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The Hittites: A Civilization That Changed the World

4.4 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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(Mar 04, 2008)
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$89.00 $71.28

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Editorial Reviews

This is the glorious story of the Hittites - the most powerful people in the Near East of their time. Narrated by Academy Award winner Jeremy Irons, "The Hittites" brings the fascinating history of this mighty empire to life with expert interviews, stunning cinematography, dramatic reenactments, and visual effects. Highlights include a breathtaking recreation of the controversial battle of Kadesh that decimated the armies of Egypt's Pharaoh Ramesses II. Based on the actual words of the Hittites, deciphered from ancient clay tablets excavated in the 20th century, their story unfolds as beautifully as it written almost 3500 years earlier.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Jeremy Irons, Cuneyt Turel
  • Directors: Tolga Ornek
  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Cinema Epoch
  • DVD Release Date: March 4, 2008
  • Run Time: 120 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001139ZI8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #159,292 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By F. N. Mastrogiovanni on August 25, 2008
Verified Purchase
The Hittites were a Bronze Age Empire from what is modern day Turkey. Much of what archeologists know about the Hittites comes from clay tablets found in their capital. The two-hour DVD tells the story of the Hittites in chronological order and was narrated by Jeremy Irons. The redramatizations were helpful in showing what clothes, armor, equipment and cities looked like. They also added a historical flavor to this story of this once lost ancient civilization. Jeremy Irons does a masterful job telling about the rise and fall of the Hittites and their 500-year reign over Anatolia. I especially liked where Jeremy Irons correctly pronounces the Hittite kings names like Muwatalish, Mursilis and Suppiluliumas. I thought the battle of Qadesh could have been better explained with more detail and a better explanation about the neighbors of the Hittites. But that would've meant a three or four hour DVD...too bad! Over all I gave this documentary four stars because this is the perfect historical story for beginners like me, who aren't classically educated and haven't spent half our lives digging up ancient cities. A must buy for history buffs like me.
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The documentary is a melange of historian interviews, narrative voice-over and re-enactment. The re-enactment was a bit jarring because of the long hair on the men (I guess I expected closely cropped hair, I'm not sure why), and the sparse set dressing, but I'm just jaded from watching HBO's Rome too many times. I can't comment on the accuracy because I'm ignorant about the Hittites (that's why I watched the DVD), but I find the bronze age fascinating in general, and it seems in keeping with what I have read from The Cambridge Ancient History Volume 2, Part 2: The Middle East and the Aegean Region, c.1380-1000 BC,

I do admit I might only give it three stars without the melliflous narration of Jeremy Irons, gently pronouncing these jawcracker names. There seems to be some disagreement on how to pronounce the names, and the written form (from the Cambridge Ancient History) lists them as having -ash at the end. Hattushilli is Khattushilash, for example, so it make it confusing.

I quite enjoyed this DVD, and have watched it several times. It has surprising production values compare to many shows on the History Channel, and seems to have been promoted by the Turkish government - if so, good for them. Turkey is a deep well of history.

Bottom line, if you're a veteran watcher of History Channel type documentaries, you'll enjoy this.
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I watch a lot of documentaries on TV. Saw this on the Smithsonian Channel and decided to buy a copy so I could watch it without the commercials. I think it is a great video. I wish there were more like it. Jeremy Irons is a great narrator. The cinematography is reminiscent of the 1970's and looks astonishing. The dramatizations are fantastic.
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When I first saw this documentary on the 'Smithsonian Channel', it caught my eye. Once more 'AMAZON PRIME' had this documentary in its listing. I know this dvd is no longer in print. The price was steep $93.94 with shipping. However, the information in this dvd was very enlightening!! The audio and video in this dvd was 'FIRST CLASS'!! No complaints!! I appreciate being an 'AMAZON PRIME' member!!!
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I try to watch this every chance I get when it comes on television. This history is one of utter fascination. Even if the Hittite names are almost unpronounceable, the history is stunning. BUT NOT AT $124.00 for the two-hour DVD.
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Jeremy Irons narration of this absolutely magnificent documentary is superbly done. This is by far the best documentary I have seen in a very long time, and is also the best documentary on the Hittites I have ever seen. If you want to learn more about the Hittite empire ( and it's hard to find anything on the Hittites in general) this is your A to Z on them. It's more like a ten out of ten. I paid a kings ransom for this dvd and it is worth ever penny.
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A great place to start learning about the first Indo-European empire in the Mediterranean basin! The Hittites ruled central Anatolia about a thousand years before the common era. What is most astonishing is that unlike every other empire from the Bronze Age, we have their archives intact and since about the beginning of the 20th century, scholars were intrigued to translate the baked clay tablets storing their government records. In this documentary, Jeremy Irons outlines the development of this civilization and thanks to the translation of Hittite documents, we know very much about this Biblical-era people and the personalities of some of their rulers. If you are interested in ancient history and the Bronze Age and have exhausted every credible source on Egypt, get started learning about the Hittites!
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