How could a civilization which thrived for over two thousand years just suddenly disappear? Today many believe that a giant drought killed off the Maya, but is this really the case? World Maya Expert, Nikolai Grube began by looking at the Maya’s own historical records their fantastic hieroglyphic writing. Hidden within them he found two extraordinary figures: Dark Bat King and a Cold Killer Queen. Never before has the story of these remarkable individuals been brought to life. By resurrecting their spirit, Grube has come to the groundbreaking theory that the Maya collapse cannot be blamed on natural forces, but on the violent world of human politics and power struggles.
Monty Python’s Terry Jones invites you on an entertaining expedition through Roman history from an entirely different perspective – that of the Barbarians. Far from the uncivilized savages they have been believed to be, many of these non-Romans were not barbaric at all. They were, in fact, highly organized and intelligent societies that had no intentions of overthrowing Rome or its Empire. The Primitive Celts – The popular view of Celtic society is that it was primitive and uncivilized. Terry Jones sets out to challenge this view. Far from being primitive compared to Rome, it was an advanced society that was in some ways even more advanced than Rome. For example, many of the roads in Gaul that were assumed to have been built by the Romans, turn out to have been built by the Celts themselves.
Adolf Hitler consistently hushed up or denied his family lineage for fear that his ragtag bunch of ancestors and living relatives could tarnish his reputation or expose his imperfect Aryan background. His family had a history of psychiatric disorders, and his second cousin, Aloisia Veit, was locked up in an asylum for nine years before being sent to the gas chambers for being “unworthy of life”. Hitler was embarrassed by his sister Paula, and made her live under the assumed name of Paula Wolf.
Cambridge historian Dr Richard Miles traces one of history’s darkest and most compelling stories, the superpower rivalry between Carthage and Rome that radically transformed the ancient world. For the victor, the prize was unchallenged imperial domination, for the loser, it was obliteration. Richard Miles, reveals the truth about the Carthaginians, the remarkable and forgotten people. In 146 BC Roman General Scipio Destroyed the city of Carthage so painstakingly and utterly that not a single building was left standing. A new archaeological dig by Dr. Richard Miles of Cambridge University, penetrates the burned layer of the Roman holocaust and uncovers fresh evidence.
Controversial historian Professor Niall Ferguson argues that in the last century there were not in fact two World Wars and a Cold War, but a single Hundred Years’ War. It was not nationalism that powered the conflicts of the century, but empires. It was not ideologies of class or the advent of socialism driving the century, but race. Ultimately, ethnic conflict underpinned 20th century violence. Finally, it was not the west that triumphed as the century progressed, in fact, power slowly and steadily migrated towards the new empires of the East. Episode 1 The Clash of Empires – An alternative perspective to the events of the 20th century, offering different explanations for the two world wars and the shifting balance of power as the 1900s progressed. He begins by studying the origins of World War One, arguing that the conflict sparked racial hatred which was exploited by nation states for their own ends.
A tsunami in the Bristol Channel could have caused the deaths of up to 2,000 people in one of Britain’s greatest natural disasters, experts have said. For centuries, it has been thought that the great flood of January 1607 was caused by high tides and severe storms. Two experts have argued a tsunami could have caused the devastation. Eyewitness accounts of the disaster, published in six different pamphlets of the time, told of “huge and mighty hills of water” advancing at a speed “faster than a greyhound can run” and only receding 10 days later. Dr Roger Musson, head of seismic hazards at the British Geological Survey, said there were other examples of earthquakes in the area caused by an ancient fault off south west Ireland. One magnitude 4.5 earthquake was recorded there on 8 February 1980. “The idea of putting a large historical earthquake in this spot is not so fanciful,” he said. “We know from seismological evidence, that we have actually had an earthquake here, so there is a fault and it is moving, it is active.” Other UK tsunamis include a 70 feet high wave that hit Scotland 7,000 years ago, following a massive landslip in Norway.
Adolf Hitler dreampt of creating a master race but the Fuhrer himself was an appalling hypochondriac who abused laxatives and suffered for much of his life from stomach cramps and embarrassing flatulence. And that was simply the start. By the time he committed suicide in 1945, the “great” dictator was frail with tremors and a shuffling walk, a feeble condition that was kept secret from the world. The doctor whose job it was to maintain the Fuhrer in vigorous and energetic health to pursue the Nazi project and its military ambitions was Dr. Theodore Morell.
Professor David Reynolds takes a fresh look at the extraordinary events and personalities that brought about the armistice of 1918, venturing beyond the familiar British account of Remembrance Day to unravel how the Germans, plunged to total defeat in just a few months at the end of the war. In a journey that takes him through command centres and battlefields, he uncovers a story of wounded egos, mental illness and political brinkmanship as statesmen and generals haggled over the terms of peace, while soldiers fought on with sustained brutality. Reynolds argues that the bitter endgame of the “war to end all wars” tragically sowed the seeds of even more appalling conflict to come.