The Ancient World with Bettany Hughes

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Episode Guides

Bettany Hughes' definitive history of the ancient world and classical civilisation

About the Show

Bettany Hughes' definitive history of the ancient world and classical civilisation

  • Engineering Ancient Egypt

    Engineering Ancient Egypt

    A special one-off documentary exploring how Egypt's two greatest pharaohs, Khufu and Ramesses II, built their way to immortality.

  • Statue

    Alexandria: The Greatest City

    Historian Bettany Hughes reveals the story of Alexander the Great's city, built in the North African desert and designed from the outset to be the world's first centre of culture.

  • Spartans

    The Spartans

    Bettany Hughes reveals the secrets and complexities of the Spartan martial way of life and its bloody rivalry with Athens

  • Athens: The Truth about Democracy (Part 2 of 2)

    Bettany Hughes digs beneath the surface of Golden Age Athens to explore the bloody but exhilarating truth about the world's first democracy

  • Athens: The Truth about Democracy (Part 1 of 2)

    This first episode charts the epic story of Athens' victory in one of the greatest sea battles of the ancient world, when the Athenian triremes defeat Xerxes' mighty Persian fleet at Salamis

  • When the Moors Ruled in Europe

    Historian Bettany Hughes looks at the influence of the Moorish invasion of Spain in 711 AD, and the lasting cultural and scientific legacy they created

  • Helen of Troy

    Bettany Hughes embarks on an epic journey across the Mediterranean to disentangle myth from reality and find out the truth about the most beautiful woman on earth

  • The Minoans

    Historian Bettany Hughes explores Crete, once home to the mighty Minoan civilisation whose sophisticated society changed the whole of Greece