Saturday, May 13, 2006

It's all about the PR

Terry Jones, who came to international fame as part of Monty Python's Flying Circus, has turned his hand to historical studies these days. His most recent is of especially keen interest to Celtic Reconstructionists and other European-focused pagans, as he has worked to put the lie to the notion that the Celts (as well as other non-Roman civilizations) were uncouth idiots. The book about this, Barbarians, has been released in the UK with a television series to follow on BBC 2; one can only hope both will land on US shores very soon. This excerpt from the article he wrote about it for the BBC is a faint taste:
The Romans kept the Barbarians at bay for as long as they could, but finally they were engulfed and the savage hordes overran the empire, destroying the cultural achievements of centuries. The light of reason and civilisation was almost snuffed out by the Barbarians, who annihilated everything that the Romans had put in place, sacking Rome itself and consigning Europe to the Dark Ages. The Barbarians brought only chaos and ignorance, until the renaissance rekindled the fires of Roman learning and art.

It is a familiar story, and it’s codswallop.

I expect Mr. Jones to handle the material with scholarly attention as well as a touch of the sort of humor you'd expect from a man who once played a Hammond organ in the nude for laughs.

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