In ‘End of Empire’ Australian Historian David Adams crosses Europe and Asia as he investigates the warrior kings who created vast empires, spilt blood and fought for their realm. In a real “Game of Thrones” the dysfunctional families of Attila the Hun; Timur (Tamerlane the Great); Edgar, King of the English and Charlemagne manage to lose it all.
Episode 1 – Timur
In the fourteenth century a minor local clan leader begins a career of conquest that will forge one of the largest empires the world has ever seen. During his rise and rule Timur (known in the West as Tamerlane the Great) builds awe-inspiring mosques and palaces, betrays and executes allies and is responsible for the deaths of over 17 million people – roughly 5% of the world’s population. We join Presenter David Adams as he follows in the footsteps of the man proclaimed as the Sword of Islam from ancient villages in the mountains of Uzbekistan to the shores of the Black Sea and the walls of Delhi. David explores the wondrous buildings Timur creates – and reveals the hopes, mistakes and tragedies of a father seeking to establish a legitimate, royal dynasty. And a family who manage to lose it all as a result of civil war, betrayal, debauchery and murder.
Episode 2 – Edgar
The ambitious Edgar believes it’s his destiny to unite England and bring an end to the wars between rival British kings all the while also keeping the Vikings at bay. Garner political success with the aid of his wife, Aelfthryth who has ambitious plans of her own. Aelfthryth wants her son to be the next ruler rather than the right heir to the throne Edward, Edgar’s older son from a previous marriage. Following Edgar’s death the kingdom begins to fall apart as Edward, his confirmed successor, is assassinated by Aelfthryth’s allies and her son Ethelred is crowned King following suit by an array of new enemies as a result of the betrayal.
Episode 3 – Attila
Attila the Hun was called the barbaric Scourge of God for the devastation he rained down on the Christian nations of Europe. Following his death his sons caused such ruckus for the throne that his empire in its entirety disappeared within fifteen years. In End of Empire: Attila Presenter David Adams sets out to discover the true story of Attila and his dysfunctional family as he peels away myth and legend to reveal the true story of this great warrior king and the subsequent destructive family feud that resulted in the End of Empire
Episode 4 – Charlemagne
Presenter David Adams crosses Europe to show how daring tactics, brilliant leadership and sheer force of numbers make Charlemagne and his army the most feared military power in 8th century Europe. Known in history as Charlemagne, King of the Franks and Emperor of the Romans he waged over 50 campaigns during a 45-year reign and by year 814, he commanded an empire that traversed more than a million square kilometres. The Emperor’s son and successor, Louis the Pious failed to hold the empire together and his own sons kill him and fought amongst themselves for ownership and power. The family feud climaxed in a fierce battle that left 40,000 dead and a treaty that divided Europe into three parts.