Well, this is quite possibly the greatest example I've ever seen. A scholarly, thoughtful, well-written article that tries to define Conan the Barbarian's ethnicity... judged purely upon the films. Absolutely no references to Robert E. Howard, or even the comics. The author assumes that none of those things exist, and uses only the films as a guide--and he still gets stuff wrong.
It's a thing of beauty, and not just because of the Howard mistakes.
Before we go in let's check out the word "barbarian". I've seen a couple of places say that the term comes from a Greek word "barbaros" that means "babbling" or "stammering" suggesting the term denotes someone speaking a foreign language or that it comes from the Latin word "barbarus" meaning "curly haired". However, I've learned that "barbarian" actually derived from Romans referring to Berber people.
An interesting proposal, except he has it backwards. The term Berber is, in fact, the Arab derivation of the Roman word barbarus, itself the latin derivation of Greek barbaros. Oh, but how can we possibly know this? Because both those terms appear in literature long before "Berber," among other things. The Greeks referred to the Berbers as Libyans or Mazyes. The Romans had their own names, as did the Numidians and Carthaginians and what have you. The first explanation is thus the generally accepted one. I have never heard the proposal that barbarian, or barbaros for that matter, is taken from the Berbers.
Berber people are from North Africa, west of the Nile Valley, namely Morocco and Algeria. So, essentially barbarian means Original man.
... Wait, what? We must have skipped a couple of steps here. How did we get from "Berber" to "Barbarian" to "Original Man"?
Okay, now the negative connotation attached to barbarian is that they are of a savage, primitive culture, often likened to upper echelon cavemen so to speak. As usual, this is a "pin" added by destroy culture, because if barbarian comes from Berber, which are the Moors-that means they were highly civilized and actually responsible for the civilization of Europe itself.
Except your initial concept has it all backwards, seeing as "Berber" is considered a derivation of "barbarian", not the reverse. Also, it's simplistic to call the Moors "Berber", since there were a great number of ethnic groups under the umbrella term, ranging from Arabs, native North Africans, and even Sub-Saharan Africans, as well as Berbers. It's like calling all Scottish people "Gaels:" in reality we (as in the modern Scots, not the Dal Riadans or what have you) have Norse, Pictish and Brythonic blood making up our fine little nation.
With that said, it is a historical fact that destroy culture steals credit for other's accomplishments, then attributing their own shortcomings upon those from which they have stolen from. This scenario is no different. it's like when Aristotle and Plato learned from Kemet, then when they returned to Greece with new information on philosophy they were persecuted as heretics. Yet, today they are heralded as the "fathers of philosophy".
Urm... yeah, ok. So Aristotle learned everything he knew from Kemet (Egypt) despite never actually visiting the place? Gonna have to show your work here, chief.
The oldest practices and information is the closest to the truth, for in the scope of recorded time, it was established at a point closer to the source from which all things came.
... I really can't say anything to that. Really. Words fail me.
Moving right along, thinking back to the movie Conan The Barbarian, Arnold was bronzed/tanned up something vicious while playing that role. Granted, he was used to tanning extra because of his body building competitions, yet, considering what barbarian means I see why he was made up to be darker.
It's here that I thought "Crom almighty, he's going to call Conan a Berber." Well...
Now, Conan's story was he was a slave child that rose up to overthrow the tyrant who destroyed his tribe (sound like anybody you know?)
If he's thinking of who I think he's thinking of, I really don't want to answer that question.
Conan was a Cimmerian. Now, some of y'all might have heard of Sumeria. Which is one of the original names for that region of the world that is now Iraq/Iran. This is also the place where some say the "Garden of Eden" would have been geographically located. Now, I could go to the Supreme Alphabet to examine why the Savior U of Sumeria would be replaced with the Cee I in Cimmeria, yet I'll leave that alone. So, here we are with at three different points suggesting Conan's ethnicity. Off top, original people are gonna have an identification with Conan on a sub-psychic level(and I'm sure even deeper) because of these reasons.
The "pin" is cleverly placed as Arnold's role is the protagonist (white man) representing the right and just aspects of us/Berber/original people, while doing battle against the tyrant played by James Earl Jones(an actual black man), who's into kidnapping, enslavement and sorcery (FYI-all ancient original sciences were considered black magic and sorcery)-he even transforms into a monster during their final battle.
So, this "pin"- is that our actual physical image is associated with a bunch of things that are deemed "undesirable"-causing us to subconsciously despise certain aspects of your self(physical image, original science, etc), while seeking mental association with their physical image (replacing the hero of YOUR story, with them, instead of yourself), as well as vilifying self simultaneously. Internal conflict cubed. Of course, all of these dots connected due to a tangent regarding a completely different conversational topic. I'm making it a point to see the movie again , so that I can do the knowledge to what else is in there. Until the next one. Peace
There it is, ladies and gentlemen! This is the motherlode. Conan the Sumerian = Conan the Berber = Conan The Original Man.
All without realizing that Conan was a Cimmerian, a fictional people designed by Howard to be the ancestors of the Irish and Scottish Gaels. Which he would discover if he did a simple Google search.
Hell, he doesn't even seem that up to scratch on Conan the Barbarian, since he thinks Fool's Doom "transforms into a monster during their final battle." What? When did that happen? Is he mixing it up with Conan the Destroyer, where the statue of Dagoth turns into a monster?
well that's certainly full of false etymological connections and no mistake..ReplyDelete
I just looked over some of the other entries on that blog.ReplyDelete
To be honest, the guy seems to have a lot of personal issues and serious hang-ups with authority and society. He seems to base a lot of his opinion on half-arsed racial stereotyping and propaganda.
Looking at the rest of his posts I would hardly consider him "scholarly". For a start off, his spelling is terrible, he repeatedly refers to his male child as a "sun".
It is an unfortunate article that does not help the REH cause, but I am sure that anyone reading the blog will soon dismiss it for what it is, utter nonsense!
Certainly plenty of errors, etymological and otherwise.ReplyDelete
David, perhaps the sarcasm ladled over "scholarly, thoughtful, well-written" wasn't quite thick enough, since I don't think anyone could seriously consider it any of those things.
At the very least, the fact he fudges basic Conan the Barbarian stuff (the Doom nonsense) means nobody could possibly take it seriously. I hope. So much.
His lingo suggests he's a member of the Nations of Gods and Earths, a group that branched off from Elijah Muhammad's Nation of Islam, by a man who Nations of Gods and Earths members (aka 5 Percenters) call Father Allah, whose main doctrines revolve around the Black Man being God of his own Universe, Allah, and the white man being the devil, and analysis of things based largely on the "Sacred Alphabet" and "Sacred Mathematics".ReplyDelete