Recommendations #66

  • Barbarians – Secrets of the Dark Ages (2002) ITV – 3 episodes

History’s Hells Angels
Richard Rudgley traces the legacies of the Huns, Vandals and Goths, looking at both the migrant tribes, and the pre-existing tribes, to ask whether the “dark ages” represent a resurfacing of much older tribal lines.
Sites in Austria show how sophisticated pre-Roman communities had become with evidence of stunning craftsmanship and sophisticated farming techniques which defy the image of a mindless rabble we have come to accept without challenge.

In a Time of Shadows
It is the time when the Anglo-Saxons impose their culture and their authority on the Northern reaches of Europe. It is a time when we discover that the first Englishmen were, in fact, Germans.
These Northern people enjoyed a golden age unaffected by Rome and just 30 years after the Romans relinquished Britain, the “Anglo-Saxons” made their move. We look at the lasting influence of Saxon leaders like Alfred the Great, and his blue print for social justice.

Out of the Darkness
The third assault on the tattered remains of Roman civilisation came from even further North, where the melting glacial ice had created immense sheltered fjords, leaving its inhabitants little choice but the sea.
Long before Nelson, these fearless navigators understood that dominion over the oceans was the key to their ambitions. Where the Romans expanded incrementally, the Vikings adopted a bolder, more aggressive approach.

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