I think the word “barbarian” in “Barbarians of The Steppes” is used to entice the audience rather than to be derogatory. Actually people use it so randomly and so carelessly that rarely anybody has faith in it anymore. Whenever somebody is called a barbarian, one begins to think that this person may just be exotic or unconventional. I myself is at least a quarter Mongolian and I have always been interested in my ancestors–it doesn’t matter how they are labeled or stereotyped.
I didn’t think I would like this series of lectures, but it turns out exhilarating even though Professor Harl didn’t make any attempt to make his lectures more entertaining. He didn’t need to since the history supplies so much interesting material that I am hooked. For example, the Italian Princess Honoria pleaded with Attila the Hun to come to rescue her. That’s so funny and so much against the common imagination of women fleeing from such a savage.