In this first episode on the 13th century explorer Marco Polo we look at some background on Venice at his time and his family as well as introducing the figure of the Great Khan Kublai.
We take a look at what happened to the sons of Frederick II, Conrad, Henry and Manfredi. In the case of Manfredi we see his rise to influence over almost all of Italy before it all came crashing down with the invasion of Charles of Anjou.
We start taking a look at how things progressed after the death of Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II, starting with his son Enzo, who fell prisoner to the Coomune of Bologna, giving rise to a whole series of legends
We take a break to look at the increase in heretical ideas and movements in the 12th and 13th centuries such as the Cathars and Waldensians and how the church decided to deal with the rising tide of critical opposition to it.
We see the reign of Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II to its end as he faces off with Gregory IX and then Innocent IV, all the while dealing with the ever rebellious communes of northern Italy in their continuous struggle between pro-imperial Ghibellines and pro-papal Guelphs, up to the Battle of Parma in 1247.