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The History Channel Presents Engineering an Empire
The History Channel Presents Engineering an Empire
Actor: Peter Weller
Genres: Television, Documentary
NR     2007     9hr 24min

Hosted by Peter Weller, ENGINEERING AN EMPIRE examines the most magnificent and sophisticated civilizations in history through the lens of their astounding engineering feats. Walk through the narrow streets of ancient Gree...  more »


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Movie Details

Actor: Peter Weller
Genres: Television, Documentary
Sub-Genres: Television, Documentary
Studio: A&E Home Video
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 03/27/2007
Original Release Date: 03/27/2007
Release Year: 2007
Run Time: 9hr 24min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 4
SwapaDVD Credits: 4
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 3
Edition: Box set
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Great set for educational purposes
Christopher M. Allen | Wayland, NY | 01/08/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is a great set and includes the following titles on 4 discs: (Unfortunately it doesn't include the episode on Egypt. You will have to buy that one separately if you want all of them.)


GREECE: The cradle of Western civilization sustained remarkable technological advancement for over 1,000 years, including such masterpieces as the Tunnel of Samos and the Parthenon.
GREECE: AGE OF ALEXANDER: After a century of tremendous accomplishment, Greece's territorial ambitions were stymied by constant warfare - until Alexander ventured abroad and initiated the Hellenistic era.
THE AZTECS: The Aztecs became one of the greatest civilizations in history through brilliant military campaigns and technological mastery of their harsh environment.


CARTHAGE: Find out how Carthaginian engineers harnessed their extensive resources and manpower to develop some of the ancient world's most groundbreaking technology.
CHINA: Century after century, China's regal emperors mobilized immense peasant armies to accomplish unfathomable feats - including the most ambitious construction project ever accomplished.
RUSSIA: From the Moscow Kremlin to St. Petersburg to the Trans-Siberian railroad, examine the architecture and infrastructure that led to the rise and fall of the Russian Empire.


GREAT BRITAIN: Through the centuries, the British Empire used extraordinary engineering technology to become an industrial and military titan, giving rise to such inventions as the first locomotive.
THE PERSIANS: The engineering feats of the mysterious Persian Empire include a water management system, a paved cross-continent roadway, and one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
THE MAYA: By 900 AD, the once-glorious Mayan cities disappeared. Unravel the mystery surrounding this mythic civilization through its spectacular infrastructure and architecture.


NAPOLEON AND BEYOND: When France stood on the precipice of disaster, one of the most legendary military strategists in history arose from its ashes: Napoleon.
THE BYZANTINES: As much of the world descended into the Dark Ages, the Byzantine Empire emerged with ruthless might and supreme ingenuity, ruling over vast swaths of Europe and Asia.
AGE OF ARCHITECTS: After the deep sleep of the Dark Ages, it wasn't until the 11th-century that autonomous city-states emerged in Italy, revitalizing metropolises and paving the way for the Renaissance.
Great, but only 1 Thing
Vikram Pant | Maryland | 05/23/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This is great stuff, but the one thing is to realize it doesn't include Rome, Engineering An Empire. That's a separate purchase at this moment only available from the network's online store."
Not for engineers, architects, builders etc.
David Holubetz | Telluride, Colorado | 05/31/2010
(2 out of 5 stars)

"So here's the contrary review, from a disgruntled viewer. Everything the other reviewers said about the series and what it covers is correct - my complaint is that this is not about engineering, architecture or building. It is about war and the quest for power. I should have known, as this is what all History Channel shows are about. As a builder, I had hoped to see in depth coverage of the actual building / construction. Instead the focus is on empire, and the 'building' and consolidation of power in order to dominate. The music, the tension, the conflict - if you watch tv at all, this is nothing new to you. And if this is your thing, then by all means buy the set and enjoy. If you liked 'Troy' or the new 'Robin Hood' then you will love this series. But if you are, like I was, hoping to see all the good engineering behind the great civilizations and their incredible feats, this series will be a disappointment, as the coverage of such is very thin."
Engineered like few others
Kitty H | Erie, PA USA | 08/22/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This set does something very unusual for documentaries, particularly Hitler Channel productions, these days: It goes out and shows you the constructions that it's talking about (and a striking number of these ancient engineering feats remain in show-and-tell-able condition). Oh, there are computer-graphic explanations of details -- for example, the Aztec aqueduct system or the process by which boats were moved along Darius's canal. And some fairly restrained re-enactments provide a bit of action, as well as historical context. Otherwise, though, lovely images of the actual objects at issue form the centerpiece(s) of each segment.

Peter Weller's purposefully conversational narration lapses only occasionally into dude-speak, and anyway, he can be forgiven a snarky comment or two while he gamely climbs up, down, in, over, under and through the assembled relics of the human past (in their varied states of disrepair). He certainly generates an infectious enthusiasm for his subject, and he communicates quite a bit of information in an accessible manner.

I might have liked to see more technological nitty-gritty on some of the innovations, but in general, this series has rather more heft than one might expect from the mainstream infotainment production houses. I, too, am slightly irritated that the Rome volume will be a separate purchase -- but I'll be picking it up, just the same."