This series covers the life and accomplishments of Genghis Khan and examines the art, culture, science, and technology of Mongol civilization. Genghis Khan left not only a highly trained army, but the beginning of an imperial administrative framework, a system of taxation, a communications network—all of which were built upon and expanded by his successors. The series was filmed on location in Mongolia and also features battle re-enactments shot at historical locations throughout Europe and Asia. 4-part series, 50 minutes each.
In the Peoples Republic of Mongolia, the reputation of Genghis Khan has undergone a dramatic transformation—from despised enemy of the revolution to a virtual deity. This program examines how he emerged from obscurity, united the Mongol tribes under his banner, and transformed an obscure nomadic people into a most formidable fighting machine. It traces his spectacular campaigns through northern China, central Asia, Afghanistan, Georgia, and Russia, which set down the foundations of a powerful empire.
This program explores the power and influence of the Mongol Empire, under the rule of Khan and his son, Ogodei. More than 1,000 miles from the sea, the Mongol capital of Karakorum was constructed—a kind of Brasilia of the steppes. A communications system and thousands of miles of highways were built to connect Karakorum with the far frontiers of the empire, enabling Khan to consolidate his power. Within a few years, northern China was conquered, the Russian principalities were forced to submit, Poland and Hungary were overrun, and a united European army of knights, templars, Hospitallers, and Teutonic knights was completely devastated.
This program explores Europes initial response to the Mongol onslaught, which was to presume it some form of divine retribution sent to punish a sinful world. In 1243, Pope Innocent IV sent forth a series of emissaries to glean the will of the Mongol lords and persuade them to consider Christianity. Unexpectedly, the papal envoy discovered a government of ambassadors and emissaries that actively encouraged religious tolerance, resulting in the widespread flourish of Christianity.
This program traces the life of the fifth Great Khan, Kublai Khan, who preferred to make his home in China, where he ruled as the first emperor of the Yuan dynasty. Upon his succession to power, he set out to unite the entire nation. It took 14 years of war and a lifetime devoted to winning the hearts and minds of the Chinese, which he largely accomplished by being a great patron of the arts and sciences. Kublai lacked, however, his grandfathers military acumen and sent ill-fated military expeditions to Java, Southeast Asia, and Japan that produced disastrous results. Though his achievements had world significance, he died a disappointed man with the empire showing signs of decay.