We trace the origins of the Arabs and Islam, from nomadic Bedouins to the sophisticated Nabataean cultures at Petra and the magnificent city of Palmyra.
Episode 3 – A Force from the Desert
Then we follow the story of the Prophet Mohammed in Mecca and the spread of the empire through the Middle East and North Africa. This episode balances the usual images of fanatical jihadis, to reveal the surprisingly peaceful and tolerant process by which the Islamic empire spread. We travel from Mecca to Damascus, Jerusalem to Cairo, Fez to Cordoba.
Today one god is worshipped by two thirds of humanity. In this episode we trace the birth, development and explosion of the religion of Abraham and Moses, from its very beginnings in Judaism to its triumph as Christianity within the Roman Empire. We also look at the earliest form of monotheism, as devised by Akhenaten in ancient Egypt
This episode follows the birth of civilisation in Anatolia and the Middle East. Back to the very beginnings, when hunter-gatherers pause in Gobekli Tepe and start to build the world’s first structures. This episode follow the first stages of civilisation: the rise of agriculture, governance and writing in Mesopotamia. In Miletus remarkable new finds show that the Greek god Aphrodite began as the eastern god Ishtar.
The latter part of the episode explores Alexander’s arrival in Troy and his conquest of the Persian Empire – a journey that made him realise what he owed to the East. In Miletus remarkable new finds show that the Greek god Aphrodite began as the eastern god Ishtar.
East to West is an exciting seven part series charting the birth and flourishing of civilization in the Near and Middle East, and its huge influence on the West. A largely untold story, and a fresh perspective, the series charts the spread of civilisation across the globe from the first cities of Mesopotamia.
For crucial phases in world history the key place was the Middle East – an extraordinary region that was a political, economic and cultural centre and a bridge between the continents of Asia, Africa and Europe. EAST TO WEST tells a complex story encompassing vast empires and covering three continents. An epic journey of discovery – from the East to the West.