Greeks, Romans, Vikings: The Founders of Europe

Greeks, Romans, Vikings: The Founders of Europe is a three-part documentary series hosted by Simon Chilvers, looking at the ancient civilizations that would lay the foundations of Western civilization. What were the Vikings really like? What did the Romans accomplish? And do the singular achievements of the ancient Greeks live on in our society today? This series questions the myths and unravels age-old cliches about these ancient cultures. It examines their strange and sometimes amusing idiosyncrasies, gives fresh insights into who they really were, and provides a novel take on their societies, peppered with surprising new revelations.

Democracy, science, theatre, plumbing, modern roads, laws, the Olympics, conquering the seas, and the onset of globalisation are all at the heart of modern society, but in fact were inherited from the ancient worlds of the Greeks, the Romans and the Vikings. This is a new look at the ancient civilisations that will change our perception of them.

Episode 1 - The Greeks

Episode 1 - The Greeks
Ancient Greece - the cradle of modern Europe. Around 3000 years ago, the cultural foundations of western civilisation were laid right here, on the shores of the Mediterranean.

Episode 2 - The Romans
The Romans created one of the greatest empires in history, built with the help of an incredible army of professional legionnaires and a well-oiled political machinery.

Episode 3 - The Vikings
A nation of seafarers and merchants, the Vikings revolutionised exploration and trading in the Middle Ages and discovered America 500 years before Columbus.

Related Links
The Greeks: Crucible of Civilization
This is a PBS documentary series narrated by Liam Neeson, chronicling the rise and fall of the civilization of ancient Greece.
Who Were the Greeks?
This is a two-part BBC documentary presented by Dr Michael Scott, focusing on the realities of life in the ancient Greek world, its legacies, and its continued importance for our own world today.
Rome Revealed
This is a National Geographic documentary series narrated by Kieran Bew, looking at every aspect of Roman life using interviews and dramatic reconstructions to recreate the empire's epic history.
Roman Architecture
This course is an introduction to the great buildings and engineering marvels of Rome and its empire, with an emphasis on urban planning and individual monuments and their decoration, including mural painting.
The Vikings
History, culture, and religion of Vikings from their Indo-European roots and migration to Scandinavia through their invasions of Europe, excursions to North America, and trade with the Byzantine and Muslim worlds.
Blood of the Vikings
This is a five-part BBC documentary series presented by Julian Richards, which examines the story of the Vikings in Britain, from their first raids, to the settlement of the British Isles.
Legacy: The Origins of Civilization
This is a documentary series presented by Michael Wood, searching for the first civilizations and their continuing legacies.
History of the World to 1500 CE
This course presents and at the same time critiques a narrative world history from prehistoric times to 1500 CE.