10984History Channel Programs -
- May 2, 2007Wednesday, May 2, 2007
7-8pm -- Modern Marvels - Leather.
Sometime at the dawn of civilization, animal hides were rubbed down
with animal fat, making them more flexible, durable, and malleable. By
the 5th Century BC, this "tanning" process expanded to include
vegetable and tree oil washes, creating what's now known as
"leather"--one of man's most reliable and versatile products. Without
advances in leather shoes, the Romans could never have marched to the
Tigris; nor could the Pilgrims have survived winters in Plymouth.
Today, leather is a staple of our daily lives. Modern tanners have
devised techniques to make leather more versatile, colorful, and
luxurious than ever. We visit modern tanneries of conventional cowhide
leather, and explore the more exotic leathers made from alligator,
snakes, and even sting-ray. And we'll examine the race of modern
science to create synthetic leathers that are supposedly more
convenient in today's fast-paced life. We'll see how leather binds us
to the past in an unparalleled way.
Thursday, May 3, 2007
7-8pm -- Modern Marvels - Torture Devices.
For more than 3,000 years, emperors and generals, dictators and
police, criminals, clerics, and even medical doctors have created and
used a vast array of torture devices--everything from the ancient
Greeks' Brazen Bull, which slowly barbecued the victim, to the
elaborate mechanical apparatuses of the Spanish Inquisition. A medical
doctor who specializes in victims of torture reveals how the human
body responds to their use--from the earliest excruciating
contrivances to the more modern.
Friday, May 4, 2007
8-9pm -- Julius Caesar's Greatest Battle -
In an 8-year campaign through what is now France, Julius Caesar killed
one-million people, took a million more hostage, and destroyed more
than 800 cities. Follow in the footsteps of Caesar and the leader of
the Gallic uprising, Vercingetorix, as the bloody conflict in Gaul
reaches its climax. In 52 BC at Alesia, Caesar and Vercingetorix lead
their armies into one of the greatest sieges in the history of
warfare: a battle that will decide the fate of Gaul and shape the
future of the entire Western World.
Saturday, May 5, 2007
8-10pm -- Quest for Dragons -
A spirited exploration of the history, science, and legend of the
world's most notorious beast--the dragon, the best-known creature that
never was. Throughout history, dragons influenced wars, science, art,
and religion. They appear in almost every culture and many still
believe in dragons. How could different cultures, isolated by geology
and millennia, all invent the same creature? If the dragon is simply
the product of our imagination, how could distant peoples, with no
knowledge of each other, all invent the same beast? One of the reasons
dragons are a perennial favorite is that even though they are the
ultimate predator and antagonist, it's also fun to identify with them.
In the end, we want to be the dragon as much as we may want to slay
Monday, May 7, 2007
9-10pm -- Cities of the Underworld - 06 - Rome's Hidden Empire
Rome is a city where the past meets the present on every corner. A
secret cult practiced right next to the Circus Maximus, and their
temple still remains beneath the street. The famous Piazza Navona sits
on top of Domitian's Stadium. Pieces of Trajan's Basilica can be found
under a gallery owned by fashion dynasty Fendi. Rome's underground is
filled with evidence of life during the Empire. Join host Eric Geller
as he discovers what life was like during Nero's tyranny and Augustus'
reforms and reveals the technological marvels that allowed the
construction of one city upon another--literally.
Friday, May 11, 2007
10-11pm -- Modern Marvels - Bombs.
Bombs...the most feared and powerful weapon in any nation's arsenal.
What began as incendiary devices in the 7th century has evolved into
weapons that can literally blow the human race off the face of the
earth! From the use of diseased carcasses flung over castle walls to
Greek Fire to today's smart bombs, we review the evolution of bombs.
Saturday, May 12, 2007
8-10pm -- Nostradamus: 500 Years Later -
The life story of Nostradamus unfolds in medieval Europe at the time
of the Great Plague and the Inquisition. He lived in an age of
superstition and magic and believed that he could foretell the future.
For this he was labeled both a prophet and a heretic, and his cryptic
journals continue to inspire controversy just as they did in the 16th
century. In this two-hour examination of his life, we visit his
birthplace in France and trace his career as doctor, astrologer,
father, and seer.
Sunday, May 13, 2007
10-11pm -- Cities of the Underworld - 04 - Scotland's Sin City
Edinburgh, Scotland is a thriving metropolis, but take a look into its
past, and you'll find it has led a double life. A sophisticated and
educated surface city evolved above while a darker, seedy world grew
below--from plague victims getting buried alive under the streets to
body snatchers, illegal distilleries and castle dungeons. Join host
Eric Geller as he investigates these stories, deciphering fact from
fiction, while uncovering the engineering marvel of Edinburgh's
underground--created when the city actually changed its street level.
Monday, May 14, 2007
7-8pm -- Modern Marvels - Quarries.
Dynamite explodes hills to bits, drills divide sheer stone walls,
400,000-pound blocks are pulled from pits by giant cranes, and men
work around the clock to wrest rock out of the earth. Not diamonds or
gold...rock, the raw material of civilization! Without rock, modern
society wouldn't exist. Roads, sewers, dams, bridges, buildings,
paint, glue, make-up, antacids, and even chewing gum need crushed
stone. From ancient days to the present, we explore the evolution of
9-10pm -- Cities of the Underworld - 07 - Catacombs of Death
Beneath the hustle and bustle of Paris streets are a world of snaking
quarries, hidden catacombs, and mushroom-harvesting tunnels. Even
Paris' 10.5 million residents have no idea they live on top of nearly
20 centuries of history carved into the limestone foundation below.
>From its Gallic beginnings to the Roman foundations of Lutetia,today's Paris may be one of the world's most sophisticated cities
above the ground--but below ground it's a different story. Join host
Eric Geller as he reveals the secrets beneath Paris and the Notre Dame
church and what they reveal about a 2,000 year old civilization that
rests underneath it.
Hope you enjoy some of these.
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