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In the Footsteps of Alexander the Great, airing on PBS May 4-5 (check local listings).

Michael Wood knows about historic travel, but viewers may be glad they weren’t along for some of the more arduous parts of his trek along the route used by Alexander the Great to conquer much of the known world more than 2,000 years ago. During the 20,000-mile journey, Wood finds that seeing the world as Alexander would have seen it provides great insight into the man he describes as “an opportunist and a visionary rolled into one.”

Tom Huntington is editor of Historic Traveler.