What the Ancients Knew: The West
Exploring Ancient Greece, the Roman Empire and the early Egyptians, this series journeys into the technological past that shaped our world. Travel back in time to understand the motivations behind early solutions and inventions. We learn that much of the science and technology we consider to be “modern” was created by civilisations long ago.. DVD Release Date: 14 May 2012
Part 1: Rome
More than 2,000 years ago, the Roman army swept across Europe, northern Africa, and the Middle East. Backed by the legions, their military, and engineering skills, the Romans built one of the largest empires in history, dominating as many as 36 modern nations. Technology helped shape the ancient world and reverberates in our Western lifestyle and amenities today. But the Roman legacy is less about invention itself than about the spreading of the ancient technology. Rather than invent most of what they became famous for, the Romans adopted, perfected, and spread their enemies’ inventions throughout their empire.
Part 2: Greece
The Western world is built on the wisdom and traditions of the ancient Greeks, who uncovered the fundamental principles that established the basics of modern technology. Explore their contributions to geometry, astronomy, and physics and take a close-up look at how they applied their knowledge: Thales predicted an eclipse, Pythagoras discovered mathematical correlation between a musical instrument’s string length and its tone, Archimedes developed laws of mechanics, and a group of 90 priests made well-informed educated guesses about many things.
Part 3: Egypt
More than 5,000 years ago, faith moved mountains–virtually. Observations must have led the ancient Egyptians to believe that the cycles of life were governed by a rule whereby each phenomenon they detected had a counterpart. Life, they concluded, must have an afterlife as its opposite. And to enjoy the afterlife, you needed a body, one that was your own in this life and one that would remain intact. Achieving this goal propelled discoveries and innovations in technology and science. The program traces the scale and effects of ancient Egyptian faith by closely examining the rise and fall of pyramid construction. Viewers will discover how life in ancient Egypt was consumed with the preparation for the afterlife. As the desire and financial ability of Egyptians seeking the afterlife increased, a highly specialized and diversified workforce grew. This helped promote an intricate industry and infrastructure of organization, supply lines, and administration.