Continuing a spectacular run of military successes, King Philip II of Macedon leads his army to erase Methone off the map, the last Athenian city near Macedonia’s domains. Allowing Philip to focus on the expansion of his kingdom, including a campaign into Greece that abruptly ends with a humbling defeat against Phocis. Forcing Philip to retreat and leverage the strength of the gods, returning to win a stunning victory at the Battle of Crocus Field in 352 BCE. Gaining control of northern Greece, but prevented from moving southwards, finding the Athenians blocking his path at Thermopylae.
Showing glimpses of bold aggression under its newly named King, Philip II, Macedon’s neighbours grow increasingly unsettled. Anticipating a backlash yet unwilling to compromise on remaking his kingdom into a dominant power, Philip begins securing alliances, while struggling under the weight of a Macedonian economy still in tatters, unable to finance the expansion of his menacing but relatively small army. Causing Philip to embark on an audacious path, pouncing on the city of Amphipolis and its lucrative gold mines and plunging Macedon into war with the mighty, but distracted, Athenians.
Having guided Macedon from the edge of collapse, Philip II establishes an uneasy peace with the surrounding nations of classical Greece and the Balkans. Using this short reprieve to continue the reinvention of the Macedonian army and begin repairing the internal divides that had long plagued his kingdom. Then striking back out against his enemies in his 2nd year in power. In 358 BCE, first taking on the Paeonians, followed by a defining test against King Bardylis of the Dardanians and Illyrians. Raising alarm all around and setting the stage for a monumental clash with the mighty Athenians.
While held hostage in the city of Thebes, Philip II of Macedon is afforded a top tier military education, profoundly impacting the astute young man. This happening as the Kingdom of Macedon wrestles with internal court intrigues and murder, before facing a renewed wave of foreign incursions that ends in disaster and death of the reigning king. Having returned to his homeland, Philip is elected as the interim leader in 359 BCE, using diplomatic guile and cunning to save the realm from the edge of collapse while buying valuable time to begin molding the Macedonian army into an unrivalled force.
We begin exploring the path blazed by Philip II of Macedon (382 – 336 BCE). A military and diplomatic genius who ushered in the Rise of Macedon, bringing Greece to its knees and that laid the foundation for the conquest of the Achaemenid Persian Empire. In order to appreciate how truly unbelievable this ascendancy was, we backtrack deep into the tumultuous history of the Kingdom of Macedon leading up to Philip’s youth, to understand the depths of his starting point, a nation teetering on collapse, scarred with internal disunity and ever threatened by powerful neighbours.
In the final episode covering the Danish Viking King Sweyn Forkbeard, we follow along as he relentlessly wages his war of attrition against Aethelred "the Unready" of England. A 10 year marathon, steadily draining their economic and military power, sapping their morale and will to put up a viable resistance. Culminating in a full scale invasion in July 1013, that by the end of that year, would have him ascend to the throne as the first Viking King of England. We then review Forkbeard's legacy, who ushered in one of the most monumental achievements of the Viking Age during its twilight years.
Peace has taken hold in Scandinavia. However, not all people of Nordic ancestry are free from the threat of violence, as the English King Aethelred “the Unready” unleashes a genocidal scourge upon those settled on his lands in November 1002, known as the St. Brice’s Day Massacre. We explore the events leading to this day of infamy, before following the terrifying retribution led by the Danish Viking King Sweyn Forkbeard, who will take something far more valuable than plunder from England...a strategy to bring the nation to its knees.
After having wrestled the Danish crown from his father's cold grasp in 986, Sweyn Forkbeard goes off raiding in England in the pursuit of riches to finance his future endeavors, leaving behind numerous enemies that collude to usurp his kingdom while he is abroad. Left in a desperate situation, the winds of fortune soon change for Forkbeard, fueling an unbelievable resurgence that sees him regain Denmark, add Norway to his domains and establish himself as the preeminent monarch in all of Scandinavia.
We begin exploring the path forged by Sweyn Forkbeard. The son of King Harald Bluetooth, growing up in a time of great instability during the late 10th century. Newly unified, Denmark remains marked with factionalism and external influences, including the onset of conversion to Christianity. Underneath all of this, a deeply strained relationship with his father that eventually boils over into civil war, seeing Forkbeard pry the Danish Kingdom from Bluetooth's hands.
Viriathus (Viriato), the newly raised general of the Lusitanian resistance, unleashes the War of Fire (147-139 BCE) upon the Roman Republic. Convincing other Hispanian tribes to rise up in defiance and using Guerrilla style tactics to achieve dazzling victories, making Lusitania the graveyard of numerous Legions. The Romans finally resort to treachery to end the threat, but are unable to extinguish his legacy that continues to inspire people to this day.
In this episode, we get introduced to the incredible story of Viriathus (Viriato). A lowly barbarian shepherd who, in 147 BCE, appears virtually out of nowhere to lead the Lusitanian tribe in a fierce resistance of the Roman Republic conquests in Hispania (modern day Portugal and Spain), employing imaginative tactics to achieve spectacular results against Rome's mighty Legions.
In this final episode covering Amir Timur (Tamerlane), we review his twilight years where he inflicts a series of stinging defeats against the Mameluke Sultanate. Before facing off against the surging Ottoman Empire for supremacy of the region, reaching the pinnacle of his power and the greatest extend of the Timurid Empire. We then look at his broader legacy and the lasting impacts that this warlord made on the world.
In retribution to the attack on the heart of the Timurid Empire, Amir Timur (Tamerlane) launches a series of vicious campaigns against one of his greatest adversaries. Tokhtamysh, Khan of the Golden Horde, his one time protégé, now turned bitter enemy. Before embarking into India, seeking the untold riches of Delhi, where further atrocities also await.
Now the undisputed ruler in Transoxiana, Timur looks abroad, conquering to enhance the size and prestige of the Timurid Empire. Where we also see the emergence of a notable dark side, resorting to brutal violence and horrific acts to submit nations to his will.
Through a series of epic battles, Timur and Husayn rid Transoxiana of its Moghulistan Khanate overlords, before facing off against one another in a deadly struggle for control of the region.
Introduction and the early days of Timur, detailing the political and social environment before his birth, and his transition from rising star to on the run fugitive.