History & Mythology
Ancient Civilizations of the Mediterranean
Ancient Civilizations of the Mediterranean (E.M.M.E. Interactive) is a historical survey of five major ancient cultures on the rim of the Mediterranean Sea. It covers, in varying depth, the economic, political and cultural life of the people in ancient Etruria, Egypt, Phoenicia, Greece, and Rome. This disc is really a middle-school level history book transposed to CD-ROM, and most of the content is text accompanied by attractive photographs of each civilization’s art and artifacts. Each civilization also has a time line graphic with hypertext links to the main content and the disc’s index and glossary. The jewel case advertises 45 minutes of “vocal comments,” but this reviewer unearthed only a few bland audio tracks after several hours of exploring. Likewise, there’s precious little video. The program does, however, have more than enough simulated ancient music, creating an atmosphere more suitable to a Steve Reeves Hercules film than to a serious historical treatment. The text could certainly be richer; Carthage merits only a few pages of text and a dozen slides. Hannibal gets one paragraph, and not a word about his trek over the Alps with all those elephants. The growth and decline of the ancient Mediterranean civilizations, and the flow of economic, cultural and military influences among them, should be an ideal candidate for a multimedia program. Unfortunately, this one just skims the surface.
– June 1996