“We need to push the barbarians back from the city gates.”*

*statement by Ted Forstmann on the the leveraged buyout (LBO) of RJR Nabisco.

tiaparker contributing on 2.7.05 to behindthename.com:

“Barbara has a pedigree stretching all the way by to the Homeric Proto-Greeks, who couldn’t understand their Persian (and other) neighbors. To them, many such tongues sounded like a stammering repetition of “Bar-Bar-Bar…” hence the term Barbarian for such an obviously uncivilized outlander.”

From the Nordic Names website:

“Greek βαρβαρος (barbaros) = ‘foreign’

The original meaning was ‘babbling one, person who is difficult to understand’ ”

From the website of the New World Encyclopedia:

“Saint Barbara (d. c. 306 C.E.) was a Christian saint and martyr who died at Nicomedia in today’s Turkey c. 306 C.E. Known in the Eastern Orthodox Church as Great Martyr Barbara, Barbara won particular fame for the horrifying fact that her death sentence by beheading was carried out by her own father, a wealthy pagan who had first isolated her in a tower and then denounced her to the Roman authorities when she became a Christian. Her death was attended by numerous miracles, most impressively her father being struck dead by lightning after killing her…

The legendary character of Barbara’s story, coupled with the lack of early evidence for her in the historical record, has led both Catholic and secular scholars to doubt the veracity of her life story and even her existence. There is no mention of her in the early martyrologies, and her legend appeared in Christian writings no earlier than the seventh century, a full three centuries after her supposed martyrdom. Her cult did not spread until the ninth century, and versions differ on the location of her martyrdom, which is variously given as Tuscany, Rome, Antioch, Heliopolis, and Nicomedia. Moreover, the name “Barbara” literally means “a barbarian woman,” a name which no respectable Roman citizen would give to his daughter. Scholars speculate that the name must have been already in use as a given name at the time when the story came into circulation.

Whatever the facts of her case, Barbara was removed from the Roman calendar of saints in 1969. However, she is still much venerated, both in the West and the East…”

From Wikipedia:

Barbara continues to be a popular saint in modern times, perhaps best known as the patron saint of armourers, artillerymen, military engineers, miners and others who work with explosives because of her legend’s association with lightning, and also of mathematicians.

The name of the barbiturate family of pharmaceutical drugs is believed to derive from the suggestion by an artilleryman commemorating the feast of Saint Barbara in 1864, whom the chemist Adolf von Baeyer encountered at a local tavern whilst celebrating his recent discovery of the parent compound.

Major Barbara is a play by George Bernard Shaw in which the title character is an officer in the Salvation Army and grapples with the moral dilemma of whether this Christian denomination should accept donations from her father, who is an armaments manufacturer.”

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