This page provides an outline of some of the TV documentaries that give us some insight to the ancient and roman military systems of warfighting.

Ancient Era
Title First Aired Season(s) (Episodes) Synopsis
Ancient Discoveries 2003 1 (3), 2 (3), 3 (10), 4 (6), 5 (7), 6 (13) A History Channel documentary series that focused on ancient technologies. The show’s theme was that many inventions which are thought to be modern have ancient roots or in some cases may have been lost and then reinvented. Just over half of the episodes are dedicated to inventions/designs with a military application.
 Ancient Black Ops 2014 1 (10) From Ancient Greece to the frozen North, rulers have always needed their elite troops. Each episode details the intricate complexity of the elite troops who performed the assassination missions and how they worked.
Alexander The Great: Footsteps in the Sand 2004 (1) Visionary warrior, ambitious youth, angry son, ruthless conqueror. Such words have been used to describe Alexander the Great. But who exactly was this proclaimed man? When he set out to conquer the world way back in the 4th Century BC, not even the erstwhile philosophers of Ancient Greece could have predicted that the 20 year old would bend the course of history to his will, and make a name for himself that was never to be forgotten.
Ancient Olympics: Let the Games Begin 2004 (1)
  • Go back to Ancient Greece, Two Thousand, Five Hundred Years ago to the original Olympic Games. The ancient Games, like our modern Olympics, included champions and cheaters, glory and scandals, bitter rivalries and contests of strength, speed and savage combat.
  • Set in 448 BC when the pounding of horse’s hooves and the brutal hand-to-hand combat could be heard and seen by the crowds that filled the Olympic stadium. This one-hour special event follows the glory and corruption of the arc of a single, five-day Olympiad. The competitions include chariot racing, running, jumping, discus, javelin and two man-to-man combat finals-boxing and pankration, a form of extreme fighting in which death was not uncommon.
  • With the help of sports historians and great athletes such as George Chuvalo and Olympic medallists Donovan Bailey and Angela Schneider, viewers travel back to a very different life-in a very different world.
  • Combining computer generated imagery and vivid re-enactments, Ancient Olympics brings the legendary Hellenistic spectacle to life.
Spartans: The Last Stand of the 300 2007 


  • In the year 480 B.C., the Greeks and the Persians fight one of the most famous battles in history at a place called Thermopylae.
  • Here, the mighty Persian war machine, which has conquered most of the known world, will attempt an expansion into Europe.
  • The only thing standing in their way will be an army led by 300 Spartans, the greatest soldiers the world has ever known.
  • They will fight to the very last man, and in doing so will protect the cradle of democracy during its infancy, and the battle will go down in history as the greatest military stand of all time.
Alexander’s Lost World 2013 1 (6) David Adams follows the footsteps of the earliest Greek explorers.
Egypt: Engineering an Empire 2006 1 (6) ?
Battles BC 2009 1 (8) A documentary series looking at key battles in ancient history. The show was known for its very gritty nature, visual effects similar to the film 300 and its highly choreographed fight scenes with various weapons.
Roman Era (Rome Specific)
Title First Aired Season(s) (Episodes) Synopsis
Rome: The World’s First Superpower 2014 1 (4)
  • On a once-in-a-lifetime journey visiting key locations, Larry Lamb sets out to discover what made the Romans so successful.
  • He has spent years learning the Italian language while studying the history and culture of Rome, and now brings this ancient world alive with his passion, a wealth of fascinating detail and colourful CGI.
  • The history of Rome is a 1,000-year-long epic, filled with murder, ambition, betrayal and greed and encompassing such legendary characters as Romeʼs Iron Age founders Romulus and Remus and its greatest general Julius Caesar.
  • Larry is accompanied by some of Europe and Americaʼs foremost classical experts who reveal the atmosphere of intrigue, conflict and violence at the places where the saga unfolded, including Rome, Pompeii, Sicily, France and Tunisia.
Rome: Engineering an Empire 2005 (1)
  • This documentary tells the story of the expansion of the Roman Empire by means of amazing engineering feats.
  • One of the more impressive anecdotes of this History Channel production is that the Roman aqueducts procured more water for the city of Rome during the Empire than New York City could supply its inhabitants in 1985.
  • The production is sleek, seamlessly flowing from historical period to engineering accomplishment to imperial biography, using on-site photography, drawings, and actors to recreate interpersonal relations.
Ancient Rome: The Rise and Fall of an Empire 2006 1 (6)
  • A BBC One docudrama series, with each episode looking at a different key turning point in the history of the Roman Empire.
  • Factually accurate and based on extensive historical research, it reveals how the greed, lust and ambition of men like Caesar, Nero and Constantine shaped the Roman Empire.
  • It describes how Rome destroyed Carthage, was conquered by Caesar, how it suppressed the Jewish revolt, and converted to Christianity.
  • CGI is mixed with compelling drama and spectacular live-action battles to tell the definitive television story of how the Empire was formed, how it achieved maximum power, and why it eventually failed.
Rome: The Rise and Fall of an Empire 2008 1 (13)
  • A thirteen hour series which focuses on the Germanic, Britannic and other barbarian tribal wars with Rome which ultimately led to the decline and fall of the Roman Empire.
  • This series is centred on the campaigns and battles with the barbarian tribes and extensive examinations of the reigns of little known Roman emperors and generals.
  • The significance and structures of key barbarian tribes and the roles their leaders played are explored in detail.
  • Territorial changes to the Roman Empire caused by unrelenting wars, plagues, mass starvation’s and power struggles are presented in chronological historical context with extensive re-enactments.
  • This series examines how the continuous wars with the barbarians and depletion of resources became a core cause of the Roman Empire’s decline and eventual collapse.
Roman Roads: Paths to Empire 2002 (1)
  • They linked the vast territories of the greatest empire on earth, but is it possible that their fabled roads were a path to ruin for Rome?
  • Even today, some 2,000 years after they were built, the roads of the Roman Empire remain one of the most astonishing accomplishments in the history of mankind.
  • Built on the backs of many and often awash in the blood of conquest and suppression, they were absolutely vital to the process of building a society the likes of which the world had never seen.
The Roman Empire B2 1 (7) Two thousand years ago, one civilisation held the entire Western world in its grasp. From Northern Europe to Africa and the Middle East. It imposed laws, ideas and a single language. Rome was the super power of the ancient world.
Constantine: The Christian Roman Emperor ? (1)
  • In Rome the tyrannical Maxentius consults the gods Jupiter, Apollo and Mars to be told that, the enemy of Rome will be defeated, while outside the city Lactantius tries to convince Constantine to convert to Christianity.
  • Constantine initially dismisses Lycantius but after seeing what appears to be a sign from the Christian god on the eve of the attack, he follows Lycantis’ advice to adopt a Christian symbol.
  • The two forces clash at the Battle of the Milvian Bridge where Maxentius is drowned in the Tiber as the bridge collapses and a victorious Constantine rides into Rome under the Christian symbol.
The Roman War Machine 1999 (1)
  • La Macchina da Guerra Romana.
In Search of History: The Roman Legions 1997 (1)

A documentary produced for the History Channel looking at the Roman Legions.