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Ancient Worlds

Ancient Worlds

By Patrick Samuel • October 8th, 2012
Static Mass Rating: 4/5
ANCIENT WORLDS (DVD)
2 Entertain/BBC

Release date: December 6th, 2010
Certificate (UK): E
Running time: 360 minutes

Presenter: Richard Miles

Ancient Worlds

If you could travel back in time to any point in history, what would it be? Personally, I’ve always been fascinated by Ancient Greece. I would have loved to have been there when philosophers like Socrates and Plato taught, or even been a student of Aristotle.

Ancient Worlds is a BBC series in 6 parts, presented by archaeologist Richard Miles as he travels through the Middle East, Egypt, Pakistan and the Mediterranean. Along the way he traces the development of Western civilisation – from 6,000 years back to the first cities of Mesopotamia, all the way to the fall of the Roman Empire.

It’s the third and fourth episodes, The Greek Thing and Return of the King, I was most enthralled by. I found them much more detailed than the previous two, but also in terms of my interests, they were right up my alley. Focusing on Sparta, Athens and then the rise and fall of Alexander the Great, the episodes delve deeply into the inner workings of these complex civilisations, looking at how they formed communities, democracies, commerce and technology and fought mercilessly against each other through the ages.

Using location footage with Miles, we get a close look at a world that only exists now as echoes of the past. As Miles recounts the story of the Great Library I wonder what it would have been like to study there. Although Miles is not as charismatic as David Attenborough is in his wildlife documentaries, his no nonsense approach is endearing and he’s very much to the point. Yet at times I feel the camera follows him a little too closely and as a result it’s more like I’m tagging along behind him rather than being on my own journey of discovery.

Ancient Worlds

It doesn’t take away from the enjoyment or lessen the importance of what’s being told though, it’s just his approach and each presenter or lecturer has their own.

While we’re still a race of creatures that struggles with the idea of how to keep peace, there’s no denying the remarkable accomplishment that we’ve not yet managed to annihilate ourselves despite always being at war with each other.

There’s a lot to learn here, not just Greek and Roman history, but also Egyptian and Indian history too. Ancient Worlds is an insightful companion for anyone who interested in or studying ancient history, or just looking for a good place to start.

Patrick Samuel

Patrick Samuel

The founder of Static Mass Emporium and one of its Editors in Chief is an emerging artist with a philosophy degree, working primarily with pastels and graphite pencils, but he also enjoys experimenting with water colours, acrylics, glass and oil paints.

Being on the autistic spectrum with Asperger’s Syndrome, he is stimulated by bold, contrasting colours, intricate details, multiple textures, and varying shades of light and dark. Patrick's work extends to sound and video, and when not drawing or painting, he can be found working on projects he shares online with his followers.

Patrick returned to drawing and painting after a prolonged break in December 2016 as part of his daily art therapy, and is now making the transition to being a full-time artist. As a spokesperson for autism awareness, he also gives talks and presentations on the benefits of creative therapy.

Static Mass is where he lives his passion for film and writing about it. A fan of film classics, documentaries and science fiction, Patrick prefers films with an impeccable way of storytelling that reflect on the human condition.

Patrick Samuel ¦ Asperger Artist

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