Sunday, August 15, 2010
BLACK ATHENA (Editor's Pick)
Black Athena: The Afroasiatic Roots of Classical Civilization: The Fabrication of Ancient Greece 1785-1985, Volume 1 by Martin Bernal
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 civilization, 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, philosophy, or religion as original, but rather as derived from the East in general, and Egypt in particular.
Black Athena is a three-volume work. Volume 1 concentrates on the crucial period between 1785 and 1850, which saw the Romantic and racist reaction to the Enlightment and the French Revolution, and the consolidation of Northern expansion into other continents. In an unprecedented tour de force, Bernal makes meaningful links between a wide range of areas and disciplines--drama poetry, myth, theological controversy, esoteric religion, philosophy, biography, language, historical narrative, and the emergence of "modern scholarship." Martin Bernal is Professor Emeritus of Government Studies at Cornell University; he was formerly a Fellow at King's College, Cambridge.
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 civilization, he argues, has deep roots in Afroasiatic cultures. But these Afroasiatic influences have been systematically ignored, denied or suppressed since the eighteenth century - chiefly for racist reasons. Copyright (C) Muze Inc. 2005. For personal use only. All rights reserved.
Universal Product Identifiers
Product ID: 168646
ISBN-10: 0813512778 (0-8135-1277-8)
ISBN-13: 9780813512778 (978-0-8135-1277-8)
Paperback: 608 pages
Edition: 1 (1989-02)
Publisher: Rutgers University Press