Up to one million gladiators are thought to have died in arenas across the Roman Empire. Seventy-five were recently found in a single cemetery in York. Two thousand years ago, York was a Roman stronghold, a staging ground for the push against the Scots. Apart from ancient Italy, Roman Britain had the highest density of gladiatorial arenas in Europe. As part of a routine building inspection in the outskirts of York, archaeologists discover an ancient Roman burial site. It soon became apparent the find was anything but routine. Of total 80, 75 of the skeletons were men, a much higher majority than would be expected in a family grave site. The height, build and signs of musculature made the men much bigger than that of the average Roman man. A closer inspection of the bones also revealed a number of cut marks and fractures, evidence the men were no strangers to violence. Most disturbing of all most of the men had been brutally decapitated. Could the men be gladiators?
The eruption of Mount Vesuvius is renowned for its decimation of Pompeii, but nearby, an equally impressive Roman settlement known as Herculaneum was lost to history. Today, the latest in technology is opening a wind to the past, as scientists digitally "unravel" the Herculaneum Scrolls.
Europe's history has many dark sides, but its culture is more than a small gleam of hope, it radiates in many areas far out into the world. The old continent sets standards in art, literature, and science. Starting with the ancient Greeks, Europe produces a number of smart and creative minds.
In the dying days of World War II, a secret organisation of Holocaust survivors plans a terrible revenge. Six million Jews are dead but, by 1946, just a handful of Nazis face trial. Most of the guilty will never face justice. For many of Hitler's victims, this is not enough. Based on previously unheard recordings and exclusive interviews with those involved - all of whom are over 90 - this documentary tells the story of a remarkable secret group known as The Avengers, who decide to take matters into their own hands. Assembled by the warrior-poet Abba Kovner, their aim is 'an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a life for a life.' Their plan: to murder six million Germans by infiltrating German cities and poisoning the water supply.
With the help of a team of experts and the latest in 3D scanning technology, Alexander Armstrong, along with Dr Michael Scott, explores the hidden underground treasures that made Rome the powerhouse of the ancient world. In his favourite city, he uncovers a lost subterranean world that helped build and run the world's first metropolis and its empire. From the secret underground world of the Colosseum to the aqueducts and sewers that supplied and cleansed it, and from the mysterious cults that sustained it spiritually to the final resting places of Rome's dead, Xander discovers the underground networks that serviced the remarkable world above.
2015 • History
Was he an incompetent ruler, a brutal tyrant, or a great leader? 2,000 years after his death, the legacy of China's first emperor, Qin Shi Huang, remains a point of debate. His role in ending centuries of conflict between warring factions and creating China's first imperial dynasty is indisputable, yet he has questionably been portrayed as a violent oppressor. Through ancient texts, artifacts, and expert insights, revisit the life of this complicated and influential figure.