Blood and Gold: The Making of Spain with Simon Sebag Montefiore: Conquest

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Blood and Gold: The Making of Spain with Simon Sebag Montefiore: Conquest

Series 1

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Review

Eloquent historian Simon Sebag Montefiore has previously explored the great cities of Rome and Istanbul. Now he’s got an even bigger playground to stride through, wearing that ever-present Panama hat. And Spain, on the extremities of Europe yet so close to Africa, has a history that’s ripe for analysis, with surprising parallels in its past to our troubled world today.

In the first episode, we’re in Andalusia, following Hannibal as he arrives in Cadiz to raise an army and conquer Rome, complete with elephants. Then past the early Christians, keen for martyrdom, and on to the Umayyad dynasties, who built gorgeously (the Mezquita in Cordoba) and treated those who opposed them equally extravagantly – the punishment for unwilling concubines is gleefully described. On the way, we meet musicians and poets, and it all looks quite stunning: places like Italica and Madinat al-Zahra should expect an immediate jump in visitor numbers.

Summary

Simon Sebag Montefiore explores the history of Spain, beginning with the country's early years, when Iberia was a minor province of Carthage - then the most coveted of Rome's colonies - through to Spain's Muslim age and the Cordoba Caliphate.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Simon Sebag Montefiore
Director Marion Milne
Executive Producer Mike Smith
Producer Marion Milne
Documentary History