This stylish mix of documentary and historical epic chronicles the reign of Commodus, the emperor whose rule marked the beginning of Rome's fall. In the first episode, the death of Marcus Aurelius brings a century of Roman triumphs and victories to an end, transferring power to his spoiled, unprepared son Commodus. When his father bequeaths him the world's mightiest empire, he is forced to spill the blood of both friends and enemies alike to keep his crown.
Category:History Duration:48:55 Series: Roman Empire: Reign of Blood
Professor Mary Beard looks beyond the stories of emperors, armies, guts and gore to meet the everyday people at the heart of Ancient Rome's vast empire. In this programme, Mary asks not what the Romans did for us, but what the empire did for Rome. She rides the Via Appia, climbs up to the top seats of the Colosseum, takes a boat to Rome's port Ostia and takes us into the bowels of Monte Testaccio. She also meets some extraordinary Romans: Eurysaces, an eccentric baker, who made a fortune out of the grain trade and built his tomb in the shape of a giant bread oven; Baricha, Zabda and Achiba, three prisoners of war who became Roman citizens; and Pupius Amicus, the purple dye seller making imperial dye from shellfish imported from Tunisia. This is Rome from the bottom up.
Category:History Duration:59:00 Series: Meet the Romans
The story of the longest surviving and certainly the loudest genre of rock, heavy metal. With no sign of disappearing, metal has been the most controversial and misunderstood of all rock genres. With Black Sabbath as the undisputed Godfathers, we follow their highs and lows, and, along the journey, meet Deep Purple, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden and Metallica.
Category:Art Duration:49:00 Series: Seven Ages of Rock
As the early June sun begins to set over a calm river in Central Hungary, masses of ghostly shapes emerge from their larval cases to take to the air for the first time. They are mayflies and in a spectacular display, thousands of them demonstrate how the very first wings were used. From the stunning aerobatics of hoverflies in an English garden to the mass migration of purple crow butterflies in the valleys of Taiwan, this episode tells the tale of the first animals ever to take to the air. Unique footage reveals the lightning fast reactions of bluebottles and hoverflies, filmed with one of the world's fastest cameras, and Sir David Attenborough handles the world's largest (and perhaps most ferocious) insect - the Titan beetle.
Category:Nature Duration:50:00 Series: Life in the Undergrowth
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