Barbarians Rising Episodes
The battle for supremacy begins as the ancient world divides in two: Roman vs. Barbarian. Hannibal of Carthage builds the first great barbarian alliance to defeat Rome before it becomes unstoppable. The general launches an audacious and unprecedented campaign to strike at the heart of the Republic, conquering the Alps and leaving a trail of death across Italy as he aims for the capital city. But while Hannibal wins the battles, he loses the war. With no viable adversary remaining to stop its advance, Rome marches across the barbarian world, pillaging the land and its people, and reaping a bloody revenge on the tribes that fought alongside Hannibal. When Lusitania comes under the Roman sword, one man emerges to drive them back. This time it’s not a military strategist but a simple shepherd, Viriathus, who unites his people to fight against Rome’s overwhelming might, the first wave of resistance in an epic 700-year struggle for freedom.
In ancient Hispania, Rome seeks revenge on the barbarian tribes that fought alongside Hannibal in his failed campaign to overthrow the Republic. Governor Galba massacres the Lusitanians, a Celtic tribe from western Iberia, and nearly annihilates the entire population. The survivors live as refugees in their own land, banding together under the shepherd-turned- leader Viriathus to launch a guerilla resistance against the Roman occupation. The barbarians use their knowledge of the terrain to their advantage in order to continue the fight while Vetillius launches a full-scale manhunt to track down the elusive rebel leader. The two sides meet in the Forest of Tribola for a fateful clash.
Rome rules the Mediterranean with an iron fist and embarks on a strategy of domination through expansion, conquering and enslaving barbarians from every new territory it claims. But the larger it grows, the more enemies it brings within its borders — a vast, dormant barbarian army, waiting for its leader to rise. Spartacus, the barbarian slave forced to fight as a gladiator, becomes the reluctant commander of an uprising that is the greatest threat to Rome in a century.
The Republic becomes an Empire and continues a policy of Romanization aimed at civilizing the barbarians, but even the first emperor, Augustus Caesar, is blind to the enemies rising within Rome’s own ranks. Arminius, the son of a Germanic barbarian chief is surrendered to Rome as a boy and becomes one of the highest ranked barbarian officers in the Imperial army, but when he’s sent to his homeland to crush the rebellion underway among his own people, he must decide where his loyalties lie. The Battle of Teutoburg Forest pushes the Empire to the brink.
Barbarian resistance escalates into a do or die confrontation with the Empire. The Germanic tribes unite for the first time under a single leader, Arminius, who engineers an ingenious ambush attack designed to drive Rome out of their homeland. The Empire needs to expand to survive and sets its sights on the barbarian stronghold of Britannia where the Celts fight back against the invasion with an unprecedented ferocity. Boudica becomes leader of the Iceni; when she and her daughters are brutally humiliated by the Empire, the warrior queen unleashes a murderous vengeance against the occupiers, uniting the Celtic clans in an uprising against Roman tyranny.
Boudica tries to beat Rome at its own savage game in one of the bloodiest rebellions in history. Centuries of costly barbarian wars take their toll on the Empire, ending the age of expansion. But a dark and dangerous menace rising from the east throws the Roman frontier into chaos. The Goths seek refuge in the arms of their enemy, Rome, but find only betrayal, a fatal miscalculation by the Empire that ushers in an apocalypse of their own making at Adrianople.
The Roman Empire is the world’s first superpower, but it has grown so large that its size is now more of a weakness than an asset, and the high cost of keeping the barbarians at bay, both in gold and manpower, strains the once mighty military. Rome divides into two empires with two emperors: East and West. But as Rome’s leaders turn on each other, the Goths are once again caught in the middle. Alaric leads his people to the gates of Rome, striking the first in a series of fatal blows against imperial power. The barbarians move in for the kill as the Huns, Vandals and Goths roll back Roman expansion piece by piece.
The Huns emerge in the east and throw the ancient world into turmoil; Attila seizes power and begins a reign of chaos and destruction as wave after wave of barbarian avengers strike back against an Empire now fighting on too many fronts. Amid the chaos, the last great barbarian leader Geiseric, the calculating and cunning King of the Vandals, becomes the architect of Rome’s destruction.