Last Watched

"Ancient "  Sort by

Predicting the Future

   2016    Culture
Astrology, the celestial movements of the Sun, Moon, and planets among the stars, governing our personality and destiny. For centuries, millions of people, from paupers to powerful world leaders, have relied on the ancient system for answers. This episode examines whether tracking astronomical phenomena can actually predict the future.
Series: The Universe Season 8

Roman Engineering

   2016    History
Millions of tourists photograph the ancient monuments of Rome every year. But is there more to them than people guess? There's new evidence that these ruins were once machines, designed by Rome's emperors to connect their power with the sun. Did Roman emperors harness the power of the universe to awe and terrify the people of Rome? We uncover the last, great mysteries of the ancient world's greatest empire.
Series: The Universe Season 8

Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors

   2020    Nature
When Homo sapiens, which means 'wise ones,' discovered and controlled fire hundreds of thousands of years ago, everything changed. Fire allowed us to cook food and heat dwellings, and it served as a focal point for storytelling and sharing cultural identity among community members. We don't yet have established parameters for what it means to be 'distinctly human,' It would seem the only thing that separates us from other animals, Neil deGrasse Tyson ponders, is our neurotic need to feel 'special'. Against the backdrop of the Halls of Extinction, Tyson insists that there must be a clear distinction between ourselves and animals that justifies our eating them, wearing them and even bringing an end to their species.
From the birth of the devil in ancient Persia to a searing story of saintliness among macaque monkeys, this episode is an exploration of human potential for change. It concludes with the story of how one of history's greatest monsters was transformed into one of its shining lights.
Series: Cosmos: Possible Worlds

Ancient Prophecies

   2020    History
It's this moment where now both sides realize that no quarter will be asked, and no quarter will be given. Surrender is no longer even an option. You're in this to the end. You either die or you triumph, and there is no other alternative. Amid a spiral of brutality and low morale, Mehmed makes Giustiniani an enticing offer. The grand vizier urges Mehmed to seek a truce with his rival.
Series: Rise of Empires: Ottoman

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
Apocalypse: World War 1
Apocalypse: World War 1

   2014    History
Planet Earth
Planet Earth

   2007    Nature
The Last Dance
The Last Dance

   2020    Culture
Life in the Undergrowth
Life in the Undergrowth

   2005    Nature
Art of Spain
Art of Spain

   2008    Art
Cooked
Cooked

   2016    Culture
Coldplay Live
Coldplay Live

   2012    Art
Space Phenomena
Space Phenomena

   2020    Science