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The term "barbarian" refers to a person who is perceived to be uncultured. The word is often used either in a general reference to member of a nation or ethnos, typically a tribal society as seen by an urban civilization either viewed as inferior, or admired as a noble savage. In idiomatic or figurative usage, a "barbarian" may also be an individual reference to a brutal, cruel, warlike, insensitive person.

The term originates from the ancient Greek word βάρβαρος (barbaros). Hence the Greek idiom "πᾶς μὴ Ἕλλην βάρβαρος" (pas mē Hellēn barbaros) which literally means "whoever is not Greek is a barbarian". In ancient times, Greeks used it for the people of different cultures but also to deride other Greek tribes and states; in the early modern period and sometimes later, they used it for the Turks, in a clearly pejorative way. Comparable notions are found in non-European civilizations. In the Roman Empire, Romans used the word barbarian for the Germanics, Celts, Carthaginians, Iberians, Thracians, Persians and in some respects the Greeks themselves.


  1. The state of being barbarous; brutality
  2. A barbaric act
  3. crudity
  4. A crude act

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Barbarian" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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