Engineering an Empire
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Engineering an Empire

2007, History  -   49 Comments
Ratings: 8.03/10 from 61 users.

Engineering an EmpireEngineering an Empire is a program on The History Channel that explores the engineering and/or architectural feats that were characteristic of some of the greatest societies on this planet.

Engineering an Empire has received critical acclaim. The premiere Rome received an Emmy for outstanding documentary. Egypt also received positive reviews.

This program includes the following episodes: Rome, Egypt, Greece, Greece: Age of Alexander, The Aztecs, Carthage, The Maya: Death Empire, Russia, Britain: Blood and Steel, The Persians, China, Napoleon: Steel Monster, The Byzantines and Da Vinci's World.

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49 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Peter "Michael" Simkins

    Why in the Hell isn't there a episode about Japan? I'm insulted, and I'm American... not Japanese, that says a lot that there is something wrong with History Channel not doing an Engineering An Empire episode on Japan!

    I Demand an episode about Japan, and any other Empire or civilization that was left out!

  2. DocHollywood

    Still living the dream that the Egyptians build the pyramids and they they were used as tombs regardless of new evidence to the contrary

  3. BennyB

    Zheung He, the soprano conqueror =D

  4. Martin Swift

    Very interesting topics but the production is overly sensational, at times bordering on silly. Descriptions and diagrams are poor and scarce (and those gratuitous animated circles don't help).

  5. Andrew Sherwood

    Brilliant series! thoroughly enjoyed it. Peter Weller is awesome

  6. arlips

    I love how it links to the whole series in a playlist when you go click the youtube button. I've already watched Rome, Greece, Byzantine, Da Vinci's Times, ok so probably most of them.

  7. Antonio Gomes

    Amazing series. Science and technology fueling civilizations. Reflections of our own time. People living in some of these civilizations of the past seemed to have had the quality of life..or better:P..than now. Change seems to always be one idea away.

  8. jess nonya

    @arifkarim islam/muslim is only 1500 years old. mohammad didnt imagine the religion of islam in the period that this documentry is focusing on. ancient arabs were persians or egyptians (or even jews, bet that makes you happy) which have nothing to do with the religion of islam. maybe you are a little over-glorified in your history of the religion of islam and not educated about arabs as a group of people from a region or certain genetic background.

  9. Jo McKay

    A good well rounded History channel series of ancient architectures role in empire building. Worth the watch; contrary to some comments below, both eastern and western civilizations are well represented.(our builders have certainly influenced one another) and now I see why we don't build like we used to-imagine taking hundreds of years and a quarter million people to build something today- and the few (Greece for example) who actually paid their crafts people, repeatedly took themselves to the brink of bankruptcy (billions to build the Parthenon), and those who used slaves? - repeatedly bought themselves a People's revolution, losing heads as well as cash. Hmm - makes one wonder if we have really learned anything from history. Recommended.

    1. Guest

      The only problem with a People's revolution it's always "meet the new boss - same as the old boss".

  10. DonDon1

    great doc. educational

  11. Sertsis

    This one was a long watch, but worth it. I learned some things, and got a better handle on other things that I already knew about. It's amazing how much the ancient civilizations knew, only to be lost and later re-invented. A little too similar to the 17 hour doc we saw earlier this week, but still a good watch.

  12. Remco Gerritsen

    It's to laggy to watch.


    please put down your weapons.. you have 20 seconds to comply :o

    1. Dean Thompson

      Come quietly or there will be... trouble.

  14. dave.eggermont

    you got to love the hosts enthusiasm for the subject

  15. Linnet Stuart

    Can I download this video and watcvh it on my tv? How?

    1. wald0

      Down load real player, use it to down load the doc, convert into format your dvd player understands, then burn dvd disc, enjoy. Or, get a flat screen tv/monitor. I have a 36 inch lcd monitor/tv so everything I watch on my computer is on my tv already. They also make wireless devices that transmit a signal to your tv allowing you to enjoy any media on your computer on your tv. There are lots of different ways to accomplish what you desire.

    2. Jack1952

      I have a flat screen tv and it its hooked directly to my computer. I don't have cable anymore as there is plenty to watch from my computer, especially TDF

    3. Sertsis

      Same here, I haven't had a cable bill in over two years, and I can get most of what I want to see on computer.

  16. Heather Wade

    Aw, I really want to watch this, but the video stops and starts every 2 secs... Vlatko- help!

    1. clay dawson

      pause it. Wait a few minutes for it to load and then watch it

  17. Guest

    Where is the architecture from islamic / arab world? :D
    I love how westeners deliberately not mention anything about the scientific achievements of ancient arab / islamic world :D

    1. Far Spam

      I had a work colleague who went to Spain on holiday and I recommended that he go and visit Alhambra.

      When he came back I asked him about it and he said yes he was very impressed with the architecture and Charles V had done an amazing job of building it!

      I tried to explain that it was the Muslims/Arabs that built it. He said I wrong!
      I just laughed and didnt even bother to correct him.

      This kind of stuff doesnt upset me any more. You must realise that most of these people dont even know their own fathers, so how do you expect them to know their history/religion/culture ;-)

    2. McGarvey

      The older parts of the Alhambra were built by the Moors but the most modern part was built by Charles V.

    3. Guest

      I totally agree with your point. I really dont understand the point of deliberately not telling new generations about all the ancient muslim scientists, architects, astronomers, inventors achievements. Al-Khwarizmi, Avicenna, J?bir ibn Hayy?n, Al-Kindi just to name a few. Its not like if u dont tell them, they will be forgotten in history, but telling them would recognize the impact of early arab-persian civilization on rest of the world in all fields of life.

    4. stephenkuemmel

      dont know there fathers, what kind of comment is that? I never met my father does that make me any less of a man?
      O wait i see, your one of those muslim fucckwits who takes his order from some nut job with a towel on his head

    5. Guest

      @ Far Spam
      May the fleas of a thousand camels infest your armpits. ;-)

    6. Irishkev

      AAaargh! "These people", do you know how nazi that sounds?

    7. Far Spam

      @Stephen: Its not the fact that you dont have a father its the fact that you dont understand why which makes you less of a man in your own eyes!

      Ironically you might need to talk to nut job with a towel on his head to understand.

    8. dave.eggermont

      I might be wrong but weren't egypt and carthage like in arabia ?
      Didn't alexander brought persian culture to arabia ? Hmm, so many things we don't know...... you just want allah in every sentence. xD

      I just want to remind you, the Islamic Creed, 'La ilaaha' - meaning 'there is no God'. So half my job is already done; now the only part left is 'il lallah' i.e. 'BUT ALLAH' which I shall undo in just an instant.

      La ilaaha.

    9. Far Spam

      LOL... sieg heil to you too Dave... say hi to Anders when you get to

    10. Irishkev

      Hey, They never mentioned the megalithic tombs and observatories in Ireland, which were built long before the pyramids btw, but I'm not getting all "anti Islamic", about it.

    11. Far Spam

      I think the Irish are partly Arab/Muslim also?
      When they were thrown out of Spain a lot went to Ireland...

    12. Greg_Mc

      Havent seen the doc yet (just got the email notice for it) but I bet they didnt mention the CN tower in Toronto either and that was built way way back in the 1970's (a long way back in Canadian History). And Canada being a very multicultural society you can bet your ass there Muslims working on it . Wonder if that has anything to do with Canada being snubbed ? I smell a conspiracy

    13. Irishkev

      @ Far Spam, Maybe, but how could the Irish/Gaels be muslim. The Gaelic people were in Ireland for thousands of years before the rise of Egypt, Islam is little more than a thousand years old. There were however Arabic slave traders who raided Irish coastal villages for slaves. I'm sure a few of those might have got stranded here.
      And you telling people they don't know their history, tut tut.
      The Irish had a Druidic belief system for thousands of years which persisted into the unique Celtic Christian tradition. This Mohammed guy is the new kid on the block.

    14. Jack1952

      Watch "Science and Islam", "An Islamic History of Europe", "When the Moors Ruled in Europe", "What the Ancients did for us" on this site. That should hold your Islam-o-centric attention for awhile.

      Instead of slamming all Westerners and leaving a veiled criticism of this site (the best site on the Internet), you could have politely asked if there was any material available in your area of interest. Instead you come out swinging, insulting others and leaving the impression that Muslims are part of an angry, intolerant religion. Just what Islam needs.

    15. Far Spam

      I bet you enjoyed writing these "leaving the impression that Muslims are part of an angry, intolerant religion."

    16. Jack1952

      @ Far Spam

      I would prefer not to have that impression. I think naval gazing should be a personal matter. I have my own naval to concentrate on.

    17. Sertsis

      I can appreciate your desire to bring our attention to the Arab/Islamic influences on history, however, I think that Jack(below) was right in condemning your 'slamming of all westerners', and particularly on this site. I come to this site to watch whatever is playing that night, and good or bad, commenting on it, and reading comments of others. Reading down below your comment I'm finding loads of intolerance, and even some hateful sentiments that just don't belong in a civilized debate. While I can't attribute these comments to you personally, you have to admit that your original comment of western intolerance did nothing to promote understanding or profitable debate on your issue.

    18. Guest

      Respectfully, regarding Far Spam's remarks, if he'd said anything about INTOLERANCE in the West, I would've been all over his side. But what he said was "we are a people who mostly don't know who our fathers are". So that tells you something of his true position, well enough... He is simply getting what he gave, which he ought to know all about. At one of the other docs on this site, I made reference to how knowledge in the Islamic world helped to preserve knowledge in the West during the Middle Ages, when sources for ancient texts were impossible to find anywhere else, and I know a little something (though probably not enough, I'll grant) about the history of science and math -especially math- (Arabic numerals, for example, and Algebra) in Islamic culture. I have also traveled to Indonesia, the largest Muslim country in the world, twice, and made friends there who were not at all represented by this bigot and his attitude. If anyone needs to learn something about intolerance, it is him, frankly. And the remark I made was addressed to him, and him alone, not to Muslims in general.

    19. Sertsis

      @ Pysmythe below;

      No disrespect meant to you, your camel flea comment was short and sweet and to the point, and funny too. I wasn't going to make any replies to Far Spam myself, as he seems to be on some kind of a mission to push peoples' buttons, and he was already busy enough so he didn't need me. But as I look through all of the comments, it all seemed to be getting a little nasty and stupid in places and pointless and was losing context with the doc. So I scrolled up to find out where this all started and found arifkarim saying 'westerners deliberately don''t mention Arab/Islamic scientific achievements.' He never used the word intolerance, that's just how I took his meaning. I didn't even think that arifkarim was being nasty, if that's his point of view, only that statement of his was counter-productive.

    20. Guest

      I felt the same way about arifkarim's post.

    21. jess nonya

      islam is only 1500 years old. mohammad didnt imagine the religion of islam in the period that this documentry is focusing on. ancient arabs were persians or egyptians (or even jews, bet that makes you happy) which have nothing to do with the religion of islam. maybe you are a little over-glorified in your history of the religion of islam and not educated about arabs as a group of people from a region or certain genetic background.

    22. reza

      jess , I think you need to watch these series of documentaries to educate yourself that Persians are not Arabs .

    23. terryrret

      Why not sagest some Islamic docs . I know they post them here . I've learned a lot about Islam here. Maybe you should check the site out before you say something.

  18. wald0

    This must be based on the standard first year college level western civ. course, it follows right along with my old text book. The only difference is that they seemed to have started with Egypt and we started with Mesopotamia, UR, Gilgamesh and all that jive. But, from where they start they follow right along with the text book entitled Western Civilizations Volume I by Judith G. Coffin and Robert C. Stacey. They elaborate more on the topics they address than the book does, but they address the same topics in the same order. I enjoyed it, if you watch them in order you get a fairly basic over all sense of how we got to where we are now. I should say though that I stopped watching when they got to the Russian empire, I can't comment on anything past that.

    Actually I just noticed that I started at Da Vinci's world, not at the beginning. I was wrong, its not in the same order as my book, just close. If you start at Da Vinci's world it is in the same order from that point up to the empires of Russia. The difference seems to be that they incorporated Eastern civilizations into the time line as well as Western, which is definitely a more accurate picture of history. Good stuff.

  19. Eniki520


  20. superregfrancis

    11 hours of pleasurable study :)