- Aug 2010
- Central Macedonia
The primary function of the word "barbarian", and its cognates, is to differentiate members of one's own society from people perceived as being outside of it, and to posit that one's own culture is superior. The word barbaros in [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancient_Greek"]Ancient Greek[/ame] was an [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antonym"]antonym[/ame] for [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civis"]civis[/ame] and [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polis"]polis[/ame]. The sound of barbaros [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Onomatopoetically"]onomatopoetically[/ame] evokes the image of babbling (a person speaking a non-Greek language).
The Greeks used the term as they encountered scores of different foreign cultures, including the [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egyptians"]Egyptians[/ame], [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persian_people"]Persians[/ame], [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medes"]Medes[/ame], [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celts"]Celts[/ame], [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Germania"]Germans[/ame], [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phoenicians"]Phoenicians[/ame], [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Etruscan_civilization"]Etruscans[/ame] and [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carthage"]Carthaginians[/ame]. In fact, it became a common term to refer to all foreigners.
Most of the times it was used, it was used to describe people who are not of us.
I am not saying Macedonians were not Greek. It's obviously more complicated than that. I would call them Hellenistic instead of Hellenic. I think it's more accurate that way.
You raised the language issue. Don't you remember? I merely stated speaking Greek alone did not make them Greek.
Jesus was believed by some scholars to know some Greek.
Wikipedia makes a mistake. Although the term "barbarian" was used mainly to refer to foreigners (non-Greek people), in politics and specifically in speeches, it was often used as a derogatory adjective.
Macedonians were Greek (at least since they entered history), because archaeological evidence and historical accounts suggest so.
I don't know if Jesus spoke Greek, but Judea was heavily hellenized until 170 BCE. Then, the Maccabean revolt changed everything.