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Episode 1


In the early 1900s, the Mediterranean was awash with pirates. St John Stephens explores the historical and cultural riches of the region.

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Episode 2

Commanding the Sea

St John Stephens looks at how the Romans built a maritime fleet and examines the relics of ships uncovered in a huge archaeological find in Pisa.

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Episode 3

Stones and Bones

St John Stephens travels across the Balearic Islands and the Côte d'Azur, where he discovers interesting preserved examples of prehistoric life.

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Episode 4

Port and Gin

St John Stephens continues his voyage across the Med with a whimsical look at the cultural impact that 18th-century British rule has had on Menorca.

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Episode 5

The Latest Greatest Invasion

St John Stephens continues his exploration of the culture and history of the Med, taking a look at tourism at the end of the 20th century.

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Episode 6

Cathedrals in the Sun

St John Stephens discovers a Norman conquest of a different kind in Sicily. By 1091 this fierce breed had acquired most of southern Italy.

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Episode 7

Art for God's Sake

St John Stephen explores the cultural and political background to Renaissance art in Genoa.

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Episode 8

Popes, Poets and Palaces

St John Stephen examines the lifestyle of the papacy, exiled for tax evasion to Avignon in 1316, and discusses the life of the Italian poet Petrarch.

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Episode 9

He Who Laughs First

St John Stephen continues his exploration in Syracuse, Sicily. The city is famous for its Greek theatre and Roman gladiators, and was the home of Archimedes.

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Episode 10

Hinge of Fate

St John Stephens continues his investigation of Mediterranean history and culture in Tunis, charting the North African campaign during World War II.

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Episode 11

The Lost City

St John Stephens searches for what is left of the Phoenician city of Carthage in Tunis and investigates its trade and maritime history.

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Episode 12

Land of the Sunset

St John Stephens traces the significant influences that Islam, spreading through the Mediterranean, has had on European and Christian culture.

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Episode 13

Mediterranean Odyssey

St John Stephens continues his exploration of the Mediterranean by looking at its role as a trade route and transmitter of culture and values.

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Episode 14

Little Rome

Transferring from yacht to dinghy, St John travels up the Rhone into Arles and takes in the panoramic view across the city from the top of Les Arenes.

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Episode 15

Trade and Crusade

Amid the splendours of Pisa and Genoa, the link between trade and war is laid bare. St John recounts the growth of these empires in the 12th century.