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

Category: History

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.

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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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2019 • History

Pompeii: The Last Day

Pompeii: The Last Day is a dramatized documentary that tells of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, covering the Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum in ash and pumice, killing everyone trapped between the volcano and the sea. On 24 August AD79, the magnificent Roman cities of Pompeii and nearby Herculaneum came to a devastating end. In just 18 hours, the entire city of Pompeii and all its inhabitants were buried in volcanic ash. Pompeii - The Last Day tells the heart rending story of the last hours of both Pompeii and Herculaneum.Their story is told first-hand by those who witnessed the disaster, including a local politician and his family, a fuller, his wife, and two gladiators. Historical characters include Pliny the Elder and his nephew Pliny the Younger. Pompeii: The Last Day draws heavily on the eyewitness account of Pliny the Younger, as well as historical research and recent discoveries in volcanology. This BAFTA nominated and Emmy Award winning drama is the ultimate disaster movie. It's Man versus Volcano - how the greatest civilisation in the world was brought to its knees by a deadly threat it knew nothing about. It s a true story and its significance today is that it could all happen again, much sooner than most people realise. One of history's greatest stories, the destruction of the city of Pompeii was a natural disaster on an epic scale that has fascinated a succession of cultures around the world for centuries. The twin cities lay undisturbed under metres of volcanic debris for more than 1500 years, during which time all memory of them faded. The seal of wet ashes preserved public structures temples, theatres, baths, shops and private dwellings. The remains of some of the victims, including gladiators, soldiers, slaves and their masters, and entire families, were found in the ruins. Archaeological excavations only began in 1748 and have been continued since then. A massive area has now been excavated, however, even today more than a quarter of Pompeii still awaits excavation. The Last Day is based on archaeological evidence and the writings of Pliny the Younger. The documentary, which portrays the different phases of the eruption, was directed by Peter Nicholson and written by Edward Canfor-Dumas. Extensive CGI was used to recreate the effects of the eruption. One of the greatest natural disasters - and most fateful days - comes to vivid life in this critically acclaimed dramatization. Starring Jim Carter (Downton Abbey), and Tim Pigott-Smith OBE (King Charles III 2017, Victoria and Abdul 2017, Alice in Wonderland).

2003 • History

Roosevelt, Truman, & Wallace

Highlights from the historical upset of Harry Truman replacing Henry Wallace as Roosevelt's Vice President during his fourth term - this dramatic shift in leadership propelled the US towards empire building. Exploration of the relationship between the US and the Soviet Union and the beginnings of the Cold War. The relationships between Roosevelt, Stalin and Churchill are an integral part of post-war Europe's division at the Yalta conference..

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Easter Island: Mysteries of a Lost World

The contrast between the majestic statues of Easter Island and the desolation of their surroundings is stark. For decades Easter Island, or Rapa Nui as the islanders call it, has been seen as a warning from history for the planet as a whole - wilfully expend natural resources and the collapse of civilisation is inevitable. But archaeologist Dr Jago Cooper believes this is a disastrous misreading of what happened on Easter Island. He believes that its culture was a success story not a failure, and the real reasons for its ultimate demise were far more shocking. Cooper argues that there is an important lesson that the experience of Easter Island can teach the rest of the world, but it doesn't begin by blaming its inhabitants for their own downfall. This film examines the latest scientific and archaeological evidence to reveal a compelling new narrative, one that sees the famous statues as only part of a complex culture that thrived in isolation. Cooper finds a path between competing theories about what happened to Easter Island to make us see this unique place in a fresh light.

2014 • History