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horrid huns Options
justina bandol
Posted: Saturday, April 01, 2017 10:19:06 AM
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Hello everyone!

Does anybody know what the origin of this phrase (horrid huns) is?
thar
Posted: Saturday, April 01, 2017 10:37:23 AM

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What's the context?

Sounds like a Horrible Histories - that is just simple alliteration.



Even if it is from another source, it is still just alliteration. The Huns have had a had name ever since they almost invaded Western Europe (they had to go home for a funeralWhistle ). They did force other peoples west, collapsing the western Roman Empire! That ticked influential people right off Whistle



Харбин Хэйлунцзян 1
Posted: Saturday, April 01, 2017 11:08:37 AM

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thar wrote:
What's the context?

This is the earliest in Google Books:

Lewell Pastures, Volumes 1-2, by Rosa Mackenzie Kettle, 1854

Quote:
Attila, or some of those horrid Huns must have been very like you; and I dare say the Roman ladies fell deucedly in love with the savage-looking brutes.

Pope Leo must have called them horrid Huns so there must be the original Latin phrase.
thar
Posted: Saturday, April 01, 2017 11:35:51 AM

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Hunni horridi ?



Latin for savage Han Whistle
justina bandol
Posted: Saturday, April 01, 2017 12:06:25 PM
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Well, it's curious, but it was applied to the Germans (more specifically, if I understand it right, to the Prussians or maybe Prussian military). I thought it was a common phrase, but it seems it isn't.

I was wondering how it had come that they were associated with the Huns.
thar
Posted: Saturday, April 01, 2017 12:23:20 PM

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Huns originally meant the Asiatic tribes that threatened Eastern Europe. They became known for savagery (by totally unbiased opponents, of courseWhistle )


Only much later was that name applied to Germans, in the First and Second World Wars.


It was never meant as an ethnic description. It was an insult, like Boche, Jerry.

'Hun' was associated with vicious attrocities, as reported (and boasted of) by the German army (coincidentally) in China earlier in the 1900s. It was the German Emperor who likened his army to Huns - an unstoppable, completely ruthless army. That was the image they liked to portray of themselves, but it was taken up as a derogatory term by their opponents.

I don't know if the fact that that Austro-Hungary was the enemy had any influence on the name catching on, even though the troops it applied to were German.


Kaiser Wilhelm II, 1900 (ish)

Quote:
Should you encounter the enemy, he will be defeated! No quarter will be given! Prisoners will not be taken! Whoever falls into your hands is forfeited. Just as a thousand years ago the Huns under their King Attila made a name for themselves, one that even today makes them seem mighty in history and legend, may the name German be affirmed by you in such a way in China that no Chinese will ever again dare to look cross-eyed at a German.



Yuck!

Ah, here is a proper reference:

Quote:
Wilhelm II: "Hun Speech" (1900)

Wilhelm II delivered this speech in Bremerhaven on July 27, 1900. He was addressing German troops who were departing to suppress the Boxer rebellion in China. The speech is infused by Wilhelm's fiery and chauvinistic rhetoric and clearly expresses his vision of German imperial power. There were two versions of the speech. The Foreign Office issued an edited version, making sure to omit one particularly incendiary paragraph that they regarded as diplomatically embarrassing. The “official” version of the speech appears here, but the troubling passage has been added at the end.



Bremerhaven, July 27, 1900
“Great overseas tasks have fallen to the new German Empire, tasks far greater than many of my countrymen expected. The German Empire has, by its very character, the obligation to assist its citizens if they are being set upon in foreign lands. The tasks that the old Roman Empire of the German nation was unable to accomplish, the new German Empire is in a position to fulfill. The means that make this possible is our army.

It has been built up during thirty years of faithful, peaceful labor, following the principles of my blessed grandfather. You, too, have received your training in accordance with these principles, and by putting them to the test before the enemy, you should see whether they have proved their worth in you. Your comrades in the navy have already passed this test; they have shown that the principles of your training are sound, and I am also proud of the praise that your comrades have earned over there from foreign leaders. It is up to you to emulate them.

A great task awaits you: you are to revenge the grievous injustice that has been done. The Chinese have overturned the law of nations; they have mocked the sacredness of the envoy, the duties of hospitality in a way unheard of in world history. It is all the more outrageous that this crime has been committed by a nation that takes pride in its ancient culture. Show the old Prussian virtue. Present yourselves as Christians in the cheerful endurance of suffering. May honor and glory follow your banners and arms. Give the whole world an example of manliness and discipline.

You know full well that you are to fight against a cunning, brave, well-armed, and cruel enemy. When you encounter him, know this: no quarter will be given. Prisoners will not be taken. Exercise your arms such that for a thousand years no Chinese will dare to look cross-eyed at a German. Maintain discipline. May God’s blessing be with you, the prayers of an entire nation and my good wishes go with you, each and every one. Open the way to civilization once and for all! Now you may depart! Farewell, comrades!”


The unofficial but correct version of the crucial passage reads as follows:

“Should you encounter the enemy, he will be defeated! No quarter will be given! Prisoners will not be taken! Whoever falls into your hands is forfeited. Just as a thousand years ago the Huns under their King Attila made a name for themselves, one that even today makes them seem mighty in history and legend, may the name German be affirmed by you in such a way in China that no Chinese will ever again dare to look cross-eyed at a German.”



Source: Johannes Prenzler, ed., Die Reden Kaiser Wilhelms II. [The Speeches of Kaiser Wilhelm II]. 4 volumes. Leipzig, n.d., 2. pp. 209-12.

Unofficial version of speech reprinted in Manfred Görtemaker, Deutschland im 19. Jahrhundert. Entwicklungslinien [Germany in the 19th Century. Paths in Development]. Opladen 1996. Schriftenreihe der Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung, vol. 274, p. 357.

Translation: Thomas Dunlap





Personal observation - purely historical!
this need to draw on a foreign template seems to indicate a continued confusion of 'German' identity at that time. Germanic tribes who held off the might of the Roman Empire; the power of theHoly Roman Empire; Prussia, other states; unified Germany - all that and more in their history yet he draws a parallel with a diverse Asiatic horde.
Strange - most leaders would use example from their own history. And of course the German search for identity got even more horrific when the Nazis tried to invent the 'Aryan' race.
justina bandol
Posted: Saturday, April 01, 2017 5:10:13 PM
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Thanks a lot, thar! Very helpful information.
Jyrkkä Jätkä
Posted: Monday, April 03, 2017 7:24:29 AM

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Finnish light cavalry, the Hackapelites in 17th century, were once described as this:

"Our [Finnish] Hakkapelites cannot have been any sort of fine representatives. I should mention a parade of the Gustaf Adolf troops in the Thirty Years' War, while the king still lived. At first went the blue, yellow, green etc. mercenaries of the regiment in their flashy gear. Then came, clothed so-so, bridles and baldricks repaired with birch bark and cord, legs hanging from the backs of their small, shaggy horses, cutlasses dragging on the ground, a troop of hollow-cheeked but stern-eyed men. When the Dutch ambassador inquired who they were, the last rider, a fat German Quartermaster [kuormastovääpeli] in charge of the cargo proudly replied "The royal Life Guards: Finnish, pärkkele!".



In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.
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