BBCIt is said that once, the mighty King Solomon ruled an empire that stretched across the ancient world. According to Biblical lore, at the height of his powers he built the ‘First Temple’, the most magnificent building of its day, bedecked in gold, to house the Ark of the Covenant
Michael WoodThe legend of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table is explored, with stops in Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
Michael WoodThe Greek myth of Jason and the Golden Fleece is one of the oldest myths of a hero's quest. It is a classic story of betrayal and vengeance and like many Greek myths has a tragic ending.
Peter NicholsonThe documentary tells the story of the eruption from the point of view of assorted inhabitants of Pompeii and Herculaneum whose names and occupations are known, including a local politician and his family, a fuller, his wife, and two gladiators.
Chris Holt, 2012In a one off landmark drama documentary for BBC One, Dr Margaret Mountford presents Pompeii: The Mystery Of The People Frozen In Time.
Jonathan StampA BBC Television documentary film which tells the story of the building of the Great Pyramid at Giza through the commentary of the fictional builder Nakht.
More 4Through their superlative buildings, the legacy of the Egyptian empire continues to enthrall people to this day. Yet these incredible structures were made over 4,000 years ago.
More 4Bettany Hughes searches for the truth about the 'Golden Age' of Ancient Athens, investigating how a barren rock wedged between the East and West became the first democracy 2,500 years ago.
More 4Three cities dominated the ancient world: Athens, Rome and a third, now almost forgotten. It lies hidden beneath the waters of the Mediterranean and a sprawling modern metropolis. Alexandria was a city built on a dream; a place with a very modern mindset, where - as with the worldwide web - one man had a vision that all knowledge on earth could be stored in one place. Bettany Hughes goes in search of this lost civilisation, revealing the story of a city founded out of the desert by Alexander the Great in 331 BC to become the world's first global centre of culture, into which wealth and knowledge poured from across the world. Until its decline in the fourth and fifth Centuries AD, Alexandria became a crucible of learning; Hughes uncovers the incredible discoveries and the technical achievements of this culture. The film's cast of characters reads like a list of the greatest figures of ancient times: political figures like Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar and Cleopatra, and intellectuals including female mathematician, astronomer and philosopher Hypatia, Euclid, Archimedes, Eratosthenes and Ptolemy. At last, after 1,500 years squashed under a modern metropolis, new clues are emerging from the earth to the real nature of this grand experiment in human civilisation.
More 4Bettany Hughes traces the story of the mysterious and misunderstood Moors, the Islamic society that ruled in Spain for 700 years, but whose legacy was virtually erased from Western history. In 711 AD, a tribe of newly converted Muslims from North Africa crossed the straits of Gibraltar and invaded Spain. Known as The Moors, they went on to build a rich and powerful society. Its capital, Cordoba, was the largest and most civilised city in Europe, with hospitals, libraries and a public infrastructure light years ahead of anything in England at the time. Amongst the many things that were introduced to Europe by Muslims at this time were: a huge body of classical Greek texts that had been lost to the rest of Europe for centuries (kick-starting the Renaissance); mathematics and the numbers we use today; advanced astronomy and medical practices; fine dining; the concept of romantic love; paper; deodorant; and even erection creams. This wasn't the rigid, fundamentalist Islam of some people's imaginations, but a progressive, sensuous and intellectually curious culture. But when the society collapsed, Spain was fanatically re-Christianised; almost every trace of seven centuries of Islamic rule was ruthlessly removed. It is only now, six centuries later, that The Moors' influences on European life and culture are finally beginning to be fully understood.
More 4A new film about Alexandria provides the centrepiece of Bettany Hughes' definitive history of the ancient world and classical civilisation.
UKTVCan the remains of a Greek athlete tell us about the world of ancient sports? "The First Olympians" uses forensics, special effects and reconstructions to bring us back in time to the sanctuary of Zeus at Olympia. Find out everything about the sports and lifestyles of athletes in Ancient Greece.
UKTVThe most iconic of the royal tombs however was built as the tomb for Khufu. Located at Giza, the Great Pyramid is the last of the ‘Seven Wonders of the Ancient World’ that still survives. Although built to be the tomb of Pharaoh Khufu, his actual tomb was never found.
BBCDocumentary looking at the Secret History of the Mongols, said to have been written by Genghis Khan's adopted son, which reveals a very different man to the brutal butcher of Western legend.
UKTVNew archaeological research has given fresh insight into what happened in the Roman amphitheatre.
BBC, 2013Classicist Dr Michael Scott uncovers the strange, alien world of the ancient Greeks, exploring the lives of the people who gave us democracy, architecture, philosophy, language, literature and sport.
BBC 2, 2013Classicist Dr Michael Scott, explores the legacies of the Ancient Greeks, what they have given us today, and asks why these legacies have lasted through time.