This series of programs consists of 16 episodes which profile 16 evil men and women throughout history who have used their power to torturekill, 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.
The cities of the Maya were abandoned to the jungle 1000 years ago. They were rediscovered in the 19th century. Explorers came to try and learn what was here and what it meant. Now scholars are beginning to see the individuals involved their names, the dates, their arrivals, all of this very specific information is now coming out through epigraphy, the study of hieroglyphics. The Maya ruins of the central American jungle are are full of hieroglyphs, but the missionaries of the Spanish conquest deliberately wiped out the memory of how to read these stones. The Maya kept calendars of immense complexity and accuracy. The view developed that these cities were centers of a wise and peaceful civilization that had a deep understanding of nature and the universe. But now we are learning the truth about the classic Maya cities, and the truth is that the Lords of the Maya set up a form of rule that destroyed human lives and even nature itself. This documentary charts the rise and fall of a specific Mayan Lord Yax K’uk’ Mo (pronounced yash-cook-moe), and through it the brutal world the Mayans lived in without passing judgment on the Mayans themselves.
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.
This series 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.
It is 114 B.C. and the Republic of Rome is a small empire clinging to the rim of the Mediterranean. Suddenlyterror grips the Romans as the first barbarian attack smashes through the imperial boarder, paving the way for what would become one of the most tumultuous eras in the history of mankind. Filled with dramatic re-enactments and action packed battle scenes, Rome Rise and Fall of an Empire chronicles the dramatic story of one of history’s greatest empires from its first major battle to its remarkable military feats and through its eventual fall. This is the History Channel series, not BBC. Episode 12 The Puppet Master – In 450 AD, Rome is a mere shadow of its former self. Now, Roman rulers are at the mercy of their barbarian invaders, offering them power and territory in exchange for peace. In the midst of the Empire’s low decline, three comrades rise in the ranks of the Roman military Ricimer, Aegidius and Majorian, all competing for Imperial control. Majorian is the first to be named emperor, and Aegidius is made his prime general, but Ricimer, a soldier of barbarian descent, is the real puppet master.
Wayward women tells the tale of some of history’s most fascinating females and combines strong story telling from celebrities and academics with the unique atmosphere and ambience of a burlesque venue. This series focuses on women from Yorkshire and the North East of England. It is a great short introduction to women you may not have heard of before. It is not an in depth programbut it is intended to spark your interest so that you will explore more on your own. Historians and psychologists add fact to the rumours. Each story is accompanied by artistic re-enactments, archive stills and burlesque artists. Episode 1 Wicked and Wild features Lady Seymour Worsley (Peephole Princess), Sophie Dawes (First Lady of Lust), Lady Sybilla Metham (York’s Robber Barroness), Jane Jameson (Red Hot Killer) and Wallis Simpson (Queen of the Goldiggers).
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 15 The Aztecs – The Aztecs sacrifice captured enemies. Dear sonyou must understand that your home is not here where you have been born, for you are a warrior. You are a bird and the house where you have been born is just a nest. Your mission is to give the sun the blood of enemies to drink and to feed the earth with their bodies In the time of Columbus Europe discovered a strange new world, where every boy was born to fight and men fought for living flesh. Mortals to be sacrificed to slate the thirst of a god for blood.
History of the Christian faith looking at its origins, development and turbulent past. High profile British personalities examine a religion that has particular resonance for them. Channel 4 series, not the BBC one. Episode 3 Dark Ages – Theologian Robert Beckford’s personal view of the dark ages in which he explores how warring pagan tribes became one nation under a single religion, Christianity and asks if this is the most misunderstood and underrated moment in Britain’s history. In this extraordinary story, which begins with the fall of the Roman Empire 400 years after the birth of Jesus, we chart the precarious survival of Christianity in the Celtic West and Ireland following a struggle for souls between three different religious traditions the warrior pagan religion of the Anglo-Saxons, Celtic Christianity and a resurgent Roman Christianity.
Series detailing the lives of 12 significant English rulers between 1066 and the present day. Dr. Nigel Spivey takes the viewer through the agesdescribing 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.
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 researchyou’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.
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.
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.
Angkor Wat one of the wonders of the ancient world rises from the Cambodian jungle. The magnificent temples and gigantic reservoirs built by the Khmer empire have long mystified scientists. What was the purpose behind the vast water system? 25 years of war and killing fields isolated Angkor from the outside world. Archaeologists are turning to a technological breakthrough to solve the mysteries of the ancients. Astonishing views from the space shuttle high tech radar are giving scientists a revolutionary new look at Angkor and changing old ideas about the mysterious temples. Who where the Khmer? How did they eek a living out of this harsh realm. How did they manage to create a city of such splendor and scale.
A fascinating snapshot of medieval societythis 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.
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 3 Normans of the South – Professor Robert Bartlett explores the impact of the Normans on southern Europe and the Middle East. The Normans spread south in the 11th century, winning control of southern Italy and the island of Sicily. There they created their most prosperous kingdom, where Christianity and Islam coexisted in relative harmony and mutual tolerance. It became a great centre of medieval culture and learning. But events in the Middle East provoked the more aggressive side of the Norman character.
Historian Michael Wood returns to his first great lovethe Anglo-Saxon world, to reveal the origins of our literary heritage. Focusing on Beowulf and drawing on other Anglo-Saxon classics, he traces the birth of English poetry back to the Dark Ages. traveling across the British Isles from East Anglia to Scotland and with the help of Nobel prize winning poet Seamus Heaney, actor Julian Glover, local historians and enthusiasts, he brings the story and language of this iconic poem to life.