The original free thinkers. The stories of the Buddha, Confucius and Socrates.

Stream Genius of the Ancient World with Bettany Hughes on BBC Select

What happened in the 5th century BC changed your life.

Watch Genius of the Ancient World and more acclaimed documentaries on BBC Select today. Restrictions apply*.

Genius of the Ancient World on BBC Select

This was the time when three trailblazers – the Buddha, Confucius and Socrates – transformed our understanding of human potential, cutting us loose from gods, making us deciders of our own destiny. All survivors of childhood trauma, living thousands of miles apart, what was it about their time that created ideas that still shape our own lives?

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