Ancient

Ancient

The ancient world is full of wonder and mystery. From the discovery of Britain's oldest complete human skeleton to the disappearance of the Roman Ninth Legion, we have documentaries, interviews and podcasts covering all of periods and key events in antiquity. Learn more about this fascinating period in history with world leading experts such as Mary Beard and follow us as we take you on tours around some world famous sites as well as the more unknown hidden gems of the ancient and classical era.

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Ancient
  • Alexander the Great: Until the End of the World

    Alexander the Great: Until the End of the World

  • Race Science with Angela Saini

    Dan sat down with Angela Saini to talk about the history behind race and the history of interactions between civilisations.

  • I Object: Ian Hislop's Search for Dissent

    We live in a golden age of objection. Not since the 1960s has the Western world been so embroiled in street protests – women’s marches, anti-Trump demonstrations and alt-right parades in America, anti-Brexit marches in Britain, and strikes across continental Europe – as in recent years. It is saf...

  • How the Earth Shaped Human History

    Great leaders? Industrial change? Revolutions? If you thought these were the things that shaped history, think again. Back by popular demand, Lewis Dartnell returns to the show. He explains how modern political and economic patterns correlate with events which happened not decades or centuries ag...

  • Africa: The Unknown History of Humankind

    Africa is the second largest continent in the world and is home to the second largest population; but it is second-to-none regarding its ethnic diversity. Throughout history Africa has been the home of many thousands of ethnological groups; the historic sites, places, cultures, kingdoms and civil...

  • A History of Unbelief

    Religious belief looks more precarious in the modern world than ever before. But is that the truth? Dan Snow explores the role of unbelievers throughout history, to discover if we're uniquely unbelieving now, or whether there have always been those who wouldn't believe. This project was made poss...

  • A History of the Oceans

    We are a land animal. But millions of us have taken to the sea to live, fight, travel, eat, escape and seek fame and fortune. I am obsessed with the sea. On how humans have built ever more efficient and capable ships to exploit its riches and opportunities. This is an conversation I’ve been longi...

  • Sex in Pandemics

    I invited Kate Lister to join me after the enormous popularity of her last appearance on the pod. But this time we talked about how our sexual habits are both dulled and invigorated in unprecedented times - wars, plagues, pandemics. We discussed licentious widows who let loose during plagues, the...

  • King Arthur's Round Table Revealed

    The mystery and legend of King Arthur has fascinated mankind for centuries. Was there really a fifth-century warrior king at war with the Angles and Saxons? Did he have a round table of knights? Where was Camelot? Now, twenty-first century forensic archaeology allows us to suggest new answers to ...

  • History and The Environment

    Andrew Simms is an author, analyst and co-director of the New Weather Institute. He comes on the show to explain how history is full of examples where humans have proven their capacity to make radical transformation. He explains why we must be capable of similarly-extraordinary things today to co...

  • Total War: The Three Kingdoms of China

    Something a little different... Total War: Three Kingdoms is the fastest selling real time strategy of all time, and based on the Wei, Shu, and Wu division of China in the 200s AD. This is an interview that talks about fact and fiction within gaming narratives and the historical research undertak...

  • Tom Holland on the Birth of Islam

    Historian Tom Holland shares his fascination at how the events of ancient history can resonate in the modern world. The author of Islam: The Untold Story talks to Dan Snow about the birth of this rich and sophisticated civilisation, tracing its history through the centuries, and its interaction a...

  • The Silk Roads with Peter Frankopan

    In the East Meets West season, this is the starting point. Frankopan's rightly lauded book has done what it said on the cover: created a new history of the world. For way too long we Westerners have been espying history through the lens of our own success. But truth is, Britain only had its momen...

  • Saving Timbuktu's Manuscripts

    For centuries the city of Timbuktu was famed as a golden metropolis situated on the southern fringes of the Sahara; tales of its immense wealth and its reputation as a key centre of learning obsessed travellers and adventurers for many hundreds of years. Timbuktu certainly has one of the most ill...

  • Pandemics: Science and History

    I was thrilled to be joined by the legendary Peter Frankopan, Professor of Global History at Oxford University and bestselling author of 'The Silk Roads: A New History of the World'. In this podcast we discussed the current crisis in a wider historical context, and Peter gave some fascinating ins...

  • Mudlarking

    Dan joins author and mudlark expert Lara Maiklem for a spot of mudlarking.

  • Ink: A History of Tattooing

    Matt Lodder is the world's leading expert on the history of tattoos. He has found evidence of people using ink or charcoal on their bodies stretching back thousands of years. He explodes myths at every turn. Tattoos were common long before Captain Cook allegedly imported them back from the Pacifi...

  • How Christianity Shapes Our Morality

    Tom Holland sits down with Dan to talk about the history of Christianity, and how the religion has shaped morality in Western civilisation to this day.

  • Tutankhamun: Life Not Death

    Renowned Egyptologist Prof. Joann Fletcher explores the most famous pharaoh of them all - Tutankhamun. Jo has curated a very special exhibition in her hometown, Barnsley, not only to celebrate the world of Tutankhamun, but also the people from northern England who played an important role in his...

  • The Emperor Justinian

    Peter Heather, Professor of Medieval History at KCL, tackles the big questions about the Roman Emperor Justinian.

  • Rodin and the Art of Ancient Greece

    Born in Paris in 1840, François-Auguste-René Rodin is quite possibly the most famous sculptor in recent history. Considered by many to be the first ‘modern’ sculptor, his works such as ‘The Kiss’ and ‘The Thinker’ have become iconic throughout the world. He possessed a unique ability to model a c...

  • The Life of Julius Caesar with Simon Elliott

    Historian and archaeologist Simon Elliott has written extensively on the Roman world. He answers the key questions surrounding one of history's most compelling figures - Julius Caesar. Who was Julius Caesar and what was his family history? How did military and political changes aid the rise of Ju...

  • 🎧 A New Discovery at Stonehenge

    I was delighted to be joined by one of the most important people in the history world at the moment: Professor Vincent Gaffney. He is the leading archaeologist behind the recent discovery of a vast neolithic circle of deep shafts in Durrington, near Stonehenge. Vince took me through the thrills a...

  • Ray Mears, The Bow: The History of Archery

    1 season

    The oldest known evidence of the use of the bow comes from South Africa, where microliths, believed to be arrowheads dating from around 70,000 years ago, have been found.

    Evidence of humans' use of the bow can be found all over the world, from cave art in Algeria that shows a man shooting a slig...