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From Pictures to Words

   2020    History
We take it for granted, but every time we pick up a pen or type on the keyboard, we are employing the most powerful technology ever invented: the technology of writing. Explore how the invention of writing gave humanity a history. From hieroglyphs to emojis, the series is an exploration of the way in which the technology of writing has shaped the world we live in.
The invention of writing about 5,000 years ago made civilization itself possible, and every innovation of the modern world is based on the foundation of the written word. But how and where did writing begin, and who began it? In From Pictures to Words, the first of three films about the history of writing, we uncover the hidden links between all the diverse writing systems in use today and trace the origin of our own alphabet to a turquoise mine in the Sinai Desert and a man riding a donkey whose name was Khebded.
Series: The Secret History of Writing

Words on a Page

   2020    History
Writing itself is 5,000 years old, and for most of that time words were written by hand using a variety of tools. The Romans were able to run an empire thanks to documents written on papyrus. Scroll books could be made quite cheaply and, as a result, ancient Rome had a thriving written culture. With the fall of the Roman Empire, papyrus became more difficult to obtain. Europeans were forced to turn to a much more expensive surface on which to write: Parchment. Medieval handwritten books could cost as much as a house, they also represent a limitation on literacy and scholarship.
No such limitations were felt in China, where paper had been invented in the second century. Paper was the foundation of Chinese culture and power, and for centuries how to make it was kept secret. When the secret was out, paper mills soon sprang up across central Asia. The result was an intellectual flourishing known as the Islamic Golden Age. Muslim scholars made discoveries in biology, geology, astronomy and mathematics. By contrast, Europe was an intellectual backwater.
That changed with Gutenberg’s development of movable type printing. The letters of the Latin alphabet have very simple block-like shapes, which made it relatively simple to turn them into type pieces. When printers tried to use movable type to print Arabic texts, they found themselves hampered by the cursive nature of Arabic writing. The success of movable type printing in Europe led to a thousand-fold increase in the availability of information, which produced an explosion of ideas that led directly to the European Scientific Revolution and the Industrial Revolution that followed.
Series: The Secret History of Writing

Hannibal March on Rome

   2020    History
Even 2,000 years after his death, General Hannibal's battle strategies are still studied today. But of all his military feats, perhaps his greatest was leading his massive Carthaginian army of men and three-dozen elephants across the Alps and into the heartland of Rome in 218 B.C. Until now, the route they took has been a matter of dispute, but thanks to modern-day technology, geomorphologist Bill Mahaney and microbiologist Chris Allen believe they've accurately traced this ancient journey.

Across Continents

   2019    Technology    HD
'Speed' investigates mankind's insatiable necessity to move faster and further; for pleasure, for work, to explore, to survive. From ancient outriggers, to modern bullet trains, to the interplanetary travel of tomorrow; This series is a thrilling joyride through the Science and History of travel.
'Across Continents:' Never in the history of humanity have so many of us been mobile, never has our demand for fast, efficient and safe transportation been so high, and never have we relied so heavily on technology to deliver. New innovations propel us into the world of self-driving cars and ultra high-speed trains.
Series: Speed

The Robot

   2019    Technology
For most of our history, we humans considered ourselves unique. But now, a new, artificial species might challenge our superiority. Mechanical beings have the potential to change everything. How we got them is a story of astonishing twists and amazing turns to achieve us the machine that may turn out to be the most revolutionary technology ever conceived--the robot.
Learn how robots were first conceptualized in ancient Rome and see how their use has evolved over the centuries, from the calculator to the Mars Lander. Then, take a sneak peek at what future robots will be able to do. Narrated by Patrick Stewart.
Series: Breakthrough: The Ideas That Changed the World
Out of the Cradle
Out of the Cradle

   2019    History
Black Hole Apocalypse
Black Hole Apocalypse

   2018    Science
The Sound and the Fury
The Sound and the Fury

   2013    Art
Leaving Neverland
Leaving Neverland

   2019    Culture
The Nazis, A Warning From History
The Nazis, A Warning From History

   1997    History
Inside the Medieval Mind
Inside the Medieval Mind

   2008    History
Eagles The Farewell 1 Tour
Eagles The Farewell 1 Tour

   2005    Art
Long Way Up
Long Way Up

   2020    Culture