The first cataract of the Nile cuts through Aswan, making it a natural border and a direct gateway to the gold of the Pharaohs. In this episode, the investigation leads the viewer on a dive into the waters of Elephantine Island in order to discover the oldest Nilometer.
What exactly was the Holy Grail? A cup from the Last Supper? A cup used to help cleanse Jesus's body after the Crucifixion? Does this most famous of all relics actually exist? And If so, where is it today? In this episode, we look at whether the real "Holy grail" is still around today and exactly what it is. We investigate the four "Grail Cups" that all claim to be the Real one; The Chalice Well Bowl in Glastonbury, the Nanteos Cup in Wales, the Santo Caliz in Valencia & the Antioch Chalice in New York City. Each one is said to have healing, even miraculous powers, and is believed by its followers to be the true Holy Grail. We travel to all these cities to see the "grails" and to meet their guardians and the experts that believe they have the answers to one of history's most enduring mysteries.
Knights, castles and round tables are all part of the enduring King Arthur legend. Is there any truth to it? Hear the various claims to his origins.
Tracy explores the very colourful private life of the man who was said to be "too randy to rule". Hampton Court and Whitehall Palace provide the backdrops for a man besotted by sensuality who presided over a court obsessed by sex. A 24-hour 'pox doctor' was constantly on call. Tracy finds out more about him and his works, as well as the whirlwind of royal mistresses who appeared on the scene, the King's penchant for the seedier side of London, and his love of actresses and sex workers.
When Harry abdicated his royal titles, history came back to bite the monarchy. Relationships within the royal family are as strained now as they were in 1936 when Edward VIII caused a crisis.
The Agooji of West Africa were the terrifying all-female fighting force of the Kingdom of Dahomey, a small but powerful West African kingdom in modern-day Benin that steadily expanded from the 17th-century against the much larger Asante and Yoruba Kingdoms. Dahomey was feared for its annual slave raids deep into its neighbour's territories, and the ruthlessness of their women warriors.
Dominating the landscape for centuries, ancient cathedrals and abbeys reflect Britain's turbulent history through their architectural grandeur - stories of its kings and queens, and the religious and social changes brought about by the English Reformation, as well as many other tales of intrigue, love, faith, and conviction. This series explores 22 cathedrals and abbeys found throughout England and Wales, featuring interviews with historians and experts, and breathtaking 4K footage captured by drones filming their legendary facades and soaring interior spaces. Never before has a television series brought together such a great number of ancient cathedrals and abbeys under one unified storyline.
A social history documentary series featuring stories of human interest from 1940, exploring the courage and resilience of the human spirit during the Battle for Britain. People from all over the globe who joined the Royal Air Force explain what it was like to live through this fundamental conflict. We study the Germans' massive aerial attack that would finish off Dowding's RAF once and for all, Adler Tag, (Eagle Day, 13th August 1940) and how Fighter Command tried to repel such a huge show of force. Using CGI effects and listening to stories from pilots such as Squadron Leader George Bennions, we can experience what it was like to bale out of the a burning cockpit and experience close-up, the terror of a dog-fight between an RAF Spitfire and a German Messerschmitt.
Historian Lucy Worsley uncovers the surprising history of our most beloved Christmas carols. Were they invented to lure locals out of the pub? Why did Silent Night spread round the world so fast?
Based on hard historic evidence, we recreate the life of a fictional Roman gladiatrix we call Ardala. Through her dramatic journey, we discover how these young women managed to survive desperate conditions. Why were so many ready to die for the sake of public entertainment? And what skills did they need to fight and survive in the arena?
Maureen Lipman, Larry Lamb and Michael Buerk are joined by comedian Arthur Smith and soul singer Mica Paris as they travel Britain lifting the lid on the nation's peculiar obsession with heritage and tradition. Maureen and Larry are in the ancient New Forest, where Maureen turns tree-hugger with a magnificent 600-year-old oak. Larry learns about charcoal making and meets a New Forest pony. Michael Buerk is in Hampshire, on the trail of the forgotten hero of Britain's natural history, Gilbert White. Arthur Smith clambers aboard a handsome 1920s locomotive at the Gloucester-Warwickshire railway. And Mica Paris indulges her passion for fashion in Georgian Bath; Mica goes behind the scenes at the Assembly Rooms and is allowed a close look at the incredible workmanship and beauty of 17th-century dresses.
With extraordinary archive and insider commentary, this series explores the royals' role in wartime, including their military exploits and the importance of boosting morale at home.
The Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor plunges an unprepared United States into World War Two; Among the 16 million Americans who serve on active duty are eight American Presidents;Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Carter, Bush, Ford, Reagan and Eisenhower;Night One of this epic event special follows these men through war in both the European and Pacific theatres, starting in December 1941 through late 1943, telling the story of their war experiences and how those experiences shaped them as leaders;In the Pacific, Johnson is nearly killed in a twist of fate, and JFK's PT boat is blown up, Reagan becomes the popular face of the American soldier, Carter joins the US Naval academy and Eisenhower moves from a rookie to a seasoned general as he leads the invasion of North Africa, Italy - and prepares for D-Day.
The legendary Amazons of Central Asia are the world's most famous female warriors, immortalised by the mythology of the Greeks. Travellers and writers from the ancient world tell us that the Amazons hailed from the Scythian peoples. For 1500 years, nomadic Scythian tribes controlled a huge swathe of Central Asia, keeping the great powers of Greece, Persia, and China at bay.
Neil Oliver turns his attention to a true Scottish legend - Rob Roy MacGregor. For centuries, Rob has been celebrated as a colourful Highland maverick, a well-intentioned rogue, and Scotland's answer to Robin Hood. But what's the true story?
The story behind not one but two of royal history's most infamous private lives which are forever intertwined; the tragic 'mad' King George III and his son the Prince Regent. They could hardly have been more different as men and the two hated each other. Here, Tracy explores their fractious relationship, which was made worse by the Kings 'madness' - a condition that has attracted recent fascinating theories. The suggestion that it was made much worse by almost inhuman treatment makes a sad story sadder.
Edwardian Britain was the richest, most powerful country in the world. We look at what this means for men, women and children hard at work in the mills and the mines of the north, and London's docks and markets.
Rob Bell reveals the dramatic story of Ark Royal, World War II's most famous aircraft carrier. Ark Royal was the target of Nazi propaganda, Luftwaffe bombing raids and U-boat attacks, Her survival was a testament to her ingenious design and courageous crew. Over the course of the war, Ark Royal hunted down some of Nazi Germany's most feared warships. It was Ark Royal and the aircraft she carried that helped sink the first U-boat of the war. Just her mere presence was enough to force the captain of one of the Nazi's proudest warships to scuttle her off the coast of Uruguay.
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