In Search of Myths and Heroes, with Michael Wood (2005)
BBC / PBS
Videos in this documentary
In this series, Michael Wood goes in search of four of the world's most famous myths. These gripping adventures take the viewer to some of the most extraordinary places on earth, exploring stories that have captivated the world for thousands of years. Host Michael Wood takes an epic journey, following in the path of the Queen of Sheba, searching for Shangri-La in Tibet, untangling the tales of King Arthur's Celtic Britain and tracing the trek of Jason who sought the Golden Fleece.
In Search of Myths and Heroes
Written by Michael Wood
Over the last twenty years, Michael Wood has captivated readers and viewers alike with his romantic journeys into the past from In Search of the Trojan Wars to his epic journeys in In the Footsteps of Alexander the Great and The Conquistadors.
In this compelling new book and TV series, In Search of Myths and Heroes, Michael goes in search of four of our most powerful myths: Shangri-la, the Golden Fleece, the Queen of Sheba, and the Holy Grail.
His adventures take him to some of the most remote and exciting places on earth including Western Tibet, the mountains of Georgia and Caucasus, the plains of the Southern Iraq, to the coasts of Ethiopia Yemen and the Horn of Africa.
In Search of Myths and Heroes is divided into four sections:
The Search for Shangri-la - Michael explores the truth of the medieval Indian legend of a lost civilisation behind the western Himalayas - a place where the ancient wisdom of humanity was preserved to save it from our future. The legend was immortalised in James Hilton's novel about Shangri-la, and by Hollywood in Frank Capra's movie Lost Horizon. But why do such legends still captivate us today? And was there a real Shangri-la?
Jason and The Golden Fleece - Where does the ancient Greek legend of Jason's search for the Golden Fleece come from? The tale is the ultimate quest, older even than Homer's Iliad and Odyssey. But was there really an expedition beyond the limits of the known world back in the mists of prehistory, before the Trojan War? And why is the hero's quest one of the core human stories, from the first literature on earth, to the latest Hollywood epic?
The Queen of Sheba - What lies behind the Bible story of the Queen of Sheba, King Solomon, and the Ark of the Covenant? The tale is found in both the Jewish Bible and the Muslim Koran, and the Queen of Sheba is still revered today in the sacred books of the Ethiopians, who claim her as the founder of their nation: but who was she? And why was the trade route from the Holy Land and Egypt to the Horn of Africa so important to the ancients?
Arthur: The Once and Future King - What was the Holy Grail? How did the search for this ultimate religious symbol come to be connected with Arthur, the once and future king? Was there a real Grail? A real King Arthur? And why does the quest for the Grail, still obsess us even today, from New Agers and mystics to Monty Python and Indiana Jones?
Each journey opens up universal themes as Michael goes in search not only of the historical past and literal truth, but also of the mythic past and archetypal stories that reflect and have sustained human existence since the beginning of time.
Illustrated with a wonderful series of specially commissioned photographs by the Himalayan author, photographer and mountaineer Steve Razzetti, In Search of Myths and Heroes is at once a book of great journeys, a historical adventure, and an exploration of some of humanity's most enduring myths.
In Search of Myths and Heroes
Released: 3 February 2005
ISBN: 0563 52187 2