November 29, 2014

ANCIENT WARRIORS

THE BEST WARRIORS IN HISTORY


The 22 part series produced by Seven Art Productions for the Learning Channel (Discovery Communications) in 1994 is a gem; each episode lasting about 25 minutes explores the lives and times of an ancient warrior clan or race through some important battle or any other crucial event in their history. In some cases, we are also told about some great general or king who led his people to glory that they had never seen before.

Amongst the factors that work in favor of this series is its short run time; in fact, it is one of the shortest documentary series that I have seen. In spite of this, an earnest effort is made to educate the viewer regarding the weapons that these warriors used, how they trained and the strategies that they applied to get the better of their enemies - in short, all the things that made them some of the greatest fighters in world history. Unlike other documentaries that concentrate mainly on people and events that happened in the US and Europe, the makers have made sure that warriors like the Assyrians, the Mauryans, the Samurais and the Ninjas which hail from the Afro-Asian region too are covered. Finally, we are also told of the circumstances that eventually led their downfall. The episodes are as follows:

 Sr. 
Warrior
Event
1
The Assyrians
        Sacking of Judeah & Lacish by King Sennacherib         
2
The Celts
Victory over Rome at the Battle of Allia
3
The Normans
William the Conqueror's conquest of England
4
 The Legions of Rome 
Trajn's Dacian Wars
5
The Macedonians
 Alexander the Great's victories in his Afro-Asian campaigns 
6
 The Soldiers of the Pharoh 
The Recapture of Upper Nile from the Hyksos by Ahmose I
7
The Spartans
The Battles of Thermopylae and Plataea
8
The Jannisaries
Battle of Verna and the capture of Constantinople
9
The Huns
The military career of Attila and his general Edeko
10
The Knights Templar
The live of grand master Gerard de Ridefort
11
The Vikings
The live of Egill Skallagrímsson
12
The Highlanders
The unification of Scotland by Robert the Bruce
13
The Irish
The live of King Brain who drove the Vikings and united Ireland
14
The Maurya
Ashoka the Great's victory over the kingdom of Kalinga
15
The Aztecs
The victories of Emperor Moctezuma II
16
The Samurai
The Genpei War
17
The Shaolin
The Shaolin monks rescue an Emperor's son from a warlord
18
The Hawaiians
The live of King Kamehameha
19
The Ninjas
     The help rendered by Ninja warriors to Toguwasha emperor Ieyasu     
20
The Sioux
The live of Crazy Horse
21
The Zulus
22
The Romans