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Terry Jones' Barbarians

Terry Jones' Barbarians is a four-part TV documentary series presented by Terry Jones, challenging the received Roman and Roman Catholic notion of the barbarian. The series takes a completely fresh approach to Roman history. Not only does it offer us the chance to see the Romans from a non-Roman perspective, it also reveals that most of the people written off by the Romans as uncivilized, savage and barbaric were in fact organized, motivated and intelligent groups of people, with no intentions of overthrowing Rome and plundering its Empire.

Episode 1 - The Primitive Celts
The popular view of Celtic society is that it was primitive and uncivilized. Terry Jones sets out to challenge this view. Far from being primitive compared to Rome, it was an advanced society that was in some ways even more advanced than Rome.

Episode 2 - The Savage Goths
Terry Jones investigates claims that early Germans, Dacians and Goths were nothing but primitive brutes. However, he learns they were well-respected as exemplary fighters by their Roman counterparts, and played a major part in the defence of the Empire.

Episode 3 - The Brainy Barbarians
Terry Jones argues that the ancient Greeks and Persians were in reality far from the Roman view of them as effeminate and addicted to luxury. The Greeks valued science and mathematics, while the Persians had initially allowed multiculturalism among the different ethnic groups of its empire.

Episode 4 - The End of the World
Around 400 AD, two Barbarian babies were born. One would grow up to become the most feared of all - Attila the Hun. The other, Geiseric, led the Vandals whom history has cast as destroyers. Terry Jones claims that Roman civilization wasn't destroyed by the invasion of these tribes, but by the loss of the North African tax base.


Related Links
Barbarians (History Channel)
This tells the intriguing story of four barbaric tribes - Goths, Mongols, Huns and Vikings - which once became powerful and fell again in the Middle Ages.
Rome: Rise and Fall of an Empire
This is a History Channel documentary series telling the compelling history of the Roman Empire from around 114 BC to the eventual fall of the Empire.
Terry Jones' Medieval Lives
This is a BBC documentary series presented by Terry Jones, looking at the Medieval world with the intent of finding out what it was really like.