Invading Barbarians

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Date Submitted: 09/26/2012 12:00 PM

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Invading Barbarians

When one hears the name barbarians many different things come to mind, most commonly a large viking with lots of hair and an evil look in his eye. This could be considered accurate since the word barbarian originated in Greece, meaning non Greek, and would definitely apply to the non Greek vikings. In truth the term barbarians would apply to a large variety of people from the western Celts or Franks to the eastern Huns and Magyars. All of these groups invaded the Roman empire and were considered to be barbarians, yet the most infamous and maybe most hated by the romans, were the barbarians from around the area we today call Germany.

Physically the Romans describe the Germanic tribes as red haired, blue eyed and very large. This is definitely accurate for some of the Germans but not all of them. The Roman population also lumped together these people to be basically anyone with caucasian skin that is from above the northern reaches of their empire. This would include Swedes, Danes or maybe even Celts who were not themselves from Germany. Lumping all of these groups together seems to stop as the centuries go by and they learned more about the different groups of people inhabiting these lands. Almost all of these men are seen as very fierce and quick to battle, yet some are seen as less aggressive. The Chauci tribe and the northern tribe of Sweden are both viewed as less violent than there counterparts located close by. They also describe these people as being very strong and having a ‚Äúthreatening countenance‚ÄĚ, which lends to the fear they instill. They are grouped differently by the region they come from or there eagerness for war. Some of these descriptions, such as the physical ones, are on the most part accurate but saying that an entire race of people is all the same and always wants war is incorrect. They are applying what little they encounter to the entirety of the race and assuming these people are all veracious killers and lacking...