Black Athena: The Afroasiatic Roots of Classical by Martin Bernal

By Martin Bernal

Winner of the yankee publication Award, 1990.

This quantity is the second one in a projected four-part sequence desirous about the contest among historic types for the origins of Greek civilization. The version present this day is the Aryan version, in accordance with which Greek tradition arose because the results of the conquest from the north by means of Indo-European audio system or "Aryans" of the local "pre-Hellenes." the traditional version, which used to be the version maintained in Classical Greece, held that the local inhabitants of Greece had firstly been civilized by way of Egyptian and Phoenician colonists and that extra close to jap tradition were brought to Greece through Greeks learning in Egypt and Southwest Asia. In those and later volumes, Martin Bernal proposes a Revised old version. in keeping with this, the Indo-European points of Greek language and tradition could be well-known as primary and the substantial non-Indo-European components could be noticeable principally as Egyptian and Levantine additions to this basis.

Volume II is anxious with the archaeological and documentary proof for contacts among Egypt and the Levant at the one hand and the Aegean at the different, in the course of the Bronze Age from c. 3400 B.C. to c. 1100 B.C. those ways are supplemented by way of details from later Greek myths, legends, non secular cults, and language. the writer concludes that touch among the 2 areas used to be way more vast and influential than is usually believed. within the advent to this quantity, Bernal additionally responds to a few stories and criticisms of quantity I of Black Athena.

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Extra info for Black Athena: The Afroasiatic Roots of Classical Civilization : Vol. II - The Archaeological and Documentary Evidence

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Physiognomy, the allegedly observational science which claimed to provide rules for judging the characters of men from the features and formation of the face and head, had been something of a craze in Europe since the publication of Johann Caspar Lavater's Physiognomische Fragmente zur Bifärderung der Menschenkenntnis und Menschenliebe (I775-8). In this book Lavater maintained that such features of the face as the shape and position of the nose, and the height, breadth and configuration of the forehead, reveal important traits of character.

2 1t is important, though, to recognise that, on this ac count, showing the action of an historical agent to have been appropriate is a question of showing it to have been appropriate from that agent's point of view; thus there is always an implicit reference to the agent's own standpoint. , which the historian hirnself need not share, for all that he must know what they were and what it would be like to act in accordance with them. One consequence sometimes drawn from this conception of explanation is that it does not require us to believe, as the positivist theory could be said to do, in a deterministic view of human behaviour.

S. P. L. Gardiner 18 inasmuch as he attempts to judge historical figures and deeds, or the institutions or policies to which they contributed, according to some supposedly independent and timeless standard, he is exceeding the limits ofhis profession: in the words of a distinguished contemporary historian, 'the attempt to erect such a standard is unhistorical and contradicts the very essence of his tory' . I Here, then, are some of the ingredients of the positivist position. Let us now turn to that of its opponents, to whom the claim that the procedures and categories of history do not diverge in any radical way from those used in the natural sciences has appeared fundamentally misconceived.

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