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 artifactto 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 Philosophers Stone the Lost Ark – 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 artefact hoping to learn its powerful secrets, a quest which allegedly drove some to madness and others to celestial encounters. It’s one of the most coveted artefacts of the Bible: a gold-encrusted chest containing the Ten Commandments. Can modern scholarship explain the awful powers of the Ark of the Covenant and tell us how it vanished and where it is today?
Luxury isn’t always a question of the expensive and beautiful for the rich and powerfulit’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 heavenso 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.
Jones narration is not without an occasional sardonic airalmost of the roll your eyes type, which not only lends a skeptical perspective to a frequently misunderstood era in Western Europe, but also quite frequently editorializes the events that occurred between Pope Urban II’s call for liberation of Jerusalem from the infidels of Islam and the embarrassing moment when officers of the fourth Crusade are conned out of its divine calling by the Venetians. Episode 4 Destruction – Terry Jones reports on how Richard the Lionheart set out to do battle with the legendary Saladin and discovers that inevitably, Richard was an unsatisfactory hero. Terry then re-stages the Fourth Crusade as part of the Venice festival and finds out how the Crusaders destroyed the world’s largest Christian city in a bloody orgy. The final chapter of the story sees the rise of Muslim fanaticism as a mirror to Christian ferocity.
As scientists and leaders around the world brace for the next global health disastersome experts are looking for help in the most unlikely of places the past. From London’s Great Plague of 1665 to the AIDS crisis of today, Secrets of the Great Plague follows medical detective Stephen O’Brien as he unravels the mysteries surrounding the most deadly epidemics. The horrors of the Great Plague or Black Death could provide lessons that help save lives in the event of an infectious disease disaster. Scientists probe the mystery of why some people survived the infection that killed millions over the centuries when it struck again and again. They have discovered a trick of nature that outsmarted the vicious killer.
They were the dreaded forces on the fringes of civilizationthe 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. Episode Vikings – Sails with the Norsemen from Arabia to the New World, stopping off for a bit of pillaging along the way. This is the U.K. narrator, not U.S.A. version.
As the world approaches the 21st centurythis 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.
A three part series from the Discovery civilization channelall 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.
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 beautifultimeless and revolutionary structures with none of the machines and materials available to modern engineers. Episode Angkor Wat – Experts estimate workers must transport at least 300 blocks of 3 – 5 tonnes of sandstone. Situated deep in the Cambodian jungle, the majestic temple of Angkor Wat – designed to honour the Hindu god Vishnu – took over 30 years to build.
The history of Britain and the aspirations of her Christian communities can be traced in the glorious excesses of the cathedrals. From Norman grandeur to the modern interpretations found in Liverpool and Coventryexplore the changing styles of the cathedrals in our midst. A 5 part series that takes a looks at the ingenuity behind the construction of Britain’s most famous cathedrals, using CGI and reconstructions to describe the dramatic stories of riot, fire, war, murder, and flood that shaped the history of these impressive masterpieces. Murder at Cantebury – Canterbury was at the forefront of an architectural revolution the first Gothic cathedral to be built in Britain. But the building we know today has its origins in the most infamous murder of the medieval age – Thomas Becket in 1170. After his death a devastating fire meant that Canterbury could be rebuilt as a shrine to the martyred archbishop. This is the cathedral as theatre with the story of the murder etched in stone, marble and glass. It takes the pilgrim on a journey from darkness into light – from the horrors of the slaying in the North transept to the new Trinity Chapel where Becket was reburied in a magnificent tomb sparkling with gold and precious stones.
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 locationit’s a vivid tapestry of bloodshed, power, and passion. Episode 4 The Imperial King – With a warrior mentality worth of his hero, Henry V, an a lust for fame as fiery as any modern rock star’s, Henry VIII defies Pope and people in his pursuit of love and a male heir. He brings the monarchy to the pinnacle of its power, but ultimately allows personal passions to drive his political agenda profoundly changing England and the crown forever.
Clarissa Dickson-Wright tracks down Britain’s oldest known cookbookKing Richard II’s 700 year old scroll The Forme of Cury, and compares its contents with the way we eat today, as well as re-creating some of the dishes for a group of food and medieval history experts. Documentary in which self-confessed medieval foodie Clarissa Dickson Wright tracks down Britain’s oldest known cookbook The Forme of Cury, a 700 year old scroll written during the reign of King Richard II from recipes created by the king’s master chefs and wonders if this ancient manuscript may have influenced the way people eat today. On her culinary journey through medieval history she reawakens recipes that have lain dormant for centuries and discovers dishes that are still prepared now.
How did an Indian Buddhist shrine influence a Japanese pagoda? How are Italian pigs and cowry shells related to porcelain? Why did the ferocious warriors of Mongolia wear silk underwear? These intriguing questions are investigated in Artifactsa series that explores the origins and hidden connections among the art and artifacts of the great cultures and belief systems across Asia to understand the impact of calligraphy, porcelain, architecture, metallurgy, wood block printing and silk on Asian history and on the history of the world in general. Episode 3 The Mystery of Porcelain – When pieces of Chinese porcelain were first seen in the West, they were so rare and exquisite that they very quickly became more valuable than gold. Why? Because Europeans really had no idea how porcelain was made, and the medieval Italian merchants who first brought porcelain to Europe couldn’t believe it was man made.
Each turning point in history has behind it a story and a set of principal characters whose dilemmas and conflicts form its dramatic coreand whose unique personalities influenced the outcome of events. History’s Turning Points provides a fascinating and intriguing new perspective on the significant moments that have changed the world. The Conquest of Spain – 711 AD By the 8th century, the rise of the Muslim Empire spread Arab rule over the Middle East, Egypt, and North Africa. After appointing a Berber, Tariq, to invade Spain, the Arabs enslaved the Visigoth Kingdom. Seven centuries of their Moorish rule brought accomplishments in mathematics, architecture, and science.
The life story of a remarkable language. Melvyn Bragg and a host of experts explore the vibrant 1,500 year history of the English language. How did it grow from a relatively insignificant Germanic dialect to become the premier language of culture, commerce, and diplomacy around the globe? The answer involves bloody conquest, political intrigue, and plenty of creativity. Episode 1 Birth of a Language – The modern Frisian language is the closest sounding language to the English used approximately 2000 years ago, when the people from what is now the north of the Netherlands travelled to what would become England, and pushed the Celtic language, ancestor of modern Welsh, to the western side of the island. Words like blue can be recognised in the Frisian language. Bragg then discusses how English dialects in certain areas of the United Kingdom were heavily influenced by historical events such as the invasion of the Vikings in the east contributing words such as “sky” to the English language.
The story of the number one is the story of Western civilization. Terry Jones goes on a humor filled journey to recount the amazing tale behind the world’s simplest number. Using computer graphics One is brought to lifein all his various guises, in Story of 1. One’s story reveals how celebrated civilizations in history were achieved, where our modern numbers came from and how the invention of zero changed the world forever, and saved us from having to use Roman numerals today.
In September 2004on the last remaining site on the Mall in Washington D.C., the Smithsonian Institution opened the National Museum of the American Indian, inaugurating a new era in the education of all people about Native America. In conjunction with this event, and in response to popular demand 500 nations was broadcast on the Discovery Channel. Episode 1 Wounded Knee Legacy & The Ancestors – Explore three early North American cultures. Tour the 800 room Pueblo Bonito in the arid southwest, view the Cliff Palace at Mesa Verde, and visit Cahokia, the largest city in the U.S. before 1800.
Battlefield Britain is about famous battles in the history of Great Britain. From Boudicca’s destructive rebellion against the Romans to the incredible feats of The Few who saw off the Luftwaffethese battles all had wide reaching consequences and implications for the future of the British isles. Presented by father and son team Peter and Dan Snow. Peter explains the battleplans, Dan the perspective of the common soldier, sailors and airmen. The episodes also featured interviews with soldiers from both sides, re-enactments of the battles and computer generated scenes with bird eye views and blocks to show troop movement. Episode 2 The Battle of Hastings – Heralding the beginning of the Norman Conquest, the Battle of Hastings in 1066, when William the Conqueror faced King Harold on the south coast, was one of the bloodiest and most important battles ever fought on British soil.
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 Agesthe Holy Grail, thought to be the cup used by Christ at the Last Supper.
Time Life’s Lost Civilizations combines cutting edge digital effects technology (for 1995) with powerful dramatization. Dazzling spectacles re-create rituals and eventsoriginal location cinematography in 25 countries. Computer graphics make lost worlds live again! Episode 10 Tibet The End of Time – Follow the tale of glory and tragedy as a young boy, the reincarnation of the Tibetan God-King, witnesses the collapse of a timeless culture. This episode explores a genuine Shangri-La and its struggle to survive in a hostile contemporary world.
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.
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 decadeseven 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 5 Catacombs of Death, Paris, France – Many call Paris the most beautiful city in the world, but its past is one of the bloodiest and most macabre in history. While the dead tell no tales, Eric Geller has a lot to say about their hidden underground realm. And a lot to discover as he explores the eerie, millennia-old secret tunnels and crypts below the streets of Paris.
Mysteries of Asiaproduced 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.
Through breathtaking discoveriesarchaeologists are uncovering the early years of the ancient Maya to reveal a dynamic, sophisticated culture that was flourishing before the time of Christ. The Preclassic Maya once dismissed as primitive created massive pyramids, elaborate art, early writing, and more. Join National Geographic’s Dawn of the Maya as it investigates the rise one of the world’s greatest and most mysterious civilizations.
How did an Indian Buddhist shrine influence a Japanese pagoda? How are Italian pigs and cowry shells related to porcelain? These intriguing questions are investigated in Artifactsa series that explores the origins and hidden connections among the art and artifacts of the great cultures and belief systems across Asia to understand the impact of calligraphy, porcelain, architecture, metallurgy, wood block printing and silk on Asian history and on the history of the world in general. Episode 4 Soul of the Samurai – Why has the samurai sword always been such a powerful symbol of Japanese culture? In the year 1900, Dr. Nitobe wrote a book in English called Bushido he wrote, just as the code of the samurai is the soul of Japan, the sword is the soul of the samurai.
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 entriesinterviews 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 El Cid – Though his name was Rodrigo Diaz, he was known simply as El Cid (The Leader). Yet recent scholarship has exposed many gaps between truth and myth in the tales about Spain’s first national hero. Was he, as one contemporary said, the scourge of his time? Or are the tales recorded in the epic Poema de Mio Cid a more accurate picture of this unique man?
With the conquest of Constatinople in 1204 during the 4th crusade the fall of the Byzantine Empire began. After 1430 the empire included only the city of Constantiople with its precincts and the Despotate of Moreas. John Palaiologos efforts to get help from the West through the union of churches caused great contrapositions in Constantinople among the people who were pro and against the union.
In September 2004on the last remaining site on the Mall in Washington D.C., the Smithsonian Institution opened the National Museum of the American Indian, inaugurating a new era in the education of all people about Native America. In conjunction with this event, and in response to popular demand 500 nations was broadcast on the Discovery Channel. Episode 2 Mexico – Follow the dramatic and tragic history of the Mexican Indian nations from pre-Colombian times, through the period of European contact and colonization. Witness the rise and fall of the Toltecs and the growth of Tenochtitlan, the Aztec city of an empire.
Battlefield Britain is about famous battles in the history of Great Britain. From Boudicca’s destructive rebellion against the Romans to the incredible feats of The Few who saw off the Luftwaffethese battles all had wide reaching consequences and implications for the future of the British isles. Presented by father and son team Peter and Dan Snow. Peter explains the battleplans, Dan the perspective of the common soldier, sailors and airmen. The episodes also featured interviews with soldiers from both sides, re-enactments of the battles and computer generated scenes with bird eye views and blocks to show troop movement. Episode 3 Owain Glyn Dwr And The Battle For Wales – A look at the Battle for Wales in 1403 and the leader of the Welsh rebellion, Owain Glyndwr.
Dig into the sands of time with this exploration into lost civilizations. Scientistsarchaeologists, 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.
John Rhys-Davies hosts this 1991 series that explores various archeological subjects and their link to stories of the past. The show explores the efforts of archaeologists and the methods they use to discover the answers to these mysteries. Episode Clash Of The Maya Kings – From the early ideas that the Maya were a peace loving societyto the slow realisation that they were state controlled, warring and bloodletting cities of warriors and priests, this programme looks at city sites such as Calakmul and Tikal. Maya kings were the centers of power for the Maya civilization. Each Maya city-state was controlled by a dynasty of kings. Maya kings and queens felt obliged to legitimize their claim to power. One of the ways to do this was to build a temple or pyramid. Pacal’s Temple of Inscriptions still towers today amid the ruins of Palenque, as the supreme symbol of Pacal’s influence and power in Palenque.
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 beautifultimeless and revolutionary structures with none of the machines and materials available to modern engineers. Episode The Alhambra – The Alhambra is the greatest example of Islamic military architecture in Europe. But just how did they construct such an impregnable fortress? In the Andalusian mountains of southern Spain, rises the majestic fort, which became a legend, Alhambra. This ancient citadel overlooks Granada. On the construction of its 37 towers and walls of the powerful took more than 150 years, but the Alhambra – it’s not only an impregnable fortress, this magnificent palace, with elegant courtyards and unfolded the bloody scene where the intrigue and the most famous of the surviving monuments of Muslim architecture in the western world.
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 decadeseven 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. City of Caves Budapest – Exploring caves beneath Budapest, Hungary. Included an underground World War II hospital.
For hundreds of yearsthe world has watched in amazement as the building defies gravity, teetering on a razor’s edge. It really is quite miraculous that it has not fallen over. And thank goodness it hasn’t. If the Tower were to fall no one would feel it more than the people of Pisa. For 800 years architects and engineers have been trying to fix the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Nearly every attempt has been disastrous. It’s lean is so extreme that the Italian government has closed it to avoid a potential disaster. It’s been more than ten years since anyone has walked up its marble stairway. Take a behind the scenes look inside the Tower that’s been locked off to the public for so long and climb to the top for a rare view of its breathtaking vistas. Examine the bizarre history of the 800 year effort to save the Tower and the current plan that some believe just may make the Tower safe forever, that is if it doesn’t destroy it first.
Allegedly made from the skins of 160 donkeysthe Codex Gigas is the world’s largest and most mysterious medieval manuscript. According to legend, the cursed text sprang from a doomed monk’s pact with the Devil. Experts attempt to uncover its secrets. For the first time ever, a team of scholars and scientists embark on a quest to unravel the secrets of the Codex Gigas, or Devil’s Bible. Enshrouded in mystery and steeped in dark history, superstition and fear has clouded this medieval manuscript for centuries. Evidence of Lucifer’s hand seems to pervade the tome, including darkened pages, magic spells, and a full page portrait of the Devil. Forensic document experts team up to investigate the ancient Codex safely locked away in Sweden’s National Library. With ultra-violet fluorescence imaging, hand writing analysis and a recreation of the text itself, they’ll attempt to uncover the truth of the Devil’s Bible.
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 criseswe 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.
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 entriesinterviews 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 William the Conqueror – Through documents and modern scholarship, see how he came to power in France in 1035, solidified his rule through marriage, diplomacy, battle, intrigue and intimidation. Discover the origins of his claim to the English throne, and follow his famous campaign, an 11th-century version of D-Day in reverse. Finally examine the innovations that William brought to the lands he ruled, ensuring that his legacy would not fade over the centuries.
Dr Saul David investigates the violent world of the medieval melee tournament. Forget the images of chivalric knightswell-dressed damsels and dropped handkerchiefs associated with the joust. The melee tournament was a brutal free-for-all with sharpened weapons, few rules and one undisputed champion, William Marshal. His story reveals a very different kind of tournament, one in which brute force ruled, handkerchiefs stayed in pockets and where money was more important than manners.
From the dawn of civilization to the 20th centuryA 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 1 Beginnings – Covering the period 3100 BC – 1000 AD starts in the stone age village of Skara BraeOrkney. Over the next four thousand years Romans, Anglo-Saxons, Vikings, Danes, and Christian missionaries arrive, fight, settle and leave their mark on what will become the nations of Britain.
Documentary series about the brutalbloody 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.
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 lifefrom 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.
Lucy Lawless hosts this series of five films bringing to life history’s most charismatic women warriors. Shot on location in FranceIreland, Britain, China, and New Mexico, the stories are a heady mix of historical sleuthing and provocative reconstruction brought to the screen by television’s most famous women warrior: Lucy Lawless, star of the television series Xena, Warrior Princess. Joan of Arc – Convinced by the voices of saints to step forth and serve her deposed king, Joan of Arc became an unlikely war hero. With 10,000 beaten men and very long odds against the advancing English army, she scored a miraculous string of victories. But it all went horribly wrong when she was finally captured, tried for witchcraft and heresy, and burned at the stake.
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 soldiersas 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 3 The Normans – History of the Normans warrior group. On an autumn day almost a thousand years ago one of the greatest battles in history begins. Invaders have struck England with their prized weapons, an armored knight, a powerful horse and an unstoppable charge. Yet the charge is stopped by a wall of English shields. Before the sun sets these nights of France will win England or an English grave, they are The Normans.
Decoding the Past is a series that decodes the past by looking for unusualparanormal, and mysterious things written about throughout history that may give clues as to what will happen in the future. Secrets of the Playing Card – Playing cards are an everyday object used for gambling and game playing the world over. But the familiar deck of cards conceals hidden meanings that have links to secret societies and the occult. Look beneath the surface of the playing card and reveal an intriguing journey from China, Persia, and Egypt. And uncover the way the design has changed to mirror the cultures and beliefs of the people who used them through the ages. What emerges is an extraordinary story that reveals the mysteries and meanings of the humble playing card a history that is intimately entwined with the occult, voodoo, and man’s fascination with mystical beliefs.
For over a thousand yearsRome was the center of the known world. One of the most glorious empires in history, she brought to her subjects a common language, shared culture, and for some wealth beyond imagination. But nothing lasts forever. War, barbarian attacks, and moral decay eventually took their toll and the empire slowly began to crumble. This six part series presents the complete history of Rome, from its primitive beginnings, to the height of its glory to its eventual decline, as well as its legacies today. Filmed in 10 countries, Rome Power and Glory combines location footage of ancient monuments, detailed reenactments, period art and writings, and insights from scholars and public figures to bring the ancient world to life. Episode 5 The Cult of Order – The slow disintegration of Rome, the economy falters, citizens turn to religious cults, the Roman Empire becomes divided.
The meals of King Henry VIII of England were among the most fantastic ever created. Henry consumed meals of dolphinsongbird and enjoyed intricate puddings molded from sugar. Based on astrology as much as taste Tudor food included elaborate jellies made from deer antler even alcoholic spirits flavored with pure gold. From their great palaces the Tudor monarchs were served extravagant meals that combined the outrageous with the every day, helping to shape the way we eat and taste to the present day. As we journey back in time to the 16th century we will discover the secrets of royal cuisine and reveal a meal fit for a king.
They were the dreaded forces on the fringes of civilizationthe 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.
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 earthexploring stories that have captivated the world for thousands of years. Arthur the Once and Future King In this episode of the series, Wood explores the greatest British myth the tale of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. Traveling round the Celtic world from Cornwall to Wales, Brittany, Ireland and Scotland, Wood uncovers the extraordinary story of how a shadowy Welsh freedom fighter, a Dark Age Che Guevara, became a medieval superman, and finally the model of a Christian hero.
The Crusades Crescent & The Cross presents the epic battle between two Middle Age superpowers: the Christian Crusaders and the Muslims. Fought over two centuriesthe conflict decided the fate of the Holy Land of the Middle East. The documentary is driven by the key personalities of the First, Second and Third Crusades, the popes, kings, sultans and knights who, in the name of God, ruthlessly fought for land and power. With breathtaking CGI-enhanced visuals, heart-pounding re-enactments, and stunning footage from rarely seen locations, this documentary brings the legendary chapter of history alive, and offers fresh insight for a new generation in conflict.