A spoiler for the start of Volume 4 as we look at what to expect from the volume's opening episodes. As ever, we read out your e-mails and reviews as well as welcoming the latest set of members into the History of the World podcast illuminati.
200 - 600 - The Sasanians were firmly in control of their Silk Road branch while Rome and China languished. This period saw the rise of the Gupta, Maya and Aksumites but was also the age of the mysterious Hunnic tribes of the Eurasian Steppe.
100 BCE - 200 CE - The emergence of the Silk Road saw the rise and fall of four great global empires and the spread of trade encouraged the spread of philosophy and religion across the whole of the Eurasian landmass.
700 - 400 BCE - From the time when the Assyrians were the greatest power on the planet, a sudden surge of culture and learning from east to west would bring the world forward from a relative dark age to an age of modern thinking.
250 - 900 - Before the canoe building Mayans that Europeans encountered, Mayan ancestors dominated the Guatemala highlands hidden in the dense rainforest and building great temples and palaces to honour their traditions and rituals.
500 BCE - 750 CE - Ethnic Zapotecs make up part of the modern Mexican population today, but they were once the dominant civilisation of Mesoamerica. The Classical Age Zapotec Empire ruled from the stratified city of Monte Albán.
100 BCE - 800 CE - The Nazca and the Moche were the two main cultures to emerge in the remnant of the Chavín. We will explore the incredible large geoglyphs that were created on the desert landscape and take a closer look at what the temple sites can tell us about the lifestyle of these people.
30 - 230 - The episode required to tie together all of the previous seventy episodes of this volume. East meets west as Han China negotiates the Kushan Empire and the Parthian Empire to develop a trade relationship with the Roman Empire, with the same intention occurring in the reverse direction.
220 - 581 - The incredibly complex period of Chinese history which was distinguished by the pushing of centralised power to the south and the establishment of competing kingdoms of various ethnicities in the north. This is the story of how China eventually reunified after the fall of the Han.
208 - This is the legendary story of the Three Kingdoms of China and how the warlords Cao Cao, Liu Bei and Sun Quan could not overcome one another, meaning that China would have to be split into three separate kingdoms, Cao Wei, Shu Han and Eastern Wu.
108 BCE - 208 CE - While trade and subjugation brings wealth, corruption and warfare brings expense, and The Han Dynasty's later years tells the story of this precarious balancing act and its consequences.
210 - 108 BCE - Some of the great characters of ancient China lived through this period such as Liu Bang and his consort Empress Lu, the great patriarchal leader of the Xiongnu Empire, Modu Chanyu, and then later on the Emperor Wu with his well traveled envoy Zhang Qian.
900 - 210 BCE - How the outlying Qin state come to rule over the whole of China, and the unique story of the first emperor and how this short lived dynasty has left an immortal legacy for the emperor who wanted to be immortal.
1046 - 256 BCE - The longest of all dynasties in Chinese history but certainly not the strongest. This episode covers the Spring and Autumn period and the Warring States period with special reference to Confucianism, Taoism and Legalism.
2019 - Between the publication of Volume Two and Volume Three, Chris was interviewed by the man behind the successful YouTube channel, the Study of Antiquity and the Middle Ages, Nick Barksdale. Here is the audio version.
1300 BCE - 900 CE - History has seen repeated tensions between the three Abrahamic religions whose history is intertwined and all come from the same original theory of there being one almighty God. The different interpretations of God's teachings have divided the monotheistic followers into distinct religions and sects of those religions too.
3300 BCE - 570 CE - How did Hinduism and Buddhism emergence and how did each religion cope with the fragmentation or their followers? Why do we see so little of Buddhism in India despite the continued protection and preservation of the Bodhi Tree there?
30 - 375 - They migrated across the steppe as nomads and then plugged a gap between all of the mightiest empires of the world. They controlled the interesting new trade route between east and west, but no-one talks about them much by comparison. That is until this week!
304 - 232 BCE - One of history's most profoundly affected emperors who would have to turn to religion in order to combat his guilt. Find out how Ashoka affected Buddhism and how Buddhism affected Ashoka.
600 - 185 BCE - It's time to bring our story of the Indian subcontinent up to date with particular focus of Chandragupta Maurya, Chanakya and Ashoka the Great, and the emergence of the early Vedic religions.
370 - 469 - Attila the Hun was a very real threat to both the Eastern and Western Roman Empires. How could a simple leader of the barbarian confederation cause so much terror to the most dominant players in Europe?
1000 - 100 BCE - Who's in for a round of drug-fueled blood drinking, alongside cutting chunks out of your own ears and fastening as many human scalps as possible onto your horse's bridle to see who the greatest warrior of the Steppe is?
300 - 570 - In an episode that could turn out to be worse than a sports programme reporting on a draft or a transfer window, we find out who was going where and at what price during the middle of the first millennium in Europe.
378 - A vital crossroads in the timeline of the Roman Empire comes when thousands of Germans come flooding across the Roman border looking for refuge and Romans look to exploit the situation. Many interesting factors will contribute to the outcome which will leave scars in the minds of everyone involved.
450 BCE - 60 CE - The original barbarians to the Romans, with their appetite for war and their mysterious past. There are bound to be a thing or two that you never knew about these peoples whose legacy is just as strong as the Romans.
41 - 476 - The story of the Principate and the Dominate which includes the struggles of the Jews and the rise of Christianity as well as the pressures from the barbarians and the factors that led to the ultimate split of the Empire and the fall of the West.
337 - 476 - The fall of the western Roman Empire is the story of how barbarian tribes had learned and evolved from the empire on its doorstep, and when the Huns arrived in Europe, how those tribes were forced to pressurise the Romans and the subsequent consequences.
312 - Was this the battle that caused Christianity to become the globally mighty religion that we know today, or did the Christian scribes of history use Constantine as a propaganda tool to push the word of Jesus into the consciousness of everybody?
305 - 330 - This period begins with the retirement of Diocletian to the opening of the new capital city of Constantinople. What is Constantine the Great's true legacy to history and was this the end of Classical Rome?
68 - 98 - The Year of the Four Emperors came out of the chaos of the reign of Nero. Find out how Vespasian managed to steady the Roman ship and whether his two sons would be able to continue his good work in the aftermath.
14 - 68 - Although we covered the life and reign of Augustus in previous episodes, we can now explore the reigns of emperors 2, 3, 4 and 5 as we find out more about the unpredictability of Rome deciding to go back to a monarchical constitution in order to regulate the powerful Roman Senate.
31 BCE - The Second Triumvirate had fallen apart and once again the place of conflict would be Greece. An incredible naval battle with an unusual ending as Mark Antony and Octavian come to blows about the legacy of Julius Caesar and who would be at the forefront of its promotion.
44 BCE - 14 CE - Rome recovers after the death of Julius Caesar, and the constitution of Rome would change for good. One man emerges from all others to become the most trusted leader of the entire Roman Republic.
We continue our short break from the narative by exploring the grim and sinister act of trepanation which explores the widely practised act of boring a hole in the human skull as we try to understand the reasons behind this high risk procedure.
100 - 60 BCE - The story of the chaotic Roman world that Caesar was born into, and what it would take for a charismatic and talented young man with connections to climb the political ladder of the Republic.
47 BCE - Veni, vidi, vici. Julius Caesar was short handed when he felt obliged to deal with the Pontic problem. Discover how Pontus still caused headaches for the Romans, even after the reign and lifetime of the great Mithridates VI.
52 BCE - The Battle of Alesia is the story of a siege under siege. We meet Julius Caesar, who had the Gallic confederation in a precarious spot. The Gallic leader, Vercingetorix, was entrusted to defend Alesia. This battle was historically signifant as this was a pivotal part of the wider Gallic Wars between Rome and Gaul.
53 BCE - The first major encounter between the Romans and the Parthians involved the mighty Roman army taking on an extremely unusual army. It was an army with absolutely no infantry. Find out what Crassus would do to deal with this unique threat.
73 BCE - The story of the first acts of rebellion by the group of slaves involving Spartacus. It would be one thing for a few dozen gladiators escaping captivity, but how did this become a problem of national significance?
146 - 44 BCE - The story of the Optimates and the Populares and the characters who witnessed Rome's gradual decline from its being the most powerful entity in the world to a republic fragmented by civil strife, and introducing the incredible life of Julius Caesar.
216 BCE - If crossing the Alps with 37 elephants wasn't enough to impress you, then what Hannibal achieved at Cannae just a couple of years later defies belief on the deadliest day in the history of Europe before this battle.
221 - 146 BCE - The incredible story of how Hannibal crossed the Alps with tens of thousands of men and a number of war elephants and penetrated the lands of the Romans in such a way that Rome's very existence was under threat. Who won the war and what was the ultimate consequence?
264 - 219 BCE - After King Pyrrhus of Epirus left modern Italian lands, much tension existed between the societies and the eventual escalation led to the First Punic War centred in and around the island of Sicily. See what happens to the economies of two mighty powerhouses when each of them refuses to back down.
509 - 272 BCE - With the monarchy abolished, Rome would still continue to have political and social issues as the Conflict of the Orders brought tensions between the patricians and the plebeians and threatened to halt Roman expansion before it even began.
333 BCE - Alexander the Great had ventured deeper into Persian territory than any other invader. So Darius decided to make a surprise move to cut him off from his supply lines entrapping him in a narrow mountain pass.
480 - 479 BCE - The Achaemenid Persians were now able to march on Athens. Would the Athenians stay and fight, or abandon their city? Would the Spartans assist the Athenians, or would either polis put itself in front of their alliance now that the pressure was so high?
490 BCE - The Achaemenid Persians had been succesfully expanding their influence across the known world, but when the Athenians supported a revolt of Greek people within the Persian Empire, the Achaemenids sought revenge.
750 - 550 BCE - For a couple of centuries, the people of the Greek poleis all jumped into their boats and scattered in all directions. Where were they going? What were they doing? Why were they doing it?
609 BCE - 651 CE - What is Zoroastrianism and how did it originate? Which belief systems did it influence and which belief systems existed alongside it in Iranian lands? How did the Persian elite view and use Zoroastrianism in their respective empires?
226 - 651 CE - The rise of the Persians who would rule their own traditional lands once again, and the journey through the centuries which would lead them to the ultimate climax against the Romans at Constantinople.
3000 - 1750 BCE - The rise of powerful kingdoms and civilisations in Mesopotamia, Egypt and the Indus Valley, bronzeworking in Europe and China and long distance trade and construction in the Americas.
10000 - 700 BCE - The Neolithic Revolution was a huge leap forward for humankind, but it came at a price in regard to our health. How did we interpret these new ailments and diseases and how did we combat them?
7000 - 700 BCE - Starting in Mesoamerica, we head south to explore the rainforests, highlands and savannah of South America, before heading to the Arctic tundra and heading south again to the grasslands and woodlands of the modern United States.
3500 - 200 BCE - In the mysterious Peruvian highlands, people were gathering from far and wide to take a psychedelic journey into a dark labyrinth to meet the ferocious looking jaguar deity of the Chavin.
1750 - 1046 BCE - Plotting the rise and fall of the Shang dynasty where archaeology meets traditional stories. An incredible bronze age with innovative techniques and the comparison of cultural advances with the rest of the world.
7000 BCE onwards - Proto-Indo-Europeans are believed to have spoken a language ancestral to over four hundred languages of the modern world. Why do we believe this when there is no firm evidence of a Proto-Indo-European language though?
1190 BCE? - The Trojan War is a mythological story about a city called Troy which was attacked after a large wooden horse was pulled into the city secretly containing Greek warriors. Is there any chance that it could be based on truth?
2000 - 1450 BCE - Our first European civilisation takes us to the island of Crete in the Mediterranean where we learn of bare breasted ladies, bull-leaping, huge palaces and the ferocious Minotaur in the labrynth.
1274 BCE - The Hittites have control of the city of Kadesh, but the Egyptian Pharaoh Ramesses II wants it back. Find out what happens when Ramesses takes 20,000 men and 2000 chariots into the lands of modern Syria to conquer the city.
1303 - 1213 BCE - This is first of our special profile episodes which focus on an historical individual. This time we are looking at Ramesses II, otherwise known as Ramesses the Great, Pharaoh of the New Kingdom of Egypt.
1620 - 1324 BCE - More specifically the story of the Eighteenth Dynasty, a golden age in Egyptian history. However, keeping it in the family may not have necessarily been beneficial to the Royal Family.
2600 - 1525 BCE - An attempt to decipher the mystery of the last remaining wonder of the ancient world, The Great Pyramid of Giza, as well as all the other pyramids, the people who built them and their motives and methods.
2040 - 1640 BCE - A new kingdom emerges in the Egyptian lands, but things are slightly different this time, with the Pharaohs needing to build their reputation by displaying those strong leadership qualities that are needed to keep the Egyptian society bonded together.
3150 - 2134 BCE - From the unification of the Egyptian kingdom through its journey through great prosperity and a golden age of pyramid building, right through to its subsequent fall towards the end of the third millennium BCE.
701 BCE - Assyria under the rule of Sennacherib needed to subjugate the Kingdom of Judah under the rule of Hezekiah. Sennacherib wanted the Judean capital city of Jerusalem, but first he would need to take the city of Lachish.
2000 - 610 BCE - The incredible story of an empire that survived the Late Bronze Age Collapse and then dominated the Near East like no other before, with iron age technology and an aggressive foreign policy.
1700 - 1200 BCE - The first Indo-Europeans documented arrived in Anatolia and completely changed the face of the Near East, even going toe to toe with the mighty Egyptians, as well as the revived Assyrians.
1900 - 1595 BCE - Semitic speakers from the west had established their own kingdoms throughout Mesopotamia. The Babylonians became the most powerful of the first half of the second millennium BCE especially under the lawmaker king, Hammurabi.
History of the World podcast welcomes in the New Year with some of your valued messages, an update on the performance of the podcast, and most importantly of all, an announcement about the start of Volume 2.
This week's podcast centres around Stonehenge, but in order to try to understand this most famous of megaliths, we discuss the Neolithic wonders of the Orkney Islands and the Carnac Stones of Brittany.
We talk about the emergence of sedentary lifestyles of the Mesolithic and early Neolithic with the interesting story of Tell Abu Hureyra, before tackling the hugely famous sites of Çatalhöyük and Jericho.
Find out about the geological science behind glaciation studies, the effect that ice ages have had on our ancestors and the story of Napi being chased across Canada by a sixteen thousand tonne quartzite rock.
Let us put some flesh on the bones of our prehistoric hominin story, and discover what our ancestors created to get carved flesh from the bones of animals. We investigate the technological advances from over three million years ago up to the last million years.
Homo erectus, as the name would suggest, is the first fully upright human and it was definitely a migratory species. Find out more about the journeys and advancements of human evolution in this episode.