Judge Roy Hrab has been called a baker by some, but never a barbarian.
So You Think You Know Everything About The Romans?
What does it mean to be a "barbarian"? What does it mean to be "civilized"? How much can we trust historical documents? How much should we admire empires? These are the questions tackled by Terry Jones (Monty Python And The Holy Grail) in this entertaining and thought-provoking series. Without a doubt, it will make you reconsider what you were taught about the Roman Empire during your high school history classes. The four episode series, written and hosted by Jones, is presented on two discs.
Episode 2: "The Savage Goths"
Episode 4: "The End Of The World":
The primary messages that Jones presents in this series are: (1) The Barbarians were not as backwards as most of us believe; (2) The Romans were not as civilized or intellectually superior as most of us believe; (3) No matter how many glorious and beautiful monuments are constructed, ultimately, empires are built on violence and the destruction; and, (4) Most of what we are taught about this period of history is based on a very biased view. Jones performs a valuable service by reminding us that there is more than one side to historical events, even if only one side shows up in the textbook. Whether Jones intends the viewer to find contemporary relevancy in this history lesson is left unsaid, but it does not take many steps to make connections modern day occurrences.
Some viewers may find Jones to be more anti-Roman (and in episode 4, anti-Catholic Church) than pro-barbarian. After all, each of the groups examined are guilty of multiple acts of brutality. And it may very well be that Jones overplays "barbarian" accomplishments and Roman misdeeds in his attempt to rebalance the historical record. But this is a minor quibble.
There are no extras.
The video and audio get the job done, but are not particularly impressive.
Overall, this series is compelling, enjoyable and intellectually stimulating. Jones keeps things light and moving at a breezy pace, presenting a lot of information without getting bogged down in minutiae.
If only history class was this fun.
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