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The Black Athena Debate

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posted on Sep, 8 2011 @ 09:21 PM
This debate involves ancient Greece and the birth of western civilization with some claiming that the Greeks formed their civilization based heavily on influences from Afro-Asiatic influences while others claim that the Aryan's decended from then north down.

The conspiracy lays in that some claim that facts have been manipulated to remove the Afro-Asiatic influence from any historical context for purposes of promoting Eurocentrism over Afrocentrism.

Africa's influence on ancient Greece, the oldest European civilization, was profound and significant in art, architecture, astronomy, medicine, geometry, mathematics, law, politics, and religion. Yet there has been a furious campaign to discredit African influence and to claim a miraculous birth for Western civilization. A number of books and articles by white and some black conservatives seek to disprove the Egyptian influence on Greece.

What effect if any would it have on the world if it is proven historically that alot of the work that originated in Ancient Greece was actually adopted from African society's?

posted on Sep, 8 2011 @ 09:22 PM
I thought this had been more or less debunked in the 1990s. Wasn 't the scholar who wrote Black Athena busted for making up references and sources?

posted on Sep, 8 2011 @ 09:27 PM
reply to post by silent thunder

Not sure about the author who put forward alot of the evidence but regardless of that the debate is still quite alive within historical circles.

posted on Sep, 8 2011 @ 09:32 PM
It is pretty much completely debunked. If I'm conscious after this football game I'll find the documentation. I believe his name is Martin Bernal. Got him funding and a lot of press but in the end turned out to be exaggerated at best, complete hooey at worst.

Obviously Egypt and the Near east had awesome cultures and at least some influence over Greece, but the "Black Athena" theory turned out to be an opportunistic academic capitalizing on out of control political correctness

posted on Sep, 8 2011 @ 09:38 PM
what african culture?
yeah ill buy that...
i just dont see any more than that....
enlighten me?

posted on Sep, 8 2011 @ 09:40 PM
i often wondered why some ancient gods were black
Truth of God Institute

I just read an awesome article called The Black god and the Ancient Mysteries,or Why is Vishnu Dark Blue

you can google the title and download it as a PDF. I highly recommend reading it he talks about God being so brilliant and incandescent that he killed his own creation attempts with his glory, so he shielded himself in a shadow that resembles Lapis Lazuli, it's a beautiful article

my mind was completely blown by the incredible scholarship that went into this article it's definitely out of the box

posted on Sep, 9 2011 @ 07:41 PM
Maybe some of the more ancient legends of Athena are missing. If you look at the artwork depicting Athena you'll notice the Gorgon on her shield and chest doesn't depict a woman with snakes on her head. What you will notice is a wide faced woman (or man) with dreadlocks. Athena gets her warrior strength from the Gorgon that instills fear upon her opponent. The Gorgon called Medusa was probably a real person or civilization who was black. A race of female warriors maybe? Athena was the goddess of wisdom which is associated with serpents. The African tribes worshipped serpents as deities. Axum, Ethiopia has a legend that a serpent ruled that kingdom once.

posted on Sep, 9 2011 @ 11:10 PM
Surely even the Afrocenterists must know that the ancient Egyptians received the seeds of their own civilization from the cradle of civilization itself: The Tigris–Euphrates river system, home of Mesopotamia and Sumer etc? So civilization does not originate in Africa, although it may have spread from Egypt to Greece. There are still so many holes in our knowledge of the spread of homo-sapiens and civilization in the remote past that I think it would wise of us to remain open-minded on the subject in general. We know what archeology tells us - but even archeologists are updating their time-lines constantly. The same goes for anthropology really.

Greek civilization may indeed have originated in Egypt, as some ancient Greeks have observed. But just look at how far advanced they were to the Egyptian model in Art, Philosophy, and Science in such a short time. Something appears to have happened in ancient Greece that didn't happen in many other ancient cultures. Why is that exactly? Or is this simply a perception on our part as modern interpreters of history?

posted on Sep, 9 2011 @ 11:16 PM
In Greek mythology, Erebus ( /ˈɛrəbəs/), also Erebos (Ancient Greek: Ἔρεβος, "deep darkness, shadow"), was the son of a primordial god, Chaos, and represented the personification of darkness. Erebus married his sister N yx (goddess of the night)
edit on 9-9-2011 by nii900 because: Athena the virgin -- She is the virgin patron of Athens.

posted on Sep, 10 2011 @ 02:56 PM
PS.... Imaginations & "Darkroom"

posted on Sep, 10 2011 @ 03:02 PM
the shadows are - dark marks ...letters like if.. sumerians were there in need of darkness or.. they had it by nature in meet the bos-man again
(...i dunno..). ((anyway))

edit on 10-9-2011 by nii900 because: (no reason given)

i see it as in '08 repeated.. sumlike one now.. celtic personality adopt ed by the older sikhs of/on the moon.. talking tru and to 'ir-it-is' all right ?
edit on 10-9-2011 by nii900 because: (no reason given)

(((nothing to do with athena)))
edit on 10-9-2011 by nii900 because: (no reason given)

edit on 10-9-2011 by nii900 because: (no reason given)

edit on 10-9-2011 by nii900 because: (no reason given)

munies like ..lATONa - is-is here
as LETO in sl. means ..sumer ..was it a real sum-mer(sea)?
edit on 10-9-2011 by nii900 because: (no reason given) guy was talkin' blav-at-sky
edit on 10-9-2011 by nii900 because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 10 2011 @ 07:50 PM

Black Athena had an enormous impact on African American Afrocentrist movements, because it offers a less Eurocentric theory of origin for western civilization.

The book also ignited a debate in the academic community. While some reviewers contend that studies of the origin of Greek civilization were tainted by a foundation of 19th century racism, many have criticised Bernal for the speculative nature of his hypothesis, his unsystematic and linguistically incompetent handling of etymologies as well as his naive handling of ancient myth and historiography. The claims made in Black Athena were heavily questioned inter alia in Black Athena Revisited (1996), a collection of essays edited by Mary Lefkowitz, Professor Emerita of Classical Studies at Wellesley College in Massachusetts, and her colleague Guy MacLean Rogers.[2][3]

Critics voice their strongest doubts over Bernal's approach to language and word derivations (etymologies). Cambridge Egyptologist John D. Ray has accused Bernal's work of having a confirmation bias.[4] Edith Hall compares Bernal's thesis to the myth of the Olympian gods overwhelming the Titans and Giants, which was once thought of as a historical recollection of Homo sapiens taking over from Neanderthal man. She asserts that this historical approach to myth firmly belongs in the nineteenth century.[5]

Others have challenged the lack of archaeological evidence for Bernal's thesis. Egyptologist James Weinstein points out that there is very little evidence that the ancient Egyptians were a colonizing people in the third millennium and second millennium BC.[6] Furthermore, there is no evidence for Egyptian colonies of any sort in the Aegean world. Weinstein accuses Bernal of relying primarily on his interpretations of Greek myths as well as distorted interpretations of the archaeological and historical data.[6]

In 2001 Bernal published "Black Athena Writes Back: Martin Bernal Responds to Critics" as a response criticism of his earlier works.


Martin Bernal really started this whole theory in the 90s. Problem is, he based much of his theory on faulty linguistic evidence. He has no background, education, or training in linguistics. The archeological and historiographic evidence he uses is highly speculative. In the realm of "plausible" rather than "probable".

Bernal is an academic but he is trained in modern Chinese politics. Not ancient near east/mediteranean history.
In other words, professionals in this field think the work is largely pseudo history. Not as bad as Graham Hancock or Zacharia Sitchkin pseudo history but pseudo all the same.

Not to say that Greek culture sprang from nothing or that Egyptians/Phoenicians had no influence whatsoever on ancient Greece, just that the idea of Western Culture really originating from Africa is a very exaggerated and highly unlikely idea.

But there is plenty reading material on the matter from both sides on the net and in books. Be careful, though. Pseudo historians abound. Better to stay with professionals who do actual real research instead of speculation that "becomes" factual because enough armchair historians repeat it on the internet.
edit on 10-9-2011 by radosta because: spelling

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