The History Channel is going to air a new historical series entitled DECISIVE BATTLES including some classic wars between ancient Persian armies and Roman and Greek ones.
The History Channel goes on location to the actual battlefields and integrates cutting-edge videogame technology to bring history and imagination together in the new series DECISIVE BATTLES. The half-hour series DECISIVE BATTLES premieres Friday, July 23 at 9-9:30pm ET/PT. The series is hosted by Matthew Settle (Band of Brothers) on location at the ancient battlefields and features expert commentary from the world's foremost historians.
DECISIVE BATTLES is unlike any series The History Channel has ever aired. Employing the same advanced computer gaming technology as in the highly-anticipated new video game Rome: Total War(TM), the series gives viewers an unprecedented perspective of ancient battles by re-creating troops in their vast numbers and landscapes on a scale otherwise impossible. Instead of recounting these ancient battles though drawings, paintings and reenactments using actors, they spring to life in this new computer animation that allows viewers a gods-eye view of the battlefield with its massive numbers of troops, their formations, and the weapons and strategies each side employed. Viewers will get the vantage point the generals wish they'd had.
Episodes of DECISIVE BATTLES will include these famous battles:
Cannae: In 216 BC, the great Hannibal of Carthage marched from Spain, crossed the Alps and invaded Italy. The program shows how Hannibal's outnumbered infantry and cavalry managed to encircle the entire Roman army of nearly seventy thousand men and win the Battle of Cannae, the biggest defeat ever suffered by Rome. Premieres July 23.
Gaugamela: Viewers will see how the cavalry of Alexander the Great smashed into the quarter-million-strong army of Darius of Persia on the vast battlefield of Gaugamela in 331 BC. The stakes were high as victory at Gaugamela would give Alexander control of Persia and an opening to conquer Afghanistan and India. Premieres July 30.
Thermopylae: In 480 BC, the Persian king Xerxes invaded Greece with nearly a quarter of a million men. Viewers will experience what a sight that must have been for the 300 Spartans sent to hold them off at Thermopylae. Led by their king, Leonidas, they fought a rearguard action against the Persian army. The 300 Spartans were all killed but they won time, and their example inspired the rest of Greece to eventual victory. Premieres August 6.
Marathon: In 490 BC, the Persian Empire was expanding westward and had its eye on Greece. But, in an incredible feat of strength and speed, the Greeks defeated one half of the Persian army on the Plain of Marathon and then marched to Athens to prevent the other half from landing by ship. The program shows the 600 ships of the Persian invasion fleet and the charge of eleven thousand Greeks and how the battle was actually won. Today, this battle is best known for the story of the runner Pheidippides, who, according to legend, ran roughly twenty miles to Athens with the news of victory and so inspired the Olympic event. Premieres August 13.
Spartacus and the Slave Revolt: In 73 BC, the gladiator Spartacus led a revolt of slaves against their Roman masters. They fought their way from southern Italy to the foothills of the Alps. The Romans were terrified. If Spartacus succeeded, the structure of society would be turned on its head. The program demonstrates the strategy that Spartacus used for his slave army to break through the Roman army which surrounded them. Premieres August 20.
Chalons: In 451 AD, the Roman general Aetius, often called "The Last of the Romans," gathered a ragtag army together to stop the fearsome Attila the Hun from invading Italy. Viewers will see how the Roman troops attacked the Hun wagon encampment in this great night battle. Premieres August 27.
Carrhae: This battle of 53 BC was Rome's worst defeat since Cannae and brought eastward expansion to a halt. Crassus, the man who defeated Spartacus, invaded Parthia in search of military glory. Viewers will see exactly how the Parthians allowed Crassus to march deep into the desert and then used their mounted archers to encircle the Roman legions. Watch, like they did, as the skies darkened with arrows. Premieres September 3.
Adrianople: This battle of 378 AD marked the beginning of the end for the Roman Empire. Population pressure drove the Goth tribes across the Danube River in search of land. The program shows vividly how a hundred thousand Goths formed huge columns like battering rams, and attacked the Roman lines at Adrianople. Premieres September 10.
Pharsalus: In 48 BC, the Roman generals Caesar and Pompey fought a civil war for control of the Roman Empire. The program shows exactly how Caesar outsmarted Pompey as sixty thousand Roman legionaries fought to the death in Pharsalus. Premieres September 17.
Cynoscephalae: This battle of 197 BC not only removed Rome's last rival for power in the Mediterranean, it changed the nature of ancient warfare. All the great Greek victories, including those of Alexander the Great, were won using the phalanx formation of tight packed ranks of spearmen. In the program, viewers see how the Romans fought their way through the sixteen thousand spears of the Macedonian infantry, and won the day with their more flexibly organized legions. Premieres September 24.
Watling Street: In 61 AD, Rome occupied Britain. When Boudicca, the queen of the Iceni tribe, was whipped and her daughters raped by the Romans, the British tribes rose in revolt. The viewer will be right in the middle of the action, watching how the warrior queen Boudicca led 100,000 Britons against the might of Rome. Premieres October 1.
Teutoburg Forest: Rome lost more than 10% of its entire army in this battle in 9AD - and all its territory east of the Rhine River. Journey deep into the forest and witness how three Roman legions were attacked on all sides by German tribesmen led by Arminius. A rough translation of his Latin name led to his going down in history as the original "Herman the German." Faced with a hopeless end, the Roman general Varus threw himself on his sword. The emperor Augustus was found wailing, "Varus, give me back my legions."
Kadesh: In 1299 BC, the Egyptian and Hittite empires fought for control of Syria. See how Rameses II drove off the Hittite king in one of the biggest chariot battles of all time.
... Payvand News - 7/20/04 ... --