The Dark Ages: An Age of Light

The Clash of the Gods

Series 1 - Episode 1 The Clash of the Gods



Waldemar Januszczak lurks in the recesses of Roman catacombs, jabbing excitedly at cryptic symbols. He’s a man on a mission. He wants to rehabilitate the reputation of art during the Dark Ages.

He starts with early Christian art, and highlights a fascinating array of subjects, from why the first representations of Jesus were of
a blond, fresh-faced, androgynous young man, to why we can refer
to Xmas and not be blasphemous.

At times dogmatic – “Art never lies!” – at times chummy – “The mosaic-lovers among you…” – Januszczak is never anything less than illuminating, and his sure-footed direction perfectly matches the subject matter, with a pleasing mix of light and shade.


Waldemar Januszczak embarks on a trip around the world to discover if the Dark Ages were actually a time of great artistic achievement, inspired by novel ideas and religion. In the first edition, he discovers how Christianity emerged into the Roman Empire in the third and fourth centuries, and how the absence of a description of Jesus led them to draw on images of ancient Gods for inspiration.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Waldemar Januszczak
Producer Lidia Ciszewska