Black Athena: Afroasiatic Roots of Classical Civilization, Volume I: The Fabrication of Ancient Greece, 17851985

Food For Thought

Winner of the American Book Award and a Socialist Review Book Award What is classical about Classical Civilization? In one of the most audacious works of scholarship ever written, Martin Bernal challenges the whole basis of our thinking about this question. Classical ci vilization, he argues, has deep roots in Afroasiatic cultures. But these Afroasiatic influences have been systematically ignored, denied, or supressed since the eighteenth century--chiefly for racist reasons. The popular view is that Greek civilization was the result of the conquest of a sophisticated but weak native population by vigorous Indo-European speakers--or Aryans-from the North. But the Classical Greeks, Bernal argues, knew nothing of this Aryan model. They did not see their political institutions, science,

. shopped at the Farmer''s Market in my neighborhood. the overall concept can apply to other cultures and races. before returning to this page to read the comments of others. there are a few more things I could add to the discussion hereEspecially after taking in the shots being exchanged by certain individuals. 17851985 HOOSH! One must make sure they have cover when roaming the comments of this section-What with all the spears being hurled into the air. one will see that Greece is not merely favored for its warmth as a vacation spot. and attempted domination. esoteric religion. Volume 1 concentrates on the crucial period between 1785 and 1850. as well. and who wants that? Not me. Not sure with all the experts here--through today. prior to reading the comments. And since. Volume I: The Fabrication of Ancient Greece. Martin Bernal is Professor Emeritus of Government Studies at Cornell University. . Now while most people who think of the word instinctively spring to the conclusion that it is exclusively associated with those who are of African descent. and Egypt in particular. Bernal makes meaningful links between a wide range of areas and disciplines--drama poetry. myth. why don''t we begin there. In an unprecedented tour de force. biography. I found myself saying. and the consolidation of Northern expansion into other continents.. but rather as derived from the East in general. theological controversy.philosophy. he was formerly a Fellow at Kings College. following the Classical period--If I may be allowed to nurture such a classification. Black Athena is a three-volume work. language. which saw the Romantic and racist reaction to the Enlightment and the French Revolution. If anybody knows anything about the History of Modern Greece. and the emergence of modern scholarship. historical narrative. "You know... Personal Review: Black Athena: Afroasiatic Roots of Classical Civilization. there is a real danger of being struck down. Martin Bernal has started this kick of Let''s Attack The Greeks. philosophy. Originally I published the review that follows. Then I went about my business. or religion as original. which in the end usually fail." Let''s talk about racism first. it is also highly favored for invasions by other cultures. Cambridge.

And a bit elitist. it is quite different to lash out at them for not being "learned.. Limited rights. the value of the "thumbs-up" people gave reviews that rated the book as deserving no more than 2 stars. Next. And now that Greece has become the Poster Child of Monetary Ills Today. and there is still plenty of conflict and confusion present. It is part of the public domain. A bit strange. I find this highly disturbing. So racism is not the exclusive territory of people of African descent. the most vivid example being the looting of the Parthenon Marbles by Elgin. About Bernal. In addition. at least.One will recall the near 400-year occupation by The Ottoman Empire. there are no space requirements to be met before your thoughts are determined to have any value. and not worthy of any recognition or merit for what they think. furtive access to religious freedom. during which attempts to squash the civilization altogether ultimately failed. documented there. following their coverage of the economic crises in Greece. or being recognized. etc. is racist. So there seems to be nothing wrong with saying what you think.. .." As though that is some special territory which depends on a foundation based on academic consumption. limited access to education. lifted by rebels in 1821. That. If one cares to look closely they may find that what Greeks experienced during that occupation was similar to the Slave movement in the United States. In other words. Becaus e as it is quite evident here. While it is one thing to point out flaws in people''s arguments or positions. this person has lashed out at people for their ignorance and insensitivity and has somehow determined that people who only publish a few lines about the book are mere charlatans. although they have no doubt bore the brunt of it. in other words. too. hush. I found I had reached my quota for conflict today. who published what. and its freedom as a country was once again assured--for a while. since after reading 4 pages of reviews. Powerless.com comments section and find plenty of epithets hurled at Greeks of today. and only those who possess it are worthy of saying anything valuable. and most importantly. there are plenty of schooled and learned people who have their own interpretation of history. if I may say so. and once again fashionable. a British subject. and decided to take a break--who has gone to a great deal of trouble to analyze the statistics of the reviews here. no right to defend their country or culture against whatever deals the Ottomans made with other cultures. there is someone here who has not yet published a review of their own--but perhaps I just haven''t gotten to it yet. and an overa ll imposition of hush. and therefore are closely aligned to the word. one can hop over to nytimes. and as far as I know.

No escaping that fact. And I just want to add a few more here. He seems somewhat duplicitous in his management of information. Bernal. illumination. seems hasty to trash the contribution of Greek culture. so whatever he does there with his magic wand. What he says is plausible. okay. to see this-there is an ample supply of words embedded in the English language t hat are directly borrowed from Greek. Linguistics is not my field. In fact. many of the words he uses to describe his position are directly borrowed from Greek. finally. let us think this through more carefully. Bernal seems to be suffering from a good old case of hubris! Anyway. Mr. although I am not a linguist--nor do I think one needs to be. And. Why did Bernal not choose to write his book using hieroglyphics? If he really wants to demonstrate the significance of the Egyptians. I am going to shell the peas I bought at the Farmer''s Market today. In addition. So. and I stopped by here. _________________________________________________________ . when you employ as y our scholarly device the trashing of one civilization to bolster your argument. knowledge? At the risk of tampering with Bernal''s model. I have not completed the volume. This further makes me question his motives. simply to post my impressions thus far. and at every turn I''ve seen so far. I follow only somewhat. boys and girls. And in order to maintain coherence. is there nothing constructive to be said about the development of a language (regardless of its origins) that produced works that many believe valuable? And furthermore. then he should use the language they used. he uses names traditio nally associated with Greek divinities. That one commenter also mentioned several times that the origin of the Greek language is 50% of another language(s). But he does not. and prepare a sumptuous vegetarian meal. however? Is it recognition. especially now that I am inspired by the lively conversation on these pages. However.As I''ve already mentioned below. acceptance. for example. I''ve had enough meat for one day. Curious though. What exactly is the point. it seems your credibility is diminished. Greek came from such and such dialects and cultures. indeed. while explaining the source of their origin and inspiration. he makes no bones about it.

I can only say that I absolutely must read that volume." in 1975. having come upon his first volume only recently..FIRST POST I now see that Bernal took the time to produce a volume where Black Athena responds to her critics. I For More 5 Star Customer Reviews and Lowest Price: Black Athena: Afroasiatic Roots of Classical Civilization. "Black Athena." by Martin Bernal Martin Bernal proposes a new model for examining the origins of civilization-This model first occurred to him during what he calls a "mid-life crisis. I had the following to say about hi s first volume. He uses a variety of sources to craft his argument--many linguistic references--and borrows freely from Herodotus to support his thesis. during which time he became interested in his own ancestral roots and culture. and not having realized that all 3 volumes of the trilogy had been completed.. and look forward to reading all of the comments here. which I have posted elsewhere. 1785-1985 5 Star Customer Reviews and Lowest Price! . Volume I: The Fabrication of Ancient Greece. Anyway. This ultimately led him to construct a new model following his Eureka! moment when he realized that the font of civilization is buried in Egypt. both good and bad.

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