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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
Caesar has been murdered, Mark Antony emerges from the Senate in shock, only to face Quintus Pompey and his thugs, who immediately follow him to try to kill him. Brutus returns home shaking after the murder. His mother is already plotting the return of the Roman Republic. Titus Pullo asks Eirene to marry him and she accepts. Erastes Fulmen kidnaps Lucius Vorenus' children and sister-in-law.
Mark Antony proposes an amnesty to the rest of the senate to keep the peace and allow the Republic to continue. Vorenus says goodbye to Niobe while Rome says goodbye to Caesar. Vorenus and Pullo track down Fulmen to a bath house, where he tells them he killed Vorenus' family.
Rome Second Season
The Flu That Killed 50 Million
It is 1918 and the end of WWI. Millions have died, and the world is exhausted by war. But soon a new horror is sweeping the world, a terrifying virus that will kill more than fifty million people - the Spanish flu. Using dramatic reconstruction and eyewitness testimony from doctors, soldiers, civilians and politicians, this one-off special brings to life the onslaught of the disease, the horrors of those who lived through it and the efforts of the pioneering scientists desperately looking for the cure.
Narrated by Christopher Eccleston, the film also asks whether, a century later, the lessons learnt in 1918 might help us fight a future global flu pandemic.
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.
First Horse Warriors
Horses. Powerful, graceful, and thunderously fast. No animal has made a greater impact on society or given humans more freedom and mobility. In a spectacular adventure, the film unlocks the mystery of the first horse warriors on the vast, grassy plains of Kazakhstan, where horses still roam free, and nomadic herders follow their traditional way of life.
Investigating clues from archaeology and genetics, researchers reveal vivid evidence of the very first horsemen. They also discover warriors who swept across Europe and turn out to be the ancestors of millions today.
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