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Civilisation The Skin of Our Teeth (1969– ) Online

Civilisation The Skin of Our Teeth (1969– ) Online
Original Title :
The Skin of Our Teeth
Genre :
TV Episode / Documentary / History / Music / War
Year :
Directror :
Michael Gill
Writer :
Kenneth Clark
Type :
TV Episode
Time :
Rating :
Civilisation The Skin of Our Teeth (1969– ) Online

Two Dawns of European Civilization expounded from the Classical Greco-Roman Worlds unto the aftermath of Germanic Invasions of Early Middle Ages (500 B.C. to 1500 A.D.) by focusing on the Arts, not the standard History of Works and Words. {locallinks-homepage}
Episode cast overview:
Kenneth Clark Kenneth Clark - Himself - Narrator

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Urbane man of arts and historian Kenneth Clark gives his personal view of what consists of Civilisation in the first episode of his landmark series.

Clark takes us on a journey to inform us that European civilisation nearly vanished in the Dark Ages (500 to 100 AD) after the decline of the Roman empire with the Barbarians running amok and spreading fear.

It was not until Charlemagne who inspired an artistic and theological consciousness that allowed European civilisation to flourish when it was lurching in a fragile state.

Clark in this seminal series wanders about various European cities and museums explaining his thesis. He is dressed as a dapper gentleman, just look at his suit, just right even five decades later, neither too dark or too light. He even places himself in front of the camera just perfectly. Clark set the standard for the personal odyssey documentary. I dare say he has been surpassed.

In the opening episode he goes to a monastery in Iona how the Christian holy men who for kept western civilisation alive for two centuries. Yet Clark neglects to mention how Christianity could also stunt the growth in learning and development. It could also be an hindrance to civilisation with its rigidity and superstitions. It is notable that Clark does not venture into Spain in this series with its various Spanish Inquisitions.

Despite being enthralling you are hearing the views of a conservative wealthy middle aged white man, born of the British Empire. A Protestant who converted to Catholicism on his death bed.

He seems to be no fan of the spread of Islam from the east. Clark neglects to mention how Islam preserved classical Greek learning and as he stands at the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul he should had acknowledged that this Christian Church from the Byzantine era managed to survive being in a Muslim country albeit converted into a mosque. Spain destroyed almost everything during the Reconquista.

Then again that is the benefit of Kenneth Clark's Civilisation, it is a personal view.