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Andrade, Gabriel, and Maria Campo Redondo. 2019. “Rushton and Jensen’s Work Has Parallels with Some Concepts of Race Awareness in Ancient Greece.” Psych 1 (1): 391–402.

Rushton and Jensen’s “Thirty Years of Research on Race Differences in Cognitive Ability” documents IQ differences in populations on the basis of race. The authors explain these data by arguing that cold winter conditions in Europe had greater pressure for the selection of higher intelligence. Critics of Rushton and Jensen, and of the very category of race, claim that race is a social construct that only came up in the 16th century, as a result of overseas voyages and the Atlantic slave trade. The goal of this article is to refute that particular claim, by documenting how, long before the 16th century, in classical antiquity race was already a meaningful concept, and how some Greek authors even developed ideas that bear some resemblance to Rushton and Jensen’s theory. The article documents how ancient Egyptians already had keen awareness of race differences amongst various populations. Likewise, the article documents passages from the Hippocratic and Aristotelian corpus, which attests that already in antiquity, there was a conception that climatic differences had an influence on intelligence, and that these differences eventually become enshrined in fixed biological traits.

One of the more bizarre theories, even by the standards of postmodern academia, is that “racialism” was an outgrowth of the Atlantic slave trade and/or an invention of the European Enlightenment. Ancients and medievals were basically colorblind. So for all we know there were Bohemia during the Hussite Wars was brimming with black people, and Warhorse Studios was very racist and intolerant not to include them.

So who do we trust: Afrocentric SJWs or your lying eyes?

Fortunately, we have two scholars – with appropriately ethnic names and UAE university affiliations – to put that question to rest. They concluded that “Greeks, Egyptians and Romans had greater awareness of racial differences than what conventional historians are prepared to admit.”

The Egyptians:

In the 1990s there was a major academic controversy over Afrocentrism. This was a movement that sought to teach a peculiar version of History. Afrocentrists made two central claims: (1) Ancient Greeks stole arts and philosophy from the Egyptians, (2) ancient Egyptians were black. Afrocentrists claimed there was a conspiracy orchestrated by whites in order to keep these facts hidden. …

Actually we have already conclusively established that Ancient Egyptians were Russians, but let’s continue.

… Lefkowitz acknowledges this, but seems unsure as to whether or not these were racial distinctions: “Egyptians made clear distinctions between themselves and other peoples, which they represented in their art. Wall paintings are not photographs, and to some extent the different colors may have been chosen as a means of marking nationality, like uniforms in a football game. The Egyptians depicted themselves with a russet color, Asiatics in a paler yellow. Southern peoples were darker, either chocolate brown or black”.

It is naïve to believe that when Egyptians chose dark colors to represent Southern peoples, they were merely a sort of football uniform. It seems more likely that dark colors were chosen because, well, Nubians (Egypt’s neighbors to the South) were very dark indeed. Further proof that these depictions were not analogous to mere football uniforms is that there are representations in which Nubians are depicted not only as having darker colors, but also having flat noses and thick lips.

It is true that the ancient world, and most especially various peoples in the Near East (including the Israelites) commonly segmented nations fundamentally in linguistic terms, but one particular Egyptian poem, the Great Hymn to Aten, praises a deity, and as part of that, along with mentioning languages as a way to distinguish nations (“their tongues are separate in speech”), also exalts: “Their skins are distinguished”.

Our two resident Afrocentric activists are not going to be happy with this.

The Hebrews:

In fact, although as previously mentioned, the Israelites were much more concerned with linguistic diff erences, one Biblical author did express a similar view to Aesop’s: “Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard his spots? [Implying “no”, of course]” (Jeremiah 13:23).

The Greeks:

Some authors tried to find less mythical and more rational explanations as to why particular populations look diff erent. Again, blacks aroused some interest in this regard. For example, in Problems, Aristotle (or perhaps another author who wrote in his name) wonders: “Why are the Ethiopians and the Egyptians bandy-legged? Is it because bodies of living creatures become distressed by heat, like logs of wood when they become dry? The condition of hair too supports this theory; for it is curlier than that of other nations, and curliness is as it were crookedness of hair”[30]. Needless to say, no modern evolutionary biologist would give credit to this theory, but for our purposes, it serves to illustrate that this particular author believed that populations differ in their physical traits according to the climate they inhabit, and this is one aspect of racial thinking. In fact, modern evolutionary biologists do take seriously Bergman and Allen’s rule[31] which states that biogeographical conditions have great influence on the body shape of species and subspecies.

So the Greeks acknowledged race realism, and attempted to come up with explanations for it.

Aristotle believed that populations in countries that are too cold are actually less intelligent: “The peoples of cold countries generally, and particularly those of Europe, are full of spirit, but deficient in skill and intelligence; and this is why they continue to remain comparatively free, but attain no political development and show no capacity for governing others. The peoples of Asia are endowed with skill and intelligence, but are deficient in spirit; and this is the way they continue to be peoples of subjects and slaves. The Greek stock, intermediate in geographical position, unites the qualities of both sets of peoples. It possesses both spirit and intelligence: the one quality that makes it continue to be free”[37]. …

… Herodotus, for example, says that “Greece has been given a climate more beautiful tempered (than any other country)”[38]. … In this regard, the ethnocentrism of these Greek authors is very far removed from Rushton and Jensen, who claim that East Asians actually have higher IQ than whites (the group to which both Rushton and Jensen belong).

Admittedly, it was claimed in antiquity that populations in colder countries have lower intelligence, but at the same time, it was argued that when geographic conditions are too pleasing to populations, these populations do not thrive. For example, Herodotus mentions that “the sea and mountains of Greece, the poverty of her soil, and the isolation of her valleys, made her not only the home of liberty but the nursery of heroes”[34] (p. 57).

So one might say that the Ancient Greeks were at the level of 20th century geographer Ellsworth Huntington, who associated what he viewed as the most accomplished civilizations with having the most intellectually propitious climates (not coincidentally, as a Yale professor, he thought New Haven, Connecticut had the world’s most stimulating climate).

Authors in classical antiquity seemed to have some intuitive notion that in some cases, particular traits (including intelligence) remain fixed and cannot be changed, very much as Aesop’s fable of the Ethiopian suggests. They were far from understanding concepts of natural selection, but they did seem to have some intuitive (if rudimentary) grasp that climates in the very long term may change a population’s genetic constitution, but not in the short term.

Not at all bad for a society with no inkling about population genetics.

Conclusion:

Societies of the classical world were not colorblind. For them, race was a meaningful concept. Although by no means the sole category to divide the world, race was still used by the Greeks to establish differences amongst people. These categorizations did not necessarily manifest themselves in prejudices, but racial categorizations did exist.

Ancient authors may or may not have been right in using race as a meaningful concept; that debate is beyond the scope of this article. But it is certainly a fact that Greek authors did have strong intuitions towards race categorizations, although intuitions are not necessarily reliable. The fact that people in the classical world thought in terms of race does not prove that racial thinking is inherent to the human species, or that race is not a social construct. However, it does prove that those historians eager to claim that racial thinking only emerged after the 16th century due to slavery and overseas voyages, are wrong. As we have discussed in this article, long before Christopher Columbus, authors such as Aristotle, Herodotus, Hippocrates and others, had some intuitive ideas that maintain some resemblance to the theories of Rushton and Jensen, perhaps the most important theoreticians of race differences in the 21st century.

 
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  1. Please keep off topic posts to the current Open Thread.

    If you are new to my work, start here.

  2. songbird says:

    I wonder if anyone has delved into ancient Chinese writings, looking for racial descriptions. Did Zheng He make any observations about Africans?

    I bet there might also be untapped Arab sources.

  3. Mr. XYZ says:

    [MORE]

    Anatoly, you appear to have the same sentence twice in two different paragraphs of yours:

    “In this regard, the ethnocentrism of these Greek authors is very far removed from Rushton and Jensen, who claim that East Asians actually have higher IQ than whites (the group to which both Rushton and Jensen belong).”

    AK: Thx

  4. @songbird

    There are, but the authors decided to not go there:

    The Western intellectual tradition has always looked up to the Greeks to discuss its own historical roots. And this also applies to discussions regarding the history of the awareness of race differences. Consequently, in the following sections, we shall discuss how the Greeks understood racial differences and the effects of climatic differences on behavioral traits. Admittedly, many other civilizations of the past (Persians, Chinese, Moors, etc.) have had their own concepts of racial differences, but that is beyond the scope of the present article.

    https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Ibn_Khaldun this guy said some things, but one would probably have to be an Arabic speaker to know where to look for many of these things.

    • Replies: @songbird
  5. songbird says:
    @Emil O. W. Kirkegaard

    Thanks! That’s interesting.

    I don’t know if the manuscripts of Timbuktu are overhyped or not, but I was thinking that might be an interesting place to look for Arab racialism.

  6. Beckow says:

    Our current race ‘unrealism‘ comes directly out of our misguided notion of ‘equality‘. Our ancestors would simply not understand what equality even means.

    When the equality mania started around 18th century, there was a good reason for it. It was a rhetorical device to change the society and make most people better off. But it got out of hand, eventually an obsession with equality undermines everything for a simple reason that nothing is naturally ‘equal‘, just the opposite, nature has created a set of gradations for most characteristics – a spectrum that by definition denies equality.

    It is inevitable that obsession with ‘all things being equal’ has to address outcomes. Ancient Egyptians were high-quality Middle Easterners before that whole region went biologically bad. On a smaller scale it also happened to ancient Greeks. Time has its own way of fixing inequalities over time. The problem is that liberals can’t wait.

  7. Hurr Durr says:

    You forgot to include a quote from some subsaharan tribe where Albino are murdered because “they are low-IQ demons”.

    First, all you list is supremacist biases, of the sort you may find today in Chechnya.

    Second, listening to the ancients’ opinions on intelligence is equivalent to following the paleo diet: there’s almost no chance that they got it right, being innumerate, and lacking a theory of measurement.

    Even if they were correct, your ability to read Ancient Greek is probably poor, and the authors, affiliated with the famous Ajman University, can’t be much better.

    Whatever was left from the Ancient Greeks is as informative as the texts we have on history of ancient Rus. That is, some stuff (including, in particular, supremacist writings) got selected for archiving, and the rest was likely discarded.

    All in all, taking advice about intelligence, or anything else, from the Ancients is self-defeating. It’s something expected from an antivaxxer.

    Finally, all the above is aggravated by the inclusion of the Jewish Bible. No one is more self-aggrandizing, more record-adjusting, and more bullshitting than the Jew. Who in their right mind would care if the Jewish prophet is said to have described, in derogatory terms, some other nation or race? Isn’t this their national sport?

    • Replies: @anon
  8. Societies of the classical world were not colorblind. For them, race was a meaningful concept.

    The fact ancient Greeks and Romans recognised there were lighter skinned populations to their north, and dark skinned populations to their south – has nothing to do with how contemporary scientists define race/subspecies. It’s as if “race realists” have conceded defeat since they’re trivialising their (re)definition of race (now race = mere skin colour variation between populations? lol)-

    “When race naturalists [“race realists”] weaken their position they end up agreeing with their opponents about human biology, and defending a trivialised definition of race.” (Hochman, 2014)

    • Replies: @German_reader
    , @Cortez
  9. @Oliver D. Smith

    The fact ancient Greeks and Romans recognised there were lighter skinned populations to their north, and dark skinned populations to their south

    They didn’t just perceive physical differences, they also had a sort of theory that climate influenced the moral and intellectual qualities of peoples; e.g. the elder Pliny wrote in his Natural History that Germanics were brave, but stupid, because they lived in a cold climate, whereas Ethiopians were wise, but cowardly due to their hot environment. Unsurprisingly Mediterranean peoples like the Romans were most perfect in this view, living in an intermediate climate between the extremes of north and south.
    I agree though that this isn’t really the same as modern “race realism” (which in its alt-rightish versions usually is only code for “Blacks are pretty stupid on average and often violent” anyway).

    • Replies: @songbird
    , @Oliver D. Smith
  10. AaronB says:

    Indeed, racism proper, the idea that some races are particularly biologically excellent, is primarily a Greek idea.

    The idea is not to be found among the ancient Hebrews, for instance, who explicitly rejected it. Nowhere does it say the Israelites were chosen because of any biological racial superiority, nor does the bible ascribe any biologically superior trait to them anywhere. In fact they are depicted as stubborn and unruly, and prone to moral backsliding.

    Israelites are admonished to never see any of their victories in war as due to their biological excellence, but solely to loyalty to God, who alone is the victor.

    With the resurrection of Greek learning in Europe, racism proper – the belief in ones biological racial excellence and the biological inferiority of other races – returned once again to mainstream European thought.

    Up till then, Christianity likewise did not think in terms of biological racial superiority, but defined excellence as spiritual, and centred in God.

    Biological racism cannot easily exist in religious cultures, because the main center of excellence is never the flesh, which is sinful, but the spiritual realm – God.

    However, racism is a natural concomitant of science and it’s attendant materialism and locating of all excellence in the physical.

    • Replies: @songbird
  11. songbird says:
    @German_reader

    Beyond the observed characteristics and the theories to explain them, the idea that they had perceptions of other groups is enormously important – it suggests that group selection might be a thing.

  12. @German_reader

    The whole post is based on a straw man-

    One of the more bizarre theories, even by the standards of postmodern academia, is that “racialism” was an outgrowth of the Atlantic slave trade and/or an invention of the European Enlightenment. Ancients and medievals were basically colorblind.

    No one has ever argued this. Secondly, by simply acknowledging the fact ancient cultures/societies across the globe recognised skin pigmentation differences between populations – doesn’t mean there are different races. Finally, if you look up ancient categorisations of populations by skin colour, they don’t match the races of “race realism”. As an example, Julius Firmicus Maternus, Matheseos Libri Octo X. 6 – 8:

    “The nature of these five zones has produced men of different types, each with their own colouring; but in such a way that there is an appearance of unity, though the bodies of men vary with the radiation of the stars. Whatever type of men lies near the zone which burns with eternal fire, takes on fire from the nearness of its neighbour. These men are permanently dark with the look of burned objects. Those parts which lie next to the icy zones and are deserted by the heat of the Sun endow the men born in their vicinity with a shining white appearance. Yet, even in the regions which produce dark men and those which produce light-colored, the power of the stars is very strong, each and every man, though his colour is uniform, has a different appearance and shape.”

    This colour categorisation excludes Mediterranean populations from being “white” – which was restricted to northern Europeans of the “icy zones”. Now what? Ancient categorisations of human populations directly contradict “race realism” which today would lump northern Europeans and Mediterranean populations into the same race.

    • Replies: @anonymous coward
    , @Cortez
  13. songbird says:
    @AaronB

    Were the Eskimos racist when the killed off the Dorset? They had no science or literature. Their material goods were what they could carry in their kayaks and on dogs sleds.

    I think the early Jews were as genocidal (as were other peoples), but it is interesting how they were once proselytizers. Does that mean they became more racist? Or is it explained by other factors?

    • Replies: @AaronB
    , @German_reader
  14. AaronB says:
    @songbird

    I have no idea if the early Israelites were genocidal – I’m just saying the concept of biological excellence cannot be found in their sacred literature. And that their own self image did not include it.

    You do not find them describing themselves as more intelligent, better warriors, or biologically superior in any way – they distinguish themselves only by faith in God.

    Even their military victories they do not attribute to their biological attributes, and the story of David and Goliath is one of the world’s great legends that show the triumph of the spiritual over biological superiority.

    Yet as that quote from Aristotle shows, the Greeks clearly did believe in biological superiority, and ascribed their own success to it, not to God.

    Why did later Jews stop proselytizing? Probably because they realized many converts were insincere – a problem today also. Far better to let the true spiritual aspirant demonstrate his sincerity by initiating contact.

    Secondly, because unlike Christians, Jews do not believe it is necessary to adopt Jewish ritual in order to order to worship God or be saved.

    Were the Eskimos racist when they killed off the Dorset? I have no idea what was going through their minds.

    • Replies: @German_reader
    , @anon
  15. @songbird

    I think the early Jews were as genocidal

    AaronB’s point probably is that genocide is alright, as long as it’s done at the command of God.
    imo he should just sod off to Israel, join some settler community and torment Palestinians, instead of endlessly annoying us with his low-grade trolling.

  16. @AaronB

    I have no idea if the early Israelites were genocidal

    OT has stories about fairly genocidal warfare, in which entire populations are killed by the Israelites at God’s command. It’s of course dubious, whether there’s any real historical basis for that…but since history is of Greek origin, YOU shouldn’t have any doubt about it.

    • Replies: @AaronB
  17. AaronB says:
    @German_reader

    That’s using genocidal rather loosely. It was common practice in the ancient world to kill off entire towns. That does not imply intent to eradicate an entire race or people.

    That being said, none of these communities were killed because they were considered biologically inferior, or because the Israelites were considered biologically superior.

    As a sober minded and objective German, you should appreciate clear and honest distinctions.

    I am not here arguing that you cannot frame a moral case against the behavior of the early Israelites in some instances – that is a different argument.

    I am making a rather specific claim – that the Hebrews dud not justify themselves thorough appeals to racial or biological excellence (intelligence, strength, ability), and that the Greeks did.

    Such a claim should not be controversial, and should be easily verifiable.

  18. AaronB says:
    @AaronB

    There is no analogue in the OT, for instance, of the Nazi idea that some races must be killed off because they were biologically deficient.

    That is an idea that derives from the Greek notion of racial excellence being located in the biological – although the Greeks never took it that far.

    • Replies: @Violetta
  19. The fact this nonsense was published: “Rushton and Jensen’s Work Has Parallels with Some Concepts of Race Awareness in Ancient Greece.” shows Psych has an extremely low standard of peer-review.

    And LOL:

    More recently, science journalist Angela Saini has addressed popular audiences with Superior [14], a book presenting the typical arguments against race as a concept (e.g., races are ill-defined, etc.); however, as Winegard and Carl point out in their review of the book, [15] Saini’s arguments are sloppy, and they confuse what races actually are (if properly defined, then it becomes clear that divisions are not arbitrary, and race remains a useful concept).

    It cites and defends the non-peer-reviewed right-wing rag Quillette.

    Real scientists won’t touch Psych with a barge-pole:

    • Replies: @anon
  20. @AaronB

    It was common practice in the ancient world to kill off entire towns.

    There’s an entire ideology about this in parts of the OT (ideology of the ban), with God explicitly demanding the total extermination of certain towns, communities offensive to Him. This sometimes included even the cattle of defeated communities, king Saul lost God’s favour, because his destruction of the Amalekites didn’t include their cattle.
    And I didn’t claim that it was based on theories of race…but by your logic one could also say that the crimes of ISIS weren’t really that bad, at least they were done for God, not for race or nation.

    • Replies: @AaronB
    , @Pericles
  21. AaronB says:
    @German_reader

    German Reader, nowhere did I address the general morality of the ancient Israelites. That’s a totally separate argument, my friend.

    You seem to be having a very hard time focusing here.

    I’m just making a very specific point. The concept of biological excellence or inferiority, of being superior or inferior based on biological attributes like intelligence or strength, doesn’t exist on the OT, and cones from the Greeks.

    That’s all. Pretty simple. But as far as I understand, you agree with me – so what are we arguing about?

    • Replies: @German_reader
  22. I will quote a bit more from the Deuteronomy chapter I posted before:

    Chapter 7
    Destruction of the Nations in the Land. 1 When the Lord, your God, brings you into the land which you are about to enter to possess, and removes many nations before you—the Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites, seven nations more numerous and powerful than you— 2 and when the Lord, your God, gives them over to you and you defeat them, you shall put them under the ban. Make no covenant with them and do not be gracious to them. 3 You shall not intermarry with them, neither giving your daughters to their sons nor taking their daughters for your sons.

    5 But this is how you must deal with them: Tear down their altars, smash their sacred pillars, chop down their asherahs,[a] and destroy their idols by fire.

    […]

    16 You shall consume all the peoples which the Lord, your God, is giving over to you. You are not to look on them with pity, nor serve their gods, for that would be a snare to you. 17 If you say to yourselves, “These nations are more numerous than we. How can we dispossess them?” 18 do not be afraid of them. Rather, remember clearly what the Lord, your God, did to Pharaoh and to all Egypt: 19 the great testings which your own eyes have seen, the signs and wonders, the strong hand and outstretched arm with which the Lord, your God, brought you out. The same also will he do to all the peoples of whom you are now afraid. 20 Moreover, the Lord, your God, will send hornets among them, until those who are left and those who are hiding from you are destroyed. 21 Therefore, do not be terrified by them, for the Lord, your God, who is in your midst, is a great and awesome God. 22 He will remove these nations before you little by little. You cannot finish with them quickly, lest the wild beasts become too numerous for you. 23 The Lord, your God, will give them over to you and throw them into utter panic until they are destroyed. 24 He will deliver their kings into your power, that you may make their names perish from under the heavens. No one will be able to stand up against you, till you have destroyed them. 25 The images of their gods you shall destroy by fire. Do not covet the silver or gold on them, nor take it for yourselves, lest you be ensnared by it; for it is an abomination to the Lord, your God. 26 You shall not bring any abominable thing into your house, so as to be, like it, under the ban; loathe and abhor it utterly for it is under the ban.[b]

    Greed, expansionist mentality, advocation of cultural eradication of their enemies, genocide and forbidding miscegenation.

    I would also note that it is not under a universal divine entity these commands are uttered, but rather the Israelites’ personal ethnic god and as such ther collective consciousness.

    If the end-result is the same, semantics are useless.

    • Replies: @AaronB
  23. @AaronB

    Come on, imo there was a clear subtext to your comment, since racism is nowadays seen as the ultimate evil, and since you’ve bashed the allegedly negative influence of ancient Greece in other threads, it’s hardly a leap to read your comment as yet another argument for the supposedly general ethical superiority of Judaic morality. I think it’s only fair to point out certain issues with that.
    But this is probably going to lead off-topic, and since I don’t care that much about the content of the original post, I’m done with this thread.

    • Replies: @AaronB
    , @anon
  24. AaronB says:
    @Hyperborean

    Lol, doesn’t this rather prove my point?

    God is telling the Israelites that they shouldn’t fear the physical superiority of the other more numerous nations, and that God will give them victory, not their own strength.

    And you can hardly call it greed when they are instructed specifically to not covet the gold and silver and to not take the women for their sons.

    Call it what you will, this clearly no Viking pillage raid or Pirate slave raid.

    Distinctions are distinctions. This may be bad – or not – but it isn’t a pillaging expedition for booty.

    • Replies: @Hyperborean
  25. AaronB says:
    @German_reader

    Ok, that’s a fair point – but as you say, that would probably develop into a long conversation.

    I really just wanted to establish a specific point here, which can be done within a small amount of space, rather than evaluate the general morality of the OT – which is a rather larger conversation.

  26. songbird says:
    @AaronB

    I am making a rather specific claim – that the Hebrews dud not justify themselves thorough appeals to racial or biological excellence (intelligence, strength, ability), and that the Greeks did.

    Aren’t we speaking primarily of literature? Jews were often migratory or lived in small communities. Does that not naturally reduce their body of literature to the more spiritual?

    The real question is how they behaved. Does not the practice of slavery suggest a view of differing innate abilities? Then there were hereditary priests, and even further classifications in the Mishna, if I understand correctly.

    At any rate, the Hindu caste system suggests that such a system of ordering peoples is much older than the Classical Greeks. If I recall, even the Puritans, allowed but tightly controlled symbols of class, for a time.

    • Replies: @AaronB
  27. @AaronB

    Lol, doesn’t this rather prove my point?

    God is telling the Israelites that they shouldn’t fear the physical superiority of the other more numerous nations, and that God will give them victory, not their own strength.

    It is counting only numerical superiority of their enemies, nothing regarding physical abilities.

    And you can hardly call it greed when they are instructed specifically to not covet the gold and silver and to not take the women for their sons.

    Call it what you will, this clearly no Viking pillage raid or Pirate slave raid.

    And I suppose Israelites were simply following their God’s will in attempting to acquire (comparatively given their size) vast tracts of lebensraum?

    Distinctions are distinctions. This may be bad – or not – but it isn’t a pillaging expedition for booty.

    Should it matter? After all, morality seems to be merely a utilitarian tool for you to retroactively justify your actions in the face of outsiders’ criticism.

    • Replies: @AaronB
  28. AaronB says:
    @songbird

    Most of the OT is based on Jews being settled in the land of Israel. But I’m not sure why settling in foreign lands would preclude Jews from coming up with the notion of biological superiority.

    Only the Greeks justified slavery by appeals to biological inferiority. There are three hereditary castes in Judaism, the priests, the assistant priests so to speak, and commoners – although the distinctions are of little importance today, and were not drastic in ancient times.

    Once again these don’t depend on any kind of appeal to biological attributes – for instance, the priests were not considered more intelligent or more moral than anyone else. They had a spiritual function – sacrifices in the temple. Just as Israel itself was not considered more moral or stronger than other people – it just had a special mission.

    And this is certainly not racial or ethnic, that much is clear.

    I do not think that the Hindus came up with a biological justification for their caste system – such an idea can only occur to people who accept materialism, and the Hindus were religious.

    In any event, in Europe at least, the idea is traceable to the Greeks – which, to be fair, only makes sense, as the Greeks developed materialism and science, and if you are a materialist, then obviously excellence has to be biological. It’s a natural corollary.

    Each culture was following its premises.

    • Replies: @anon
  29. AaronB says:
    @Hyperborean

    Sure, but it makes clear that 1) Israelite victory will not be obtained through their own strength of arm, which is strikingly different from the legends of other nations, but God will deliver victory. A clear rejection of the biological factor 2) Numbers are not important. Another rejection of the physical factor.

    It was an attempt to establish a physical base from which God’s superior ethical system could spread out to the world. Child sacrifice and other horrific practices were common among the neighboring people, and the OT ethic sought to abolish such monstrosities and the idol worship associated with it.

    One may say that the bloodshed could not justify this, but one cannot reasonably compare it to a mere Viking looting expedition – as the rejection of silver and women make abundantly clear.

    • Replies: @Hyperborean
  30. @AaronB

    It was an attempt to establish a physical base from which God’s superior ethical system could spread out to the world.

    Didn’t you just prove German Reader’s point?

    it’s hardly a leap to read your comment as yet another argument for the supposedly general ethical superiority of Judaic morality. I think it’s only fair to point out certain issues with that.

    I don’t really think there is much more to discuss.

    • Replies: @AaronB
  31. AaronB says:
    @Hyperborean

    Umm, I responded to your point about the Israelite conquest being about greed and pillage.

    I agree there should be nothing to discuss – my initial point is uncontroversial.

    • Replies: @Hyperborean
  32. @AaronB

    Umm, I responded to your point about the Israelite conquest being about greed and pillage.

    I said greed, I never said pillage. Yet here you are, making an ideological defense of the conquest of land (and given your justification of the Aztec sacrifices of humans in the wake of Spanish attempt to eradicate the practice, seemingly showing your particularity).

    Surely, desiring to take half a dozen nations’ land is a form of greed as well?

    • Replies: @AaronB
    , @anon
  33. AaronB says:
    @Hyperborean

    I no longer think the Spanish destruction of Aztec culture was wrong – although I don’t think the Spanish claimed eradicating human sacrifice was their primary aim. They frankly confessed to greed for gold. And they were excessively bloody given their aims.

    I was not justifying the conquest of the land – merely pointing out that it is not in the same class as an ordinary greed based pillaging operation. I’m glad you agree.

    As for whether the conquest was still greedy, each of us can decide for himself, one he understands how it is different from an ordinary pillaging expedition.

    I’m more interested here in establishing facts, and letting others judge for themselves.

  34. Peter Frost says: • Website

    People in the ancient world were aware of behavioral and psychological differences between human groups, but they usually attributed these differences to the direct action of climate. In addition, although black Africans were often stereotyped as being macrophallic, they were seldom seen as being less intelligent.

    I’m aware of only two Greco-Roman texts in which “Ethiopians” (the classical term for black Africans) are described as being less intelligent. One is a reference by Ibn Khaldun (1332-1406) to the Greek physician Galen (129-210), but that reference may be a false attribution.

    We have seen that Negroes are in general characterized by levity, excitability, and great emotionalism. They are found to dance wherever they hear a melody. They are everywhere described as stupid. … Al-Masfiüdı undertook to investigate the reason [for this]. However, he did no better than to report on the authority of … al-Kindı and Jalinus [Galen] that the reason is a weakness of their brains which results in a weakness of their intellects. This is an inconclusive and unproven statement. … The real reason is that … joy and gladness are due to the expansion and diffusion of the animal spirit. Sadness is due to the opposite.

    https://org.uib.no/smi/sa/16/16Hunwick.pdf

    The other is the Christian parable about the Ethiopian woodcutter. An Ethiopian is gathering wood, and when the burden becomes too heavy, he puts it down and gathers more wood. But now his load of wood is even heavier, so he puts it down and gathers even more wood. This parable is from late antiquity and may reflect the growing influx of black slaves into the Middle East during that period.

    I suspect there are two reasons why black Africans were infrequently stereotyped as being less intelligent:

    – mean intelligence was probably lower in the Mediterranean world during classical times. The difference with subsaharan Africa would have thus seemed smaller

    – contacts with black Africans were initially most frequent with Nubians, who already had a relatively high level of material culture and were thus already undergoing selection for cognitive ability. Contacts with peoples farther south developed only later, with development of the African slave trade.

    • Replies: @Beckow
  35. Anon[859] • Disclaimer says:
    @songbird

    I don’t remember his name, but one of the moors in medieval Spain wrote very lowly of the subcontinentals in explicit racial terms. This was despite that by now large parts of the subcontinent, especially the part closest to Europe, was Islamic. Apparently Islamic solidarity did not preclude making racial observations. So, yes, the concept of race is not new.

    What was new with the Enlightenment is that it was for the first time an attempt was made to make it systematical and intellectually rigorous rather than rely on personal anecdotes and hearsay. Carl von Linné was actually a leading proponent of this. He categorized flowers and thought, why not humans. His first attempts were very crude but they were a start. Later scholars built on his and other pioneers work.

    In many ways those who broach this topic are building on that legacy.

  36. There’s one ancient novel (the Aethiopica) where an apparently Greek white woman (yes, they do use the colour words) is actually the Princess of Ethiopia, but she came out as white because her mother was looking at a picture of a beautiful Greek woman when she was conceived

  37. It is naïve to believe that when Egyptians chose dark colors to represent Southern peoples, they were merely a sort of football uniform. It seems more likely that dark colors were chosen because, well, Nubians (Egypt’s neighbors to the South) were very dark indeed. Further proof that these depictions were not analogous to mere football uniforms is that there are representations in which Nubians are depicted not only as having darker colors, but also having flat noses and thick lips.

    The Assyrians too, like in this one of their reliefs of Nubian soldiers in Egypt (this is not how they usually portray Egyptians) from the BM

    Favourite thing in the excellent #Ashurbanipal exhibition at @britishmuseum: this relief showing the Assyrian armies attacking an Egyptian city & carrying off Kushite prisoners – w feather headdresses – it being the time when Egypt was ruled by Kushite pharaohs of the 25th Dyn.. pic.twitter.com/f2sUON92Pf— Dr Chris Naunton (@chrisnaunton) December 13, 2018

  38. melanf says:

    Division of mankind in medieval Russia.

    After the flood, the sons
    of Noah (Shem, Ham, and Japheth) divided the earth among them.
    To the lot of Shem fell the Orient, and his share extended lengthwise
    as far as India and breadthwise (i.e., from east to south ) as far as
    Rhinocurura, including Persia and Bactria, as well as Syria, Media
    ( which lies beside the Euphrates River), Babylon, Cordyna, Assyria,
    Mesopotamia, Arabia the Ancient, Elymais, India, Arabia the Mighty,
    Coelesyria, Commagene, and all Phoenicia.

    To the lot of Ham fell the southern region, comprising Egypt,
    Ethiopia facing toward India, the other … Among the regions of the Orient,
    Ham also received Cilicia, Pamphylia, Mysia….

    To the lot of Japheth fell the northern and the western sec-
    tions, including Media, Albania, Armenia ( both little and great),

    In the share of Japheth lies Rus’, Chud’, and all the gentiles: (list of Finno-Ugric and Balt tribes) … For the following nations also are a part of the race of Japheth: the Varangians,
    the Swedes, the Normans, the Gotlanders, the Russes, the English,
    the Spaniards, the Italians, the Romans, the Germans, the French, the
    Venetians, the Genoese, and so on. Their homes are situated in the
    northwest, and adjoin the Hamitic tribes.
    Thus Shem, Ham, and Japheth divided the earth among them”

    This picture of the world typical of the ancient times/middle ages:
    characteristics of the peoples are hereditary, but the division is not based on race, but on other criteria.

  39. @songbird

    I bet there might also be untapped Arab sources.

    Here is what Maimonides (c1135-1204), the Sephardic Jewish philosopher who lived his entire life in the Arab world, had to say in his Guide for the Perplexed:

    . . . such individuals as the furthermost Turks found in the remote North, the Negroes found in the remote South, and those who resemble them from among them that are with us in these climes. The status of those is like that of irrational animals. To my mind they do not have the rank of men, but have among the beings a rank lower than the rank of man but higher than the ram or the apes. For they have the external shape and lineaments of a man and a faculty of discernment that is superior to that of the apes.

  40. Violetta says:
    @AaronB

    […] the Nazi idea that some races must be killed off because they were biologically deficient.

    Source?

    • Replies: @anon
  41. Pericles says:
    @German_reader

    Orthodox judaism commands the adherents to genocide the Amalekites and more. E.g., mitzvot 599.

    19 Therefore it shall be, when the LORD thy God hath given thee rest from all thine enemies round about, in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance to possess it, that thou shalt blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven; thou shalt not forget.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amalek#Commandment_to_exterminate_the_Amalekites

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  42. @Oliver D. Smith

    Ancient categorisations of human populations directly contradict “race realism” which today would lump northern Europeans and Mediterranean populations into the same race.

    “Race realism” is just the PC euphemism when you want to say “niggers be dumb”.

    Don’t read too much into it.

  43. Beckow says:
    @Peter Frost

    …two reasons why black Africans were infrequently stereotyped as being less intelligent

    Thank you for the reference, very illuminating. Black Africans were (and are) diverse. As you point out the difference with the ones living in closets proximity to the advanced world (Nubia, Ethiopia) were smaller. The explosion of deep African populations (Bantus, West Africans) only happened in the last few hundred years. Most stereotypes apply to them.

    I also think ancients were not particularly concerned with intelligence. Their ranking was based on high-birth (nobility), personal honour and valour. To be clever or wise was commented on, but not always in a positive way, e.g. Odysseus was too clever by half and had his misfortunes. There was also a strong association of being smart with being tricky and cheating regular people (that has stayed with us until recently).

    What we often miss is that pure intelligence is not particularly useful in a resources-poor world. It helps, but other characteristics like physical strength, resilience, courage, risk-taking, ability to father offspring, hard work, etc… are more useful. The worship of intelligence is a recent phenomenon as mankind moved up to relative material plenty, and also due to the fact that what were seen as scribes became a central part of the elite.

  44. I’m reading Maurizio Meloni’s new book Impressionable Biologies: From the Archeology of Plasticity to the Sociology of Epigenetics and he cited that Aristotle quote (my first time coming across it) and I argue that a whole different theory of racial differences in “intelligence” would have been theorized.

    Meloni continues after the quote from Aristotle (Meloni, 2019: 42):

    “Views of direct environmental influence and the porosity of bodies to these effects also entered the military machines of ancient empires, like that of the Romans. Offices such as Vegetius (De re militari, I/2) suggested avoiding recruiting troops from cold climates as they had too much blood and, hence, inadequate intelligence. Instead, he argued, troops from temperate climates be recruited, as they possess the right amount of blood, ensuring their fitness for camp discipline (Irby, 2016). Delicate and effemenizing land was also to be abandoned as soon as possible, according Manilius and Caesar (ibid). Probably the most famous geopolitical dictum of antiquity reflects exactly this plastic power of places: “soft lands breed soft men”, according to the claim that Herodotus attributed to Cyrus.”

    https://notpoliticallycorrect.me/2019/06/13/how-things-change-perspectives-on-intelligence-in-antiquity/

    Sarich and Miele in their book Race: The Reality of Human Differences argue the same: that there were race concepts in antiquity, citing the same ancient peoples as the authors of this paper do.

    • Replies: @Oliver D. Smith
  45. The concept of race in the modern sense dates only from Linnaeus in the eighteenth century, so it confuses matters to try to find “race realism” in the ancient world, because they had no such concept. At most, you could say they were aware of some tribal or regional differences, race used in a folkloric sense instead of the scientific sense. But countervailing against this was philosophy, in which reason was thought to be universal and available to all. Plato makes a good deal of this, e.g., in his dialogue Meno Socrates, through an artful series of questions, shows that an untutored slave boy (possibly a racial alien, as many slaves were) is able to reason his way to a discovery of Pythagoras’ theorem.

    Science arose from folklore and a pre-scientific way of looking at the world by degrees, like light emerging from darkness at dawn. That makes looking for science among the ancient Greeks a bit dodgy, since as we use the term today science relies upon experimentation, a skeptical approach, and a scientific method not developed until centuries later. For example, did Democritus having deduced a philosophic theory about matter being composed of atoms make him the first atomic scientist? Doubtful. Aristotle is often given as an example of an ancient scientist, but he maintained that women have fewer teeth than men, it apparently never occurring to check. The ancient Greeks and Romans speculated about the nature of reality and laid the foundations for what later became science, but were not themselves scientists in the modern sense.

  46. @RaceRealist88

    Hey RR, I suggest you read the book – Theory of Race by Joshua Glasgow.

    Free download: https://epdf.pub/a-theory-of-race.html

    It criticises Sarich and Miele’s book and their definition of race.

    Some versions of populationism seem to suffer from the mismatch problem particularly badly. For example, Sarich and Miele (2004, 172) judge that the Dogon, Teita, and Bushmen (their terms) are distinctive races, as are people from Athens and Copenhagen (p. 210), but most of these groups don’t seem to qualify as races as ordinarily conceived

    Of course ancient cultures recognised different cultures/nations/tribes, but those don’t match the putative “races” of “race realists” today; things obviously get into a silly semantic dispute and a mismatch objection if we redefine race to mean mere local breeding populations, to use Sarich and Miele’s (inappropriate) example, Athenians; they are not a good example of a deme/breeding group because Athens is cosmopolitan with many different breeding populations – the Amish people are a far better example.

  47. @Pericles

    It’s interesting that muh spiritual Jews were genocidal (at least according to their mythology), while the evil racialist Hellenes weren’t.

    • Replies: @anon
  48. anon[255] • Disclaimer says:
    @Hurr Durr

    Found the cuuk.

  49. anon[255] • Disclaimer says:
    @Oliver D. Smith

    >Saini

    You mean the Pajeet who hit the wall?

  50. anon[255] • Disclaimer says:
    @reiner Tor

    You’re talking with an anti-White troll. He’s not here to argue in legit faith.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  51. anon[884] • Disclaimer says:
    @AaronB

    Try actually reading what Hinduvtas say. Suffice to say that caste did indeed connect with heritage and race as we call it.

    • Replies: @anon
  52. anon[884] • Disclaimer says:
    @Hyperborean

    >stealing is fine as long as it’s land and not gold

    How Jewish.

  53. anon[884] • Disclaimer says:
    @AaronB

    Your beloved Kikes take plenty of gibsmedat cash from Murica and terrorize Palestinians so hard they’re second-tier citizens. And keep in mind Palestinians are far more related to the Hebrews than Israel’s settlers.

  54. @anon

    You mean AaronB? I know his comments are made in bad faith.

    • Replies: @anon
  55. anon[884] • Disclaimer says:
    @Violetta

    Jews make it a point thst the Nazis were special and past civilizations just didn’t do stuff like Muh Shoah. To the point of denying the Ottoman Massacres of Armenians and Greeks.

    • Replies: @anon
  56. anon[884] • Disclaimer says:
    @reiner Tor

    Yeah I mean the Kike. AaronB is either a self-hater who wants to be non-White or just a Jew who’s not hiding his hatred of Whitey.

  57. anon[884] • Disclaimer says:
    @anon

    Of course, I admit that just as Jews praised Muslim Spain despite having Christians in lower positions, Jews also praise the Ottomans despite their slavery and massacres since they were tolerant (read: made an enviornment where Jews could stomp over Christians).

  58. anon[345] • Disclaimer says:
    @German_reader

    Kikes have long hated the Greeks/Romans. Same goes for their attitude towards the Egyptians. Go figure our little Semite friend blames them for waycism. Meanwhile in reality:

    http://judaism.is/who-is-human.html

  59. anon[345] • Disclaimer says:
    @anon

    • Replies: @Malla
  60. Malla says:
    @anon

    Interesting! Chakravorty is a Brahmin, they created the caste system, enjoyed its fruits, treated those below them with a brutality unparalleled in human history and now they shamelessly blame the British for this evil system of theirs. The same British who were the first to allow education for lower caste people for the first time in two millennia.
    No Guilt, no Shame for real crimes of the past. The British on the other hand full of guilt and shame for imagined crimes.

  61. Cortez says:
    @Oliver D. Smith

    It says a fat loser and a virgin like your Oliver.
    The racist texts of the ancient Hindus are also not valid?

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