It is a sad fact that many Grecian achievements were destroyed by those who subsequently conquered the land; however, those that survive are a testimony to Greek skill and ideals. We take viewers on an incredible journey to witness the breathtaking beauty of the Acropolis and the Parthenon--now and as they once were--and the majesty of the remains at Delphi, including the inspiring Temple of Zeus. Featuring new location footage, stylish period reconstructions, and groundbreaking 3D graphics and animation sequences, as well as interpretation and analysis by the world's leading authorities, including Dr. John Bennet of the Institute of Archaeology, Oxford and Dr. Chris Pelling of University College, Oxford.
6.00 p.m. |HISTU| Ancient Discoveries: Ships
Lurking beneath Lake Nemi's blue waters lay the titans of Roman naval engineering--the Nemi Ships. Titanic luxury liners of the ancient world, they held inventions lost for thousands of years. But why were they built? Were they Caligula's notorious floating pleasure palaces--rife with excess and debauchery? Flagships of a giant sea force? It took Mussolini's obsession with all things Roman to finally prise the two wrecks from the depths of Lake Nemi near Rome. Using an ancient Roman waterway, he drained the lake and rescued the ships, an accomplishment captured on film that we access to illustrate this astounding story. Sophisticated ancient technology discovered in the boats transformed the understanding of Roman engineering overnight. Yet by 1944, the adventure had turned sour and the retreating German army torched the boats. We reveal the mysteries of the Nemi Ships and the ancient technology that made them possible.
7.00 p.m. |HISTU| Ancient Discoveries: Machines II
How did the ancients harness power? Did Archimedes use solar power to defeat the Romans? Was he the first to concentrate the power of the sun? Early historical accounts of the battle of Syracuse in 212 BC claim that Archimedes used polished shields to focus light onto the sails of the invading Roman ships and set them ablaze. We investigate this and other intriguing and incredible objects. An earthenware jar about the size of a man's fist sits in the National Museum of Iraq. Its existence could require history books throughout the world to be rewritten. The jar appears to be an electric battery pre-dating Christ. Did the ancient world master electricity nearly two millennia before the modern world? A recent discovery of a flour mill in Barbegal in southern France contained 16 waterwheels that operated the mill. Is this one of the first examples of Roman industrial-revolution technology--1,800 years before our own?
8.00 p.m. |HINT| Thermopylae
Using cutting-edge computer gaming technology, we recreate conflicts that shaped the ancient world and witness great battles like never before. Hosted on location by Matthew Settle (Band of Brothers), we return to Thermopylae in 480 BC, where 300 Spartans occupied a mountain pass and held off the colossal army sent by the Persians to avenge their defeat at Marathon. The Greeks held the pass for over a week in one of history's greatest displays of military heroism--and died to the last man rather than surrender.
8.30 p.m. |HINT| Battle of Chalôns
Nomadic horsemen led by Attila the Hun race across Europe, cross the Rhine, and ravage Gaul. Former enemies--the Romans, Gauls, and Vandals--band together against "the Scourge of God" under the leadership of the noble Aetius, often called "the last of the Romans." At the Marne River near the city of Chalôns, Attila's forces take possession of a strategic hill. The Huns are expert archers and the battle is fierce. Travel back to 451 AD, and join Attila and his 100,000 men and Aetius and his 160,000 men as they decide the fate of the Western Roman Empire.