We humans have been on the Earth for more than a million years, but civilization - life in cities - has come about only in the last 5,000. Through history civilizations have rose and fell, carved out of nature, dependent on nature, in the end - nature took them back. But in the past few hundred years, one form of civilization - that of the West - has changed the balance of nature forever. And now it is civilization itself that has become the central problem of our planet. To understand why, we must look afresh at how we see history. Host Michael Wood traces the rise of both Asian and Western civilization in one global perspective in these thought-provoking videos. From the crumbling ruins in the Iraqi desert to those of Greece and Rome, viewers contemplate thriving cities and complex societies that have vanished, a reminder that other nations prospered for thousands of years. Now all that remains is their legacy.