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Lust for Luxury • 2013 • episode "2/12" Mankind Decoded

Category: History
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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.

Mankind Decoded • 2013 • 12 episodes •

Arms Race

About 10,000 years ago we discover farming. But when crops fail, early farming communities face a new threat. War. It's the birth of the arms race.

2013 • History

Lust for Luxury

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.

2013 • History

Violent Planet

Over millions of years, mankind has evolved from a puny, vulnerable creature to become a dominant force on the planet. Occasionally the planet bites back--with terrifying consequences that have shaped our evolution.

2013 • History

Connecting the World

The world is linked like never before. Modern transport and communications have resulted in a world that is wealthier, healthier, more mobile and better informed than ever before.

2013 • History

Rise of the Machines

Tools and machines have allowed us to overcome our physical limitations, and become the most successful species on Earth. But tools are also transforming what it means to be human.

2013 • History

Eat It, Drink It, Smoke It

Man uses plants to feed, heal and clothe himself, to build his world and even to alter how he feels. The use of plants like corn, tobacco and cotton become such an important part of our lives that they play a central role in our evolution.

2013 • History

Fire, Coal and Oil

Early man rubbed two sticks together and created fire. We learn to cook our food, saving vital energy. As a result, our brains expand--making us the most intelligent species on the planet.

2013 • History

Man and Metals

Five thousand years ago man first throws a handful of rocks into a campfire and stumbles upon a discovery that changes the world: Metal. Copper, Tin and Bronze empower the ancient world and allow empires to expand, armed with sharp, hard-wearing weapons.

2013 • History

Man and Beast

15,000 years ago man and the wolf form a partnership that shapes the future of Mankind. With the help of man's new best friend we domesticate more animals, sowing the first seeds of farming and civilization.

2013 • History

Information is Power

Communication is the vital ingredient in the building of civilization. The ability to share complicated ideas allowed early man to hunt, farm and build communities.

2013 • History

Building Earth

Mankind is a building species. Inspired by the divine we create monuments to its power (Stonehenge, the Great Pyramid). New challenges create new sciences and when the Romans mixed volcanic ash with water they created a new super-material: concrete.

2013 • History

Need for Speed

No prizes for second place! In this episode we learn how being the fastest enabled empires to be born and capitalism to thrive.

2013 • History

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2012 • History

Confucius

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The Road Ahead

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

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Descent into Hell

By January 1916 the war had become a stalemate. Millions had died and yet no side had achieved a decisive breakthrough. Austria-Hungary tripled the size of its armies to five million men. Germany doubled its forces to seven million. And in Britain men were volunteering to fight at the rate of up to 33,000 a day.

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Mao: China's Chairman of Death

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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…

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