- Youths of the Pellaians and of the Macedonians and of the Hellenic Amphictiony and of the Lakedaimonians and of the Corinthians… and of all the Hellenic peoples, join your fellow-soldiers and entrust yourselves to me, so that we can move against the barbarians and liberate ourselves from the Persian bondage, for as Greeks we should not be slaves to barbarians.
- Now you fear punishment and beg for your lives, so I will let you free, if not for any other reason so that you can see the difference between a Greek king and a barbarian tyrant, so do not expect to suffer any harm from me. A king does not kill messengers.
- “Demades said that Xerxes fortified the sea with his ships, covered the land with his armies, concealed the sky with his weapons, and filled Persia with Greek prisoners. And now justly the barbarian is praised by Athenians because he took captive Greeks, but Alexander, a Greek, and leading Greeks, did not take captive those arrayed against him.[...]No one of the Greek kings went to Egypt except Alexander alone, and he went, not to make war, but to consult an oracle as to where he should found a city which would forever bear his name.[...]So Alexander was the first of the Greeks to take Egypt, and so became the first both of Greeks and of barbarians.”
- The Barbarian hopes — and that is the very mark of him — that he can have his cake and eat it too. He will consume what civilisation has slowly produced after generations of selection and effort but he will not be at pains to replace such goods nor indeed has he a comprehension of the virtue that has brought them into being. Discipline seems to him irrational, on which account he is for ever marvelling that civilisation should have offended him with priests and soldiers.
- In a word, the Barbarian is discoverable everywhere in this that he cannot make; that he can befog or destroy, but that he cannot sustain; and of every Barbarian in the decline or peril of every civilisation exactly that has been true.
We sit by and watch the Barbarian, we tolerate him; in the long stretches of peace we are not afraid.
We are tickled by his irreverence, his comic inversion of our old certitudes and our fixed creeds refreshes us: we laugh. But as we laugh we are watched by large and awful faces from beyond: and on these faces there is no smile.
- Hilaire Belloc. This and That and the Other (1912), Ch. XXXII : The Barbarians , p. 282
- What are we waiting for, assembled in the forum?
The barbarians are due here today.
- Why have our two consuls and praetors come out today
wearing their embroidered, their scarlet togas?
Why have they put on bracelets with so many amethysts,
rings sparkling with magnificent emeralds?
Why are they carrying elegant canes
beautifully worked in silver and gold?
Because the barbarians are coming today
and things like that dazzle the barbarians.
- Why this sudden bewilderment, this confusion?
(How serious people's faces have become.)
Why are the streets and squares emptying so rapidly,
everyone going home lost in thought?
Because night has fallen and the barbarians haven't come.
And some of our men who have just returned from the border say
there are no barbarians any longer.
Now what's going to happen to us without barbarians?
Those people were a kind of solution.
- The true barbarian is he who thinks every thing barbarous but his own tastes and prejudices.
- William Hazlitt, in Characteristics, in the manner of Rochefoucauld's Maxims (1823)