Black Athena: The Afroasiatic Roots of Classical Civilization Volume I: The Fabrication of Ancient Greece 1785-1985

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Rutgers University Press, Feb 14, 2020 - History - 728 pages
What is classical about Classical civilization? In one of the most audacious works of scholarship ever written, Martin Bernal challenges the foundation 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.

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—Aryans—from the North. But the Classical Greeks, Bernal argues, knew nothing of this “Aryan model.” They did not see their institutions as original, but as derived from the East and from Egypt in particular.

In an unprecedented tour de force, Bernal links 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.”

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Chronological Table
Proposed Historical Outline
The Final Solution of the Phoenician Problem 18851945
Greece European or Levantine? The Egyptian and West Semitic Components of Greek Civilization
Solving the Riddle of the Sphinx and Other Studies in EgyptoGreek Mythology
The Ancient Model in Antiquity
Egyptian Wisdom and Greek Transmission from the Dark Ages to the Renaissance
The Triumph of Egypt in the 17th and 18th Centuries
Transmission of the New Scholarship to England and the Rise of
The Rise and Fall of the Phoenicians 183085
Salomon Reinach
The Return to the Broad Aryan Model 194585

Hostilities to Egypt in the 18th Century
The Rise of India and the Fall of Egypt 17401880
The Fall of the Ancient Model 17901830

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About the author (2020)

Martin Bernal (1937-2013) was a British scholar of modern Chinese political history and a Professor of Government and Near Eastern Studies at Cornell University. His celebrated Black Athena trilogy is a controversial series which argues that Ancient Greek civilization and language are Eastern and Egyptian in origin.

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