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
  • The Origins of Warfare

    In 1974, 29 years after the end of the Second World War, Japanese soldier Hiroo Onoda finally surrendered after almost three decades of fighting a guerilla campaign on a remote island in the Philippines. ​But why did he keep fighting? Are humans just inherently warlike?

    In our latest documentary...

  • Delphi

    Renowned as the home of the Pythia, the sanctuary at Delphi was the religious heart of the Hellenic World. In this episode of Historic Questions Professor Michael Scott explains the site's history and why it was so significant in antiquity.

  • The Hag of Beara

    The Hag of Beara, also known as the Hag of Winter, was a mythical figure that predated Christianity in Ireland. She was regarded by people as the mother protector / creator of the landscape. Like many pagan gods and traditions, she did not escape the intolerant wave of Christianity that swept acr...

  • Fortress Britain: Ardoch Roman Fort

    Join Tristan Hughes in this short documentary as he explores the fascinating history of Ardoch Roman Fort in Scotland. Featuring historians Rebecca Jones and Andrew Tibbs.

  • 🎧 Augustus with Lindsay Powell

    Who was the greatest European ever? Dan talks to Lindsay Powell to find out.

  • Mary Beard on Lessons from Ancient Rome

    The deepening political divide in the U.S. and an apparent realignment of the world order through President Trump’s foreign policy have prompted many comparisons to the fall of the Roman Empire. But can we really look back at ancient civilisations and draw parallels with those that exist today? A...

  • Hatshepsut: She Who Would Be King

    Hatshepsut – whose name means β€œforemost of noblewomen” – was an exceptional figure in the history of Ancient Egypt. Only the second woman in history to assume the title of pharaoh, during her reign she oversaw the building of monumental temples, established trade connections with far away African...

  • The Road to Rome

    The Roman Empire was one of the greatest in history. At its height it stretched from northern Britain to the Persian Gulf, its might epitomised by the effectiveness of its core military unit: the Roman legion. The aqueduct, sanitation, irrigation, medicine, education, wine, public baths – all thi...

  • Bignor Roman Villa

    West Sussex has its fair share of stunning Roman sites: Fishbourne Roman Palace, Stane Street, the Novium, the list goes on. But one of the region's star Roman attractions has to be Bignor Roman Villa. Situated deep in the heart of the Sussex countryside Bignor is home to some of the most impress...

  • Mary Beard on Women and Power

    In Greek and Roman antiquity, women’s voices were proof of their wickedness. The pitch and prattle was considered harmful, even unsanitary. In literature, powerful women were emblems of usurpation and mortal danger. Women speaking in public could not only jeopardize the men close to them, but bri...

  • A Tour of Fishbourne Palace

    In 1960, a man was laying a waterpipe underneath the quaint village of Fishbourne near Chichester, West Sussex, when he uncovered what looked like Roman remains. After he duly reported the discover, the archaeologists were called in and they quickly unearthed more and more prestigious finds. They...

  • Maps: Our Place in the World

    Many of us can’t help but be obsessed with maps – including Dan. They tell us where we are in the world and let us know how our environment has changed overtime. History, geography and philosophy – maps cross all these fields of study. The history of mapmaking has its roots in the ancient world, ...

  • 🎧 Chinese Philosophy

    Michael Puett is Professor of Chinese History at Harvard and has lectured widely at the world's leading universities. His course in Chinese philosophy is among the most popular at Harvard and in 2013 he was awarded a Harvard College Professorship for excellence in undergraduate teaching.

  • 🎧 Circe and Greek Myths with Madeleine Miller

    Dan and bestselling author Madeleine Miller chat Greek myths and the Odyssey. They talk about Virgil, the Aenead, Patroclus and Agamemnon, and whether Dan should sacrifice his daughter to ensure prevailing winds. Producer: Peter Curry

  • 🎧 Confucius with Roel Sterckx

    Dan and Roel Sterckz sit down to talk about all things Confucius, the ancient Chinese philosopher and politician. They discuss his influence in the trajectory of intellectual history and what we know about the historical Confucius. Producer: Oliver Nelken

  • 🎧 Crowd Sourcing Archaeology From Space with Sarah Parcak

    Sarah Parcak is an American archaeologist, Egyptologist, and remote sensing expert, who has used satellite imaging to identify potential archaeological sites in Egypt, Rome, and elsewhere in the former Roman Empire. She is the associate professor of Anthropology and director of the Laboratory for...

  • 🎧 Democracy

    Professor Paul Cartledge is Professor of Greek Culture emeritus University of Cambridge and author of many books, most recently, Democracy: A Life.

  • 🎧 Eight Egyptian Mummies Discovered in Tomb near Luxor with Chris Naunton

    Chris Naunton is an Egyptologist, writer, broadcaster and public speaker. Chris has a PhD in Egyptology and is currently writing a book with the provisional title Search for the Missing Tombs of Egypt for Thames & Hudson.

  • 🎧 Germanicus with Lindsay Powell

    2,000 years ago, the heroic general Germanicus Caesar died at Epidaphnae just outside Antioch on the Orontes. Roman historian Lindsay Powell unravels the mystery surrounding the demise of Ancient Rome’s most popular son and explains why he was such a remarkable figure.

  • 🎧 Greek Myths

    Natalie Haynes joined me on the podcast to retell the stories of remarkable women at the heart of Greek myths, from Medusa, Penelope, and Pandora, to the Amazons.

  • 🎧 In Conversation with Mary Beard

    Mary Beard OBE, FSA, FBA is an English scholar and classicist. Beard is Professor of Classics at the University of Cambridge, a fellow of Newnham College, and the Royal Academy of Arts Professor of Ancient Literature. Mary Beard?s new book is entitled 'Women & Power: A Manifesto'.

  • 🎧 Istanbul: A Tale of Three Cities with Bettany Hughes

    Dr. Bettany Hughes is an award-winning historian, author, and broadcaster, who has devoted the last 25 years to the vibrant communication of the past. Her specialty is ancient and medieval history and culture. A Scholar at Oxford University she has taught at Oxford and Cambridge Universities and ...

  • 🎧 Mystery of the Alexander the Great Coin Hoard

    Off the coast of the Gaza Strip fishermen have been discovering coins of extreme rarity and importance. They date from the brief reign of Alexander the Great in the Third Century BC. Strangely, months later, a collection of very very similar coins were sold in a London auction house. What's the s...

  • 🎧 Nero

    Shusma Malik joined me on the podcast to discuss the infamous Emperor Nero. He ruled nearly 2000 years ago, after taking over from his stepfather Claudius. Nero was a despotic ruler, enamoured in his own talents. His reign was characterised by tyranny and debauchery. To what extent is the commonl...