Presented by Rod Liddle, explores the life and times of the visionaries who fought a powerful and violent church establishment to publish the Bible in English. Their vocation, tenacity and sacrifice left a lasting impression on the language and literature in the centuries that followed. The inflections, cadences and familiar phrases of the first English Bible set the foundations for the way English has been spoken and written in the five centuries that followed its first publication. Perhaps its most important legacy, though, is the Protestant notion put by Jefferson God hath created the mind free. This underpinned the separation of church and state, the constitutional guarantee of freedom of expression and the right to fight for freedom of choice, freedom of conscience and freedom of speech.
The trouble in Salem began during the cold, dark Massachusetts winter, in January of 1692. Eight young girls began to take ill, begining with 9 year old Elizabeth Parris. The girls suffered from delirium, violent convulsions, incomprehensible speech, trance like states, and odd skin sensations. The worried villagers searched desperately for an explanation. Their conclusion, the girls were under a spell, bewitched, and, worse yet, by members of their own pious community. And then the finger pointing began. In the centuries since, scholars and historians have struggled as well to explain the madness that overtook Salem. Was it sexual repression, dietary deficiency, mass hysteria? Or, could a simple fungus have been to blame? This episode is titled Bewitched or Witches Curse.
Though the infamous emperor Nero ruled Rome for less than two decades, his reign witnessed tremendous changes to the empire’s capital city. Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus, more often known as Nero, was a great-grandson of Caesar Augustus. Nero became the emperor of Rome at age 16. Several years later, Nero had his power hungry mother moved to a separate residence, shortly thereafter, he allegedly had her killed. There was no end to Nero’s ambition. One of his grandest plans was to tear down a third of Rome so that he could build an elaborate series of palaces that would be known as Neropolis. The senate, however, objected ardently to this proposal. Exactly what happened next has remained a mystery for nearly 2,000 years.
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.
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.
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 2 How The World Changed – 535 A.D. has come and gone the world has been hit by a catastrophe. Now comes bizarre weather, the sun is darkened, skies are turbulent, rain is red and snow falls yellow. There is frost and famine. Seasons are blurred. In some places great drought destroys the land. In others floods bring chaos. The world will never be the same. The theory belongs to David Keys. With dogged detective work he has pieced together the story of an ancient catastrophe.