Random Posts

Supported by Seowaps
When we say that a person is barbaric we are trying to instill in her the sense that it is not civilized. But after all of which comes from this meaning?


The barbarous word is a descendant of the Greek term, actually means "one who is not Greek." So it was a form of Greek civilization appoint foreigners in addition to those whose linguistic basis was not Greek. The beginning of the use of this term was given in reference to the Persians, whose language culturalmeant that the Greeks understood as "bar-bar-bar".

However, the term barbarian will be widely known because of its characterization theGermanic peoples . The civilization of the Roman Empire in the years after the birth of Christ, gave this name to those who did not live within the borders of the Empire, and of course, not to speak Latin - Roman official language.Among the so-called barbarians , are: theFranks , the Lombards, the Huns, the Visigoths, the Vikings and the Ostrogoths.
These people hadcultures different, ie, each had its basecultural own. With this, the Romans began to use the term barbarian . We may recall that this concept had a derogatory character, or was used to stop those who do not belong to the culture Roman. This course of action has features in ethnocentrism.

Who were the barbarians?

People like the Huns, Franks and Lombards were polytheists - believe in many gods - lived on agriculture and had their different cultural habits of the Romans. The main god was Odin, god of wind and war. They believed in a life after death, where warriors would enjoy paradise after his death.

Social organization:

The social organization of the barbarians was distinct from Roman. It was based on a clan formed by families linked by kinship, where each protected the other, where the offense to any member was an offense to the group. As there was no state, the decision of theinstitution was the Warriors' meeting, whose purpose was to decide all questions, including who would be the ruler. After the decision, the official decided his bodyguard who swore allegiance to him in case of an attack and, in turn, won prizes and rewards - like land and wealth of other peoples.

Fall of the Roman Empire

The barbarians were one of the causes of the fall of the Roman Empire. The weakening of this political system was given by the barbarian invasions. Those that took place in two waves: the first with his penetration and assimilation of culture Roman peacefully, many of them received land pieces and were welcomed causing the culture Roman was "merged" with the culture of the variousbarbarian s . The second wave took place across the borders of the Roman Empire, whose flow of people was very large, strengthening the occupation of the Roman lands.
Several aspects of cultures barbarous focused heavily around the scene, later, of theMiddle Ages . His art and culture influenced many aspects, especially those that concern the architecture and religion.
Atilla the hun
Atilla the hun

The Huns:

Finally, it is valid to emphasize the Huns, whose people were, among all, the most violent and worshipers wars. In fact, they were nomads - had no fixed abode and live touring various places - and very good at raising horses. They live in their carts, and some tents as lay where they were. Your source of income was the looting to other populations and villages, so the war was essential. His presence in the region caused fear, for they were extremely violent and cruel to enemies.Its main leader was Attila the Hun leader responsible for many achievements and battles won.
In America, the organization of more complex societies, like the Aztecs, Mayas and Incas , did not occur while the Near East or Europe. In fact, the historical process is never the same in all societies.
Even the American continent shows evidence of this statement. In America, for centuries, they lived (and still live) many people with very different historical realities: nomadic peoples of primitive culture, as many North American tribes, the Eskimos (Alaska), the Yanomamiand the Xavante (Brazil), who lived (some still live) basically hunting and gathering, the Tupi-Guarani (South America), pueblos (North America) and the Arawaks (Central America), sedentary and agricultural; and finally the people of more complex cultures - Mayans, Incas and Aztecs.

the Aztecs


The influence of the Olmecs among the Aztecs was very large, especially because they lived in different times, basically in the same region.After the Olmec hegemony, the region has suffered several invasions of people coming from North America.

The first settlers coming from the north, the Nahua region (linguistic family of Nahuatl), built between 500 and 600 AD, based on Olmec traditions, a great city, Teotihuacán, with gigantic pyramids honoring the sun, the moon and its greatest god , Quetzalcoatl. In this urban center developed a company over which, unfortunately, we have little information.
The Toltecs, one of the Nahua tribes of the north, arrived in Central America between 850 and 900 AD, and may have been subjected to the priests of Teotihuacan, as continued the construction and maintenance of this great city. Because of the enormity of their buildings, many people believed that it was built by giants, before the arrival of men in the region.They organized a strong state and a rich civilization which, after internal disputes, foreign wars and invasions came to an end in 1194 AD
    Aztec calendar
                                 Aztec calendar

The Mexica people, known as Aztec, originates from Aztlán region (hence the Aztec word) in the south of North America. He settled in the Mexican plateau (specifically in Lake Texcoco Islands), along with other people, after a long march, in 1168 AD In the year 1325 they began to build their city, Tenochtitlan, which in the fifteenth century would be one of the largest cities in the world.

Political Organization - The formation of the Aztec Empire

The formation of the Aztec Empire was based on the alliance of three major cities, Texcoco, Tlacopan and the capital, Tenochtitlan, extending his power throughout the region.Political relations established between them and the regions they controlled are still not very clear. However, it can be said that it was not a strictly centralized structure, as would occur among the Incas.
In Aztec confederation lived many communities with languages, different customs and cultures (Zapotec, Mixtec, Totonaca, etc.) The drive between them gave up around religious aspects and mainly through military centralization of the Aztecs and tax collection in Tenochtitlan. The various provinces of the region, in addition to taxes, they should provide military contingents and to submit to the capital of the courts.
The Aztec Empire reached its apogee between 1440 and 1520, when it was completely destroyed by Spanish colonizers led by Cortés.After several colonizing raids in August 1521 the Aztec Empire was entirely conquered.Several reasons led to the Aztec defeat the former is properly military: the war, for the Aztecs, was aimed at the political and military domination, for the Spanish war was conquest and extermination. Also military strategies and, especially, the military arms of the settlers were far more advanced. Another important reason was the proliferation of various diseases and epidemics among the Aztecs (the strongest was smallpox). An additional fact that contributed to the Aztec defeat was the alliance between some people of the region (tlaxcaltecas, totonecas, etc.) and the Spanish.The immediate intention of these people was to defeat the hegemony of the Aztecs in the region, and the Spanish were strong allies to achieve that goal. However, they could not predict what would happen to them after the Aztec defeat, with the consolidation of European colonization.

Aztec economy

The support of the Empire economy was just based on the payment of taxes on goods. Non-destruction of the subject cities and local government concerning maintenance is included in this collection of taxes logic, which varied widely. It is estimated that at the end of the empire, Tenochtitlan received tons of corn, beans, cocoa, dried chili; hundreds of liters of honey, thousands of cotton bales, textile manufacturing, ceramics, weapons, as well as animals, birds, perfumes, paper, etc.
Agricultural production was based mainly on cereals, especially maize, in fact, was the staple diet of pre-Columbian civilizations. It is likely that these companies would not have developed without the corn, because he fed them and enabled the growth of their populations.
The ownership of the land had a very interesting feature: the Aztec state owned all the land and distributed to temples, cities and neighborhoods (calpulli). Already in cities and neighborhoods, land holding had a collective character, every adult had the right to cultivate a piece of land to survive and duty to work it. In the final phase of the Empire, this relationship was changing, as priests, merchants and military chiefs desobrigaram to work on the ground, creating a form of social differentiation.

Aztec society

It can be a society founded on religious aspects and war, those who held more power were the priests, followed by military leaders and senior officials of the Empire. The senior military officials and the state received the name tecuhtli (dignitary), were chosen by the sovereign and had a number of privileges (not paid taxes and lived in large households).
Below were the calpullec, species administrators of districts (calpulli). Initially they were chosen by the inhabitants of the districts, but over time came to be appointed by the sovereign.
Foreign trade was done by powerful corporations of traders, pochteca. The luxury trade between the cities was monopolized by them. Because of the rapid enrichment of this sector of society, he was gradually gaining power and distinction.
Most craftsmen worked linked to a master (tecuhtli), and many held workshops in palaces and temples. The tax was paid on items of their specialty and were not bound by collective work.
Most of the population was among the macehualli who were free men with the right to cultivate a piece of land for their survival, although they should obligations to pay taxes on goods (the largest source of revenue), military service and work collective (build, maintain and clean roads, bridges and temples).
The tlatlacotin formed the lowest social stratum, generally composed of prisoners of war, convicts, outcasts. In exchange for food, shelter and work, they were linked to a master.That did not mean they were slaves because they could become free and owning property.

Religion and culture of the Aztecs

The Aztecs were considered the most religious people of the region. Their religion was essentially astral, that is, based on the stars, and were absorbing gods and rites of the most important was Uitzlopochtli, representing the sun at noon.
Myths and Aztec rites were very rich and varied, and were related to nature. The most important cults always involved the Sun were very common ritual human sacrifices.; war, therefore, was a major supplier of prisoners for sacrifice. Generally the whole community energy was channeled to ritualistic activities, carried out with a enactments and procedures minunciosos series.
The artistic activities of the Aztecs were very influenced by the Olmec and Toltec traditions.The sculpture in jade and large buildings are clear examples of these influences. The architecture was linked to religious life, the form most often used was the pyramid with stairways, culminating in a sanctuary at the top.
Pyramid built in the Mayan Empire
Pyramid built in the Mayan Empire
The colorful frescoes and murals were also prominent among the Aztecs arts. The scribe sported the painter title because the hieroglyphs were accompanied by a series of carefully designed frames.
Music and poetry were closely linked. Almost always accompanied by instruments, dances and performances, the music had a religious character.
Unfortunately, the violence of the Spanish colonization ended up destroying much of this rich production.

the Maya


Before the Mayans radicassem in some regions of Central America, there were no indigenous peoples, as Otomies and otoncas.Coming from North America, after decades wandering through Central America, the Mayans settled in Yucatan and nearby areas, around 900. C. The production of corn and the influence of the Olmec were important myth for its development
The area occupied by the Maya can be divided into two regions. The highlands (area covered today by El Salvador and Guatemala) was facing the Pacific and, despite having good natural conditions, did not have much importance for the construction of the Mayan civilization.
It is common to divide the process of construction of the Mayan civilization in the first phase (317-987) and a second phase (987-1697). The first phase would be started in 317 AD This date, in fact, has reference to the oldest Mayan object found to date. It is known that this civilization existed before 317, but does not yet have accurate information about this period.

Maya society

The company began to develop, especially in three towns: Chichen Itza, Uxmal and Mayapan. In 1004 it was created the Confederation Maia, which brought together these three major cities. Dozens of cities and villages are created over the next two hundred years, expanding its political power in the region. After the union period (between centuries X and XI), the Confederation cities clash, Mayapan being victorious. The political hegemony of this city was supported by a strong warrior base. Numerous revolts explode in the region, and in 1441 Mayapan is burned;Big cities are abandoned because of the wars.
Infighting, natural disasters (earthquakes, epidemics, etc.), foreign wars and especially the decline of agriculture led to Mayan society to decay. Auando Europeans arrived in the region (1559), the Mayas were evident signs of weakening, making winning easier. In 1697, the last Mayan city (Tayasal) is conquered and destroyed by the colonizers.
Each city had a supreme leader (halach uinc), and the post was hereditary.
The peasants and artisans made up the majority of the population (mazehualob) were required to pay taxes, to work in the great works and lived in the most remote districts of the centers. The slaves, usually by conquest served a lord, but did not work in production

Religion of the Maya

The Mayan society had a strongly religious character; religion gave legitimacy to power, which was exercised primarily by some families.
The Ahaucan (Lord of the serpent) is the high priest. It indicates the other priests, governing ceremonies, receives taxes and decides on the things of the state. There were also priests with specific functions, such as fortune tellers, in charge of human sacrifices, the scribes, etc.

The organization of the State

The Maya did not come to organize a strong and powerful centralized state.
In fact, the major Mayan cities controlled the villages and surrounding lands. There was no power or institution that unify. They had economic and political autonomy, and were generally governed by families.
There were periods when the unit was established between some cities, such as during the Confederation Maia. However, the rule was the independence and the struggle between cities for new lands, taxes, raw materials, etc.

Mayan economy

The economy of the Maya was based on agriculture. The technology employed in agricultural activities was fairly primitive.However, they managed an extraordinary productivity, especially corn. It is precisely because of this maize production, generating surplus, a large contingent of skilled labor could be released from agricultural activities for the construction of temples, pyramids, water reservoirs, etc.
The little fertile land of the region forced the Maya to carry out a rotation that usually kept the good land for eight to ten years. After this period it was necessary to look for new land, more distant villages and towns. The exhaustion of land, increasing distances between them and the cities and increasing population imposed the Mayan civilization a harsh reality. Hunger, one of the factors that led to the decline.

Mayan culture

The Mayas knowledge of astronomy were really advanced, and their observatories, well-equipped. They could predict eclipses and developed a 365-day calendar. For the development of astronomy, mathematics was a key element, there have accumulated knowledge in this area.
The medical profession and the pharmaceutical were also well developed, which was recognized even by the settlers.
The plays, poems, chronicles, the songs had one literary-religious evident function.
But the architecture and engineering represent the areas of knowledge more developed by the Maya. His great religious centers, pyramids, cities with multi-storey buildings, irrigation channels and water tanks astonish the European conquerors.

the Incas


The Incan people originates from a region between Lake Titicaca and the city of Cuzco, Peru. From there the Incas expanded over an area covering from southern Colombia through Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and northern Argentina, to the south of Chile. This Empire came to gather about 15 million people, people with different languages, customs and cultures.
Before the construction of the Incan Empire lived in this region people with cultures and advanced social formations, which is usually called pre-Incan. They were distributed throughout the east coast of the South American continent, in the mountains and in the Andean highlands; the chavin lived in the Peruvian mountains; the manabi at the equator coast; the Chimu, in northern Peru; and then there were the Chincha, Mochica, Nazca, and others.
Perhaps great demonstration of the development of these pre-Incan people is Tiahuanaco. If was a great ceremonial center (today its ruins are about 100 km of La Paz, capital of Bolivia) that periodically received thousands of people a year. It is estimated that this civilization that seems to have been influenced by the Chavin, established If the area around the tenth century d. W.

The political organization of the Incas

The Inca Empire absorbed the different cultures of pre-existing civilizations, putting them at the service of the expansion and maintenance of empire. The victory over the chancas, in 1438 d. C., led by the Inca Yupanqui, marked the beginning of the formation of the Empire. He took almost all Peru, even to the border of Ecuador. His successors expanded the empire to the Bolivian altiplano, northern Argentina, Chile (Tope Inca) and Ecuador, to the south of Colombia (Huayna Capac, 1493-1528).
The expansion was halted due to the dispute between two brothers, sons of Huayna: Huascar, who centered his empire in Cuzco and Atahualpa, based in Quito. The rivalry between the brothers led hi Empire to a civil war, weakening º The Atahualpa's victory brought him no advantage, because with it came the settlers, led by Pizarro, who destroyed all the Inca Empire.
To control his empire the Inca state maintained a constant population census, a key tool for the census was the khipu, a kind of elaborate manual calculator made of colored strings and knots. Who performed the survey and reading were the officials called quipucamayucus.
This vast Inca empire, controlled by the state, needed an infrastructure that would allow the movement of staff, messengers, taxes, population, armies, etc. For that to happen, it was built an amazing network of bridges and roads Lajeados. Along these paths there were dairy farms, small buildings containing food and water, serving as accommodation for travelers.

Inca society

The Inca imperial state was able to tightly control everything that was in its vast territory.The head of this state was the Inca, an emperor with hereditary powers sacred, revered by all.
The Inca side had a network of priests, chosen by him among the nobility.
To maintain the integrity Empire, created a complex administrative and military bureaucracy. Administrative positions were distributed among members of the nobility and ended up getting heredity. The Empire warrior character favored training and military education. As bureaucrats, this privileged layer was maintained thanks to the taxes collected by the state.
The peasants, called llactaruna, in exchange for the right to work in ayllus, were forced to cultivate the lands of the Inca and curacas and pay taxes on goods. In addition, the state forced them to work in public works, like the pyramids, roads, bridges, irrigation channels and terraces.
There were also skilled craftsmen, considered artists (painters, sculptors, potters, weavers, goldsmiths, etc.), and the healers and sorcerers (surgeons, pharmacists, medicinal plants connoisseurs, etc.).
The yanaconas originating in the uprising in the city of Yanacu were slaves. Sometimes a conquered people also became slave. They did not work in production, and its functions were essentially domestic.

Inca economy

The base of the Inca economy was the ayllu, kind of agrarian community. All land belonged to the Inca Empire, so the State. Through the extensive network of employees, these lands were donated to farmers for their survival. The members of each ayllu should, in turn, work on the lands of the state and officials, public works and pay taxes.
The base of the corn crop production was followed by potato, tomato, squash, peanuts, etc. In the highest areas and difficulties in obtaining water, the corn had to be planted on the terraces made on the slopes of the Sierras with irrigation canals.
Domestication of llamas, vicunas and alpacas was important for the supply of wool, leather and transportation. The dogs of the woods and pigs had secondary importance.
Trade was very poor and was restricted basically to luxury goods for the court.

Religion of the Incas

There was a network of priests, chosen from the nobility. His duties ranged from the maintenance of temples, performing sacrifices, divinations, miracle cures, to witchcraft and oracles. The vast majority of cults and religious ceremonies of the Inca was in honor of the sun. The priests also had the function of teaching and spreading, with official historians, myths, legends and stories about the Inca.Interestingly, there was a religion for the nobility and other disseminated among the poorest.

Incan culture

Remembering what has been said, the Inca state was used the numerous achievements of the pre-Incan civilizations to control and maintain their empire.
They made a Abancado use of mathematics, even knew zero; They knew very well astronomy, for the Sun represented the most important god, can predict eclipses and make calendars; They used standardized weights and measures.
The work of the Incas in gold manufacture,silver and copper amazed the Spanish. In addition, they produced pottery, colored fabrics, sculptures and paintings.

Machu Pichu
Machu Pichu
Perhaps the greatest Incan productions are related to the architecture and engineering.Through them it was possible to build pyramids, palaces, bridges and roads; cities like Cuzco and Machu Pichu, which gathered thousands of people and maintained a rich urban order. And the famous terraces irrigated in the hills and mountains for agricultural production.


We concluded that when Columbus arrived in America in 1492, found the inhabited continent long ago by various civilizations and peoples.The pre-Columbian peoples had different stages of cultural development and material, classified in societies collectors / hunters and agrarian societies. In this second group, three cultures deserve greater emphasis: the Mayas, the Aztecs and the Incas. Achieved remarkable knowledge of astronomy and mathematics, in addition to master complex construction techniques, metallurgy and ceramics. They developed different farming techniques. While the end of the Mayan culture is to this day a mystery, we know that the Aztecs and Incas people declined before the Spanish conquest.


  • General History Integrated and Brazil - Path of civilizations. Author: José Geraldo Moraes da Vinci. Publishing company:. Current - SP 1998