Margaret (pling) wrote,

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Jerusalem: The Making of a Holy City; The Frozen Planet

The second episode of Jerusalem: The Making of a Holy City covered the period from ~600AD to ~1300AD, called Invasion Invasion Invasion it mostly show-cased people behaving badly in the name of either Christianity or Islam. The programme opened with a brief history of the beginning of Islam & the significance of Jerusalem to the Muslims (it is the place where Muhammed ascended to heaven on the Night Journey). The city was conquered by the Muslims early in their history, and they ruled there for about 400 years or so with varying degrees of peace & tolerance. And then we were on to the invasions - some of which were bloodless, some of which lead to a certain degree of tolerance, but given this time period covers the crusades it shouldn't be a surprise that some of the invasions were very bloody indeed. Mostly the city buildings were left intact, tho often re-purposed to the current ruler's religion (Queen Melisande had royal appartments in the al-Aqsa mosque, for instance) - until the Tartars came along at the end of this time period & destroyed the buildings as well as slaughtered the inhabitants.

Our second programme of the evening was the second episode of Frozen Planet - this time covering springtime at the poles. Lots of neat scenes of various penguin species being penguiny :) Particularly amusing was the male Adele penguins building nests and one of the penguins stealing rocks off another penguin's nests. The bit that really stuck in my mind, tho, was the sequence about the moth caterpillar that freezes every winter (literally freezes) then thaws out each spring to start eating again. Eventually after 14 years the caterpillar thaws out one last time to spin itself a cocoon, turn into a moth and then die after a few days. Which was something I'd never heard of before, and it's kinda neat - tho I am left wondering how many caterpillars die during the freeze-thaw process.
Tags: history, middle east, nature, religion, tv
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