Obdiv a kritika života barbarů v antických pramenech

Title: Obdiv a kritika života barbarů v antických pramenech
Source document: Sborník prací Filozofické fakulty brněnské univerzity. G, Řada sociálněvědná. 1997, vol. 46, iss. G39, pp. [61]-85
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Type: Article
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The ancient world was interested in the lives of foreign peoples from its earliest times (first evidence is in Homeric epics). In the study, the author concentrates, for the sake of presenting both positive and negative traits of barbarians' character, mostly on authors from the Roman Period, particularly ana lysing information from Tacitus, Justinus, Ammianus Marcellinus, Paulus Orosius, Salvianus, and Priskos. As for other than ancient sources, the so called Older Edda is used. In the ancient descriptions of the lives and characteristics of barbarians, we find both objectivity and idealisation; an admi ration of "vita primitiva", of less developed ethnic groups has always been connected with an interest in the health and well-being of an individual and society, with a critique of various social nuisances, and has many things in common with the ancient vision and idea of a "golden age". A modest and simple lifestyle was associated wi th better justice and religiousness of various peoples, with the strength, freedom and higher morals of an individual, but also harmo ny with both the natural and supernatural world orders. Though barbarians themselves gave, in the period of their decisive influence in European history, priority to the acquisition of fame and wealth, they did not leave the ideals of restraint and generosity. The sources used in this article enable the author to conclude that values such as modesty, restraint, generosity, social justice, etc. were highly valued in the Classical Era and they were credited as being important in the happy lives of individuals and the society.