Showing posts with label history. Show all posts
Showing posts with label history. Show all posts

Ancient Apocalypse [BBC 4 parts]

Throughout the ages, civilisations have risen up and then disappeared. Traditionally, the disappearance of certain ancient civilizations has been left to the theologians and historians to explain. Now scientists have entered the fray. In this series geologist, archaeologists and climatologists explain their findings. Ancient Apocalypse seeks to explain how human achievements were destroyed by the forces of nature.

Part 1: Death on the Nile



Professor Fekri Hassan attempts to determine why the Egyptian Old Kingdom, the civilisation of the great pyramids, collapsed around 2200 BC. Can science show that terrible forces of nature were to blame - even driving people to cannibalism? Clues come from the remote deserts of southern Egypt, the glaciers of Iceland and a dramatic and unique archaeological find in the Nile delta.


Part 2: Mystery of the Minoans



A look at how the Minoan civilisation, situated on the Mediterranean island of Crete, was wiped out 3,500 years ago by one of the biggest volcanic eruptions since the Ice Age on the nearby island of Thira. 21st century science reveals the horror the volcano unleashed.


Part 3: The Maya Collapse



In the ninth century AD, the great Maya civilisation in Central America and southern Mexico all but disappeared. Millions died and great cities were abandoned to the jungle. Why this happened was a mystery, until science started unlocking the secrets of the past to reveal the brutality of nature.


Part 4: Sodom and Gomorrah



The Bible describes how Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed in a storm of fire and brimstone. Could the inspiration for this story come from a natural apocalypse around the Dead Sea in the Middle East? Science tests out the extraordinary geology of the region - could an earthquake trigger a landslide capable of sweeping away whole cities?

Ancient Apocalypse [BBC 4 parts]
Ancient Apocalypse [BBC 4 parts]

The Victorians [BBC 4 parts]

Jeremy Paxman takes his love of Victorian paintings as the starting point for a journey into Victorian Britain. Such pictures may not be fashionable today, but they are a goldmine of information about the most dynamic age in British history.


Part 1: Painting The Town



He investigates the most dramatic event of Victorian Britain: the explosion of great cities. At first the Victorians feared these new monsters in their midst, but then grew to love and transform them. Jeremy explores the canals and sewers, suburbs and back streets, workhouses and magnificent buildings of the great Victorian city, while also experiencing the fun-filled chaos of Derby Day.


Part 2: Home Sweet Home



Jeremy Paxman enters the typical Victorian home, a haven of order, respectability and morality. But not everything was always as it should be, with sexual double standards and the perils of drink, disease and poverty all threatening to destroy the cherished dream of Home Sweet Home.


Part 3: Having It All



Railways, factories and military might made Britain the richest country in the world. Paxman finds British generals dressed in togas in the Foreign Office, meets the horse that led the Charge of the Light Brigade, drives a steam train and visits a fort, a steelworks and a millionaire's mansion to tell the story of the time when Britain seemed to be having it all.


Part 4: Dreams and Nightmares



Jeremy Paxman discovers how in the dying years of Victoria's reign, artists led a revolt against Victorian values of money and morality, preferring to create a world filled with medieval knights and damsels, dreams and fairies, sex and death. He meets a pair of spiritualist mediums, visits a collection of Victorian nudes and is allowed into Broadmoor hospital in search of the mad
Victorian artist Richard Dadd.
The Victorians [BBC 4 parts]
The Victorians [BBC 4 parts]

Shoah (Holocaust) [4 parts with eng subtitles ]

Part 1




Hailed as a masterpiece by many critics, Shoah was described in the New York Times as "an epic film about the greatest evil of modern times."

Part 2




"For more than nine hours I sat and watched a film named "Shoah," and when it was over, I sat for a while longer and simply stared into space, trying to understand my emotions. I had seen a memory of the most debased chapter in human history. But I had also seen a film that affirmed life so passionately that I did not know where to turn with my confused feelings. There is no proper response to this film. It is an enormous fact, a 550-minute howl of pain and anger in the face of genocide. It is one of the noblest films ever made." - Roger Ebert


Part 3




Claude Lanzmann's epic documentary recounts the story of the Holocaust through interviews with witnesses - perpetrators as well as survivors.Director Claude Lanzmann spent 11 years on this sprawling documentary about the Holocaust, conducting his own interviews and refusing to use a single frame of archival footage.


Part 4




Dividing Holocaust witnesses into three categories -- survivors, bystanders and perpetrators -- Lanzmann presents testimonies from survivors of the Chelmno concentration camp, an Auschwitz escapee and witnesses of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, as well as a chilling report of gas chambers from an SS officer at Treblinka.

Shoah
Shoah 

The Crusades [BBC 3 parts]

In this new three-part series for BBC Two, Dr Thomas Asbridge presents his revelatory account of the Crusades, the 200-year war between Christians and Muslims for control of the Holy Land. The story of the Crusades is remembered as a tale of religious fanaticism and unspeakable violence, but now fresh research, eyewitness testimony, and contemporary evidence from both the Christian and Islamic worlds shed new light on how these two great religions waged war in the name of God.


Part 1: Holy War

Episode one traces the epic journey of the first crusaders, as they marched 3,000 miles from Europe to recapture the city of Jerusalem from Islam, enduring starvation, disease and bloodthirsty battle to reach their sacred goal, and then unleashed an appalling tide of barbaric violence upon their Muslim enemies. Yet far from being the invincible holy warriors of legend, Dr Asbridge reveals that these crusaders actually considered surrender in the midst of their titanic expedition.


Part 2: The Clash of Titans

In the second episode of this three-part series, Dr Thomas Asbridge offers a piercing examination of the Third Crusade and the two renowned figures who have come to embody Crusader war: Richard the Lionheart, king of England, and the mighty Muslim sultan Saladin, unifier of Islam. Drawing on fascinating eyewitness accounts and contemporary records, Dr Asbridge constructs an insightful and nuanced picture of these men and their fiercely fought struggle for the Holy Land. Almost perfectly matched as adversaries, these two titans of holy war clashed during a year-long campaign that raged across Palestine. Both were willing to commit appalling atrocities in pursuit of victory. Each brought the full force of his military genius, guile and cunning to bear, all in pursuit of the ultimate prize: Jerusalem. Dr Asbridge reveals how this shattering conflict brought Saladin and Richard to their knees, even as it served to forge their legends.


Part 3: Victory and Defeat

In the concluding episode of the three-part series, Dr Thomas Asbridge reveals that the outcome of these epic holy wars was decided not on the hallowed ground of Jerusalem, but in Egypt. As trade blossomed between Christians and Muslims and the Mongol hordes arrived from Asia, a saintly French king - afire with crusading zeal - and the most remarkable Muslim leader of the Middle Ages fought for ultimate victory in the East. Drawing upon eyewitness chronicles and the latest archaeological evidence, Dr Asbridge argues that it was a fearsome slave-warrior from the Russian Steppes - now forgotten in the West - who finally sealed the fate of the crusades. And, most controversially of all, Asbridge challenges the popular misconception that the medieval crusades sparked a clash of civilisations between Islam and the West that continues to this day.

The Crusades [BBC 3 parts]
The Crusades [BBC 3 parts]


Knights Of Malta

Their millennium-old legacy includes some of history's most mysterious characters and relics, from the Holy Grail to King Solomon's riches, Freemasons, and the Barbary Pirates. From humble monks to fearsome warriors, the Knights of Malta became Europe's valiant and admired heroes.


Tales of the ancient order of knights unfold on this in-depth exploration. The Sovereign Order of the Knights of Malta have a lengthy history that has seen them encounter some intriguing historical legends; even the mysterious Holy Grail has connections to the impenetrable group.



With origins shrouded in myth and a thousand-year legacy steeped in legends that continue to the present day, the Knights of Malta began as a Benedictine nursing order, evolving into a fearsome, militant Christian warrior tradition. Through interviews and re-enactments, their provocative connections to Solomon's riches, Barbary Coast pirates, Freemasons, and the Holy Grail are explored.

Knights Of Malta
Knights Of Malta

The Real Doctor Zhivago [BBC]

Dr Zhivago is one of the best-known love stories of the 20th century, but the setting of the book also made it famous. It is a tale of passion and fear, set against a backdrop of revolution and violence. The film is what most people remember, but the story of the writing of the book has more twists, intrigue and bravery than many a Hollywood blockbuster.


Stephen Smith traces the revolutionary beginnings of this bestseller, to it becoming a pawn of the CIA at the height of the Cold War. The writer of the novel, Boris Pasternak, in the words of his family, willingly committed acts of literary suicide in being true to the Russia he loved, but being honest about the Soviet regime he hated and despised. Under Stalin, writers and artists just disappeared if they didn't support the party line. Many were murdered.

Writing his book for over 20 tumultuous years, Boris Pasternak knew it could result in his death. It did result in his mistress being sent to the Gulag twice, but he had to have his say. This is the story of the writing of perhaps the bravest book ever published. It is the story before the film won Oscars and its author the Nobel Prize, it is the untold story of the real Dr Zhivago - Boris Pasternak.

The Real Doctor Zhivago [BBC]
The Real Doctor Zhivago [BBC]

Lost Mines of King Solomon



Historians and archaeologists head to a supposedly cursed mountain in south-west Ethiopia, where decades before an English adventurer claimed to have discovered the gold mines of alleged king of Israel, King Solomon.
Lost Mines of King Solomon
Lost Mines of King Solomon

Seven Wonders of the Buddhist World [BBC]

In this fascinating documentary, historian Bettany Hughes travels to the seven wonders of the Buddhist world and offers a unique insight into one of the most ancient belief systems still practised today. Buddhism began 2,500 years ago when one man had an amazing internal revelation underneath a peepul tree in India.


Today it is practised by over 350 million people worldwide, with numbers continuing to grow year on year. In an attempt to gain a better understanding of the different beliefs and practices that form the core of the Buddhist philosophy and investigate how Buddhism started and where it travelled to, Hughes visits some of the most spectacular monuments built by Buddhists across the globe. Her journey begins at the Mahabodhi Temple in India, where Buddhism was born; here Hughes examines the foundations of the belief system - the three jewels. At Nepal's Boudhanath Stupa, she looks deeper into the concept of dharma - the teaching of Buddha, and at the Temple of the Tooth in Sri Lanka, Bettany explores karma, the idea that our intentional acts will be mirrored in the future. At Wat Pho Temple in Thailand, Hughes explores samsara, the endless cycle of birth and death that Buddhists seek to end by achieving enlightenment, before travelling to Angkor Wat in Cambodia to learn more about the practice of meditation. In Hong Kong, Hughes visits the Giant Buddha and looks more closely at Zen, before arriving at the final wonder, the Hsi Lai temple in Los Angeles, to discover more about the ultimate goal for all Buddhists - nirvana.

Seven Wonders of the Buddhist World [BBC]
Seven Wonders of the Buddhist World [BBC]

The Lost Pyramids Of Caral [BBC]



The magnificent ancient city of pyramids at Caral in Peru hit the headlines in 2001. The site is a thousand years older than the earliest known civilisation in the Americas and, at 2,627 BC, is as old as the pyramids of Egypt. Many now believe it is the fabled missing link of archaeology - a 'mother city'. If so, then these extraordinary findings could finally answer one of the great questions of archaeology: why did humans become civilised?

The Lost Pyramids Of Caral [BBC]
The Lost Pyramids Of Caral [BBC]

Archaeology: A Secret History [BBC 3 parts]

Archaeologist Richard Miles presents a series charting the history of the breakthroughs and watersheds in our long quest to understand our ancient past.


Part 1: In the Beginning

Richard Miles begins by going back 2,000 years to explore how archaeology began by trying to prove a biblical truth - a quest that soon got archaeologists into dangerous water.


Part 2: The Search for Civilisation

Richard Miles shows how discoveries in the 18th and 19th centuries overturned ideas of when and where civilisation began, as empires competed to literally 'own' the past.


Part 3: The Power of the Past

Richard Miles shows how 20th-century attention turned from civilisation and kings to the search for the common man against a background of science and competing political ideologies.

Archaeology: A Secret History [BBC 3 parts]
Archaeology: A Secret History [BBC 3 parts]


The Story of India [BBC 6 parts]

The world's largest democracy and a rising economic giant, India is now as well known across the globe for its mastery of computer technology as it is for its many-armed gods and its famous spiritual traditions. But India is also the world's most ancient surviving civilisation, with unbroken continuity back into prehistory.Like other great civilisations - Greece or Egypt for example, over the millennia it has enjoyed not just one but several brilliant golden ages in art and culture. Its great thinkers and religious leaders have permanently changed the face of the globe. But while the glories of Rome, Egypt, and Greece, have all been the subject of TV portraits, as yet there has been no television story of India on our screens. This series sets out for the first time to do that: to show a world audience the wonders of India; the incredible richness and diversity of its peoples, cultures and landscapes; and the intense drama of its past, including some of the most momentous, exciting and moving events in world history.


Part 1: Beginnings


Michael Wood journeys through the subcontinent, tracing the incredible richness and diversity of its peoples, cultures and landscapes. Through ancient manuscripts and oral tales Michael charts the first human migrations out of Africa. He travels from the tropical backwaters of South India through lost ancient cities in Pakistan to the vibrant landscapes of the Ganges plain. In Turkmenistan dramatic archaeological discoveries cast new light on India’s past.

Young Victoria [BBC]



Kate Williams tells the story of how an unassuming little girl rose to be the most powerful woman in the world. At her birth few believed Princess Victoria would ascend the throne, but a number of untimely deaths and the failure of her uncles to father any children meant that Victoria became heiress to the British throne.



The battle between her and her mother the Duchess of Kent, however, was to become a fierce maternal struggle, as the duchess schemed to share in the power and riches that would one day be Victoria's.
Young Victoria [BBC]
Young Victoria [BBC]

Greek Myths: Tales of Travelling Heroes [BBC]


Eminent classical historian Robin Lane Fox embarks on a journey in search of the origins of the Greek myths. He firmly believes that these fantastical stories lie at the root of western culture, and yet little is known about where the myths of the Greek gods came from, and how they grew. Now, after 35 years of travelling, excavation and interpretation, he is confident he has uncovered answers.
From the ancient lost city of Hattusas in modern Turkey to the smouldering summit of the Sicilian volcano Mount Etna, the documentary takes the viewer on a dazzling voyage through the Mediterranean world of the 8th century BC, as we follow in the slipstream of an intrepid and mysterious group of merchants and adventurers from the Greek island of Euboea. It’s in the experiences of these now forgotten people that Lane Fox is able to pinpoint the stories and encounters, the journeys and the landscapes that provided the source material for key Greek myths.
And along the way, he brings to life these exuberant tales - of castration and baby eating, the birth of human sexual love, and the titanic battles with giants and monsters from which the gods of Greek myth were to emerge victorious.

Greek Myths: Tales of Travelling Heroes
Greek Myths: Tales of Travelling Heroes

The Lost Libraries of Timbuktu [BBC]



Aminatta Forna tells the story of legendary Timbuktu and its long-hidden legacy of hundreds of thousands of ancient manuscripts.



With its university founded around the same time as Oxford, Timbuktu is proof that the reading and writing of books have long been as important to Africans as to Europeans.

The Lost Libraries of Timbuktu [BBC]
The Lost Libraries of Timbuktu [BBC]

Egypt's Lost Cities [BBC]



It is possible that only one percent of the wonders of Ancient Egypt have been discovered, but now, thanks to a pioneering approach to archaeology, that is about to change. Dr Sarah Parcak uses satellites to probe beneath the sands, where she has found cities, temples and pyramids. Now, with Dallas Campbell and Liz Bonnin, she heads to Egypt to discover if these magnificent buildings are really there. Seventeen lost pyramids are among the buildings identified in a new satellite survey of Egypt. More than 1,000 tombs and 3,000 ancient settlements were also revealed by looking at infra-red images which show up underground buildings. Initial excavations have already confirmed some of the findings, including two suspected pyramids.

Egypt's Lost Cities [BBC]
Egypt's Lost Cities [BBC]

Hadrian [BBC]

Dan Snow takes us on a journey around Hadrian's vast empire.Immortalised in the UK after building a Wall on the edge of his Empire, which bears his name to this day. Hadrian's Wall, as it is known, is just a tiny portion of a massive structure Hadrian had built to protect the Roman Empire, with similar, sister walls running through northern Europe and still more in north Africa. His legacy also includes the Pantheon in Rome.


Hadrian brought the Empire to an unparalleled period of peace and prosperity. At the heart of this great Empire, however, lay a mystery - Hadrian's relationship with a young man, Antinous. The friendship led to Antinous being deified by Hadrian following his death, in strange circumstances, on the Nile.
Dan Snow uncovers the genius and the dark side of Hadrian: peace-maker, frontier-builder, star-crossed lover, architect - and ruthless oppressor of the jews. But still, Dan concludes, Hadrian was one of the greatest Roman emperors.

Hadrian [BBC]
Hadrian [BBC]

Double Cross: The True Story of the D-day Spies



D-Day, 6 June 1944, the turning point of the Second World War, was a victory of arms. But it was also a triumph for a different kind of operation: one of deceit, aimed at convincing the Nazis that Calais and Norway, not Normandy, were the targets of the 150,000-strong invasion force.


Writer and presenter Ben Macintyre returns to the small screen to bring to life his third best-selling book. Macintyre reveals the gripping true story of five of the double agents who helped to make D-day such a success.
Double Cross: The True Story of the D-day Spies
Double Cross: The True Story of the D-day Spies

THE STORY OF 1 with Terry Jones



 The story of the number one is the story of Western civilization. Terry Jones ("Monty Python's Flying Circus") goes on a humor-filled journey to recount the amazing tale behind the world's simplest number. Using computer graphics, "One" is brought to life, in 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.


 How old is One? A precise answer is impossible, but a notched bone (called the Ishango bone) found in the Congo proves that he's been around for at least 20,000 years. His life really took off 6,000 years ago, when the Sumerians turned him into a cone-shaped token and then into the first-ever numeric character, invention that made arithmetic - and therefore city life - possible, providing the means to assess wealth, calculate profits and loss, and, perhaps most important, collect taxes.

THE STORY OF 1 with Terry Jones
THE STORY OF 1 with Terry Jones

In Search of Myths & Heroes [BBC]

 In Search of Myths and Heroes is an enjoyable series of programs: well researched, dynamic, visually sumptuous and informative. These programs are not out to give exhaustive explanations of historical events. Instead, they approach the heavy subject matter with a light touch, a sense of adventure and the feel of a quest -- searching for factual evidence of fictional characters.
 Michael Wood has always brought history to life. He connects to the past through the people keeping the traditions alive and through the ancient festivals and celebrations that have been handed down across the centuries. His enthusiasm for his field is seemingly unlimited and his barely contained excitement as he follows his routes in search of evidence is damn well addictive.
 His journeys take him to some of the most remote and exciting places on earth - from the fantastic landscapes of Western Tibet, to the mountains of Georgia and the Caucasus; and from the plains of Southern Iraq, to the coasts of Ethiopia, Yemen and the Horn of Africa. The stories he reveals will also take in Greece and Turkey, India and Nepal, Egypt and Israel, and the world of Celtic Britain and the West of Ireland.In his investigations Michael Wood delves into the past to separate fact from fiction, and find the historical truth.


Queen of Sheba:

The Queen of Sheba - an exotic and mysterious woman of power - is immortalised in the world's great religious works, among them the Hebrew Bible and the Muslim Koran. She also appears in Turkish and Persian painting, in Kabbalistic treatises, and in medieval Christian mystical works, where she is viewed as the embodiment of Divine Wisdom and a foreteller of the cult of the Holy Cross. In Africa and Arabia her tale is still told to this day and, indeed, her tale has been told and retold in many lands for nearly 3,000 years.
Trying to ascertain who she may really have been is an arduous task, and a question soon arises. Why, if so little is known about her, has she become such an important figure?
The tales of Solomon and the Queen of Sheba have, after all, even provided the founding myths for the modern states of Israel and Ethiopia.


Shangri-La:

For centuries, man has yearned for an earthly paradise, and no place better encapsulates this desire than Shangri-La - but was it ever real?
The tale of an earthly paradise is among the most enduring myths in the world. From Sumerian epic to the 'islands of the blest' in Celtic literature, it has been a recurring theme through many bodies of literature and for thousands of years. Not surprisingly, then, modern people have also been drawn to the dream of a lost paradise where the ravages of time and history have been held back, where human beings live in harmony with nature, and where the wisdom of the planet is saved for future generations. In other words, to a Shangri-La.


Jason and the Golden Fleece:

The Greek tale of Jason and the Golden Fleece has been told for 3,000 years. It's a classic hero's quest tale - a sort of ancient Greek mission impossible - in which the hero embarks on a sea voyage into an unknown land, with a great task to achieve. He is in search of a magical ram's fleece, which he has to find in order to reclaim his father's kingdom of Iolkos from the usurper King Pelias.
Michael Wood discovers a story of heroism, treachery, love and tragedy that would make Hollywood proud.


King Arthur:

The fantastical tale of King Arthur, the hero warrior, is one of the great themes of British literature. But was it just invented to restore British pride after the Norman invasion? Michael Wood puts the king in the spotlight.

In Search of Myths & Heroes [BBC]
In Search of Myths & Heroes [BBC]

Lost Cities of the Ancients [BBC]

Some of the greatest wonders of the ancient world still lie buried – unseen and unexplored – beneath our feet; near-legendary places that vanished thousands of years ago. This documentary is a detective trail of meticulous archaeological and historical clues to unearth some of the greatest lost cities of the ancient world. This 3 part series includes The Vanished Capital of the Pharoah, The Cursed Valley of the Pyramids and The Dark Lords of Hattusha. Through drama and CGI these lost wonders are rebuilt and restored to their original splendour.


Part 1: Vanished Capital of the Pharoah

This episode looks at the legendary lost city of Piramesse. This magnificent ancient capital was built 3,000 years ago by the Egyptian pharaoh Ramesses the Great, but long ago the whole city disappeared. When it was rediscovered by early archaeologists, it opened up a bizarre puzzle - when Piramesse was finally found it was in the wrong place, somewhere Ramesses the Great could not possibly have built it. Recreating the stories of both the early archaeologists and the ancient Egyptians, the film enters a lost world, recounting the strange tale of the quest for Piramesse and following the intriguing detective work of modern archaeologists Manfred Bietak and Edgar Pusch as they solve the baffling mystery of how this great lost city could vanish, only to reappear thousands of years later in the wrong place