First Contact • 2018 • episode "6/10" Civilisations

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In the 15th and 16th centuries distant and disparate cultures met, often for the first time. These encounters provoked wonder, awe, bafflement and fear.

Civilisations • 2018 • 9 episodes •

Second Moment of Creation

A look at the formative role art and imagination have played in the forging of humanity.

2018 • History

How Do We Look

In this episode of Civilisations, Professor Mary Beard explores images of the human body in ancient art, from Mexico and Greece to Egypt and China.

2018 • History

Picturing Paradise

Simon Schama explores one of our deepest artistic urges - the depiction of nature. Simon discovers that landscape painting is seldom a straightforward description of observed nature - rather it is a projection of dreams and idylls, as well as of escapes and refuges from human turmoil, the elusive paradise on earth.

2018 • History

The Eye of Faith

Professor Mary Beard broaches the controversial, sometimes dangerous, topic of religion and art. For millennia, art has inspired religion as much as religion has inspired art.

2018 • History

The Triumph of Art

Think Renaissance and you think of Italy. But in the 15th and 16th centuries, the great Islamic empires experienced their own extraordinary cultural flowering.

2018 • History

First Contact

In the 15th and 16th centuries distant and disparate cultures met, often for the first time. These encounters provoked wonder, awe, bafflement and fear.

2018 • History

The Cult of Progress

If David Olusoga's first film in Civilisations is about the art that followed and reflected early encounters between different cultures, his second explores the artistic reaction to imperialism in the 19th century. David shows the growing ambivalence with which artists reacted to the idea of progress, both intellectual and scientific, that underpinned the imperial mission and followed the Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution.

2018 • History

The Vital Spark

Simon Schama begins Civilisations with this premise: that it is in art - the play of the creative imagination - that humanity expresses its most essential self: the power to break the tyranny of the humdrum, the grind of everyday.

2018 • History

Civilisations on your Doorstep

From Roman marbles and Egyptian mummies to Renaissance masterpieces and African sculptures, in this special accompanying programme to Civilisations, Mary Beard goes in search of extraordinary works of art from all over the world that can be seen here in Britain.

2018 • History

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The Classical Revolution

Alastair unpicks the reasons behind the dazzling revolution that gave birth to classical Greek art, asking how the Greeks got so good so quickly. He travels to the beautiful Valley of the Temples in Agrigento, and to the island of Mozia to see the astonishing charioteer found there in 1979, and marvels at the athletic bodies of the warriors dragged from the seabed - the Riace Bronzes. It was a creative explosion that covered architecture, sculpting in marble, casting in bronze, even painting on vases. Perhaps the most powerful factor was also its greatest legacy - a fascination with the naked human body.

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Red Sun Rampant

December 7th 1941 is "a date that will live in infamy" proclaimed President Franklin Roosevelt. That was the day that Japan entered World War II, with its surprise attack upon the US Fleet in Pearl Harbour. Japan swiftly followed this up with the defeat of a huge British army in Singapore. For a while Japan was rampant in the Pacific. But gradually, America, the sleeping giant, awoke. The war that would follow would be characterised by major innovations. In particular, it saw the battleship consigned to history and the emergence of the aircraft carrier as the decisive weapons of the seas.

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Ancient Prophecies

Amid a spiral of brutality and low morale, Mehmed makes Giustiniani an enticing offer. The grand vizier urges Mehmed to seek a truce with his rival.

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Pompeii: With Michael Buerk

Documentary `resurrecting' the city buried under volcanic ash almost 2,000 years ago with the aid of CGI. Michael Buerk takes viewers through 24 hours in the area, from the commute to work in the morning, to brutal sports at noon and a plenitude of vices by night.

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Space for Everyone

The new Space Shuttle program captivates America and draws a diverse, determined crop of astronauts. But safety issues arise out of public view.

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Part 4

D-Day is a success, but now the Allies face the challenge of breaking out of the dense hedgerows of Normandy and into open country. They face highly motivated and experienced German soldiers, including Waffen SS units, who make them pay dearly for every yard they advance. The savagery of the fighting also takes a high psychological toll on Allied soldiers – much more so than on German troops who have been subjected to years of indoctrination. But in the end, Allied material superiority takes its toll. General Patton arrives to lead the charge into open country. German soldiers start to surrender in ever greater numbers, and the road to Paris is suddenly open.

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