A barbarian is a human who is perceived to be either uncivilized or
primitive. The designation is usually applied as generalization based
on a popular stereotype; barbarians can be any member of a nation
judged by some to be less civilized or orderly (such as a tribal
society), but may also be part of a certain "primitive" cultural group
(such as nomads) or social class (such as bandits) both within and
outside one's own nation. Alternatively, they may instead be admired
and romanticised as noble savages. In idiomatic or figurative usage, a
"barbarian" may also be an individual reference to a brutal, cruel,
warlike, and insensitive person.
The term originates from the Greek: βάρβαρος (barbaros pl.
βάρβαροι barbaroi), which in turn originates from the
incomprehensible languages of early Anatolian nations that were heard
by the Greeks as "bar..bar.." In Ancient Greece, the Greeks used the
term towards those who didn't speak Greek and follow classical Greek
customs. In the early modern period and sometimes later, the
Byzantine Greeks used it for the Turks, in a clearly pejorative
manner. In Ancient Rome, the Romans used the term towards
non-Romans such as the Germanics, Celts, Gauls, Iberians, Thracians,
Illyrians, Berbers, Parthians, and Sarmatians.
2 "Barbarians" in classical Greco-Roman contexts
2.1 Historical developments
2.2 Hellenic stereotypes
Dying Galatian statue
2.4 Utter barbarism, civilisation, and the noble savage
3 "Barbarian" in international historical contexts
3.1 Middle East and North Africa
3.2 East Asia
126.96.36.199 History and terminology
Pejorative Chinese characters
188.8.131.52 Cultural and racial barbarianism
184.108.40.206 Modern reinterpretations
Barbarian puppet drinking game
3.3 South Asia
3.4 Pre-Colombian Americas
4 Early Modern period
Marxist use of "Barbarism"
6 Modern popular culture
7 See also
9 External links
Routes taken by barbarian invaders during the Migration Period, 5th
Routes taken by Mongol invaders, 13th century AD
Ancient Greek name βάρβαρος (barbaros), "barbarian", was
an antonym for πολίτης (politēs), "citizen" (from πόλις
– polis, "city-state"). The earliest attested form of the word is
Mycenaean Greek 𐀞𐀞𐀫, pa-pa-ro, written in Linear B
The Greeks used the term barbarian for all non-Greek-speaking peoples,
including the Egyptians, Persians,
Medes and Phoenicians, emphasizing
their otherness, because the language they spoke sounded to Greeks
like gibberish represented by the sounds "bar..bar..;" this is how
they came to the word βάρβαρος, which is an echomimetic or
onomatopoeic word. However, in various occasions, the term was also
used by Greeks, especially the Athenians, to deride other Greek tribes
and states (such as Epirotes, Eleans, Macedonians, Boeotians and
Aeolic-speakers) but also fellow Athenians, in a pejorative and
politically motivated manner. Of course, the term also
carried a cultural dimension to its dual meaning. The verb
βαρβαρίζω (barbarízō) in ancient Greek meant to behave or
talk like a barbarian, or to hold with the barbarians.
Plato (Statesman 262de) rejected the Greek–barbarian dichotomy as a
logical absurdity on just such grounds: dividing the world into Greeks
and non-Greeks told one nothing about the second group, yet
the term barbarian frequently in his seventh letter. In Homer's
works, the term appeared only once (
Iliad 2.867), in the form
βαρβαρόφωνος (barbarophonos) ("of incomprehensible
speech"), used of the
Carians fighting for
Troy during the Trojan War.
In general, the concept of barbaros did not figure largely in archaic
literature before the 5th century BC. Still it has been suggested
that "barbarophonoi" in the
Iliad signifies not those who spoke a
Greek language but simply those who spoke Greek badly.
A change occurred in the connotations of the word after the
Greco-Persian Wars in the first half of the 5th century BC. Here a
hasty coalition of Greeks defeated the vast Persian Empire. Indeed, in
the Greek of this period 'barbarian' is often used expressly to refer
to Persians, who were enemies of the Greeks in this war.
The Romans used the term barbarus for uncivilised people, opposite to
Greek or Roman, and in fact, it became a common term to refer to all
foreigners among Romans after Augustus age (as, among the Greeks,
after the Persian wars, the Persians), including the Germanic peoples,
Phoenicians and Carthaginians.
The Greek term barbaros was the etymological source for many words
meaning "barbarian", including English barbarian, which was first
recorded in 16th century Middle English.
A word barbara- is also found in the
Sanskrit of ancient India, with
the primary meaning of "stammering" implying someone with an
unfamiliar language. The Greek word barbaros is related to
Sanskrit barbaras (stammering). This Indo-European root is also
found in Latin balbus for "stammering" and Czech blblati "to
In Aramaic, Old Persian and Arabic context, the root refers to "babble
confusedly". It appears as barbary or in Old French barbarie, itself
derived from the Arabic Barbar, Berber, which is an ancient Arabic
term for the North African inhabitants west of Egypt. The Arabic word
might be ultimately from Greek barbaria.
"Germanic warriors" as depicted in Philipp Clüver's Germania Antiqua
Oxford English Dictionary
Oxford English Dictionary defines five meanings of the noun
barbarian, including an obsolete
1. Etymologically, A foreigner, one whose language and customs differ
from the speaker's.
2. Hist. a. One not a Greek. b. One living outside the pale of the
Roman Empire and its civilization, applied especially to the northern
nations that overthrew them. c. One outside the pale of Christian
civilization. d. With the Italians of the Renaissance: One of a nation
outside of Italy.
3. A rude, wild, uncivilized person. b. Sometimes distinguished from
savage (perh. with a glance at 2). c. Applied by the Chinese
contemptuously to foreigners.
4. An uncultured person, or one who has no sympathy with literary
†5. A native of Barbary. [See
Barbary Coast.] Obs. †b. Barbary
pirates & A
Barbary horse. Obs.
The OED barbarous entry summarizes the semantic history. "The
sense-development in ancient times was (with the Greeks) 'foreign,
non-Hellenic,' later 'outlandish, rude, brutal'; (with the Romans)
'not Latin nor Greek,' then 'pertaining to those outside the Roman
Empire'; hence 'uncivilized, uncultured,' and later 'non-Christian,'
whence 'Saracen, heathen'; and generally 'savage, rude, savagely
"Barbarians" in classical Greco-Roman contexts
Slaves in chains, relief found in Smyrna (present day İzmir, Turkey),
Greek attitudes towards "barbarians" developed in parallel with the
growth of chattel slavery - especially in Athens. Although the
enslavement of Greeks for non-payment of debts continued in most Greek
Athens banned this practice under
Solon in the early 6th
century BC. Under the
Athenian democracy established ca. 508 BC,
slavery came into use on a scale never before seen among the Greeks.
Massive concentrations of slaves worked under especially brutal
conditions in the silver mines at Laureion in south-eastern Attica
after the discovery of a major vein of silver-bearing ore there in 483
BC, while the phenomenon of skilled slave craftsmen producing
manufactured goods in small factories and workshops became
Furthermore, slave-ownership no longer became the preserve of the
rich: all but the poorest of Athenian households came to have slaves
in order to supplement the work of their free members. The slaves of
Athens that had "barbarian" origins were coming especially from lands
Black Sea such as
Taurica (Crimea), while
Carians came from Asia Minor. Aristotle
(Politics 1.2–7; 3.14) characterises barbarians as slaves by nature.
From this period, words like barbarophonos, cited above from Homer,
came into use not only for the sound of a foreign language but also
for foreigners who spoke Greek improperly. In the Greek language, the
word logos expressed both the notions of "language" and "reason", so
Greek-speakers readily conflated speaking poorly with stupidity.
Further changes occurred in the connotations of barbari/barbaroi in
Late Antiquity, when bishops and catholikoi were appointed to sees
connected to cities among the "civilized" gentes barbaricae such as in
Armenia or Persia, whereas bishops were appointed to supervise entire
peoples among the less settled.
Eventually the term found a hidden meaning through the folk etymology
Cassiodorus (c. 485 – c. 585). He stated that the word barbarian
was "made up of barba (beard) and rus (flat land); for barbarians did
not live in cities, making their abodes in the fields like wild
Head of a barbarian, Probably a Client King. Acropolis Museum.
From classical origins the Hellenic stereotype of barbarism evolved:
barbarians are like children, unable to speak or reason properly,
cowardly, effeminate, luxurious, cruel, unable to control their
appetites and desires, politically unable to govern themselves.
Writers voiced these stereotypes with much shrillness -
the 4th century BC, for example, called for a war of
Persia as a panacea for Greek problems.
However, the disparaging Hellenic stereotype of barbarians did not
totally dominate Hellenic attitudes.
Xenophon (died 354 BC), for
example, wrote the Cyropaedia, a laudatory fictionalised account of
Cyrus the Great, the founder of the Persian empire, effectively a
utopian text. In his Anabasis, Xenophon's accounts of the Persians and
other non-Greeks who he knew or encountered show few traces of the
In Plato's Protagoras, Prodicus of Ceos calls "barbarian" the Aeolian
Pittacus of Mytilene
Pittacus of Mytilene spoke.
The renowned orator
Demosthenes (384–322 BC) made derogatory
comments in his speeches, using the word "barbarian".
In the New Testament, St. Paul (lived ca 5 AD to ca 67 AD) uses the
word barbarian in its Hellenic sense to refer to non-Greeks (Romans
1:14), and he also uses it to characterise one who merely speaks a
different language (1 Corinthians 14:11).
About a hundred years after Paul's time,
Lucian – a native of
Samosata, in the former kingdom of Commagene, which had been absorbed
Roman Empire and made part of the province of Syria – used
the term "barbarian" to describe himself. Because he was a noted
satirist, this could have indicated self-deprecating irony. It might
also have suggested descent from Samosata's original Semitic
population – who were likely called "barbarians by later
Hellenistic, Greek-speaking settlers", and might have eventually taken
up this appellation themselves.
The term retained its standard usage in the
Greek language throughout
the Middle Ages;
Byzantine Greeks used it widely until the fall of the
Byzantine Empire in the 15th century.
Cicero (106-43 BC) described the mountain area of inner
Sardinia as "a
land of barbarians", with these inhabitants also known by the
manifestly pejorative term latrones mastrucati ("thieves with a rough
garment in wool"). The region, still known as "Barbagia" (in Sardinian
Barbàgia or Barbàza), preserves this old "barbarian" designation in
its name – but it no longer consciously retains "barbarian"
associations: the inhabitants of the area themselves use the name
naturally and unaffectedly.
Dying Galatian statue
Main article: Dying Galatian
The Dying Galatian, Capitoline Museums, Rome
The statue of the
Dying Galatian provides some insight into the
Hellenistic perception of and attitude towards "Barbarians". Attalus I
Pergamon (ruled 241-197 BC) commissioned (220s BC) a statue to
celebrate his victory (ca 232 BC) over the Celtic Galatians in
Anatolia (the bronze original is lost, but a Roman marble copy was
found in the 17th century). The statue depicts with remarkable
realism a dying Celt warrior with a typically Celtic hairstyle and
moustache. He sits on his fallen shield while a sword and other
objects lie beside him. He appears to be fighting against death,
refusing to accept his fate.
The statue serves both as a reminder of the Celts' defeat, thus
demonstrating the might of the people who defeated them, and a
memorial to their bravery as worthy adversaries. As H. W. Janson
comments, the sculpture conveys the message that "they knew how to
die, barbarians that they were".
Utter barbarism, civilisation, and the noble savage
The Greeks admired Scythians and Galatians as heroic individuals –
and even (as in the case of Anacharsis) as philosophers – but they
regarded their culture as barbaric. The Romans indiscriminately
characterised the various Germanic tribes, the settled Gauls, and the
Huns as barbarians, and subsequent
classically oriented historical narratives depicted the migrations
associated with the end of the Western
Roman Empire as the "barbarian
The Romans adapted the term in order to refer to anything that was
non-Roman. The German cultural historian Silvio Vietta points out that
the meaning of the word "barbarous" has undergone a semantic change in
modern times, after
Michel de Montaigne
Michel de Montaigne used it to characterize the
activities of the Spaniards in the New World – supposedly
representatives of the "higher" European culture – as "barbarous,"
in a satirical essay published in the year 1580. It was not the
supposedly "uncivilized" Indian tribes who were "barbarous", but the
conquering Spaniards. Montaigne argued that Europeans noted the
barbarism of other cultures but not the crueler and more brutal
actions of their own societies, particularly (in his time) during the
so-called religious wars. In Montaigne's view, his own people – the
Europeans – were the real "barbarians". In this way, the Eurocentric
argument was turned around and applied to the European invaders. With
this shift in meaning, a whole literature arose in Europe that
characterized the indigenous Indian peoples as innocent, and the
militarily superior Europeans as "barbarous" intruders invading a
"Barbarian" in international historical contexts
Historically, the term barbarian has seen widespread use, in English.
Many peoples have dismissed alien cultures and even rival
civilizations, because they were unrecognizably strange. For instance,
the nomadic steppe peoples north of the Black Sea, including the
Pechenegs and the Kipchaks, were called barbarians by the
Middle East and North Africa
Ransom of Christian slaves held in Barbary, 17th century
North Africa were among the many peoples called
"Barbarian" by the Romans; in their case, the name remained in use,
having been adopted by the Arabs (see Berber etymology) and is still
in use as the name for the non-Arabs in
North Africa (though not by
themselves). The geographical term
Barbary Coast, and the
name of the
Barbary pirates based on that coast (and who were not
necessarily Berbers) were also derived from it.
The term has also been used to refer to people from Barbary, a region
encompassing most of North Africa. The name of the region, Barbary,
comes from the Arabic word Barbar, possibly from the Latin word
barbaricum, meaning "land of the barbarians."
Many languages define the "Other" as those who do not speak one's
language; Greek barbaroi was paralleled by Arabic ajam "non-Arabic
speakers; non-Arabs; (especially) Persians."
Main article: Ethnic groups in Chinese history
It has been suggested that this section be split out into another
article. (Discuss) (November 2016)
The term "Barbarian" in traditional
Chinese culture had a few
interesting aspects. For one thing, Chinese has more than one
historical "barbarian" exonym. Several historical Chinese characters
for non-Chinese peoples were graphic pejoratives, the character for
the Yao people, for instance, was changed from yao 猺 "jackal" to yao
瑤 "precious jade" in the modern period. The original Hua–Yi
distinction between "Chinese" and "barbarian" was based on culture and
power but not on race.
Historically, the Chinese used various words for foreign ethnic
groups. They include terms like 夷 Yi, which is often translated as
"barbarians." Despite this conventional translation, there are also
other ways of translating Yi into English. Some of the examples
include "foreigners," "ordinary others," "wild tribes,"
"uncivilized tribes," and so forth.
History and terminology
Chinese historical records mention what may now perhaps be termed
"barbarian" peoples for over four millennia, although this
considerably predates the
Greek language origin of the term
"barbarian", at least as is known from the thirty-four centuries of
written records in the Greek language. The sinologist Herrlee Glessner
Creel said, "Throughout Chinese history "the barbarians" have been a
constant motif, sometimes minor, sometimes very major indeed. They
figure prominently in the Shang oracle inscriptions, and the dynasty
that came to an end only in 1912 was, from the Chinese point of view,
Shang dynasty (1600–1046 BC) oracles and bronze inscriptions first
recorded specific Chinese exonyms for foreigners, often in contexts of
warfare or tribute. King
Wu Ding (r. 1250–1192 BC), for instance,
fought with the
Guifang 鬼方, Di 氐, and Qiang 羌 "barbarians."
Spring and Autumn period
Spring and Autumn period (771–476 BC), the meanings of
four exonyms were expanded. "These included Rong, Yi, Man, and
Di—all general designations referring to the barbarian tribes."
These Siyi 四夷 "Four Barbarians", most "probably the names of
ethnic groups originally," were the Yi or
Dongyi 東夷 "eastern
barbarians," Man or
Nanman 南蠻 "southern barbarians," Rong or
Xirong 西戎 "western barbarians," and Di or
Beidi 北狄 "northern
barbarians." The Russian anthropologist
Mikhail Kryukov concluded.
Evidently, the barbarian tribes at first had individual names, but
during about the middle of the first millennium B.C., they were
classified schematically according to the four cardinal points of the
compass. This would, in the final analysis, mean that once again
territory had become the primary criterion of the we-group, whereas
the consciousness of common origin remained secondary. What continued
to be important were the factors of language, the acceptance of
certain forms of material culture, the adherence to certain rituals,
and, above all, the economy and the way of life. Agriculture was the
only appropriate way of life for the Hua-Hsia.
A scene of the Chinese campaign against the Miao in Hunan, 1795
Chinese classics use compounds of these four generic names in
localized "barbarian tribes" exonyms such as "west and north" Rongdi,
"south and east" Manyi, Nanyibeidi "barbarian tribes in the south and
the north," and Manyirongdi "all kinds of barbarians." Creel says the
Chinese evidently came to use Rongdi and Manyi "as generalized terms
denoting 'non-Chinese,' 'foreigners,' 'barbarians'," and a statement
such as "the Rong and Di are wolves" (Zuozhuan, Min 1) is "very much
like the assertion that many people in many lands will make today,
that 'no foreigner can be trusted'."
The Chinese had at least two reasons for vilifying and depreciating
the non-Chinese groups. On the one hand, many of them harassed and
pillaged the Chinese, which gave them a genuine grievance. On the
other, it is quite clear that the Chinese were increasingly
encroaching upon the territory of these peoples, getting the better of
them by trickery, and putting many of them under subjection. By
vilifying them and depicting them as somewhat less than human, the
Chinese could justify their conduct and still any qualms of
This word Yi has both specific references, such as to Huaiyi 淮夷
peoples in the
Huai River region, and generalized references to
"barbarian; foreigner; non-Chinese." Lin Yutang's Chinese-English
Dictionary of Modern Usage translates Yi as "Anc[ient] barbarian tribe
on east border, any border or foreign tribe." The sinologist Edwin
G. Pulleyblank says the name Yi "furnished the primary Chinese term
for 'barbarian'," but "Paradoxically the Yi were considered the most
civilized of the non-Chinese peoples.
Chinese classics romanticize or idealize barbarians, comparable
to the western noble savage construct. For instance, the Confucian
The Master said, The [夷狄] barbarians of the East and North have
retained their princes. They are not in such a state of decay as we in
The Master said, The Way makes no progress. I shall get upon a raft
and float out to sea.
The Master wanted to settle among the [九夷] Nine Wild Tribes of the
East. Someone said, I am afraid you would find it hard to put up with
their lack of refinement. The Master said, Were a true gentleman to
settle among them there would soon be no trouble about lack of
Arthur Waley noted that, "A certain idealization of the
'noble savage' is to be found fairly often in early Chinese
literature", citing the
Zuo Zhuan maxim, "When the Emperor no longer
functions, learning must be sought among the 'Four Barbarians,' north,
west, east, and south." Professor Creel said,
From ancient to modern times the Chinese attitude toward people not
Chinese in culture—"barbarians"—has commonly been one of contempt,
sometimes tinged with fear ... It must be noted that, while the
Chinese have disparaged barbarians, they have been singularly
hospitable both to individuals and to groups that have adopted Chinese
culture. And at times they seem to have had a certain admiration,
perhaps unwilling, for the rude force of these peoples or simpler
In a somewhat related example,
Mencius believed that Confucian
practices were universal and timeless, and thus followed by both Hua
and Yi, "Shun was an Eastern barbarian; he was born in Chu Feng, moved
to Fu Hsia, and died in Ming T'iao.
King Wen was a Western barbarian;
he was born in Ch'i Chou and died in Pi Ying. Their native places were
over a thousand li apart, and there were a thousand years between
them. Yet when they had their way in the Central Kingdoms, their
actions matched like the two halves of a tally. The standards of the
two sages, one earlier and one later, were identical."
The prominent (121 CE)
Shuowen Jiezi character dictionary, defines yi
夷 as "men of the east” 東方之人也. The dictionary also
informs that Yi is not dissimilar from the Xia 夏, which means
Chinese. Elsewhere in the Shuowen Jiezi, under the entry of qiang 羌,
the term yi is associated with benevolence and human longevity. Yi
countries are therefore virtuous places where people live long lives.
This is why Confucius wanted to go to yi countries when the dao could
not be realized in the central states.
Pejorative Chinese characters
Main article: Graphic pejoratives in written Chinese
Chinese characters used to transcribe non-Chinese peoples were
graphically pejorative ethnic slurs, where the insult derived not from
the Chinese word but from the character used to write it. Take for
Written Chinese transcription of Yao "the Yao people",
who primarily live in the mountains of southwest China and Vietnam.
Song Dynasty authors first transcribed the exonym
Yao, they insultingly chose yao 猺 "jackal" from a lexical selection
of over 100 characters pronounced yao (e.g., 腰 "waist", 遙
"distant", 搖 "shake"). During a series of 20th-century Chinese
language reforms, this graphic pejorative 猺 (written with the
犭"dog/beast radical") "jackal; the Yao" was replaced twice; first
with the invented character yao 傜 (亻"human radical") "the Yao",
then with yao 瑤 (玉 "jade radical") "precious jade; the Yao."
Chinese orthography (symbols used to write a language) can provide
unique opportunities to write ethnic insults logographically that do
not exist alphabetically. For the Yao ethnic group, there is a
difference between the transcriptions Yao 猺 "jackal" and Yao 瑤
"jade" but none between the romanizations Yao and Yau.
Cultural and racial barbarianism
The purpose of the
Great Wall of China
Great Wall of China was to stop the "barbarians"
from crossing the northern border of China.
According to the archeologist William Meacham, it was only by the time
of the late
Shang dynasty that one can speak of "Chinese," "Chinese
culture," or "Chinese civilization." "There is a sense in which the
traditional view of ancient Chinese history is correct (and perhaps it
originated ultimately in the first appearance of dynastic
civilization): those on the fringes and outside this esoteric event
were "barbarians" in that they did not enjoy (or suffer from) the
fruit of civilization until they were brought into close contact with
it by an imperial expansion of the civilization itself." In a
similar vein, Creel explained the significance of Confucian li
"ritual; rites; propriety".
The fundamental criterion of "Chinese-ness," anciently and throughout
history, has been cultural. The Chinese have had a particular way of
life, a particular complex of usages, sometimes characterized as li.
Groups that conformed to this way of life were, generally speaking,
considered Chinese. Those that turned away from it were considered to
cease to be Chinese. ... It was the process of acculturation,
transforming barbarians into Chinese, that created the great bulk of
the Chinese people. The barbarians of Western Chou times were, for the
most part, future Chinese, or the ancestors of future Chinese. This is
a fact of great importance. ... It is significant, however, that
we almost never find any references in the early literature to
physical differences between Chinese and barbarians. Insofar as we can
tell, the distinction was purely cultural.
Thought in ancient China was oriented towards the world, or tianxia,
"all under heaven." The world was perceived as one homogenous unity
named "great community" (datong) The Middle Kingdom [China], dominated
by the assumption of its cultural superiority, measured outgroups
according to a yardstick by which those who did not follow the
"Chinese ways" were considered "barbarians." A Theory of "using the
Chinese ways to transform the barbarian" as strongly advocated. It was
believed that the barbarian could be culturally assimilated. In the
Age of Great Peace, the barbarians would flow in and be transformed:
the world would be one.
According to the Pakistani academic M. Shahid Alam, "The centrality of
culture, rather than race, in the Chinese world view had an important
corollary. Nearly always, this translated into a civilizing mission
rooted in the premise that 'the barbarians could be culturally
assimilated'"; namely laihua 來化 "come and be transformed" or
Hanhua 漢化 "become Chinese; be sinicized."
Two millennia before the French anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss
wrote The Raw and the Cooked, the Chinese differentiated "raw" and
"cooked" categories of barbarian peoples who lived in China. The
shufan 熟番 "cooked [food eating] barbarians" are sometimes
interpreted as Sinicized, and the shengfan 生番 "raw [food eating]
barbarians" as not Sinicized. The
Liji gives this description.
The people of those five regions – the Middle states, and the
[Rong], [Yi] (and other wild tribes around them) – had all their
several natures, which they could not be made to alter. The tribes on
the east were called [Yi]. They had their hair unbound, and tattooed
their bodies. Some of them ate their food without its being cooked
with fire. Those on the south were called Man. They tattooed their
foreheads, and had their feet turned toward each other. Some of them
ate their food without its being cooked with fire. Those on the west
were called [Rong]. They had their hair unbound, and wore skins. Some
of them did not eat grain-food. Those on the north were called [Di].
They wore skins of animals and birds, and dwelt in caves. Some of them
did not eat grain-food.
Dikötter explains the close association between nature and nurture.
"The shengfan, literally 'raw barbarians', were considered savage and
resisting. The shufan, or 'cooked barbarians', were tame and
submissive. The consumption of raw food was regarded as an infallible
sign of savagery that affected the physiological state of the
Warring States period
Warring States period texts record a belief that the respective
natures of the Chinese and the barbarian were incompatible. Mencius,
for instance, once stated: "I have heard of the Chinese converting
barbarians to their ways, but not of their being converted to
barbarian ways." Dikötter says, "The nature of the Chinese was
regarded as impermeable to the evil influences of the barbarian; no
retrogression was possible. Only the barbarian might eventually change
by adopting Chinese ways."
However, different thinkers and texts convey different opinions on
this issue. The prominent Tang Confucian Han Yu, for example, wrote in
his essay Yuan Dao the following: "When Confucius wrote the Chunqiu,
he said that if the feudal lords use Yi ritual, then they should be
called Yi; If they use Chinese rituals, then they should be called
Chinese." Han Yu went on to lament in the same essay that the Chinese
of his time might all become Yi because the Tang court wanted to put
Yi laws above the teachings of the former kings. Therefore, Han
Yu's essay shows the possibility that the Chinese can lose their
culture and become the uncivilized outsiders, and that the uncivilized
outsiders have the potential to become Chinese.
Interestingly, after the Song Dynasty, many of China's rulers in the
north were of Inner Asia ethnicities, such as Qidan, Ruzhen, and
Mongols of the Liao, Jin and Yuan Dynasties, the latter ended up
ruling over the entire China. Hence, the historian John King Fairbank
wrote, "the influence on China of the great fact of alien conquest
under the Liao-Jin-Yuan dynasties is just beginning to be
explored." During the Qing Dynasty, the rulers of China adopted
Confucian philosophy and Han Chinese institutions to show that the
Manchu rulers had received the Mandate of Heaven to rule China. At the
same time, they also tried to retain their own indigenous culture.
Due to the Manchus' adoption of Han Chinese culture, most Han Chinese
(though not all) did accept the Manchus as the legitimate rulers of
China. Similarly, according to Fudan University historian Yao Dali,
even the supposedly "patriotic" hero Wen Tianxiang of the late Song
and early Yuan period did not believe the Mongol rule to be
illegitimate. In fact, Wen was willing to live under Mongol rule as
long as he was not forced to be a Yuan dynasty official, out of his
loyalty to the Song dynasty. Yao explains that Wen chose to die in the
end because he was forced to become a Yuan official. So, Wen chose
death due to his loyalty to his dynasty, not because he viewed the
Yuan court as a non-Chinese, illegitimate regime and therefore refused
to live under their rule. Yao also says that many Chinese who were
living in the Yuan-Ming transition period also shared Wen's beliefs of
identifying with and putting loyalty towards one's dynasty above
racial/ethnic differences. Many Han Chinese writers did not celebrate
the collapse of the Mongols and the return of the Han Chinese rule in
the form of the Ming dynasty government at that time. Many Han Chinese
actually chose not to serve in the new Ming court at all due to their
loyalty to the Yuan. Some Han Chinese also committed suicide on behalf
of the Mongols as a proof of their loyalty. We should note that
the founder of the Ming Dynasty, Zhu Yuanzhang, also indicated that he
was happy to be born in the Yuan period and that the Yuan did
legitimately receive the Mandate of Heaven to rule over China. On a
side note, one of his key advisors, Liu Ji, generally supported the
idea that while the Chinese and the non-Chinese are different, they
are actually equal. Liu was therefore arguing against the idea that
the Chinese were and are superior to the "Yi."
These things show that many times, pre-modern Chinese did view culture
(and sometimes politics) rather than race and ethnicity as the
dividing line between the Chinese and the non-Chinese. In many cases,
the non-Chinese could and did become the Chinese and vice versa,
especially when there was a change in culture.
According to the historian Frank Dikötter, "The delusive myth of a
Chinese antiquity that abandoned racial standards in favour of a
concept of cultural universalism in which all barbarians could
ultimately participate has understandably attracted some modern
scholars. Living in an unequal and often hostile world, it is tempting
to project the utopian image of a racially harmonious world into a
distant and obscure past."
The politician, historian, and diplomat
K. C. Wu
K. C. Wu analyzes the origin
of the characters for the Yi, Man, Rong, Di, and Xia peoples and
concludes that the "ancients formed these characters with only one
purpose in mind—to describe the different ways of living each of
these people pursued." Despite the well-known examples of
pejorative exonymic characters (such as the "dog radical" in Di), he
claims there is no hidden racial bias in the meanings of the
characters used to describe these different peoples, but rather the
differences were "in occupation or in custom, not in race or
K. C. Wu
K. C. Wu says the modern character 夷 designating the
historical "Yi peoples," composed of the characters for 大 "big
(person)" and 弓 "bow", implies a big person carrying a bow, someone
to perhaps be feared or respected, but not to be despised.
However, differing from K. C. Wu, the scholar Wu Qichang believes that
the earliest oracle bone script for yi 夷 was used interchangeably
with shi 尸 "corpse". The historian John Hill explains that Yi
"was used rather loosely for non-Chinese populations of the east. It
carried the connotation of people ignorant of
Chinese culture and,
Christopher I. Beckwith makes the extraordinary claim that the name
"barbarian" should only be used for Greek historical contexts, and is
inapplicable for all other "peoples to whom it has been applied either
historically or in modern times." Beckwith notes that most
specialists in East Asian history, including him, have translated
Chinese exonyms as English "barbarian." He believes that after
academics read his published explanation of the problems, except for
direct quotations of "earlier scholars who use the word, it should no
longer be used as a term by any writer."
The first problem is that, "it is impossible to translate the word
barbarian into Chinese because the concept does not exist in Chinese,"
meaning a single "completely generic" loanword from Greek barbar-.
"Until the Chinese borrow the word barbarian or one of its relatives,
or make up a new word that explicitly includes the same basic ideas,
they cannot express the idea of the 'barbarian' in Chinese.". The
Standard Chinese translation of English barbarian is yemanren
(traditional Chinese: 野蠻人; simplified Chinese: 野蛮人;
pinyin: yěmánrén), which Beckwith claims, "actually means 'wild
man, savage'. That is very definitely not the same thing as
'barbarian'." Despite this semantic hypothesis, Chinese-English
dictionaries regularly translate yemanren as "barbarian" or
"barbarians." Beckwith concedes that the early Chinese "apparently
disliked foreigners in general and looked down on them as having an
inferior culture," and pejoratively wrote some exonyms. However, he
purports, "The fact that the Chinese did not like foreigner Y and
occasionally picked a transcriptional character with negative meaning
(in Chinese) to write the sound of his ethnonym, is irrelevant."
Beckwith's second problem is with linguists and lexicographers of
Chinese. "If one looks up in a Chinese-English dictionary the two
dozen or so partly generic words used for various foreign peoples
throughout Chinese history, one will find most of them defined in
English as, in effect, 'a kind of barbarian'. Even the works of
well-known lexicographers such as Karlgren do this." Although
Beckwith does not cite any examples, the Swedish sinologist Bernhard
Karlgren edited two dictionaries: Analytic Dictionary of Chinese and
Sino-Japanese (1923) and
Grammata Serica Recensa (1957). Compare
Karlgrlen's translations of the siyi "four barbarians":
yi 夷 "barbarian, foreigner; destroy, raze to the ground," "barbarian
(esp. tribes to the East of ancient China)"
man 蛮 "barbarians of the South; barbarian, savage," "Southern
rong 戎 "weapons, armour; war, warrior; N. pr. of western tribes,"
"weapon; attack; war chariot; loan for tribes of the West"
di 狄 "Northern Barbarians – "fire-dogs"," "name of a Northern
tribe; low servant"
The Sino-Tibetan Etymological Dictionary and Thesaurus Project
includes Karlgren's GSR definitions. Searching the STEDT Database
finds various "a kind of" definitions for plant and animal names
(e.g., you 狖 "a kind of monkey," but not one "a kind of
barbarian" definition. Besides faulting Chinese for lacking a general
"barbarian" term, Beckwith also faults English, which "has no words
for the many foreign peoples referred to by one or another Classical
Chinese word, such as 胡 hú, 夷 yí, 蠻 mán, and so on."
The third problem involves
Tang Dynasty usages of fan "foreigner" and
lu "prisoner", neither of which meant "barbarian." Beckwith says Tang
texts used fan 番 or 蕃 "foreigner" (see shengfan and shufan above)
as "perhaps the only true generic at any time in Chinese literature,
was practically the opposite of the word barbarian. It meant simply
'foreign, foreigner' without any pejorative meaning." In modern
usage, fan 番 means "foreigner; barbarian; aborigine". The linguist
Robert Ramsey illustrates the pejorative connotations of fan.
The word "Fān" was formerly used by the Chinese almost innocently in
the sense of 'aborigines' to refer to ethnic groups in South China,
and Mao Zedong himself once used it in 1938 in a speech advocating
equal rights for the various minority peoples. But that term has now
been so systematically purged from the language that it is not to be
found (at least in that meaning) even in large dictionaries, and all
references to Mao's 1938 speech have excised the offending word and
replaced it with a more elaborate locution, "Yao, Yi, and Yu."
Tang Dynasty Chinese also had a derogatory term for foreigners, lu
(traditional Chinese: 虜; simplified Chinese: 虏; pinyin: lǔ)
"prisoner, slave, captive". Beckwith says it means something like
"those miscreants who should be locked up," therefore, "The word does
not even mean 'foreigner' at all, let alone 'barbarian'."
Christopher I. Beckwith's 2009 "The Barbarians" epilogue provides many
references, but overlooks H. G. Creel's 1970 "The Barbarians" chapter.
Creel descriptively wrote, "Who, in fact, were the barbarians? The
Chinese have no single term for them. But they were all the
non-Chinese, just as for the Greeks the barbarians were all the
non-Greeks." Beckwith prescriptively wrote, "The Chinese, however,
have still not yet borrowed Greek barbar-. There is also no single
native Chinese word for 'foreigner', no matter how pejorative," which
meets his strict definition of "barbarian.".
Barbarian puppet drinking game
Tang Dynasty houses of pleasure, where drinking games were
common, small puppets in the aspect of Westerners, in a ridiculous
state of drunkenness, were used in one popular permutation of the
drinking game; so, in the form of blue-eyed, pointy nosed, and
peak-capped barbarians, these puppets were manipulated in such a way
as to occasionally fall down: then, whichever guest to whom the puppet
pointed after falling was then obliged by honor to empty his cup of
When Europeans came to Japan, they were called nanban (南蛮),
literally Barbarians from the South, because the Portuguese ships
appeared to sail from the South. The Dutch, who arrived later, were
also called either nanban or kōmō (紅毛), literally meaning "Red
In the ancient Indian epic Mahabharata, the
Sanskrit word barbara-
meant "stammering, wretch, foreigner, sinful people, low and
According to Romila Thapar, the Indo-Aryan semi-nomadic people viewed
the indigenous people as barbarians when they arrived. Indo-Aryan
used the term mleccha in referring to people "outside the caste system
and ritual ambience." 
Further information: Dasa
Aztec civilization used the word "Chichimeca" to
denominate a group of nomadic hunter-gatherer tribes that lived on the
outskirts of the Triple Alliance's Empire, in the north of Modern
Mexico, and whom the
Aztec people saw as primitive and uncivilized.
One of the meanings attributed to the word "Chichimeca" is "dog
Incas of South America used the term "puruma auca" for all peoples
living outside the rule of their empire (see Promaucaes).
The British and later, the white colonial settlers of the United
States referred to Native Americans as "savages."
The entry of "barbarians" into mercenary service in a metropole
repeatedly occurs in history as a standard way in which peripheral
peoples from and beyond frontier regions relate to "civilised"
imperial powers as part of a (semi-)foreign militarised
proletariat. Examples include:
nomadic frontier tribes serving in pre-modern China
mainly Germanic soldiery in the armies of the declining Roman
Viking Varangian guards in imperial Byzantium
Turkic mercenaries in the Abbasid Caliphate
Widespread use of ethnic mercenary forces in pre-historic
Cossack units in the armies of (for example) Poland-Lithuania and of
Gurkha units in the British and Indian armies
Early Modern period
Further information: Viking revival, Noble savage, and Philistinism
Sarmatian barbarian serves as an atlas on a 16th-century
villa in Milan. Sculpted by
Antonio Abbondio for Leone Leoni
Italians in the
Renaissance often called anyone who lived outside of
their country a barbarian. As an example, there is the last chapter of
The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli, "Exhortatio ad Capesendam Italiam
in Libertatemque a Barbaris Vinsicandam" (in English: Exhortation to
take Italy and free her from the barbarians) in which he appeals to
Lorenzo de' Medici, Duke of Urbino
Lorenzo de' Medici, Duke of Urbino to unite Italy and stop the
"barbarian invasions" lead by other European rulers, such as Charles
VIII and Louis XII, both of France, and Ferdinand II of Aragon.
Spanish sea captain
Francisco de Cuellar
Francisco de Cuellar who sailed with the Spanish
Armada in 1588 used the term 'savage' ('salvaje') to describe the
Marxist use of "Barbarism"
In her "Junius Pamphlet" of 1916, strongly denouncing the then raging
First World War,
Rosa Luxemburg wrote: Bourgeois society stands at the
crossroads, either transition to Socialism or regression into
Luxemburg attributed it to Friedrich Engels, though – as shown by
Michael Löwy – Engels had not used the term "Barbarism" but a less
resounding formulation: If the whole of modern society is not to
perish, a revolution in the mode of production and distribution must
take place 
Luxemburg went on to explain what she meant by "Regression into
Barbarism": "A look around us at this moment [i.e., 1916 Europe] shows
what the regression of bourgeois society into Barbarism means. This
World War is a regression into Barbarism. The triumph of Imperialism
leads to the annihilation of civilization. At first, this happens
sporadically for the duration of a modern war, but then when the
period of unlimited wars begins it progresses toward its inevitable
consequences. Today, we face the choice exactly as Friedrich Engels
foresaw it a generation ago: either the triumph of Imperialism and the
collapse of all civilization as in ancient Rome, depopulation,
desolation, degeneration – a great cemetery. Or the victory of
Socialism, that means the conscious active struggle of the
International Proletariat against Imperialism and its method of war."
"Socialism or Barbarism" became, and remains, an often quoted and
influential concept in
Marxist literature. "Barbarism" is variously
interpreted as meaning either a technologically advanced but extremely
exploitative and oppressive society (e.g. a victory and world
Nazi Germany and its Fascist allies); a collapse of
technological civilization due to Capitalism causing a
Nuclear War or
ecological disaster; or the one form of barbarism bringing on the
Internationalist Communist Tendency
Internationalist Communist Tendency considers "Socialism or
Barbarism" to be a variant of the earlier "Liberty or Death", used by
revolutionaries of different stripes since the late 18th century 
Further information: Socialisme ou Barbarie, Socialism or Barbarism,
and Socialismo e Barbarie
Modern popular culture
Modern popular culture contains such fantasy barbarians as Conan the
Barbarian. In such fantasy, the negative connotations
traditionally associated with "Barbarian" are often inverted. For
example, "The Phoenix on the Sword" (1932), the first of Robert E.
Howard's "Conan" series, is set soon after the "Barbarian" protagonist
had forcibly seized the turbulent kingdom of Aquilonia from King
Numedides, whom he strangled upon his throne. The story is clearly
slanted to imply that the kingdom greatly benefited by power passing
from a decadent and tyrannical hereditary monarch to a strong and
Gaius Julius Civilis
Vladimir the Great
Mithridates VI of Pontus
Attila the hun
Theoderic the Great
Shapur I the Great
^ Webster's New Universal Unabridged Dictionary, 1972, pg. 149, Simon
& Schuster Publishing
^ Amy Chua, Jed Rubenfeld (2014). The Triple Package: How Three
Unlikely Traits Explain the Rise and Fall of Cultural Groups in
America. Penguin Press HC. p. 121.
^ Εκδοτική Αθηνών, ο Ελληνισμός υπό
ξένη κυριαρχία: Τουρκοκρατία,
Λατινοκρατία, 1980, page 34 (in Greek)
^ Justin Marozzi, The Way of Herodotus: Travels with the Man who
Invented History, 2010, pages 311–315
^ Palaeolexicon, Word study tool of ancient languages
^ Johannes Kramer, Die Sprachbezeichnungen 'Latinus' und 'Romanus' im
Lateinischen und Romanischen, Erich Schmidt Verlag, 1998, p.86
^ The term barbaros, "A Greek-English Lexicon" (Liddell & Scott),
^ Delante Bravo, Chrostopher (2012). Chirping like the swallows:
Aristophanes' portrayals of the barbarian "other". ProQuest, UMI
Dissertation Publishing. p. 9. ISBN 978-1-248-96599-3.
^ Baracchi, Claudia (2014). The Bloomsbury Companion to Aristotle.
Bloomsbury Academic. p. 292. ISBN 978-1-4411-0873-9.
^ Siculus Diodorus, Ludwig August Dindorf, Diodori Bibliotheca
historica – Volume 1 – Page 671
^ Plutarch's "Life of Pyrrhos" records his apprehensive remark on
seeing a Roman army taking the field against him in disciplined order:
"These are not barbarians."Foreigners and Barbarians (adapted from
Daily Life of the Ancient Greeks) Archived June 29, 2011, at the
Wayback Machine., The American Forum for Global Education, 2000.
"The status of being a foreigner, as the Greeks understood the term
does not permit any easy definition. Primarily it signified such
peoples as the Persians and Egyptians, whose languages were
unintelligible to the Greeks, but it could also be used of Greeks who
spoke in a different dialect and with a different accent ...
Prejudice toward Greeks on the part of Greeks was not limited to those
who lived on the fringes of the Greek world. The Boeotians,
inhabitants of central Greece, whose credentials were impeccable, were
routinely mocked for their stupidity and gluttony. Ethnicity is a
fluid concept even at the best of times. When it suited their
purposes, the Greeks also divided themselves into Ionians and Dorians.
The distinction was emphasized at the time of the Peloponnesian War,
when the Ionian Athenians fought against the Dorian Spartans. The
Spartan general Brasidas even taxed the Athenians with cowardice on
account of their Ionian lineage. In other periods of history the
Ionian-Dorian divide carried much less weight."
^ Sir Edward Bulwer Lytton. Athens: Its Rise and Fall. Kessinger
Publishing, 2004. ISBN 1-4191-0808-5, pp. 9–10.
"Whether the Pelasgi were anciently a foreign or Grecian tribe, has
been a subject of constant and celebrated discussion. Herodotus,
speaking of some settlements held to be Pelaigic, and existing in his
time, terms their language 'barbarous;' but Mueller, nor with argument
insufficient, considers that the expression of the historian would
apply only to a peculiar dialect; and the hypothesis is sustained by
another passage in Herodotus, in which he applies to certain Ionian
dialects the same term as that with which he stigmatizes the language
of the Pelasgic settlements. In corroboration of Mueller's opinion, we
may also observe, that the 'barbarous-tongued' is an epithet applied
Homer to the Carians, and is rightly construed by the ancient
critics as denoting a dialect mingled and unpolished, certainly not
foreign. Nor when the Agamemnon of Sophocles upbraids Teucer with 'his
barbarous tongue,' would any scholar suppose that Teucer is upbraided
with not speaking Greek; he is upbraided with speaking Greek
inelegantly and rudely. It is clear that they who continued with the
least adulteration a language in its earliest form, would seem to
utter a strange and unfamiliar jargon to ears accustomed to its more
^ βαρβαρίζω, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, An
Intermediate Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus
^ Hall, Jonathan. Hellenicity, p. 111, ISBN 0-226-31329-8. "There
is at the elite level at least no hint during the archaic period of
this sharp dichotomy between Greek and
Barbarian or the derogatory and
the stereotypical representation of the latter that emerged so clearly
from the 5th century."
^ Hall, Jonathan. Hellenicity, p. 111, ISBN 0-226-31329-8. "Given
the relative familiarity of the Karians to the Greeks, it has been
suggested that barbarophonoi in the
Iliad signifies not those who
spoke a non-
Greek language but simply those who spoke Greek badly."
^ Tsetskhladze, Gocha R. Ancient Greeks West and East, 1999, p. 60,
ISBN 90-04-10230-2. "a barbarian from a distinguished nation
which given the political circumstances of the time might well mean a
^ barbarus, Charlton T. Lewis, Charles Short, A Latin Dictionary, on
^ Barbara (entry) SpokenSanskrit.de
^ S Apte (1920), Apte English–
Sanskrit Dictionary, "Fool" entry, 3rd
^ A Sanskrit–English Dictionary: Etymologically and Philologically
Special Reference to Cognate Indo-European Languages,
Monier Monier-Williams (1898), Ernst Leumann, Carl Cappeller, pub.
Asian Educational Services (Google Books)
^ Onions, C.T. (1966), edited by, The Oxford Dictionary of English
Etymology, page 74, The Clarendon Press, Oxford.
^ Barbarian, Etymology Dictionary, Douglas Harper (2015)
^ Barbary, Etymology Dictionary, Douglas Harper (2015)
^ Oxford English Dictionary, 2009, 2nd ed., v. 4.0, Oxford University
^ See in particular Ralph W. Mathison, Roman Aristocrats in Barbarian
Gaul: Strategies for Survival in an Age of Transition (Austin) 1993,
pp. 1–6, 39–49; Gerhart B. Ladner, "On Roman attitudes towards
barbarians in late antiquity" Viator 77 (1976), pp. 1–25.
^ Arno Borst. Medieval Worlds: Barbarians, Heretics and Artists in the
Middle Ages. London: Polity, 1991, p. 3.
^ Plato. Protagoras. ISBN 978-1604506365. [Cited in
Pittacus of Mytilene
Pittacus of Mytilene ]
^ Harmon, A. M. "
Lucian of Samosata: Introduction and Manuscripts." in
Lucian, Works. Loeb Classical Library (1913)
^ Keith Sidwell, introduction to Lucian: Chattering Courtesans and
Other Sardonic Sketches (Penguin Classics, 2005) p.xii
^ Wolfgang Helbig, Führer durch die öffenlicher Sammlungen
Klassischer altertümer in Rom (Tubingen 1963–71) vol. II, pp
^ H. W. Janson, "History of Art: A survey of the major visual arts
from the dawn of history to the present day", p. 141. H. N. Abrams,
1977. ISBN 0-13-389296-4
^ Montaigne. On Cannibals.
^ Silvio Vietta (2013). A Theory of Global Civilization: Rationality
and the Irrational as the Driving Forces of History. Kindle
^ Silvio Vietta (2012). Rationalität. Eine Weltgeschichte.
Europäische Kulturgeschichte und Globalisierung. Fink.
^ "The Pechenegs". Archived from the original on October 27, 2009.
Retrieved October 27, 2009. CS1 maint: Unfit url (link) , Steven
Lowe and Dmitriy V. Ryaboy
^ Alam, M. Shahid (2003), "Articulating Group Differences: A Variety
of Autocentrisms," Science & Society 67.2, 206.
^ More information on this Chinese system, and on how it was abolished
in the 20th century, can be found in the article "The animal other:
Re-naming the barbarians in 20th-century China," by Magnus Fiskesjö,
Social Text 29.4 (2011) (No. 109,
Special Issue, "China and the
^ Robert Morrison, The Dictionary of the Chinese Language, 3 vols.
(Macao: East India Company Press, 1815), 1:61 and 586–587.
^ Liu Xiaoyuan,
Frontier Passages: Ethnopolitics and the Rise of
Chinese Communism, 1921–1945 (Stanford: Stanford University Press,
2004), 10–11. Liu believes the Chinese in early China did not
originally think of Yi as a derogatory term.
^ James Legge, Shangshu, "Tribute of Yu" from
^ Victor Mair, Wandering on the way : early Taoist tales and
parables of Chuang Tzu (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press,
^ Creel, Herrlee G. (1970). The Origins of Statecraft in China. The
University of Chicago Press. p. 194. ISBN 0-226-12043-0. See "The
Barbarians" chapter, pp. 194–241. Creel refers to the Shang Oracle
bone inscriptions and the Qing dynasty.
^ Pu Muzhou (2005). Enemies of Civilization: Attitudes toward
Foreigners in Ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, and China. SUNY Press. p.
^ a b Creel (1970), 197.
^ Jettmar, Karl (1983). "The Origins of Chinese Civilization: Soviet
Views." In Keightley, David N., ed. The Origins of Chinese
civilization. p. 229. University of California Press.
^ Creel (1970), 198.
^ Lin Yutang (1972), Lin Yutang's Chinese-English Dictionary of Modern
Usage, Chinese University Press.
^ Pulleyblank, E. G., (1983). "The Chinese and Their Neighbors in
Prehistoric and Early Historic Times." In Keightley, David N., ed. The
Origins of Chinese civilization. p. 440. University of California
^ 3/5, 5/6, 9/14, tr. by
Arthur Waley (1938), The
Confucius, Vintage, pp. 94–5, 108, 141.
^ Zhao 17, Waley (1938), p. 108.
^ Creel (1970), 59–60.
^ Mencius,D.C Lau tran. (Middlesex:Penguin Books, 1970),128.
^ Xu Shen 許慎, Shuowen Jieji 說文解字 (Beijing: Zhonghua Shuju,
1963), 213, 78.
^ See Fiskesjö, "The animal other: Re-naming the barbarians in
^ Meacham, William (1983). "Origins and Development of the Yueh
Coastal Neolithic: A Microcosm of
Culture Change on the Mainland of
East Asia." In Keightley, David N., ed., The Origins of Chinese
civilization, p. 149. University of California Press.
^ Dikötter, Frank (1990), "Group Definition and the Idea of 'Race' in
Modern China (1793–1949)," Ethnic and Racial Studies 13:3, 421.
^ Alam, M. Shahid (2003), "Articulating Group Differences: A Variety
of Autocentrisms," Science & Society 67.2, 214.
^ An alternative interpretation emphasizing power and state control as
the main distinction at play, rather than the degree of cultural
assimilation, is offered in Fiskesjö, Magnus. "On the 'Raw' and the
'Cooked' barbarians of imperial China." Inner Asia 1.2 (1999),
^ Legge, James (1885) The Li ki, Clarendon Press, part 1, p. 229.
^ Dikötter (1992), pp. 8–9.
^ D. C. Lau (1970), p. 103.
^ Dikötter (1992), p. 18.
^ Fairbank, 127.
^ Fairbank, 146–149.
网易历史". History.news.163.com. 2009-11-17. Retrieved
^ Zhou Songfang, "Lun Liu Ji de Yimin Xintai" (On Liu Ji's Mentality
as a Dweller of Subjugated Empire) in Xueshu Yanjiu no.4 (2005),
^ Dikötter, Frank (1992). The Discourse of Race in Modern China.
Stanford University Press, p. 3.
^ Wu, K. C. 1982. The Chinese Heritage. New York: Crown Publishers.
ISBN 0-517-54475-X. pp. 106–108
^ Wu, 109
^ Wu, 107–108
Hanyu Da Cidian (1993), vol. 3, p. 577.
^ Hill, John (2009), Through the Jade Gate to Rome: A Study of the
Silk Routes during the Later Han Dynasty, First to Second Centuries
CE, BookSurge, ISBN 978-1-4392-2134-1, p. 123.
^ Beckwith, Christopher I. (2009). Empires of the Silk Road: A History
of Central Eurasia from the Bronze Age to the Present. Princeton
University Press. ISBN 978-0-691-13589-2. p. 356. Furthermore,
"The entire construct is, appropriately enough, best summed up by
popular European and American fiction and film treatments such as
Conan the Barbarian." Also see "The Barbarians" epilogue, pp.
^ Beckwith (2009), pp. 361–2. The author describes his belief
in religious terms; following his "enlightenment on this issue", he
says no scholar who used the word barbarian "needs to be blamed for
such sins of the past".
^ Beckwith, 357.
^ a b c Beckwith, 358.
^ For instance, Far East Chinese-English Dictionary "barbarians;
savages" (1992) p. 1410; "savage; Shanghai Jiaotong Chinese-English
Dictionary "barbarian", (1993) p. 2973; ABC Chinese-English
Comprehensive Dictionary "barbarians" (2003), p. 1131.
^ Beckwith (2009), pp. 356–7.
^ Beckwith (2009), 358.
^ AD186, GSR 551a.
^ AD 590, GSR 178p.
^ AD 949, GSR 1013a.
^ AD 117, GSR 856a.
^ GSR 1246c. Beckwith criticizes "a kind of X" definitions as "the
dictionary maker either could not find out what it was or was too lazy
to define it accurately" (2009), 359; compare listing "rakhbīn (a
kind of cheese)" as an export from
Khwarezm (2009), 327.
^ Beckwith (2009), 359.
^ Beckwith, 360.
^ Ramsey, Robert S. (1987). The Languages of China, p. 160. Princeton
^ Beckwith (2009), 360
^ Creel (1970), 196.
^ Schafer, 23
^ Suryakanta (1975),
Sanskrit Hindi English Dictionary, reprinted
1986, page 417,
Orient Longman (ISBN 0-86125-248-9).
^ Romila Thapar (1978). Ancient Indian Social History: Some
Interpretations. Orient Blackswan. p. 137.
^ Students' Britannica India, Vols. 1–5, p. 8. Encyclopædia
^ Compare: Toynbee, Arnold J. (1988). Somervell, D. C., ed. A Study of
History: Volume I: Abridgement of Volumes 1–6. OUP USA.
pp. 461–462. ISBN 9780195050806. Retrieved 2016-07-30. The
list of barbarians who have 'come' and 'seen' as mercenaries, before
imposing themselves as conquerors, is a long one.
^ For example: Yu, Ying-shih (1967). "5:
Frontier trade". Trade and
Expansion in Han China: A Study in the Structure of Sino-barbarian
Economic Relations. University of California Press.
pp. 108–109. Retrieved 2016-07-29. Of all the barbarian peoples
in the Han period, the Hsien-pi were probably most interested in
trade. [...] [T]he Chinese frontier generals often hired them as
mercenaries [...], which [...] was a result of the Later Han policy of
'using barbaians to attack barbarians.'
^ Compare: Bispham, Edward (2008). "5: Warfare and the Army". In
Bispham, Edward. Roman Europe: 1000 BC – AD 400. The Short Oxford
History of Europe (1 ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
p. 164. ISBN 9780199266005. Retrieved 2016-07-30. [...] by
the fifth century the Roman army had effectively been transformed into
an army of barbarian mercenaries.
^ Snook, Ben (2015). "War and Peace". In Classen, Albrecht. Handbook
of Medieval Culture. De Gruyter Reference. 3. Walter de Gruyter GmbH
& Co KG. p. 1746. ISBN 9783110377613. Retrieved
2016-07-30. The Vikings, for instance, made for particularly
convenient soldiers of fortune [...]. [...] Other 'barbarian' groups,
including the Alans, Cumans, and Pechenegs, also found their services
to be in demand, particularly from the Byzantine and Turkish empires
(Vasary 2005). Perhaps the most famous, and certainly the most
reliable early mercenaries were the Byzantine Varangian Guard.
^ Kopanski, Ataullah Bogdan (2009). "4: Muslim Communities of the
European North-Eastern Frontiers: Islam in the former
Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth". In Marcinkowski, Christoph. The
Islamic World and the West: Managing Religious and Cultural Identities
in the Age of Globalisation. Freiburger sozialanthropologische
Studien. 24. LIT Verlag Münster. p. 87. ISBN 9783643800015.
Retrieved 2016-07-30. This model of Byzantine 'state-owned
slave-soldiers' and mercenaries from the
Barbarian North of the
'Seventh Climate' was subsequently imitated by the Umayyad and Abbasid
Caliphs who also had their own 'Ṣaqālibah' troops and
^ Toynbee, Arnold J. (1988). Somervell, D. C., ed. A Study of History:
Volume I: Abridgement of Volumes 1–6. OUP USA. pp. 461–462.
ISBN 9780195050806. Retrieved 2016-07-30. The list of barbarians
who have 'come' and 'seen' as mercenaries, before imposing themselves
as conquerors, is a long one. [...] The Turkish bodyguard of the
'Abbasid Caliphs in the ninth century of the Christian Era prepared
the way for the Turkish buccaneers who carved up the Caliphate into
its eleventh-century successor-states.
^ Adams, Richard E. W. (1977). "7: Transformations: Epi-Classic
Cultures, the Collapse of Classic Cultures, and the rise and fall of
the Toltec". Prehistoric
Mesoamerica (3 ed.). Norman: University of
Oklahoma Press (published 2005). p. 277. ISBN 9780806137025.
Retrieved 2016-08-02. It now seems that the use of military
mercenaries became widespread, with central Mexican groups brought in
by the Maya and Maya-Gulf Coast groups penetrating the Central Mexican
^ For example: Gordon, Linda (1983). "14:
Cossack Rebellions: Social Turmoil in the Sixteenth Century Ukraine.
Albany: SUNY Press. p. 154. ISBN 9780873956543. Retrieved
2016-08-02. [...] in the spring of 1595 the Turks began to strike back
against Christian armies [...] and a major European war was detonated.
[...] There were advantages for the cossacks no matter which side was
winning. Throughout the war there was a steady stream of envoys of
foreign rulers coming to the sich to bid for cossack support [...]
mercenaries such as the cossacks were needed.
^ Axelrod, Alan (2013). Mercenaries: A Guide to Private Armies and
Private Military Companies. CQ Press. ISBN 9781483364667.
Retrieved 2016-08-03. [I]n 1816 the
Gurkha mercenary tradition began.
Although the soldiers known as Gurkhas would fight in the British
service and, later, in the Indian service as well, Nepalese rulers
also hired out soldiers to other foreign powers.
^ "Captain Cuellar's Adventures in Connacht and Ulster". Ucc.ie.
^ "Rosa Luxemburg, "The Junius Pamphlet"". Marxists.org. Retrieved
^ Friedrich Engels, "Anti-Dühring" (1878), quoted in Michael Löwy,
"Philosophy of Praxis & Rosa Luxemburg" in "Viewpoint", Online
Issue No. 125, November 2, 2012 "Archived copy". Archived from the
original on 2013-05-11. Retrieved 2012-11-08.
^ "The October Revolution – Ninety Years On", 2007 statement of the
Internationalist Communist Tendency
Internationalist Communist Tendency 
^ Howard, Robert E., adapted by
Roy Thomas and Walt Simonson. "The
Hyborian Age". Conan Saga.
Marvel Comics (50–54, 56). Archived from
the original on May 25, 2011. CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter
Beckwith, Christopher I. (2009): Empires of the Silk Road: A History
of Central Eurasia from the Bronze Age to the Present. Princeton:
Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0-691-13589-2.
Fiskesjö, Magnus "The animal other: Re-naming the barbarians in
20th-century China," Social Text 29.4 (2011) (No. 109,
"China and the Human"), pp. 57–79. See:
Schafer, Edward H. The Golden Peaches of Samarkand. Berkeley:
University of California Press, 1985. ISBN 978-0-520-05462-2.
Wu, K. C. (1982). The Chinese Heritage. New York: Crown Publishers.
Wikiquote has quotations related to: Barbarian
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Barbarians.
Media related to Barbarians in Ancient art at Wikimedia Commons
"Barbarian". Encyclopædia Britannica. 3 (11th