Terry Jones' Barbarians

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Terry Jones's Barbarians
Genre Documentary
Written by
Presented by Terry Jones
Composer(s) Sandy Nuttgens
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 4
Producer(s) David McNab
Distributor Oxford Film and Television Production
Original network BBC Two
Original release 26 May – 16 June 2006
Related shows Terry Jones' Medieval Lives

Terry Jones' Barbarians is a 4-part TV documentary series first broadcast on BBC 2 in 2006. It was written and presented by Terry Jones, and it challenges the received Roman and Roman Catholic notion of the barbarian.

Professor Barry Cunliffe of the University of Oxford acted as consultant for the series.


1. "The Primitive Celts"[edit]

First broadcast 26 May 2006

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. For example, many of the roads in Gaul that were assumed to have been built by the Romans, turn out to have been built by the Celts themselves.[1] However, Gaul was rich and tempting to Rome. The Roman general, Julius Caesar, set out to conquer Gaul with a professional army. The Celts stood no chance against Caesar and the Romans, and so today what we have is Rome's version of history.

2. "The Savage Goths"[edit]

First broadcast 2 June 2006

3. "The Brainy Barbarians"[edit]

First broadcast 9 June 2006

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 (until years of war with Rome).

4. "The End of the World"[edit]

First broadcast 16 June 2006

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. Jones claims that Roman civilization wasn't destroyed by the invasion of these tribes, but by the loss of the North African tax base. He sees the common view of Rome and "Barbarians" as a result of the Roman Catholic Church popularizing the Roman version of the truth.

Companion book[edit]


  1. ^ "Decline and fall of the Roman myth". The Times (London). 7 May 2006. 

External links[edit]