacred duties of the temple priests, and epigrapher William Murnane shows how the art and decoration contributed to the temple’s holy power and political prestige.
The Forbidden City in Beijing was an ancient palace whose very name inspired awe and fear. Until the 20th century the Forbidden City was one of the most secret places on earth. In the past people who trespassed paid with their lives but today the price of an entrance ticket is cheaper and 8 million visitors a year walk where once only emperors trod. Episode 2 Survival – Focuses on the time of the last Emperor Pu Yi and the restoration of the Forbidden City during the 20th century. With the emperor gone, there was no guarantee the Forbidden City would survive. As the 600th anniversery of its construction approaches an ambitious restoration project is attempting to turn back the clock and return the palace to its former glory. The renovation has solved some old mysteries and uncovered some new ones.