THE BATTLE OF ACTIUM-31 BC If the battle of Actium had been won by Cleopatra and Antony, there would have been no Roman Empire. Yet Octavius Caesar's victory in 31 BC created an absolute dictatorship that sparked one-of the greatest imperial and cultural expansions the world has ever known.
THE BATTLE OF SALAMIS-480 BC At Salamis Bay, the Golden Age began when the Greeks expel the Persians, sinking 200 Persian ships while losing only 40 of their own. Themistocles not only was not rewarded for his victory, but was removed as Athen's leader for being too arrogant.
THE BLACK DEATH-1347 AD When a plague-ridden ship landed in Venice in 1347, it was immediately put into quarantine...but no one could stop the rats from corning ashore. Within three years, a third of Western Europe's population was dead. It was the greatest calamity in history.
THE SIEGE OF CONSTANTINOPLE-1453 AD In 1204 crusaders sacked the city, then renamed Constantinople. For the next thousand years, the Byzantine Kings hid safely behind the massive walls of Constantinople. Then in 1453, with the Turkish Ottoman Empire encircling the city, Sultan Mehmet brought the newest technology of the 15th century, the cannon, and finally brought down the walls of the world's most impregnable fortress.
When Pizarro, 170 soldiers and a friar arrived, The Inca, scornful of the scruffy Spaniards, invited them to stay in the town. They kidnapped the Inca, collected a ransom and killed him. But the plunder had only begun. The Spaniards diseases wiped out 90% of the Incas.
Over a century has passed, mystery still plagues the final moments of Tsar Nicholas II and his family. Amid a mess of skeletons unearthed in a desolate Siberian forest and proven to be those of the Tsar, his wife and three of their children, two remain missing. Could Anastasia and the Tsarevich Alexei have cheated death and escaped the night when Bolsheviks executed the last Imperial Family of Russia? Will the discovery of two more skeletons in 2007 only 60 meters away from skeletons found in 1991 seal the Romanov mystery?