Perhaps no other American family was ever so photographed, written about, talked about, admired, hated and controversial. Were they brilliant, heroic, extraordinary people or arrogant, competitive, self-absorbed children of a wilful, overambitious patriarch? Most people think they know the Kennedys. We’ll tell you what you don’t know.

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Perhaps no other single human has had such a lasting and powerful effect on the idea of civilisation. For his long reign, Augustus mostly wanted to be called ‘First Citizen’, but in effect he was one of the most powerful men to ever walk the Earth. He instituted a period of peace called the Pax Romana, something that was unknown in the brutal ancient world. He made laws, elevated culture, commissioned public works and vanquished all his enemies. By the time he died, he had brought about the creation of the greatest empire known to man.

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Anyone who has ever heard of King Henry VIII knows he had many wives. Some even know their names. Their individual stories are complex, beautiful, sad, poignant and remarkable. In an age where women are finally being given their due, these six Queens deserve to be known for more than just the man they married…

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There are some names that send a shudder through the air. Some names that have changed whole countries. Names that hang like a dark cloud over history. Idi Amin is such a name. The whole of East Africa – even the world – is still flabbergasted that as recently as 40 years ago, this evil man was able to murder thousands and get away with it. Did he deserve such fear and ignominy? Find out in this episode of Blind History…

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Socrates, Aristotle and Plato are the fathers of Western (if not world) philosophy. Despite us knowing so little about their lives, they have an enduring influence on every aspect of our thinking and understanding. The university, the academy, the school… these things all come from the three great philosophers – men who actually lived, and knew each other. It’s time we got to know them.

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We end season two of Blind History in Ancient Rome… the place that gave us Hadrian, Augustus, Trajan and Marcus Aurelius. But this time we investigate the bad emperors – the ones who murdered, ruined, destroyed and perverted the greatest empire of antiquity. Caligula, Nero, Commodus and Elagabalus were some the most depraved men to exercise absolute power – and their lives were brutal and merciless.

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Who is the most powerful Kim in the world? No, it isn’t Kim Kardashian – it’s a small Korean man with a bad haircut. He also has his finger on the button of a dangerous nuclear arsenal and the command of the third largest standing army on earth. Kim Jong-Un is the latest in a succession of Kims who rule North Korea – and their private lives are wilder than their public personas. Find out about them in this episode of Blind History.

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Napoleon’s great adversary, a man of impeccable military credentials, and one of the finest examples of the great British soldier that tends to sound more like myth than fact, Arthur Wellesley was also just a man. He had mistresses, a sense of humour, and an inspirational style of leadership that has endeared him to generations of admirers. What Nelson was to the sea, Wellington was to land – and both helped raise Britain to the great world power it became in the late 19th century.

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Born on the steppes and raised on horseback, young Attila was to lead a small tribe of barbarians to prominence, but not before he had been to Rome, threatened Constantinople, and fought and won many battles. His name is synonymous with raping, pillaging and destruction, but in reality Europe east of the Rhine had never seen a man more gifted in forging a single kingdom out of so many disparate tribes. His story is full of intrigue and love, violence and blood.

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The image of a brilliant scientist is one inextricably linked to the picture of Albert Einstein. His unkempt hair, shabby jackets and the twinkle of genius in his eye – but the story of Einstein isn’t so one-dimensional. His relationships, his politics and the story of what happened to his brain after he died are as intriguing as the great ideas he presented to science and the world.

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