Can anyone name this article?

I’m looking for an article. I thought it was in an old Dragon magazine, but I can’t find it there.

It was about historical individuals that resembled Conan. The argument, from memory, was that real ‘barbarians’ weren’t like that–instead, you got wandering freebooter types from societies that were in transition.

I had the idea it was by L. Sprague De Camp.

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4 thoughts on “Can anyone name this article?

  1. De Camp wrote three different articles on that theme, all covering more or less the same ground. The first was “Barbarians I Have Known,” which appeared in the Howard-themed fanzine Amra, v. 2, no. 59, February, 1973. The second was “The Barbarian Hero,” which appeared in Amra v. 2, no. 66, April, 1976. The third was “The Barbarian as Hero,” which appeared in Brian Ash’s The Visual Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, 1977. I don’t believe any of these were ever published in The Dragon.

    “The Barbarian Hero” is the one most widely reprinted, as is probably the one you’re thinking of. De Camp included it in his collections Blond Barbarians & Noble Savages (1975) and Rubber Dinosaurs and Wooden Elephants (1996), and it also appeared in the anthology of Howard-related nonfiction The Spell of Conan (1980).

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