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The Normans: Normans of the South

   2010    History
Professor Robert Bartlett explores the impact of the Normans on southern Europe and the Middle East. The Normans spread south in the 11th century, winning control of southern Italy and the island of Sicily. There they created their most prosperous kingdom, where Christianity and Islam co-existed in relative harmony and mutual tolerance. It became a great centre of medieval culture and learning. But events in the Middle East provoked the more aggressive side of the Norman character. In 1095, the Normans enthusiastically answered the Pope's call for holy war against Islam and joined the first crusade. They lay siege to Jerusalem and eventually helped win back the holy city from the muslims. This bloody conquest left a deep rift between Christianity and Islam which is still being felt to this day.

The Story of India: The Meeting of Two Oceans

   2007    History
Michael Wood charts the coming of Islam to the subcontinent and one of the greatest ages of world civilisation: the Mughals. He visits Sufi shrines in Old Delhi, desert fortresses in Rajasthan and the cities of Lahore and Agra, where he offers a new theory on the design of the Taj Mahal. He also looks at the life of Akbar, a Muslim emperor who decreed that no one religion could hold the ultimate truth, but whose dream of unity ended in civil war.
Series: The Story of India

Why Islamic State expands so quickly

   2015    Culture
The self-proclaimed 'Islamic State' is a jihadi militia active in the north and east of Syria, and in the west of Iraq, which has shocked the world with its cinematic staging of horrific acts of violence and its unexpected advances towards statehood. But why could IS expand so rapidly?

Who is God

   2016    Culture
In the third episode of the series, Morgan Freeman examines different faiths' concepts of God, discovering how monotheism began in Egypt and Israel and allowing a neuroscientist to examine his own brain.
Series: The Story of God

The Last Empire

   2016    History
China's last empire, the Qing, lasted from 1644 to 1912. It began in violence and war as the Manchus swept down from the north, but invaders became emperors, with three generations of one family ruling the country. Among them, Michael Wood argues, was China's greatest emperor - Kangxi. Under the Qing, China doubled in size to include Xinjiang in the far west, as well as Mongolia and Tibet, creating the essential shape of China today. The new dynasty tolerated a diversity of cultures and religions, including Islam. In Kaifeng, Michael visits a women's mosque with a female imam, a delightful scene that ends with laughter and selfies! The Qing also undertook huge cultural enterprises. At a traditional printing house where the wood blocks are hand-carved, we see how the Complete Tang Poems were reproduced - all 48,000 of them. We travel through the wintry countryside to a remote village where a hardy audience watch open-air opera in the snow and visit a painter's studio, and 'storytelling' houses in Yangzhou. In the 18th century, China was arguably the greatest economy in the world, and we get a fabulous sense of the rich culture that came with prosperity. But then came the clash with the British, in the first Opium War, when a British expedition destroyed the Qing navy and extracted territory and trading rights. We leave with a glimpse of the future. 'Every dynasty has risen and declined,' says Michael, 'and has needed new life to regenerate, and this time the catalyst was the British.' Among the ports China ceded was an almost uninhabited island, Hong Kong, one of today's greatest financial centres, and Shanghai, a small town then but now one of the greatest cities in world.
Series: The Story of China
Dangerous knowledge
Dangerous knowledge

   2007    Science
The Brain with David Eagleman
The Brain with David Eagleman

   2015    Medicine
A History of Christianity
A History of Christianity

   2011    History
The Incredible Human Journey
The Incredible Human Journey

   2009    History
In Search of Beethoven
In Search of Beethoven

   2009    Art
Catalyst
Catalyst

   2017    Science
Africa with David Attenborough
Africa with David Attenborough

   2013    Nature
The Making of the Mob
The Making of the Mob

   2016    History