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Britain AD Episode 1

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Published on Jun 19, 2011

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A series of three one hour programmes, presented by leading archaeologist and sheep-farmer Francis Pryo, re-examine Britain A.D, the Arthurian myth, the British national character and the mysterious period of British history known as 'The Dark Ages'. Finding new and previously unexplained evidence Francis Pryor overturns the idea that Britain was crushed under Roman rule, then reverted to a state of anarchy and disorder after the Romans left in 410 AD. Instead of doom and gloom Francis discovers a continuous culture that assimilated influences from as far a field as the Middle East and Constantinople. Francis is confronted by evidence that confounds traditional views of Britain as a powerless bunch or warring barbarian tribes. Nor was there the invasion of bloodthirsty Anglo Saxons, rampaging across the countryside, which our school books have always depicted. With new archaeological evidence Francis discovers a far more interesting and complex story, one that puts the continuing energy of the Ancient Britons at the core. According to conventional wisdom, native British culture was suppressed by 400 years of Roman rule, and the withdrawal of the mighty imperial army in 410AD threw the country into a state of primitive barbarism, which only came to an end with the invasion of the more advanced Anglo Saxons. With detailed archaeology, cutting-edge academic research and his own brand of iconoclasm, writer and broadcaster, and presenter of Britain AD, Francis Pryor argues that we've got this version of British history wrong. Francis shows how archaeologists are beginning to reveal that the early history of Britain was in fact a vibrant period in which the population thrived from a series of foreign influences from as far afield as the Middle East and Constantinople without losing its own cultural identity. In the first episode Francis tells the story of Roman Britain from the perspective of the native Britons rather than the conquering army, and reveals that the invasion was not a brutal suppression of indigenous culture, but a mutually beneficial experience which the Britons may have actually instigated.

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