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"Barbarians"

Hoplite

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I've seen this a couple times around here and in the outside world in the last several weeks.

There seems to be a weird desire to cling to the idea that certain groups in history were barbaric. This label seems to cling very tightly to groups like the Celtic tribes of pre-Roman Europe. Some people still seem to believe that many of these groups were drooling savages that had no real culture or learning of their own.

Why does this label still hang around? Why do we still believe this kind of nonsense?
 

OscarB63

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I've seen this a couple times around here and in the outside world in the last several weeks.

There seems to be a weird desire to cling to the idea that certain groups in history were barbaric. This label seems to cling very tightly to groups like the Celtic tribes of pre-Roman Europe. Some people still seem to believe that many of these groups were drooling savages that had no real culture or learning of their own.

Why does this label still hang around? Why do we still believe this kind of nonsense?

Diodorus Siculus wrote that Celtic women were beautiful but that the men preferred to sleep together and "the young men will offer themselves to strangers and are insulted if the offer is refused"
 

ReverendHellh0und

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I've seen this a couple times around here and in the outside world in the last several weeks.

There seems to be a weird desire to cling to the idea that certain groups in history were barbaric. This label seems to cling very tightly to groups like the Celtic tribes of pre-Roman Europe. Some people still seem to believe that many of these groups were drooling savages that had no real culture or learning of their own.

Why does this label still hang around? Why do we still believe this kind of nonsense?



You think islamic terrorists, or gang banging youth aren't barbarians and savages? Sheltered life, eh?
 

Harry Guerrilla

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I've seen this a couple times around here and in the outside world in the last several weeks.

There seems to be a weird desire to cling to the idea that certain groups in history were barbaric. This label seems to cling very tightly to groups like the Celtic tribes of pre-Roman Europe. Some people still seem to believe that many of these groups were drooling savages that had no real culture or learning of their own.

Why does this label still hang around? Why do we still believe this kind of nonsense?
People not like you = Barbarians.
Typically, the non "barbaric" people write the history books.
 

OscarB63

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Poseidonius' anthropological comments on the Celts had common themes, primarily primitivism, extreme ferocity, cruel sacrificial practices, and the strength and courage of their women
sounds kinda barbaric to me. but what the heck, if the men were busy buggering each other and young boys...the women would have to be strong and courageous. :shrug:
 

Guy Incognito

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You think islamic terrorists, or gang banging youth aren't barbarians and savages? Sheltered life, eh?
Yes, violent criminals, be they terrorists, gangsters or thugs all share the same savage side common to all humanity. What's unfortunate is that some people make excuses for it or ignore it when it comes from their own culture.

But these aren't the type of "barbarians" the OP appears to be referring to. The word itself is a Greek word for foreigner, but it is basically a racial slur. The Greeks considered themselves the only truly civilzed people, and thought little of foreigners. The word itself suggests that foreigners' language sounded like they were just saying "bar bar bar" or "blah blah blah."

And that's how it used to be used, anybody who couldn't speak Greek (later Latin) were Blahblahians. And the words comes to us today as anybody who is violent or animalistic, sort of like the stereotyped prejudice Greeks and Romans had against Germans, Celts, Gauls, Vandals, Huns, etc.

You see the same sort of racism today, when tea partiers use words like "Islamo-fascist" or "Islamic terrorist" to lump all Mulims together. It's sad.
 
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ReverendHellh0und

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Yes, violent criminals, be they terrorists, gangsters or thugs all share the same savage side common to all humanity. What's unfortunate is that some people make excuses for it or ignore it when it comes from their own culture.

But these aren't the type of "barbarians" the OP appears to be referring to. The word itself is a Greek word for foreigner, but it is basically a racial slur. The Greeks considered themselves the only truly civilzed people, and thought little of foreigners. The word itself suggests that foreigners' language sounded like they were just saying "bar bar bar" or "blah blah blah."

And that's how it used to be used, anybody who couldn't speak Greek (later Latin) were Blahblahians. And the words comes to us today as anybody who is violent or animalistic, sort of like the stereotyped prejudice Greeks and Romans had against Germans, Celts, Gauls, Vandals, Huns, etc.

You see the same sort of racism today, when tea partiers use words like "Islamo-fascist" or "Islamic terrorist" to lump all Mulims together. It's sad.


I see the bigorty coming from you. A movement about government is slandered by intolerant folk like you. Further reprehensible action is when you as usual lie about the tea party, liberal.
 

ReverendHellh0und

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I think you need a new prescription for your trifocals.

Why is that? Did you not just stereotype the whole tea party? did you not just lie about the islamo-fascism tag (which by its very existence indicates a separation from most moslems.) Seriously dood, the bigotry is clearly all yours, and your liberal views.
 

Goshin

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But these aren't the type of "barbarians" the OP appears to be referring to. The word itself is a Greek word for foreigner, but it is basically a racial slur. The Greeks considered themselves the only truly civilzed people, and thought little of foreigners. The word itself suggests that foreigners' language sounded like they were just saying "bar bar bar" or "blah blah blah."

And that's how it used to be used, anybody who couldn't speak Greek (later Latin) were Blahblahians. And the words comes to us today as anybody who is violent or animalistic, sort of like the stereotyped prejudice Greeks and Romans had against Germans, Celts, Gauls, Vandals, Huns, etc.

.

That agrees with everything I've read about the origin of the term.

It was also used in a quasi-sociological manner between the late 19th and mid 20th centuries, when the stages of social development were sometimes referred to as tribesman, barbarian, and citizen. The tribesman was characterized as the most primitive, whose existence was subsumed within the tribal identity, and whose definition of good/evil was defined by whatever tribal tradition said. The tribesman was viewed as rigid and inflexible in his beliefs, and group-oriented, typified by primitive African and Amazonian tribesmen, and American Indians of the colonial era.

Barbarian stage was thought of as a stage of extreme individualism, where each man was potentially a law unto himself. This stage was considered to be more flexible and adaptable, but lacking in organization on a large scale. Vikings were considered the archetype of this stage; Celts were considered to be transitional between tribalism and barbarism.

Citizen was the stage of civilization, where individuals mattered but were part of a large organized state, typefied in ancient times by Rome. Less hidebound than the tribesman, but more cooperative and organized than the barbarian, "citizen"-stage cultures displaced barbarian cultures becuase they were capable of large-scale organization and advanced tactics.

This notion of tribesman, barbarian and citizen stages seemed to fade out a great deal in the late-20th century, probably because it was realized that these categorizations were overly simplistic, but the concepts persist to some degree in layman's views of pre-tech civilization. There's a kernel of truth in some of the characterizations, even if they lack nuance.

Denigrating other cultures, especially when one is at war with them, is nothing new obviously. It is, however, sometimes deserved. Cultures that stone women who get raped, and hang or behead women that successfully kill an attempted rapist, would certainly qualify as "barbaric" or "savage" in my estimation.
 

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That agrees with everything I've read about the origin of the term.

It was also used in a quasi-sociological manner between the late 19th and mid 20th centuries, when the stages of social development were sometimes referred to as tribesman, barbarian, and citizen. The tribesman was characterized as the most primitive, whose existence was subsumed within the tribal identity, and whose definition of good/evil was defined by whatever tribal tradition said. The tribesman was viewed as rigid and inflexible in his beliefs, and group-oriented, typified by primitive African and Amazonian tribesmen, and American Indians of the colonial era.

Barbarian stage was thought of as a stage of extreme individualism, where each man was potentially a law unto himself. This stage was considered to be more flexible and adaptable, but lacking in organization on a large scale. Vikings were considered the archetype of this stage; Celts were considered to be transitional between tribalism and barbarism.

Citizen was the stage of civilization, where individuals mattered but were part of a large organized state, typefied in ancient times by Rome. Less hidebound than the tribesman, but more cooperative and organized than the barbarian, "citizen"-stage cultures displaced barbarian cultures becuase they were capable of large-scale organization and advanced tactics.

This notion of tribesman, barbarian and citizen stages seemed to fade out a great deal in the late-20th century, probably because it was realized that these categorizations were overly simplistic, but the concepts persist to some degree in layman's views of pre-tech civilization. There's a kernel of truth in some of the characterizations, even if they lack nuance.

Denigrating other cultures, especially when one is at war with them, is nothing new obviously. It is, however, sometimes deserved. Cultures that stone women who get raped, and hang or behead women that successfully kill an attempted rapist, would certainly qualify as "barbaric" or "savage" in my estimation.
I learned all about this, funny enough, from the "Exalted" RPG.

Basically, barbarians are those who do not have civilization. By that, they are societies who lack prolific urban areas.

Essentially, in the urban areas, people were able to develop singular professional skills and engage in commerce with other professionals. A farmer would focus solely on farming. If he needed a house, he would trade his food for the services of a carpenter. If a farmer needed implements, he would trade his food for the services of a blacksmith. If a farmer needed clothes, he would trade his food for the services of a tailor. And because a person in a civilized society could focus on one area of trade, they could advance their skills by a greater margin than otherwise.

A barbarian, on the other hand, had no such civilization. Therefore, all the goods and services they utilized they had to acquire roughly by themselves. If a barbarian needed food, he would farm it himself. If a barbarian needed housing, he would build it himself. If a barbarian needed farm implements, he would smith it himself. If a barbarian needed clothes, he would tailor it himself. Because of this, barbarian societies had people who had a wide variety of skills but did not excel at any one.

So while the quality of goods and services in a barbarian society was less, a barbarian community would be less likely to be hurt by the death of a barbarian and the skills they acquired since everybody in the community had them as well, unlike in a civilization, in which the death of singular educated and trained professional requires the training and education of more of that type of professional to replace him.
 

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sounds kinda barbaric to me. but what the heck, if the men were busy buggering each other and young boys...the women would have to be strong and courageous. :shrug:
I dont think buggery is a qualifier, many 'civilized' nations had pedastery, prostitution etc.
 

Hoplite

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Diodorus Siculus wrote that Celtic women were beautiful but that the men preferred to sleep together and "the young men will offer themselves to strangers and are insulted if the offer is refused"
Pedastry was considered perfectly fine even in "civilized" societies such as Greece and Rome.
 

OscarB63

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I dont think buggery is a qualifier, many 'civilized' nations had pedastery, prostitution etc.
yeah, the barbaric part is what I had bolded

the Celts had common themes, primarily primitivism, extreme ferocity, cruel sacrificial practices, and the strength and courage of their women
 

Hoplite

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yeah, the barbaric part is what I had bolded
The Romans threw children onto trash heaps and treated women like crap, how does this make them somehow better than the Celtic tribes?
 

OscarB63

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The Romans threw children onto trash heaps and treated women like crap, how does this make them somehow better than the Celtic tribes?
who said it did? just because the Romans were barbaric doesn't make the celts any less so.
 

Hoplite

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who said it did? just because the Romans were barbaric doesn't make the celts any less so.
Then I'm confused as to your criteria for "barbarian" labels. Is it just anyone that wasn't modern?
 
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