Movie 16min

Humanity Through The Ages (1908)

Original title: La civilisation à travers les âges
Not rated.

+ 10 images
Director Georges Méliès
Country France
Language French
(Original) La civilisation à travers les âges
1. Century 15. Century Ancient Rome Angels Based on the Bible Black and White Cain & Abel Capital Punishment Catacomb Crime Death Drama Druids Early Christians Emperor Nero Execution Hauge Convention History Human Rights Human Sacrifice Humanity Lost Film Martyrdom Middle Ages Murder Paganism Peace Persecution Police Politics Prayer Punishment Roman Empire Short Silent Film The Spanish Inquisition

An episodic narrative displaying examples of humankind’s brutality, from the story of Cain and Abel through the Hague Convention of 1907.

Humanity Through Ages
Number 1050–1065 in Star-Film catalog. Length, 1000 feet.
Cain and Abel. The first crime, 4000 B. C.
The first scene represents the killing of Abel by his brother Cain. When he had executed his horrible crime, Cain, overcome with remorse, concealed himself in a lonely and unfrequented place, for he imagined that he was pursued by justice and vengeance. The last part of this scene is a beautiful and faithful reproduction of Prud'hon's masterpiece, "Justice and Vengeance Pursuing Crime."
The Druids, Human Sacrifice, 500 B. C.
After having collected the sacred mistletoe in accordance with the rites of their religion, the Druids invoke the Divine Protection and perform a human sacrifice under the ancient oaks of Old Brittany.
Nero and Locust. Slave Poisoning, 65 A. D.
Nero and Locust have a slave poisoned in their presence in order that they may feast their eyes upon his sufferings, and, at the same time, study the effects of a terrible drug upon the human system.
Catacombs of Rome. Persecution of Christians, 200 A. D.
In the Catacombs at Rome some Christians, in the early days, have taken refuge where they may practise without molestation the mysteries of their new religion and address their prayers to God. Suddenly a Roman cohort invades their hiding-place. The soldiers forcibly take possession of the worshipers and lead them away to the Colosseum where they are fed to wild beasts to make holiday for an emperor.
Scourging with Cat-o'Nine-Tails. 1400 A. D.
During the Middle Ages, punishment by whipping was inflicted upon condemned persons in the public squares amid the laughter and the jibes of a cruel populace.
The Gallows under Louis XI. 1475 A. D.
During the rein of Louis XI, gallows were scattered all over France. So frequent were executions that hardly a day passed without somebody being executed.
The Inquisition. The Torture Chamber. 1490 A. D.
About this time, the followers of the church were administering to recalcitrants those cruel tortures with which romances of the period are enlivened. In refined cruelty, Torquemada, the chief inquisitor of Spain, has never been excelled.
A Nocturnal Attack. Lord's and Ruffians. 1630 A. D.
In the 17th century, the streets of cities were poorly lighted. Bands of marauders were always skulking about looking for some unprotected victim. This view pictures a spirited encounter in Paris in which robbery was the prime motive.
Modern Times. A Street Fight. 1906 A. D.
In spite of extravagance in lighting the streets now-a-days and the superabundance of police, thugs are often sneaking about in the less frequented thoroughfares ready to knock a man down when the policeman's back is turned. This episode is begun when no officer is near, but the arrival of officials before the attack is ended makes things interesting all around.
The Hague Conference. 1907 A. D.
This scene is an amusing satire on the Conference at The Hague in which delegates urge the limitation of armaments and the disbanding of armies. Confusion reigns in the assembly. The speakers become so angry at not making themselves heard that they start a general rough-and-tumble fight. The session is ended, and the wounded descend the steps of the palace, staggering from bruises.
The Triumph of the Peace Congress.
The last scene gives an idea of the results of our Peace Conferences. One sees dead and wounded soldiers lying scattered upon a battlefield; and, towering over all, the Angel of Destruction looms up with her flaming sword and with a gun carriage at her feet.
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Georges Méliès - Druid/Judge in the Spanish Inquisition
Georges Méliès - Director