Simon Schama begins Civilisations with this premise: that it is in art - the play of the creative imagination - that humanity expresses its most essential self: the power to break the tyranny of the humdrum, the grind of everyday.
Simon Schama explores one of our deepest artistic urges - the depiction of nature. Simon discovers that landscape painting is seldom a straightforward description of observed nature - rather it is a projection of dreams and idylls, as well as of escapes and refuges from human turmoil, the elusive paradise on earth.
2018 • History
If David Olusoga's first film in Civilisations is about the art that followed and reflected early encounters between different cultures, his second explores the artistic reaction to imperialism in the 19th century. David shows the growing ambivalence with which artists reacted to the idea of progress, both intellectual and scientific, that underpinned the imperial mission and followed the Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution.
2018 • History
From Roman marbles and Egyptian mummies to Renaissance masterpieces and African sculptures, in this special accompanying programme to Civilisations, Mary Beard goes in search of extraordinary works of art from all over the world that can be seen here in Britain.
2018 • History
Rome Empire looks at the increasingly deranged and paranoid reign of Emperor Caligula. He a kills his heir and forces his praetorian prefect to commit suicide. In search of a new heir to solidify his place as Emperor, Caligula begins affairs with his three sisters in order to have a child of royal blood. When his sister Drusilla dies, Caligula becomes deranged and the plot of three daggers surrounds him.
Henry Louis Gates, Jr. explores the impact of the Atlantic trading world, giving rise to powerful new kingdoms, but also transatlantic slave trade. Learn of the revolutionary movements of the 18th & early 19th centuries, including the advent of the Sokoto Caliphate. In the final part Henry Louis Gates, Jr. explores the dynamism of 19th century Africa, the “Scramble” by European powers for its riches, and the defiant and successful stand of uncolonized Ethiopia.
In 814 BC, the exiled Phoenician queen Dido founds the city of Carthage on the African Coast. The city develops and takes the lead of a maritime empire based on trade. Carthage dominates the Western Mediterranean. But in the third century BC, she finds herself opposed to the Roman Republic.
Just two years ago, the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) declassified a top-secret 1960s program to put a manned spy platform into orbit. While Apollo got all the attention and the glory in its race to the Moon, the men and women behind MOL worked in the shadows to give America the eyes and ears it needed. After 50 years of secrecy, Spies in Space will be the first television program to weave together rarely seen footage from America's secret spy satellite systems.