Ancient X-Files The Philosopher’s Stone and The Lost Ark

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 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?

Clash Of The Gods Episode 9 Tolkein’s Monsters

Thousands of years ago, Myths were used to help frame the world of the ancients, and dictate the guidelines of their societies. Today, they are often the first stories we learn as children, iconic tales in which good and evil clash, and humanity and fantasy collide. But what is the reality behind these stories? Each episode connects ancient myths to actual historical events, as well as to events in the Bible and other cultures mythologies, gaining important historical insight from renowned scholars in search of the truth behind the legends. Episode 9 Tolkien’s Monsters – About J. R. R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy and how both legends and real life influenced it.

Japan Memoirs of a Secret Empire Episode 1 The Way of the Samurai

Japan blossomed into its Renaissance at approximately the same time as Europe. Unlike the West, it flourished not through conquest and exploration, but by fierce and defiant isolation. And the man at the heart of this empire was Tokugawa Ieyasu, a warlord who ruled with absolute control. This period is explored through myriad voices the Shogun, the Samurai, the Geisha, the poet, the peasant and the Westerner who glimpsed into this secret world. Episode 1 The Way of the Samurai – Tokugawa Ieyasu unifies Japan and establishes a dynasty that will rule Japan for over 250 years.

Secrets Of The Dead The Mystery of the Black Death

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.

Time Travellers Clash Of The Maya Kings

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 society, to 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.

The Greatest Knight

Dr Saul David investigates the violent world of the medieval melee tournament. Forget the images of chivalric knights, well-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.

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.

Barbarians Series 1 and 2 The Saxons

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. Saxons Watch this Germanic horde ravage the British coast, destroy Roman defenses and plunder monasteries in an orgy of pagan worship, then turn to confront their barbarian brothers in a bloody battle for power and land.

Dynasties The Mongol Empire

Beijing is one of the world’s great cities and it was made capital of China by a great man. That man was Kublai Khan. Kublai declared himself Great Khan, supreme ruler of the Mongol empire in 1260. But his main interest was in China where he reigned until 1294 and founded the Yuan dynasty. He was the first significant non-Chinese ruler to rule over the entire Chinese empire. Kublai was the grandson of a the legendary Mongol warlord Genghis Khan. Like his grandfather Kublai crushed his enemies with brute force yet he ruled his own lands peacefully, setting up governments, creating systems of taxation, and promoting culture and commerce. He made Beijing the capital of the biggest empire the world had ever seen. But his greatest achievement was the unification of China it survives to this day. Although he reined over 700 years ago his story is one that has great significance because he ruled a great multi-cultural society and he presided over a global economy, it was globalization in the middle ages.

Martin Luther Episode 2 The Reluctant Revolutionary

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. The Reluctant Revolutionary – When an obscure monk named Martin Luther nailed 95 Theses – 95 stinging rebukes attacking the mighty Catholic Church, and its head, Pope Leo X to the door of Wittenberg Cathedral he unleashed a tornado. His ideas spread like wildfire, aided by the newly invented printing press. Finally he’s called before the German imperial parliament, in the city of Worms, and told he must recant. Risking torture and execution, Luther nevertheless refused and proclaimed his inalienable right to believe what he wished.

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.

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.

Ancient Warriors Series 1 Episode 3 The Normans

Each half hour episode looks at a major fighting people or force and charts the reasons for their rise to dominance and subsequent fall. The show explores the motivations of ancient soldiers, as well as how they lived, fought, trained, died, and changed the world. It also uses battle re-enactments and computer graphics to demonstrate military strategy. This 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.

Byzantium Episode 2 Heaven on Earth

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.

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.

Monarchy USA Version Episode 3 A New Dynasty

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 3 A New Dynasty The succession of nine – month – old Henry VI leads to a long period of intrigue and bloodshed known as the War of the Roses, as the white rose of York vies for power with the red rose of Lancaster. Alternately passing between these two houses, the crown is finally seized by Henry Tudor, who returns from exile in France, kisses the sand, and boldly imposes his will.

The Normans Episode 1 Men From The North

Professor Robert Bartlett embarks on an ambitious journey deep into the hearts and minds of a band of warriors who transformed medieval Europe. He draws on Anglo-Saxon chronicles, medieval manuscripts and some of the most powerful examples of Norman architecture in an epic sweep of the period of Norman supremacy. And he reveals how the Norman legacy lives on in our culture and politics to this day. Episode 1 Men from the North – Explores how the Normans developed from a band of marauding Vikings into formidable warriors. Normans established their new province of Normandy, land of the northmen, in northern France. They went on to build some of the finest churches in Europe and turned into an unstoppable force of Christian knights and warriors, whose legacy is all around us to this day. William’s greatest achievement was the conquest of England in 1066.

Hastings 1066 Tapestry of a Battle

The great battle fought near the English seaside town of Hastings on October 14th 1066 was perhaps the most significant in England’s history. This documentary features atmospheric original reconstruction and reenactment footage, plus dramatised eye witness accounts. The very latest 3D computer mapping techniques combine with delightful images from the remarkable Bayeux Tapestry to tell the dramatic story of a battle which remains one of the most famous in military history.

Art of Germany Episode 1 A Divided Land

Andrew Graham-Dixon begins his exploration of German art by looking at the rich and often neglected art of the German middle ages and Renaissance. He visits the towering cathedral of Cologne, a place which encapsulates the varied and often contradictory character of German art. In Munch he gets to grips with the earliest paintings of the Northern Renaissance, the woodcuts of Albrecht Durer and the cosmic visions of the painter Albrecht Altdorfer. Andrew also embarks on a tour of the Bavarian countryside, discovering some of the little known treasures of German limewood sculpture.

Decisive Battles of the Ancient World The Gothic Invasion of Rome 378 A.D. Adrianople

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. The Gothic Invasion of Rome 378 A.D. Adrianople – Corruption drove the hungry horde of Visigoths to rebel against Rome and pride drove the Emperor Valens, heading a fractured Roman Empire, to take them on without support.

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.

Secrets Of The Dead Catastrophe Episode 1 The Day The Sun Went Out

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.

Time Travellers The Fall Of The Maya

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. This series won a Cable Ace Award for Best Science Series. Select episodes have been shown with the series title: Time Travellers. Episode The Fall Of The Maya – Twenty-five years ago, the ancient Mayans were thought to be a mysterious and peaceful people governed by astronomer-priests. But in 1965, Russian linguist Yuri Knorosov cracked Mayan hieroglyphics. Today, researchers reveal stories of Mayan blood sacrifices as they uncover a world so foreign as to defy our understanding of it.

The Holy Grail

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.

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.