Mike Loades has spent his life exploring history. He is a historian who believes that when you get your hands on the past, you discover what a surprising place it was - a place with familiar challenges but very different solutions. Now historian and weapons expert Mike Loades presents this program on the Middle Ages, from the 5th to the 15th centuries. It is a distinct period in time that conjures up images of knights on horseback, castles, combat and chainmail, and which has played host to countless fictional adventures, from tales of King Arthur and Merlin to Robin Hood and many more.
When ordinary people desire the luxuries of the rich, ingenuity and innovation come together to take history in a new direction. From the obsession with silk to the fall of Constantinople, our desire for luxury has shaped our history and evolution.
Julius Caesar is the most famous Roman of them all: brutal conqueror, dictator and victim of a gruesome assassination on the Ides of March 44 BC. 2,000 years on, he still shapes the world. He has given us some political slogans we still use today (Crossing the Rubicon), his name lives on in the month of July, and there is nothing new about Vladmir Putin's carefully cultivated military image and no real novelty in Donald Trump's tweets and slogans. Mary Beard is on a mission to uncover the real Caesar, and to challenge public perception. She seeks the answers to some big questions. How did he become a one-man ruler of Rome? How did he use spin and PR on his way to the top? Why was he killed? And she asks some equally intriguing little questions. How did he conceal his bald patch? Did he really die, as William Shakespeare put it, with the words Et tu, Brute on his lips? Above all, Mary explores his surprising legacy right up to the present day. Like it or not, Caesar is still present in our everyday lives, our language, and our politics. Many dictators since, not to mention some other less autocratic leaders, have learned the tricks of their trade from Julius Caesar.
2018 • History
A treasure map leads to the discovery of a lost fortress; a sacred altar is unearthed, revealing secrets of the legendary Maya Snake King uprising; Albert Lin travels to a remote jungle, where technology reveals evidence of a forgotten war.