Friday, June 03, 2005

Decisive Battles Returns with "The Goths"

I see that the History Channel is going to air a new (I think) Decisive Battles episode tonight, "The Goths":

"Adrianople - 378 AD: The Roman Empire is crumbling. The once-mighty power has now been split in two and the barbarians are at the gates. Literally.
The ravages of the Hunnic hordes behind them means the Visigoths are forced to beg Rome to let them cross the Danube. But this proves to be a bitter and costly mistake, as they are forced into squalid concentration camps along the imperial borders. They are degraded and starved by the Roman officers, their children sold off for slaves or traded for dog-meat.

But the Romans are unaware that the Goths have secretly kept their weapons and as starvation becomes intolerable they explode into rioting and looting against the cities of the Roman provinces. The Romans swiftly send an army under the personal command of the Emperor Valens to crush the unruly Goths.

The Emperor expects a quick and easy victory, but instead, in the famous battle of Adrianople, in modern day Turkey, it is the Roman army that is destroyed, and the Emperor Valens himself is killed. His body is never recovered - an unthinkable catastrophe for Rome.

Rome is now forced into a treaty with the Visigoths, but it is an uneasy and unfair arrangement for the Visigoths. They are quickly absorbed into the Roman army as disposable front-line troops, dying by the thousands as the sons of Rome survive.

After 13 years of this, a young Goth King, Aleric, rises to once again challenge the Empire for better treatment and for a homeland for his people. Denied this by the scheming Romans, Aleric marches on the city of Rome itself, sacking it in three days of brutal looting and murder. Aleric dies shortly afterwards of a fever, but for Rome the end has already begun.

Ironically, it is the Goths who will maintain the fading art and culture of Rome in their new Goth kingdoms as Rome itself fades away."

I really liked the episodes that aired last year. This is a series using game imagery created with the game engine from "Rome: Total War" for illustration.
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