Black Athena Revisited

By Mary R. Lefkowitz; Guy MacLean Rogers | Go to book overview

BLACK ATHENA VISION OR DREAMS OF GREEK ORIGIN

Lawrence A. Tritle

"Contrariwise," continued Tweedledee, "if it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be: but as it isn't, it ain't. That's logic."

-- Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking Glass

The second volume of Martin Bemal's projected tetralogy Black Athena, since its appearance in summer 1991, has continued the storm of controversy ignited by the first volume in 1987. 1 It has, however, aroused a far greater tempest in the United States than in Britain or continental Europe, as various commentators have noted. The grounds for conflict actually he outside the discipline, namely, in the political debates currently taking place on American university campuses. As E. K. Coughlin notes ( 1991), Black Athena now plays an important role in the multicultural controversy, and Afrocentric scholars have eagerly appropriated the work in their debate with classicists and those labeled (or tarred) as Eurocentric. Although Levine denies ( 1992a, 215) that Bernal's views have exerted any impact on the classics or on the ideas mentioned above, the video Black Atbena (late 1991) and numerous articles in the popular press (e.g., Newsweek, Ebony, New Republic), not to mention scholarly publications, clearly attest the role of Bernal's ideas in shaping these current intellectual debates.

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Black Athena Revisited
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vi
  • Maps viii
  • Preface ix
  • Ancient Egyptian Chronology xix
  • Introduction 1
  • Introduction 3
  • Notes 22
  • Egypt 25
  • On the Aims and Methods of Black Athena 27
  • Conclusion 46
  • Egypt and Greece the Bronze Age Evidence 49
  • Black Athena an Egyptological Review 62
  • Notes 98
  • Race 101
  • Ancient Egyptians and the Issue of Race 103
  • Note 111
  • Bernal's "Black" and the Afrocentrists 112
  • Notes 128
  • Clines and Clusters Versus " Race" a Test in Ancient Egypt and the Case of a Death on the Nile 129
  • Notes 162
  • The Near East 165
  • The Legacy of Black Athena 167
  • Linguistics 175
  • Notes 203
  • Science 207
  • Black Athena, Afrocentism, and the History of Science 255
  • Notes 256
  • Greece 267
  • The World Turned Upside Down 269
  • Note 279
  • Did Egypt Shape the Glory That Was Greece? 280
  • Black Athena Vision or Dreams of Greek Origin 303
  • Historiography 331
  • When is a Myth? Not a Myth? Bernal's "Ancient Model" 333
  • Notes 348
  • Eighteenth- Century Historiography in Black Athena 349
  • Appendix 2: Two Notes on Bernal's Methodology 388
  • Appendix 2: Two Notes on Bernal's Methodology 392
  • Appendix 2: Two Notes on Bernal's Methodology 394
  • The Tyranny of Germany Over Greece? 403
  • Bernal and the Nineteenth Century 411
  • The Bathwater and the Baby 421
  • Multiculturalism and the Foundations of Western Civilization 428
  • Conclusion 445
  • Quovadis? 447
  • Bibliocraphy 455
  • Contributors 505
  • Indexes 507
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