Iron Men • 2012 • episode "2/12" Mankind: The Story of All of Us

Category: History

A mysterious band of pirates plunders the Mediterranean coast – leaving destruction in its wake. Empires fall, but out of the chaos, we discover iron. Armed with this wonder metal, ordinary folk can overthrow tyrants and build a new world order. From the birth of democracy in Athens, to the creation of the Bible in Babylon – people power reshapes Mankind.

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Mankind: The Story of All of Us • 2012 • 12 episodes •

Inventors

On a unique planet, a unique species takes its first steps: Mankind begins. But it’s a world full of danger. Threatened by extinction, we innovate to survive – discovering fire and farming; building cities and pyramids; inventing trade – and mastering the art of war. From humble beginnings, we become the dominant creature on the planet. Now the future belongs to us…

2012 • History

Iron Men

A mysterious band of pirates plunders the Mediterranean coast – leaving destruction in its wake. Empires fall, but out of the chaos, we discover iron. Armed with this wonder metal, ordinary folk can overthrow tyrants and build a new world order. From the birth of democracy in Athens, to the creation of the Bible in Babylon – people power reshapes Mankind.

2012 • History

Empires

In the city of Jerusalem, a man is crucified - Jesus of Nazareth. His death gives birth to a global religion. But Christianity may never have happened without the Roman Empire. A vast network of roads and shipping lanes, it allows goods and ideas to flow across three continents. Jesus’ message transforms Mankind. Today one in three people on the planet are Christians.

2012 • History

Warriors

When Rome is sacked by barbarians, Europe enters a Dark Age. But from the fringes of the old empire, two new forces remake the world. The Arabs, funded by a gold rush, unite under the banner of Islam. The Vikings rejuvenate the cities of Europe, travel to America and become Christian knights. The stage is set for a clash of civilisations - the Crusades.

2012 • History

Plague

Genghis Khan--the bloodiest warlord in history--sweeps south from Mongolia into China and creates a mighty empire. He leaves 40 million dead bodies in his wake. But a greater killer stalks Mankind--the Plague. Traveling along Mongol trade routes, the disease wreaks havoc in Asia and Europe--the greatest biological disaster in history. But the Americas are unaffected. Here, civilizations flourish in isolation.

2012 • History

Survivors

Gold from Africa kick-starts the rebirth of Europe. Money flows into Venice – creating new opportunities for entrepreneurs willing to take risks. In China, a new weapon – the gun – allows a peasant uprising to unify the country. Chinese innovations inspire Europe – leading to the printing press. Millions of books are printed. One of them will inspire a journey to the New World. America beckons.

2012 • History

New World

The Aztecs have built a mighty empire that dominates Central America. But it will be destroyed because of a domino effect. 7,000 miles away in modern-day Turkey, the great trading centre of Constantinople is overrun by an Islamic army. Europeans race to find a new route to the spice-rich East. Instead, Christopher Columbus lands in America – and discovers gold. Within 30 years the Aztecs will be conquered.

2012 • History

Treasure

In the Andes, the Spanish open up the largest silver mine in the world – and mint millions of pesos de ocho (pieces of eight). These coins transform the global economy. They fill the treasure chests of pirates. They fuel a stock market boom. They help pay for the Taj Mahal. As trade booms, millions of people come to the New World as slaves. But a handful of Pilgrims come as pioneers – looking for freedom.

2012 • History

Pioneers

Mankind embarks on a new age of exploration, and tames the wilderness. In North America, Siberia and Australia, ancient traditions are swept away in the name of commerce and science. Within a hundred years, the irrational fear that produced a witch trial in Salem gives way to a very rational cry for freedom. American revolutionaries confront a mighty empire. The battle for the modern world begins.

2012 • History

Revolutions

Two great revolutions entwine. The American Revolution inspires dreams of political and personal liberty. The Industrial Revolution replaces muscle power with machines, freeing Mankind from nature’s limits. But our oldest foe – disease – thrives in industrial cities. With the American Civil War, the two revolutions collide. The world’s first industrial war, it is a battle to define ‘freedom’.

2012 • History

Speed

The end of the American Civil War allows Mankind to go into overdrive. This is an age of innovation, transformation and mass production. People believe that ‘Anything, everything, is possible.’ Japan goes from feudal society to industrial superpower within 50 years. But progress has its dark side. The demand for rubber devastates Africa. And the desire to build bigger, faster, better leads to a titanic disaster…

2012 • History

New Frontiers

Mankind takes on godlike powers: to feed billions of people, reshape the landscape, re-engineer the human body. The greatest power of all was unleashed over Hiroshima on 6 August 1945. Since entering the Atomic Age we’ve been living between eternity and oblivion. But at the same time, we’ve become more connected as a species. 100,000 years ago there were a few thousand hunter-gatherers on the African savannah. Today there are 7 billion of us in every corner of the globe. It’s been an amazing journey.

2012 • History

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The Code Breakers

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The Worlds Biggest Murder Trial: Nuremberg

On the 19 November 1945, the International Military Tribunal was opened in the Palace of Justice in Nuremberg, Germany. The city, which had seen the rise of the Nazi Party was, in the eyes of the allies, the perfect location to host its demise. The first of the Nuremberg trials was to be the biggest murder trial in human history, with 21 Nazi leaders appearing before the court charged with the deaths of millions of innocent people during the Holocaust of WWII. These were no ordinary criminals; they represented the very foundation of Nazi ideology that had instigated the most ferocious genocide the world had ever seen. With judges and prosecutors from the US, the UK, the USSR and France, the trials were the allies' collective condemnation of Nazi Germany and the atrocities committed in pursuit of their ideology. The decisions made at Nuremberg had implications not only for the accused, but for the very foundation of modern international criminal law. Now, 75 years on, audiences are provided with an immersive look at the event that has become synonymous with the birth of contemporary human rights in the 2020 documentary, The World’s Biggest Murder Trial: Nuremberg. This feature-length documentary provides a detailed account of the events and implications of the trials, featuring more than 1000 archive clips, including recently digitised film footage from the courtroom itself. Whilst 90 minutes seems incredibly brief considering the enormity of the trials, the documentary's constant and unwavering focus on the courtroom, and the horrors it uncovered, suggest any longer might be too harrowing to bear. It is a decision that serves to amplify the inhumanity of the accusations, the apparent indifference of the accused, and the desperate desire for justice in the aftermath of such a dehumanising period of history. The sheer enormity of the task that faced the judges and prosecutors is evident from the moment each of the accused ascends from deep beneath the palace and enters the dock. Convicting a single alleged murderer is one thing, but a murder trial with an estimated 12 million victims is a an almost incomprehensible undertaking, even in a modern context. The cinematic quality of the footage captures every moment in extraordinary detail, from the disturbing cold-bloodedness of the Third Reich leaders as they openly snigger at translation errors throughout the trial, to the accounts of survivors, who witnessed the terror of their actions first hand. With the benefit of hindsight, their crimes seem indisputable; however the documentary proves that there is no conviction without proof, and the trials themselves were not without controversy. The convictions were based on concepts barely understood, laws not yet formalised, and many believed the process served as a political judgement rather than a transformative moment in international law. Despite the criticisms surrounding them, there is no denying that the greatest legacy of the trials is the role they played in reiterating the need for an international body focused on the protection of the human person. Though the majority of Nazis never received a punishment that reflected the extent of their crime, Nuremberg will forever be remembered as the moment that much of the world heard of the atrocities of the Holocaust for the first time.

2020 • History

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2012 • History

Part 2

Neil Oliver reveals the truth behind the legend of the Vikings. (Part 2.) Neil Oliver heads out from the Scandinavian homelands to Russia, Turkey and Ireland to trace the beginnings of a vast trading empire that handled Chinese silks as adeptly as Pictish slaves. Neil discovers a world of 'starry-eyed maidens' and Buddhist statues that are a world away from our British experience of axe-wielding warriors, although it turns out that there were quite a few of those as well.

S1E2Vikings • 2012 • History