Medieval Lives

Medieval LivesFamous for lampooning the medieval world in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Terry Jones has a real passion for and detailed knowledge of the Middle Ages.

In Terry Jones' Medieval Lives, his mission is to rescue the Middle Ages from moth-eaten cliches and well-worn platitudes. Behind the stereotypes of "damsels in distress" and "knights in shining armor," there are wonderfully human stories that bring the period to life.

Terry will start with the medieval archetypes—the Knight, Peasant, Damsel, Monk, Outlaw, King, Minstrel, and Philosopher - and in the course of unraveling their role and function will introduce a host of colorful real-life characters, recreating their world by visiting key locations.

Watch the full documentary (playlist - 3 hours, 52 minutes)

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Ratings: 8.46/10 from 41 users.

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Comments and User Reviews

  • marie zinder

    Just a little note: I enjoyed watching Terry Jones' Series "Medieval Lives" tonight. However, the seventh episode, The Outlaw" does not seem to work. Or at least the link must have been broken. Can you fix that? I want my students to watch the whole series. Thank you. Greetings, MTZ

  • marie zinder

    Update: correction. The link did work. I really enjoyed watching all the 8 episodes and I trust my students too. MTZ

  • K.X.

    Very interesting Doc. Certainly worth watching

  • Simon

    I thank you with all my heart for this wonderful show I really enjoyed it and learned from it too ! Thank you !
    ( Do you by any chance have other Terry Jones documentaries ? )

  • http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/about/ Vlatko

    @Simon, some other Terry Jones docs will be up soon.

  • katerpult

    these are gems!

  • rebelliuss

    just brilliant..;o)

  • njtaaa

    One archetype Terry Jones missed was - The Executioner---

    The executioner was usually the public hangman and, because of the rarity of the sentence, he was often inexperienced at beheading. Since the muscles and vertebrae of the neck are tough, it could take more than one blow to sever the head - a prospect every condemned person dreaded. The victim was offered a blindfold, to prevent him seeing the axe and moving his head at the crucial moment.

    The most badly botched execution was that of James, Duke of Monmouth, in 1685. Monmouth, the illegitimate son of Charles II, had led an unsuccessful rebellion against his uncle, King James II. His executioner was the hangman, Jack Ketch, a notorious bungler with an axe. On climbing the scaffold, Monmouth picked up the axe and ran his fingers along the blade, asking Ketch if he thought it was sharp enough for the job. He handed Ketch six guineas, promising him six more if he did a clean job: "Pray do not serve me as you did my Lord Russell. I have heard you struck him four or five times; If you strike me twice, I cannot promise you not to stir."

    Ketch had an attack of nerves and his first blow only grazed the back of the duke's head. Monmouth, who had refused the blindfold, turned his head around and gazed directly at Ketch, further unnerving him. When two more blows failed to sever the head, Ketch threw the axe down and offered 40 guineas to anyone in the crowd who could do better. At this the Sheriff of Middlesex, who was in charge of the execution, threatened to have him killed if he did not finish his job. When two more blows failed, Ketch had to use his knife, butchering the Duke like a pig.

    Monmouth's family then retrieved the body, and had his head sewn back on so that he could have his portrait painted.

  • njtaaa

    The submission above should be in quotes, it is not my writing.

  • andy

    until watching this i thought everyone in the middle ages thought the earth was flat. learn something new everyday, i guess.

  • http://zebrareader.blogspot.com/ Lori George Alexander

    I loved all of the films about medieval life and Terry Jones did one great job.

  • Jen

    Excellent stuff, Terry Jones is always great, his enthsiasm really draws you in too... my 11 year old loved the ones he watched and is nagging me to watch the rest :)

  • kim

    what a thuroughly enjoyable doc. Jones' soto voce remarks and comments were side splitting! i hope he makes more docs.

  • Frank

    Combines been funny and educational at the same time.

  • http://www.beanz.info david

    Great show! I've watched all the episodes here now

  • madscirat

    When you find a history documentary by Terry Jones, you watch it.

  • darknight32

    I have to agree with a few of the other comments on here and say funny,entertaining,interesting and educational.I'm from the u.s,have been through the u.k before,beautiful country,friendly people.Always loved Monty Python and Terry Jones is a great host. I've watched almost all of these episodes now.Good stuff.