The untimely death of the Roman Emperor of the Western Empire and the poor decisions of the Roman Emperor of the Eastern Empire change the fortunes of the Roman Army in their battle with the Goths. And this changes the future of Europe.
Rome was the world's first ancient megacity. At a time when few towns could number more than 10,000 inhabitants, more than a million lived in Rome. But in a world without modern technology, how on earth did the Romans do it? How did they feed their burgeoning population, how did they house them, and how did they get them into town without buses or trains? How on earth did the Romans make their great city work? In the final episode of the series, Professor Andrew Wallace-Hadrill takes us up ancient tower blocks, down ancient sewers, and above 2,000-year-old harbour basins still filled with water, to find out. He reveals how this city surpassed all those from the ancient world that had gone before. Last but not least, Professor Wallace-Hadrill uncovers the secret of Rome's success - the planning still captured on pieces of an 1,800-year-old marble map of the city, a map which shows that astonishingly, in many places, the street plan of Ancient Rome mirrors that of the city today in exact detail.
Henry Louis Gates, Jr. uncovers the complex trade networks and advanced educational institutions that transformed early north and West Africa from deserted lands into the continent’s wealthiest kingdoms and learning epicentres. In Part 4 Gates explores the power of Africa’s greatest ancient cities, including Kilwa, Great Zimbabwe and Benin City, whose wealth, art and industrious successes attracted new European interest and interaction along the continent’s east and west coasts.
At the end of the 1950s, populations of the newly occupied territories of the East and intellectuals remained two categories particularly suspected of anti-Sovietism. Subjected to exhausting tasks like men, women, including many war widows condemned to heavy sentences for petty food pilfering, now represent a quarter of the zeks. Nearly 2 million detainees, many of them on the very edge of survival, are still crammed into the camps. Little by little, these appalling living conditions cause the economic profitability of the Gulag to drop. On March 5, 1953, after Stalin's death, a million releases were announced. In 1956, Khrushchev, exonerating himself from his responsibility, however undeniable, denounced the crimes of Stalinism, provoking an immense shock wave in the world.