This series explores famous battles. Each program takes an important battle telling its story and posing a puzzling central question about the battle that recent scientific research is helping to illuminate a contemporary journey of discovery and a compelling story from the past. Battlefield Detectives redefines the military documentary by utilizing every possible technique demonstrations, reenactments, advanced forensic and historical analysis, and more to clarify battles from the legendary to the obscure. Episode 7 Agincourt’s Dark Secrets – Medieval warfare specialists investigate how terrain affected the way the 15th century Battle of Agincourt was waged, what the rare battlefield artifacts tell us, and just what happens when an English bodkin point meets French armor.
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? Medieval Siege – In the Middle Ages, those who attacked castles used trebuchets, military engines capable of firing missiles with frightening force. In this section, view an actual trebuchet nova built, and construct and fire one of your own online. Also, find out what other weapons were used and what daily life was like in a medieval castle.
This series celebrates the astonishing influence of Spain on European art. Presenter Andrew Graham-Dixon immerses himself in true Spanish culture and meets the people who live and work with this artistic legacy. Episode 1 The Moorish South – In an exploration of Moorish Spain, he looks at Muslim political and cultural influence as he travels from Cordoba to Granada, seeing classic buildings such as the Great Mosque in Cordoba, the Alcazar in Seville and the Alhambra in Granada. He also shows how the Moors introduced new foods including citrus fruits, coffee and spices to Spain.
The series follows historian and adventure seeker Ashley Cowie in his quest to crack the code on his hunt for the most powerful lost treasures in the world that are some of history’s greatest and most mysterious artifacts. After spending years studying some of the world’s most fascinating relics he is on the hunt to find where they are. Episode 6 Holy Grail – Ashley and his team go after one of the biggest legends of the Middle Ages, the Holy Grail, thought to be the cup used by Christ at the Last Supper.
Searching for traces of a mysterious age. Could a sword with magical powers really have existed? Was there really a camelot? Who was King Arthur and the knights of the round table? Where was the legendary grail castle located? The first step in the journey for the holy grail brings us into the mysterious world of the celts. They came to europe from the east. With them they brought their culture, rituals and tradition of burying a prince with his belongings as a gift to the gods. The celts believed in resurrection of the dead. A relief on a bronze vessel from the 1st century B.C. shows a prince placing dead warriors into huge drinking vessels to bring them back to life. This documentary argues the celtic magic vessel as the origin of the medieval holy grail story.
Documentary series about the brutal, bloody and dangerous history of surgery looks at how surgery dragged itself kicking and screaming out of the dark ages, transforming itself from butchery into a science. Presenter Michael Mosley recounts the history of surgery through its catastrophes and successes. Episode 5 Bloody Beginnings – Presenter Michael Mosley finds out how the early days of surgery were dark and barbaric, when the surgeon’s knife was more likely to kill you than save you, and invasive medicine generally meant being bloodlet by leeches to within an inch of your life.
Presented by Rod Liddle, explores the life and times of the visionaries who fought a powerful and violent church establishment to publish the Bible in English. Their vocation, tenacity and sacrifice left a lasting impression on the language and literature in the centuries that followed. The inflections, cadences and familiar phrases of the first English Bible set the foundations for the way English has been spoken and written in the five centuries that followed its first publication. Perhaps its most important legacy, though, is the Protestant notion put by Jefferson God hath created the mind free. This underpinned the separation of church and state, the constitutional guarantee of freedom of expression and the right to fight for freedom of choice, freedom of conscience and freedom of speech.
In this two-part series, Boris Johnson investigates the early beginnings of what some call the “clash of civilizations.” The theory that Christianity and Islam are locked into a never-ending cycle of mutual antipathy, distrust and violence. Is this really true? There have been many “clashes” between Christianity and Islam in the period Boris Johnson examines in this series, 632 A.D. to 1492 A.D. But the real historical picture is far more subtle, interesting and optimistic than the cliches of a clash of civilization might suggest. Episode 1 – Boris Johnson travels to France, Spain, Egypt, Israel, Syria and Turkey. This first programme looks at the early history of Islam, the extraordinary series of conquests that gained for it half the territories of the old Roman empire in just 80 years. He also looks at the rich and sophisticated civilization Islam produced, the relationships between Muslims, Jews and Christians and the background to the crusades.
His name comes from the latin corolus magnus, or Charles the great, and there can be no doubt about his claim to greatness. Because at the end of the 8th century, he managed to create, for a short time at least a united Europe. Something that political and military leaders and politicians have been trying to do ever since. Charlemagne founded the Holy Roman Empire which came to be one of the greatest forces in history, united many parts of France, Germany, Italy, Spain and central Europe. In spite of it’s name, this empire he created, had very little to do with the Roman Empire. What was important about it was that with it’s foundation Charlemagne brought an order and political stability to Europe that had not been seen since the fall of the old Roman Empire.
In The Ascent of Money Niall Ferguson traces the evolution of money and demonstrates that financial history is the essential back story behind all history. By learning how societies have continually created and survived financial crises, we can find solid solutions to today’s worldwide economic emergency. As he traverses historic financial hot spots around the world, Ferguson illuminates fundamental economic concepts and speaks with leading experts in the financial world. Episode 1 Dreams of Avarice – From Shylock’s pound of flesh to the loan sharks of Glasgow, from the “promises to pay” on Babylonian clay tablets to the Medici banking system. Professor Ferguson explains the origins of credit and debt and why credit networks are indispensable to any civilization.
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. pisode 1 Knights Templar – They defended the Holy Land through bloodshed and prayer. Founded in the 12th century, these Christian warrior monks reigned supreme for nearly 200 years before suffering a spectacular fall from grace. Branded heretics, they were disbanded and their Grand Master was burned at the stake Lost Worlds probes behind the legend for the lost world of the Knights Templar. Walk the streets of the city they knew as Tortosa now hidden among modern homes in the Syrian city of Tartus. Visit the site of their Jerusalem headquarters in the Temple Mount, where underground vaults were said to stable 1,000 horses. Experts recreate their mysterious initiation rites in a London church modeled on the Templar’s long-demolished home, and the tale of the Templar’s last stand is told on the Mediterranean island where they met their end.
The knights templar, a holy order, God’s personal malitia. A society so secret, that it’s true purpose is debated to this day. At First glorified, then accused. Just who where the knights templar, heretics, a brotherhood of treasure hunters, or as books like the Da Vinci Code suggest, keepers of secret knowledge? The knights themselves left many clues passed down from generation to generation hidden in ancient manuscripts. scratched into the stone walls of a prisons. Secrets waiting to be deciphered by those adept enough to crack the Templar Code.
For more than 1,000 years, the Byzantine Empire was the eye of the entire world – the origin of great literature, fine art and modern government. Heir to Greece and Rome, it was the first Christian empire, spanning 11 centuries and three continents. In the end, plundered and sacked by invaders, Byzantium nearly became extinct. Episode 2 Heaven on Earth – You can’t have Jesus king of the world unless he looks like a king. Christians zre getting their iconography from – straight from the pagan faith. But When Christianity took over the Roman Empire, it attacked and swept away all these signs. Now these signs were as old as man himself, and Christianity was pretty poorly supplied with alternatives. After all, it was a language of books and words. But unless it was to fail, it had to develop and develop quickly a whole new set of images for the world.
The Mystery of the Black Death begins in September of 1665, when a tailor in the secluded English village of Eyam opened a flea infested shipment of fabric from London. In a matter of days, the tailor and much of the village were suffering the telltale signs of bubonic plague, the disease that, in the first five years since its arrival, had wiped out a third of the European population. To prevent the outbreak from spreading throughout the region, the whole town was quarantined, no one was allowed in or out. Outsiders assumed that the bacteria would simply wipe out the entire village. But they were wrong. Three hundred and fifty years later, Dr. Stephen O’Brien, a geneticist from the National Institutes of Health in Washington, D.C., is delving into the reasons why some individuals managed to survive the excruciating Black Death while others were dying all around them. Following O’Brien as he takes DNA samples and investigates historical records and family archives, the film sheds light on the resistance to the plague, and reveals a stunning legacy that the plague survivors passed on to their descendents, a similar resistance to the modern day scourge of AIDS.
In this two-part series, Boris Johnson investigates the early beginnings of what some call the “clash of civilizations.” The theory that Christianity and Islam are locked into a never-ending cycle of mutual antipathy, distrust and violence. Is this really true? There have been many “clashes” between Christianity and Islam in the period Boris Johnson examines in this series, 632 A.D. to 1492 A.D. But the real historical picture is far more subtle, interesting and optimistic than the cliches of a clash of civilization might suggest. Episode 2 – Boris Johnson begins by looking at the crusades, and the way they are viewed in the west and in the Muslim world today. But Boris finds that the realities of the crusades are far more subtle than modern attitudes to them would have us believe. Boris looks at the Sack of Constantinople, when Latin Christians fought eastern Christians, leading eventually to the fall of the city to the Ottoman Turks in 1453. He looks too at the Reconquista in Spain, which culminated in the wholesale expulsion of Jews and Muslims. At every turn of his journey, Boris Johnson finds that the real history is a good deal more subtle and interesting than the fictions that have grown up around it.
A major 14 part television series in which art historian Tim Marlow takes a fresh look at the most important artworks of some of the greatest artists in history. Shot on location in over 50 galleries, museums, churches and palaces throughout Europe and the United States, this series is a comprehensive survey of the history of Western art. Both intelligent and informative, the series aims to provide an uncomplicated and accessible analysis of the works and artists featured including Giotto, Michelangelo and Raphael
This series of programs consists of 16 episodes which profile 16 evil men and women throughout history who have used their power to torture, kill, maim and eradicate millions of people. Vlad the Impaler – Vlad is best known for the legends of the exceedingly cruel punishments he imposed during his reign and for serving as the primary inspiration for the vampire main character in Bram Stoker’s popular Dracula novel.
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.
Martin Luther is the epic tale of the great Protestant revolutionary whose belief in his faith would overthrow the all powerful Catholic Church and reshape Medieval Europe. Join Luther as he recalls his life, from his initial crisis of faith in a storm wracked forest that led him to become a monk, to his heady confrontation with the great powers of Europe It is the story of the birth of the modern age, of the collapse of medieval feudalism, and the first shaping of ideals of freedom and liberty that lie at the heart of the 21st century. But this is also an intensely human tale, a story that hurtles from the depths of despair to the heights of triumph and back again. This is the story of a man who ultimately found himself a lightning conductor of history, crackling with forces he could not quite comprehend or control. Driven to Defiance – Few if any men have changed the course of history like Martin Luther. In less than ten years, this fevered German monk plunged a knife into the heart of an empire that had ruled for a thousand years, and set in motion a train of revolution, war and conflict that would reshape Western civilization, and lift it out of the Dark Ages.
For more than 1,000 years, the Byzantine Empire was the eye of the entire world – the origin of great literature, fine art and modern government. Heir to Greece and Rome, it was the first Christian empire, spanning 11 centuries and three continents. In the end, plundered and sacked by invaders, Byzantium nearly became extinct. Episode 3 Envy of the World – The dream that lasted for a thousand years, a dream shattered by the armies of the West, the fame of Byzantium, traveled from Iceland to China, from Ethiopia to Russia, to every kingdom on the earth. And, at its center, Constantinople, the world’s great marketplace its fabled wealth, its gold, its emeralds, its palaces, its glittering churches. A legend so rich it caused its own destruction.
The idea that an event of cataclysmic proportions shrouded the Earth’s atmosphere, darkening the sky and plunging its inhabitants into a massive crisis, is familiar to anyone who’s read about the dinosaurs. But what if a similar event happened to humans? And what if recorded history around the world indicates a precise time when this disaster struck? This fascinating documentary tackles the premise that scribes in civilizations as far apart as Ireland and China all recorded a darkening of the sky and a drop in temperatures about the year A.D. 535. Episode 1 The Day The Sun Went Out – Looks at geological, meteorological, and other forces that may have significantly impacted the Earth’s weather during the Dark Ages. Some scientists believe that either a volcano erupted or a meteor hit the earth, causing an unusually cold period to develop. Others are more attracted to Mike Baillie’s theories involving tree rings.
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 Chartres Cathedral – is a masterpiece of Gothic architecture but behind its towering walls lies the tale of an intense power struggle between French aristocrats and the Catholic Church.