Ancient Rome Month

HISTORY reflects upon Ancient Rome throughout February 2018 with an assembly of popular documentaries and a careful selection of premiere content that uses a mix of archaeology, CGI, compelling drama and spectacular live-action battles to tell the definitive television story of how the empire was formed, how it achieved maximum power, and why it eventually failed.


Cities of The Underworld – Beneath Vesuvius

Thursday February 1 at 10:30pm AEDT

As we descend beneath our modern day cities, we are met with ancient and hidden secrets. Journey with us back through history and rediscover cities of the underworld.

 


Ancient Impossible – Roman Empire

Friday February 2 at 6:30pm AEDT

The Roman Empire is well known to be one of the mightiest to ever rule the Earth. But the extent of their ingenuity, ambition and scale seems impossible.

 


Rome: Empire Without Limit

Fridays at 9:30pm AEDT from February 2 until February 23

The Roman Empire dominates the history of Europe and of the Mediterranean like no other period of history. Both deceptively familiar and endlessly surprising, it is against Rome’s failings and achievements that we still measure our own.

The myth of Romulus, the life and death of Julius Caesar, the enduring feats of Roman builders and engineers, ideas of citizenship and good government: Rome’s past still has a powerful hold over our collective imagination, and continues to fascinate and intrigue.

How could a mediocre city in central Italy come to dominate such a huge area, and for so long? What held the empire together and in turn tore it apart? And what lessons does the Roman Empire hold for us now?

In this four part series, classicist and historian Mary Beard sets out to answer these and other questions, taking in the mythology, history, and archaeology of the ancient world.

 


Hadrian with Dan Snow

Saturday February 3 at 4:30pm AEDT

Emperor Hadrian is well known for his eponymous wall. 70 miles long, it was a prodigious feat and remains one of the greatest physical remnants of the Roman Empire. But in reality, the wall was nothing more than a sideshow to the main event. In this fascinating historical documentary, historian Dan Snow follows in the footsteps of the Emperor, from Northumberland to North Africa, from Jerusalem to Rome and discovers one of the most powerful and enigmatic rulers and characters in world history. Overtly gay, a philosopher, poet and flautist, he was also a brilliant military strategist and ruthless commander of his legions.

With his Greek intellect and Roman engineering skills; Hadrian set about physically ring-fencing and consolidating the entire empire. For better – and often for worse – he helped to define the world we know today, and left an unparalleled legacy that is still marvelled at today.

 


Rome’s Invisible City

Saturday February 3 at 9:30pm AEDT

With exclusive access deep beneath Rome’s streets and stunning new visualisation techniques, classicist Dr Michael Scott leads a team of experts to reveal the full story of the ancient world’s most awe-inspiring city and the extraordinary people who created and lived in it.

More than 2,000 years ago, the stonemasons of Rome set to work constructing a capital fit for the world’s most powerful empire. The spectacular skyline they dreamed up – featuring the Coliseum, the Pantheon, the Circus Maximus and the Forum – is as breathtaking today as when it was built.

That iconic city-scape is only half the story of the metropolis they created. There is another Rome that few people have ever seen. A whole underground world which made life possible for a million citizens up above.

From huge underground quarries, subterranean aqueducts, vast water cisterns to ornate temple and tombs and the elaborate lifts, trap doors and mechanics beneath the Coliseum, this film reveals for the first time the buried story of the ingenious Romans and how they planned, created and lived in their captivating city more than two millennia ago.

 


Roman Britain From The Air

Sunday February 4 at 5:30pm AEDT

Christine Bleakley and Dr Michael Scott take to the skies to see what life was like for Romans and Britons 2000 years ago.

London was created by the Romans and that can be seen more clearly from the air than on the ground, giving this film a very unique take on British history.

In a novel journey across the UK, from London to Wales and then heading up north to the spectacular Hadrian’s Wall, some of the secrets of everyday life in Roman Britain are uncovered; they came across 1800 year old hand cream, find a massive chunk of Roman Britain in an underground car park and visit a Roman toilet on the very edge of the Roman Empire.

 


Ancient Top 10 – Rome’s Greatest Hits

Sunday February 11 at 10:30pm AEDT

Rome. This incredible civilization forged the world as we know it, creating some of the most technologically advanced engineering of antiquity that is still in use today. Such ingenious inventions include: super powered concrete, aqueducts stretching for miles, and sophisticated mining techniques that were years ahead of their time. Which Top 10 feat of Roman engineering will prove to be the biggest breakthrough?

 


Ancient Rome: Rise And Fall Of An Empire

Mondays at 9:30pm AEDT from February 5 until March 12

A docu-drama covering the rise and the fall of the Roman world including the founding by Julius Caesar and the building of Rome by Nero.

 


Colosseum – Rome’s Arena of Death

Tuesday February 6 at 7:30pm AEDT

In this unique docu-drama, uncover  the true story of Verus, a gladiator who fought at the Colosseum in Rome.

 


Rome – The World’s First Superpower

Tuesdays at 9:30pm AEDT from February 6 until February 27

On a once-in-a-lifetime journey visiting key locations, Larry sets out to discover what made the Romans so successful. He has spent years learning the Italian language while studying the history and culture of Rome, and now brings this ancient world alive with his passion, a wealth of fascinating detail and colourful CGI.

The history of Rome is a 1,000-year-long epic, filled with murder, ambition, betrayal and greed and encompassing such legendary characters as Romeʼs Iron Age founders Romulus and Remus and its greatest general Julius Caesar.

Larry is accompanied by some of Europe and Americaʼs foremost classical experts who reveal the atmosphere of intrigue, conflict and violence at the places where the saga unfolded, including Rome, Pompeii, Sicily, France and Tunisia.

 


Britain’s Lost Colosseum

Wednesday February 7 at 6:30pm AEDT

UK historians Tony Wilmot and Dan Garner head up a summer-long dig to discover more about the great lost Roman Amphitheatre at Chester.

 


Meet The Romans

Wednesdays at 9:30pm AEDT from February 7 until February 21

Forsaking Emperors and battles but embracing the latest archaeological evidence, she reveals what went on behind closed doors and in the public baths. 2000 years ago, Rome was “the” city, with heaving population of over 1 million.  The average citizen’s diaries and letters no longer exist – but their epitaphs and funerary monuments do – and they reveal the extraordinary biographies of the wives and children, the butchers and barman, the slaves and shopkeepers of this truly amazing city.

 


Pompeii: New Secrets Revealed

Thursday February 8 at 6:30pm AEDT

With unparalleled access to Pompeii and featuring cutting-edge modern technology, Mary Beard guides us through this amazing slice of the ancient world.

 


Cities of The Underworld – Rome’s Hidden Empire

Thursday February 8 at 10:30pm AEDT

As we descend beneath our modern day cities, we are met with ancient and hidden secrets. Journey with us back through history and rediscover cities of the underworld.

 


Treasures of Ancient Rome

Sundays at 5:30pm AEDT from February 11 until February 25

Art critic Alastair Sooke sets out to show the art of the Romans for what it really is – both the best insight to the Roman world and an important grounding for western art. The series traces how, during the Republic, the Romans went from being art thieves and copycats to pioneering a new artistic style. And by following in the footsteps of Rome’s mad, bad and dangerous emperors, he finds that their taste in art chimes perfectly with their obsession with sex and violence. Enthusiastic, questioning and engaging, Treasures of Ancient Rome reveals how there was so much more to the Romans than just conquering and soldiering, and charts the decline and fall of the Roman Empire through some of its hidden and most magical artistic treasures.

 


Italy’s Invisible Cities

Tuesdays at 7:30pm AEDT from February 13 until February 27


Italy’s Invisible Cities – ep 1 Naples

Using the latest 3D scanning technology, Alexander Armstrong uncovers the hidden history of Italian civilisation and city life. In the series premiere, we explore the volcano at Mount Vesuvius.


Italy’s Invisible Cities – ep 2 Venice

The team uncovers how a city built in a swamp became one of the most powerful in medieval Europe. Plus, they reveal how the city’s beauty once masked a ruthless secret state and a world of excess and vice.


Italy’s Invisible Cities – ep 3 Florence

Alex and Michael reveal how Florence’s wonderful facades and artworks mask a hidden story of intrigue and secrecy, and one powerful dynasty was behind it all – the Medicis.


The Catacomb Mystery

Wednesday February 14 at 6:30pm AEDT

Deep beneath the streets of Rome is an amazing underground world: a labyrinth of tunnels and vaults more than 360 miles long. This vast subterranean cemetery was created by ancient Romans nearly 2,000 years ago.

 


Secrets of The Colosseum

Thursday February 15 at 6:30pm AEDT

The Colosseum is one of the most iconic buildings of the ancient world and it stands as a monument to Roman imperial power and cruelty. The spectacles staged here involved the killing of tens of thousands of gladiators, prisoners, and wild animals. Records of these games brag of seemingly impossible acts – beasts magically appearing on stage and water flash-flooding the arena so that full-sized ships could engage in sea battles. Were the Romans exaggerating or did they truly achieve these feats? Until now, experts have been dubious – but what if these aren’t tall tales? Now, a team of modern builders and engineers test their theories by building a trap door-pulley system capable of lifting a beast into the Colosseum. Do they have what it takes to replicate the innovation and ingenuity of the Romans?

 


Cities of The Underworld – Rome The Rise

Thursday February 15 at 10:30pm AEDT

As we descend beneath our modern day cities, we are met with ancient and hidden secrets. Journey with us back through history and rediscover cities of the underworld.

 


Colosseum: The Whole Story

Fridays at 6:30pm AEDT from February 16 until February 23

The whole story of the world’s most famous monument is told for the first time, from its ancient beginnings to the ground-breaking renovation underway amid a storm of controversy.

 


Scotland: Rome’s Final Frontier

Monday February 19 at 6:30pm AEDT

Through some of Scotland’s most extraordinary Roman sites and illuminating new archaeology, historian Dr Fraser Hunter shows how Scotland and its people defied an onslaught of Roman imperial power for over a century.

 


Underwater Pompeii

Monday February 19 at 7:30pm AEDT

Baiae… An ancient Roman city lost to the same volcanoes that entombed Pompeii. But unlike Pompeii, Baiae sits under water, in the Bay of Naples. Nearly 2,000 years ago, the city was an escape for Rome’s rich and powerful elite, a place where they were free of the social restrictions of Roman society. It was the Las Vegas of its day. Now, a team of archaeologists is mapping the underwater ruins and piecing together what life was like in this playground for the rich. There were vast villas, elaborate spas, and raucous parties on barges floating in the bay. No expense was spared to create a wonderland.

Baiae was also the site of some of the most treacherous political dealings of ancient Rome with Emperor Nero and his enemies hatching deadly plots against each other. And then, the city sank into the ocean, to be forgotten in the annals of history until now. What made Baiae such a special place? And what happened to it?


Hannibal: The Man, The Myth, The Mystery

Wednesday February 21 at 6:30pm AEDT

His name resonates throughout history, a mythical figure, one of the greatest commanders of the ancient world. But what of the man behind the legend?

 


The Lost Legions of Varus

Thursday February 22 at 6:30pm AEDT

A look at how German tribes destroyed three Roman legions in 9 A.D.

 


Engineering an Empire: Rome

Thursday February 22 at 9:30pm AEDT

We chronicle the spectacular history of the Roman Empire from the rise of Julius Caesar in 55 BC to its eventual fall around 537 AD, detailing the remarkable engineering feats that set Rome apart from the rest of the ancient world.

 


Secrets From The Sky – Hadrian’s Wall

Saturday February 24 at 6:00pm AEDT

This series takes to the air to uncover the secret lives of our ancestors by exploring the traces they have left behind. By looking down from the sky, archaeologists are able to make exciting new discoveries.

 


Julius Caesar’s Greatest Battle

Saturday February 24 at 11:30pm AEDT

Between 58 and 50 BC Julius Caesar fought a bloody campaign to absorb the whole of Gaul into the Roman Empire.

 


Pompeii: The People Frozen in Time

Sunday February 25 at 9:30pm AEDT

The city of Pompeii uniquely captures the public’s imagination – in AD79 a legendary volcanic disaster left its citizens preserved in ashes to this very day. Yet no-one has been able to unravel the full story that is at the heart of our fascination – how did those bodies become frozen in time?

 


Mystery of the Roman Skulls

Monday February 26 at 7:30pm AEDT

Since the 1800s, hundreds of skulls have been found in London – it is one of the most intriguing mysteries of archaeology. Researchers, archaeologists and other specialists share their research and explanations for these discoveries.


Rome: What Lies Beneath

Wednesday February 28 at 7:30pm AEDT

The Romans were one of the most intriguing and powerful civilisations to have ever lived. This epic film peels back the layers of history to literally see Rome in all its magnificence.