Magellan's Crossing • 2021 Secrets of the Dead

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500 years ago, Ferdinand Magellan and his crew set sail to gain control of the global spice trade. What resulted was the first circumnavigation of the Earth, laying the groundwork for colonization and globalization still felt today.

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Secrets of the Dead • 2008 - 2021 • 8 episodes •

Leonardo: The Man who Saved Science

Leonardo da Vinci is well known for his inventions as well as his art. New evidence shows that many of his ideas were realized long before he sketched them out in his notebooks-some even 1,700 years before him! Of these “inventions” Leonardo never affirmed that his projects came from his original ideas. The film features drawings of his most famous ideas and inventions some of which trace their original creation to ancient Greece while others were a product of the scientific inventions of golden age of Islamic learning. This knowledge seemed to be lost in Europe during the Dark Ages until the Renaissance when Leonardo recovered it.

2017 • Science

The Nero Files

The Roman emperor Nero is considered one of history's greatest criminals. His name has become synonymous with evil, as historic accounts have accused him of killing his stepbrother, his wife and his mother, as well persecuting Christians and instigating the devastating Great Fire of Rome. This is the judgement that is passed in history from one generation to the next, but are these accounts of Nero's reign accurate? New scientific discoveries and a closer examination of the ancient texts written about Nero cast a different light on the Roman emperor and the accusations levelled against him. Secrets of the Dead: The Nero Files follows internationally renowned criminal psychologist Thomas Muller and a team of scientists and historians as they investigate the new evidence in order to discover the truth about the controversial emperor.

2019 • History

King Arthur's Lost Kingdom

After four centuries of occupation and leadership, the Romans left Britain in 410 AD and the island’s fate was left hanging in the balance. History teaches that in the 5th century, the country descended into a tumultuous and violent period knows as the Dark Ages, leaving the nation vulnerable to invading Angle and Saxon hordes from northern Europe. With a nation divided, great leader known as King Arthur emerged, uniting the lawless lands to fight off invaders – or at least that’s what the fragmentary historical texts suggest. The truth is, no one really knows what happened, and this pivotal moment in history has been shrouded in mystery – until now. Professor Alice Roberts and a team of experts use new archaeological discoveries to decode Dark Ages myths and piece together a very different story of this turning point in Britain’s history that might also explain the legend of King Arthur.

2019 • History

Egypt's Darkest Hour

The discovery of a rare mass grave with the bones of nearly 60 people outside Luxor sends archaeologists on a quest to find out who the remains belong to, why they were buried the way they were and what was happening in ancient Egypt that would have led to a mass burial. Could the collapse of the empire’s Old Kingdom provide any clues?

2019 • History

World War Speed

Follow historian James Holland on his quest to understand how the use of amphetamines affected the course of World War II and unleashed the first pharmacological arms race.

2019 • History

Galileo's Moon

Join experts as they uncover the truth behind the find of the century; an alleged proof copy of Galileo’s “Sidereus Nuncius” with the astronomer’s signature and seemingly original watercolor paintings that changed our understanding of the cosmos.

2019 • People

Magellan's Crossing

500 years ago, Ferdinand Magellan and his crew set sail to gain control of the global spice trade. What resulted was the first circumnavigation of the Earth, laying the groundwork for colonization and globalization still felt today.

2021 • People

Michelangelo Revealed

More than five centuries ago, Michelangelo Buonarroti was the darling of the Catholic Church. Throughout his masterful career, the Papacy commissioned him to create many of its most important pieces, including the frescoes of the Sistine Chapel. He spent his life glorifying the Church, etching Catholic ideals into masterpieces that defined religion for the masses. Yet when he died, his body was secretly shepherded off to Florence, and the Church was denied the opportunity to honor him with a grand funeral in Rome. Historians have long wondered about the mysterious circumstances surrounding his death, but now, five hundred years after his death, new finds are revealing a darker side to the master artisan. While restoring Michelangelo's sculptures in the tomb of Julius II, art historian Antonio Forcellino noticed some strange inconsistencies in the famous statue: "The Moses." Forcellino believes he has pieced together evidence of a deep rift between the Church and the esteemed artist. The cause: Michelangelo's belief in Protestant ideals. The imperfections in the statue started him on a careful scientific and historical investigation that exposed remarkable evidence of Michelangelo's involvement with a clandestine fellowship trying to put an end to the decadence and corruption of the Clergy and reform the Church from within. The group's radical ideas and accusations of corruption were considered heretical and punishable by death. Michelangelo's involvement put him at dangerous odds with powerful officials who held his livelihood - and life - in their hands. "Michelangelo Revealed" takes us back over 500 years to the dangerous political climate of papal Rome, vividly portrayed through dramatic reconstruction. We are thrown into the heart of a fierce battle for religious control between the cardinals, and the resulting injustices of the Inquisition, shedding new light on the angst surrounding Michelangelo's "Last Judgement" in the Sistine Chapel and his previously shrouded connections to a subversive religious group and persecuted religious beliefs. "Secrets of the Dead: Michelangelo Revealed" deconstructs the puzzling discrepancies between the sculptures Michelangelo created and the way he described them, revealing an intricate effort to carve his own beliefs into stone, while protecting himself from the wrath of a powerful Cardinal who viewed him as a heretic. MICHELANGELO REVEALED paints a stunning new picture of brave religious expression, personal vendettas, careful cover-ups and a most gifted artist desperately trying to reconcile his loyalty to the church with his own personal belief about the road to salvation.

2008 • People

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Adolf Hitler is infamous today as a war criminal - arguably one of the worst war criminals in history. Yet during the 1930s he was loved by millions of Germans. How was this possible? In this fascinating series, award-winning historian and documentary maker Laurence Rees examines the background to Hitler's 'charismatic' rule.

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