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Simply the Best Documentaries

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Florence and the Uffizi Gallery
Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God
Next of Kin
The story of Energy
The Most Dangerous Band in the World. The Story of Guns N Roses
Feathered Dragons
To The Arctic
Dancing in the Dark
Seasonal Forests
Dinosaur 13
Jupiter: Destroyer or Savior
The Last Reef
Night Will Fall
Surviving
The Story of India: The Power of Ideas
Some of the Things That Molecules Do
A Death in the Family
In the Grip of the Seasons
Flight of the Butterflies
The Art of Germany: A Divided Land
Rivals
Racism: A History. The Colour of Money
The Incredible Human Journey: Australia
A Savage Legacy
Vegan 2017 The Film
Rome is Burning
Dinosaurs Alive
The Big Freeze
The Death of the Oceans
The Making of Jurassic Park
Bloody Battles
Monkey Kingdom
Roger Waters The Wall
Food Inc
Zeitgeist The Movie
An Everyday Miracle

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Behind Closed Doors
Behind Closed Doors 2012

In this final episode, Mary Beard delves even deeper into ordinary Roman life by going behind the closed doors of their homes. She meets an extraordinary cast of characters - drunken housewives, teenage brides, bullied children and runaway slaves - and paints a more dynamic, lusty picture of Roman family life. Mary uncovers their preserved beds, furniture and cradles, tries on Roman wedding rings and meets some eccentric wives like Glyconis, praised by her husband for liking a drink or two, and Allia Potestas, who lived in a Roman menage a trois. Mary explores Roman parenting, childbirth and children, including Sulpicius Maximus, an 11-year-old schoolboy who was worked to death by his pushy parents, and Geminia Mater, a 5-year-old tomboy. Finally, Mary paints a more nuanced picture of Roman slavery and asks why if it was such a brutal institution did many Romans choose to be buried with their servants - living cheek by jowl in death, as in life

Category:History  Duration:59:00   Series: Meet the Romans

Caligula
Caligula  2013

Two thousand years ago one of history's most notorious individuals was born. Professor Mary Beard embarks on an investigative journey to explore the life and times of Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus - better known to us as Caligula. Caligula has now become known as Rome's most capricious tyrant, and the stories told about him are some of the most extraordinary told about any Roman emperor. He was said to have made his horse a consul, proclaimed himself a living God, and indulged in scandalous orgies - even with his own three sisters - and that's before you mention building vast bridges across land and sea, prostituting senators' wives and killing half the Roman elite seemingly on a whim. All that in just four short years in power before a violent and speedy assassination in a back alley of his own palace at just 28-years-old." But how much of his story is true? Travelling across the Roman world - from Germany and Capri in the bay of Naples to the astonishing luxury of his life in imperial Rome - Mary attempts to peel away the myths. Some stories are difficult to get to the bottom of as they were written by hacks long after his death, but there is plenty of surviving evidence where the 'real' Caligula can be glimpsed. Such as in the extraordinary luxury of his private yachts outside Rome; in the designs he chose for his coins when he became Emperor; in an eye-witness account of Caligula's withering humour written in 41AD; the trial documents covering the mysterious death of his father when he was just seven-years-old; and even in a record of his imperial slaves - from the palace spy to his personal trainer. Piecing together the evidence, Mary puts Caligula back into the context of his times to reveal an astonishing story of murder, intrigue and dynastic family power. Above all, she explains why Caligula has ended up with such a seemingly unredeemable reputation. In the process, she reveals a more intriguing portrait of not just the monster, but the man.

Category:History  Duration:59:00   

The Two Thousand Year Old Computer
The Two Thousand Year Old Computer 2012

In 1901, a group of divers excavating an ancient Roman shipwreck near the island of Antikythera, off the southern coast of Greece, found a mysterious object - a lump of calcified stone that contained within it several gearwheels welded together after years under the sea. The 2,000-year-old object, no bigger than a modern laptop, is now regarded as the world's oldest computer, devised to predict solar eclipses and, according to recent findings, calculate the timing of the ancient Olympics. Following the efforts of an international team of scientists, the mysteries of the Antikythera Mechanism are uncovered, revealing surprising and awe-inspiring details of the object that continues to mystify

Category:History  Duration:59:00   

Unafraid of the Dark
Unafraid of the Dark 2014

Tyson describes the discovery of cosmic rays by Victor Hess through high-altitude balloon trips. Swiss Astronomer Fritz Zwicky, in studying supernovae, postulated that these cosmic rays originated from these events instead of electromagnetic radiation. Also tells how Vera Rubin observed that the rotation of stars at the edges of observable galaxies did not follow expected rotational behavior leading to consider the existence of dark matter. This further led to the discovery of dark energy to account for the increasing rate of expansion of the universe. Tyson then describes the interstellar travel of the two Voyager probes. Tyson tells the Carl Sagan's role in the Voyager program, including creating the Voyager Golden Record to encapsulate humanity and Earth's position in the universe. Tyson concludes the series by emphasizing Sagan's message on the human condition in the vastness of the cosmos, and to encourage viewers to continue to explore and discover what else the universe has to offer.

Category:Science  Duration:43:00   Series: Cosmos 2014

 
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