Ancient Worlds is a BBC documentary series presented by Richard Miles, exploring the roots of Western civilization from the first cities of Mesopotamia to the fall of the Roman Empire. Consisting of six episodes, the series examines how our ancestors struggled with the levers of religion and politics, art and culture, war and diplomacy, technology and trade in order to keep the complex machinery of their civilisations turning over, from ancient Iraq to Imperial Rome.
Episode 1 - Come Together
Starting in Uruk, the 'mother of all cities', in southern Iraq, Richard Miles travels to Syria, Egypt, Anatolia and Greece, tracing the birth and development of technology and culture.
Episode 2 - The Age of Iron
Richard Miles looks at the winners, losers and survivors of the great Bronze Age collapse, a regional catastrophe that wiped out the hard-won achievements of civilization in the eastern Mediterranean about 3,000 years ago.
Episode 3 - The Greek Thing
Richard Miles explores the power and the paradox of the 'Greek Thing' - a blossoming in art, philosophy and science that went hand in hand with political discord, social injustice and endless war.
Episode 4 - Return of the King
Richard traces Alexander's battle-scarred route through Turkey, Syria and Lebanon to Egypt and ultimately to the western Punjab, Pakistan.
Episode 5 - The Republic of Virtue
Richard Miles examines the phenomenon of the Roman Republic, from its mythical beginnings, through its century-long struggle with Carthage, to Julius Caesar.
Episode 6 - City of Man, City of God
Richard Miles examines the rise and fall of the Roman Empire, and the growth of Christianity.
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Bettany Hughes explores Crete, following the footsteps of famed archaeologists including Arthur Evans to find new insights into Minoan culture.
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This is a 27-part documentary series which explores some of rediscovered ancient cities and archaeological sites.