The Dark Ages: An Age of Light

What the Barbarians Did for Us

Series 1 - Episode 2 What the Barbarians Did for Us



Barbarians, Vandals, Goths, Huns. Waldemar Januszczack explores the lexicon of hate spawned by the Dark Ages, mostly by Romans and Christians demonising foreigners as brutal, godless people. But nothing could be further from the truth.

Vandals did not destroy things, they made gorgeous jewellery; Huns ran a complex political federation; and Goths were Christians who made luminous mosaics. Waldemar uses an avuncular, lightly worn scholarship, though his stereotyping of modern-day goths detracts from his argument.


Waldemar Januszczak continues his trip around the world, exploring whether the Dark Ages were a time of artistic achievement, inspired by novel ideas and religion. He investigates the art produced by the Barbarians, who are often blamed for the collapse of the Roman Empire. Following the journeys of the Huns, Vandals and Goths, he uncovers evidence of creativity they left along the way.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Waldemar Januszczak
Director Waldemar Januszczak
Producer Lidia Ciszewska