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More Than Human
The Last Dance Episode IX
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Cosmos Carl Sagan: The Shores of the Cosmic Ocean
Carl Sagan opens the program with a description of the cosmos and the Spaceship of the Imagination. The ship journeys through the universe's hundred billion galaxies, the Local Group, the Andromeda Galaxy, the Milky Way, the Orion Nebula, our Solar System, and finally the planet Earth. Eratosthenes' successful calculation of the circumference of Earth leads to a description of the ancient Library of Alexandria. Finally, the Ages of Science are described, before pulling back to the full span of the Cosmic Calendar.
Montezuma Dan Snow journeys to the ancient heart of Mexico in search of the lost civilisation of the Aztecs and their last and greatest ruler, Montezuma II (1502-1520). Montezuma inherited an empire of five million people, stretching from present-day Mexico to Nicaragua, from his uncle. His rule was marked by incessant warfare. Enemy states were growing more powerful and conquered tribes were becoming more rebellious. Within months of taking the throne in 1502, he went changed a man of good reason into a pitiless autocrat who declared himself a god, believing that fear and ruthlessness were the only ways to stop the empire falling apart. Yet it was at the hands of Cortes and the Spanish conquistadors that Montezuma met his downfall. But what was his relationship with Cortes, and why did such a ruthless leader submit to his captors with such relative ease? As Dan Snow visits the ruins and picks through current excavations, he pieces together the evidence of a gripping story: a divine tragedy of errors, the clash of civilisations, the end of a world - and a very human God.
More Human Than Human
Embark on a thrilling journey through time and five continents to the heart of creativity. Fusing social history, politics, science, nature, archaeology and religion, this international landmark series unravels a universal mystery - why the world around us looks like it does. Modern-day mysteries are answered by journeying back to the beginning of civilisation via some of the most amazing man-made creations in the world. In the first episode, one image dominates our contemporary world above all others: the human body. How Art Made the World travels from the modern world of advertising to the temples of classical Greece and the tombs of ancient Egypt to solve the mystery of why humans surround themselves with images of the body that are so unrealistic.
How Art Made the World
The Story of China Ancestors
Michael Wood embarks on a great historical adventure, exploring the stories, people and landscapes that have helped create China's distinctive character and genius over four thousand years. Is the history of the world's newest superpower, from its ancient past to the present day.
Starting in Wuxi, Michael joins the Qin family reunion, when 300 relatives gather to worship their ancestors on Tomb Sweeping Day. 'Like the nation, the family has been through so much,' one says. 'Now everyone wants to know - what are our roots?'
Looking for the origins of the Chinese state, he visits the excavations at Erlitou and sees an exquisite turquoise dragon sceptre from 2000 BC. China's first writing is found on 'oracle bones' dug up from the Shang royal tombs at Anyang in the 1920s. At the Beijing Planetarium, Michael travels back in time as astronomers plot the planetary conjunction that the ancients believed foretold the overthrow of the Shang Dynasty. Next, the Age of Philosophers and Confucius, whose book Analects has had greater influence worldwide than even the Bible, according to some. In Xi'an, we hear how the First Emperor united China and created the authoritarian Qin state that gave us the word China. Finally, Michael returns to the temple fair in Henan for a dramatic night ceremony to give thanks to the ancestors. China, Michael concludes, is rising again, not just because of its economic strength, but because of the incredible solidarity of the Han Chinese view of their own civilisation, their sense of family and, of course, the presence of the ancestors.
The Story of China
The Stolen Eagle
In this historical drama, the turbulent transition from Roman republic to autocratic empire, which changed world history through civil war and wars of conquest, is sketched both from the aristocratic viewpoint of Julius Caesar, his family, his adopted successor Octavian Augustus, and their political allies and adversaries, and from the politically naive viewpoint of a few ordinary Romans, notably the soldiers Lucius Vorenus and Titus Pullo and their families.
'The Stolen Eagle.' In Gaul in 52 B.C., two Roman soldiers, Legionary Titus Pullo and Centurion Lucius Vorenus, are tasked with recovering Julius Caesar's personal Eagle, stolen from his camp in the dead of night. With his campaign in Gaul coming to a successful conclusion, Caesar's popularity is continuing to grow. He's saddened however when he receives news from his good friend Pompey Magnus that his daughter, Pompey's wife, has died in childbirth. In the Senate, Pompey must defend the prolonged absence of his friend and co-Consul Caesar against charges of corruption.
It Was Fifty Years Ago Today
Blue Planet II
Life in the Undergrowth
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Through the Wormhole Season 5
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