Battlefield Detectives Agincourt’s Dark Secrets

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.

Medieval Season The Saint and the Hanged Man

A fascinating snapshot of medieval society, this documentary narrated by Rob Brydon uses dramatic reconstructions and original animation to reveal the clash between reason and the supernatural at the heart of the medieval mind. In 1307, the full weight of medieval justice descended on the sleepy town of Hereford. But this court wasn’t summoned to prove innocence or guilt. The man on trial wasn’t a murderer or a criminal. In fact, he wasn’t even alive. This was a holy inquiry, called by the Church to prove whether a dead English bishop was actually a miracle worker and should be made into a saint. His case was based on several alleged miracles, the most notorious being the spectacular resurrection of a hanged man.

What the Tudors Did For Us Episode 2 The Thynkyng Revolution

What an unruly lot! Beheadings, murder, divorce, rows with the Pope, civil war, fire and plague. The headline stories from the Tudor and Stuart years represent a roller-coaster ride through one of the most important periods of history in the development of modern Britain. Most know the bloody, battle filled history of the Tudor period, not many know the accomplishments of the period. Adam Hart-Davis travels through England in search of Tudor excellence in science, art, printing, exploration and more. Ranging from a shepherd’s discovery of graphite which led to the first pencil, to a fuller understanding of human anatomy once Henry VII legalized human dissection. Episode 2 The Thinkynge Revolution – Hart-Davis travels around Britain to introduce the idea and inventions of the Tudor Age in science, literature and education. The first printing press, like the one recreated at St Bride Printing Library, was brought to England by William Paxton. The resulting printing revolution included William Tyndale’s English bible that lead to the standardisation of the English language. State education was founded by Henry VIII providing opportunities for Christopher Marlowe and William Harvey amongst others. Modern medicine began from the Swiss Alchemist Paracelsus’ belief that minerals and chemicals could be used to treat diseases. Observational science came of age when Thomas Diggs recorded the first observation of a supernova.

Guilty Pleasures Luxury in the Middle Ages

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.

Terry Jones' Medieval Lives Episode 3 The Damsel

Buckle on your armor and pick up your lute. Legendary Monty Python star and medieval scholar Terry Jones opens your eyes to the truths behind nine medieval characters you thought you knew. Through a lively mix of humor and research, you’ll see beyond Renaissance myths and time worn stereotypes. The Damsel – Passive, shy, helpless, in distress and in need of rescue? It may have been centuries before the Women’s Liberation, but medieval damsels had control over their lives. Some ran businesses, others led armies. Not only were many women strong, powerful and sexually confident, it wasn’t unknown for a damsel to abduct a knight. One famous example produced the Scottish hero, Robert the Bruce.

Treasures of the Anglo Saxons

For almost 1000 years Norman cathedrals and castles have dominated the British landscape, but this norman legacy has eclipsed another culture. The lost art of the people the Normans conquered, the art of the Anglo-Saxons. The discovery of these golden hordes would radically alter our interpretation of the Anglo-Saxons. They used materials and techniques that brought together the ideas and beliefs of Scandinavia, main land Europe and the middle east. The Anglo-Saxons developed a complex artistic language that combined both their pagan past and their Christian future. They created a world of codes and secret messages that revealed the inner workings of the Anglo-Saxon mind, much of which has remained hidden until now. This documentary explores the collection of the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, England and is presented by Dr. Nina Ramirez of Oxford University.

A History of Britain Episode 5 King Death

From the dawn of civilization to the 20th century, A History of Britain re-animates familiar tales and illuminates overlooked aspects of England’s past. Hosted by Simon Schama, this series discards timelines and tiresome lineages for a lively look at the personalities and cultures that infuse British history. Epic themes and towering figures that transformed an island “at the edge of the world” into the greatest empire on earth. Episode 5 King Death – The impact of the Black Death wiped out half the population, leaving decades of anarchy and civil unrest for the survivors. Ironically, the plague which sowed the seeds of the Peasants’ Revolt also contributed to the rise of the country gentleman.

Inside the Medieval Mind Episode 4 Power

One of the world’s greatest authorities on the Middle Ages, Professor Robert Bartlett of St Andrew’s University, investigates the intellectual landscape of the medieval world. Power – Professor Bartlett lays bare the brutal framework of the medieval class system. Inequality was a part of the natural order the life of serfs was little better than those of animals, while the knight’s code of chivalry was based more on caste solidarity than morality. The class you were born into determined who you were

The Tower Fortress

A three part series from the Discovery civilization channel, all about the Tower of London. This is the story of the tower of London, past and present. With unique access to the tower, this series will unlock its private, as well as public life. Revealing the hidden history of well known stories, and uncovering forgotten tower secrets. More than anywhere else in Britain these building have stood at the heart of history for over 900 years. The truth of what happened here is still being discovered. From executions with block and axe, to spies shot in the first world war, it has prisoners as familiar is queen Elizabeth the first, and as recent as World War Two u-boat men. Episode 1 Fortress With unique access behind the walls and locked doors of the Tower of London, discover how it stayed at the cutting edge of military technology.

Battlefield Detectives Who Got Lucky At Hastings?

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 5 Who Got Lucky at Hastings? – An academic uses modern management theory to determine whether William was a better leader than Harold at Hastings in 1066. Meanwhile, an equestrian historian assesses the behavior of horses in battle, and computer experts create 3D maps of the Hastings.

Moments In Time Letters from the Roman Front

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.

What the Tudors Did For Us Episode 3 War Machyne

What an unruly lot! Beheadings, murder, divorce, rows with the Pope, civil war, fire and plague. The headline stories from the Tudor and Stuart years represent a roller-coaster ride through one of the most important periods of history in the development of modern Britain. Most know the bloody, battle filled history of the Tudor period, not many know the accomplishments of the period. Adam Hart-Davis travels through England in search of Tudor excellence in science, art, printing, exploration and more. Ranging from a shepherd’s discovery of graphite which led to the first pencil, to a fuller understanding of human anatomy once Henry VII legalized human dissection. Episode 3 The Goode Lyfe – The Wars of the Roses concluded, Britain could finally afford to reap some of the rewards of civilization. In a climate of domestic peace England prospered, wealthy Tudor homeowners could worry less about defence and more about comfort. In this programme we see the vast opulence of the richest woman in Britian, Bess of Hardwicke, as well as the invention of tennis (originally played with kitchen sieves), horceracing, the theatre, and knitting. And of course what programme would be complete without an investigation of that perennial Hart-Davis obsession, the Water Closet.

Terry Jones' Medieval Lives Episode 5 The Knight

Buckle on your armor and pick up your lute. Legendary Monty Python star and medieval scholar Terry Jones opens your eyes to the truths behind nine medieval characters you thought you knew. Through a lively mix of humor and research, you’ll see beyond Renaissance myths and time worn stereotypes. The Knight – While many may know the earthy humor of Chaucer or Rabelais, few know the dark side of chivalry, or that serfs and women were not downtrodden at all. Noble hero in shining armor? Or murdering, looting rapist? Discover some unsavory truths, and the dark side of chivalry.

A History of Scotland Episode 2 Hammers of the Scots

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.

Kings & Queens Of England Episode 1 William the Conqueror 1066-1087

Series detailing the lives of 12 significant English rulers between 1066 and the present day. Dr. Nigel Spivey takes the viewer through the ages, describing the political intrigue, lust, battles and bloodshed that make up the histories of monarchs. In a thousand years, the British monarchy has evolved from divinely appointed warrior kings to benign political figureheads. He pieces together the incidents, battles and motivations that shaped British lives. Episode 1 William the Conqueror, 1066 – 1087 – By leaving his fortune and name to his illegitimate seven year old son, William, Robert the Magnificent out maneuvered the Norman barons who sought to usurp his power. In doing so, he placed his young heir in mortal danger. However, the assassination attempts and conspiracies against him instilled the boy duke William with a ruthless and cunning sense of survival. He ruthlessly suppressed Anglo-Saxons and imposed law and order in Britain’s first centralised state bureaucracy. He did much to influence the positive development of England.

The Tower Treasure

A three part series from the Discovery civilization channel, all about the Tower of London. This is the story of the tower of London, past and present. With unique access to the tower, this series will unlock its private, as well as public life. Revealing the hidden history of well known stories, and uncovering forgotten tower secrets. More than anywhere else in Britain these building have stood at the heart of history for over 900 years. The truth of what happened here is still being discovered. From executions with block and axe, to spies shot in the first world war, it has prisoners as familiar is queen Elizabeth the first, and as recent as World War Two u-boat men. Episode 1 Fortress With unique access behind the walls and locked doors of the Tower of London, discover how it stayed at the cutting edge of military technology.

Britain A.D. Episode 1 King Arthur’s Britain

Britain AD – which accompanies and expands on Britain BC Francis Pryor traces the story of King Arthur back to its ancient origins. Putting forth the compelling idea that most of its key elements are deeply rooted in Bronze and Iron Ages he argues that the legends survival mirrors a flourishing indigenous culture that endured through the Roman occupation of Britain and the subsequent invasions of the so called Dark Ages.

Monarchy USA Version Episode 1 Early Kings

This is USA condensed version of David Starkey’s Monarchy Series. In this version the 6 episode Series 1 and 5 episode Series 2 have been condensed into 6 episodes of a single series. Below is description of the 6 USA version episodes. The English Crown is one of the oldest surviving governing institutions in the world. Hosted by Dr. David Starkey this documentary presents the complete history of British royal rule from the Dark Ages to the early 20th century. Filmed on location, it’s a vivid tapestry of bloodshed, power, and passion. Episode 1 The Early Kings After Roman rule dissolves, England suffers wave after wave of Anglo-Saxon and Viking invaders. Out of this chaos, leaders such as Alfred the Great and Canute the Viking set the standard for English kingship, ruling nobles as the first among equals. Then, in 1066, William the Conqueror arrives from the Continent with the civilizing ideals of the chivalry and a whole new concept of monarchy

What the Tudors Did For Us Episode 4 The Goode Lyfe

What an unruly lot! Beheadings, murder, divorce, rows with the Pope, civil war, fire and plague. The headline stories from the Tudor and Stuart years represent a roller-coaster ride through one of the most important periods of history in the development of modern Britain. Most know the bloody, battle filled history of the Tudor period, not many know the accomplishments of the period. Adam Hart-Davis travels through England in search of Tudor excellence in science, art, printing, exploration and more. Ranging from a shepherd’s discovery of graphite which led to the first pencil, to a fuller understanding of human anatomy once Henry VII legalized human dissection. Episode 4 War Machyne – Adam looks at the development of Tudor weapons of war, taking in unpleasant implements of torture, cryptography, and casts his own cannon out of pure iron and test fires it!

In Search of Medieval Britain Episode 2 Wales

Medieval art historian Dr Alixe Bovey uses the oldest surviving route map of Britain to make a series of journeys through Britain in the Middle Ages. Wales – Alixe Bovey heads west from Gloucester to Wales in the footsteps of Edward Is armies.

Terry Jones' Medieval Lives Episode 6 The Philosopher

Buckle on your armor and pick up your lute. Legendary Monty Python star and medieval scholar Terry Jones opens your eyes to the truths behind nine medieval characters you thought you knew. Through a lively mix of humor and research, you’ll see beyond Renaissance myths and time worn stereotypes. The Philosopher – Since the age of science and reason, the Middle Ages has been dismissed as a period shrouded in ignorance and superstition. But the reputation of medieval scientists, known then as philosophers, has been unfairly blackened. They understood far more than we give them credit for, and had a more ethical approach that we could learn from today.

A History of Scotland Episode 3 Bishop Makes King

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.

Kings & Queens Of England Episode 2 Henry the Second 1154-1189

Series detailing the lives of 12 significant English rulers between 1066 and the present day. Dr. Nigel Spivey takes the viewer through the ages, describing the political intrigue, lust, battles and bloodshed that make up the histories of monarchs. In a thousand years, the British monarchy has evolved from divinely appointed warrior kings to benign political figureheads. He pieces together the incidents, battles and motivations that shaped British lives. Episode 2 Henry the Second, 1154 – 1189 – The son of a French duke and English princess, the Plantagenet princeling who learned his statecraft and the arts of war in 17 years of bloody in-fighting with his cousin Stephen before succeeding to the throne. During this time he had become a battle-hardened leader, but also a distrustful and power-hungry regent, a weakness that would be his undoing. With the help of Thomas Beckett he restored the rule of law in chaotic England, but made the mistake of appointing his high minded friend Archbishop of Canterbury, only to find him a stubborn defender of ecclesiastical independence rather than an obedient ally.

The True Story The Philosopher Stone

Documentary examining the medieval myth of the Philosopher’s Stone, a Holy Grail-type relic which supposedly held the key to alchemy and immortality. Many noted alchemists and adventurers searched obsessively for the artifact hoping to learn its powerful secrets, a quest which allegedly drove some to madness and others to celestial encounters. Today, the quest for the Philosopher’s Stone is merely thought of as a work of fiction from the pages of a Harry Potter novel. However, in the Middle Ages, the very real search for the Philosopher’s Stone was second only to that of the Holy Grail. This fascinating documentary unearths the astonishing events surrounding this legendary stone, and the alchemists and adventurers who stopped at nothing in their search for this tantalising quarry.