Black Athena : the Afroasiatic roots of classical civilization

by Martin Bernal

Ebook, 1987



Call number

NH 5200 B517



New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1987.


Synopsis: Could Greek philosophy be rooted in Egyptian thought? Is it possible that the Pythagorean theory was conceived on the shores of the Nile and the Euphrates rather than in ancient Greece? Could it be that Western civilization was born on the so-called Dark Continent? For almost two centuries, Western scholars have given little credence to the possibility of such scenarios. In Black Athena, an audacious three-volume series that strikes at the heart of today's most heated culture wars, Martin Bernal challenges Eurocentric attitudes by calling into question two of the longest-established explanations for the origins of classical civilization. The Aryan Model, which is current today, claims that Greek culture arose as the result of the conquest from the north by Indo-European speakers, or "Aryans," of the native "pre-Hellenes." The Ancient Model, which was maintained in Classical Greece, held that the native population of Greece had initially been civilized by Egyptian and Phoenician colonists and that additional Near Eastern culture had been introduced to Greece by Greeks studying in Egypt and Southwest Asia. Moving beyond these prevailing models, Bernal proposes a Revised Ancient Model, which suggests that classical civilization in fact had deep roots in Afroasiatic cultures.… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member NickBrooke
Bernal's "Black Athena," though at times loopy, beautifully exposes how cultural prejudice could for centuries blind ancient historians to what they were actually reading in the sources.
LibraryThing member experimentalis
An excellently written book, fluent and absorbing, and absolutely persuasive to a white greek historian like me. Important not only for its data but also for its methodology
LibraryThing member gmicksmith
Although the influence of Egyptian and Near Eastern civilizations on ancient Greece is not controversial in either ancient or modern Greek historiography, the Afrocentric claims contained in Black Athena have been described as pseudohistory.
LibraryThing member ritaer
Difficult to evaluate. Not quite what I had been led to believe as far as black African influence and much about the influence of anti-Semitic ideas on Classical studies.



Physical description

XXXII, 575 p.; 24 cm


081351276X / 9780813512761
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