I first learned about Battles B.C. when I was doing some research for my Greek history class on the Battle of Marathon. There happens to be an episode of this show featuring this battle and I was intrigued.
This series features 8 episodes each featuring a different historic battle from B.C. Included are: Hannibal (Carthage), David (Israel), Joshua (Israel), Caesar (Rome/Gaul), Moses (Egypt/Israel), Alexander the Great (Greece/India), Ramses II (Egypt), Battle of Marathon (Greece). For the episodes focused on specific people they tend to focus on one or two epic events, rather than looking at their entire life. For example, for Alexander, they focused on his final quest to take India in his expansion of his empire.
One element of the show that I liked a lot was there was always a spotlight on the differences in the two contending sides. You would see what the soldiers wore for armor, what types of weapons they would have fought with, and then ancillary items used (such as elephants or chariots). This made it easier to understand who was fighting who and gave a visual of advantages vs. disadvantages. They also made great use of maps and explaining techniques and battle strategies so that even a novice to war could understand what was going on. Another aspect that I enjoyed, but is an aspect has received much of the criticism for this show, is the way they showed fighting scenes. They were done much in the style of the movie 300 – where it almost looks a little like a comic book bloody scene. I thought it was a creative idea for them to pick up on the popularity of style of a movie that had recently come out and to make it a different style offering from the standard History channel style.
I also appreciated the people they had on as the “experts”. Most of them were military studies professors which is appropriate for the material being covered. Also, I thought the handling of the Biblical topics was well done. They would cite different sections of the Biblical telling of the story and then offer historical interpretations from a military perspective. I thought that they were fair to the religious view and also from a practical viewpoint.
There were a couple instances where they seemed to stay from the topic at hand, spending too much time on back story rather than what was occurring. For instance, in the episode on Marathon, they spent the majority of the episode talking about the events that had occurred 50 years prior and there was much less time spent on the actual battle. So I was in the end a little disappointed with the particular episode I got the series to see.
Favorite episode: Caesar – but a really close runner-up is Ramses
Least favorite episode: Joshua
You can read more about the episodes here.
Below is a sample of this show for your previewing enjoyment, here is also a link to view full episodes of the series on youtube – I made a playlist.
Copyright © 2013 by The Maiden’s Court