By David O'Connor

ISBN-10: 1844720004

ISBN-13: 9781844720002

Even though the examine of Egyptian tradition spurned its personal self-discipline, Egypt is and continuously has been a part of Africa. those twelve essays re-open the controversy at the impression of Egyptian tradition at the remainder of Africa from early occasions to the Christian interval acknowledging and discussing the distortions which have been created by means of 'racial prejudice, colonial and imperial interests'.

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To put it crudely, I see four major forces as having effected the change. These were: (1) the establishment of the paradigm of progress; (2) the triumph of Romanticism; (3) the revival of Christianity after the French Revolution; and more important than all the others, (4) the application of racism to considerations of the relationship between Ancient Egypt and Ancient Greece. No one has ever doubted that Ancient Egypt was much older than Ancient Greece. In Classical Antiquity and the Middle Ages the long-term passage of time was generally seen to be one of decline.

The author himself had, as he said later, predicted that there would be scepticism about his work, though what he predicted was not so much overt hostility as silent indifference. g. Astour 1967) on whom he looked back as forerunners of his efforts had been ignored, or so he said (on all this, see Bernal in van Binsbergen 1996/7: 5–8). But it is hard not to think that he had some idea of the passionate reactions that his work would provoke. The very title, Black Athena, whether his or his publisher’s choice, leaves little doubt that the work was intended to be a bold and provocative challenge to established assumptions and to attract all the attention it could.

According to this the Ancient Egyptians were both African and the founders of western civilization. The probable – and improbable – beginning of this intellectual trend came from the works of the intrepid Scottish traveller James Bruce. In the 1760s and 1770s Bruce travelled through Egypt and spent several years in Ethiopia (Bruce 1790). He was a Afrocentrism and Historical Models for Ancient Greece 25 conservative and at times advocated the beneficial effects of slavery. At the same time, however, he saw connections between the civilizations of Ethiopia and Egypt, and believed that the Ethiopian form was the older.

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Ancient Egypt in Africa by David O'Connor


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