Origin of the word “barbarian”

Barbarian comes from the Greek barbaros, an onomatopoeic word to refer to the foreigners whose languages ​​the Greeks did not understand and interpreted as bar bar bar (similar to ‘blah blah blah’ in English).

It reveals the linguistic prejudice of the ancient Greeks, who, despite their great contribution to humanity in the arts and sciences, have totally neglected to study languages ​​and cultures different from their own. Subsequently, the word came to be used with the connotation of ‘rude, uncivilized’, and it is with this meaning that it ended up being transmitted to modern languages.

The word ” barbarian ” comes from the ancient Greek, βάρβαρος, and means “not Greek”. It was how the Greeks designated foreigners, people who were not Greeks, and those people whose mother tongue was not the Greek language. … The Romans also came to be called  barbarians  by the Greeks.

The Barbarians were Germanic peoples who did not inhabit the Roman Empire. Among them are the Franks, the Lombards , the Huns , the Visigoths , the Vikings and the Ostrogoths. Each people had its own political and social organization.

They were harmonic peoples, who lived from agriculture and were polytheists, that is, they believed in several gods, to whom they brought offerings and dedicated their victories. They planted grain and grew animals for trade and their own consumption. Of all the barbarian peoples, one of them deserves greater importance: the Huns.

Quite ambitious, the Huns were skillful but violent warriors. They dedicated themselves to invasions, looting for their survival and territorial expansion. Because of this ambition, for years they pressed the other barbarian peoples for an invasion of the Roman Empire in order to exploit fertile lands (Germania was an infertile territory, covered by marshes, which made planting difficult) and to accumulate wealth.

When they finally succeeded in the fifth century, they contributed heavily to the fall of the Empire, but they were not the main culprits, for at the time of the invasions the Empire was already in crisis.

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