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Ancients Behaving Badly

3.9 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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(May 25, 2010)
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Editorial Reviews

Take an innovative look at some of the world s most fascinating, iconic, and ruthless leaders as HISTORYTM cuts through the folklore to present precise portraits of characters from Alexander the Great to Genghis Khan and Caligula to Cleopatra. Using the latest historical discoveries, forensic science tests, archaeological finds, analysis of torture instruments, and battlefield dynamics, ANCIENTS BEHAVING BADLY sheds light on these leaders and how they really came to power (most killed off family members); treated their subjects, friends, and family; were so successful in keeping their power; demonstrated battlefield leadership; and achieved such spectacular transformations at home. Expert interviews, on-location shots, and CGI help to re-create their environments and provide stunning reenactments.

HISTORY brings to life eight of the most brutal and feared leaders of the ancient world on 2 DVDs.

DISC 1: Caligula / Attila The Hun / Julius Caesar / Alexander the Great

DISC 2: Nero / Hannibal / Genghis Khan/ Cleopatra

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: A&E Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: May 25, 2010
  • Run Time: 376 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00354TU68
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #54,854 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Ancients Behaving Badly
8 Episodes on 2 Discs (2010)

"Ancients Behaving Badly" are documentary-style episodes from the History Channel about eight of the most brutal and feared leaders of the ancient world: Caligula, Attila the Hun, Julius Caesar, Alexander the Great, Cleopatra, Hannibal, Genghis Khan, and Nero. They cover the latest historical finds to support or disprove claims made about each of these leaders and the treatment of their subjects, their battlefield strategy, and how they achieved and maintained their power. Interviews are taken with experts and are combined with on-location footage and some illustrated CGI reenactments.

There is a scale used to judge the bad behavior at the end of each episode comparing a range of Psychopathic Killer to Goal-Driven Character. It also dictates how they rate with Narcissistic Personality Disorder to get terrifying historical personalities. Certain acts indicate a logical approach and keen insight and other acts apparently diagnose a psychosis. The experts interviewed are historians and also occasionally scientists or other experts. They work to figure out what things like what type of poison Nero may have used on his stepbrother and if it was possible for Nero to rig a canopy to fall on his mother to crush her while she sailed on her boat.

The historians like to compare the "ancients" to more modern historic figures like Hitler, Mussolini, etc. One historian calls Caligula "Freddy Krueger in a toga." Attila the Hun "makes Hannibal Lector look like Mother Teresa."

It is a very interesting and eye-opening show that takes rumors and stories you may vaguely remember for a textbook and get to the bottom of them in all their naughty glory.
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ANCIENTS BEHAVING BADLY...

The following is a 2 disc DVD that will cover:

1. Alexander The Great
2. Atila the Hun
3. Julius Caesar
4. Caligula
5. Cleopatra
6. Hannibal
7. Genghis Khan
8. Nero

Each episode corresponds to each of these leaders. You will get a small biography, with their beginnings, as well as important moments for them. They will talk about how they ruled the world, and what they did to reach that status; most of them did it at any price, even if it meant getting rid of their own blood.

The team that works on this documentary traveled to each location when studying each leader. One of the greatest things is how they challenge what is described in books corresponding to the time of each leader. For example when it is known to us by sources that such leader destroyed walls in such a matter, today, with their technology they put it to the test to see if such comment was true or fictional. This is awesome! You will be surprised.

I honestly don't know how some people could rate this documentary so low; I have seen so many of them and, in general, I would have to say that almost always these documentaries do not dissapoint.

I hope you do give it a try and see for yourself... you don't know what you're missing. Believe it!
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An excellent handling of the subject. The title put me off initially, however, it has historical value and quality dramatizations. Entertaining profile analysis which attempts to place each historical figure on a scale of Psychopathy based on interpretation of the historical record.
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This was interesting, but there's a lot of bending the material into a preset format. Also too many cheap ugly graphics. It's not quite as scientific as hyped. Some of the narrators/commentators actually seemed to enjoy the stories of cruelty. This last was what pushed the rating from three stars to two.
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This is a unique series that combines Anime, live action and personal tours to describe the background of these historical characters. The references to modern technology that explains some of the ancient facts is interesting as well as the psychological analysis at the end of each episode. You will learn a lot watching this series.
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Ancients Behaving Badly—is everything all about the ones featured, from Caligula to Hannibal. They show graphic cartoony pictures, but they serve a great importance in the understanding of that historic person. Also, they really use many scientific tests to prove of their wrong beings, such as how Nero pulled off the murder of his step-brother Britannicus. Lastly, they use the help of a forensic phycologist to analyze their demonic ways.
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I found Ancients Behaving Badly an entertaining look at a handful of ancient monarchs and leaders, such as Cleopatra, Genghis Khan, Caesar, and Hannibal. Combining commentary from some of my favorite historians and archeologists with nifty animation, the series hinged around the difference between being anti-social and violent, but otherwise constructive, and simply being a monster. So far, so good, and frankly it is one of the better modern offerings from The History Channel, which seems to have degenerated into being about anything but history.

For me, where the series really passed it is that it managed to engage my nephews. I bought the DVD as a present for them, thinking that the animated bits would help them engage with the useful, educational subject matter. BINGO! They liked the series so much they watched episodes without me. Mission accomplished!
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