Into the Unknown • 2017 • episode "7/8" Origins: The Journey of Humankind

Category: History
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Exploration has created and defined our modern world. Humanity's primal curiosity has sparked new inventions and revealed the mysteries of the universe.

Origins: The Journey of Humankind • 2017 • 6 episodes •

Spark of Civilization

Harnessing fire is the ultimate origin event that made us modern. Fire allowed us to create, to destroy and to transform, but also taught us hard lessons.

2017 • History

The Power of Money

From a simple act of trade to today's global economy, the meaning of money and what we value changes as civilization evolves.

2017 • History

Writing on the Wall

If knowledge is power, communication is the jet fuel, the delivery system, the gift we give each other that links the modern world. But it has a dark side.

2017 • History

Progress of War

War brings out the best and worst in humanity. It has revolutionized medicine, transportation and communication, and changed how we live and how we think.

2017 • History

Into the Unknown

Exploration has created and defined our modern world. Humanity's primal curiosity has sparked new inventions and revealed the mysteries of the universe.

2017 • History

The Road Ahead

Transportation turned society inside out. Engines and animals powered the rise of civilization, driving humanity forward into the modern world.

2017 • History

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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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City of the Sacred

Simon Sebag Montefiore looks at how every event in ancient Rome revolved around religion. From the foundation myth through to the deification of emperors, nothing could happen without calling upon the pantheon of Roman gods. Simon investigates how the Romans worshipped and sacrificed to the gods. He discovers that sacredness defined what was Roman and it was the responsibility of every Roman to play their part in the cult. Even the ancient Roman sewer was holy ground!

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Making a Fortune

Jeremy Paxman continues his personal account of Britain's empire, looking at how the empire began as a pirates' treasure hunt, grew into an informal empire based on trade and developed into a global financial network. He travels from Jamaica, where sugar made plantation owners rich on the backs of African slaves, to Calcutta, where British traders became the new princes of India. Jeremy then heads to Hong Kong, where British-supplied opium threatened to turn the Chinese into a nation of drug addicts - leading to the brutal opium wars, in which Britain triumphed and took the island of Hong Kong as booty. Unfair trading helped spark the independence movement in India, led by Mahatma Gandhi; in a former cotton spinning town in Lancashire, Jeremy meets two women who remember Gandhi's extraordinary visit in 1931.

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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.

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