History Channel Goes Barbarian [01/05/04]

Not Conan. Not Hagar the Horrible. Not even Groo (who was really more of a wanderer).

On January 19th and 20th, the History Channel is showing a new program on real life barbarians, detailing the Vikings, Goths, Mongols and Huns each in their own one hour show. To promote this they've built a fun and informative website you should check out: www.BarbariansAreComing.com. For more information, check out the press release below:

The Barbarians Are Coming!!
to THE HISTORY CHANNEL®
in a 2-part world premiere special January 2004
Monday, January 19 at 9-11pm ET/PT : "VIKINGS/GOTHS"
Tuesday, January 20 at 9-11pm ET/PT: "MONGOLS/HUNS"

NEW YORK, DEC. 17, 2003 – Barbarians are violent forces from the dark beyond, savage tribes who hurl themselves repeatedly against the bastions of civilization. In a two-part, four-hour World Premiere Special, The History Channel vividly tells their story, aided by cinematic on-location re-creations and experts who help place their astonishing sagas into historical perspective. BARBARIANS makes its debut on The History Channel on Monday and Tuesday, January 19 and 20 at 9-11 pm ET/PT each night. The two hours on VIKINGS and GOTHS air on January 19, and the two hours on MONGOLS and HUNS air on January 20.

Barbarians is an epic four-hour special that covers nearly 1,000 years of history and conquest, focusing on four main Barbarian groups: the Vikings, the Goths, the Mongols, and the Huns. To help bring this history to life, the production had a full crew of 80 and set a new standard for historical re-enactments whose scale truly evokes the scope and feel of world-changing events in ancient history. More than 400 costumes were prepared for the production, together with sets, props and locations to represent the different time periods. A full stunt crew was used for the battles, high-falls and fire and two dozen horses and riders were engaged for many of the scenes. Three Viking ships were built on location in Lithuania—one for shots in the sea, one for construction by the Vikings and one for use as a 1,000-year-old archeological site. Sets and locations for Roman towns, medieval castles, walled fortresses, Viking farms and towns and the primitive encampments of the Huns, Goths and Mongols—all were created for this sweeping series. A range of historical experts in each of the subject areas helps to place the historic events in lively and accurate context.

To the embattled and civilized Romans, Persians, and Chinese, the cruelty of the Barbarians rivaled that of wild animals. It was said they ate human flesh, worshiped pagan deities, and fought like the very demons of hell. How could these nomadic clans successfully devastate the most advanced cultures of the ancient world? History now reveals how these Barbarian peoples had strengths that often gave them the upper hand against far superior and more technologically advanced forces. In fact, the Barbarians were innovative in their development of weapons and strategies, clever in their use of diplomacy and deceit, and completely ruthless in their use of terror as a weapon. The story of the Barbarian invasions is truly one of the clash of civilizations.

BARBARIANS is produced and directed for The History Channel by three-time Emmy winner and Oscar nominee Robert Gardner. Executive Producer for The History Channel is Carl Lindahl. Narrator is Clancy Brown.

BARBARIANS: VIKINGS/GOTHS premieres January 19 at 9 pm ET/PT.

VIKINGS: For some 300 years, from the 9th to the 12th century AD, the Vikings struck terror into the hearts of the peoples of England, France, Ireland, and parts of Russia. Not just raiders and warriors, the Vikings were explorers and merchants as well, with slender ships that carried them all the way from Arabia to the coast of the New World, hundreds of years before Columbus ever set sail. As warriors, as settlers, as explorers and as traders, Vikings were agents of extraordinary social and political change—spurring global economic growth, fortification of Europe, the development of national identities, advances in shipbuilding, navigation and more. Their historical legacy is immense.

GOTHS: Terrorized by the savage raids of the Huns, the Goths sought safety in the protective embrace of the Roman Empire. However, after the Romans subjugated them, the Goths rose against the Romans, defeating them at the battle of Adrianople. Rome was forced into a treaty with the Goths, but it was an uneasy and unfair arrangement for the Goths. Young Goth King Alaric marches on the city of Rome itself, sacking it in three days of brutal looting and murder. As the decline of Rome begins, it is the Goths who will maintain the fading art and culture of Rome in their new Goth kingdoms.

BARBARIANS: MONGOLS/HUNS premieres January 20 at 9 pm ET/PT.

MONGOLS: To this day, the Mongols remain a symbol of all that is brutal, cruel and barbaric in the ancient world. At the greatest point in their conquest, the Mongols controlled an empire that stretched from the Sea of Japan to the Baltic, from Korea to East Germany. Their principal weapon was terror. The Mongol warriors pioneered a style of warfare unparalleled in cunning and cruelty, and so revolutionary it still inspires military strategists today. Their greatest general was Genghis Khan, who united the loose confederations into one unified power in 1206. Under his successor, Timur (aka Tamerlane), the Mongols conquered the Ottoman Empire in 1402, but the Mongols would lack a large enough population to maintain so huge a geographical area.

HUNS: The Huns were a mysterious people who fell upon the European continent like the vengeance of God. Some say the Chinese built the Great Wall to keep them out. The Huns swept in from the east with a savagery that was almost unparalleled in warfare. In the 4th and 5th centuries AD, the Huns were an aggressive people with considerable skill in warfare and horsemanship. Their best-known leader, Attila, established an empire stretching from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean, bringing parts of the Roman Empire to the verge of destruction. In the end, disease conquered the Huns, as malaria decimated their ranks. And Attila, at the height of his powers, died on his wedding night, drowning in his own blood.

Now reaching 86 million Nielsen subscribers, The History Channel®, “Where the Past Comes Alive®,” brings history to life in a powerful manner and provides an inviting place where people experience history personally and connect their own lives to the great lives and events of the past. The History Channel received the prestigious Governor’s Award from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences for the network’s “Save Our History®” campaign dedicated to historic preservation and history education. The History Channel web site is located at www.HistoryChannel.com.

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- - Kinderfeld

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