European Barbarians

Essay by papawegUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, March 2003

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The European Barbarians

Even though when we hear the word barbarian, we tend to envision a people with clubs, and hatchets of enormous size that would pillage the surrounding country and all that lived therein. Some of that may be true, but there was much more to it than that. Some of the main features of the barbarian lifestyle were farming, metalworking, and warfare. The thing that surprised me the most was how the barbarian lifestyle changed to become civilized by conforming those that it conquered.

Throughout the region of Europe, there have been discoveries that would seem quite surprising to many people that would imagine what barbarians may have been like. For instance, around and under the landmark open-air monument known to the world as Stonehenge, traces of furrows in the soil indicating the use of plows has been found. It had been originally thought that the use of hoes had been the primary tool for farming of that day, but this discovery showed the use of innovation and tool usage.

In the way of metalworking, there have been found gravesites found that show what would typically happen when a barbarian would die. Firstly, his horse would be buried with him, along with his chariot, his bronze or iron, depending on the time period of death, swords, daggers, or other weapons, along with his gold and silver drinking cups so he could continue riding, fighting, and drinking as a comrade of the gods throughout eternity. All of these items would indicate the ability to have learned the skills and ability of metalworking.

Even though the barbarians were a farming and nomadic group, they were also regarded, and probably most remembered for being skilled warriors. Their ability to take the horse from being a source of meat, to a highly...