“Varus give me back my legions!” Emperor Nero was reportedly to repeatedly scream out while bashing his head against the ornate marble pillars in his Palace.
Barbaren (Barbarian) is the first German history series from Netflix. And it’s good. Really good.
The story of the German Prince Armenius’s betrayl of the arrogant Roman Governor to Germania, Varus and the loss of three legions (over 10,000 men in the Teutoburg forEst)) is an epic story in itself. It changed forever the cultural face of Europe that still exists to this day.
This is the story of Armenius and Varus. And it’s well done. Very well done. There are just six episodes in the first series and filled to the brimmjing cup with betrayal, revenge, salted with a suitable (but not excessive) amount of blood and gore.
But it is so well done. The shock of hearing fluent Latin in a conversational tone, coupled to the brilliance of the costumes and the excellent story line more than makes up for the fact that this is a dubbed series.
At its base element it is a story about the intertwining friendships of three Germanic childhood friends and how one, once again findfs his Germanic roots.
On another level it is about a major upset in world events that forever changed Roman expansion into Germany and today’s face of Europe.