Legacy: The Origins of Civilization 1 Season 1991

Amazon Instant Video

Season 1
(27)

1. Iraq: Cradle of Civilization TV-NR

In places like Uruk and Eridu in what is now Iraq, humans founded the first cities nearly 6,000 years ago. They left us literature, astronomy, and mathematics, as well as lessons in overpopulation and environmental stewardship.

Runtime:
52 minutes
Original air date:
August 13, 1991
Season 1

Product Details

Genres Documentary
Director Peter Spry-Leverton
Network Athena
Producers Leo Eaton, Peter Spry-Leverton

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Harold Wolf TOP 50 REVIEWER on February 10, 2012
Historian Michael Wood leads viewers on a dramatically filmed excursion through different civilizations. Live footage of locations and peoples enlighten the beginnings of 6 civilizations (by the narrator's definition "life in cities"). The writer pushes a main theme of tolerance, a need for the worlds cultures to coexist, and suggests through the study of past civilizations, perhaps peaceful existence can happen. Not a lecture format, but engaging at a university level.

A dynamic depiction, based on a well documented presentation, at a level not for children but the intellectual. Woods uses a well educated vocabulary to explain the earliest 6 civilizations of the world, and how they continue to play a vital role in the people, politics, society, economy, and religions of every continent. "LEGACY" offers an intellectual approach to understanding diverse groups of peoples through an in-depth look at historical facts. Educational rather than entertaining. Scholarly, not documentary. yet the film footage is as delightful as a travelogue. It points to civilizations with similar developments though independently achieved.

DETAILS:
1 IRAQ
Bible verse suggests it the cradle of the human race with accounts of Nineveh, Babylon & perhaps even Edin or the Garden of Eden. Home of Abraham, father of 3 religions. Uruk: 1st city began as a religious center. This civilization first invented the school, world map, astronomy, wheel, literature (ark story), writing, plow, and time set in divisions of 60.
2 INDIA
Sanskrit: oldest living language is from here, with it's now 850 million population amid a caste system and a violent heritage.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By RedWell on February 16, 2013
Format: Amazon Instant Video
Evocative and engrossing but at times factually inaccurate and misleading. Wood offers an almost poetic view of complex civilizations and is able to smpathetically enter into quite different worldviews.

Unfortunately, his romantic approach also tends to over-simplify vast cultures. In fact, the films feel like modern a progressive's version of Victorian-era social theory. India, he says, demonstrates to us spirituality. The Maya, sensitivity to time. Wood seems to be creating a "noble savage" in an over-eager effort to compensate for Western ego-centrism. We're supposed to feel just how noble is China's ancient civilization, but it seems to me that there are far more interesting insights to glean if we approach the Chinese in a less glossy and more analytical vein. Talk to some historians and social scientists. Distilling human societies down to religious ideals alone is too specific when Wood could seek to uncover a far richer and more universal story about human experience based on the interplay of cultural beliefs, material constraints, human psychology and historial interaction.

Similarly, in his effort to move our souls, Wood glides over facts. For instance, he crunches through the "blasted" landscape of sourthern Iraq to show us moderns just how perilous is our ecological position. In truth, Wood may be correct, but for all the wrong reasons. He suggests that the Sumerians were overly materialistic and over-used the land. Perhaps, but it is also the case that over the last several thousand years, the region's climate has changed--civilized self-destruction had little to do with the withering climate.

Wood tells a compelling story, but for that very reason, it is also a misleading story.
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By Ric C on September 15, 2013
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This series presents the history of organized civilization as it is known today. The variations and similarities around the world are fascinating, and Michael Wood offers an in-depth look at the great civilizations of the past.
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I am a fan of Michael Wood's work. There was information in this program of which I had been unaware. There were also pieces of information that I would have liked him to have expanded on. Overall, enjoyed the series.
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By R. Tsujimura on September 4, 2013
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Michael Wood is a great "explainer." I do take issue with the treatment of the Asian portion as it was as most western documentaries more "west" than objective in its view. The Chinese were the center of the world for a long time and theit contributions along with the arab west were the real innovations. I did appreciate the presentation on the opium wars, and the intoxication and addiction of China by the morally upstanding British and French. If China is today wary of the west it has reason to be, because of the West's moral descendency into a drug cartel which exceeds that today of the South American's. Moreover, the contributions of the west to world culture was war and rumors of war, something it continues to do. If the West would learn from these mistakes maybe the world could get past it's past.
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By Kathleen Faherty-Nichols on September 1, 2013
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This is a lovely tour of the ancient world and Michael Wood ,has an easy to listen to style of presentation.
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By Maximilian K. Biltz on August 23, 2013
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All was Great! It arrived in good condition and speedily. I will very much enjoy this work as I prepare to write my novel.
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By Greetings, Pilgrims on August 12, 2013
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One of the best series ever on history and culture.....without a Western bias. Michael Wood a genius and master host. He must have spent years researching.
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