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Ancient History

Ancient Britain--Stonehenge to Celtic Iron Age Forts (#102)

It was once believed that the island of Britain was shaped by continuous invasions and conquering tribes from Europe. But now we know this isn't true. Follow the incredible saga of a glorious 7000 year evolution of Ancient Britain's people - from the earliest Stone Age clans, to the builders of Stonehenge, to the formation of Bronze Age tribes and the founding of Iron Age Hill forts, all leading to the castle building kings and queens and knights that we recognize today. [29 minutes] Closed Captioning

This episode has not aired in the past few months on Iowa Public Television.

PBS Video

Series Description: This sweeping series provides a new perspective to the growth and development of several significant ancient cultures. Unique accomplishments, innovative governance and incredible developments in architecture, empire building and culture are highlighted.

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  • America's Prehistoric Civilizations: The Mound Builders (#101)

    Had they been made of stone, they would have been among the greatest wonders of the ancient world. These were the pyramids and effigy earthen works by the Mound Building Cultures of the eastern half of the United States. This is the story of the 3000-year Native American tradition that culminated with the construction of cities rivaling any on the planet when Columbus landed in the New World. [28 minutes]

  • Ancient Pueblo People: The Anasazi (#103)

    They stand today much as their builders left them 500 years ago. These are the cities of the Anasazi, the ancient Pueblo people of the Four Corners region of the western United States. How did a civilization, against all odds, became so successful at agriculture that they were able to produce a leisure society capable of not only building these incredible cities, but also producing some of the greatest pottery, rock art and trading networks the world has ever seen. How the Anasazi did this with a social organization not governed by kings or queens or other hierarchical rulers is one of the great mysteries of ancient history. [27 minutes]

  • Greek Accomplishments (#104)

    It has been said that all western art and science is but a footnote to ancient Greek accomplishments. In this program, the story is told of how Greek thinkers laid the foundation for architecture, painting, sculpture, history, philosophy, medicine, literature, zoology, botany, mathematics, astronomy, theater, and finally, the western scientific methodology. It is a history of a series of brilliant Greek thinkers from Homer in 700 B.C. to Ptolemy in 150 A.D. [27 minutes]

  • Rome Reexamined: The Rise of the Roman Republic (#105)

    Learn how from the humblest beginnings, Rome rose up to become the first self-governing republic. By including the vanquished and allowing anyone to move up through the ranks of its unique society, Rome came to control much of the Mediterranean world. [28 minutes]

  • Rome Reexamined: Military Triumphs and the Death of the Roman Republic (#106)

    Learn how in the second half of the Republic, the Romans became the greatest fighting force in the ancient world. The Romans believed that the gods mandated they were destined to rule the entire world. However, their incredible military success would lead to civil wars as the armies of Julius Caesar and Pompey fought for control of Rome. [28 minutes]

  • Rome Reexamined: The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire (#107)

    In this program, a series of good and bad emperors from 27 B.C. to 476 A.D. rise to Rome's throne. During this time, Rome assimilates all of the Mediterranean world and most of western Europe, with the population of the empire eventually totaling over 10 million citizens. In 312 A.D., Rome's last great Emperor, Constantine, embraces Christianity, establishing it one of the world's major religions. [28 minutes]

  • Rome Reexamined: The Splendor of Imperial Rome (#108)

    During the Imperial period, from Augustus to Constantine, Rome became the most magnificent city in the world. In this program--from the ancient Roman Forum to the Colosseum--the glories and accomplishments that were once Rome are revealed. [28 minutes]

  • The Greek City-State and Democracy (#109)

    During the golden age of the Greek city-states 2500 years ago, the Greeks gave the world something more valuable than architectural wonders or material wealth ... the ideas of democracy, liberty, freedom of speech and the pursuit of truth for truth's sake. This program tells how a group of people invented self-rule based on citizenship, at a time when they were surrounded by tyrants and despots. [27 minutes]

  • The Incas (#110)

    Six hundred years ago, in less than a century, the Incas, located in present-day Peru, forged an empire equal to that of the Greeks and Romans. They built their empire largely by treaties based on providing food for all of its citizens. In the process, The Incas built architectural wonders for all eternity. Today, Machu Picchu stands as a glorious reminder of this once incredible empire. [28 minutes]

  • The Maya (#111)

    The Mayas are best known for their spectacular architecture that made up their city centers, but they are also the most misunderstood of the great ancient civilizations. First, they were not the blood thirsty warrior society as they often portrayed; and second, they were the world's first environmental farmers, creating a thriving agricultural society on poor land through advanced farming techniques and a profound sensitivity to their environment. [41 minutes]

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