Andrew Marr’s History Of The World

9:00pm Sunday 11 November on BBC ONE

In Age of Extremes, the final episode of this landmark series charting the history of human civilization, Andrew Marr brings the story right up to date with the 20th century – our age.

Marr suggests that humanity found itself propelled forward by our ‘technological brilliance’ but limited by the consequences of our ‘political idiocy’. Democracy confronted communism and fascism, and two world wars would underscore our political failures more than ever before. But our achievements were also astonishing – especially in the fields of science and technology. We invented machines of awesome speed and power, and reached beyond the limits of our planet. Now, more of us live longer, healthier and wealthier lives than our ancestors could ever have imagined. But Marr argues that with seven billion of us on the planet – and rising fast – either we manage the earth’s natural resources better, or we risk global catastrophe. The decisions we make in the next 50 years, he argues, may well decide our fate. For Marr, the most interesting part of human history lies just ahead.

Ep 8/8

9:00pm Sunday 4 November on BBC ONE

In Age Of Industry, the seventh episode of this landmark series charting the story of human civilization, Andrew Marr tells how Britain’s Industrial Revolution created the modern world.

The old agricultural order of aristocratic landowners, serfs and peasant farmers was replaced by a new world of machines, cities and industrialists. Across the world, many resisted this sweeping change. From China to America, Russia to Japan, bitter battles were fought between the modernisers and those who rejected the new way of life. In Europe, new industrial powers competed with each other to create vast empires that dominated the world. But this intense competition would lead to the industrial-scale slaughter and destruction of the First World War.

9:00pm Sunday 21 October on BBC ONE

In Age Of Plunder, the fifth episode of this landmark series charting the history of human civilization, Andrew Marr tells the story of Europe’s rise from piracy to private enterprise.

The explosion of global capitalism began with Christopher Columbus stumbling across America while searching for China. While Europe tore itself apart in religious wars after the Reformation, the Spanish colonized the New World and brought back 10 trillion dollars’ worth of gold and silver. But it was Dutch and English buccaneer businessmen who invented the real money-maker: limited companies and the stock exchange. They battled hand-to-hand to control the world’s sea trade in spices, furs and luxuries like tulips. In the 145 years from 1492 to 1637, European capitalism spread across the globe.

Ep 5/8

9:30pm Sunday 14 October on BBC ONE

In Into the Light, the fourth episode of this landmark series charting the history of civilisation, Andrew Marr reaches the Middle Ages.

After the collapse of the Roman Empire, Europe was little more than a muddy backwater. Vikings explored and pillaged from Northern Europe to North America. But they also laid the foundations of powerful new trading states – including Russia. This was also the Golden Age of Islam, and the knowledge of ancient civilisations from India, Persia and Greece was built upon by Islamic scholars in Baghdad’s House of Wisdom. By exploring the conquests of Ghengis Khan, the adventures of Marco Polo and the extraordinary story of an African King – the wealthiest who ever lived – Marr finds out how Europe emerged from the so-called Dark Ages and used influences from around the world to rise again with the Renaissance.

Ep 4/8

9:00pm Sunday 7 October on BBC ONE

In The Word And The Sword, the third episode of this landmark series charting the story of human civilization, Andrew Marr plunges into the spiritual revolutions that shook the world between 300 BC and 700 AD.

This was an age that saw the bloody prince Ashoka turn to Buddhism in India; the ill-fated union of Julius Caesar and Egypt’s Cleopatra; the unstoppable rise of Christianity across the Roman Empire and the dramatic spread of Islam from Spain to Central Asia. Each dramatic story pits the might of kings and rulers against the power of faith. But Andrew Marr discovers that the most potent human force on the planet came from the combination of faith and military power. Both Christianity and Islam created new empires of ‘the word and the sword’.

Ep 3/8

9:00pm Sunday 30 September on BBC ONE

In Age of Empire, the second episode of this landmark series charting the history of human civilization, Andrew Marr tells the story of the first empires, which laid the foundations for the modern world.

From the Assyrians to Alexander the Great, conquerors rampaged across the Middle East and vicious wars were fought all the way from China to the Mediterranean. But this time of chaos and destruction also brought enormous progress, and inspired human development. In the Middle East, the Phoenicians invented the Alphabet, and one of the most powerful ideas in world history emerged: the belief in just one God. In India, The Buddha offered a radical alternative to empire building – a way of living that had no place for violence or hierarchy and was open to everyone. Great thinkers from Socrates to Confucius proposed new ideas about how to rule more wisely and live in a better society. And, in Greece, democracy was born – the greatest political experiment of all. But within just a few years its future would be under threat from invasion by an empire in the east.

Ep 2/8

9:00pm Sunday 23 September on BBC ONE

In the opening episode of a major new eight-part series, Andrew Marr sets off on an epic journey through the explosive events, changes, conflicts and triumphs that shaped 70,000 years of human history. From our earliest beginnings in Africa, Marr traces the story of our nomadic ancestors as they spread out around the world and settled down to become the first farmers and townspeople.

He uncovers extraordinary handprints left in European caves nearly 30,000 years ago and shows how human ingenuity led to brilliant inventions that are still with us today. Marr discovers how the first civilisations were driven to extremes to try to overcome the forces of nature. And he reveals how day-to-day life in ancient Egypt had more in common with today’s soap operas than might be imagined. It’s all part of an incredible human story about adapting and surviving – against the odds.

From our origins in Africa, global colonization and battles with nature to the first farmers and the emergence of religion and philosophy; from the rise of empires, brutal wars, revolutions in blood and iron to astonishing discoveries and the wonders of the digital age, Marr charts the major turning points, decisive moments and pivotal questions – questions with which we’re still grappling now.

“We can’t hope to know all of the human story, but it does help to have the big picture because it’s really the story of who we are now,” says Marr. “We’ve been brilliantly clever at reshaping the world around us – almost as clever as we think we are ?- though not perhaps as wise. There will be challenges, triumphs and surprises – all the essentials of the story, except, of course, how it ends…”

With spectacular images, compelling characters and incisive narration, this is an epic journey through human history and the story of the world we live in today, ?featuring dramatic reconstruction, documentary filming around the world and cutting-edge computer graphics.

Ep 1/8

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