Romans and Barbarians DBQ According to the Romans nomads were considered to be barbarians, however over time Romans began to develop nomadic customs which were no longer considered barbaric but civilized. To the Romans a ‘barbarian’ was anyone who was an outsider of their land, and in that case nomads were considered to be barbaric. Nomads are known as a small group of people that don’t have a permanent settlement, and travel and migrate from place to place.
Nomadic people also had a different type of lifestyle from the Romans, for example the nomads hunted and gathered their food, and which was considered cave man like.
Before the fall of Rome the Romans were considered to be civilized people with a respectable religion and culture, and after the nomads took over it turned out to be the same thing. By reading what historians and politicians have to say it seems to me that their definition of a ‘barbarian’ is an evil, filthy, and lazy creature.
According to an unknown historian barbarians are an evil spirit possessed by the devil who do horrible acts of crime, and who also have lust and sin. This writer is also the historian that mentions about their dislike of personal hygiene, and who says, “They grease their blonde hair with butter and care not that it smells rancid. ” To another historian who goes by the name of Tacitus, he believes that the barbarian people are nothing but lazy, fat, and greedy young men who leave all of the work and labor “to the women, the old men, and all the weakest members of the family. From what these historians have written or given opinions about I see no reason to call the nomadic people barbarians, although they did have a personal hygiene problem that was their way of adapting to their environment. Although I do say that I don’t believe the nomadic people should be considered barbarians based on what historians and politicians have made of them; they did have a very strong military background, and also a thing for destroying things.
Advice given to a ‘barbarian king’ from his mother begins to state that the only way to make a name for yourself is to get out there and destroy everything in your way. She also begins to go on and says, “.. and massacre everyone you conquer. ” According to these statements I would consider these actions to be barbaric based on the fact that it sounds more like a surprise attack for war. I say this because they use the word ‘conquer’ like they are going to go over there, kill everyone and everything, and take over without any reason.
Based on what I’ve read I don’t believe that there is an honest yes or no answer to the question, “Can these nomads be called barbarians? ” According to Salvian, a Christian priest, he says, “.. almost all barbarians, at least those who are of one race and kin, love each other, while the Romans persecute each other. ” However, many of these reads go into detail about the nomadic people never sparing the people of which they conquered or went to war with, and killing them all off one by one.
As for the change over time; there was one. After the fall of Rome when the nomadic people took over around 476 CE they kept the same Roman customs, but began introducing nomadic ways of life that, over time, turned out to not be barbaric at all. Over the course of many years you will see the Romans perspective of the nomads and their culture began to change over the course of many years, and after the Fall of Rome.
In the beginning the nomadic people were not given a good name due to the way they did things and their lifestyle; which was very different from Rome. Rome was considered to be one of the most civilized and well organized civilizations that just happened to be invaded by the nomadic people, and when nomads started migrating they became the outsiders. Even though in the beginning the nomadic people were considered to be barbarians to the Romans; after the fall of Rome they had become a respectable culture among Rome’s lasting people.
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