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Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > Nature > Civilization > History > Legacy: The Origins Of Civilization (Athena DVD)

Legacy: The Origins Of Civilization (Athena DVD)


Picture: C+     Sound: C     Extras: B     Episodes: A-



What is Civilization?  How it is created, what it is made up of, perhaps it's riches or city structure or it's culture... but at some point in time mankind became organized societies and civilizations became prominent all over the world.  Join Michael Wood as he travels through 6 of mankind's greatest civilization, its creation, legacies and its decline and downfall.  See how through the passage of time, how they were governed, changed, conquered and influenced.  Even up to today, it's lasting effects on modern civilizations and how we can still learn from them.  Separated by time, distance, and culture Michael Wood explains how these great civilizations speak to us, their great legacies echoing over time... warning us to not forget our roots, lest we repeat their fates.
This documentary gives insight into the nature of human civilization, from the earliest of known cities in Iraq, to ancient Egypt, the mysticism of China, through Europe to Americas where Aztec and Mayan cities once flourished.  See the ideals in which they were founded upon, the power to rule, govern and control a mass population in one area.  Its culture and traditions, how they survived through the ages, through a bloody war, revolution, westernization, trade... with civilization mankind has conquered the world.  With civilization mankind has advanced and achieved great contributions that have changed history, but modern day civilization still must face the same problems of ancient civilizations, it's population, resources, cultivation... and mankind's past has never been known for lasting peace.
The Legacy is a great documentary you can enjoy.  Michael Wood gives fair recount of humankind's greatest civilizations, it's origins, it's people, it's history, rise and fall to power, how various groups or individuals have created and destroyed cities in their name of country, religion or trade.  Civilization gave birth to leaders, leaders gave birth to philosophy, morals on how to live civilly and justly.  Through Europe great wealth and art was achieved/created/lost to spread around the world.  How Westernization influence the discovery and colonization of the Americas, how it dealt with the modernization and revitalization in the 18th & 19th centuries, and finally how it continues to effect the civilizations in which we live in today.  Extras include a small booklet with highlights and facts along with profiles of various great thinkers.

Episode 1: Iraq: Cradle of Civilization
One of the earliest known cities of mankind, but because of over population and need of resource what once was a fertile land became a dry, arid dessert.


Episode 2: India: Empire of the Spirit
Nurtured by the great river the Ganges India civilization was based on tradition of renunciation of materialistic world, unlike western civilization they focused on human internal richness of the soul.


Episode 3: China: The Mandate of Heaven
With the birth of dynastic rule of Chinese Emperors gave birth to great thinkers such as Confucius and Laozi, giving great contributions in how leaders should govern and rule society.


Episode 4: Egypt: The Habit of Civilization
Another great civilization founded by river the Nile, Egypt was known it's fertile land bring organized farming and society and the great pyramids. But unlike India, Egypt became a civilization in searching of life beyond death, the eternal question of possibility of resurrection to the eternal after-life.


Episode 5: Central America: The Burden of Time
The great Aztec and Mayan civilization evolved independent for millenniums without influence from west, gave great achievements in astrology, mathematics and architecture. It is still a mystery to why Aztec civilization suddenly disappeared and while the Mayan culture was ultimately destroyed by westernization.


Episode 6: Europe: The Barbarian West
Perhaps one of the greatest of civilizations, Europe has been known all over the world for it's influences, through trade, religion, and industries. Through various conquerors, achievements, expansionism it can be said Europe has been responsible for spread for the idea of individualism and of Greek and Roman cultures that can still be seen all over the world today.



-   Ricky Chiang


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