Alexander the Great, it was still asserted into the early 19th century, had built the gates that separated East and West at the eastern edge of the Caucasus: what is now Azerbaijan lay beyond.

In ‘Tales from the Caspian Sea’, Bettany Hughes investigates the rich cultural history of the Caspian, a region which nourished the ancient world’s oldest theocracy, in the form of a Zoroastrian state, and pioneered an early Muslim-majority democracy in 1918. Her investigation of Azerbaijan - “the land of fire” - begins in the foothi...


A new series currently airing in which Bettany traces the role of the Caucasus in western imagination, from Jason and the Argonauts through to the idea of a primeval white Caucasian race. 








HistoryExtra article - Five Things You Didn't Know About The Caucasus


In this Sony Award-winning series, historian Bettany Hughes uncovers the troubled story of the search for the ancient Aryans, and journeys to Siberia to find out how recent archaeological discoveries are bringing them renewed attention.

Through the examination of the very latest archaeological evidence we try to piece together the experience of living under Roman occupation in Britain.




Bettany Hughes investigates how poets over the centuries have described Helen of Troy, showing how conventional views of female beauty have changed.


A one-off programme that tried to ascertain how far Eleanor of Acquitain contrived to manipulate her own image.



With a collection of other experts, for three hours from the Coliseum itself we dug further in to the history, myth and symbolism of one of Rome's most potent landmarks.

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Copyright © Bettany Hughes 2009