The choices that Kong Qui, known in the West as Confucius, made during his career as a civil servant and administrator influenced an entire civilization. What if Kong Qui had been as opportunistic and corrupt as other officials? How might the fate of China and its worldview be changed?
Presenter Bettany Hughes explores the day in 32BC when Octavian, Julius Caesar's adopted son, stole the secret will of Mark Antony, his most dangerous political rival. The document's release gave Octavian crucial support in the civil war that followed and allowed him to establish himself as Rome's first emperor, Augustus.
Man uses plants to feed, heal and clothe himself, to build his world and even to alter how he feels. The use of plants like corn, tobacco and cotton become such an important part of our lives that they play a central role in our evolution.
Francois Duvalier trained as a medical doctor, but his healing touch was lost as he became the ruthless dictator "Papa Doc". The tools of his tyranny were violence and Voodoo. He killed 30,000 people, and kept a nation in fear of his mystical powers.
At the end of the 80s, the Soviet army is being universally modernized, observed closely by western military intelligence in East Germany. Weapons-scouts in the field are constantly on duty, as are agents in high command or in intelligence service stations.
This first episode covers Hitler's invasion of Poland, when the world stood on the brink of war, and features stunning colourised footage of the catastrophe faced by the Polish army as it was crushed by the Nazi war machine.