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The Happy Excursion from Zhuang-zi
Itinerary: Britain — Continental Europe — The Eastern Mediterranean, Arabia and Egypt — Africa — Asia — North America — South America — Pacific — Australia and New Zealand — The Arctic and Antarctic — The World
The Argo, by Lorenzo Costa
BBC Radio 4 In Our Time- The Odyssey Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss The Odyssey by Homer, often claimed as the great founding work of Western Literature. It’s an epic that has entertained its audience for nearly three thousand years: It has shipwrecks, Cyclops, brave heroes and seductive sex goddesses. But it’s also got revenge, true love and existential angst. The story follows on from Homer’s Iliad, and tells of the Greek hero Odysseus and his long attempt to get home to Ithaca after the Trojan War. Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss what has given the Odyssey such a fundamental position in the history of western ideas, what are the meanings behind the trials and tribulations that befall Odysseus and how the Odyssey was composed and by whom. With Simon Goldhill, Professor of Greek at King’s College, Cambridge; Edith Hall, Leverhulme Professor of Greek Cultural History at Durham University; Oliver Taplin, Classics Scholar and Translator at Oxford University.
Journey to the West on the Silk Road
BBC Radio In Our Time- 4 The Silk Road Melvyn Bragg and guests Tim Barrett, Naomi Standen and Frances Wood discuss the Silk Road, the trade routes which spanned Asia for over a thousand years, carrying Buddhism to China and paper-making and gunpowder westwards. In 1900, a Taoist monk came upon a cave near the Chinese town of Dunhuang. Inside, he found thousands of ancient manuscripts. They revealed a vast amount of evidence about the so-called Silk Road: the great trade routes which had stretched from Central Asia, through desert oases, to China, throughout the first millennium. Besides silk, the Silk Road helped the dispersion of writing and paper-making, coinage and gunpowder, and it was along these trade routes that Buddhism reached China from India. The history of these transcontinental links reveals a dazzlingly complex meeting and mingling of civilisations, which lasted for well over a thousand years. With: Tim Barrett is Professor of East Asian History at the School of Oriental and African Studies; Naomi Standen is Senior Lecturer in Chinese Studies at Newcastle University; Frances Wood is Head of the Chinese Section at the British Library.
BBC Radio 4 In Our Time- Darwin: The Voyage of the Beagle Darwin’s expedition aboard the Beagle in December 1831 and how his work during the voyage influenced and provided evidence for his theories. Featuring contributions from Darwin biographer Jim Moore, Steve Jones, geneticist at University College London, David Norman, Fellow of Christ’s College Cambridge and Jenny Clack, curator of the University.