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OU on the BBC: Andrew Marr's History of the World - Age of Empire

Updated Thursday, 2nd October 2014

In the second episode of the series, Andrew Marr tells the story of the first empires which laid the foundations for the modern world

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Andrew Marr, presenter of History of the World Copyrighted  image Icon Copyright: BBC Andrew Marr presents the second episode of History of the World In this episode, Andrew Marr tells the story of the first empires which laid the foundations for the modern world.

From the Assyrians to Alexander the Great, conquerors rampaged across the Middle East and vicious wars were fought all the way from China to the Mediterranean.

But this time of chaos and destruction also brought enormous progress and inspired human development.

In the Middle East, the Phoenicians invented the alphabet, and one of the most powerful ideas in world history emerged: the belief in just one God.

In India, the Buddha offered a radical alternative to empire building—a way of living that had no place for violence or hierarchy and was open to everyone.

Great thinkers from Socrates to Confucius proposed new ideas about how to rule more wisely and live in a better society.

And in Greece, democracy was born—the greatest political experiment of all.

But within just a few years, its future would be under threat from invasion by an empire in the east...

Andrew Marr's History of the World on the BBC

You can watch this episode of Andrew Marr's History of the World on BBC One at 9pm on Sunday 30 September 2012. For more information, and links to BBC iPlayer, visit the BBC One website.

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