Sarah P. Morris
Revisiting Black Athena means, for me, addressing for the first time Bernal's second installment in his multi-volume series, still promised when I discussed BA 1 at a public panel in 1989 and in an invited debate published in 1990. At the time, my own work on the relationship between Greece and the East was also still in press. Thus I admitted: "A full discussion of the archaeological aspects of Bernal's theories would be premature without these two volumes" ( Morris 1990, 57). In the meantime, the second volume of Black Athena not only appeared, in 1991, but has been extensively reviewed by Hellenists, Egyptologists, and Near Eastern specialists, most of whom have deplored its unscholarly methods and untenable conclusions. 1 I find myself obliged to agree with them, and would echo scholars who found it "a whirling confusion of half-digested reading, bold linguistic supposition, and preconceived dogma" (Vermeule, this volume), or just plain "bad scholarship" ( Weinstein 1992, 382).
Bernal's unlikely scenarios of Egyptian punitive expeditions to the Aegean, occupations of Troy and Thera, conquests by Sesostris I, and Hyksos invasions are so stubbornly linked to controversial adjustments in chronology that it is difficult to treat them separately as the wrongheaded agendas they are. In fact I simply find it difficult to tackle the second volume of Black Athena, so unwieldy are its cumbersome detours to Atlantis or Iceland and its labored misunderstandings of Greek mythology as historical event. The appearance of my own study of similar problems ( Morris 1992) takes the place of a lengthier discussion here of my differences with Bernal. In that