Black Athena Revisited

Black Athena Revisited

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by Mary R. Lefkowitz
     
 

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•Was Western civilization founded by ancient Egyptians and Phoenicians?
•Can the ancient Egyptians usefully be called black?
•Did the ancient Greeks borrow religion, science, and philosophy from the Egyptians and Phoenicians?
•Have scholars ignored the Afroasiatic roots of Western civilization as a result of racism and anti-Semitism?

Overview

•Was Western civilization founded by ancient Egyptians and Phoenicians?
•Can the ancient Egyptians usefully be called black?
•Did the ancient Greeks borrow religion, science, and philosophy from the Egyptians and Phoenicians?
•Have scholars ignored the Afroasiatic roots of Western civilization as a result of racism and anti-Semitism?
In this collection of twenty essays, leading scholars in a broad range of disciplines confront the claims made by Martin Bernal in Black Athena: The Afroasiatic Roots of Classical Civilization. In that work, Bernal proposed a radical reinterpretation of the roots of classical civilization, contending that ancient Greek culture derived from Egypt and Phoenicia and that European scholars have been biased against the notion of Egyptian and Phoenician influence on Western civilization. The contributors to this volume argue that Bernal's claims are exaggerated and in many cases unjustified.
Topics covered include race and physical anthropology; the question of an Egyptian invasion of Greece; the origins of Greek language, philosophy, and science; and racism and anti-Semitism in classical scholarship. In the conclusion to the volume, the editors propose an entirely new scholarly framework for understanding the relationship between the cultures of the ancient Near East and Greece and the origins of Western civilization.
The contributors are: John Baines, professor of Egyptology, University of Oxford Kathryn A. Bard, assistant professor of archaeology, Boston University C. Loring Brace, professor of anthropology and curator of biological anthropology in the Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan John E. Coleman, professor of classics, Cornell University Edith Hall, lecturer in classics, University of Reading, England Jay H. Jasanoff, Jacob Gould Schurman Professor of Linguistics, Cornell University Richard Jenkyns, fellow and tutor, Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, and university lecturer in classics, University of Oxford Mary R. Lefkowitz, Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities, Wellesley College Mario Liverani, professor of ancient near eastern history, Universita di Roma, 'La Sapienza' Sarah P. Morris, professor of classics, University of California at Los Angeles Robert E. Norton, associate professor of German, Vassar College Alan Nussbaum, associate professor of classics, Cornell University David O'Connor, professor of Egyptology and curator in charge of the Egyptian section of the University Museum, University of Pennsylvania Robert Palter, Dana Professor Emeritus of the History of Science, Trinity College, Connecticut Guy MacLean Rogers, associate professor of Greek and Latin and history, Wellesley College Frank M. Snowden, Jr., professor of classics emeritus, Howard University Lawrence A. Tritle, associate professor of history, Loyola Marymount University Emily T. Vermeule, Samuel E. Zemurray, Jr., and Doris Zemurray Stone-Radcliffe Professor Emerita, Harvard University Frank J. Yurco, Egyptologist, Field Museum of Natural History and the University of Chicago

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Two classical scholars at Wellesley College have edited a collection of 20 articles, all attacking Martin Bernal's controversial interpretation of classical culture, Black Athena (Vol. 1, LJ 12/87; Vol 2, Rutgers Univ. Pr. 1991). The authors, experts in a variety of disciplines, including archaeology and linguistics as well as history and classics, criticize Bernal's two central contentionsthat ancient Greek thought and culture derived largely from Egypt and that 19th-century scholars hid this fact for racist reasons. These arguments, claim Bernal's critics, are based largely on bad scholarship and ideological agendas. Given the technical nature of the essays, this is not appropriate for general readers, but it is essential for scholars in the field.Anthony O. Edmonds, Ball State Univ., Muncie, Ind.
From the Publisher
Essential for scholars in this field.

Library Journal

A thorough treatment . . . . Bernal can certainly not claim that his work has been unnoticed by academia.

Jasper Griffin, New York Review of Books

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780807822463
Publisher:
The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date:
04/01/1996
Edition description:
2
Pages:
544
Product dimensions:
6.12(w) x 9.25(h) x 1.61(d)
Lexile:
1500L (what's this?)

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
A thorough treatment . . . by no fewer than nineteen scholars. . . . Bernal can certainly not claim that his work has been unnoticed by academia.—Jasper Griffin, New York Review of Books

Essential for scholars in this field.—Library Journal

Meet the Author

Mary R. Lefkowitz is Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities at Wellesley College. She is author of Not Out of Africa and coeditor of Women's Life in Greece and Rome.

Guy MacLean Rogers, professor of Greek and Latin and history at Wellesley College, is author of The Sacred Identity of Ephesos: Foundation Myths of a Roman City.

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Black Athena Revisited 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ms. Lefkovitz is a jewel for the 21st. century. She clearly places truth in the face of foolishness. There is one problem with this, that being that there are always those who cannot accept the documented facts Ms. Lefkovitz presents and would rather make up their own reality to make up for their own reality.