This two-part series recounts the story of the rise and fall of the Mongolian Empire.
The Mongols were skilful administrators, the first "global players" who guaranteed the uninterrupted exchange of goods and ideas between the Orient and the West for nearly 200 years. They were also far-sighted, bringing merchants, traders and settlers with extensive agricultural know-how to their lands. Only after the collapse of Mongol influence in the mid-14th century did routes to the Far East become unsafe.
Against the backdrop of the breathtaking landscapes of Mongolia, these programs reconstruct life at the court of Genghis Khan and illustrate the Mongolian style of warfare. In 1253 the Pope sent a Franciscan monk to the Mongolian empire, and his report - The Lore of the Mongols - portrays a fascinating, exotic world.
A world that still respects ancient traditions today, the Mongols are as accomplished as ever with bow and arrow, the breathtaking riding skills of their ancestors not forgotten but a part of their life; a nomadic people that has kept its knowledge and skills alive and maintained its originality.
Episode 1-THE EMPIRE OF GENGHIS KHAN
In 1206, the warrior Temujen was crowned Genghis Khan - "emperor of all emperors". One of the most powerful rulers in history, Genghis Khan defeated the neighbouring tribes of the steppes and united them under his leadership. With a mighty army he set out to conquer Asia and expand his realm into northern China and the fringes of Europe. At war he was a feared opponent and the barbarity of his forces was legendary yet he had another side. He founded a capital city, laid down a code of law and fostered an exchange of trade and culture with the surrounding nations.
Episode 2-THE HERITAGE OF GENGHIS KHAN
This program focuses on the heirs of Genghis Khan and their way of life as seen through the eyes of the Flemish Franciscan monk William of Rubruck who travelled over 4000 kilometres in the hope of promoting the conversion of the Mongols to Christianity. While he did not achieve his goal, he left a lively, carefully observed record of his travels, including a detailed description of Mongka Khan’s palace at Karakorum and of the way of life of the Mongols, much of which has remained unchanged to this day.