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The First Eden: The Mediterranean World and Man - Complete Series [DVD]

4.6 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: David Attenborough
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: 2entertain
  • DVD Release Date: 27 Aug. 2007
  • Run Time: 240 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000R343L2
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 68,782 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

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.

From Amazon.co.uk

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

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
I remember watching this series back in 1987 in my gap year between school and university. It proved inspirational. Within a few weeks I decided to retrace Attenborough's steps by going to Egypt, marvelling at a fair number of the sites he visited. There is much beautiful film from many interesting locations around the Mediterranean. The series is much more anthropological than most of his others which could put some off but for me was one of the principal points of interest. The final episode about the despoilation of the Med is predictably dispiriting.

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.
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I have been waiting for this series to be released for years, having the original hardback & paperback books. As well as an interesting biogeographical history of the Mediterranean, this series is a foray for Attenborough into anthropology, examining cave art and the changing role of animals in human society, from gods and spirits to objects of domestication.
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By Nicholas Casley TOP 500 REVIEWER on 5 July 2014
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I am not that big an Attenborough fan, but in this series from 1987 he does more than remark on natural history, but expands his insight and commentary to include man. There are four 55-minute episodes presented in their original 4:3 ratio.

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.
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Despite its age, this series still entrances because of a compelling narrative that slips easily between ancient culture and wildlife. David Attenborough entertains and informs - as only he can - and the viewer feels better for the experience.
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Anybody who is interested in both History and Nature will find this series a gem! it is an old production, but that doesn't make it any less interesting to me. Subtitles are very welcome. An extremely interesting narrative, on the Med in particular. Attenborough has habit of making things interesting, and he doesn't talk down to you.
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Need I say any more than Attenborough? Have been a fan of his Natural History programmes since I was a small boy and his latest work just gets better and better. For delivery, enthusiasm and his keenness to inform and entertain the viewer there is simply nobody better.
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Attenborough does it again. This is totally biased, as I am a great fan of his. This series was unknown to me, having never seen it in America. I found the relationships between the natural world and the ancient civilizations quite interesting. It really educated me on the evolution of the Mediterranean, and in a very entertaining way. Some beautiful photography and the usual superlative narrative.
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Format: DVD
I bought this some time ago and for some reason did not watch it until today. Made in 1987, I think this is one of his best series. It is real natural history showing the effect of humans on the Mediterranean area. Beautiful photography and interesting dialogue. I am glad that I found this gem again. The message is still pertinent today - probably more so.
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.
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