Good morning, we are continuing with our exploration of the Ancient World and Ancient Metropolises with an exploration into the city of Alexandria. Alexandria was the greatest city in the world, so why is its history so mysterious? It was a city where two cultures met: the Egyptian and Greek Cultures. The run time is 52:13.
Alexandria was established by Alexander the Great, and it was a port on the Mediterranean Sea. Alexander the Great had just conquered Egypt and wanted to establish a great city in honor of the conquest. Architects designed it on a grid pattern. For a time, it was a construction project. It was home to the great lighthouse at Pharos, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. What was it about this city that made Alexandria so special?
Today, the ancient city is buried under concrete and desert. It takes time and digging to find its mysterious past. What knowledge was stored in the Library of Alexandria? Where was the lighthouse? Why were people drawn to Alexandria? One young Athenian woman came down to Alexandria to seek her fortune, what is her story?
Jean-Yves Empereur is the head of the studies for Alexandria. He has concluded that Alexandria was a grand metropolis on par with Athens and Corinth. It would have impressed the ancient visitor. The lighthouse that guarded the harbor rose one hundred and forty meters into the sky. It was a symbol of Alexandria’s power. The lighthouse was built in 299 BC. It took twenty years to build. The lighthouse was the first sight that greeted the visitor to Alexandria. Unfortunately, nothing remains of the lighthouse, however, the site is now home to a Medieval fortress. Did the ruins of the lighthouse provide the building materials for the fort?
One engineer believes so and believes that the fort was built on the lighthouse’s foundation. So today, archeologists are putting probes around the Fort and through the fort to discover if the fort sits on the remains of the lighthouse. The lighthouse was toppled by an earthquake. Beneath the fort, there is a tunnel system that would provide water. This would have been helpful in a siege situation.
One young woman spotted it upon arrival in Alexandria. She ran into her uncle who was an engineer on the lighthouse site. She reunites with him. This woman has a bold plan, and it is only in Alexandria that she can see it through. She wants to study medicine and become a doctor. This was a shocking prospect even in Alexandria. She disguises herself as a man to study medicine, this is a dangerous prospect for her. However, she is determined to gain the knowledge to be a doctor.
Another archeologist explores an uninhabited island in the harbor. The site was untouched for generations and so this provides a rare opportunity to discover intact finds. This site was abandoned soon after it was built, and no one went to the island ever since. There was a building discovered on the site. On another area of the island, there was an extensive tunnel system found. Why was this island abandoned so soon after the building was done? Was this island a planning office for the city on the mainland? This island will remain a mystery.
In modern-day Alexandria, archaeologists have become rescuers. When there are construction projects around the city the construction workers discover something new about the ruins. When a site is discovered, the archeologists go to work to learn more about the ancient city before the ruins are covered again. On another site, known as the palace, clay pipes are discovered. These clay pipes would have provided water for the city. Thousands of pipes would have been laid in the ground before the building went in. This is a growing body of evidence that shows that Alexandria was planned extensively. The city planners even anticipated that the city would grow and built the roads to handle a high traffic volume. Ancient Alexandria was a modern city.
This documentary is an excellent documentary to show in the classroom. The story of Alexandria was woven together quite nicely and there was a nice flow to it. I would describe it as "no fuss, no muss," and the documentary was narrated simply.
Metropolis is a series about the biggest cities in the ancient world. People were drawn to the cities to find prosperity and happiness. The ancient world was colorful and merchants brought their wares from around the world as the trade networks ran far and wide. The first episode is about Athens. The run time for the episode is 51:47.
Athens rose 500 years before the birth of Christ. Its impact on history was large. Fine arts and sciences blossomed. The most famous philosophers taught in Athens. The people gave the world a new type of government: democracy. This documentary follows the story of a woman who lived in Athens. She was a woman of wealth and beauty, however, her pride led her to danger. What was life like for this woman in Athens?
In Fifth Century BC, Athens had 300,000 people. There was a period of decline in Athens. Athens finally regained its ancient size in the Twentieth Century. Presently, the Parthenon is in the process of being restored. The Athenians had built it to celebrate their victory over the Persians. The process of restoring the building involves taking it apart piece by piece and slowly repairing previous decades of restoration mistakes. When the work is done, it will still look like a ruin. Only pieces too damaged to use will be replaced. This opportunity is allowing scholars and architects to study the Parthenon closely and learn the techniques of the ancient builders. This restoration is revealing the secrets of the Parthenon.
Athens allowed ideas to flourish. Such ideas include the Pythagorean theorem as well as the atom being the smallest piece of the universe. The math that was discovered in Athens allowed the Athenians to build the Parthenon. The ideas of democracy were also in place in Athens. Athenians would practice the ideas in the Agora. It was a place where citizens could interact with each other daily.
A team is working to excavate the Agora. The Agora was the village square of Athens. It was the place where the administrative buildings were housed. There were a variety of buildings: the senate, magistrates office, commissioners, and courts. It is where this woman Phryne would spend her day. She was a woman of wealth and success. However, this wealth and success brought suspicion. She was accused of a capital offense: blaspheme. There are rumors that she commissioned a statue of Aphrodite in her likeness. People portraying themselves as gods make the citizens fear that the gods would punish them for such cheek.
Part of the excavations of the agora included the discovery of the well. The well was very deep and dug at the time of the Parthenon. The well has been studied for three years and it is giving a team of archeologists a glimpse of what the site looked like. The agora was surrounded by houses and they were lived in by people who came from different backgrounds. The poorest people lived in densely packed houses around the agora. There were also villas where the rich lived near the agora.
There were a variety of finds on the site as well. Small bowls seem to indicate that the poorest Athenians made sacrifices in hopes the gods would give them a better life. The Parthenon also shows the ties the Athenians had with their gods. The gods demanded humility from their people, and so Phryne’s sculpture would have been an affront to them. If gods took on a human form it was an expression of their divinity, but for a woman to take the likeness of the gods, it would have been an affront. Phryne’s life and liberty would be in danger. Why would Phryne’s life be in danger? Tune into the rest of this episode to find out.
This documentary has an old-school feel. The recreation of Phryne’s life and crimes was an interesting look as well. The sections about the restoration of the Parthenon were fantastic and would be appropriate for a STEM classroom. There was also a good section on the crafts of Athens which would be interesting for an art class. Mine the Parthenon sections for STEM classrooms and you can show the rest of the documentary for a history class.
I am continuing my exploration into the ancient world and I am looking into the Mayans and their calendar for today’s documentary. It is a surprising documentary to review for a history class.
Elisabeth Thieriot embarks on a journey to dispel the myths of the Mayan Calendar in Decoding the Baqtun. On December 21, 2012, everyone believed that the end of the world was going to happen. This was the result of the belief in the Mayan calendar that predicted the end of the World. The Mayan prophecy stated that there was going to be an apocalypse. The events in the world at the time seemed to lean toward that prophecy. However, December 21, 2012, passed and life went on as normal. So, what is the story of the Mayan Calendar? The runtime for this documentary is 1:21:20.
Everyone kept an eye on December 21, 2012, because the Mayans had predicted that it was going to be the end of the world. However, this myth was based on the wrong calendar. It was based on the Aztec Calendar. The modern-day descendants of the Mayan did not understand the fuss about this frenzy over the potential for the end of the world. For them, December 21, 2012, was going to be the beginning of a new cycle.
The Ancient Man tried to invent ways to measure time. Man used the night sky for navigation. The early man saw gods in the stars and these gods controlled their lives. Finally, in the third millennium BC, the Sumerians created a lunar calendar of 354 days and divided those days into twelve months. The Sumerians created their calendar after observing the cycle of the sun and the moon. The Hebrews and Greeks continued to use the Sumerian Calendar. The Romans took over the Sumerian calendar but then took inspiration from the Egyptian calendar to reform the Sumerians calendar. Finally, a pope adjusted the calendar to the calendar we have today.
So how did the Mayans work on their calendar? They created their calendar to mark their cycles and their celebrations. The calendar was the code of their life, it was carved into their games and their walls. The Mayans used math to create their calendar and this math was common to all cultures in Mesoamerica. Math was based on twenty. These numbers were tied to their gods and Mayans created the number zero. Zero had value for the Mayans, unlike other cultures. Zero both symbolized the begging and infinity.
The spiral was found in nature and was an essential part of creation. Spirals are found in nature, in galaxies, and in DNA. It is an infant sequence of numbers. It was known as the Fibonacci sequence. The Mayans created their calendar based on spirals. In fact, the Mayans were tied to nature and their environment. The environment where the Mayans lived was tied to their spirituality.
The Mayan Calendar was circular, much like a wheel. It could be described as gear and this gear cycled for 290 days. Then there were two smaller gear-like wheels that went around this larger circle. There were a variety of cycles that were marked by the calendar. It would take many rotations to repeat a day. When the calendar was reset, it would mean a new beginning for the Mayans, much like January First of the new year in Western Cultures.
However, when the Spanish came, Mayan culture was changed. The bishops burned the Mayan records and the codex. They imposed the Spanish Inquisition on the people. This would prevent Mayan future generations from understanding the Mayans and Mayan culture.
This was a fascinating look at the Mayan calendar and Mayan culture. Despite this, this was a challenging documentary to write a review on. It was hard to follow at times with a lot of bouncing around the subject. It potentially could have been better by talking more about the Mayans and their culture and how it was discovered that the Mayan Calendar was worked out. This would be an interesting episode to show in a science class because the Mayans based their calendar heavily on science. Additionally, this could have a potential application for a Spanish class. This would not be a documentary I would show in a history class.
Thank you, the Odyssey YouTube Channel, for making it easy to find ancient world documentaries to expand my Ancient World list that way I can do a good list of the recommended documentaries for school.
Istanbul is a city of 17 million people, spread over two peninsulas. Only two bridges and several ferries serve those 17 million people who cross the Bosporus straight. The Turkish Government is looking to build a train under the Bosporus to help with people crossing the straights. The tunnel will have to be put fifty meters under the surface. This would be the deepest tunnel in the world. However, as the tunnel was put into place there have been amazing finds that tell us about the history of the harbor in Istanbul. The Run time is 41:48.
The Tunnel was supposed to open up in 2010, however, the building of that tunnel is being delayed. Why is this building project so delayed? As the tunnels are being built, these tunnels are finding artifacts. These find talk about the history of the Harbor and the history of Constantinople. Yards and yards of finds are being found and processed as soon as they are being dug up. There is an amazing array of finds from the Byzantine period. Animal bones and skeletons have been found on the site.
Additionally, wooden poles were found. These poles supported an ancient pier. Then a boat appeared on the site. Thirty-seven shipwrecks were found on the site. These ships were well preserved and shocked the world. The old harbor had been found and it had been lost for over eight hundred years. Seventy meters beneath the surface, additional treasures are being found.
The delays and discoveries have cost the tunnel project over thirty million dollars and those costs are increasing. Construction of the train station has begun, so archeologists are working alongside the construction crews. The Archeologists are working as fast as they can to remove the objects from the site. It is particularly challenging when bulldozers are working on the site as well. There is also a deadline to excavate the area.
On the harbor sites longships, round ships, and small coastal ships have been found on the site. The archeologists prepare to remove one last We have only known about the ancient harbor through paintings and there was no evidence found for the harbor until the tunnel. The city had a large harbor and was a trading capital.
Constantinople was known as the new Rome and the New Jerusalem. It was the largest and wealthiest city in the world. It was a grand city with grand columns. There were grand bath buildings as well as grand palaces for the Byzantine Emperors. The key to its power was the harbor. This power lasted for nine hundred years. Much of the old city is buried under the new city and with this tunnel project going on, new secrets are being revealed. Time is of the essence to reveal this old city. Archeologists are working day and night to dig the site. The company building the tunnel has provided lights for the site that way the archeologists can work day in night. Eventually, the site will be covered with a train station and a giant mall.
Will the archeologists discover why this harbor disappeared in such a short time? What was thy key to this port that enabled Constantinople’s trading power? What will its recovery tell us about the history of Constantinople? As work continues for both construction crews and archeologists, an older shipwreck is being rescued. The archeologists work digging on the ship, and the timbers and cargo are being discovered on the ship. Did some of the items belong to a crew member? Or was this merchandise to be sold? The finds are hinting that there was a golden age of Byzantine. What else will the archeologists learn about Constantinople? Continue to watch this documentary to find out more.
This would be a good documentary to show in an ancient history class as well as a Middle School Classroom. If you are a teacher who wants to take a break from Ancient Rome documentaries then this would be a documentary to show in a classroom.
The Family of Tutankhamun is a documentary about the Tutankhamun family and their fall. They were one of Egypt’s greatest families, so why did they disappear? Was there a hereditary disease in the family? How did the family fall? The answers to those questions lie in the tomb of Tutankhamun and the genetic studies that have been done. This story beings with the discovery by Howard Carter of the tomb. The Tomb’s discovery would change history. The runtime for this documentary is 49:09.
Howard Carter was struggling to find the tomb of Tutankhamen. He hoped that this tomb would have been so unimportant the tomb was not raided by grave robbers. Carter had one last chance to find the tomb. After two days, a step was found. It might have been nothing, however as Carter’s team dug, they continued to go deeper and deeper. Sixteen flights later, at the end of those steps there was a horde of treasures was discovered. For the first time, Tutankhamun became a worldwide figure. His tomb was the most complete in Egyptian history.
Additional to the treasures in the tomb there were two other bodies discovered, they were in two miniature coffins. They were two unborn children. Were these the unborn children of Tutankhamun? Would these children hold the key to the sudden end of the family? The questions have never been answered until now.
Tutankhamun’s treasure takes off half of the Cairo Museum. His treasures give a glimpse of the life he lived. So why did this family die out? They were a powerful family that carved out an empire for over two hundred years. They left behind many monuments that proclaimed their achievements. Unfortunately, the family came to an abrupt end. Why was this? How could a family vanish so suddenly?
The 18th Dynasty began with a brother and sister marrying and in each successive generation, a brother continued with this tradition? Was this inter-sibling marriage the cause of the collapse of the 18th Dynasty? Was this family so inbred they could no longer sustain themselves? How inbred was this family? The Egyptian Museum is providing answers.
The Pharaohs are on the move and this is the first time the museum directors will have access to the pharaohs themselves. This will allow them to collect DNA samples from the pharaohs. After the pharaohs are sealed in their climate-controlled boxes, they will be protected for generations. Two genetic scientists from America are helping the Egyptians with their testing. These genetic scientists have experience in DNA as well as in genealogy. As well as testing the pharaoh’s DNA they hope to test the DNA from the two babies found in the tomb. What will these DNA tests reveal about the pharaohs?
One by one the Pharaohs were tested as they were moved into their climate-controlled cases. Additionally, these two scientists went on a search for the two babies. The coffins were found on-site, but where are the bodies? So while the Egyptian authorities look for the babies, the two scientists work on the Pharaohs to build a genetic profile of the family. The DNA of Thutmose III is going to be tested. He is the only mummy properly identified so his DNA will be important to provide a baseline for the rest of the family.
Would these DNA tests prove in-breeding? Would these DNA tests show a genetic disease in the family? Researchers seem to think that there was a genetic disease in the family and the Pharoah Akhenaten may have had it. He was a man who overthrew the traditional gods of the Egyptians and created a new god. Art changed under the king as well. Images of Akhenaten show him with wide hips and elongated limbs. Was this a result of a genetic disease or artistic license? Other researchers studied the skulls of the pharaohs to see if there are similarities. Would the evidence show that there was a disorder in the Egyptian dynasty? Tune into the rest of the episode to find out.
This sounded like a Secrets of the Dead Episode that was repackaged for Odyssey. Additionally, there was some glitching at 17:00 minutes and that lasted until 18:00. Periodically there were additional glitches throughout the rest of this episode. Other than the glitches, this would be a good episode to show in a classroom.
Lost Cities of the Pyramid Builders explores the lives of the people who built the pyramids of Ancient Egypt for decades, their lives have been shrouded and myths and mysteries. New evidence is rewriting the history of the pyramids. Burials have been discovered and these burials are of the people who built the pyramids. How were these pyramids built? Were the pyramids built by slaves? Or was this a community construction project for their Pharoah? The Run time is 49:22.
The Great Pyramid was the largest pyramid built and then two more pyramids were built, each getting smaller and smaller. This feat would never be accomplished again. What is documented about the pyramids is found in the temples of dead nobles. The people who built them were lost to history. Ancient Hearsay tells us that the pyramids were built by slaves. Ancient Greek historians said so on visits to Egypt. Hollywood reinforced the myth.
However, a blockbuster discovery shattered that myth. In 1990 a digger hit a large block buried in the sand. Archeologists moved onto the site and discovered a wall of a large building. They kept digging and started finding evidence of a large settlement. What was this settlement? Why was it so large? Could this be where the people who built the pyramids lived?
The first thing discovered on the site was a bakery and the jars that were used to bake bread. Food was being produced on a vast scale. A few months later, another blockbuster discovery was made at a site higher on the site. A horse’s leg went through a hole and discovered a wall. It was the wall of a tomb. These tombs were the tombs of the people who built the pyramids. The people in them were bones and had a few simple objects in them.
There was no doubt about these tombs: these were the tombs of the pyramid builders. There were tombs for bakers, builders, and overseers. Additional to the tombs, the archeologists found remains of the food they ate. There were fish bones and meat bones in enormous numbers. Cattle bones were found on the site and this was a high-cost item to be found on the site. This seems to hint that the people who worked on the pyramid were not slaves. They were a group of people well-fed.
More than 600 skeletons have been found in the tombs. There were an equal number of men and women on the site. There were bones of children found on the site as well. The bodies were DNA tested and it was discovered that the pyramid workers were families. This would smash the myth that the pyramid builders were slaves. More surprises were to come. Another thing that was revealed about the bones is that the Pyramid Builders had medical care on-site. There was evidence of broken bones being healed and there was evidence of amputation on the site.
The growing body of evidence shows that the pyramid builders were a well-fed and privileged group of people. The work was grueling and so the pyramid builders had access to doctors who treated them on site. They had the highest standard of medical care available for their age, they would need this care because pyramid building took a toll on the body. Unfortunately, the pyramid builders had a shorter lifespan.
How did the pyramid builders do it? The Greek historians were told that the pyramids were built by hauling rocks using leavers and that a hundred thousand slaves worked on the site. However, the numbers do not add out. In fact, there is a theory that 5,000 people stayed on the site permanently while other people came and left the site. An American builder ran the numbers to test the Greek Theory. So how did this American builder figure out how many people were needed to build the pyramid? Tune into this episode to find out more.
As I reviewed this episode I realized that this was originally shown on PBS as a Secrets of the Dead episode. At the time I remembered this would be an excellent documentary to show in a class and watching this documentary again so many years later reinforces that believe. This documentary is highly recommended for classroom viewing, especially in a middle school history class.
Good morning, we are throwing things back to the history of Carthage. This is from the series The Ascent of Civilization. The run time for this documentary is 51:16.
Carthage was famous for its purple dye. They were traders who controlled the Mediterranean Coast for thousands of years. They left behind an alphabet. They were known as master shipbuilders. However, they had a reputation for child sacrifice. They were known as the Phoenicians by Homer. Their greatest enemy was the Romans. So who were the Phoenicians? Why did they become so powerful?
The Phoenicians were loosely organized into city-states and they lived in the shadow of the Assyrians and the Egyptians. These civilizations demanded tribute from the Phoenicians. The Assyrian Empire was everyone’s worse nightmare. They wanted to extort anything and everything they could. The Phoenicians always kept up the silver and copper stocks for the Assyrian Kings. The Egyptians treated the Phoenicians poorly as well. However, the Phoenicians grew tired of shipping their wealth out to other nations. One king rose against their overlords.
So as the nations dealt with inner turmoil the Phoenicians struck back. The Phoenicians refused to send free wood to Egyptians. They demanded payment from the Egyptians. This demand startled the Egyptians however they paid the price to get their wood.
The Phoenician world was divided between the east and west. The Phoenicians were known as Phoenicians in the Western Empire and the east, they were known as Carthaginians. The Romans called them Punic. Carthage was only a small colony that grew into a thriving trading city. The legendary Princess Dido was the founder of Carthage. She fled from Tyre and her power-hungry brother. She landed on the North African coast. She made a deal with a local chieftain. She could have landed the size of a cowhide. Cleverly she had the cowhide cut into strips and ended up with a large chunk of land to establish her city.
The story of Princess Dido has some truth to it. Carthage was established as a colony with people from Tyre. It was established with a strategic reason in mind. The city was carefully planned with strategic defenses on both the land and water side of the city. 30,000 people were living in Carthage. The Chief Magistrates lead the city and were elected every year by the citizen lead assembly. They created laws and had political discussions. Many of their laws revolved around trade. The Carthaginians started with ports nearby and then eventually built up an extensive trade network. They traded all over the coastline in Europe and went into Africa. The Carthaginians grew rich through their trade and were renowned for their handicrafts.
The Carthaginians established colonies like Cadiz, Malaga, and Grenada. These cities would eventually grow into powerful cities. Each of these cities had its gods and they were worshiped in a variety of sanctuaries. These gods were influenced by the civilizations around them. The Carthaginians had a large pantheon of gods. There were three favorite deities: El, Astarte, and Baal. El was the king of the gods and creator of the world. Astarte was the goddess of war, seafaring, love, and heaven. Baal was sometimes known as the sun god or the gods of healing. They also enjoyed worshiping Isis and Demeter.
The heart of the city was the harbor and it was cleverly designed. Both military and merchant ships would come into this harbor. The most modern warships were built in this harbor and it was a top-secret area. Excavations of ships that were sunk show how the Phoenicians built their ships.
The Carthaginians also had an evil reputation. They sacrificed animals and their children. Newborn sons were burned alive. They wanted protection for their community. For a while this was shocking to historians, however, there have been excavations that show that this was true. There was one monument that shows that children were sacrificed.
This is an excellent documentary on Carthage. It had a good pace throughout the documentary. This documentary gave the facts about Carthage with a few reenactments. I would consider showing this to a middle school history classroom. The section on the gods would be appropriate for an English classroom because it dives into mythology.
Good morning, I am going to be a little bit controversial here and today’s topic is about the history of Aviation. Were the Wright brothers the first to fly? Or was there another flyer that took to the skies earlier? The run time for this documentary is 52:49.
In 1903, the Wright Brothers made the first motorized flight. Or did they? This documentary talks about the controversy surrounding this claim. Aviation expert, John Brown explores this controversy and puts for the claim that Gustave Whitehead was the one that made the first flight. It is a claim that outrages many. Was Gustave Whitehead a genius or a person discredited by his rivals? Who kick-started the age of aviation?
The flight was one of humanity’s greatest achievements and it is celebrated at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. The museum has the Wright Brother’s plane from 1903. What is the real story behind the first flight? In 2011, an Australian aviation expert began exploring that first flight. His name is John Brown and he was exploring the early history of aviation. During this research, he discovered a photo from 1901 built by a German aviator Gustave Whitehead. The photo was of a motorized plane. When John saw the photo, he felt like everything was in the right place. John Brown set out to find the truth about Gustave Whitehead and his flights. He found records about this flight and Gustave Whitehead from five continents. As he dug deeper, he found controversy along the way.
Who was Gustave Whitehead? There were rumors that he was flying in 1901. The contemporary sources talk about Gustave Whitehead’s plane. In the 1930s, Stella Randolph started exploring the history of aviation. She was pointed to an article in a local paper from 1901. It was about Gustave Whitehead and his flight. She decided to research the story of Gustave Whitehead. She expanded that original article and put together a book. She tracked down the witnesses to these flights. However, these efforts would be in vain. World War II happened and nobody wanted to give the title of the first flight to a German. Stella’s evidence fell on deaf ears and she went to her grave believing that Whitehead was the first to make the mechanical flight.
What happened to Stella’s claim that Whitehead was the first to fly? In 1945, Orville Wright wrote an article quoting someone who knew Whitehead. He called Whitehead a dreamer who did not fly. John Brown would go hunting for the evidence. He starts in Whitehead’s hometown in Germany. Here, he explores the life of Gustave Whitehead before his immigration to the United States. The museum in the city has a replica of the plane Gustave flew. Gustave spent years exploring flight. He started designing gliders. He took many flights with these gliders. His early efforts would inspire other aviation pioneers.
John continues to track down the evidence of these flights. In Bridgeport, Connecticut, Andy Kosch, a physics professor started experimenting with building a replica of Whitehead’s plane. He proved that Whitehead’s design could fly. As word got out about this replica, many others came forward including individuals who had known people that had witnessed Whitehead’s flights. John continues his exploration in the United States where Whitehead found employment at the Boston Aeronautical Society. He constructed gliders and these images were published in the local newspapers.
Eventually, he moved to Pittsburg where he first started experimenting with flying. Stella would track down the first of many witnesses to these flights in Pittsburg. One man was in the plane with Gustave when they flew. The local newspapers wrote about these attempts. To learn more about Gustave Whitehead and his aviation exploits tune into the rest of the episode to find out more.
When I first saw this documentary, I was skeptical about the topic and also wondered if it would be worth sharing in a classroom. However, as the evidence started to be revealed I saw the potential that Whitehead was the first. There were also points in the documentary where I felt like some of the experts were a bit condensing. In the end, this would be a good documentary to show in a history classroom because of how the sources were looked at and examined.
Good morning, we are going to conclude our Storm over Europe series. So who would inherit Europe after the Roman Empire collapsed? Could the barbarians rule Europe? The run time for this episode is 50:19.
The Visigoths had come from Scandinavia and traveled around. They went on a long journey and traveled to France. Eventually, they were pushed out and started their long trek south. They left behind all their possessions once again and moved. It was a long and difficult journey. The Visigoths were pushed from their kingdom by the Franks. Anyone who joined up with the Visigoths, they were welcomed. The Visigoths were considered a tribe of many peoples.
Thirty to forty thousand people made the journey over the mountains into Spain. The plains of Spain welcomed them. Spain would be the home of the Visigoths, and they wanted to stay forever. Toledo would become the seat of their kingdom. For two centuries Toledo was the residence of the Visigoth kingdom.
Few remains remain of their occupation. However, what remains leaves tantalizing traces of the Visigoth culture and are known to experts. Stones and carvings were found and were reused to decorate a palace. Archeologists further suspect that there are additional traces of the Visigoths found throughout Toledo. There were figures found carved into churches. The figures in the church show the type of faith the Visigoths had. Any additional remains will probably stay hidden forever underneath the buildings.
There were no remains of construction work done by the Visigoths, perhaps they moved into what the Romans built. The Visigoths settled in the Spanish plains. They farmed and worked the land. Others became wealthy landowners. There was one king of the Visigoths and he built up his empire in the Gothic Tradition. The King was the highest authority of the land beneath God. A crown discovered hammered home this idea. It was left on an altar.
The locals regarded the Visigoths as barbarians. So the Visigoth king got rid of his furs because they stank. He donned a purple cloak. However, only the Roman Emperor was allowed the purple cloak. The Visigoth king donning the purple cloth showed that they were claiming power in their territories for themselves. The Visigoths were the first to wear the purple and this tradition carried on through the generations with future Kings and Queens. The Visigoths minted their coins, another sign that they were their kingdom. Minting coins were a privilege of the Romans, however, the Visigoths minting their coins showed they arrived.
The Visigoths built churches and there are only a few remains of the churches that are left. Archeologists continue to work on the site to uncover the remains of a Visigoth settlement. This settlement was named after a Visigoth king’s son. Through the years, more and more of this settlement has been uncovered. Visigoths built their settlement on new foundations. It was a place of toleration where different groups lived together in peace.
The gate was huge and there was a market area and shops. The gate marked a transition between the living area and the commerce area. It reinforced that the Visigoths had arrived and they had powerful kings. Every single piece that is dug up highlights the lives lived in the settlement. The city was an important trading place and a financial center. Recently, the foundations of the King’s Palace were dug up. This palace had no precedent in the Ancient World. Several thousand people called this settlement home. It will take several generations to discover everything about this Visigoth city.
The Visigoths were strangers to the new land, but they spoke Latin like the Romans and tried to adopt Roman ways. They were still treated as foreigners by the locals. The bones of the Visigoths tell their tales as well. Several hundred Visigoth graves were discovered and the grave goods showed a people who were adapting to their new lands. Eventually, the kingdom of the Visigoths was overthrown by the Muslims and they were scattered. To learn more about what happened to the Visigoths continue to watch this episode.
This is a good episode that sums up the Visigoths quite nicely, so it would be a good episode to show in the classroom.
We are continuing our series Storm over Europe and this time the series is exploring the Goths. In this episode, the face of a Goth woman is being reconstructed. The Goths shook the Roman Empire and would enter history through their encounters. They were people who lived at the end of the world on the Polish coast. They had come over the sea in three boats to escape the dark north. One boat arrived later and the people were nicknamed the slow ones.
Scandinavia was the womb of the Goth tribes. Eventually, they moved to the Polish coast and spread from there. The whole Baltic area was influenced by the Goths. There was a saga of the Goth, and these were stories about the Goths passed down through the generations. Does this saga match historic facts? The Goths had set up stone circles. Were these places of worship? Or were these observatories? Or were they burial grounds? One archeologist investigates these stone circles. He talks about the links between the stone circles in Scandinavian and the stone circles in Poland. There seems to be a hint that Poland became the second homeland of the Goths.
However, the Goths continued to advance inland. They went interior and subjected all their neighbors. They were a free people. The Goths continued to move the interior using the rivers. There was no mass exodus. Goths were continuously looking for better settlements.
There was a burial discovered in Poland. The Goths had buried a boat. There was a woman buried in a seated position in the boat. Another Gothic burial site was discovered and it contained several hundred skeletons. The men in the tombs were buried without swords and daggers. The Goths pressed onto Hungary.
The Goths were excellent traders as well and their networks spread throughout Europe. Turtle shells, glass beads from Africa, and shells from the Black Sea were discovered. It was the lure of Rome that continued to drive the Goths south. The Long March of the Goths moved forward, other tribes joined them in the migration. At the time the Goths did not register on the Roman Radar.
Rome was looking to expand their territories and they sent an army to Germany, where they faced defeat in the Teutoburg Forest. It was another few decades before Romans returned to the scene of their greatest defeat. The soldiers went to bury the remains of their fellow soldiers and to bury their defeat. 15,000 Roman Legionaries lost their lives on the battlefield. Almost 2,000 years later, archeologists finally discovered the location of that battlefield. Coins and slingshot rocks were discovered at the site.
Archeologists descended on the site and finally located where the battle took place. They discovered many items belonging to the Roman legions. Thousands of bones have been found on the site as well. Death still hangs over the battlefield and the bones testify to the fall of the Roman Army. A beautiful parade mask was discovered on the site. The finds prove that the battle of the Teutoburg Forest took place.
At the time of the battle, there were rumors of a German revolt. The Germans were enraged but kept friendly relations with the Romans. Eventually, the trap was sprung and the battle commenced. The Germans wanted their freedom despite their relationship with the Romans. This relationship would be turned on the Romans as the tribes learned Roman army tactics. One by one the Romans were slain. This shattered the myth that the Romans were unbeatable. Perhaps the Romans should have treated the Germanic tribes differently and history would have been different.
Present-day Germans celebrate the revolt as a movement for freedom. Were the leaders fighting for freedom? That is up to debate. The Teutoburg Forest showed that the Romans were able to be defeated. The Roman Empire would not expand beyond the Rhine and Danube. The Romans built forts and walls along this boundary. Many soldiers were sent to man these forts and would patrol the borders. This border was supposed to appear intimidating. However, the Germans still found their way around these walls. So, to continue to learn more about this watch the rest of this documentary.
This would be one documentary to skip because it seems that in the middle of the documentary the Goths and their migrations were dropped.
I'm a librarian with an active imagination who likes to create. Genealogist and Researcher.
My Teachers Pay Teachers Store! Worksheets available as a Word Document.
I am also on Lulu! If you're interested in genealogy I have several books available!
HistoryDocTube will not collect any personal information and will not sell any personal information to a third party. We will not request any personal information.
The purpose of this blog is to share information on what can be used in a classroom, private school, or home school setting as well as serve as a portfolio of my personal and professional work.
The reviews are my opinions and should be treated as such. I just want to provide a tool for teachers to select documentaries for their classrooms.