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1991

From Eidolon, Donna Zuckerberg’s Classics mag:

Black Athena, White Power
Are We Paying the Price for Classics’ Response to Bernal?

Denise Eileen McCoskey

Denise Eileen McCoskey is a Professor of Classics and affiliate of Black World Studies at Miami University (Ohio). She is the author of Race: Antiquity & Its Legacy, and past recipient of the John J. Winkler Memorial Prize. In 2009, she won the American Philological Association Award for Excellence in Teaching at the College Level.

Nov 15 Art by Mali Skotheim

… In the mid 1990s, a few months before starting my first teaching job, I remember sitting in a lecture hall and listening to a talk on Ptolemaic Egypt. After the lecture, as we all milled about, a black woman from the audience quietly approached the speaker and asked: “Was Cleopatra black?”

Excited that this question, which had become the subject of growing intensity outside the academy, was being raised in the context of a formal classics lecture, I eagerly awaited the response. It came quickly and damningly, for the speaker simply waved a hand disgustedly. Then she turned her back.

… As I look back now, I realize that my feelings of alienation — my recurring sense that many of my colleagues’ questions were valued in ways that made no sense to me while the ones I wanted to ask were forbidden — cannot be separated from the fact that I came of age as a classicist in the time of Black Athena.

My goal in reflecting back on Classics’ encounter with Black Athena (beginning some thirty years ago now) is not to open old wounds — or at least not open them casually — but to insist that we cannot effectively combat today’s use of Greece and Rome by white nationalists until we admit our own role in bringing such ideology about, until we grapple honestly with the fact that in no small way Classics’ response to Black Athena is coming home to roost.

For those who didn’t live through it, the sheer scale of Black Athena’s cultural impact can be difficult to comprehend (but here is a nice starter bibliography). It was a time when questions about the roots of ancient Greek civilization — and especially its connections to Africa — were everywhere — from television documentaries to Italian dub trance music to the cover of Newsweek magazine.

Appearing in the same year as Allan Bloom’s The Closing of the American Mind (1987), Black Athena soon became part of larger conversations “about how to teach the foundational ideas of Western culture” in American universities. Although the subject matter of Black Athena was deceptively straightforward — as author Martin Bernal phrased it: “Black Athena is essentially concerned with the Egyptian and Semitic roles in the formation of Greece in the Middle and Late Bronze Age” (volume 1, p. 22) — such brevity of purpose belied the ways Black Athena sought not only to re-examine the early development of Greek culture, but also to raise pointed questions about the ways early classical scholars had produced a distinctly whitewashed version of Greek origins throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, one that emphasized the alleged purity of Greek culture as well as its superiority over Egypt.

Outlining the development of this approach to Greek history, which Bernal called the “Aryan Model,” in volume 1 of Black Athena, Bernal used archaeological and linguistic evidence in volumes 2 and 3 to argue for a “Revised Ancient Model,” one based in large part on the view the Greeks had of their own cultural origins (their “Ancient Model”), a view that acknowledged early phases of Egyptian and Phoenician colonization, as well as the continuing influence of these cultures on their own.

Egyptian hieroglyphics emerged about 5,000 years ago. Ancient Egyptian high culture emerged very early in human history and then was remarkably stable for thousands of years. So, it would hardly be surprising if Ancient Egypt, like the Fertile Crescent, had influence on Greek culture at the time of or before, say, the Trojan War (about 3200 years ago). Egypt and Babylon were way ahead of Greece, so it’s hardly unlikely that Greeks would have borrowed from the older civilizations, as Greek writers like Herodotus and Plato suggested. [Update: Commenters have challenged my assertion that Plato asserted this, so I withdraw it. There may or may not have been a connection between Plato (and/or Socrates) and the earlier Pythagoras. In turn, Pythagoras was alleged to have studied the wisdom of, especially, Egypt, along with Persia, the Hebrews, India, Iberia, and the Celtic cultures.)

On the other hand, the famous later Greek efflorescence of 2500 years ago (Socrates, etc.) is a remarkable event in world history.

… Bernal’s treatment of race was often mischaracterized, for despite the work’s provocative title, skin color was actually quite peripheral to Bernal’s project. Indeed, Bernal seemed to many of his readers to hedge by stating simply that there were some Egyptian pharaohs “whom one can usefully call black” (vol. 1, p. 242). Bernal’s stance on Egyptian Blackness was panned in a footnote to Greg Thomas’ 2009 book Hip-Hop Revolution in the Flesh: Power, Knowledge, and Pleasure in Lil’ Kim’s Lyricism (evidence of the incredibly wide-ranging influence of Black Athena). When pressed to clarify his position, Bernal would later label Egyptian civilization “fundamentally African,” while declaring the population itself “mixed,” one that got “darker and more Negroid the further up the Nile you went.”

When faced with criticism about his title, Bernal openly admitted that “African Athena” would have been more accurate, infamously adding that his publisher insisted on the title by stating: “Blacks no longer sell. Women no longer sell. But black women still sell!” (Arethusa special issue, pp. 31–32).

Much of the confusion stems from that old Brits often used “black” to refer to dark-haired / dark-eyed people, which is extremely confusing for Americans, where “black” has long meant sub-Saharan African. So African Americans would read old books in which some Oxford professor would refer to Ancient Egyptians as “black” and assume that he meant sub-Saharans.

Moreover, Americans tend not to be very aware of what North Africans look like and assume that people north of the Sahara must be closely related to people south of the Sahara. In most of North Africa that isn’t true, although the Nile is the one corridor where you wouldn’t be major danger of dying of thirst as you cross the desert. On the other hand, the upper Nile is harder to move along that you might expect.

Fortunately, the rapidly progressing science of ancient DNA scans should allow us to answer many of these questions about racial ancestry.

Professor McCoskey is a devout member of the Race Has No Biological Reality cult.

But of course what African American Afrocentrists really desire is to be told that Cleopatra was biologically black.

Say it were announced tomorrow that the long lost Tomb of Antony and Cleopatra:

She shall be buried by her Antony:
No grave upon the earth shall clip in it
A pair so famous.

had been definitively discovered. And it contains an intact, un-graverobbed mummy of Cleopatra, and that David Reich’s lab at Harvard is to analyze her DNA. If Reich then announced that Cleopatra’s DNA is, say, 3/8ths sub-Saharan African, black American Afrocentrists would feel overjoyed and vindicated. As well they should.

Now, I find this scenario unlikely. What we know about her ancestry, which is quite a bit for someone from so long ago, points to southeastern Europe. Her ancestor was Alexander the Great’s general Ptolemy from Macedonia. My guess is that the 1990s Afrocentrist obsession with Cleopatra is just more of the kind of thing Waugh had fun with in Scoop when the Ishmaelite consul-general orates to William Boot:

“As that great Negro Karl Marx has so nobly written … Who built the Pyramids? A Negro. Who invented the circulation of the blood? A Negro.

But if DNA evidence upheld the view that Cleopatra was significantly sub-Saharan, then they would be right.

That’s how science works.

 
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  1. Eagle Eye says:

    From Black Athena to Robert Plomin

    Personal life[edit]
    In 1961, the then Judith Pace married Martin Gardiner Bernal, a British scholar of modern Chinese political history who also wrote the controversial Black Athena;[1][10] Together, they had one daughter and twin sons.[10] They later divorced.[1] From 1973 to 1987, she was married to John Montfort Dunn, a British political theorist, before they too divorced.[1] In 1987, she married Robert Plomin, an American psychologist.[1]

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judith_Dunn#Personal_life

  2. First they came for Robert E. Lee.
    Then they came for Norman Rockwell.
    Then they came for Elizabeth Taylor.

    On the other hand, she had bling.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @Anonymouse
  3. Cleopatra was an elite courtesan adventuress. Even if she happens to be 3/8 black, what would that tell us about the intellectual elite in Egypt and Babylon for the thousands of years preceding the rise of Greece? Not much. And what would any of this tell us about the ways in which the Greeks both depend on and diverge from their intellectual forbears? Not much.

    Anyone who reads Plato knows that he regards the Egyptians and Babylonians as his predecessors. There are many, many interesting questions here, but even if someone were to definitively establish that Cleopatra were 3/8 “black” (which is probably a good guess for an absolute maximum), this would do pretty much nothing towards answering those questions.

  4. Cortes says:

    The Ptolemies, like the later, doltish Hapsburgs, were inbred, perhaps for the same principal reason: to maintain the real estate.

    https://uwlabyrinth.uwaterloo.ca/labyrinth_archives/all_in_the_family.pdf

    Any black DNA will be interesting.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  5. Dave Pinsen says: • Website

    I was just listening to Kevin Michael Grace chatting with Luke Ford, and they quoted Sheryl Sandberg from her autobiography saying that when she got to Harvard, she’d never heard of Achilles or the Iliad. If only Donna had been around then to teach her.

  6. I can understand my immunity to many of the quirks of African-Americans–I can, after all, trace my ancestry to the nth generation. It has always baffled me though why they didn’t just claim Pushkin or Dumas. Surely, being “mixed” as all African-Americans are, they better fit the profile.

    Cleopatra and Egypt, why would anyone seek to identify with–A, a woman whose achievement was primarily on her back–need not have been so, see Catherine and Elizabeth– B, an indolent State that has been more vassal than conqueror in its long history? Baffling.

    Hell, the Buffalo soldiers are more worthy of adulation than Cleopatra!

  7. It would be shocking were it to be demonstrated that Cleo’s Greek family were to be any part Negroid. Given any options, a ruling class always selects for lighter, like the Eric Holders of Jamaica. Rich and powerful families, such as the white Mexican ruling class, do not mate down. Recent exceptions in England duly noted.

    • Replies: @Flip
    , @Tim
    , @Forbes
  8. Etcetera says:

    We know Cleopatra’s entire family tree. All the inbreeding makes it easier: not a lot to know. It’s on Wikipedia for anyone to see. She was Greek, not even Egyptian.

    That’s what makes the Black Cleopatra “controversy” so farcical.

    IIRC she’s some proportion local egyptian, but even the locals weren’t Black. We know from Greek writings what the Egyptians of their day looked like.

    @Cortes, inheritance laws weren’t as rigid in Ptolmaic Egypt. The inbreeding was something more like an attempt to maintain their eliteness and exclusivity, as a dynasty of foreign conquerors, descended from one of Alexander the Great’s generals.

    • Agree: Colin Wright
    • Replies: @pyrrhus
    , @Paul Jolliffe
  9. eah says:

    Excited that this question, which had become the subject of growing intensity outside the academy

    “LOL”

    These people are disgusting and insufferable — oh and BTW race is a social construct…sometimes.

    someone’s dreaming of a white christmas

    It’s a charity event to benefit a type of muscular dystrophy — follow the link to the tweet and review the thread.

  10. Anon[425] • Disclaimer says:

    Real Jews were black. Sheeeeeeiiiit. Donna, she a whitey poseur. And her bro Zuckustus is just a lame white boy.

    http://realneo.us/content/original-biblical-jews-were-black-african-people

    • Replies: @Rosamond Vincy
  11. So the Black Irish weren’t African, at least until recently?

    Those effing Ancients had to go and ruin humanity by not being African, at least not sub-Saharan African. Talk about the mother of all microsggressions.

    • LOL: Mr. Rational
    • Replies: @Forbes
  12. Anon[425] • Disclaimer says:

    https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=best+books+of+2017

    Incredible. Every single one of them pose the same, look the same(regardless of sex or ‘gender’), talk the same, and have same lame tastes.

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
    , @Bill B.
  13. Bill B. says:

    Has anyone asked North Africans – Libyans or Moroccans say – whether they were sub-Saharan black or heavily black or black in some important way?

  14. DFH says:

    Egypt and Babylon were way ahead of Greece, so it’s hardly unlikely that Greeks would have borrowed from the older civilizations, as Greek writers like Herodotus and Plato suggested.

    But they hardly did borrow from Egypt at all, in fact they themselves massively overestimated their debt to Egypt. The Egyptians made very few intellectual advances given the length of their history.

  15. kihowi says:

    But Cleopatra was Greek…she was a Ptolemy. The hell?

  16. @Dave Pinsen

    I’m a redneck farmer, and EVEN I had heard of The Iliad in my high school! (Then again, USNW&R said it is one of the best in the country, despite being in rural Ohio.) Then again, a progressive school would probably consider glorifying butt-banging teenage boys the best part of Greek culture.

    • Replies: @Marat
  17. In Cecil B. DeMille’s 1934 film Cleopatra, a bunch of Romans at a party are discussing Cleopatra, asking all sorts of questions. Suddenly one of the female partygoers asks “What does anyone know about her? Is she black?” To which a chorus of raucous laughter and gales of giggling occur at such a silly question. This would tend to suggest that historical British sources (which DeMille drew upon for his research for the film) considered her to be dark, or black.

    But why is this fantasy still indulged in in 2018?

    Another line from 1933 classic King Kong, when Carl Denim, Fay Ray, Cabot, and the skipper land upon Skull Island, looking at the enormous wall at the back of the island, the skipper cries out “Collossal! It might almost be Egyptian.”
    Even though this is in the South Seas, so that’s not really possible but intended to be a compliment to the primitive tribe dwellers.

  18. @Bill B.

    No one has ever reported doing so, at least lived long enough to report it.

  19. There is no chance that the people who think or hope that Cleopatra was black understand that Greeks were in charge of Egyptians. Or that Greeks had anything to do with Egypt at all.

    Remember that the mainstream has only heard of this as crossover from the Nation of Islam and their teachings about whites being created on a Greek island by a mad scientist and then fleeing to the caves.

    They think Ancient Greek history is false: “You only read about Greeks in the library, where they bury the lies.” (I know it makes no sense, but that is what they say).

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  20. The Nubian Dynasty was black. They ruled Egypt for around 200 years. Then the Libyans invaded and drove them out. The Libyans were replaced by the Ptolemies.

  21. Beckow says:

    DNA and color correlate, but not conclusively. For example there is a big R1b cluster in Chad/Cameroon probably caused by some prehistoric migration (or since R1b covers most Western Europeans, now we know who you really are!).

    Cleopatra was of southern Balkan origin, not exactly a posh pedigree. It explains her treachery and serial who..ing, or it could be the inbreeding part. In that region how could we know the difference?

    • Replies: @Iberiano
  22. Anonymous[295] • Disclaimer says:
    @James Speaks

    Then they came for Elizabeth Taylor.

    On the other hand, she had bling.

    She was also a tireless friend of the (((Chosen))). They’d sooner go after Louis Farrakhan–oh, wait …

  23. Jason Liu says:

    How come the right doesn’t go on the offensive first and regularly call out the left for appropriating history? If the right was culturally competent it would’ve raised a media stink about pseudohistory when Black Athena was published, hopefully isolating the author from social support.

    If you’re not gonna purge academia at least put them on the defensive

  24. John Winkler, alas, died of AIDS many years ago. He had been a monk in the Roman Catholic Church and, oddly, had kept monkeys as pets whilst a graduate student at Yale. He came down to the Univ. of Texas and at a party corrected my mispronunciation of “congeries” for which I remain grateful. He was a pioneer in “gender studies” vis-a-vis the ancient world and, it seems, monies for such studies have been collected in his name and distributed to scholars in that field of study.

  25. She’s so high …. like Cleopatra, Joan of Arc, and Aphrodite …

    Speaking of that, was Aphrodite black? One would think so, just from the name. I mean, you had your lily-white Caucodite and your Mongodite, so you’d only figure …

  26. Flip says:
    @james wilson

    Rich and powerful families, such as the white Mexican ruling class, do not mate down. Recent exceptions in England duly noted.

    And Jeb! Bush.

    • Replies: @Anon
  27. Anonymous[295] • Disclaimer says:

    If Reich then announced that Cleopatra’s DNA is, say, 3/8ths sub-Saharan African, black American Afrocentrists would feel overjoyed and vindicated. As well they should.

    Come to think of it, if she were even just 1/600th black, the way Elizabeth Warren is 1/600th Cherokee, the black-studies crowd would be overjoyed.

  28. Marat says:
    @Redneck farmer

    As you say, the Iliad and a survey of the Classical history – including drama – used to be part of the common core in late junior high school. Sounds like it’s been done away with, in favor of important critical studies and reverse race baiting – skills more useful for a lifetime of cultural upheaval than just gazing at the heavens and sharing any understanding of what the big fuss was about centuries ago. Or anything else sublime (or even profound).

    Donna is an overeducated and sad soulless freak who preys or the dead.

    • Replies: @SafeNow
  29. @James Speaks

    They came for Robert E. Lee Street here in Austin. It has been renamed with the name of the first black woman Secretary of the Treasury under Clinton who presumably was an Austinite.

    • Replies: @Autochthon
  30. @eah

    Maybe all the volunteers for the show were white. I remember in Live Aid 85 that the biggest black star of all refused to play, despite the fact it was raising money for an African country. Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross and Donna Summer also turned down invites. Lionel Richie did US Live Aid and Sade memorably did London.

    Professor McCoskey seems pretty woke.

    I bet her lecture on “Classical Studies, Race, and the Alt-Right: Contesting the Modern Meanings Made from Ancient Bodies.” would have been full of iStevey goodness, as would “Perhaps It Matters Little To What Race Terence Belonged: Racial Science And The Reading Of Classical Antiquity”.

  31. ic1000 says:

    A Modest Artificial-Intelligence-Based Proposal to Improve Written Discourse
    by ic1000
    Nov. 16, 2018

    Consider the following excerpt from a peer-reviewed academic journal (emphasis added):

    Appearing in the same year as Allan Bloom’s The Closing of the American Mind (1987), Black Athena soon became part of larger conversations “about how to teach the foundational ideas of Western culture” in American universities. … such brevity of purpose belied the ways Black Athena sought not only to re-examine the early development of Greek culture, but also to raise pointed questions about the ways early classical scholars had produced a distinctly whitewashed version of Greek origins throughout the 18th and 19th centuries…

    Here, we apply the novel “ps” AI kernel to improve this text:

    Appearing in the same year as Allan Bloom’s The Closing of the American Mind (1987), Black Athena soon became part of larger pseudo-conversations “about how to teach the foundational ideas of Western culture” in American universities. … such brevity of purpose belied the ways Black Athena sought not only to re-examine the early development of Greek culture, but also to raise pointed pseudo-questions about the ways early classical scholars had produced a distinctly “whitewashed” version of Greek origins throughout the 18th and 19th centuries…

    The sophisticated algorithm driving the “ps” program:

    1. Is the text authored by an academic, a progressive, or a social-justice warrior? If Yes, go to step 3.
    2. Exit.
    3. At every instance of “conversation” or “raise pointed questions,” insert the prefix “pseudo-”.
    4. Place every occurrence of whitewash in sneer quotes.
    5. Exit.

    • LOL: Mr. Rational
    • Replies: @anon
  32. @SporadicMyrmidon

    >Anyone who reads Plato knows that he regards the Egyptians and Babylonians as his predecessors.

    And where pray does Socrates say that?

  33. @SporadicMyrmidon

    “Anyone who reads Plato knows that he regards the Egyptians and Babylonians as his predecessors.”

    Precisely. The Donna Zuckerbergs of the world can only make waves if they pretend to have discovered something new and shocking to the imagined sensibilities of a hide-bound group of narrow-minded, bigoted idiots.

    But she, She!. She is different! She has a novel way of seeing things!

    NEWS! Folks. Donna Zuckerberg is weighing in on the topic of racial prejudice in the Classics! Hold the presses! The Final Word has not been spoken or heard until DZ has had her say!

    What utter self-elevating vanity. This is what we get when Studio Art invades sober studies like the Classics. Having taken a fair amount of studio art classes in college I can inform you that the main message a professor delivers to the aspiring Picassos is “Here’s your assignment. Show me something new, something different, something I haven’t seen before.”

    And so the little bearers of culture run home and devise schemes in their little minds of how to surprise and shock their Learned Elder. That’s all this is about; the boredom of a career academic asking or telling his students to come up with something that he hasn’t seen a thousand times before. His saying, “Someone, anyone, relieve me of the tedium of reviewing student submissions that look the same today as they did 25 years ago.”

    Technique? What’s that? Who needs it? It’s so old-fashioned. Just buy the materials and experiment. Or better yet, gather your own materials. Harvest them from junk bins at the on-campus recycle center. Found Art. A “revolution” which is now an old and and worn out movement and yet it still dominates the curriculum, shocks with its “challenge to the patriarchy and our culture’s expected notions of what Art should look like”.

    Ho hum. Even the relief from the tedium gets tedious.

    .

    • Replies: @vinteuil
  34. Harold says:

    Much of the confusion stems from that old Brits often used “black” to refer to dark-haired / dark-eyed people, which is extremely confusing for Americans, where “black” has long meant sub-Saharan African.

    Pretty sure I heard a black-haired man, definitely European-American, described as a ‘black’ on an old American radio show from the ’50s, possible Father Knows Best. I remember thinking it odd and interesting to hear this on an American show.

    • Replies: @BB753
  35. slumber_j says:
    @Dave Pinsen

    My wife knew (and deeply disliked) Sheryl Sandberg back then, who may or may not have been in her class at Harvard but was anyway a close contemporary. According to the missus, Sandberg’s mien in those days was half-smart Floridian aerobics instructor, very, very much on the make.

    While it doesn’t surprise me that Sandberg was something of an ignoramus, I don’t get how you graduate from high school and get accepted at a selective college knowing absolutely nothing about e.g. the Iliad. My guess is that she’s full of shit, and adopting that posture for some self-serving reason or another.

    • Replies: @Barnard
    , @YetAnotherAnon
  36. Gordo says:

    You could cross the Sahara by horse in the days of the Romans, its got a lot wider and dryer since.

  37. jay-w says:

    I don’t pay a lot of attention to this stuff, but didn’t somebody recently do DNA tests on some Egyptian mummies and establish that they were more-or-less Phoenician?

    • Replies: @ThirdWorldSteveReader
  38. Tlotsi says:
    @Redneck farmer

    The Nubian Dynasty was black. They ruled Egypt for around 200 years. Then the Libyans invaded and drove them out. The Libyans were replaced by the Ptolemies.

    No, it’s New Kingdom Egyptians > Libyans > Nubians > Assyrians > Saitic Egyptians > Persians > Macedonians (Alexander > Ptolemies).

    • Replies: @Redneck farmer
  39. ogunsiron says:
    @Nigerian Nationalist

    I don’t know if this has changed but I noticed over the years that Nigerians, particularly yoruba and igbo, didn’t invest too much effort into the afrocentric “we waz kangz of egypt” stuff.
    Yoruba and Igbo actually have a semi-decent pre-colonial culture. They can point to actually interesting artwork and their languages are still very much alive. They even use their own first names.

    Afrocentrism has been more of a thing for french speaking africans and diaspora africans.

    • Replies: @Macon Richardson
  40. Anonymous[139] • Disclaimer says:
    @Cortes

    Given she was ancient Egyptian nobility and increasingly archaeologists are discovering that these people were Caucasian from mummies directly (such as Caucasian hair) and from genetic testing on mummies, and from written accounts, it seems unlikely.

    Not to mention what is more likely, that the same race of people who everywhere else in the world have been achieving were the ones achieving then, or that Subsaharan Africans who have no significant achievements anywhere past or present and even after being handed advanced civilizations after colonialism let them fall apart, were the ones who established this great country ahead of the world with all of these trappings of white civilizations such as rule of law, astronomy, architecture, metallurgy, etc

  41. Rapparee says:

    There was some conjecture in the ’90s that a particular ancient skeleton might have been Cleopatra’s half-sister Arsinoë, and further conjecture that the morphology (the DNA was too degraded to use) suggests possible SSA admixture, but the evidence for even that weak proposition looks extremely flimsy. It’s more likely the product of wishful thinking than serious research.

  42. ogunsiron says:
    @Bill B.

    I told Nassim Taleb on twitter that mediterraneans needed to get to work on saving their cultures and histories from being stolen from them outright by blacks. T

    he north-west europeans, who had been the curators of everyone’s history for the past, say 300 years, aren’t up to the task anymore. 20 years ago they mocked “Black Egypt”, now they either support afrocentric nonsense or they dutifully STFU when an intersectionally superior is talking.

    The Lebanese, Egyptians, Moroccans, Syrians, Lybians etc need to tell the world who exactly were Augustine, Jesus, Seti etc. They have to do it, because english, american, german and french academics have given up.

  43. So the Greeks were influenced by the Egyptians, who could have been somewhat influenced by sub-Saharans. Seems like a real “so-what” observation.

    But if it allows woke white people to feel that they aren’t racist for studying Classics then I guess that’s something.

  44. “If Reich then announced that Cleopatra’s DNA is, say, 3/8ths sub-Saharan African, black American Afrocentrists would feel overjoyed and vindicated. As well they should.”

    Why should they exactly? Cleopatra was basically the Egyptian version of Nancy Pelosi. But I guess that’s better than nothing.

  45. @Redneck farmer

    Yup. Piakhny and co. The 22nd dynasty off the top of my head.

    But they aren’t swag enough I guess.

  46. They give the roll of Othello to an african American but really he was a Moop.

  47. JMcG says:

    Fun fact. The Irish language developed before significant contact with SSAs. The Irish term for a black haired man is “fear dubh” which translates most directly to “black man”. The Irish term for what we would call a black man is “fear gorm”, which translates as “blue man”.

  48. Mr. Anon says:
    @Dave Pinsen

    Interestingly, if one does a Google image search of Sheryl Sandberg, it returns countless pictures of her sitting in a chair on a stage, alone with an interviewer or in small groups – presumably opining on this or that. It would seem to be her only talent – gassing on about things she probably knows nothing about. Sitting on panels. She is one of the Panel People. If these are the intellectual lights of our age, it is not surprising that the future seems so dim.

    • Replies: @Bill
  49. Tim says:
    @james wilson

    The Holder family is from Barbados, and, yes, as Steve sometimes comments, they kept away from the local blacks. Wiki says that Holder graduated from Stuyvesant High School. That’s impressive.

  50. Tex says:

    As others have pointed out Cleopatra’s family tree didn’t have branches. She was Greek, in the broad sense, but the Greeks regarded the the northern realm Cleopatra’s forebearers sprang from as a bit of a special category. Cleopatra may have been Greek, but she was double-distilled Macedonian.

  51. Iberiano says:
    @Beckow

    Everyone tends to confuse Y-DNA (strict patrilineal descent) and mtDNA (strict matrilineal) with autosomal, which is the collection, if you will, of all the genes from your ancestors, but in reality goes only back about as far as your great-grandparents. So in theory, you could be 99 percent black, but have a Y-DNA that shows indeed, your ancient male line is Viking…who begat a son who married black, who begat a son who married black, etc. Same thing with mtDNA.

    The only one true thing about Y-DNA and more importantly mtDNA, are that they absolutely do show the (mostly) untainted lineal descent from the original “peoples” of whatever group. This is why Jews switched to matrilineal descent (not sure how long ago)–as the prerequisite for truly being Halachically “Jewish”. It is an anti-slut convention intended to ensure that a family can count on, no matter what lies the wives of their sons may tell of paternity, a couple (grandparents) and family, can be absolutely certain that any child born of their DAUGHTER, is absolutely Jewish (mtDNA) by the standards they use. This is why the K Haplogroup is so common among Ashkenazi (specifically K1a1b1a, K1a9, and K2a2a).

  52. @Nigerian Nationalist

    Yeah, I agree. Sad to say, I think the answer to your question is that Cleopatra has star power, while Pushkin’s and Dumas’s achievements were more rarefied and therefore more obscure in our modern Age of Celebrity.

    Or put another way: whom would you rather play in a movie?

    • Replies: @Stan d Mute
    , @Anonymous
  53. Mr. Anon says:

    Black Athena, White Power
    Are We Paying the Price for Classics’ Response to Bernal?

    Denise Eileen McCoskey

    ……………………………..

    … As I look back now, I realize that my feelings of alienation — my recurring sense that many of my colleagues’ questions were valued in ways that made no sense to me while the ones I wanted to ask were forbidden — cannot be separated from the fact that I came of age as a classicist in the time of Black Athena.

    You might have surmised that this article would be about how classicists interperet the ancient world, but – no, you would be wrong – it’s really about me and my feelings and how it all affected me.

    I guess classics will become yet one more field that will go to the dogs as it is feminized – becoming little more than an extended group therapy session for women to vent their own petty grievances.

    • Agree: Mr. Rational
    • Replies: @Perelandra
  54. Barnard says:
    @slumber_j

    I would guess a third or more of the Harvard graduating class of 2019 still hasn’t heard of the Iliad or Homer. That is most likely typical across the Ivy League, unless you seek out the Classics in our education system, you won’t hear about it.

  55. Mr. Anon says:
    @Anon

    Incredible. Every single one of them pose the same, look the same(regardless of sex or ‘gender’), talk the same, and have same lame tastes.

    It’s little wonder that a lot of young men are uninterested in reading.

    I only looked at one of those videos (I’ll take your word that they are essentially all the same). In it, a girl with an affected accent gives us her top ten list. They all sound awful. I wouldn’t pick up those books to use as doorstops let alone read them. First on her list was Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaids Tale. I found it funny that she said she had owned the book for years – actually that she had owned several editions – but never read it until the TV series came out. Some books are too important to actually read.

    • Replies: @Nicholas Stix
  56. istevefan says:

    …combat today’s use of Greece and Rome by white nationalists…

    Wouldn’t it be easier to just denounce ancient Greece and Rome for their cruel, inhumane practices and call it a day? Then when white nationalists, or bad whites go on about the glories of the ancients, you can just shut them down by denouncing them for supporting such an evil lot.

    • Replies: @stillCARealist
  57. @slumber_j

    It would be be very easy in the UK to go through 13 years of compulsory state education and arrive at university never having heard of the Iliad, Odysseus, Aeneas, Hector, Achilles (“it’s a tendon, isn’t it?”) or King Priam.

  58. Erik L says:

    I have a vague recollection that there is an offhand reference in The Iliad to the gods being unavailable at one point because they were away having dinner with the king of Ethiopia. Assuming I am not mis-remembering, that would be an interesting thread for these folks to pull at.

  59. Anonymous[426] • Disclaimer says:
    @SporadicMyrmidon

    Anyone who reads Plato knows that he regards the Egyptians and Babylonians as his predecessors.

    Citation needed.

  60. Anonymous[426] • Disclaimer says:
    @Dave Pinsen

    they quoted Sheryl Sandberg from her autobiography saying that when she got to Harvard, she’d never heard of Achilles or the Iliad.

    Why did the subject come up in their talk?

    Did Sandberg have an explanation for not knowing?

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
  61. Anonymous[426] • Disclaimer says:
    @william munny

    They think Ancient Greek history is false: “You only read about Greeks in the library, where they bury the lies.” (I know it makes no sense, but that is what they say).

    What doesn’t make sense about it?

  62. @istevefan

    Slavery, subjugation, rape, cruelty. These things are only bad when bad people do them. If the right people do them then they become diversity and a rich tapestry of history.

    • Agree: Mr. Rational
    • Replies: @istevefan
  63. Forbes says:
    @james wilson

    Eric Holder’s family hailed from Barbados, FWIW.

  64. Forbes says:
    @The Alarmist

    Always amused by the descriptive term Black Irish for those with dark-hair, dark-eyes, in contrast to the stereotypical red-headed, hazel/green eyed Irish.

  65. ‘…For those who didn’t live through it, the sheer scale of Black Athena’s cultural impact can be difficult to comprehend…’

    I remember that, man. I was there.

    Nothing was ever the same again…

  66. @Bill B.

    This is a really interesting event to see in real life, and I highly recommend going all in if you get the chance.

    In the group of boys my son runs around with, there’s a kid whose family immigrated from Egypt. We’ll call him “Moe”.

    A couple of years ago, the boys are all running around outside being noisy, and one of them said something about Moe being African-American, “Because Egypt’s in Africa.” Moe did not take kindly to being lumped in with actual African-Americans and explained to the group in no uncertain terms that, “Egyptians are not black!”

    The former POTUSA often referred to this kind of thing as “a teachable moment”.

    Didn’t think of it at the time, but I should have asked Moe’s opinion on the WE WUZ KANGZ meme.

    • Replies: @Marty
  67. @Dave Pinsen

    By the time I was twelve I was familiar with Achilles, Odysseus, Aeneas, et al. and many of their exploits. I have to confess, however, that I didn’t have a clue who Sheryl Sandberg was until I just now read her pathetic entry in Wikipedia. The experience discouraged my bothering to learn what pathetic nonentities Kevin Michael Grace and Luke Ford might be.

    • Replies: @Whiskey
    , @vinteuil
    , @Mr. Anon
  68. @Bill B.

    Among the Berber, to take one example, such a question would definitely be an insult, indeed might likely be – quite literally – a deadly insult

  69. ‘Moreover, Americans tend not to be very aware of what North Africans look like and assume that people north of the Sahara must be closely related to people south of the Sahara. ‘

    This is a persistent and mischievious misapprehension.

    People have got to get it through their heads that the Northern Africa littorial is part of the Mediterranean world, and united to it by a common sea, while it is all divided from the remainder of Africa by the very real barrier of the Sahara.

    Culturally, racially, and historically, the divide is not between Africa and Europe, nor between Africa and Asia, but between all three of these and subsaharan Africa, which could be on a separate planet for all the significance it has had in the history of the rest of the world. I mean, honestly. Sub-saharan Africa has ‘contributed’ an economically parasitic underclass to various Western countries, and taken over some Caribbean islands to catastrophic effect, and that’s been about it. It could literally have vanished fifty thousand years ago, and the principle effect would have been on weather patterns. It’s profoundly isolated from the rest of human history.

    • Replies: @Stan d Mute
    , @jay-w
    , @Dtbb
  70. The whole thing is ridiculous. Hannibal of Carthage, Augustine of Hippo, Philo of Alexandria, for that matter, Cleopatra herself — these are all players in the drama of Western civilization. North Africa is part of the West. Nobody from Subsaharan Africa is, or ever has been.

    From a cultural and historical perspective, people need to wipe the concept of ‘Africa’ out of their heads. There are two almost completely separate regions. There’s the southern shore of the Mediterranean, which was once an integral part of the Mediterranean world, and like as not, will be again at some point in the distant future, and then there is that region south of the Sahara, which could be in the South Seas for all the relevance it has had.

    There was a minister of the interior from Israel — Yishai — who announced ‘Israel is for the white man.’

    He was from Tunisia. By ‘white man,’ he meant himself.

  71. istevefan says:
    @stillCARealist

    It appears they are only bad when European Christians commit them. That’s why pre-Christian Europeans are never held to the same standard.

    • Agree: Mr. Rational
  72. anon[393] • Disclaimer says:
    @Nigerian Nationalist

    Because we wuz pharaohs makes blacks not only the original people but the original civilization, whereas Pushkin etc is only an individual achievement. Claiming egypt makes your race the foundation of all human achievement.sub saharan africans are on of the stone age races probably the most stone aged least accomplished since even the american indians can claim the south/central amerindian civilizations and much of jungle asia can sorta claim the rest of asia achievements. Only the aboriginals both the bushy haired and nappy haired varieties can really compete for least evolved and its not really clear they are actually human, more of a side car. Blacks have reasonable excuse for this they are the prototype and those that stayed behind really had no need to evolve shit was ok in africa. The best way to look at it is that africans can claim all civilizations because they are the original people from whence we all sprang. while skin color is only one trait it may be true some branches only lost black skin late in the game, though this seems hard to square with the ancient art of even babylonia and egypt let alone greece which clearly show european people often with light hair and eyes already.

  73. Whiskey says: • Website
    @Jus' Sayin'...

    Your loss. Kevin Michael Grace is the Canadian version of Steve. And Canada is our future.

  74. stretch23 says:

    All of this “African roots of classical civilization” nonsense was conclusively refuted by Mary Lefkowitz in her “Not Out of Africa.” [1996]

  75. @Forbes

    “John II Comyn, Lord of Badenoch and Lord of Lochaber (c.1242 – 1302) or John “the Black”, also known as Black Comyn, a Scottish nobleman, was a Guardian of Scotland, and one of the six Regents for Margaret, Maid of Norway. His father was John I Comyn, Lord of Badenoch.”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_II_Comyn,_Lord_of_Badenoch

  76. Anon[627] • Disclaimer says:

    Jewishness is the most ‘racist’, tribal, exclusive, supremacist, and arrogant idea. That is why Jews remained separate than merging with rest of humanity like most ancient folks. Gone are the Babylonians, Hittites, Phoenicians, etc. Why? They became one with humanity.

    It is about time Jews did the same. Stop with the tribal identity and exclusion. And just how does the most tribal and exclusive people get to lecture OTHERS on ‘racism’?

    All Jews must renounce Judaism, Jewishness, AIPAC, Israel, and ADL.

  77. vinteuil says: • Website
    @Anonymouse

    And where pray does Socrates say that?

    I was wondering the same thing…I’m reasonably familiar with about half of the 26 undisputed dialogues, and teach part or all of six of them pretty regularly, and I can’t recall, off the cuff, any acknowledgment of Egyptian or Babylonian influence.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  78. Classic Steve.

    Of course even if Cleopatra had some black ancestry, which is very unlikely, it would be Nilo-Saharan not Congo and she would not be closely related to descendants of Bantu speaking west Africans.

    • Replies: @orionyx
  79. syonredux says:

    Bernal’s stance on Egyptian Blackness was panned in a footnote to Greg Thomas’ 2009 book Hip-Hop Revolution in the Flesh: Power, Knowledge, and Pleasure in Lil’ Kim’s Lyricism (evidence of the incredibly wide-ranging influence of Black Athena).

    Beyond parody……

  80. @Redneck farmer

    Apparently recent DNA research indicates the ancient Nubians were closely related to Berbers and other white north Africans. So not black. I was surprised. I thought they were like the Ethiopians.

    • Replies: @dearieme
  81. vinteuil says: • Website
    @ThreeCranes

    A “revolution” which is now an old and and worn out movement and yet it still dominates the curriculum, shocks with its “challenge to the patriarchy and our culture’s expected notions of what Art should look like”.

    Well said. A “challenge to…our culture’s expected notions of what Art should look like” (i.e., to what the French bourgeoisie c. 1870 or the American booboisie c. 1920 expected art to look like) has been, for at least the last 60 years, exactly what everybody expects art to look like.

    This is decadence.

    …that high horse riderless,
    Though mounted in that saddle Homer rode…

    • Replies: @Desiderius
  82. I will set up an ether based smart contract with anyone that Cleopatra had less than 1% Negro blood, and I say 1% because these ancestry tests are subject to noise. When they find the tomb, we’ll settle it. Modern Egyptians don’t even have 3/8ths Negro, and the introgression of African ancestry happened in the Islamic period, after 800 AD. There simply weren’t many negros in the Roman world, I’m not aware of a single depiction or skeleton outside Egypt, and the Egyptians didn’t mix much with the Nubians, certainly not the royal family. Cleopatra was probably majority Hellenic blood, with some Coptic admixture.

    • Replies: @Bill B.
  83. vinteuil says: • Website
    @Jus' Sayin'...

    Kevin Michael Grace & Luke Ford were presumably mocking Sheryl Sandberg.

  84. @eah

    Who are these people?

    It is of note, though, that all but one have British surnames. Not that their great-grandparents necessarily did.

  85. Marty says:
    @Gunnar von Cowtown

    In the early ‘00’s I knew a cafe-au-lait middle-schooler in Berkeley who’d immigrated from Egypt. He referred to himself as “African.” Asked about the African-Americans in his school, he said, “they’re STOO-pid!”

  86. OFWHAP says:
    @Bill B.

    I briefly dated a Moroccan lady who said that parents would discourage their children from drinking coffee by telling them that it would turn their skin black. So there’s that…

  87. Anon[627] • Disclaimer says:

    A classic

    Anti-White Defamation. Anti-White Hate Crime. These ‘hoaxes’ are meant to defame whites and stir up hatred against them. Indeed against the entire white student body. These Anti-White Defamations create the impression that ANY WHITE PERSON could be a Nazi. It’s like the dread in THE THING(John Carpenter) where you don’t know who is the Thing. These must be treated as anti-white hate crimes.

    If a white Christian committed vandalism to make it seem like Jews did it, it would be defamation against Jews. So, why aren’t these vile acts perpetrated so often by Jews and blacks not treated as anti-white defamation?

    Her name was Sarah Marshak. Maybe ‘to marshak’ should be a term for Jewish hate-defamation against whites.

    https://www.ibtimes.co.uk/who-paid-american-israeli-bomb-hoaxer-jewish-teen-had-bitcoin-account-worth-millions-1615780

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Le_Corbeau

  88. Anon[627] • Disclaimer says:
    @Dave Pinsen

    she got to Harvard, she’d never heard of Achilles or the Iliad

    She was lying. Just signaling that she’s post-dead-white-males.

    • Agree: Ibound1
    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
  89. Anon[201] • Disclaimer says:
    @Flip

    Jeb and Harry are not prime examples of manhood. They mated down because they couldn’t impress better quality women among their own upper-class social circles. Anybody can tell that Jeb and Harry don’t deserve to be upper-class. They’re there by accident of birth. The two went went for lower-class women because those were the only women they could find who flattered them and stroked their egos.

    • Replies: @Flip
  90. Marxists: There is no race.

    Afrocentrists: There is nothing but race.

  91. nebulafox says:

    >“Was Cleopatra black?”

    Highly unlikely. Let’s get past the problematic confusing of ancient Egyptians with sub-Saharan Africans, the occasional Nubian dominated dynasties aside-I’ll leave that to someone better with ancient Egypt than myself.

    The Ptolemies and the Greeks they took with them to administer their fiefdom did everything they could to segregate themselves from the locals. They were unapologetically racist toward them and stayed in the cities. And they’d stay that way, all the way up until the Muslim conquests where Egypt passed from being dominated by Greeks to being dominated even more successfully by Arabs. That’s part of why Cleopatra was so popular among the citizenry in the fight with her brother for the throne. She was the first Ptolemy to learn Egyptian, take part in the local religious rituals, have her portraits done in the Egyptian style, and generally try to get to know them. Cleopatra was no dummy: she must have been reading Alexander the Great.

    But of course, having the backing of Rome was far more important than anything in Egypt: and when she discovered that Octavian was a very different kind of man from Julius Caesar or Mark Antony, a man who was utterly uninterested in anything she had to offer other than her person in chains at his Triumph, the gig was up and she knew it.

    • Replies: @Jason Liu
  92. Jmaie says:

    If Reich then announced that Cleopatra’s DNA is, say, 3/8ths sub-Saharan African, black American Afrocentrists would feel overjoyed and vindicated.

    Claims that this or that important thing is actually of African origin has been a thing since the black power movement took off in the 60′s. I always regarded it as a rather pitiful example of a large inferiority complex. So I’m mystified why Cleopatra being even partially SSA would be considered a victory. Egypt is after all just another shitehole country these days.

    (Of course, I’ve never understood why anyone would take pride in who their ancestors were. Pride comes from one’s own accomplishments.)

  93. @Mr. Anon

    Didn’t you see the picture? The heroine feels compelled, every time she passes a bookstore, to go in and buy a copy of The Handmaid’s Tale. She has dozens of copies of the book, even though she’s never read it. She’s also believed to be an assassin who was trained in MKUltra or some such secret CIA program.

    Oops, wrong movie. Never mind.

  94. @Anonymouse

    Socrates did not write anything, I don’t think. He was an oral teacher, or at least nothing survived. All we have are Plato’s writings about him, so there isn’t anything literally attributable to Socrates.

    • Replies: @Anonymouse
  95. dearieme says:
    @Simon in London

    “Apparently recent DNA research indicates …”: I tend to write “apparently” to mean ‘I’ve read this somewhere but I’m damned if I can remember where’.

    You too?

  96. Somewhat on topic, you might find this amusing:

    “SpaceX to Launch CubeSat Containing “Soul” of First African American Astronaut”

    https://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/aerospace/satellites/spacex-to-launch-cubesat-containing-soul-of-first-africanamerican-astronaut

  97. Jason Liu says:
    @nebulafox

    You’ve made the mistake of believing this is about facts. The smarter leftoids know everything you wrote. They continue to ask the question in order to “Start a conversation”, so they can muddy the waters and make the past seem more multicultural than it actually was. In fact, the entire Eidolon article above does not give any evidence of whether or not the past was diverse, it just keeps insinuating that people who disagree are racist.

  98. pyrrhus says:
    @Etcetera

    But facts are such a downer…

  99. @Almost Missouri

    I think the answer to your question is that Cleopatra has star power, while Pushkin’s and Dumas’s achievements were more rarefied and therefore more obscure in our modern Age of Celebrity.

    I think it’s simpler than that. Cleo was a hottie who scored Marc Antony. Boonquisha is desperate to be considered attractive by anybody, but especially by a white stud like Marc Antony.

  100. @Colin Wright

    Culturally, racially, and historically, the divide is not between Africa and Europe, nor between Africa and Asia, but between all three of these and subsaharan Africa, which could be on a separate planet for all the significance it has had in the history of the rest of the world.

    I tend to take history with the same grain of salt with which I take contemporary news. Yesterday’s propaganda is tomorrow’s history.

    But the science is unmistakable. Subsaharan Africa has had zero genetic influence on the civilized world in the last 70,000+ years. 70,000 years is a very long time. There has been a lot of speciation in the last 70,000 years. Just saying…

    • Agree: Colin Wright
  101. @ogunsiron

    You’re mixing modern day North Africans with pre-Islamic North Africans. The pre-Islamic North Africans were Caucasians. St. Augustine and Hannibal are examples of these high, IQ Caucasians. When the Muslims conquered North Africa, they brought in black slaves. Through polygamy and concubinage, the Caucasian North Africans were destroyed. Today, only about 10% of North Africans would qualify as Caucasians. The North African average IQ is 84, a sign of black ancestry. They are not Mediterraneans .

    The Lebanese and Syrian Christians are Caucasians. They have high IQs. They run the governments of Islamic governments. They are not North African, they are Mediterranean.

    90% of modern day Egyptians have black ancestry and the matching average IQ of 84. They are not related to the ancient Caucasian Egyptians who created the ancient civilization.

  102. Dave Pinsen says: • Website
    @Anonymous

    It came up because of the Facebook news.

  103. Dave Pinsen says: • Website
    @Anon

    Could be. But I wouldn’t rule out that she was being honest.

  104. jay-w says:
    @Colin Wright

    You could even lump pre-Columbian central America in there along with Europe, Asia, and North Africa.

    By 1491, they were well on their way toward creating an advanced civilization, and would have done so eventually. Not surprising, I suppose, since they were closely related to Asians.

  105. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:
    @eah

    I never heard of any of these shemps.

  106. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:
    @Almost Missouri

    Presumably no one who would play Pushkin or Dumas would be playing Cleopatra, but in this age that presumption may be untoward.

  107. anon[248] • Disclaimer says: • Website
    @ic1000

    Another good comedy viddy:

    “The worst conversation adults can have with kids about race is no conversation at all,” says author Jemar Tisby. “Talking to kids about race needs to happen early, often, and honestly.”

    In a new episode of Home School, The Atlantic’s animated series about parenting, Tisby offers advice on how to have a conversation with children about race, from experiential learning to watching classic animated films.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/video/index/573184/talk-kids-race/

    The whole Home School series is a hoot.

  108. @Tlotsi

    It’s been a while since I listened to the history of ancient Egypt by the teaching company.:(

  109. songbird says:

    It would be pretty cool to be able to get some Pharaonic DNA, the autosomal stuff – to figure out exactly how inbred they were. I’ve heard some people assert that there were hundreds of generations of incest, but that doesn’t seem possible. For one, thing I don’t think there was a dynasty that old.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  110. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:
    @songbird

    The great classicist Revilo Oliver mentioned that the incas (that is, the rulers themselves) of pre-Spanish Peru were the result of brother-sister incest. Like cheetahs, I’m guessing that if you still had a decent line after a few generations-granted you would produce a lot of feeble minded and deformed ones, but those could be culled-eventually you’d get a pure race that would reproduce straight and yield individuals of the desired consistent characteristics. In general, Oliver called the people we call the Incas (i.e., the people which were ruled by the incas, proper, themselves) a “stupid and bovine race” but he did allow that they seemed perfectly happy and content.

  111. Dtbb says:
    @Colin Wright

    Start small. Teach them to find it on a map first.

    • LOL: James Speaks
  112. KevinB says:

    “the ancient Egyptian mummies were genetically more similar to ancient and modern Europeans than modern Egyptians”

    https://www.seeker.com/culture/archaeology/scientists-finally-break-the-code-of-mummy-dna

  113. bored identity reckons that Jack D won’t be pleased to ascertain how the Nice White Ladies of Minnesota, with a little help of his Tribe, carried this particular Cleptopatra – rolled in the proverbial rug – all the way to the Capitol:

    Her motto?

    “Speak taqiya softly but carry a big book” :

  114. @vinteuil

    Sorry, I suspect I was overly influenced by a translation of the obscure “Plato’s number” in The Republic that it attributed it in a footnote to Babylonian influence. But it turns out that the whole topic is a mess.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plato%27s_number

  115. @ogunsiron

    And for the IQ fetishists, note that both Igbo and Yoruba do quite well on IQ tests.

  116. bored identity reckons that Jack D won’t be pleased to ascertain how the Nice White Ladies of Minnesota with a little help of his Tribe carried this particular Cleptopatra – rolled in the proverbial rug – all the way to the Capitol:

  117. Mr. Anon says:
    @Jus' Sayin'...

    As commenter vinteuil mentioned, they aren’t exactly fans of Ms. Sandberg or her circle. Kevin Michael Grace is a reactionary Canadian blogger, and an occasional commenter at this site. He’s a good guy.

  118. @Forbes

    Always amused by the descriptive term Black Irish for those with dark-hair, dark-eyes

    ,

    Black Irish actually pride themselves on having blue or green eyes, along with pale, unfreckled skin and dark hair. Think Scarlett O’Hara.

    • Replies: @Cortes
  119. @Lars Porsena

    He wrote fables in prison in the days before being executed. See the beginning of the dialogue Crito.

  120. @Anonymouse

    “Socrates” of course says nothing equivalent to my assertion.
    Moreover, my assertion is admittedly false. Probably the vast majority of even intelligent and reasonably educated readers of Plato today do not perceive that he regards the earlier civilizations as repositories of wisdom. I do think it true that those who have read and reread Plato, with some effort to think about him in his historical context, do take it as obvious that he does regard the earlier cultures as in some way repositories of wisdom. (In my view this does not conflict with the possibility that Plato is himself a world-historical genius, perhaps the greatest.)

    Many of the references to the earlier cultures are in seeming “throwaway” lines that are often ignored due to the influence of various modern strategies for reading Plato. One of the most complex references to the earlier civilizations is the Thoth discussion in the second part of the Phaedrus. Making sense of this is not a trivial matter. Derrida, who had some actual insights, in my view, even if he was also somewhat of a charlatan, makes much of this passage. In any case it is clear that “Socrates” is taking the purported “wisdom of the ancients” rather seriously. Actually sorting out what is going on here and in other such passages is very far from a trivial matter, and very few give it the attention it seems to warrant, in my view.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  121. @SporadicMyrmidon

    Thanks.

    My vague impression is that Plato was influenced by Pythagoras and that Pythagoras had been in touch with the older traditions of Egypt and perhaps Babylon.

    • Replies: @Desiderius
  122. Cortes says:
    @Rosamond Vincy

    Almost exactly the same as many people in the Hebrides. I was surprised to see so many of them in Ness, NW Lewis, not far from where DJT’s mother grew up.

    https://www.google.com/maps?ll=58.213129,-6.635424&z=8&t=m&hl=en-GB&gl=GB&mapclient=embed&q=Isle+of+Lewis

  123. Anon[143] • Disclaimer says:

    I think that the Cleo-was-(half)-black theories derive from her mother, not her father, whose identity is not as solidly nailed down, the opposite of the usual situation, where the mother is known, but the father is uncertain.

  124. BB753 says:
    @Harold

    That’s the origin of European surnames like Black, Schwartz, Noir, Negro, Preto, Cherniy, etc.

    • Replies: @BB753
  125. @Mr. Anon

    How much scholarship in the humanities is like this now? Women just making stuff up they wish was true according to their religion (intersectionality), then submitting it to sympathetic leftist sources for publication. Donna Zuck is the perfect example of a person who starts with her prejudices first and then goes from there to rewrite history to her liking (i.e. less white).

  126. Flip says:
    @Anon

    It always seemed that Harry was a more alpha sort than William. His wife choice was really surprising.

  127. Please, God, don’t let Cleopatra be the Elizabeth Warren of ancient Egypt! Do something. Alter the fossil record. Just something!

  128. @Nigerian Nationalist

    They don’t know about Pushkin and Dumas. And they probably also don’t care.

  129. @Bill B.

    From what I read online, they are not very found of their Southern neighbours.

  130. @jay-w

    Some were sequenced, and look like Egyptian/Phoenicians – they have less African and less Caucasian (that is, from the Caucasus) DNA than current Egyptians. But remember they were mummies from one time point (New Kingdom), and Egypt’s history is very long.

  131. orionyx says:
    @Simon in London

    West Africans don’t speak Bantu languages. Those are spoken from the armpit of Africa south and eastwards.

  132. ogunsiron says:
    @Erik L

    Interesting because “ethiopian” is what the greeks and romans called sub-saharan africans.They knew of “blacks”, though blacks were probably quite exotic to them. I doubt they encountered them often. What we know call Ethiopia was then called Abyssinia and I would not be surprised if Abyssinia was much, much more “caucasoid” 2000 years ago than it is today.

  133. @Erik L

    I remembered it being Poseidon who went to Ethiopia in the beginning of the Odyssey, but turns out we both were right:

    https://department.monm.edu/classics/courses/clas240/Africa/homeronethiopians.htm

  134. @ogunsiron

    There’s an Ethiopian eunuch riding a chariot in the Acts of the Apostles. But probably Nubian, perhaps, more than Ethiopian.

  135. @vinteuil

    Why should it surprise that anti-natalism ultimately boils down to the sound of a needle skipping forever?

  136. Erik L says:
    @ogunsiron

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aethiopia

    Yes- looks like it could refer to the upper Nile or Sub-Saharan Africa

    • Replies: @ogunsiron
  137. Cantman says:

    Cleopatra was a Ptolemeic queen. She wasn’t Egyptian by descent. So these people are saying the Greeks are Negroids.

  138. @Anonymouse

    Clearly she was as important to the history of Texas as Robert Edward Lee; finally all will be reminded of her greatness and reflect upon her achievements wheneevrr they see a sign for the street, instead of scratching their heads and wondering “Who the Hell is Robert E. Lee and why is there a street named after him?”

    Progress!

  139. Dutch Boy says:

    Their tomb is likely under water (the Ptolemaic Palace area of Alexandria (Antirhodos)was submerged in AD 365 subsequent to an earthquake and tsunami. There is likely no DNA (or much of anything else physical) to be found.

  140. syonredux says:

    Classical authors seem to have been quite aware of racial distinctions. Here’s Black Classicist Frank Snowden on the topic of race in antiquity:

    Greeks and Romans, well acquainted with their contemporaries, differentiated between the various gradations of color in Mediterranean populations and made it clear that only some of the black- or dark-skinned peoples, those coming from the south of Egypt and the southern fringes of northwest Africa, were Ethiopians, i.e. Negroes. Ethiopians, known as the blackest peoples on earth, became the yardstick by which classical authors measured the color of others. In first century AD, Manilius described Ethiopians as the blackest; Indians, less sunburnt; Egyptians, mildly dark; with Moors the lightest in this color scheme. In other words, to all these peoples–Ethiopians, Indians, Egyptians, and Moors–who were darker than the Greeks and Romans, classical authors applied color-words but it should be emphasized that in general the ancients described only one of these–Ethiopians–as unmistakably Negroid.

    The assumption that a majority of the inhabitants of north Africa such as Numidians, Gaetulians, and Moors, were blacks, is also contradicted by the ancient evidence. Classical accounts clearly distinguish between the light-skinned inhabitants of coastal northwest Africa and the darker Ethiopians who lived on the southern fringes of the area. The ancient sources also point to the presence in northwest Africa of mixed black-white types, strongly suggested by names such as Libyoaethiopes (Libyan Ethiopians), Leucoaethiopes (white Ethiopians) and Melanogeatuli (black Gaetulians), a kind of intermediate population, an amalgam of whites and Ethiopians, and by the descriptions of the Garamantes, classified in some classical texts as Ethiopians but distinguished from Ethiopians by others. [15] Classical accounts of the physical features of northwest Africans are amply confirmed by the iconographical evidence. Mosaics, sculpture in the round, and other art objects from northwest Africa depict the inhabitants as predominantly white and portray relatively few blacks,

    http://library.howard.edu/content.php?pid=554250

    And here are two Greek writers engaging in a bit of racial comparison:

    Arrian (Indica 6.9)

    The appearance of the inhabitants is also not very different in India and Ethiopia: the southern Indians are rather more like Ethiopians as they are black to look on, and their hair is black; only they are not so snub-nosed or woolly-haired as the Ethiopians; the northern Indians are most like the Egyptians physically.

    Strabo Geography 15.1.13

    As for the people of India, those in the south are like the Aethiopians in color, although they are like the rest in respect to countenance and hair (for on account of the humidity of the air their hair does not curl), whereas those in the north are like the Egyptians.

    And still more:

    It was a market place to which the Ethiopians bring all the products of their country; and the Egyptians in their turn take them all away and bring to the same spot their own wares of equal value, so bartering what they have got for what they have not. Now the inhabitants of the marches (Nubian/Egyptians border) are not yet fully black but are half-breeds in matter of color, for they are partly not so black as the Ethiopians, yet partly more so than the Egyptians.

    Flavius Philostratus: c.170 to c.247,

    The Ethiopians stain the world and depict a race of men steeped in darkness; less sun-burnt are the natives of India; the land of Egypt, flooded by the Nile, darkens bodies more mildly owing to the inundation of its fields: it it a country nearer to us and its moderate climate imparts a medium tone.

    – Manilius, Astronomica 4.724

  141. SafeNow says:
    @Marat

    The traditional canon of literature and history has sadly been “refreshed.” I am old enough, and fortunate enough, to have studied the wisdom of the ages. True anecdote: A youngish root-canal doc recently found only one of the three roots. I quipped, “So, like Coleridge’s Ancient Mariner, you stoppeth one of three.”. He replied: “Who are the Ancient Mariner, and Coleridge?” Dying culture. All is lost.

  142. ogunsiron says:
    @Erik L

    Pretty sure that’s what it refered to. The character played by Djimoun Hounson in Gladiator would have been exactly what the romans had in mind when speaking of ethiopians.

  143. BB753 says:
    @BB753

    What nonsense! Cleopatra was a historical figure. Had she been black, Julius Caesar and Marc Anthony and Roman historians would have noticed it. We even have minted coins from her reign depicting her as decidedly not negroid.

    • Replies: @Rosamond Vincy
  144. Bill says:
    @Mr. Anon

    Panel People.

    Good coinage.

  145. @BB753

    There are possessions of King Tut in which conquered people, both black and Middle-Eastern, are depicted on sandals and footstools, so he can step on them, as well as on walking canes, so he can keep a strong grip on them.

    Nothing PC going on in that era. It was common in the ancient world to humiliate your enemies, parading the captured in triumph and commemorating the victory in artwork.

  146. @Etcetera

    Agreed.

    I’ve never seen an image of her on a coin that looked “black”. Of course, I’ve never seen an image of her on a coin that was particularly attractive, either, so . . .

    http://www.wildwinds.com/coins/greece/egypt/cleopatra_VII/t.html

  147. Ragno says:
    @Bill B.

    Ask them gently, in that case. Quite a few will slam on the brakes, traffic or no traffic, and demand you leave their cab right then and there.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  148. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:
    @Ragno

    Aren’t you the guy that wrote Hair?

  149. Bill B. says:
    @Anon

    Incredible. Every single one of them pose the same, look the same(regardless of sex or ‘gender’), talk the same, and have same lame tastes.

    I tried to look at the videos to see if taste in books could be guessed from physiognomy and posture but it quickly became too boring. I did notice however that parts of many selections were unexpectedly worthy e.g. 1984, The Big Short, A History of Debt, etc..

    But this was mostly signaling. One girl who tipped 1984, for example, noted that some countries are still like this without apparently any awareness that it might throw some light on our current situation in the West.

  150. Bill B. says:
    @Boswald Bollocksworth

    There simply weren’t many negros in the Roman world

    Is it possible that there were more lions, tigers and elephants in ancient Rome than sub-Saharan Africans?

  151. @Anon

    Real Jews were Irish. Read The Tain. Endless genealogies, gorgeous poetry followed by absolute crudeness, battles with high casualties over somebody’s produce or livestock, mystical experiences followed by more people whacking each other to bloody pieces. It’s the Old Testament.

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