Time Traveler’s guide to Elizabethan England

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Time Traveler’s guide to Elizabethan England, Part I  The Common People

Here is the first chapter of a delightful little BBC series. We are taken through history by a knowledgeable historian, right back to the 1550s. He retraces the everyday lives of the people. It is quite fascinating to explore the “golden age” of England through the perspective of the poor peasant people, to get a glimpse of their miserable lives. The host shows us the very different culture and beliefs of the time. Be prepared for shock as you learn the favorite past time of Elizabethans, Bear baiting… the cruel battle between a chained bear and English mastiffs, for the pleasure of the crowd. Or how beating your children was recommended, or how going to church was required by law…

Times change…. and values have as well. The process is fascinating. The world has changed dramatically since Queen Elizabeth the First, and many of those changes we so easily take for granted.

This documentary is filled with fascinating tidbits and snapshots from nearly 500 years ago.

Time Traveler’s guide to Elizabethan England, Part II  The Rich

Time Traveler’s guide to Elizabethan England, Part III  Brave New World

(Unfortunately All the episodes were removed from Youtube, due to the lovely Copyright infringement bots. Truly a shame, as these were excellent documentaries. I tried tracking it down but to no avail… However, Amazon carries both the original book and audio book the series was based on)

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Ice Age Art, the Beginning of Everything

(This is part 1 of 5)

A beautiful documentary from the BBC about ancient art. Fascinating exploration of prehistorical art, with great explications and high, BBC quality.

Very much enjoyed this one. It’s fascinating to see and to try and understand that ancient art. We humans have always been pushed towards creating. One can only wonder why? Why must we seek out aestheticism, beauty and creation?

The documentary touches on an interesting correlation between the advent of art and the beginning of society, associating prehistorical art with the awakening of the human as we now know it. We can theorize that the process of creation might have helped develop the minds of the modern man. A very romantic idea indeed.

When God was a Girl

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When God was a Girl Bbc Documentary

I watched this documentary last night and found it extremely interesting. It talks about the very beginnings of religions, and how the female aspects of the divine were highly emphasized. It was intriguing to watch since mainstream western religions are so focused on a masculine macho deity. The ancient people recognized the goddess as a strong figure. Females were the givers of life, a creator force. The mother goddess was responsible for the fertility of the land as well as a protector.

What was even more intriguing was the duality found in female deities throughout. They are signs of fertility, birth and protection but also have strong powers over the realms of the dead. This was true in ancient near east cultures, the greeks and romans and even the modern day form of hinduism. The goddess is to be revered, besearched and feared. She is not one to be trifled with.
This was explained by the low survival rate of children. In antiquity, they estimate half of the children died at birth or shortly after. Adding a new dimension to the powers of the mother and the female deities.

This aspect made her especially appealing to the romans. This was surprising to me, since roman society was so bent on masculinity, virility and warfare. And yet in their time of need they turned to a fearsome goddess to protect them.

Then of course, the documentary speaks of how christianity began to take over and the female goddesses became blasphemous and demonic.

This is a series of three. I am greatly anticipating watching the next couple parts.

So take a peek at this series and let me know what you think.

(Once again, Youtube removed this documentary. Copyright is the Bane of my existence…)

An Incredible Book

This National Geographic documentary retraces the history of an incredible manuscript of the 14th century, created by a single man to encompass all of human knowledge. It also contains illustrations of the devil and how to on exorcism, medical cures and botany.

Its a splendid work of art and a great snapshot of the time it was created, but even more interesting his how such a book has survived over 600 years.

Can we say that any of our modern day books will survive that long?

What about e-books? Does having the text of a novel make it enough? Do we loose anything in forfeiting a physical form of a book?