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
  • Imagining the Divine

    Dr Janina Ramirez takes an exclusive tour of 'Imagining the Divine', the new exhibition at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford. With the exhibition's co-curator, Jas Eslner, Janina discovers how the art of the 5 major world religions spread across the globe in the first Millennium AD, and takes a fasc...

  • Michael Scott on Classical Connections

    When one thinks of the Ancient World you would be forgiven for instantly thinking of either the cultural glories of ancient Greece or the military might of the Roman Empire. Yet the Mediterranean and the Near East was just one part of a much larger, interconnected ancient world. In India and Chin...

  • Decoding the Roman Dead

    Colchester Museums have been working with archaeologists and specialists to ‘decode’ the hidden stories of 40 of Colchester’s earliest inhabitants.

    Through new scientific research techniques, they have reconstructed the identity and lives of these people: where they came from in the empire, wha...

  • Killing God: The Assassination of Julius Caesar

    15 March - 'The Ides of March'. It is arguably the most well known date in ancient history. On that day in 44 BC the Roman statesman Julius Caesar was assassinated by a group of senatorial conspirators in the heart of Rome. But why was this political giant of ancient Rome assassinated? How did th...

  • Rise Of Hannibal

    He was one of the greatest enemies the Romans ever faced. An excellent general and a larger-than-life figure, who led an army across the alps and dealt a series of crushing defeats upon the Romans on Italian soil. His achievements have become a thing of legend and his name has become immortalised...

  • Thebes

    Athens, Sparta and Corinth are arguably three of the most famous, and most significant, Greek city-states of antiquity. But there is one 'polis' that is often forgotten. A city that rose to prominence during the 4th century BC. That city was Thebes. From fighting with the Persians during the Pers...

  • Life and Death in Roman London

    1 season

    Dr Simon Elliott explores the rise and fall of Roman London.

  • 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 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...

  • The Rollright Stones: Mind, Myre and Magic

    The Rollright Stones are some of Britain’s most remarkable and mysterious ancient monuments. They consist of three separate sites - a looming funerary monument built to contain dismembered corpses, a venerated stone circle, and a single monolith with an innominate purpose. Alice Loxton traces six...

  • The Emperor Justinian

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

  • Tutankhamun: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh

    Tutankhamun, 'The Boy King' of Ancient Egypt, is one of history's most famous names. Though his short reign proved fairly-insignificant, his legacy lives on thanks to Howard Carter's discovery of his magnificent tomb in 1922. Now, as the centenary of Carter's discovery creeps ever nearer, many of...

  • The World of Stonehenge Revealed: Decoding the Find of the Century

    Described as the "most important piece of prehistoric art to be found in Britain in the last 100 years", an elaborately decorated 5000 year-old chalk cylinder, discovered buried with 3 child skeletons in Yorkshire and as old as the first phase of Stonehenge, is going on display at the British Mus...

  • Boudica: Death to Rome

    In 60/61 AD turmoil seized southern Britain. A massive anti-Roman revolt reared its ugly head in East Anglia, as tens of thousands of Britons attempted to evict the recently-arrived Romans from the island by the spear. At its head was one of the most famous figures in the whole of British history...

  • 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...

  • The Roman Emperors: With Mary Beard

    Classicist and national treasure Mary Beard speaks to Dan about Ancient Rome and its emperors.

  • In Search of the Minoans

    Rediscovered at the beginning of the 20th century through the work of British archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans, the Minoan Civilization, whose earliest beginnings were from c. 3500 BC on the island of Crete, became one of the most developed, complex urban civilizations in antiquity. Yet we still kn...

  • An Indigenous History of Australia

    To date, there are over 500 different aboriginal 'nations' in Australia, all with distinctive cultures, beliefs, languages and unique histories. Since the arrival of Captain James Cook and the subsequent colonisation of the continent, many of these indigenous populations were, and continue to be ...

  • Stonehenge

    Dan Snow visits one of the most recognisable historical sites on Earth. Stonehenge. Timed with the recent solving of the sarsen stones origin mystery, this documentary takes an in-depth look at what we know, and what we don't know, about this iconic Neolithic monument.

  • Alexander the Great: The Greatest Heist in History

    It remains one of the most successful and significant thefts in history. In late 321 BC, a carefully-constructed plot was put into operation that would spark years of bloody conflict between rival warlords. The target of the operation was Alexander the Great’s elaborate funeral carriage (designed...

  • The Romans in Britain

    Stunning remains of monumental architecture can be seen across the British Isles: from excavated Roman villas like Fishbourne in southern England, to Hadrian's Wall and its many milecastles stretching across Cumbria and Northumberland, to the well-preserved legionary fort layout at Ardoch in cent...

  • 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.

  • Vindolanda Unearthed

    Situated roughly one mile south of Hadrian’s Wall is one of the great jewels of Roman and early medieval archaeology: Vindolanda. Over the past 50 years, annual excavations at this site have revealed incredible amounts of new information. Information that has not only shone more light on the site...

  • Life and Death in Late Iron Age Britain

    Roman connections with Britain stretch back to (at least) the mid 1st century BC, but what has archaeology revealed about the Late Iron Age British societies they interacted with? Do we have any concrete evidence for the druids? Was human sacrifice a thing? Sit back and enjoy as experts provide a...