Yes, really, really interesting.
When I was learning Russian, German, and French; the history of the people and their literature, and the histories of their languages fascinated me more than the actual speaking or understanding. More importantly, I’m pretty sure that the histories helped make learning easier and more permanent.
Russian may at first feel like a very foreign language to a native English speaker, but it doesn’t take much digging before the history of it starts to pop out and look familiar.
I remember marveling at all the cognates I was finding, only to have my teachers point out that the old Slavic languages were close cousins to Latin and that English words that come from Romance languages would have to contain echoes of those old links.
Once I realized what was going on, learning was faster and more fun.