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Documentary | History
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Covers many of the ancient Greek and Norse Gods, monsters and heroes including Hades, Hercules, Medusa, Minotaur, Odysseus and Zeus.

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A thirteen hour series which focuses on the Germanic, Britannic and other barbarian tribal wars with Rome which ultimately led to the decline and fall of the Roman Empire. This series is ... See full summary »

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

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Last Stand of the 300 (TV Movie 2007)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

In the year 480 B.C., the Greeks and the Persians fight one of the most famous battles in history at a place called Thermopylae. Here, the mighty Persian war machine, which has conquered ... See full summary »

Director: David Padrusch
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Hannibal (TV Movie 2006)
Action | Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

It is 200 years before the birth of Christ and Rome is the new superpower of the ancient world. She believes she is invincible - but one man is destined to change that. He is a man bound by... See full summary »

Director: Edward Bazalgette
Stars: Alexander Siddig, Emilio Doorgasingh, Bashar Rahal
Engineering an Empire (2005–2007)
Documentary | History
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A series of documentaries that go over the world's history and it's many accomplishments.

Stars: Peter Weller, Michael Carroll, J.J. Huckin
Ancients Behaving Badly (TV Series 2009)
Documentary | Biography | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

This documentary explores some of the psychological behaviors regarding the world's most infamous celebrities in the ancient world, while utilizing modern scientific techniques to explain their actions.

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The Dark Ages (TV Movie 2007)
Documentary | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The History Channel examines the Dark Ages from the fall of the Roman Empire to the First Crusade.

Director: Christopher Cassel
Stars: Philip Daileader, Kelly DeVries, Bonnie Effros
Empire (TV Mini-Series 2005)
Action | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Epic four-hour series about the rise of Octavius who succeeds Julius Caesar and tangles with Marc Anthony for control of the Roman empire and finally went on to become the emperor Augustus.

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Spartacus (TV Movie 2004)
Action | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

After he is bought by the owner of a Roman gladiator school and trained as an gladiator A slave leads a rebellion of slaves and gladiators into revolt against Rome.

Director: Robert Dornhelm
Stars: Goran Visnjic, Alan Bates, Angus Macfadyen
Caesar (TV Movie 2002)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Twenty year-old Julius Caeser flees Rome for his life during the reign of Sulla but through skill and ambition rises four decades later to become Rome's supreme dictator.

Director: Uli Edel
Stars: Jeremy Sisto, Richard Harris, Christopher Walken
The Battle for Rome (TV Mini-Series 2006)
History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Stars: Tom Bell, James D'Arcy, Peter Firth
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 Various (8 episodes, 2009)
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History's biggest battles brought to life like you've never seen them before.


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9 March 2009 (USA)  »

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Entertainment over Realism
2 April 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This show takes some of the well known conflicts of ancient civilizations and adds a modern flare to them. An obvious attempt to make history more appealing to the current generation of viewers, the focus here is on entertainment. Real historical figures are given a weapon in each hand with no shield and are seen wading through and besting countless foes from the opposing armies in usually single combat. The fight scenes are interspersed with expert historian commentators who have many interesting things to say about the particular conflict and its participants.

While I applaud the History Channel for attempting to make history more accessible and interesting to the modern viewer, much realism has to be sacrificed in the attempt. The depiction of combat here may be somewhat exciting, but to the more seasoned viewer like myself it is absurd and ironically a bit monotonous in its tight and predictable choreography. Enemies are usually dispatched with a flash of cartoon blood at the end, making it appear to be a comic strip more than a historic battle. The only view of the battle is at ground level - no bird's eye views of the developing battle here. Rough diagrams are shown of troop dispositions, but I expect more in this age of readily accessible computer simulations.

The accompanying commentary is excellent, and one of the best parts of the show. The commentators help to flesh out the rationale behind the conflict, goals of the commanders, and progress of the battles. They help to fill in the details that are lacking in the re-enactments.

Although I do enjoy the show, I cannot recommend it to the more serious historian. This show is for those who have only a marginal interest in history, and demand entertainment over a realistic depiction of battle. "Warrior Queen Boudicca" is one example of a History Channel program that has some man-to-man fighting but is supplemented by great bird's eye views of the battle, and both conducted in a more realistic manner. Perhaps the finest example of how to do this sort of show right is "Battlefied Britain" from a few years back, but it is not airing any longer to my knowledge, although it is available on DVD.


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