What have the Romans ever done for us?

What have the Romans ever done for us?

Monty Python's Life of Brian, directed by Terry Jones ("The Welsh One")

Reg: They've bled us white, the bastards. They've taken everything we had, and not just from us, from our fathers, and from our fathers' fathers.

Stan: And from our fathers' fathers' fathers.

: Yeah.

: And from our fathers' fathers' fathers' fathers.

: Yeah. All right, Stan. Don't labour the point. And what have they ever given us in return?
(he pauses smugly)

: The aqueduct?

Reg: What?

Xerxes: The aqueduct.

Reg: Oh. Yeah, yeah. They did give us that. Uh, that's true. Yeah.

Masked commando #1: And the sanitation.

Stan: Oh, yeah, the sanitation, Reg. Remember what the city used to be like?

Reg: Yeah. All right. I'll grant you the aqueduct and the sanitation are two things that the Romans have done.

Matthias: And the roads.

Reg: Well, yes, obviously the roads. I mean, the roads go without saying, don't they? But apart from the sanitation, the aqueduct, and the roads...

Masked commando #2: Irrigation.

Xerxes: Medicine.

Masked commando #3: Education.

General audience: Ohh...

: Yeah, yeah. All right. Fair enough.

Masked commando #1
: And the wine!

General audience
: Oh, yes! True!

: Yeah. Yeah, that's something we'd really miss if the Romans left, Reg.

Masked commando #4: Public baths!

: And it's safe to walk in the streets at night now, Reg.

Francis: Yeah, they certainly know how to keep order...
(general nodding)

Francis: Let's face it. They're the only ones who could in a place like this...
(more general murmurs of agreement)

Reg: All right, but apart from the sanitation, the medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, a fresh water system, and public health, what have the Romans ever done for us?

Xerxes: Brought peace!

Reg: What!? Oh. Peace? Shut up!

Life of Brian, directed by Terry JonesMonty Python's Life of Brian (1979)
Directed by: Terry Jones

Judea, 33 A.D. Brian is a typical nobody living in Palestine - until he joins the People's Front of Judea. After proving himself, Brian earns the trust of the leader, Reg, and is allowed to participate in an attempted kidnapping of Pontius Pilate's wife. The plot fails, but Brian, after escaping from Pilate, ends up amassing a huge following of people who believe he is the Messiah.

When The Life of Brian was first released it caused an immediate uproar. The Catholic Church wasted no time condemning it as blasphemous. Countries banned it, often resulting in its becoming an underground cult classic.

Life of Brian is one of Monty Python's funniest achievements. Particularly memorable bits include the bitter rivalry between the anti-Roman resistance groups, the Judean People's Front and the People's Front of Judea.

Find Monty Python's Life of Brian on Video/DVD:
Europe: VHS Video PAL / DVD Zone 2
North America: VHS Video NTSC / DVD Zone 1

Terry Jones - The Welsh One

Terry Jones 'The Welsh One', Monty PythonTerence Graham Parry Jones, Welsh comedian, actor, writer and historian, born in 1942 in Colwyn Bay.

Best known as a member of the Monty Python team, he also directed many of their zany films, including the Holy Grail (1975), the Life of Brian (1979) and The Meaning of Life (1983). Post Python, he worked on other films such as Personal Services (1987) and Erik the Viking (1989). A prolific author, he has also written several books on mediaeval history and numerous works for children.
Celtic Countries is the online magazine for people who enjoy the Celtic nations, their natural splendour, culture, and lifestyles.

Subscribe to the Newsletter

Sign up for our monthy Celtic Countries Magazine email newsletter for the latest stories from our website.