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Watch Legacy - Origins of Civiliz... Season 1
6. Europe: The Barbarian West
aired: Tue, Sep 24, 1991
Now adopted nearly all over the globe, the modern Western ideas of individualism, property, and purposeful history trace their roots to Christianity, Greco-Roman humanism, and Germanic social values.
5. Central America: The Burden of Time
aired: Tue, Sep 17, 1991
Independent of great civilizations elsewhere, the Maya and Aztecs developed a fatalistic culture, envisioning a cosmos that required bloody sacrifice for renewal. It placed the sovereignty of nature above all else--even human life.
4. Egypt: The Habit of Civilization
aired: Tue, Sep 10, 1991
In the world's first great nation, the annual flooding of the Nile conferred not only fertility, but also a deep respect for social and cosmic stability, a belief in the resurrection of the dead, and the hope of eternal life.
3. China: The Mandate of Heaven
aired: Tue, Aug 27, 1991
With great thinkers such as Confucius and Laozi, the Chinese conceived of civilization as reflecting cosmic harmony, sustained by civic and social virtue, ancient ritual, and reverence for ancestors.
2. India: Empire of the Spirit
aired: Tue, Aug 20, 1991
Beginning 5,000 years ago, the "Land of the Seven Rivers" cultivated a tradition of nonviolence, renunciation of the material world, and a focus on humans' inner life. Today, these survive in tension with the vestiges of Western colonialism.
1. Iraq: Cradle of Civilization
aired: Tue, Aug 13, 1991
In places like Uruk and Eridu in what is now Iraq, humans founded the first cities nearly 6,000 years ago. They left us literature, astronomy, and mathematics, as well as lessons in overpopulation and environmental stewardship.