Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Barbarism and Its Discontents$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Maria Boletsi

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780804782760

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804782760.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM STANFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.stanford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Stanford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in SSO for personal use.date: 28 May 2020

It's All Greek to Me

It's All Greek to Me

The Barbarian in History

(p.57) 3 It's All Greek to Me
Barbarism and Its Discontents
Stanford University Press

This chapter examines how the term “barbarian” is used in Western history, focusing on a series of criteria that have determined what constitutes “civilization” in the West from Greek antiquity to the present. It outlines the complex discursive space of the barbarian in the West by linking its significations and uses in different eras to normative standards that have determined what counts as “civilized.” To that end, the chapter offers a provisional typology of what it calls “civilizational standards.” These include language, culture, morality, religion, gender, race, ethnicity, political system, class, progress, and the psyche. The chapter shows that the history of the barbarian emerges as a narrative of discontinuities, repetitions, and unexpected intersections, rather than a linear succession of significations. Finally, it considers the concepts of “humanity,” “humanism,” and the “human” that have functioned not only as criteria for defining the barbaric but also as the opposites of the barbarian and barbarism.

Keywords:   barbarism, barbarian, civilization, Western history, civilizational standards, humanity, humanism, human, barbaric, morality

Stanford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.