Shaping of the Western World Collection

Shaping of the Western World Collection
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23 videos in this collection

The Bible - A Literary Heritage
Shot on location in Israel, actor Donald Pleasence and a distinguished cast dramatize excerpts from the story of Abraham and Isaac, the Book of Job, the Psalms, the Song of…
Bismarck - Germany From Blood and Iron
Powerfully acted, with rich production values and authentic settings, this exciting program focuses on the dynamic Otto von Bismarck--by turns Machiavellian, affectionate, ruthless, bullying, cajoling--as he engineers the events that…
The Changing World of Charles Dickens
Superb performances from some of the most memorable works of Charles Dickens, including David Copperfield, Dombey and Son, Great Expectations and Oliver Twist. A fascinating look at a major writer…
Charlemagne - Holy Barbarian
This dramatic reenactment of a crucial turning point in medieval history -- when Charlemagne must decide to what lengths he will go to subdue the Saxons -- reveals both sides…
The Crusades - Saints and Sinners
This full-scale dramatization, much of it filmed in actual locations, re-creates the events surrounding the First Crusade in the 11th century. Exploring the motivations of the people and their leaders,…
Elizabeth - The Queen Who Shaped an Age
"I am England now ... let that be my life." These words, spoken by the 25-year-old daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn as she ascended the throne, ushered in…
The French Revolution - The Bastille
The setting is Paris, the date July 14, 1789. By dramatically re-creating the reality of that day and that year -- including mass hunger, crushing taxes, and resentment against France's…
The French Revolution - The Terror
Focusing on both humanity's idealism and its capacity for violence, this program dramatizes the ways in which the noble motives and legitimate causes of the French Revolution managed to spiral…
Freud - The Hidden Nature of Man
This highly original program uncovers Freud's ideas in exactly the way Freud himself uncovered them: through his own dream analysis. In this way, we learn about his theories on psychoanalysis,…
Galileo - The Challenge of Reason
This dramatic production presents Galileo (Douglas Watson), challenger of traditional views of astronomy and physics, whose conflicts with established beliefs led to his trial as a heretic in 1632, but…
Greeks - In Search of Meaning
The magnificent age of Greece is recreated through the words and deeds of her citizens -- great and small. The eternal truths are dramatized in scenes from Antigone and Lysistrata;…
Marxism - The Theory That Split a World
Documentary footage, visually interesting animation of its major tenets, and dramatized interviews are used to outline the history and significance of Marxism. The film explores the monumental changes and enduring…
A Matter of Conscience - Henry VIII and Thomas More
Based on A Man For All Seasons by Robert Bolt, the clash between Sir Thomas More (Paul Scofield) and Henry VIII (Robert Shaw) is brilliantly presented, as More refuses to…
Medieval England - The Peasants' Revolt
The men and women of the Middle Ages existed in a condition of virtual slavery under an oppressive system until at last they could not -- and would not --…
The Middle Ages - A Wanderer's Guide to Life and Letters
Journey into the life and letters of the Middle Ages through the literature of Dante and Chaucer. With the help of an outstanding cast of British actors, part of the…
Napoleon - The End of a Dictator
The eternal enigma of the "popular dictator" is the focus of this dramatic reenactment of the emperor's last 100 days in power. Returning from the island of Elba, he once…
Napoleon - The Making of a Dictator
The first modern coup d'etat is explored in this study of the rise to power of Napoleon Bonaparte. Napoleon plays on the strengths and weaknesses of the French people which,…
Newton - The Mind That Found the Future
This program is a dramatized presentation of the life of Sir Isaac Newton, as told by his friend and colleague Edmund Halley. Using both 17th- and 20th-century perspectives, this account…
Pompeii - Once There Was a City
By juxtaposing life in the ancient city with the quality of life in contemporary America, this graphic program poses a timeless question--has humankind learned anything from the past? An LCA…
The Puritan Revolution - Cromwell and the Rise of Parliamentary Democracy
Capturing all the color and turbulence of the period, this program portrays the zeal of Oliver Cromwell and his Puritans as they press their Civil War to its triumphant conclusions…
The Romans - Life, Laughter and Law
Rome's golden age comes to life through writings of the time, revealing surprising parallels between their concerns and ours. We learn of Roman urban problems from Juvenal, of patriotism from…
Romanticism - The Revolt of the Spirit
Nineteenth-century Romanticism--with its escape from an increasingly complex and industrialized world to the simplicity and purity of nature--is experienced through the literature of Hugo, Bronte, Shelley and Byron. In a…
Shakespeare - A Mirror to Man
Shakespeare wrote of the depths of human passion and ambition -- eternal themes that continually prove their relevance to modern readers and citizens. Shakespeare: A Mirror to Man demonstrates that…

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The Decisive Battles of World History Series
Discover the military conflicts that have had the greatest impact in shifting the direction of historical events and shaping our world in The Decisive Battles of World History. Covering nearly 4,000 years, this course explores more than three dozen history-making military engagements, from the landmark battles of the Western world…
The Middle Ages - A Wanderer's Guide to Life and Letters
Journey into the life and letters of the Middle Ages through the literature of Dante and Chaucer. With the help of an outstanding cast of British actors, part of the morality play Everyman is performed, romance is presented through quotations from Dante's Love Sonnets, and a woman's lot is depicted…
India and Indians in the World
Episode 27 of A History of India
Whether as students, soldiers, or servants, South Asians who left the subcontinent contributed significantly to the cultural exchange among China, continental Europe, and Great Britain. And whereas the British Raj relied on segregation for political control, Indian immigrants in Britain found greater freedom. Reflect on the impact of South Asians…
What Makes a Battle Decisive?
Contemplate the ways in which warfare can change the course of historical events. Examine the factors that make a military battle "decisive," such as its role in transfers of power and its social and political effects, and consider the study of battles as an analytical tool for understanding history.
1274 B.C. Kadesh— Greatest Chariot Battle
The battle of Kadesh ushered in an unprecedented era of peace in the ancient Near East. Follow the strategy and tactics of the Egyptian and Hittite armies, featuring each side's distinctive war chariots. Trace the unusual sequence of battlefield events that led to a remarkable treaty, an important forerunner of…
260–110 B.C. China—Struggles for Unification
The wars of the 3rd and 2nd centuries B.C. were crucial in forging the later history of China. Study the military technology of the ancient Chinese and the conflicts through which the first Qin and Han emperors welded together a group of antagonistic kingdoms, creating a united China.
636 Yarmouk & al-Qadisiyyah—Islam Triumphs
In these dramatic conflicts, the Islamic Rashidun armies toppled two long-established empires. Learn about their defeat of the Byzantine army at Yarmouk and the Sassanid forces at al-Qadisiyyah, which determined the cultural, linguistic, and religious nature of the Middle East for the next 1,500 years.
751 Talas & 1192 Tarain—Islam into Asia
This episode explores military engagements between widely differing cultures. Learn about the 751 battle between the Chinese Tang forces and the Abbasid Caliphate, which altered the religious orientation of central Asia. Then follow the 1192 clash between the Indian Rajputs and a Turkish Islamic army, and its permanent effects on…
1260 Ain Jalut—Can the Mongols Be Stopped?
Now, envision a militaristic society that threatened nearly all the civilizations of Asia and Europe. Study the rise of the Mongols, their terrifying conquests, and their astounding military expertise. Witness their clash in 1260 with the Egyptian Mamluks, a rare Mongol defeat that effectively halted their Western expansion.
Frigidus, Badr, Diu—Obscure Turning Points
This episode discusses battles that have had extremely important effects, though information about the specific events involved is scanty. Consider the battles of the Frigidus River and Badr, both vital turning points for world religions, and that of Diu, which marked the moment when Europe began its rise to world…
1526 & 1556 Panipat—Babur & Akbar in India
Two highly significant 16th-century battles were fought at the Indian town of Panipat. Learn about the rise of the Mughal emperors and the military clashes that first opened the door to their advance into India and then solidified their control, establishing a dynasty that would last for centuries.
1571 Lepanto—Last Gasp of the Galleys
The conquests of the Ottoman Turks led to the largest naval battle of the Renaissance. Trace the formation of the Holy League, an alliance of Christian powers against the raiding Ottomans; follow the events leading to Lepanto; and study the dramatic naval engagement that ended Turkish incursions into the maritime…