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Caligula

   2013    History
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.

Building the Great Pyramid

       History
The Great Pyramid of Giza's construction is still shrouded in mystery, despite it being the only survivor among the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. In Building the Great Pyramid, travel back 4,500 years with the BBC as they re-create the circumstances under which it may have been built, as well as the daily life of the population at that time. Expert archaeologists, Egyptologists, and scholars share their latest theories on what may have happened. The film combines dramatic reconstruction, location shooting and state-of-the-art CGI computer effects. Directed and written by Jonathan Stamp.

Clash of the Gods: Hades

   2009    History
Go behind the veil of the ancient Greek belief in life after death to explore the myth of their most feared god - Hades - and those mortals who tried to cross his path. It is a chilling collection of tales about Hades and the underworld bearing his name, with eerie links to real world curses, ghosts and secret cults.
Series: Clash of the Gods

From Pictures to Words

   2020    History
We take it for granted, but every time we pick up a pen or type on the keyboard, we are employing the most powerful technology ever invented: the technology of writing. Explore how the invention of writing gave humanity a history. From hieroglyphs to emojis, the series is an exploration of the way in which the technology of writing has shaped the world we live in.
The invention of writing about 5,000 years ago made civilization itself possible, and every innovation of the modern world is based on the foundation of the written word. But how and where did writing begin, and who began it? In From Pictures to Words, the first of three films about the history of writing, we uncover the hidden links between all the diverse writing systems in use today and trace the origin of our own alphabet to a turquoise mine in the Sinai Desert and a man riding a donkey whose name was Khebded.
Series: The Secret History of Writing

The Stolen Eagle

       History
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.
Series: Rome

The Story of India: Beginnings

   2007    History
Through ancient manuscripts and oral tales Michael Wood charts the first human migrations out of Africa. He travels from the tropical backwaters of South India through lost ancient cities in Pakistan to the vibrant landscapes of the Ganges plain. In Turkmenistan dramatic archaeological discoveries cast new light on India’s past.
Series: The Story of India
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