Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Ancients Behaving Badly

Ancients Behaving Badly DVD review,

By David Luhrssen
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Despite its puerile presentation, complete with blood-splattered videogame graphics and stentorian narration (“Caligula was the poster boy for sociopaths the world over”), the History Channel series “Ancients Behaving Badly” manages to show how historians actually go about their work of understanding the past.

The series points out that many of the surviving accounts of the leading men and women of ancient times were written by their enemies. The historical team working on “Behaving Badly” try to weigh the old chronicles and commentaries against the evidence of archeology and advances in science. Interestingly, accounts of the bloodthirsty Caligula and Attila the Hun discounted by some historians as hard to swallow have been supported by contemporary spadework. Those guys were bad. Really bad.

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