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The Art of "Barbarians"

Hosted by the Consul of the Athens Art for All Group
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Took place 2 months ago
Tue 02 Feb 20:00 - 21:30

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The term ''barbarian " loosely defines a broad range of peoples and art styles that existed alongside the ''civilized'' cultures of the Mediterranean, China, and the Near East. Varvaros is Greek for "foreign", but literally meant "stammering", after the itnfamilar sound of tongues other than Greek. As barbarian cultures were fundamentally non-literate, we know them primarily through the rich material culture and art they produced. The influence and exchange of ideas and art styles between "barbarian" and "civilized" cultures was a continual process. The Greeks and the Etruscans were in contact with three primary groups of "barbarians" - the Celts, Scythians, and Thracians. Modern knowledge of these cultures is largely derived from archaeological investigations, although one literary source - Herodotus, the Greek geographer and historian writing in the mid-fifth century bc -vividly describes Scythian culture. The vast Roman Empire dealt with different groups of "barbarians" that superseded the above - the later Celtic populations, the Sarmatians, and groups of Germanic-speaking peoples who had migrated from the north to southern Russia and Eastern Europe. In the late fourth century ad, Hunnic tribes from Inner Asia, the "ultimate barbarians", arrived in southern Russia. This forced the Germanic and Sarmatian populations west and initiated the historical process known as the Migration Period, which transformed the Roman Empire into medieval Europe.

Documentary and discussion