The Barbarians Masters Swim Team caters for members who live too far from an existing club, cannot find enough people to form a club or simply prefer not to become involved in club activities and who either train alone or with a range of swimmers. They live all over Queensland.
The Barbarian members generally know each other from meets only. Despite that, they have achieved excellent results at State Championships and Interclub Meets, participating in individual swims and relays.
The idea behind the logo is to play with the name Barbarians. The use of the Celtic symbol is to reflect the history of the word. The symbol looks like a dragon; however, it can be interpreted as a water animal or a figurehead. A figurehead is an ornamental symbol or figure formerly placed on some prominent part of a ship, usually at the bow. In both cases, the symbol shows a water connection.
A modern font is used for Barbarians Masters Swim Team to counter the old Celtic element. The name is distributed over two paragraphs with a weight ratio of 2:1 to ensure the word Barbarians stands out.
For the logo background, the colour blue emphasizes the water connection further.
For those reasons, the Barbarians Master Swim Team logo has two elements, a graphic one resampling a Celtic symbol in the form of a dragon and Barbarians Masters Swim Team in the modern font.
The Celitc Symbol was designed by Arnt Erik Hedman, a tattoo artist from Norway.
The word Barbarian
The word “barbarian” originated in ancient Greece, and was initially used to describe all non-Greek-speaking peoples, including Persians, Egyptians, Medes and Phoenicians. The ancient Greek word “bárbaros,” from which it derives, meant “babbler,” and was onomatopoeic: In the Greek ear, speakers of a foreign tongue made unintelligible sounds (“bar bar bar”). Similar words exist in other Indo-European languages, including the Sanskrit “barbara,” which means “stammering.”
It was the ancient Romans, who by the original definition were barbarians themselves, who first transformed the use of the term. Late in the Roman Empire, the word “barbarian” came to refer to all foreigners who lacked Greek and Roman traditions, especially the various tribes and armies putting pressure on Rome’s borders. There was never a single united barbarian group, and many of the different tribes–including Goths, Vandals, Saxons, Huns, Picts and many more–shifted alliances over the years or fought alongside Roman forces against other barbarian armies. Later scholars would expand on this use of the word when writing about attacks on cultures considered “civilizations” (be it ancient China or ancient Rome) by external enemies who don’t share that civilization’s traditions or structure.
Today, the adjective “barbaric” is most commonly used to describe an act that is either brutal or cruel to the point of savagery or primitive and uncivilized (or all of the above) while a “barbarian” is a person who commits such acts or displays such characteristics. This more general–and explicitly negative–definition, when compared with either the Greek or Roman sense of the word, illustrates clearly just how far “barbarian” has been removed from its ancient roots.
BY SARAH PRUITT - a writer and editor based in seacoast New Hampshire. She has been a frequent contributor to History.com since 2005 and is the author of Breaking History: Vanished! (Lyons Press, 2017).