The 5 Best Documentaries About Late Antiquity

Oct 2, 2023 | Best Of, History

Late antiquity was a period of significant transition in European history, from the waning days of the Roman Empire to the emergence of medieval societies. It was also a period that saw advances in arts and culture, as well as changes in religion and politics. This fascinating period is explored through late antiquity documentaries, which provide viewers with an opportunity to learn about this critical time in history. From exploring the fall of Rome and its legacies to tracing the development of Eastern Christianity, these documentaries offer a window into what life was like during this remarkable period. Read on to explore some of the best late antiquity documentaries available today!


1. Late Antiquity – A New Historical Era

Late Antiquity was a period of transformation in the ancient world. It marked the end of Classical antiquity and ushered in a new era of history, characterized by increased urbanization, Christianization, migration, and dramatic changes to economic and political structures. With Rome as its hub, this period saw profound cultural shifts across Europe, the Near East and North Africa.


2. Battle of the Catalaunian Plains, 451

The Battle of the Catalaunian Plains, fought in AD 451 between Attila’s Huns and a coalition of Roman and Visigoth forces led by Aetius and Theodoric I, was an epic clash that marked a major turning point in European history. It put an end to the devastating advance of Attila’s horde across Europe, preventing its destruction of Gaul and its Latin and urban character. The battle was remembered for its ferocity, though the casualty figures in traditional accounts are likely exaggerated.


3. The Ancient History of Carthage – The Ascent of Civilization – Full Historical Documentary

The tale of the Carthaginians is a long and storied one, stretching back some 3,000 years. It was in this time that settlers left their homes in what is now Lebanon to found colonies around the Mediterranean. The most impressive of these settlements was the city of Carthage, located in present day Tunisia.


4. The Rise and Fall of the Sassanid Persian Empire

Explore the remarkable history of the Sassanid Persian Empire in this captivating documentary. Uncover ancient stories of an empire which ruled most of modern day Iran and Iraq with a powerful political, military and cultural influence that spanned centuries. Journey through time to understand how Sasanian civilizations rose to the peak of power before its decline.


5. Constantine: The Mystery Of Rome’s Christian Emperor

History tells us that Rome was conquered by both Christianity and paganism. Early in the 4th century, Emperor Constantine embraced Christianity, but it wasn’t a one-way street – many of his subjects held onto their ancient beliefs and traditions. The interesting thing about this period is that the two sides blended together to create an even more vibrant culture.


Ancient History of Gambling In Rome And Late Antiquity

Believe it or not, the proof historians have found confirms that gambling existed even in 2300 BC. This is the earliest evidence of gambling we currently have. They come from China! Scientists have found tiles that were probably used for some type of game of chance. How exactly those games looked is still not confirmed.

The stronger pieces of evidence are those that come from Ancient Greece and Rome. Dicing was extremely popular in Ancient Rome. The streets were full of people offering such a service. Yet, most people do not know that gambling was completely forbidden during that time in Rome. Because of that, people needed to find a creative solution not to get caught. That’s the moment when the first gambling chips were created. If the guards found civilian gambling, they claimed they gambled for chips, not real money. That fact confirms how passionate people were about gambling even 500 years BC.

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Thomas B.