Legacy: The Origins of Civilization
We humans have been on the Earth for more than a million years, but civilization - life in cities - has come about only in the last 5,000. Through history civilizations have rose and fell, carved out of nature, dependent on nature, in the end - nature took them back.
But in the past few hundred years, one form of civilization - that of the West - has changed the balance of nature forever. And now it is civilization itself that has become the central problem of our planet. To understand why, we must look afresh at how we see history.
Host Michael Wood traces the rise of both Asian and Western civilization in one global perspective in these thought-provoking videos. From the crumbling ruins in the Iraqi desert to those of Greece and Rome, viewers contemplate thriving cities and complex societies that have vanished, a reminder that other nations prospered for thousands of years. Now all that remains is their legacy.
1. Iraq: The Cradle of Civilization. After thousands of years as a hunter/gatherer, man built the first cities 5,000 years ago on the banks of the Euphrates River. Civilization as we know it began with the glorious cultures of Ur, Nineveh, and Babylon.
2. India - The Empire of the Spirit. Ancient India is with us today in the living tradition of the Hindu religion, the basis of Indian culture. The traditions that are honored by millions of Hindus in the present were born in the Indus valley 5,000 years ago.
3. China - The Mandate of Heaven. Many breakthroughs on which the modern world is based were discovered in China long ago... iron-casting, gunpowder, even printing. When introduced to Europe, these things changed Western civilization. This episode presents the synthesis of East and West.
4. Egypt - The Habit of Civilization. A great documentary about Ancient Egypt that confirms that it was the birthplace of modern civilization, more than 5000 years ago. This documentary supports many of Dr. Walter Williams claims in regard to Egypts influence in the founding of Christianity and Islam.
5. Central America - The Burden of Time. Isolated from the rest of the world, the Mayans and Aztecs created sophisticated civilizations that in many ways paralleled ancient Mediterranean empires. God-like kings and a priestly ruling class dominated splendid cities of temples and pyramids.
6. The Barbarian West. Civilization arose in Asia, but it was the West which would create the first world culture. This final episode traces the origins of western culture through Greece and Rome prevailing by borrowing from the legacies of the original five old world civilizations.
I recall this as a good TV series "For the Time" i.e. early 1990's by Mr Wood. It gave a grounding to the knowledge available at that time. (Pre Internet and all of todays mod cons).
Yes it may have dated views but please do not judge it on 21st Century attitudes remember this was made around the time of the "New World Order" and "History is Dead" comments of the post 1989 fall of Eastern Europe Dictatorships.
Thanks for giving us YOUR VERSION of the history of the world. Note to readers of the Comments posted here: I have two words for everyone; Graham Handcock
Was Abraham came from Egypt ? And why did he miss the history about Jews and Christians resided in IRAQ ?. This looks like one sided Islam apologism.
As a white person who has spent his life studying socio-political and economic history of the world it should be self evident that the current paradigm is the conceited and narcissistic construction of an elite society. That society is a coveted and secretive Zionist collective, that has historically controlled the development of the banking systems, and have manipulated religious systems, political systems and whole nations. They have enslaved and abused the entire human race and continue to do so. Atrocities have been committed, whole peoples manipulated into committing them, and today the consequences and if you like the Karma of our historical legacy is now unfolding before us. What we see now is divided social groups who blame each other for all the pain in the world, rather than looking beyond to see the truth.....that we have been duped into this division, and given away our power, to be spoon fed false culture and history, to keep us dumb and divided. Stand together, white and black, Christian and Muslim, Hindu or Jew, Man and Women....Stand united, forgive, and fight the real evil in this world....Zionism!
Well said and I agree with all you have said. You are a well read gentleman and I applaud that!
If you look a little further back than Zionism you will find the Sicarii to be the original terrorist organization, following the mass suicide of the Zealots at Massada. Which of course infected the whole tribe with the incurable mental affliction known as the 'Massada Complex.'
Raise any child to distrust everyone outside the immediate family or tribe as an enemy wishing only to do harm then what kind of adult would you expect that child to grow into ?
Zorocano78 is right but I'm afraid it's to late for the human race. Way to many dumb and divided or as I call them sheeple on this planet to effect any type of significant change.
as you know sam blacks in the UK is relatively new...you might want to begin with how blacks found their way to britain, you can't get one to take a bath let alone cross an ocean.
As a black person brought up in the UK ( London) which i will say is a wonderful and multi-cultural place its a shame the true history of Africa is never told.... its a shame the motherland is never recognised in the way it should be... my parents are nigerian and I know black history is not just a history of slavery its a shame .... such is life
No it is NOT 'such is life.' It is a White Constructed worldview. They control the cognitive map. It is your job to reverse that garbage . Why wait for them to tell Your Nigerian history. Tell it yourself in YOUR OWN voice. If they tell it you can bet your bottom dollar it'll be watered down, belittled and denigrated.
i for one would certainly be interested in watching that documentary. I certainly am not pleased that I get a whitewashed version of everything, and I'm white! But I'm interested in the truth, not upholding certain cultural illusions or historical inaccuracies. The most interested and fascinating religious traditions come from Africa and the Mesopotamia. I'm interested in the Sumerians the most but I would like to learn more about the Moore's and I enjoy learning about the Dogon tribe. But most of what they know is not shared with the outside world. Kinda of a double edged sword. You have to protect your culture by secrecy but share it enough that it doesn't diminish.
All of african history has been whitewashed.there are a few books you should read. one being from babylon to timbuktu.africans ccontributed more to civilizations than you or others are aware of.look up the moor's.unknow to most of the world they delivered Europe out of the dark ages through science,astrology,architecture,arts,and various contributions.oh as well as help americas forefathers contruct the nations capital along with freemasonry.
An excellent series. Very thoughtfully presented and respectful of the various cultures and their contributions to civilization.
The one technical comment I have is that the content was somewhat marred by the narration which unfortunately is very dated by the liberal references to the "late 20th century". Yes, the making of the series might easily have been dated by the lack of 21st century ubiquitous accoutrements like cell phones, Bluetooths and tablets and even by the lack of mention of common 21st century events, but the continual references in the narration were really "in your face" - kind of a virtual watermark timestamped onto the video that was hard to ignore. If the producers are even thinking of a re-make/re-mix, they might want to listen closely to the narration and edit out the comments which so clearly mark it as a '90s product.
So judge by the works,of all.Do you follow lord Jesus,or do you follow lord oppenhiemer,simple...
watched the first 3, Iraq, India, and China - WOW absolutely fabulous. I have ONE only suggestion for Michael Wood- if you ever re-mix this series (& it would be well loved again if u did) just add a few MAPS and Dates and it will be perfect... So many excellent quotes I will choose a descriptive one rather then poetry. China was successful in holding off western expansion for a time; when they could not anymore, these first descriptions of westerners said much:
"These barbarians have a grim look - untidy hair and unpleasant smell...They are liars-and rather arrogant.They conquer countries by fraud and force,ingratiating themselves in a friendly way,before they oppress the natives; at the heart of their conduct is violence"
Well? Has anyone ever said it better?
we say the same about them
"I" am not part of that 'we'...but, that is why I chose that quote...nice to hear the words going round on the one hand, and realization on the other of how far 'we' as a world have yet to go socially. We all make claim to a set of nearly universal values, yet, those still look only like words on paper...(mostly). The superiority however, of some of the old (& current maybe) merchant class paints the sound of these words - clarifying.
Things don't change much with time, except for the worse.
I love how it seems like all ancient historians, on the one hand, casually dismiss specific accounts of the ancient world, like the bible (or the Gilgamesh epic for that matter), as fables, and, then, turn around and make very firm assertions, like where writing FIRST began, or where the very FIRST temple was EVER built, or what the FIRST epic story EVER was. Our evidence of the ancient world is too limited to make such absolute statements. In my mind it just replaces the dogma of Christianity with the dogma of a particular person's whims. Science is not in the business of dogma!
Sure, ancient Sumer has the oldest evidence we've uncovered of writing. But is that to say that it IS the oldest place we could ever find writing? And are we so arrogant as to say that the oldest place WE will ever find writing is where it MUST have began because we can't find it anywhere else? And the Gilgamesh epic is "the world's FIRST literature?" Our best source of that epic dates to long after our archaeological evidence for the stories told by ancient Egypt. How do we know what we claim to know so absolutely? Why can't we present that evidence for what it is, truth that leads us to our best but still very fallible conclusions?
It's ridiculous to have each generation of archaeologists and ancient historians pretending they've finally figured out everything about the ancient world while trying to invalidate specific beliefs firmly held by everyone who was ever in the field before them. Learning more, as time goes on, is a cause for humility, not greater pride and arrogance.
Long before Iraq formed as country it was PERSIA ,and then the civilization started in PERSIA which now is part of Iraq.So for this reason you cann't say that civilization started in Iraq ,it was Persia that everything happend..............please correct
From what the documentary explains, writing was invented in ancient Sumeria. That laws were first WRITTEN down in this part of the world. It is from this event that Mr. Wood begins threading this documentary series.
Hahahahahahahaha I smell Iranian nationalism, and it reeks! If it were up to you guys, everyone from Moses to Lady Gaga would be Persian. The reason it's so hilarious is that it's so easy to dismiss. The Persian civilization emerged some 550 years BC with the Achaemenid dynasty. The earliest civilizations in modern day Iraq (yes I-R-A-Q, read that out loud until it sticks) are, on the other hand, THOUSANDS of years older.
I bet in a few hundred years, some Persian guy like you will claim that New York, Tokyo, Paris and Sydney were all part of Persia and demand "correction".
In short: keep your nationalist bullshit to yourself, it doesn't work outside your brainwashed fiefdom of Iran.
You can't wipe out the history or the truth with a few nonsense words ,read the history and you will see it for yourself .By the way this is about how it is in history not about nationalism...Again the first nation formed in persia and IRAQ was part of persia I just wanted to make that point...
I cannot tell why you think that this is political nationalism, someone trying to convince you to believe a lie . What these peoples and cultures have developed has given rise to many other peoples and cultures. they are indeed a birth place of ideas and spiritual upliftment, as well as war and greed. In this day of US propaganda against Persia, Iran, and mid-eastern cultures, it takes a return to wonder and beauty to see past their poisoned message. The US thinks that all the world belongs to them, so try not getting caught up in the mirror reflecting back your idealism
Civilization started in an area that is found in the modern day Iraq (this means that the current boundary, whoever defined it, make up the country of Iraq; there were no such boundaries back then). BUT 2,500 BC this Sumerian city state was populated by those same type of people that now live in modern day Iraq/Iran/Saudi.
Now, if modern day Iran/Persia had managed to hold on to that Sumerian area to this day, then China would not have the label as the longest continuous civilization, but instead would be Iran/Persia.
Dear Global Friends,
These histories are not accurately to be true. It is just to be part of general knowledge to comprehend, but it won't help us to be more specific in living a civilised world. As for several centuries until today there were and are still wars going on without halting, only with lots of words to have PEACE. After peace then wars start again. Outwardly people seem to be civilised but inwardly they are not, because many impure or immoral thoughts like cheating, lying, killing, distorting, betraying, discriminating, hating, craving endlessly for power, fame and all the sensual desires on lust, pleasures, wealth and spoiling Mother Nature for the commercial greed are still going on.
A true civilised world is for one to self-examine one-self and get rid of one's bad or immoral habits, then to care and share indiscriminately in loving together as a One Global Big Family without considering a slightest development of war. Zero air, land and sea combat forces and weapons of destruction. Everyone's responsibility is lead a moral example, not complaining nor criticising on others.
after all what human kind owed to mesopotamia.bombs is our way of thanking it
good thing too
For what reason is there for civilizations? For what biological purpose is there for them? There was no need for them really. Our ancestors were doing fine before civilization or at least the modern concept of what is a civilization. Now we have more problems and worries than our ancestors did. Our ancestors only had to worry about were predators, finding food and finding shelter. As for a mate, you found someone of the opposite sex whom you met while bumming into another tribal group. You weren't picky because you just never know when the next tribe will pass on by so you kept the mate you found very close by... thus monogamy relationships were form. Humans weren't living close together with one another back then as they are today, so pair bonding was a sure way for one to get access to sex and thus reproduce.
Modern civilization is overrated... it is why there are tribal societies (hunter gatherer groups) still in existence. We can argue all week or month over how great civilizations are and how evolved we are because of them, which I think is a load of garbage. Civilization does not equate to true biological evolution. We humans are still vulnerable, physically weak beings and we haven't really changed at all for the pass 200,000 yrs ago when the first true homo sapien evolved .
Another thing I like to point out is that we humans created a make believe game called civilization; where there are governments and economics. BTW money isn't real, but I love the game of Monopoly so I'll play the real life version of it with the rest of you. :) Yet those from advanced civilizations call tribal societies primitive... I think they're way ahead of us and I have huge respect for their skills and abilities to survive at ripe old age in an environment where one could easily die from being bitten by an animal overnight. Anyways at least their money can feed a whole clan of people and has real value... yes, I'm referring to the humble cow. Plus as long you raise cows you're never bankrupted. :)
Unfortunately I grew up to this domesticated life, IE being in captivity, being in a civilization, so I don't think I could live the way our ancestors did. I know,.. I know it's the slave mentality talking, but those of us here watching these vids and posting comments have to be realistic about these things. We all know that those of us raised in advanced civilizations would have a difficult time surviving in the wild. Nor would some of us want to leave the familiarity of our way of life. If I was forced to choose between being free in the forests or being the slave of a advanced alien species, I think I would choose the life of being a slave to a race of superior beings. I would be more comfortable being an indoor pet than being a free person being eaten alive by bugs in the unfamiliar wilderness and have my skin burnt by the sun (I have albino skin, so sue me LOL). Some of you may disagree with my thoughts on the matter and that's ok. You have your beliefs and I have mines. We all have our strengths and weaknesses. We're not all perfect. I just wanted to share one of my weaknesses with you all. I was only being truthful and realistic here, and I do give out my humblest of apologizes if anything stated in my comment has offended anyone. I only wanted to share some of my thoughts on the matter to which this series of documentary has brought up.
To the up-loader of the video... thank you so much for uploading this fascinating and mind stimulating documentary. I know it has brought up more questions than answers, but that's the many wonders of life. Can you image if there weren't any questions to answer? I would be frightened by that because it would mean that we humans had stop using our imagination and creativity. Anyways I saved the video in my bookmark folder labeled "videos" so I may share it with other. Again, thank you so much for the video.
I really cannot get enough of your ignorance. I am now on a mission to read all of your comments as you are truly the definition of an American Id**t.
Yusiley, I'm very impressed with your comment. I agree with most of what you have said. But I especially appreciate the fact that you're being respectful and "civilized" by knowing that anyone could have a different opinion than yours.
I believe that we, this new generation, should educate ourselves to be able to change the world as we know it when it is our time to run it.
Yes, this is very true hopefully one day soon the masses might get the chance of true equality and than it 's a possibility everyone will stop the cycles that history proves civilizations of the past keep repeating only too stall progression and keep politicians wealthy.If we realize that most history recorded wasn't always truthfully written but rewritten by who won whatever war happening in that time,than its possible we will learn from the victors mistakes and humans won't go extinct.Our species has no where else to go!
Yusiley, I'm very impressed with your comment. I agree with most of what you have said. But I especially appreciate the fact that you're being respectful and "civilized" by knowing that anyone could have a different opinion than yours.
I believe that we, this new generation should educate ourselves and change the the world as we know it. Take advantage of the good things that Civilization brings instead of the bad things.
When it's our turn to run the world make sure not to make the same mistakes again.
Yusiley, I'm very impressed with your comment. I agree with most of what you have said. But I especially appreciate the fact that you're being respectful and "civilized" by knowing that anyone could have a different opinion than yours.
I believe that we, this new generation should continue to educate ourselves watching documentaries like this one. Change the world as we know it. So finally when its our turn to run the world make sure not to make the same mistakes again so we can make this planet a better place for future generations.
See, here's where I disagree. Those who romanticize the hunter-gatherer past and the simplicity of it all still cannot bear to tear themselves away from civilization. Why? Because it is familiar? Because it is impossible? Well, it is certainly possible. Not only are there hunter-gatherer tribes in existence today, but even people in North America who isolate themselves from civilization to live a life more like our prehistoric ancestors.
So it IS possible. But is it desirable? You said it yourself, no. And that's because, deep down, you do realize that there are many things you do enjoy and appreciate about civilization. If you truly committed to the anti-civilization beliefs, you could "go off the grid" if you really wanted. No order or system operates without tacit consent. Money only has value because we humans put value behind it. If you really did not value it, you literally could find a way to survive without these civilizational creations.
That's what I think. I appreciate, no love, socio-cultural evolution. Just because it is not biological doesn't mean it isn't as important. Ultimately, in my humble opinion, I am glad these developments took place thousands of years ago.
I am not discrediting your opinion or telling you how to think. I respect and to a degree, understand what you're saying, because civilization has also caused tremendous misery to humanity as well. But I still prefer it.
Michael Wood suggests that civilization started for what reason?
Michael Wood made a great job with this documentary!
It is very, very important for those viewers who are ignorant of the european atrocities that came with colonization, but who are open to understand them, to have them enumerated in documentary form. This sort of doco balances the plethora of pro-european white-wash docos that abound. perhaps this series was not created for those who don't like to admit what really happened. If so, then just don't watch it. I myself am caucasian and have an interest in central american history, and i did learn a lot from that episode; but more than that, I found Woods' presentation one of admission and kindness and empathy for a defeated culture, and to my mind that really enhanced the viewing experience. Recommended.
"This sort of doco balances the plethora of pro-european white-wash docos that abound."
Can you give me an example of this plethora of pro-European white-wash docos, because I'd really love to see them. Whenever I see a doco like this it's invariably a guilt trip on Europeans, or it's a pro-Muslim white-wash, like Bettany Hughr's "When the Moors Ruled In Europe".
In the West, we're always fed documentaries that play up other cultures and play down our own. Truth is, every culture has things to be proud of and things to be ashamed of.
I really don't think Europeans are the most guilty on the imperialistic front. Alexander the Great conquered Persia, but you know what? The Persians started it.
Look at history. Muslims were an aggressive imperial power for a thousand years, who conquered huge swathes of the known world. Every country that is today part of "The Muslim World" is only Muslim because it was conquered by imperialistic Muslim invaders. Most of them were originally Christian.
If you think Europeans were somehow uniquely responsible for slavery, you need to research The Barbary Slave Trade, where African Muslims raided the coastal villages of Britain, Ireland, even Iceland, and kidnapped Europeans for a lifetime of brutal slavery. The men spent the rest of their lives in the galley of Muslim pirate ships, and the women were sex-slaves in the Middle East.
Or you could research Muslim slavery in India, or the fact that modern-day slavery continues to this day in Mauritania, a Muslim country.
The first country to outlaw slavery was Great Britain. Europe. 1772.
The last country to outlaw slavery was Mauritania. Africa. 2007.
i think that you are exactly who she is talking about. You seem to be completely pro-european and in particular, according to all your other replies to others comments, pro-english.
The fact is that every culture has things to be ashamed of. The only reaon europeans seem to be blamed for the slavery is because they did it the most recently and what most people would call the most civilised to do it. Also people accused the europeans of the worst slavery because they WERE the most civilised and should have been aware of the terrible implications of slavery and because they were mahorly racist
This does not mean no other culture has ever done this but it does not mean that you can simply dismiss what the europeans did which it seems you are trying to do.
Just accept the fact that europeans did have slavery in their society just like any other culture most definitely did some point in history. there is nothing to defend.
"Look at history. Muslims were an aggressive imperial power for a thousand years, who conquered huge swathes of the known world. Every country that is today part of "The Muslim World" is only Muslim because it was conquered by imperialistic Muslim invaders. Most of them were originally Christian. "
Dude, are you drunk ? or perhaps you need too read [watch] more history ..
Do you know country called Malaysia or Indonesia ? Indonesia is the country with largest Muslim population. Who are the invaders ? Dutch, England and Portugese.
"The first country to outlaw slavery was Great Britain. Europe. 1772."
If what you mean is Sommerset' case, it's only in England and not in all British Empire !
Read more about British and Dutch colonialism in Africa and South Eeast Asia.
I am pro-European and pro-English. You make that sound like a bad thing.
It's an oxymoron to blame the Europeans more for slavery because they were the most civilised. If they were involved in slavery, maybe they weren't as civilised as you think. I don't see why Europeans should be held up to a higher standard. That's racist.
Besides, we're always told in these documentaries how UN-civilised Europeans were compared to the civilised Muslims. Well, which is it? Were the Muslims civilised? Because the Muslims continued to practice slavery into the 20th and, in some parts, the 21st century.
Fact is, Europeans know all about the role in slavery. They've had it drilled into them in school. The governments have all acknowledged it and apologised and tried to make it right.
I have never seen a Muslim government publicly acknowledge and apologise for Muslim slavery.
Mauritania abolished slavery in 1981, not in 2007. (Don't forget that in Switzerland women got the voting right only in 1971, and not in all the Swiss cantons.)
Britain abolished slave trade (not slavery) in 1807. Slavery itself was abolished in 1833 almost everywhere in the British Empire except in the parts of the empire controlled by the East India Company and Ceylon (which were technically not part of the British Empire at the time).
You are misinterpreting the year of a British court ruling in the case of the slave Somersett in 1772 as the year when slavery was outlawed in the British Empire. BTW, slavery was illegal in England (but there only of the whole of Empire) much before 1772.
People just like to bash Europeons because that's pretty much the only culture you can bash without being called a racist. Why? Well because we don't care what other think for the most part because it's so apparent that we are and for the last few hundred years always have been the greater race and culture. This is a fact of history not of genetics. I for one am not ashamed of my Europeon ancestory, especially considering I am Scottish and the Scots were held in slavery longer than any other ethnic group in the history of the world and yet we never stopped fighting and we don't use it as an excuse these days either.
We reconginize that we are on top, and refuse to be brought down by slandorous bottom feeders. So keep blaming us, it's the cause of your own downfall.
What a shameful comment. I wish there was an option here to report abuse. It promotes an ideology not much dissimilar to national-socialism. That is, beside the fact that most of it is absolutely irrational and meaningless.
WTC7. Please explain how my comment promotes national socialism, which by the way is a political ideaology. Whites as of right now aremore well off than any race on the planet. You deny this? There are literally dozens of documentaries on this site which go into the reasons for that fact in great detail. Maybe ou shoud get off your 9/11 conspiracy kick and watch a few. So hunn,please explain to me where you draw this connection? Is it because I'm proud of my Europeon - more precisely Scottish - ancestory? Is it because I made the observation that most whites are terrified to be called racist and looked at as insensitive? Or is it because I recongize that whites are bashed all the time without being able to say anything back without being called a nazi, case in point. YOU!
"We recognize that we are on top, and refuse to be brought down by slanderous bottom feeders". Do I imagine things or does that sound very close to the 'übermensch' theory? Don't bother answering, your statement does not require any further elaboration, it's clear who you are. (BTW, whether you are Scottish or Aboriginal - I don't give a sh... ooops, I meant a dime :), you still should be examined... sweetheart).
Your point of view on 911 is of no concern to me. The only thing you achieved by bringing it up here is looking ridiculous & insecure. And worthy only of this short comment.
National-socialism is 'ideology' not 'ideaology', by the way... (thought of refraining from this but I couldn't eventually :)).
It's all good. Going after the person rather than the idea is a common tool for those with nothing left to say. So I'll just declare victory and move on.
Scottish or Aboriginal, actually I'm a mix of the too. BTW, slanderous bottom feeders refers to people like you, it's a type of personality in which all races have members. Not everyone jumps to racist conclusions, I guess that says more about you than it does me.
Sure, sweetheart... we are changing the lyrics now, you being the poor victim, oh gosh... I understand you, just don't worry, everything is going to be ok... Don't think about the fact that you started with ad hominem attacks first, who cares, everybody will probably forget about that soon.... and you will regain your shaky pride :)
"The link you provided confirms that slavery was abolished in 1981 in Mauritania - by a presidential decree. The fact that no laws were brought in to establish the details of that decree until 2007, doesn't really prove me wrong, does it?"
Yes, you're right. They outlawed it in 1981. But obviously it continued until 2007 which necessitated them actually punishing it. And it still continues to this day. Whereas when the U.K. outlawed it, it presumably stopped dead . . . didn't it?
"I implied that you misinterpreted the year of Somersett case (1772) as the year of abolishment of slavery in the British Empire as being valid for the entire empire. But at that time the slavery was outlawed only in England (I did not say Britain). By the way, if you simply check the Wikipedia and the slavery timeline, you will realize that efforts aimed at abolishing slavery were a widespread tendency that was going back & forth in the 18th & 19th centuries (& even before that)."
So exactly when did "England" abolish slavery? I thought it was 1772. If I was wrong, please correct me.
The reason I thought it was all of Britain was because England and Scotland united to become Great Britain in 1707. So, in 1772, England and Scotland were both just parts of one country, Great Britain.
"The 'civilized' Britain was in no way the first in history of human civilization to come up with such civilized ideas. Check the Indian emperor Ashoka (3rd century BC). For his time & general conduct of the time, he was much more progressive & certainly precedes the Brits in advanced thinking with regard to slavery."
I'll look into it. But Britain was the first to actually outlaw slavery, right?
"It may be easy for you to say it, but as a woman I certainly don't appreciate the "advanced" Swiss, European, society seeing women as lesser beings not worthy of the right to choose their own destiny. To me (and you will excuse my apparently chauvinist view on this) it is a form of slavery imposed by the PHYSICALLY stronger sex over the PHYSICALLY weaker one. "
Switzerland is an anomaly among the European cultures. Most gave women the vote in the late 19th or early 20th century.
Many Muslim countries didn't give women the vote until only a few years ago:
Qatar (allowed for municipal elections in 2007)
Bahrain (Bahrain did not hold elections prior to 2002)
Qatar (national elections to be set by 2013)
United Arab Emirates (limited; to be expanded by 2011)
Slave trade was deemed illegal in England since the 1102 Council of London convention (initially, it applied to London only).
But I actually found which was the first country to abolish slavery as such - Iceland, in 1117.
Since I have a bit more of a level head right now let me start over. Slandorous bottom-feeders was a little harsh, and YOU are most likely not one. Please accept my sincere apology for that remark, even if you don't accept, the apology still stands.
I get offended when people bash any race or culture, not just whites. Although everyone of them has there moments of shame, they all have done things to make the world a better place as well. I think for the most part Europeons have done a lot more to help the world than we are given credit for, and for the most part we don't even give ourselves credit for such acts. Anyone can say anything bad they want to, and it may be true, but ONLY focusing on those aspects I believe is in very poor taste and either speaks to ones lack of education or just plain racism.
Nobody likes being called a racist, no even racist's themselves, so when you equated me to a national socialist I took deep offense and reacted very harshly. I can tell you, that I am neither a supporter of nationalism nor socialism :) My family made great sacrifices fighting directly against that. I was disappointed that you would jump to that conclusion though, because reading your comments on here for quite sometime it's obvious you are pretty sharp.
In the future we may not always agree on certain issues, but let's agree to disagree in a less personal manner.
Your apology is absolutely accepted and it seems to me that it is in order that I offer you mine too. You obviously said what you said in frustration over what you consider to be unfairness towards the white race. I sincerely apologize for misreading you and jumping to a conclusion too quickly and calling you a national-socialist.
It is just that I believe that any discussion about which race offered more good to the world or which one committed more atrocities is irrational (by which I certainly don't want to say that you are irrational - reading some of your other comments clearly tells me that you are a rational and intelligent person). At different points in human history different civilizations contributed to our overall progress. Violence, regression, and other negative things that were taking place, and still are, in that process should be, not exclusively but mostly, ascribed to bl00dy ideologies and some religions, not racial belonging, in my opinion anyway. In that respect, I should add that my comment to your post was really nothing personal.
So, yes, wholeheartedly, truce it is :).
@ avd420 & WTC7
Get a room, you two.
Your example of the "Muslim" countries are very selective as they are all either monarchies or they were part of the society union! So a classical example of revisionism here
what about switzerland ? it is also a muslim contry /
Re: Iraq. Was hoping for and expecting a history of Sumer and Babylon rather than a travelog on Islamic culture in Iraq. Some interesting facts presented though.
loved these documentaries, and learnt so much about all these civilizations. It makes you realise how anicient the earth really is. But just a small correction, Buddha ( or Gautam Buddha) was a Nepali Prince born in Lumbini, Nepal, who gained enlightenment in India, he was not an Indian prince.
In the 6th century B.C. there was mo India or Nepal to speak of. Only a culture which arose in present day India.
hihi.....nepal ,india,pak,bangladesh,myanmar...where one according to the civilization....thats 'akhanda bhaarath'......land of hindu culture....though the word hindu is new comparing to the age of indian culture....just like jesus born in jew background.....budha....born in ....hindu background.....but it is more good to pronounce as indian civilization.....
thats is so stupid
On any best day in film history, a documentary exists to expose and inspire, to expose the deceptions and false perceptions that drive our thinking, and to stir us to be inspired by different kind of thinking that is more progressive, more just, and makes more common sense.
Religion, economics, and sociology amidst the events of politics aids in that process. For example, insight is gleaned from the recognition that no Negroes were ever needed for slavery; they were not the chosen people in Egypt, and are not those chosen now. Why? because slavery is addictive and tolerance comes with the territory, the less brutal the better for tolerance. But, it need not be a fact of life!
Religion need not be freely granted, but it needs to be nonviolent. Rome's legacy remains the epitome of evil upon Christians, but it is not the only example in history.
Being humane is not about saving the animals from extinction though that is admirable. Conservation and preservation is not always about the environment and global warming though that is helpful to prevent human extinction.
Common sense is not about who is wealthiest, or what produces the greatest power and influence. Children are not nearly as resilient as people are led to believe.
Highlighting our inane ideas, and sociopathic personalities can only do us good if shown to be the bane of existence as we are led to think they are rooted in preferences, and choices, not misunderstandings of history and illogical thought.
People with common sense tend to be those who reign with what society has come to view as popularity and prominence, but not always.
Documentaries that disturb the conscience are always useful but too gross, vulgar, or severe, and they turn people off. Thinking is something to be embraced, not shunned as irrelevant.
Documentaries are not the only medium that can penetrate society's protective core, but they are a method that when used to good advantage, have powerful abilty to transform.
The fact of the matter is, Europeans really HAD pillaged and wrought all sorts of horrible things upon the world during the imperialistic period. While you may think this documentary has an overly negative view of european history, I think the documentary is merely using it's limited time to educate westerners on a part of history most of us don't know. We ALREADY know the great achievements of western history and how western civilization has benefited the world. however most of us do not know about the true extent of the crimes committed by westerners of the past. The fact that you took such offense that a chinese girl mentioned looting by westerners honestly amuses me. Just recently, yet another auction house was selling a chinese antique that belonged to royalty. There was NO WAY in hell a westerner could have gotten the item if not for looting (it was definitely NOT a gift as it was a part of the palace).
Every time I watch The Antique's Road Show, I find things that disturb me deeply. Often times I'll see a white western family selling an item from another culture. One woman was selling an item that is considered to be a sacred family heirloom in the alaskan native culture. The woman claims the item was something that an explorer uncle "found" but anthropologists say such an item would NEVER be part from a family if not for some catastrophic event. I really wonder how he uncle "found" the family heirloom.
"I think the documentary is merely using it's limited time to educate westerners on a part of history most of us don't know. We ALREADY know the great achievements of western history and how western civilization has benefited the world. however most of us do not know about the true extent of the crimes committed by westerners of the past."
I disagree, I think these days were are fed a bunch of guilt and self-deprecation. I think if you ask an average indigenous European about ancient civilisations, they know far more about ancient Egypt, Maya, et cetera, that they do about their own. Recently I was talking to a Czech woman about ancient civilisations. She could name all the major Egyptian gods, and when I asked her to name a single Czech god, she couldn't. It hadn't even occured to her that there WERE Czech gods. Most Westerners these days are fed a diet of anti-Western propaganda which plays up other cultures and plays down their own.
"The fact of the matter is, Europeans really HAD pillaged and wrought all sorts of horrible things upon the world during the imperialistic period."
How long was Europe's imperial age, perhaps two or three centuries? The Muslim imperial age was about a thousand years, from Muhammed first smashing the statues of the traditional gods of the Arabs, to the Muslim invasions of Assyria (Iraq), Perisa (Iran), Anatolia (Turkey), North Africa, Hispania (Spain), Italy, Frankia (France), the Fall of Constantinople in 1453, though to the Muslims laying siege to Vienna in 1683.
The British controlled India for 89 years (1858-1947). India was given a modern industrial infrastructure while the Hindu religion was respected. The British did not try to stamp out Hinduism and enforce Christianity.
Muslims controlled India for 650 years PLUS (1206-1857, but they'd already been making military inroads into India, raping and pillaging all the way, since 664 AD). They levied discriminatory taxes on the Hindus simply because they were Hindus, (the Jizya tax). They smashed Hindu statues (following Muhammed's example), and they stole Hindu treasure. Hindus were oppressed by Muslims way more than they were ever oppressed by the British.
500 years fromnow we will be concidered UN-CIVILIZED people who believed in god,Jesus Buddah ect.
I'm English but i don't go round looking down my nose at the ancient celt's culture- dont be painting all us modern middle class englishmen with the same brush, even if we are the best
Each civilization that was depicted here contributed greatly to the development of the human species. That does not make any one of them close to being perfect. Slavery, forced migration, genocide, gladiator sports, religious human sacrifice, and economic exploitation are a shameful legacy of our human history. Not one culture can claim complete innocence. What we can do is study these cultures and their histories and try not make the same mistakes. Invariably we will; because we are human. A good honest attempt, by everyone, to make the world a better place will dampen the effects of our errors. A perfect society will never be achieved. All we can do is treat each other in a fair and honest way. What cannot and does not help is finger pointing and accusations. As long as there are people who insist on doing this there will always be some kind of strife in the world. We can't change the past; only try to make a better future.
I am on this site because it was required for an online class at Sacred Heart University, I am actually viewing the page in blackboard now. The adds are absolutely repulsive; very very racy and totally inappropriate for a college environment.
What did I drop $1500 on?
Western world is but sequential civilisation that will take much more time than the others to disrupt because it situated itself better in history by learning from other cultures and civilisations. Western civilisation has its own strengths and its own weaknesses. Wonderful series though, a great contemplative analysis into the origins of civilisation.
@Yunya He says that western civilization has changed the balance with nature forever and you take that as whining about western civilization. Q.Q dude! Also didn't know pollution was a western value.
This Doc is major Bull****. :/
Two minutes into the documentary and he's already whining about western civilization. He uses petrochemical products and I'll bet he drives a car and lives in a nice house in suburbia. Michael Wood is the typical liberal hypocrite. If people don't like western values there are many places in the world where they can go. It's funny though how practically everyone in the world wants to live in the west.
Bloody English going around the world and subtly showing their superiority by conducting a survey of all other civilizations. What condescension. Why aren't they coming to England to do a survey of her. The sun has set on the British Empire.
Haha, just joking, great series, his enthusiasm is infectious. As long as globalization does not ruin what is special to each civilization, which its seems to be doing, everyone becoming a bland monotone modern materialistic culture without any higher motives. The richness of the West and the development of her civilization through Rome, Greece, and Jerusalem is not imitated, but rather the modern lowbrow pop culture.
I found this series very 'monotone" don't get me wrong the subject and the civilisations in question are v interesting, but it felt more like a lecture than anything, the content I think, I would have found more interesting and more suited to a book.
I don't see Caral here....the answers for why do people come together and start a civilization are there!
I loved your take on history, But when the oil runs out! I will go back to my Viking roots and England and drink all of their Beer. ( life goes on )
great docs Vlatko!!!!
OK let's get some things straight here. The Romans were'nt Christianized until Constantine during the 4th century. Patrick was from Brittania and was a prisoner of the Irish until he escaped and then went back to Ireland as the 1st Bishop of Ireland and converted the Irish people to Christianity. Not that the Irish were uncivilized as so everyone thinks or lacking in technology. Ever been to Newgrange? It took some thinking to build that edifice. The Romans never did conquer Ireland or Scotland for that matter either. They tried to though but one look at the long-haired naked Irish brandishing weapons on the shore changed their minds pretty quick and when they got a look at the Picts in Scotland with painted blue faces they built Hadrians Wall. I myself am of Irish and Hungarian descent. The Romans did conquer the Slavic countries thus the etymology of the word slave from Slav. Mr. Woods is a very good narrator and presented this series tastefully and brutally honest I think. The European powers did a smash and grab of Africa and what they could of Asia and what the Spaniards did in Central America and Mexico was horrendous. And now there is US and what we did to our Native Americans and around the world under the False Flag Doctrine and Big Business. We've been sold a bill of goods and most don't even know it....yet.
News flash, they mapped the human genome and it turns out we're all the same. One species.
Its kinda strange how we all did things independently of each other but ended up doing the same things all over the world.
i liked these docs, thanks v man.
@ Robert Lewis
Mr. Woods presented six segments with one sixth devoted to, what many consider, the most astonishing civilization that has existed on this planet. In his presentation of Egypt he correctly identified the Nubian area where the worship of Ausar (Horus) apparently originated. He took the viewers back to that area so that the descendants of those people could be observed (avaiding confusion with the Arabization of modern Egypt). There was no Afro-Centric infusion that I could see. I suppose you became agitated with him pointing out Auset (Isis) Hathor and Anubis in the tomb scene in Alexandria where they wer prominently displayed above the Greek cultural motifs. Egypt certainly is in Africa and it shares its glorious past with African people. Do you resent your African roots?
Egypt is in Africa you numpty!
There is always a dark continent--who's contribution to civilization is grossly ignored. And this series just did that.
I would like to add something to your knowledge :we have to overcome all the obstacles in order to Appeal to one Civilization to the One world.The overarching arguments of the new project would be only an appeal to one civilization for all human beings because we have starting from Nothingness and we will end our philosophy with Nothingness.
"Bloody english. They’d still be wearing animal skins, swilling mead, and praying to their saxon gods had we irish not re-educated them and converted them to christianity during the 5th and 6th centuries. Considering how they repaid us over the next millenia or so i’m sorry we did"
Really, are you sure, i thought it was the Romans during the first century. Firstly, i can't believe your blaming modern English, like myself, for what the British did to Ireland that long ago, the people responsible for it are dead dude, get over it, or should we, following by your example hate the Germans for the blitz over London during WW2, and the Scadinavians for when the Vikings invaded 1000 years ago,No of course not. Seriously fella, you need to grow up, remembering the past is important, so we don't make the same mistakes, but don't live in it, or you'll just fill yourself with hate.
"They’d still be wearing animal skins, swilling mead, and praying to their saxon gods" are you really that small minded to think thats actually true.
I haven't even watched this Doc yet, but one smug Englishman doesn't speak for us all, like you seem to think so, so maybe i should take what you say as the will of the Irish. But of course, i know that even with a small amount of intelligence thats not true.
dashu,I agree with your comment,why cant he just state facts and information on a nuetral plane and not compare to others,dynasty will come and grow and still will come and go,just like trade we all learn and borrow from one another good and bad look at all the 20 century inventions and technology that all the world enjoys especilaly refrigeration that contribute to the growth and sustain many peoples and of cultures with there right hand and wars and conflicks with there left hand,like are individual life,we have a beggining and end weather a virus,war or durration of time ,so does any civilization,we are competive people either by working or inventing uses to get ahead or survive or from taking from otheres,all societies have been guilty or contibute to another,everyone has been givers and takers in history,also the conflicks of those who move forward and who hang back,almost all wars are based on deception ,I heard onece edjucation had us fell fromthe garden and edjucation can bring us back provided is use for good and not evil.
An excellent series but I want to strongly agree with someone who was very annoyed with the anti-western comments and really 'propaganda' interjected in so many places.
What is especially offensive to me is that it comes off as so elitist and condescending. Its so 'obligatory' as he gives some 'dark period' or any sort of 'down time' for the foreign culture he must 'throw them a bow' by self-emasculating a chunk of his own bits to show 'see I do it to my own people too' aren't you satisfied now good.
Look, I am NOT asking for Europeans to be spared anything but likewise I don't need to see them cherry-pick the worst, amp up the worst offenses and incidents and then present them as 'what whites did to them' either.
Seriously.. it was annoying the hell out of me, and, this type of thing has REAL consequences. Chinese people (for example) see that and really believe this is what English must have done to them and everyone knows it. It fuels hatred.
Meanwhile, how about discussing the majority of Brits who actually had EXCELLENT relations, respect and SERVICE and superb stories in China? Because that definitely happened. MANY great stories and many excellent 'win-win' relationships, deals, and wow.. believe this crazy story but... wow.. sometimes BENEFITS were gained by Chinese FROM British. What?
If you watch this series and did not know any better you would believe every people on earth were brilliant and civilized except one evil disgusting soulless bunch of phony sickos - Europeans. Get real!
Just recently I had to CORRECT this kind of **** as a Chinese girl was complaining that English had looted and pillaged some ancient arts and treasures. She saw this in a western documentary too. (probably one like these with anti-british 'white guilt' propaganda), however, she informed me that actually many local Chinese ALSO stole relics and arts.
Then I explained how some of those relics and ancient arts were in the British Museums and that (at the time) many Brits thought of themselves as 'rescuing' these artworks. I then explained how they spend millions of pounds preserving these and showing to the world. She was absolutely amazed to hear this!
She had NEVER heard that British RESCUED ancient works FROM local looters, and, she was actually amazed that Brits spent massive tax-payer money to preserve them.. which to her was.. didn't even make sense.. she couldn't believe anyone would give so much to help her history for no gain?
At the end she actually agreed that maybe the Brits HELPED China's great culture in that sense. So do you see what I am saying here? These 'whites are evil guilt' propaganda films have REAL consequences and cause REAL confusion, and, annoy the hell out of me to be honest.
Having said all that - save the antichristian anti-white crap - the rest of these are fairly excellent. I could nitpick at a lot of other things too but 'overall' well done as great overviews and general information.
I always amused by the statements "the most destructive force the world has ever seen": in this case, the Europeans coming to the new world. True, they were dreadful, but so throughout history were other conquerors. The Persians, the Turks, the Huns, the Mongols, just to name a few, razed everything in their path after taking the prized loot and slaves. White men, black men, oriental warlords, all did the same thing. I win, you lose was the game of war.
Cradle of Civilization well highlighted the depth of history that comes from what is now Iraq. I couldn't believe though he scavenged those pieces of ancient pottery and broken tile from the fallen buildings from the first civilizations... then again his film was supported by the British Museum.
Great doc. !! I really enjoy Michael Woods' take on history.
Bloody english. They'd still be wearing animal skins, swilling mead, and praying to their saxon gods had we irish not re-educated them and converted them to christianity during the 5th and 6th centuries. Considering how they repaid us over the next millenia or so i'm sorry we did.
Spare me your Anglophobic bigotry. Not only are you flagrantly racist against the English, but you're hypocritical and also just plain wrong.
"They'd still be wearing animal skins, swilling mead, and praying to their saxon gods"
You make this sound like a bad thing. Have you ever tried mead? It's delicious. I swill mead all the time. What's wrong with mead? How is mead any less "civilised" than beer?
And what's wrong with English people praying to English gods? How is that different to when Irish people prayed to Irish gods? You've conveniently forgotten that the Irish were converted to Christianity by SAINT PATRICK. Now, where was Saint Patrick from again . . ? Oh, that's right, he was a Christian Briton whose village was attacked by Pagan Irish Pirates who captured him and took him back to Ireland, where he was kept as a slave.
"had we irish not re-educated them and converted them to christianity during the 5th and 6th centuries."
Another Ignorant little Celt, clinging desperately to his myths of grandeur. I'm willing to bet you got this opinion fed to you in that book "How the Irish Saved Civilisation", or maybe just that similarly named tv documentary with Dan Snow. Whichever one it was, you clearly swallowed it hook, line and sinker, because it fed into your palpable anti-English prejudice.
Fact is, Saint Patrick (the Christian guy from Britain, who had been kidnapped by Pagan Irish raiders who kept him as a slave) was still converting the Pagan Irish throughout the 5th century, and the English only BEGAN settling Britain in the second half of the 5th century. So how the hell did you convert the English to Christianity when you weren't even Christians, and the English weren't there? You didn't. The Italian mission was far more instrumental to the conversion of the English than the Irish mission. The Irish only had any influence in Northumbria. And in fact, one Irish missionary is on record as being ineffectual and having to be sent back. And who did the English go with at the Synod of Whitby in 664? They chose to go with Rome, not Ireland.
And even if the Irish HAD been instrumental in converting the English, what the hell gave you the right to do that? Isn't that chauvinist and imperialistic to just go around imposing your culture on other people? Maybe the English were happy the way they were. So if it were true, shame on the Irish!
Just watched the cradle of civilization and found it very interesting. Like the way how he combines myths and historical research. Recommend it.
Michael Wood is a particularly annoying sort of modern Englishman. On the one hand, he ascribes to the widely discredited Afro centrist belief that Greece acquired all or most of its civilization from Egypt. On the other hand, he gives absolutely no credit to the Celtic people for any contribution to western civilization whatsoever, despite the fact that the Celts invented the European common market and saved civilization from the onslaught of the very Germanic hordes he loves so much, even going so far as to completely overlook the numerous and indispensable contributions of Scottish scientists and engineers to the industrial revolution. This is sad, but not surprising. It's actually quite traditional for the English historian (or in Mr. Wood's case, "historian") to overlook or even disparage the Celtic people. Pre 20th century Englishmen said, "We Anglo Saxons are the crown of creation and civilization and we'll bloody well make certain everyone knows it."; 21st century Englishmen say, "Early English (read Western) civilization may come up short when compared to the ancient civilizations of Asia and Africa, but were still better than those damned Irish!"
The Celts Invented the European Common Market? Better keep that to yourself then, the European Common Market is a disaster! (just look what's happening in Greece).
The Celts didn't save "civilisation" from the "onslaught of the Germanic hordes". The Germanic hordes were perfectly civilised, thank you. Whose definition of civilisation are you using? The word "law" is a Germanic word, not a Celtic word or a Romance word.
The Celtic and Germanic tribes were basically on a par technologically and culturally. The fact that the Celts were Romanised (and therefore Christianised) first is because the Celts couldn't fight the Romans off (52 BC), but the Germans could (9 AD).
It's a same ol' story, very similar, almost identical, to the story of my country Bosnia and Serbs who claim whole Balkans and all slavic-illiric tribes are actually Serbs (traitors) only we forgot it !? Culture, language, well everything that belongs to four different tribes-people-nations here, Croat, Bosnian, Montenegrin and Serb, was and is Serbian and Serbs - they are Englishmen of the Balkans.
Anyway, much better doc is "East to West" 2011.....