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The Viking Sagas

   2011    History
Hundreds of years ago in faraway Iceland the Vikings began to write down dozens of stories called sagas - sweeping narratives based on real people and real events. But as Oxford University's Janina Ramirez discovers, these sagas are not just great works of art, they are also priceless historical documents which bring to life the Viking world. Dr Ramirez travels across glaciers and through the lava fields of Iceland to the far north west of the country to find out about one of the most compelling of these stories - the Laxdaela Saga.

The Normans: Men from the North

   2010    History
Professor Robert Bartlett explores how the Normans developed from a band of marauding Vikings into the formidable warriors who conquered England in 1066. He tells how the Normans established their new province of Normandy -'land of the northmen' - in northern France. Under the leadership of Duke William, they conquered England. The Battle of Hastings marked the end of the Anglo-Saxon aristocracy and monarchy. The culture and politics of England would now be transformed by the Normans.
Series: The Normans

Blood Of The Vikings: First Blood

   2001    History
Loot found secreted in pagan graves in Norway provides some major clues that point to Viking perpetrators following the discovery of murder victims in Wales and a monastery razed to the ground in Scotland.
Series: Blood of the Vikings

Blood Of The Vikings: Invasion

   2001    History
In AD 856, a massive fleet of Viking ships appeared off the coast of East Anglia, heralding a change in Viking tactics - from raiding to invasion. Richards charts the years of attempted conquest that followed.
Series: Blood of the Vikings

Blood Of The Vikings: Last of the Vikings

   2001    History
In the last of the series, Julian Richards uncovers new information from the battle in 1066 between Viking warlord Harald Hardrada and King Harold of England that marked the end of the Viking age in Britain. Results from a nationwide genetic survey show where in Britain the Vikings left a measurable contribution.
Series: Blood of the Vikings

The Golden Age

   2016    History
This episode tells the tale of what's broadly considered China's most creative dynasty - the Song (960-1279). Michael Wood heads to the city of Kaifeng, the greatest city in the world before the 19th century. Here in Twin Dragon Alley, locals tell him the legend of the baby boys who became emperors.
He explores the ideas and inventions that made the Song one of greatest eras in world culture, helped by China's most famous work of art, the Kaifeng scroll, which shows the life of the city in around 1120. A chef makes Michael a recipe from a Song cookbook, while a guide to 'how to live happy, healthy lives for old people', published in 1085 and still in print, is discussed with local women doing their morning exercises. The Song was also a great era for scientific advance in China. Michael steers a huge working replica of an astronomical clock, made by China's Leonardo da Vinci.
Then at a crunch Chinese Premier League match, Michael tells us the Chinese invented football! The golden age of the northern Song ended in 1127, when invaders sacked Kaifeng, but they survived in the south. At their new capital, Hangzhou, Wood joins locals dancing by the West Lake, while in the countryside he meets Mr Xie with his records of 40 generations of ancestors. The final defeat of the Song took place in a naval battle in the estuary of the Pearl River in 1279. When all was lost, rather than surrender to the Mongols, a loyal minister jumped into the sea with the young boy emperor in his arms. 'So ended the glory of the Song', Wood concludes, 'but a new age would arise... as in China, it always has!'.
Series: The Story of China
Wild South America

Wild South America

2005  Nature
Leaving Neverland

Leaving Neverland

2019  Culture
Chimp Empire

Chimp Empire

2023  Nature
Life

Life

2009  Nature
Frozen Planet

Frozen Planet

2011  Nature
Love On The Spectrum

Love On The Spectrum

2019  Culture