Barbaric People

As described in the Herodotus readings, the use of the word “barbaric” is mostly used to describe someone or something as being different and sometimes even out of place. In the articles, “Decolonizing Judaism: Barbarism and the Return to Nativism” by Kevin Whelan and “Barbarian Virtues” by Samuel Moyn these articles also describe either someone or something being considered irrational or unsophisticated to others.

In the article, “Decolonizing Judaism: Barbarism and the Return to Nativism” by Kevin Whelan, Whelan discusses the political divides, contemporary social divisions, and political action of the Irish community. Within his article, Whelan states that the Irish are being treated as the “other”. Whelans most probable target audience would have been bothe the Irish and the English. However the argument would sympathize toward the Irish and how they were being poorly treated, while the English would be under the lens of being the ones who would judge and discriminate against the Irish because of their beliefs and customs. For example, when Whelan states, “If Enlightenment were refused, Ireland was placed outside the pale of modern civilized society, thereby consigning it once more to the realm of the irrational, barbaric, and superstitious.” This quote explains how the Irish were being forced to follow the ways and customs of the English in order to not be seen as different or strange.

In the article “Barbarian Virtues” by Samuel Moyn, Moyn also describes how regular people are being seen as being the “other”. In his article, Moyn describes how James C. Scott the author of Against the Grain: A Deep History of the Earliest States, explains that people who do not follow his diet of being paleo, which is eliminating wheat out of one’s diet, are considered barbaric. Moyns point throughout the article isn’t to criticize Scott, but to criticize how people nowadays are too eager to follow all the new trends in order to not be seen as being strange or weird. Myon states,“… accusing civilization of evil, extolling “barbarian” virtues, and telling his readers that they have had the bad luck to be born amidst the moral ruins, mesmerized by the distracting grandeur of the states that enslave them”. This quote shows to prove how Myon believes that people should not be on top of all the new trends just to be considered “acceptable” to others.

Both of these articles are similar to the way that Herodotus described barbarians in his works. In Herodotus Histories, Herodotus described Croesus as being the “other”. Herodotus explains that Croesus “.. was the first of the barbarians who had dealings with the Greeks, forcing some of them to become his tributaries, and entering into alliance with others”. This is similar to the other two articles because they all describe how someone would be considered barbaric just because they do not fit into someone’s view of an ideal person.
Works Cited

Hochberg, Gil and Shir Alon. “Decolonizing Judaism: Barbarism and the Return to Nativism.” Boundary 2, vol. 44, no. 4, Nov. 2017, pp. 179-194. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1215/01903659-4206385.

MOYN, SAMUEL. “Barbarian Virtues.” Nation, vol. 305, no. 10, 23 Oct. 2017, pp. 27-32. EBSCOhost,

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