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The First Eden: The Mediterranean World and Man - Complete Series [DVD]
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The First Eden is a glorious portrait of the landscape, wildlife and plants of the Mediterranean, presented by Sir David Attenborough. From the earliest human settlements to the cities of today, across the deserts of North Africa to the forests of southern Europe, this series tells the dramatic story of man and nature at work. It was one of the shorter series that followed the phenomenal success of The Living Planet.
Here Attenborough focuses on the cradle of Western civilization, tracing the life of the Mediterranean from salt bed to lush paradise and its ultimate exploitation. History, natural history and archeology come together in a narrative that portrays the changing attitudes of mankind toward the environment. He surveys early plant and animal life, discussing discusses climatic and seasonal changes. The domestication of the horse opened the doors to wars and migration. Attenborough chronicles the movements in both directions from the Huns to the Crusaders and, finally, looks at more recent despoliation and areas of preservation. Publishers Weekly
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Top Customer Reviews
Overall a truly inspirational series which encouraged my fascination with the Mediterranean. The book of the series is also worth having and contains a great bibliography of related subject matter. Also worth reading is Eric Newby's brilliant 'On the shores of the Mediterranean'. The Mediteranean - truly the First Eden.
It is a shame that only five minutes is spent of the opening episode in explaining the geological creation of the Mediterranean. But Attenborough’s coverage of its flora and fauna covers virtually every part: from Morocco in the west to Turkey in the east; from Egypt in the south to France in the north; and many of the islands inbetween. All countries with a shoreline feature except three: Algeria, Lebanon, and Albania.
Mammals, reptiles, birds, fish (indigenous and migratory) all feature, along with many examples of the Mediterranean’s flora. Each is of interest in their own right, but there is often a lack of cohesion as we move from one to another, especially in the opening episode, ‘The Making of the Garden’.
Early man appears on the scene towards the end of this first episode. In episode two – ‘The Gods Enslaved’ – Attenborough muses on man’s husbanding of animal resources ten thousand years ago along with the subsequent rise of the first civilisations and their worship of the tamed bull. The cultivation of olives and wine and the harvesting of fish are also featured, but it is the cult of the bull that is predominant, remaining a feature of human life up to and beyond the arrival of Christianity. But where nature was once seen as divine, now it is man; and the natural world suffered.
If the bull dominates episode two, it is the horse in the next, titled ‘The Wastes of War’, when the Mediterranean almost became an Islamic lake.Read more ›
The presentation is marvellous and not plagued by an over-bearing musical and sound effects score. One criticism - why do underwater scenes always have to have those bubbling noises - quite ridiculous especially as they were faded out when David actually did talk whilst using diving equipment.
A marvellous and educational show.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
No criticisms where Attenborough is concerned. Interesting and lovely viewing.Published 1 month ago by Gladys Gore
A slightly different kind of programme than we are used to with DA - but still full of his customary warmth and insight. Fascinating.Published 3 months ago by MR LINKS
Remember this been broadcast back in the eighty's , even got the book signed by the great man himself, cannot understand why this series has never been shown again by the BBC a... Read morePublished 6 months ago by STEPHEN D GRENFELL
I loved the mix of history, biology & geography in this series - Attenborough is truly an all-round genius.Published 6 months ago by S. Carey