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Ancient and Modern view of a ‘Barbarian’

  Defining Barbarians The word ‘barbarian’ carries great socioeconomic implications. Defined classically as violent savages and in modernity as uncivilised and primitive, the overall depiction is negative.* But why is that? History has conditioned us to view barbarians in a particular light, they are seen as completely other to the way of the western world.** However, this has not always been the case. Etymology Stemming from the Ancient Attic Greek* ὀ βάρβαρος (bar-bah-ros), the term was used in primary connection as a descriptor from the Greeks to the people east of the Aegean. The root of the term, βαρβαρ (bar-bar), was an auditory explanation of how the Greeks described the different languages of the Easterners; languages such as Old Persian, the official dialect of the Achaemenid Empire, were guttural languages** - relying on the throat to create vowels etc. rather than the primarily velar and dental language of the Greeks. Furthermore, Greek, like many languages, uses the article

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