In the late third century, The Roman empire teetered on the brink of total collapse.
Emperors are raised in rapid succession before being murdered and replaced with another.
Like rats on a sinking ship prominent generals declare independence, taking with them the richest provinces in The Empire.
It seemed that, finally after 700 years of prominence The Realm’s fall was imminent….
Khalid was a member of the aristocracy in the Arabian trading city of Mecca.
When a local named Muhammad began claiming he was the Prophet of God, Khalid and his family fought tooth and nail to stamp out his movement.
Less than two years later Khalid would turn his back on centuries of tradition, and formally embrace Islam.
Thundering out of the desert, at the head of an army of zealous new converts, came Khalid Ibn Al Walid.
The world would never be the same again.
Simo Häyhä was a Finnish farmer born in the 1900’s, known around his village for his wickedly sharp aim with a hunting rifle.
when Stalin and The Red Army invaded Finland.
Rushed to the front, his kill-count quickly rose.
His fellow Finns nicknamed him The Magic Sniper, but to the Russians he was Belaya Smert,
The White Death.
Yi Sun-sin was a Korean soldier in the 16th century.
Throughout his career he had built up a reputation as an exemplary leader with a brilliant eye for military decisions.
Despite this, he had received few promotions and had made fewer friends within the military due to his ‘no nonsense’ stance on nepotism and corruption.
But when Japan invaded the defenceless Korean coast in their darkest hour; the government begrudgingly admitted there was only person for the job.
Owain Glyndŵr was a Welsh landowner in the 14th century.
Driven into revolt by a tyrannical English king he would ignite a slumbering sense of nationalism his countrymen shared.
Tired of being second-class citizens in their own country, thousands would flock to his banner determined to throw off the shackles of English dominion.
His war would last over a decade and at no point would he surrender or be betrayed by his people.
Pemulwuy was a member of the Bidjigal people, one of the Aboriginal tribes who lived on the east coast of Australia.
When the British arrived to colonise his people’s ancestral land he fought back. Over 12 years, Pemulwuy led and unending war against the new colony and united multiple Aboriginal tribes under his leadership.
Had the British Empire finally met its match?
Lapulapu was a Chieftain of the Filipino island of Mactan in the 16th century.
When the European explorer Magellan, arrived at his homeland and pushed Christianity on his people he resisted.
The European’s were eager to make an example of this apostate, but things would not go the way they’d planned…
Eric The Red was a Norwegian farmer in the 10th century. After finding himself incompatible with the rules of civilisation he sailed west looking for a new place to call home in the frigid wastes of Greenland
Now, the ruins of a tiny stone church are the only reminder of his colony that had once tamed this harsh and unforgiving land…
What happened to it?
In the year 1565 an enormous Ottoman fleet set sail for the tiny Mediterranean island of Malta.
With around 40,000 troops onboard, the army was tasked with the eradication of a handful of Christian knights.
With only around 500 men , it seemed the siege would be over quickly.
Ram Mohan Roy was a Bengali man from the 19th century.
After watching a widow burnt alive as part of a Hindu funeral ceremony, he dedicated his life to improving women’s rights and restoring pride in Indian identity.
Tecun Uman was a Mayan Prince in the 15th Century
As European colonisation pushed into Guatemala, he and his people refused to submit to Spanish rule and vowed to defend their lands until the very end.
But his men had never before seen guns, iron armour or even horses! How could they fight against such advanced weaponry?
Bokassa was a military colonel in the 1950’s who took control of the Central African Republic in a coup d’état. His obsession with Napoleon and his lust for power drove him to commit some of the most depraved acts imaginable on his own people.
Alfred was the ruler of the Kingdom of Wessex in the 9th century.
As the rest of England fell to Viking invaders he won a string of miraculous victories and pushed back the heathens.
It seemed God stood with him, but for how long?
Tituba was a slave in Salem, Massachusetts.
After being wrongly convicted of witchcraft she ensured her survival by involving other prominent townsfolk in her story of rituals, spells and The Devil.
Abu Tahir was the leader of a mystical offshoot of mainstream Islam known as Qarmatians.
He created a proto-communist society, and defended it from the Abbasid Caliphate.
But soon his hatred would drive him to do something that would cement his place in Islamic history as one of the most despised men to ever have existed.
Eugene was a French aristocrat born in the 17th century.
After being snubbed by the French King for his ugly face and frail body, he rose through the ranks of the Austrian military and bought the Arrogant French King and his army to its knees.
Blackbeard was a pirate from the 18th century.
He delighted in terrorizing pirates and civilians alike with his iconic Joly-Roger flag spreading fear across the high seas.
But how long could his crime spree continue unchecked? Surely someone would stand up to him..
Imadaddin Nasimi wrote heretical poetry in 14th century Azerbaijan.
Despite being banned, his altruistic poetry was incredibly popular and helped give rise to the Azerbaijani language.
While his grizzly execution is still the stuff of legends.
St Gregory was one of the first Christian missionaries.
He bought his faith to Armenia, and received a hostile reception from King Tiradates III who tortured him mercilessly attempting to making him recant his faith.
When he refused, he was sentenced to live in a hole in the ground, high in the Armenian mountains for 14 years.
His story is one of suffering, penance and triumph.
Masinissa was the son of a minor Berber Chieftain around the time of the Punic Wars.
Through his skills as a cavalry commander he became Rome’s most important ally, and the first King of Numidia.
The March of Barcelona was created as a buffer zone by Charlemagne in the 8th century.
Over the course of years, all counties except Andorra were absorbed by Spain or France. Listen in for the bizarre history of why Andorra exists as an independent country to this day.
Zumbi was a descendant of Angolan royalty who was enslaved and sent to Brazil.
He led a guerrilla war against the Portuguese, and built a city deep within the Amazon rainforest for runaway slaves.
Ned Kelly was an Australian living in the 1850s.
His family was poor, and were often targeted by police.
Unhappy with his life he becomes a bushranger and takes the country by storm with his brazen robberies and burning hatred of the police force.
A stranger in a strange land, John Caesar was sentenced to 7 years of hard labour in the brand new British colony of Australia.
Ahmad Shah Durrani was a Afghan chieftain who rose to prominence leading Persian armies to victory.
After his Persian overlord was murdered he threw off the yoke of oppression and declared an independent Afghan state for his people.
Skanderbeg was an Albanian who lived in the 15th century.
As the Ottoman Empire pushed into his tiny homeland he made the decision to stand and fight.
Surely one man commanding and a few peasants could not expect to stand against the largest and most advanced army in the world, could he?