The Mark of Empire

The Mark of Empire is a four-part history documentary series exploring four different ancient civilizations and their kingdoms in Asia.

Guided by Singaporean scholar Peter Lee, we’ll travel to Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia and Indonesia while visiting their historical roots.

Throughout, Peter shows us the ancient ruins, the epic legends and vibrant traditions to chart the rise and fall of these four distinct empires.

Furthermore, the series also explores how the legacy of these ancient civilizations still shapes cultures and identities in Southeast Asia today.

Episode 1: Ayutthaya

Episode 1: Ayutthaya

Peter Lee starts the historical expedition in Ayutthaya in Thailand; one of the world’s largest cosmopolitan cities of its ancient times.

With roots going back to 1350 AD, Ayutthaya was the capital of the Siam empire with a wealth of history to be explored.

Charting the cities’ history, Peter lee looks at its transformation from backwater state to global superpower.

Episode 2: Bagan

Episode 2: Bagan

The second episode visits Bagan in Myanmar, a city which was built in the 9th century AD by the Bagan Empire.

Over 900 years ago, the Bagan Empire united Myanmar and transformed it into a world centre of Buddhism.

Curator and scholar Peter Lee explores how it grew and how its legacy still echoes in the modern nation.

Episode 3: Angkor

Episode 3: Angkor

Episode three sees Peter Lee visiting Angkor in Cambodia, a vast city built by the Khmer Empire. The Khmer ruled most of Southeast Asia between 802 – 1431 AD.

Throughout, we’ll discover how the ancient Khmer overcame nature to thrive, leaving behind iconic ruins that lie at the heart of Cambodian identity.

Episode 4: Majapahit

Episode 4: Majapahit

The fourth and last episode of The Mark of Empire visits Majapahit in Indonesia.

The Empire lasted from 1293 to circa 1517 AD and was one of the last major Hindu empires of the region. Today it is considered to be one of the greatest and most powerful empires in the history of Indonesia and Southeast Asia.

Charting the Majapahits and their milestones, Peter Lee investigates the history.

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The Mark of Empire
  • Info
  • Release date2020
  • Full runtime
  • Director(s)Peter Lee
  • Production companyMediacorp Studios Singapore