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Was Socrates black?

Ancient History

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1quicksiva
Edited: Jan 4, 2012, 6:57pm Top

On Reading Not Out of Africa by Mary Lefkowitz

I have got to give it to Dr. Lefkowitz. In Not Out of Africa, she manages to hide a red herring in a straw-woman and get paid for it. No claim of her book is more bogus than the one that Afrocentric scholarship is somehow responsible for the fact that an unnamed undergraduate thought Socrates was Black. No wonder Dr. Asante got pissed off when she tried to hijack his lecture with the bogus claim that this was a core teaching of Black Studies.

Well guess what Dr. Lefkowitz, I've taught fourth graders who thought "Martin Luther King freed the slaves". I've been black a long time, and unlike Michael Jackson, I'll probably die black. I studied History formally and informally. My classes were always Afro-Centric and I have hung out with some pretty radical brothers. Yet, I don't recall anyone ever claiming that Socrates was black. Of course, when genetic testing shows that even A. Hitler had black blood a person doesn't know what to think. How is this supposed to make black people feel better about themselves.

Was Cleopatra black? I know that her daddy was Macedonian, but her mom may have been an Egyptian priestess and she is the only Ptolemy reputed to ever speak Coptic. The natives seem to have been successful in keeping the Greeks out of their mysteries, but they couldn’t keep them out of their beds. Cleo may have been no Whoopi Goldberg, but she might have been a Mariah Carey or Haile Berry.

According to Napoleon, who spent a lot more time in Egypt than Dr. Lefkowitz, who has never been there, "History is a myth that historians come to agree upon." but he was no classicist, so what could he have known?

2MyopicBookworm
Jan 4, 2012, 8:10pm Top

I've been to Egypt. I don't think Copts are black.

3karhne
Jan 5, 2012, 7:17am Top

I've heard the Cleopatra thing before, and it always amazes me how easily some black people are willing to sweep aside the whole Twenty-Fifth Dynasty of Egypt in exchange for some very shaky evidence about a woman who dropped her country into slavery. Not only are the Ptolemies one of those family trees that don't split (Cleo, herself was married to her brother), there are pictures of her on coins, and statues:

Cleopatra was almost certainly full blooded Macedonian. I just don't see why you'd care. Her primary aptitude was sleeping with the wrong men. I'm not qualified to say if she's a decent black role model, but she's sure as hell a shitty female role model.

My concern with something like this is precisely that it does result in people saying things that will label them (and unfortunately, those associated with them) as being less than informed. I'd rather see a kid study something pretty obscure and get it right than something very popular and mess up. How do you back-pedal from a statement like "Sokrates was black" or "Martin Luther King freed the slaves" so that your professor and your classmates will take you seriously? How do you regain the confidence that your knowledge is accurate? So much easier if the kid says "Taharqa is my favorite Egyptian ruler," and then explains why, and is impressive from the outset.

It really interested me to see you reject Michael Jackson as a black man while being concerned about a tiny drop of Adolph Hitler's DNA. I would take it that you're not defining ethnicity in terms of DNA or even appearance. I'd say ethnicity is a combination of behaviors, expectations, and experiences. I can open a soft-boiled egg without making a mess, have no qualms about vinegary cockles as a snack-food, and observe a greater than average social distance. I will still do these things, if I wake up tomorrow and find I was switched at birth. What would stay the same for you, if it turned out you're just a Swede who's dark because his real parents lived by the Nuclear plant?

How is it supposed to make black people feel better about themselves? It's not. None of History is designed to make anybody feel good about themselves. If you give up on wanting the whole truth, you may as well just go home and make something up out of whole cloth for your kids' bedtime stories. I'll give you a walk on Hitler, but you still have to claim Idi Amin, the Rwandan Genocide, all that slaughter in Liberia, and female genital mutilation if I have to claim cannibalism at Anglesey, the bloodbath at Agincourt, and a whole tribe of Native Americans who just aren't there anymore. Halfsies on sub-saharan famine?

If history is about anything more than straight documentation, it's about choices. It's about looking at the decisions people have made in the past, and seeing the results, and then recognizing that we also have choices, and that our choices will have implications for the future. That's the empowering part, not "my ancestors were kings" or "my ancestors were slaves" or saints or sinners or whatever.

4Anager
Jan 5, 2012, 12:15pm Top

The only relevant point in this discussion that I can come up with, is that the names of the two competitors to the seat of the first and last Phonecian Emperor of Rome(Septimius Severus) were Perennius Niger and Clodius Albinus.
Spy vs. Spy.

5nathanielcampbell
Jan 5, 2012, 12:24pm Top

>4 Anager:: Fwiw, I believe that this historical circumstance may have influenced J. K. Rowling's web of relationships between Severus Snape, Sirius Black, and Albus Dumbledore. (You gotta love that she studied Classics at university.)

6theoria
Jan 5, 2012, 1:57pm Top

Ascertaining the meaning of the "national" identity of an historical figure for contemporary groups in this manner is risible. It would be more important for Lefkowitz's anecdotal undergraduate to know what Socrates wrote rather than to worry over the philosopher's haplotype markers.

7quicksiva
Jan 5, 2012, 7:22pm Top

While serving as Ambassador to France(1785-1789), Thomas Jefferson seriously imperiled his political future by secretly joining with the noted anti- slavery poet and founder of ''the American Mercury", Joel Barlow to provide his friend C.F. Volney with an English translation of The Ruins: Or a Survey of the Revolutions of Empires, a translation from the French Les Ruines ou Meditations sur les Revolutions des Empires, published in 1796 by William A. Davis, in New York.

I have always considered these words "Afrocentric".

"Those piles of ruins which you see in that narrow valley watered by the Nile, are the remains of opulent cities, the pride of the ancient kingdom of Ethiopia. Behold the wrecks of her metropolis, of Thebes with her hundred palaces, the parent of cities and the monument of the caprice of destiny. There a people, now forgotten, discovered while others were yet barbarians, the elements of the arts and sciences. A race of men now rejected from society for their sable skin and frizzled hair, founded on the study of the laws of nature , those civil and religious systems which still govern the universe. Lower down those dusky points are the pyramids whose masses have astonished you. Beyond that, the coast, hemmed in between the sea and a narrow ridge of mountains was the habitation of the Phoenicians. These were the famous cities of Tyre, of Sidon, of Ascalon, of Gaza, and of Berytus. "
The Ruins of Empires by C.F.Volney
Count Constantine Francis Chassebeuf De Volney - Thomas Jefferson and Joel Barlow , trans.1793

8quicksiva
Jan 5, 2012, 7:33pm Top

>6 theoria:
It would be more important for Lefkowitz's anecdotal undergraduate to know what Socrates wrote rather than to worry over the philosopher's haplotype markers.
=========
As George James pointed out in Stolen Legacy, being an initiate of the Egyptian mysteries prevented Socrates from writing anything.

9quicksiva
Jan 5, 2012, 8:56pm Top

>3 karhne:

I just don't see why you'd care. Her primary aptitude was sleeping with the wrong men. I'm not qualified to say if she's a decent black role model, but she's sure as hell a shitty female role model.

========
Cleopatra VII was a Greco-Egyptian female in a world where women were a mere trophy of war.
Egypt was the most important possession in the world. Cleopatra wasn't known as beautiful, but sista girl used what she had to get what she needed. She stayed alive and a player in the big game long after her brother spouse would have had his throat cut.

>3 karhne:
When and where was the statue made? Where and when was it found? How do we know it's Cleopatra VII, and not her maid?

>3 karhne:
None of History is designed to make anybody feel good about themselves.
===========

That's certainly been true recently.
Please.

10theoria
Jan 5, 2012, 9:54pm Top

8> As George James pointed out in Stolen Legacy, being an initiate of the Egyptian mysteries prevented Socrates from writing anything.
--
Good catch. Dialogues. My point on haplotypes remains.

11madpoet
Jan 5, 2012, 10:28pm Top

One of the few memorable things I learned, back in Anthropology 100, is that race is a social construct, not a biological one. The difference in DNA between a "Black" person and a "White" person or an "Asian" person is less than that between two siblings in the same family. In other words, inconsequential.

The Ptolemies adopted many of the customs and beliefs of the Egyptians, including some of their burial rites. Yet they retained aspects of their Greek/Macedonian heritage, including the Greek language. This is common to many dynasties which are foreign to the lands they rule- the Mongols and Manchus in China, and the Normans in England come to mind. They end up adopting many of the ways of the country they are ruling.

So, was Cleopatra Greek or Egyptian? Maybe she was both.

12quicksiva
Jan 5, 2012, 11:04pm Top

>11 madpoet:

So, was Cleopatra Greek or Egyptian? Maybe she was both.

============

That's what I think.
A book to read is A History of the Ptolemaic Empire by Gunther Hobl.

13quicksiva
Jan 6, 2012, 10:31am Top

At first, I was enraged that Dr. Lefkowsky allowed this book to be categorized as "Black Studies". But I guess she wouldn't mind Mein Kampf being called "Judaica".

14quicksiva
Edited: Jan 6, 2012, 3:06pm Top

Dr. Lefkowsky admits that she only noticed the Afrocentric movement in 1991. My first thought was where had her head been for the past 20 years. When she discovered an Africana Department at "her" Wellesley College, she heard her calling. The rest as they say, "is History" or should I say "her story." In her own words, "I found myself fighting on the front lines of one of the most hotly contested theaters in the Culture Wars, both at home and on a national level."

15quicksiva
Jan 6, 2012, 3:37pm Top

A great book on the academic controversy Is Heresy in the University.

As a young "radical"I was once told by a street dude that "Those White (expletives) would rather believe that those (expletive) Sphinxes and (expletive)( pyramids I was trying to talk about had fallen off the back of a (expletive) flying saucer, than that any (expletives) like us had ever had anything to do with them. Well as someone else used to say "It ain't over till it's over."

16quicksiva
Edited: Jan 16, 2012, 4:21pm Top

>2 MyopicBookworm:
I've been to Egypt. I don't think Copts are black.
===========
Did your Copts speak Coptic or Arabic?

>16 quicksiva::
Can we add the Irish and the Scots to your list of indigenous peoples who were oppressed by a colonial power? Or is their skin too white?
==========
In a grad course on Race Relations in the 20th Century, the Black Power Dude chose to study the Irish. Not too long ago, a standard depiction of Irish Americans in The New York Times was a gorilla carrying a shalaee and a mug of beer..
The book to read is How the Irish Became Black.

To be honest, I have often wondered why 18th Century Scots are so prominent as Afro Centric source material. My folk were house keepers for the Carnigie family on the Sea Islands in the 50's and I hope its ok to admit that my brother and I slept in the big bed.. I think I was potty trained :)
Perhaps thats why I have this thing for libraries.

17karhne
Jan 6, 2012, 4:22pm Top

9>
Okay, so here's a coin. It is labeled Name next to picture. Mark Antony on the other side.




9>You are aware that Cleopatra killed her brother? So surviving him is hardly an accomplishment. And as for women being merely trophies of war in that time, look at the Julio-Claudian women. Look at Livia. At Julia Domna. Look at the Vestal Virgins, who among other things, were much like the bankers and notaries of their time. You may choose victims as your heroes, but I don't choose them for mine.

18nathanielcampbell
Jan 6, 2012, 4:22pm Top

>16 quicksiva:: Can we add the Irish and the Scots to your list of indigenous peoples who were oppressed by a colonial power? Or is their skin too white?

19karhne
Jan 6, 2012, 4:58pm Top

18> Black Irish, yes, and also Welsh Coal Miners. No on Scotsmen, because brotha-boy look that good in a dress, he's not a victim, he's alive and a player Viva Prima Noctis.

20MyopicBookworm
Edited: Jan 6, 2012, 5:20pm Top

Did your Copts speak Coptic or Arabic?

Copts don't speak Coptic, except in church.

I think there's something deeply unhelpful about adopting the simplistic distinction between White and Non-White, and then using the term Black for all Non-Whites.

21setnahkt
Jan 6, 2012, 6:24pm Top

I've been to Egypt four times. People from the south - around Aswan, say - are definitely darker skinned than people from the North. Think Anwar Sadat vs. Hosni Mubarak. And people from the north make jokes about people from the south. None of the Copts I met were distinguishable from anybody else based on skin color or body type; however, several had a discrete cross tattooed on the inside of their wrists that they could casually flash during conversation.

22quicksiva
Jan 6, 2012, 7:19pm Top

>16 quicksiva:: Can we add the Irish and the Scots to your list of indigenous peoples who were oppressed by a colonial power? Or is their skin too white?
========
No problem Natheniel,

In a grad course on Race Relations in the early 70's, the Black Power Dude chose to study the Irish. Not too long ago, a standard depiction of Irish Americans in The New York Times was a gorilla carrying a shalaee and a mug of beer. The book to read is How the Irish Became White by Noel Ignatiev.

To be honest, I have often wondered why 19h Century Scots are so prominent as Afro Centric source material.

My folk were house keepers for the Carnegie family on the Sea Islands in the 50's and I hope its ok to admit that my brother and I slept in the big bed.. I think I was potty trained by then. Maybe that's why I have this thing for libraries..

23MyopicBookworm
Jan 6, 2012, 7:30pm Top

#22 Interesting-looking book.

In terms of a colour terminology which uses "white" and "black" for socially-constructed "elite" and "oppressed" categories, Socrates, as a male Athenian citizen, was undoubtedly "white".

24quicksiva
Jan 6, 2012, 8:19pm Top

>17 karhne:
Which one is Mark?

25MyopicBookworm
Edited: Jan 6, 2012, 8:32pm Top

Re coin: pic on left has "ANTONI" visible on left; pic on right has CLEOPATRA REGINA.

It's probably the least flattering coin image of her!

26Garp83
Jan 8, 2012, 5:33pm Top

With all due respect to all concerned, I always believed this topic of Cleopatra's race to be of zero interest. While it is possible that Cleopatra was of mixed-race -- Macedonian and Egyptian -- she lived her life fully in the role of a Macedonian Greek Hellenistic dynastic queen of a subject state, so her actual DNA is completely besides the point. Only antebellum Southerners, post-bellum segregationists and Nazis really focused on the mixed-race construct, and entirely in a negative fashion. Personally I can have no more or less regard for Cleopatra if I were certain she did or did not have African blood. We really don't even know what color ancient Egyptians were. And who cares? I feel the same way about Cleopatra's color and/or DNA as I do about anybody else. Look at Obama -- he is much half-white as he is half-black? Does that have anything to do with his strengths and weaknesses other than what has been superimposed by attitudes in a still quasi-racist America in the 21st century. And the ancient's view of race was entirely divorced from us moderns.

Cleopatra did not consider herself Egyptian, but rather Greek, so while it might make for nice cocktail conversation, I for one would rather just drink the cocktail and focus on something else.

(Hope I didn't piss off someone with what I just said and if I did I want to apologize fully in advance, but I really had to say it)

27quicksiva
Jan 9, 2012, 2:09pm Top

>26 Garp83:
With all due respect to all concerned, I always believed this topic of Cleopatra's race to be of zero interest. While it is possible that Cleopatra was of mixed-race -- Macedonian and Egyptian -- she lived her life fully in the role of a Macedonian Greek Hellenistic dynastic queen of a subject state, so her actual DNA is completely besides the point. Only antebellum Southerners, post-vellum segregationists and Nazis really focused on the mixed-race construct, and entirely in a negative fashion. Personally I can have no more or less regard for Cleopatra if I were certain she did or did not have African blood. We really don't even know what color ancient Egyptians were. And who cares? I feel the same way about Cleopatra's color and/or DNA as I do about anybody else. Look at Obama -- he is much half-white as he is half-black? Does that have anything to do with his strengths and weaknesses other than what has been superimposed by attitudes in a still quasi-racist America in the 21st century. And the ancient's view of race was entirely divorced from us moderns.

Cleopatra did not consider herself Egyptian, but rather Greek, so while it might make for nice cocktail conversation, I for one would rather just drink the cocktail and focus on something else.

(Hope I didn't piss off someone with what I just said and if I did I want to apologize fully in advance, but I really had to say it) Garp 1-8-12

======================

Hi Garp,

Like I always say, “It's better to be pissed off than pissed on”

Happy New Year,

>26 Garp83:
“Look at Obama -- he is much half-white as he is half-black?”

=========
Have you ever ever heard anyone call President Obama “That white S.O.B.”
You know how we roll in America, “One Drop Baby” Unless its Hitler. You can keep him.

That's why an Afro-centric viewpoint is sometimes useful. After 300 years in Africa, where they, followed Alexander's examples pretended to be the new pharohs, the Ptolemies had become matrilineal family. Many of the kinky marriage arrangements in the Ptolemy family may have come from their trying to create heirs that would be acceptable to the Egyptians. Well before genetic testing, the Egyptians of Cleo's day knew that “you are your moma's baby but your daddy's maybe.”.
In Cleopatra the Ptolemies succeeded. As the daughter of a priestess, her husband would be treated as king of Egypt. The Egyptians disliked the Greeks whom they saw as ill educated pirates.
With the coming of Imperial Rome Cleopatra had nothing left to fall back on but her back and the support of the Egyptian people. She spoke Coptic, the language of the Egyptian resistance to Rome in later years. Coptic been may have the first language of Christianity. Her sons would be the legitimate heirs to the crown at Alexandria by Egyptian tradition. Cleopatra was much more than just a booty call. She was the key to a kingdom.
That's why Caesar and Mark Anthony, two of the world's most powerful men, had to make babies with this Tawney teenager.

28quicksiva
Edited: Jan 9, 2012, 4:18pm Top

>23 MyopicBookworm:
In terms of a colour terminology which uses "white" and "black" for socially-constructed "elite" and "oppressed" categories, Socrates, as a male Athenian citizen, was undoubtedly "white".

========

A. I don't accept that definition. I have seen it used too often to define any dark skinned person, no matter what they are portrayed as doing, as a "slave".

I am not arguing that Socrates was pigmented any differently from the average Athenian. Modern genetics says that all we learn from skin color is the color of the skin. The Greeks regularly portrayed Ethiopians as "having snub noses, broad nostrils, and a wide mouth." This is how Plato and Xenophon described Socrates. But Dr. Lefkowitz says they were only “joking.” As a result of this unfortunate bit of sophomoric humor on the part of Plato and Xenophon, generations of young blacks have been misled into "feeling good about themselves".

Truthfully, I never considered Socrates to be other than white until I started reading Not Out Of Africa. Mary Lefkowitz make a better case for thinking so than she thinks. This is not the "definite statement" that the New York Times Book Review, The Bradley Foundation, The John M. Olin Foundationand the people at New Republic want it to be.

29quicksiva
Edited: Jan 10, 2012, 8:49am Top

>16 quicksiva:: Can we add the Irish and the Scots to your list of indigenous peoples who were oppressed by a colonial power? Or is their skin too white?
========

How many students at Georgetown know if "George” was the king or one of the presidents?

How many know that Patrick Francis Healy was the son of an Irishman and an American slave?

Patrick Francis Healy (February 27, 1830 – January 10, 1910) was the 29th President of Georgetown University, and is known for expanding the school following the American Civil War. Healy Hall, a National Historic Landmark, was constructed during Healy's tenure and is named after him.

Although born a slave in the American South, He was accepted as white and “passed” as Irish-American. As a result of the Afro centric movement, in the 1960s his ancestry became more widely known, and Healy was recognized as the first African American to earn a PhD, the first to become a Jesuit priest; and the first to be president of a predominantly white college.

Blacks such as Father Healey, SJ and certain members of my own family have been "passing" in to "white" society for years. Some live in Ireland, you might know them.

Erin Go Braugh, Bro

30quicksiva
Edited: Jan 12, 2012, 8:23am Top

>2 MyopicBookworm:
I've been to Egypt. I don't think Copts are black.

=============

All blacks, however, did not look alike to the Creeks and Romans, who made careful note of differences in the Ethiopians' pigmenta­tion, Ethiopians were not of the same color, varying from dark (fusci) to very black (nigerrimi). Acridophagi (Locust Eaters) were described by Agatharchides and Diodorus as exceedingly black."

People living in the vicinity of Meroe, according to Ptolemy, were deeply black in color and pure Ethiopians.'

The region in the neighborhood of the Egyptian-Nubian boundary, however, was in­habited by people who, according to Flavius Philostratus, were not completely black but half-breeds in color, not so black as Ethiopians but darker than Egyptians.'"

In short, classical descriptions of gradations in the skin color of blacks in the Nile Valley compare favor­ably with the observations of modern anthropologists such as B. C. Trigger's: "On an average, between the Delta in northern Egypt and the Sudd of the Upper Nile, skin color tends to darken from light brown to what appears to the eye as bluish black." See Before Color Prejudice by Frank M. Snowden, Jr.

31setnahkt
Jan 11, 2012, 7:57pm Top

>30 quicksiva:

I don't know whether it makes them "black" or not in the modern political sense, but I would estimate somewhere around 25% of the modern population of Egypt - smaller percentage in the north, larger in the south - would fail the "Woolworth's Test"; i.e., they would have been refused service at a Woolworth's lunch counter in Atlanta in 1964.

32Garp83
Jan 11, 2012, 8:37pm Top

Since we are all descendants of presumably black homo sapiens who migrated out of Africa perhaps 50,000 years ago, I find the entire topic a moot point. Christ, we are all black. Who cares?

33stellarexplorer
Jan 12, 2012, 1:14am Top

Garp, I love you man.

34quicksiva
Jan 12, 2012, 7:13am Top

>20 MyopicBookworm:
Who cares?
==========
The people at the New York Times Book Review, The Bradley Foundation, The John M. Olin Foundation , the New Republic , Mary Lefkowitz and me.

35quicksiva
Edited: Jan 12, 2012, 7:53am Top

In Not Out of Africa, Mary Lefkowitz claims to have won a major victory in the Culture Wars, which she only discovered in 1991. She writes well as one would expect from a Classics professor at an Ivy League Women's College. But she is no historian, and upon close analysis, her well-crafted arguments fall apart. The good news is that she throws out a great deal of important information. How many readers are aware that William Shakespeare described Cleopatra as both “Tawny” and “black”. Shakespeare's two great peers Ben Jonson and Inigo Jones (cool name) would have put Elizabeth Taylor in blackface just as they made up Queen Anne for her role as Niger's daughter in The Masque of Blackness (1605).

36lawecon
Edited: Jan 12, 2012, 7:54am Top

This strikes me as the same sort of discussion I'm having with Johnthefireman in another thread. John is a very good man who has spent much of his life trying to make the societies in which he has lived better. Now his life is tormented by his living in a very violent society where very young people often carry around and use AK-47s, etc. His solution is that it would be better if everyone would just stop those practices and reason with one another (or, at least, leave one another in peace).....

That, of course, is a very nice sentiment, but it is not a "solution" to the problems surrounding him, since everyone would have to agree and comply as one. If you and your brother and your neighbor put down your arms, but the guy down the street doesn't, you are simply the ones massacred and he isn't. Same way here. Race informs much of American dialog, and it is not a solution to that situation to say it shouldn't and therefore it doesn't.

I think that we probably would mostly agree with two propositions:

(1) If race were no longer a criterion by which we judged one another the world would be greatly improved.
(2) Race does not equal culture, and a general "abolition" of race should not abolish different cultures and the rights of individuals to adhere to one of those cultures or another.

The problem, beyond the vested interests that have grown up around race, is that race and culture have become intermixed in our minds. There is hardly anything more disturbing for a white American, for instance, than to converse with a black Brit who is Oxford educated. Black guys aren't suppose to sound like that. They are suppose to speak jive and have rhythm and be, well, not all that sophisticated. The Oxford educated black Brit is none of those. He speaks the King's English, he is probably typically stiff British in his mannerisms and he is very sophisticated. Thus he must "be acting" and "putting on airs." (The same sort of analysis would, of course, be applied to a white guy brought up by a poorer black family in Jamaica who had been a jazz musician for 20 years. He can't be real.)

So, I think that Garp is dead wrong. Race in America does matter, we can't just wish it away or agree to be rational and ignore the ways most people perceive other people. We may work toward becoming more rational and making better distinctions about, for instance, the difference between race and culture. But we aren't even close to that situation today.

37karhne
Jan 12, 2012, 8:28am Top

32>>Garp, are you seriously arguing that we stop arguing? Spoken like a true hippie.

The reason why it matters is that race actually does impact peoples' experiences in the here and now. We may have all had the same experience 50,000 years ago, but the intervening years have been very different in different parts of the world. Quicksiva can't change all of the prejudices against him by putting on a tie, shaving, and getting a g-d-damned haircut. Does it matter whether Cleopatra or Socrates was black? Not unless they re-animate and go on Oprah. But sometimes, a cigar isn't just a cigar. The fact, itself, isn't important. The reasons why the fact is important, however, are. We have landed on this topic as the result of currents which exist in present day society. Those currents are important.

I am a member of the privileged group in America. White, educated, and maybe a little more than middle class. Nobody ever looked at me and wondered if I'd be a cook or a maid. I know how to run a business, and I have more than one to pick from. Female, of course, but with role-models like my gran, who spent most of World War II shooting at Nazi airplanes from a rooftop in Reading. To me, history is genealogy (literally) and you'd have to go back a thousand years to find one of my ancestors who couldn't read. 50,000 year old nucleotides don't change that.

They don't change Quicksiva's experiences, either.

The reason it matters to me--the reason why I'm still wading through the rhetoric here--is that I have an interest in migration patterns and assimilation. And non-assimilation. It's not exactly bronze-age Greece, but you have to admit, it's one hell of a case study. You'd be hard put to find any other group in history who were as thoroughly isolated from their original cultures as African-American slaves. And then, there's the question of assimilation! And not just with the main body of society, but with all the various immigrants from all of the African and Caribbean nations. How can you not be fascinated?

And then, there are all the amazing questions QuickSiva keeps bringing up and then abandoning. He's touched on everything from identity to African Americans being an under-served population for mental health care. I'm still not 100% sure whether that's accidental, but they're worth thinking about, too. Worth talking about.

As far as I can see, the worst possible outcome of having a conversation is that we poke each other with sticks until somebody gets insulted, frustrated, or bored, and walks away. It's hardly a chain match. And, clearly, everyone who is still here sees some kind of benefit to the conversation, or they would have left.

Even you.

You don't really think this is just meaningless "cocktail conversation", or you'd be over in Tea, trying to break up that horrible conversation where they're listing songs about tea.

38PaulFoley
Jan 12, 2012, 9:08am Top

How many readers are aware that William Shakespeare described Cleopatra as both “Tawny” and “black”.

Err...no he doesn't. The text of Antony and Cleopatra is here; the word "tawny" occurs twice, neither in reference to Cleo; "black" occurs three times, one of which is Cleopatra saying "Think on me,// That am with Phoebus' amorous pinches black,// And wrinkled deep in time?", but to interpret that as describing herself as literally black you'd presumably have to take the whole thing literally and read it as saying she's badly sunburned! :)

Shakespeare never met her, anyway...

39MMcM
Edited: Jan 12, 2012, 9:44am Top

Then whose “tawny front” is it?

Likewise, Tennyson explained to Rolfe about “swathy cheeks,” which had precipitated some criticism.

40quicksiva
Edited: Jan 12, 2012, 2:29pm Top

How does a queen living in the lap of "Oriental" luxury get "sun burned". down at the beach? Or out working in her garden?

41Garp83
Jan 12, 2012, 2:53pm Top

I think some of you have mis-read me. Or perhaps you just don't read carefully.

Of course race still has significant if unfortunate ramifications in Americas in the 21st century. We do need to care about that.

That's not what I said.

So let me rephrase it(rhetorically): "Who gives a shit if Cleopatra was black?"

It made zero difference then. It makes zero difference today.

Unless of course she were alive today and lived down the street in NY or CT, in which case it might. Or might not.

42quicksiva
Jan 12, 2012, 2:58pm Top

>37 karhne:
And then, there are all the amazing questions QuickSiva keeps bringing up and then abandoning. He's touched on everything from identity to African Americans being an under-served population for mental health care. I'm still not 100% sure whether that's accidental, but they're worth thinking about, too. Worth talking about.

============

I don't abandon good questions or intelligent responses. I save them for later use. You should too.

Nothing I post is accidental.
Can't you tell that I need help ; )

43Garp83
Jan 12, 2012, 5:42pm Top

#42 Quicksiva et al ...

Let me also be clear that I have the highest regard for Quicksiva & his various points about the significance of race in modern circumstances. So it is with respect but conviction that I find the discussion of Cleopatra's race utterly irrelevant.

44prosfilaes
Jan 12, 2012, 5:54pm Top

#35: In terms of ancient history, what difference does it make what the Elizabethans thought of someone who died 1500 years before they existed?

45quicksiva
Edited: Jan 12, 2012, 7:24pm Top

#35: In terms of ancient history, what difference does it make what the Elizabethans thought of someone who died 1500 years before they existed?

===========
Are you taking about Cleopatra or Jesus? I'm talking about both.

46quicksiva
Edited: Jan 12, 2012, 8:11pm Top

>41 Garp83:
A. So let me rephrase it(rhetorically): "Who gives a shit if Cleopatra was black?"

It made zero difference then. It makes zero difference today.

==============
It might have mattered to her marines.

Students of military history can verify if Sidonius actually mentions that Cleopatra's ships were filled with pitch black soldiers in Carmina 5.460
Maybe they were all sunburned too.

That's above my pay grade.

B. Unless of course she were alive today and lived down the street in NY or CT, in which case it might. Or might not.

=============
Not.....See >17 karhne:
I hear she is a great conversationalist though.

47quicksiva
Edited: Jan 12, 2012, 9:36pm Top

Who cares, and why?

King Juba II of Mauritania's first wife was Cleopatra Selene, the daughter of Antony and Cleopatra. The Mauritanians fought Rome to a draw and were made Roman Citizens by treaty. After the war many Roman vets settled in the new Provence of Africa.

See The Golden Ass by the Apuleius for a side splitting account of life on the "down and out" in Second Century Roman Africa. In addition to Apuleius, a number of the most important thinkers of the early Church were born in Mauritania, North Africa. Liberation theorist Franz Fanon author ofBlack Skin, White Masks was a modern native of the area.

Some 70,000 sub-Saharan African Mauritanians were expelled from Mauritania in the late 1980s.The ethnic tension and the sensitive issue of slavery – and, in some areas, present– is still a powerful theme in the country's political debate. A significant number from all groups, however, seek a more diverse, pluralistic society.

48quicksiva
Jan 13, 2012, 10:42am Top

Who cares, and why?

Antony and Cleopatra were in-laws with Juba I. Between 60 and 46 BC, during the reign of Juba I, the North African Kingdom of Numidia was not under the rule of Romans. Juba was defeated at Thapsus in 46 BC by Caesar. The Romans officially annexed Numidia at that date and renamed it "Africa Nova." Bocchus II willed the Kingdom of Mauretania to Octavian in 33 BC. However, Mauretania was not similarly annexed by the Romans until 40 AD. It is also to be noted that the name of Mauri was applied to all non-romanized natives of North Africa still ruled by their own chiefs, until the third century AD. Carthage, Rome and the Berbers, J.A. Ilevbare, Ibadan University Press, 1980.)

49karhne
Jan 13, 2012, 11:07am Top

42> If one of my friends came to me, and told me about an elaborate fantasy where a whole group of people dislikes him (and people like him) so much that they fabricated a paradigm in which little green men constructed Stonehenge, I wouldn't write him off as "radical", I would consider a mental-health explanation. Paranoid Schizophrenia comes to mind, but, obviously, I'm no expert. But the point is, my (white) friend gets help, and your (black) friend doesn't based on our different perceptions.

46> Your touchstone went to the wrong place. Catullus would be a completely different slant on Cleopatra and a ship full of Marines. You mean Carmina. At the rate this conversation is going, though, I'd be willing to bet you think Lesbia's sparrow was actually a sparrow. It is too early in the morning to deal with sparrow people.;)

QuickSiva, I still want you to define the line between general American culture and Black culture. And you aren't allowed to do it in terms of oppression, because if that's how you define it, you'd stop being Black as soon as you manage to overcome oppression. For example, Michael Healy(Patrick's brother)--who kept his race a secret--would effectively fall into the "not Black" category because Blacks are not allowed to be ship captains, and Michael Healy was a ship captain, therefore... You are, however, allowed to argue for multiple Black American cultures, but you have to define them carefully.

Michael Healy saved thousands of Inuits from famine and starvation. Much more rugged and manly black hero than his brother.

Does taking the option not to be perceived as Black make these mennot black?

50quicksiva
Edited: Jan 13, 2012, 12:24pm Top

These lines from The Masque of Blackness points out Elizabethian attitudes about race that aren't so well known today. Ben Jonson was as influencial as Shakespeare in 1605. The masque was the most important cultural event at court. This was the most elaborate and costly one ever. So imagine what led to the queen and her court putting on blackface and acting like Niger's Ethiopian nymphette daughters for the King and his guests.

The Queen's Masques The first, of BLACKNESS by Ben Johnson

Personated at the court at Whitehall on the Twelfth-night, 1605.

"The honor and splendor of these spectacles was such in the perform~ ance as, could those hours have lasted, this of mine now had been a most unprofitable work. But, when it is the fate even of the greatest and most absolute births to need and borrow a life of posterity, little had been done to the study of magnificence in these, if presently with the rage of the people, who, as a part of greatness, are privileged by customl to deface their carcasses, the spirits had also perished. In duty, therefore, to that Majesty who gave them their authority and grace and, no less than the most royal of predecessors, deserves eminent celebration for these solemnities, I add this later hand to redeem them as well from ignorance as envy, two common evils, the one of censure, the other of oblivion.

Pliny, Solinus, Ptolemy, and of late Leo the African remember unto
us a river in Ethiopia, famous by the name of Niger, of which the people were called Nigritae, now Negroes, and are the blackest nation of the world. This river taketh spring out of a certain lake eastward,} and after a long race, falleth into the western ocean. Hence, because it was her majesty's will to have them blackamoors· at first, the inven­tion was derived by me, and presented thus."
..............

NIGER:
To do a kind and careful father's part
In satisfying every pensive heart
Of these my daughters, my most Joved birth,
Who though they were the first formed dames of earth,'
And in whose sparkling and refulgent eyes
The glorious sun did still delight to rise,
Though he-the best judge and most formal cause
Of all dames' beauties-in their firm hues draws
Signs of his fervent'st love, and thereby shows
That in their black the perfect'st beauty grows,'
Since the fixed color of their curled hair,
Which is the highest grace of dames most fair,
No cares no age can change or there display
The fearful tincture of abhorred gray,
Since Death herself (herself being pale and blue)
Can never alter their most faithful hue;
All which are arguments to prove how far
Their beauties conquer, in great beauty's war,
And more, how near divinity they be
That stand from passion or decay so free.
Yet since the fabulous voices of some few
Poor brainsick men, styled poets, here with you,
Have, with such envy of their graces, sung
The painted beauties, other empires sprung;
Letting their loose and winged fictions fly
To infect all climates, yea our purity;
As of one Phaethon,' that fired the world,
And that before his heedless flames were hurled
About the globe, the Ethiops were as fair
As other dames; now black, with black despair; ".
And in respect of their complexions changed,
Are eachwhere since for luckless creatures ranged.
Which, when my daughters heard, as women are
Most jealous of their beauties, fear and care
Possessed them whole; yea, and believing them,
They wept such ceaseless tears into my stream,
That it hath thus far overflowed his shore
To seek them patience; who have since e'ermore
As the sun riseth charged his burning throne
With volleys of revilings, 'cause he shone ".
On their scorch'd cheeks with such intemperate fires,
And other dames made queens of all desires.
To frustrate which strange error oft I sought,
Though most in vain, against a settled thought
As women's are, till they confirmed at length iii
By miracle what I with so much strength
Of argument resisted; else they feigned:
For in the lake where their first spring they gained,
As they sat cooling their soft limbs, one night
Appeared a face all circumfused with light; '"
(And sure they saw't, for Ethiops never dream)
Wherein they might decipher through the stream
These words:
That they a land must forthwith seek,
Whose termination (of the Greek)
Sounds -tania; where bright Sol, that heat
Their bloods, doth never rise or set,
But in his journey passeth by
And leaves that climate of the sky,
To comfort of a greater light
Who forms all beauty with his sight.
In search of this have we three princedoms passed
That speak out ·tania in their accents last;
Black Mauretania first, and secondly
Swarth Lusitania; next we did descry
Rich Aquitania; and yet cannot find
The place unto these longing nymphs designed.
Instruct and aid me, great Oceanus,
What land is this that now appears to us? "

51Garp83
Jan 13, 2012, 5:47pm Top

But I must ask once more and finally before unsubscribing from this thread: what does the genetic makeup of Cleopatra's DNA have to do with Elizabethian or 21st century attitudes towards race?

So anachronistic and awkward, like the 1970's NY skyline superimposed on Prohibition era NY in "Once Upon a Time in America." Or, more accurately, like trying to understand contemporary gay and straight culture by juxtaposing it with homosexual and heterosexual practices in the Classical Greco-Roman world, which were contexually a world apart. It is difficult if not impossible to learn anything from the compare and contrast.

52quicksiva
Edited: Jan 13, 2012, 8:55pm Top

>49 karhne:
karhne,
You are right that I am crazy, but I try to make it work for me. See Neurotic Styles by David Shapiro.

My fantasy is not about little green men building Stonehenge,however, its about large black and brown men building an advanced civilization in Africa during the 50,000 years or so after Garp's people left to wipe out the Neanderthals and before they came back. I have never denied that I see things from an Afrocentric point of view. I argue, because that's the way that I am. I am also an obsessive compulsive reader.

I am also a compulsive collecter of Afrocentric factoids. The information you provided on ("Michael Healy(Patrick's brother)--who kept his race a secret--would effectively fall into the "not Black" category because Blacks are not allowed to be ship captains, and Michael Healy was a ship captain, therefore... )" This is the type of Eurocentric assuptions of "whiteness" in historical figures that I am struggling against. The Healys are as black as President Obama and as white. I see no reason not to list them among great Afro Americans in Febuary. Are or you trying to tell me that they aren't black enough? If I give them up, I'd have to give up Alexander Dumas and Alexander Pushkin too.

A little paranoia is sometimes healthy, someone might actually be out to get you.
I don't consider myself hysterical, but I am impulsive. I fall in love at first sight, all the time.

>49 karhne:
QuickSiva, I still want you to define the line between general American culture and Black culture. And you aren't allowed to do it in terms of oppression, because if that's how you define it, you'd stop being Black as soon as you manage to overcome oppression.

Actually, as your example shows, in America, you stop being oppressed when you stop being black.

53quicksiva
Jan 13, 2012, 9:06pm Top

Garp, Go if you must, and go in peace. But remember these words from Fredrick Douglas:

Without struggle, there is no progress.

BTW, Douglass is as black or white as Cleopatra, the Haley brothers, Pushkin, Dumas, President Obama, or that raggedy ass dude who wants to wipe your windows.

54quicksiva
Edited: Jan 15, 2012, 1:51pm Top

>49 karhne:
Your touchstone went to the wrong place. Catullus would be a completely different slant on Cleopatra and a ship full of Marines. You mean Carmina.
===========
Thanks, Karhne, Thanks for you valuable input..

Gaius Sollius Modestus Sidonius Apollinaris (c. 430 – after 489), poet, diplomat, bishop, is “the single most important surviving author from fifth-century Gaul” according to Eric Goldberg. He was one of four late antiquity Gallo-Roman aristocrats whose letters survive in quantity.

If he is the man I meant to reference in post #46 He is the one who wrote that "Cleopatra's ships were filled with pitch black soldiers."

I hope you are not accusing Saint Sidodonius Apollinaris of suffering from "Paranoid Schizophrenia", are you. People might stop taking you seriously.

55quicksiva
Edited: Jan 15, 2012, 2:37pm Top

>49 karhne: If one of my friends came to me, and told me about an elaborate fantasy where a whole group of people dislikes him (and people like him) so much that they fabricated a paradigm in which little green men constructed Stonehenge, I wouldn't write him off as "radical", I would consider a mental-health explanation. Paranoid Schizophrenia comes to mind, but, obviously, I'm no expert. But the point is, my (white) friend gets help, and your (black) friend doesn't based on our different perceptions.

=========
Kahrne,

I can tell from your posts that you have a deep knowledge of psychiatry.
Would you care to analyse Matthias Theodor Mommsen also?

Mommsen, (30 November 1817 – 1 November 1903) was a German classical scholar, historian, jurist, journalist, politician, archaeologist, and writer generally regarded as the greatest classicist of the 19th century. His work regarding Roman history is still of fundamental importance for contemporary research.

He is also the "Afro-centric nut-case" who wrote these lines shortly before winning the Nobel Prize in 1902.

"In the development of Christianity, Africa plays the first part; if it arose in Syria, it was in and through Africa that it became the religion of the world."

Your comments on his delusion will be thoughtfully considered and incororated into my future research.

56nathanielcampbell
Edited: Jan 15, 2012, 3:13pm Top

>55 quicksiva:: But I think the point that several people have tried to make is that the context of Christians living in the Roman provinces of North Africa in the third and fourth centuries is vastly different from the context of Subsaharan and Eastern Aftricans living under Muslim rule in the second millennium; that both of these situations are qualitatively different from Western Africans bungled into slave ships as part of the triangle trade of the 18th century; that the three preceding contexts are different from an African-American living in the United States in 2012; and that all four of those scenarios are quite different from native Africans living in Africa today, to say nothing of the fact that the contemporary experiences of Egyptians, Kenyans, South African blacks, and the people of Senegal are all contextually and qualitatively different from each other, let alone in comparison to the four previously named situations.

In other words, treating every person with black skin from Cleopatra down to Hosnei Mubarak, Nelson Mandela, and you under the same rubric does very little to advance either actual historical knowledge or actual social justice in the world of today. Indeed, it probably does far more harm than good, for the cultural contexts of Cleopatra, Muslim and Christian Egyptians, and you each provide very different lenses for viewing the world.

Each of those lenses may offer something very important for understanding human experience, both in concrete historical contexts and in a wider, more synthetic approach; but their differences, whether small or great, must not be ignored.

57quicksiva
Edited: Jan 15, 2012, 3:37pm Top

As a previous post has mentioned, none of these people would have passed the "Woolworth Test" 60 years ago, in America. And few would be considered "Arabian" enough to remain in parts of North Africa today. When all the blacks, exept those in slavery, have been finally physically "cleansed" from Northern Africa, I want them to be remembered by a few old timers here at LibraryThing.

58nathanielcampbell
Jan 15, 2012, 4:28pm Top

>57 quicksiva:: The most learned men (white Europeans, black Africans, Muslims {note: the centers of Arabic learning actually ended up being in Persia, where inhabitants had far lighter skin than Arabian Muslims}, even the Chinese) of 600 years ago would all have failed a basic high school physics test in America today.

And that's why good historians understand a thing called context. The "Woolworth Test" only has meaning in the context of black Americans in the latter 19th and 20th centuries. It's meaningless to impose it on Cleopatra (or Socrates), because they had radically different historical contexts. The experiences of a white Roman soldier, originally from the Danubian provinces but captured by Sassanid Persians in the 5th and 6th centuries are, qualitatively, closer to those of a black African warrior captured by 18th-century slavers than are those of Cleopatra or Socrates.

So to come back to a point made earlier in this thread: if "black" is used as a common term linking Socrates, Cleopatra, African slaves held by Muslims, African slaves held by Westerners, Martin Luther King Jr., Hosnei Mubarak, Nelson Mandela, and quicksiva; i.e. if "black" is simply a term meaning "hailing from Africa," then it ceases to have a useful socio-political meaning.

If, on the other hand, "black" means "belonging to an oppressed cultural underclass", it becomes at best a misnomer (for, pace Noel Ignatiev, the skincolor of the Irish has always been about as far away from black as you can get) or far worse a gross degradation of the experiences of oppressed peoples not from Africa. Not to mention the fact that there's not a historian out there who will agree that Cleopatra is "black" if the essence of "blackness" is being oppressed.

Before we can go any further, then, I have an honest question for quicksiva: what is your definition of "black"? Is it based entirely on skin color? Is it based on the mere fact of hailing from Africa, regardless of culture or historical circumstance? Is it based on socio-economic oppression (and in that case, do the white farmers who have been terrorized and had their property stolen by Robert Mugabe count as black)?

59quicksiva
Edited: Jan 15, 2012, 8:52pm Top

>58 nathanielcampbell:

Before we can go any further, then, I have an honest question for quicksiva: what is your definition of "black"? Is it based entirely on skin color? Is it based on the mere fact of hailing from Africa, regardless of culture or historical circumstance?

==============

A rather complicated answer is provided by Frank Snowden in the excellent Before Color Prejudice.

“The dark- and black-skinned Africans mentioned most often in the records of Mediterranean peoples lived in parts of the Nile Valley south of the First Cataract.

This region was designated frequently in Egyptian texts and the Old Testament as Kush (Cush) and as Aithopia (Aethiopia) by Greek, Roman, and early Christian authors' Snowden. 3

The area, also referred to as Nubia, is often divided into Lower Nubia, extending from the First to the Second Cataract; and Upper Nubia, stretching southward from the Second Cataract to the area in the vicinity of Meroe, situated about halfway between the Fifth Cataract and present-day Khartoum.'Snowden, 3.


For the land and peoples of the Nile Valley south of Egypt, Snowden in general used Kush and Kushites for periods covered by Egyptian or Assyrian documents and the Old Testament; and Ethiopia and Ethiopians when he cites Creek, Roman, and Christian sources. He also followed a common practice in using Nubia and Nubians as general terms for the region and its inhabitants.

In the interest of clarity some have sometimes used Napatans for Nubians of the Napatan Kingdom of Kush (ca. 750-300 B.C.) when the royal burial ground was located at Napata, near the Fourth Cataract, and Meroites for the people of the Meroitic Kingdom of Kush (ca. 300 B.C. to 350 A.D.), after the royal cemetery had been moved farther south to Meroe.

Several peoples described as Ethiopians or by other words indicating degrees of blackness are reported to have lived also in vari­ous parts of northwest Africa. In this region of Africa there was no precise geographical landmark corresponding to the First Cataract that divided areas occupied by whites and blacks.'

“The evidence, however, suggests that blacks in northwest Africa for the most part inhabited the southern fringes, extending roughly from perhaps the oasis of Ammon (Siwa), but at least from the present-day Fezzan and the oases of southern Tunisia to the Atlantic coast of southern Morocco; and blacks at times lived in areas closer to the Mediter­ranean littoral.' Blacks who found their way to other countries of the ancient world outside Africa came for the most part from re­gions of the Nile Valley, but also, especially during the Roman pe­riod, to some extent from northwest Africa.' Snowden. 3,5.

“Scholars differ in their views as to the proper anthropological classification of the African blacks known to the ancient world. The question of an appropriate designation for these blacks is further complicated by changing modern usage, according to which dark and black-skinned peoples have been described at different times as "colored, "Negro," African American, or "black." The ancients themselves, however, in realistic portraits and detailed descriptions, have provided perhaps the best picture of the physical characteristics of African blacks.” Snowden. p.5.

“The so-called pure or pronounced Negroid type-blacks with broad noses, thick lips, and tightly coiled or woolly hair-appears in Egyptian art as early as the latter part of the third millennium B.C· Yet Egyptian inscriptions and literature rarely mention the color of the Kushites, refer only occasionally to the southerners' curly hair, and never provide detailed physical descriptions of blacks like those of later Greek and Roman authors.” Snowden.p.5

“The word Nehesyu was used in Egyptian texts to designate settled inhabitants of the Nile Valley south of Egypt, did not, like the classical term Aethiopian emphasize color but seems to have been derived from a place name. “

Snowden believes that a partial explanation of this may lie in the fact “that from earliest times Egyptians had been acquainted with blacks, had fought alongside black mercenaries at least as early as 2000 B.C." and hence, as a result of a longstanding familiarity, saw nothing unusual in the Kushites' color or their other physical characteristics.”
Snowden, 5.

“Reactions to African blackness, however, differed in other areas of the Mediterranean world, where blacks had not been, as in Egypt, a familiar part of the daily scene.”

“Upon their first introduction to blacks, whites outside Africa were obviously struck by the novelty of the Africans' skin. The color of the Nubians became proverbial. "Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard his spots asked Jeremiah, apparently well acquainted with the color of Africans since it was a Kushite, Ebed-melech, who had interceded on behalf of the prophet when he was imprisoned in the palace of Zedekiah. Jeremiah 13:23”

"To wash an Ethiopian white" was a common expression in the Greek and Roman world, used to describe futile labors or to illustrate the unchangeability of nature.' 5,7
Before Color Predjudice, Snowden, Frank.

That is the long answer, the short answer is a black person is someone who at any time or station of life might be called “nigger.”

When that happens to you, you can start calling yourself "black."

60nathanielcampbell
Edited: Jan 15, 2012, 9:13pm Top

56: Would that apply to Pescennius Niger, who was of the Italian aristocracy and a rival for the Roman Imperial throne in the second century, ultimately defeated by Septimius Severus?

The N-word has its own peculiar cultural context in the history of modern America. That cultural context simply didn't apply to the Africa of the ancient world. To assume that if a Latin writer described Cleopatra as "niger", he meant the same thing by it that a racist of today (or a black rapper) would when using the N-word is just ridiculous.

Which is all a way of saying that Cleopatra (and Socrates) can't be black by your definition, unless you've a time machine somewhere that can bring all people who ever had black skin before a panel of Viriginia White Pride.

61quicksiva
Jan 15, 2012, 9:28pm Top

Please stop putting words into my mouth.

On another note. For many years, I have suspected that that the word "pecular" was related to blackness. Your usage reminded me of this. Did this trend start with The Peculiar Institution, or earlier.

62madpoet
Jan 15, 2012, 9:57pm Top

>47 quicksiva: I think you may be confusing the modern day country of Mauritania with what the Romans called 'Mauritania', the area now known as Algeria and northern Morrocco.

It's odd, and a bit confusing, how place names shift over the centuries. Herodotus, for instance, used the name, 'Libya' to refer to all of Africa outside of Egypt, while 'Africa' was the name of a Roman province in what is now called... Libya.

63quicksiva
Jan 15, 2012, 9:59pm Top

Speaking of slavery, what do you know about Cassius Marcelus Clay, the Union General from Kentucky. He is something of a hero of mind. He gave the Thomas Jefferson speech for his class at Yale for Jefferson's 100th Birthday. He was a slave owning abolitionistwho was run out of Kentucky for his views. A man of contradictions. He set up the deal for Alaska. And he was one bad ass dude. Skull and Bones places him in a later class, but I think a he should have been in the first group c. 1832. No I am not trying to say he was black;)

64nathanielcampbell
Edited: Jan 15, 2012, 10:14pm Top

>61 quicksiva:: I'm sorry if it seemed that I was putting words in your mouth; I'm just trying to understand why you're saying. If I misunderstood, I apologize.

In 59 you said, "the short answer is a black person is someone who at any time or station of life might be called" the N-word. But the N-word is a culturally specific phenomenon; the Latin word "niger" (its root) has no perjorative or racial sense to it.

So I still don't understand how you can accurately apply the N-word to anyone from a culture outside of that in which the N-word has the specific connotation that it does, except metaphorically. I could refer to someone today as a "Roman Emperor", but that would be a metaphor for the way they behave, not an actual claim about their socio-political role in the Roman Empire. Likewise, if one of Cleopatra's subjects had walked up to her and called her the N-word, she would have stared at him blankly, for it would have been a meaningless appellation.

In other words, if someone today calls Cleopatra black or the N-word, it tells us nothing about Cleopatra (and a lot about the person today).

As for peculiar: the Latin adjective peculiaris was formed from the noun peculium, which means personal property. It is not related to blackness, unless you would propose a link based on the fact that slaves were property. The problem, of course, is that the English word "peculiar" was in use for many centuries before the English enslaved Africans; and the Latin roots don't have anything to do with slavery. Rather, peculium is a diminutive of pecus, meaning a flock or herd of animals.

65quicksiva
Jan 15, 2012, 10:45pm Top

The problem, of course, is that the English word "peculiar" was in use for many centuries before the English enslaved Africans; and the Latin roots don't have anything to do with slavery. Rather, peculium is a diminutive of pecus, meaning a flock or herd of animals.
===========
I think America had what is called “chattel slavery”.

If the short definition doen't work use the long one. I don't normally use the "N" word but I hear it often from black folk who would have a fit if you used it.

My main problem with this "color blind society" I hear so much about is that the same groups that have traditionally gotten their asses kicked still do.

But we are supposed to pretend this is all an unfortunate accident. An entire group people are being exterminated in Africa mainly because they are what are commonly called "Niggers", and we sit around debating what is the right word to call them.

66quicksiva
Jan 16, 2012, 7:29am Top

Until the end comes, well may sincere Westerners remember the· prophetic lamentatIons of the thrice-great Trismeglstus over his own country:

"Alas, alas, my son, a day will come when the sacred hiero­glyphics will become but idols. The world will mistake the emblems of science for gods, and accuse grand Egypt of having worshipped hell-monsters. But those who calumniate us thus, will themselves worship Death instead of Life, folly in place of wisdom; they will denounce love and fecunidIty, fill their temples with dead men's bones as relics, and waste their youth in solitude and tears. Their virgins will be widows (nuns) before being wives, and consume themselves in grief; because men will have despised and profaned the sacred mysteries of Isis."

Champollion: "Hermes Trismegistus," xxvii.

67karhne
Jan 16, 2012, 8:12am Top

52> QuickSiva, you're dodging the question, again. In 15>, you described a "street dude" telling you

that "Those White (expletives) would rather believe that those (expletive) Sphinxes and (expletive)( pyramids I was trying to talk about had fallen off the back of a (expletive) flying saucer, than that any (expletives) like us had ever had anything to do with them. Well as someone else used to say "It ain't over till it's over."

You are using this as an example of what you're being told when you were a young radical, and that even now--as a radical--you find that viewpoint worth repeating.

The fantasy is not the how part of the pyramids getting there. It is the belief that other people hate him so much they'll do anything to deny that someone like him could do that. Most people would take the New-Age stuff as batty fringey, not as representative of a whole social group.

I set up a parallel example with white folk, and a white monument, and clearly my question got lost.

My expertise in Psychiatry? Completely limited to having spent far too much time around it when I was a kid, and a brief stint in a criminal defense lawyer's office.

As far as declaring a saint insane, the truth is, yes, I could do it (on the grounds of religious belief, alone), and yes, I would still be taken seriously. I could even tell you--in advance-- which people in this thread would agree with me, and which would write it off as anti-religious bias. Since the Susan Smith verdict (in which she was declared not to know drowning her children was wrong, because she was afraid they'd go to hell, if they grew up) religion has been a viable mitigating circumstance. Other than that, you are well and truly out of my time-period by the time you get to the Church Fathers.

So, I'm back to my question, which was, if not well-worded, at least well intentioned. What's so significant about that "street dude"'s set of ideas? Why are you quoting a street dude, years later? What resonates with you in that? Why didn't you just put a dollar in his cup and move on?

68quicksiva
Jan 16, 2012, 10:10am Top

Why didn't you just put a dollar in his cup and move on?
==========
At the time, a dollar would buy four gallons of gas ;)

69quicksiva
Jan 16, 2012, 10:40am Top

Karhne,

My sparrow has died on me a few times, but I got over it ;)

70quicksiva
Jan 16, 2012, 10:54am Top

Karhne,

When the blues singer sang, "There ain't been no peace in the barnyard since my little red rooster has gone." He might have been talking about his cock.

71quicksiva
Edited: Jan 16, 2012, 11:21am Top

>49 karhne:
"The fantasy is not the how part of the pyramids getting there. It is the belief that other people hate him so much they'll do anything to deny that someone like him could do that.

>49 karhne:
"far as declaring a saint insane, the truth is, yes, I could do it (on the grounds of religious belief, alone), and yes, I would still be taken seriously. I could even tell you--in advance-- which people in this thread would agree with me, and which would write it off as anti-religious bias."

==============
I hope our readers keep your position in mind.

Actually, I was reminded of said "street dude" when several posters attempted to link the author of Black Athena (Note how the touchstone take you to the major critic of Martin Bernal) to some science fiction writer. No not Hubbard.

BTW, the original post was a troll intended to flush out anyone who actually takes professor Lekkowitz and her outdated interpretations of history seriously. I wrote it with several Lt'ers in mind. The real question is can we believe the many Classical sources that proclaim Greece the child of Egypt.

In the opening line of the OP, I referred to Socrates and Cleopatra as a ''straw woman'' and a ''Red Herring''. Given such easy targets, it's odd how often Lefkowitz misses the mark and yet still wins first prize from the "judges".

Poor Martin Bernal, he will end up on the same shelf as Herodotus, Ahmed Osman, Ivan Van Sertima, Cheikh Anta Diop, Molefi Kete Asante, Basil Davidson, Count Volney, Thomas Jefferson, E.A. Wallis Budge, George James, Pythagoras, Plutarch, John G. Jackson, Gerald Massey, Rosalie David, and many others, who were "insane" enough to believe that something besides free labor did come out of Africa.

72nathanielcampbell
Edited: Jan 16, 2012, 11:52am Top

>71 quicksiva:: I see that much of my frustration with you may have been misplaced. I was fooled by your sometimes and seemingly schizophrenic appearances on LT: you seem to vacillate between copping the attitude of your radical street friend, whose expletive-laden rhetoric lacks of substance, and the extraordinary historical erudition you display in posts like 71. I was getting caught up in what I now see to be the irony of your more rhetorical flourishes without quite comprehending your more seriously studied points.

For that I apologize; and must now make an attempt at a graceful exit as I need to prepare to discuss Roman imperial ideology and the Aeneid with my sixty freshmen on Wednesday. Though you've given me some food for thought as we read in Book VIII of Antony's Egyptian wife on Aeneas' shield, her barking god Anubis attacked by Apollo's darts and her cohort fleeing with her,
... omnis eo terrore Aegyptus et Indi,
omnis Arabs, omnes vertebant terga Sabaei.

    --Aeneid, VIII.705-6

73quicksiva
Edited: Jan 16, 2012, 3:20pm Top

>49 karhne:
"You mean Carmina. At the rate this conversation is going, though, I'd be willing to bet you think Lesbia's sparrow was actually a sparrow. It is too early in the morning to deal with sparrow people.;)"

==============

Karhne

The next time Lesbia's sparrow comes up for discussion remember that a bird in the bush is worth two in the hand ;)

74quicksiva
Edited: Jan 20, 2012, 10:55am Top

Why do I bother? Countee Cullen said it better than I ever could.

What is Africa to me;
Copper sun or scarlet sea,
Jungle star or jungle track,
Strong bronzed men, or regal black
Women from whose loins I sprang
When the birds of Eden sang?

One three centuries removed
From the scenes his fathers loved,
Spicy grove, cinnamon tree
What is Africa to me?

So I lie, who all day long
Want no sound except the song
Sung by wild barbaric birds
Goading massive jungle herds,
Juggernauts of flesh that pass
Trampling tall defiant grass
Where young forest lovers lie.
Plighting troth beneath the sky.
So I lie, who always hear,
Though I cram against my ear
Both my thumbs, and keep them there,
Great drums throbbing through the air.
So I lie, whose fount of pride,
Dear distress, and joy allied,
Is my somber flesh and skin,
With the dark blood dammed within
Like great pulsing tides of wine
That, I fear, must burst the fine
Channels of the chafing net
Where they surge and foam and fret.

Africa? A book one thumbs
Listlessly, till slumber comes.
Unremembered are her bats
Circling through the night, her cats
Crouching in the river reeds,
Stalking gentle flesh that feeds
By the river brink; no more
Does the bugle-throated roar
Cry that monarch claws have leapt
From the scabbards where they slept.
Silver snakes that once a year
Doff' the lovely coats you wear,
Seek no covert in your fear
Lest a mortal eye should see;
'What's your nakedness to me?
Here no leprous flowers rear
Fierce corollas in the air;
Here no bodies sleek and wet,
Dripping mingled rain and sweat,
Tread the savage measures of
Jungle boys and girls in love.
What is last year's snow to me,
Last year's anything? The tree
Budding yearly must forget
How its past arose or set-
Bough and blossom, flower, fruit,
Even what shy bird with mute
Wonder at her travail there,
Meekly labored in its hair.
One three centuries removed
From the scenes his fathers loved,
Spicy grove, cinnamon tree
What is Africa to me?

So I lie, who find no peace
Night or day, no slight release
From the unremittant beat
Made by cruel padded feet
Walkjng through my body's street.
Up and down they go, and back,
Treading out a jungle track.
So I lie, who never quite
Safely sleep from rain at night
I can never rest at all
When the rain begins to fall;
Like a soul gone mad with pain
I must match its weird refrain;
Ever must I twist and squirm,
Writhing like a bailed worm,
While its primal measures drip
Through my body, crying, "Strip!
Doff this new exuberance.
Come and dance the Lover's Dance!"
In an old remembered way
Rain works on me night and day.

Quaint, outlandish heathen gods
Black men fashion out of rods,
and brittle bits of stone,
In a likeness like their own,
My conversion came high-priced;
I belong to Jesus Christ,
Preacher of humility;
Heathen gods are naught to me.

Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,
So I make an idle boast;
Jesus of the twice-turned check,
Lamb of God, although I speak
With my mouth thus, in my heart
Do I play a double part.
Ever at Thy glowing altar
Must my heart grow sick and falter,
Wishing He I served were black,
Thinking then it would not lack
Precedent of pain to guide it,
Let who would or might deride it;
Surely then this flesh would know
Yours had borne a kindred woe.
Lord, I fashion dark gods, too,
Daring even to give You
Dark despairing features where,
Crowned with dark rebellious hair,
Patience wavers just so much as
Mortal grief compels, while touches
Quick and hot, of anger, rise
To smitten cheek and weary eyes,
Lord, forgive me if my need
Sometimes shapes a human creed,

All day long, and all night through
One thing only must I do:

Quench my pride and cool my blood,
Lest I perish in the flood.
Lest a hidden ember set
Timber that I thought was wet
Burning like the dryest flax,
Melting like the merest wax,
Lest the grave restore its dead
Not yet has my heart or head
In the least way realized
They and I are civilized.

Heritage -1925

75quicksiva
Jan 11, 2013, 1:03pm Top

” The apotheosis of the king in Ptolemaic Egypt and of the princeps afterwards in imperial Rome was greatly assisted by the practice of the Isiac faith. Cleopatra, the last of the Ptolemaic queens, regarded herself as the incarnation of Isis and appeared (as Shakespeare long afterwards wrote) 'in the habiliments of the goddess'.” Isis in the Ancient World Witt p.50.

76BarkingMatt
Edited: Jan 11, 2013, 1:16pm Top

Was Socrates black?

Very probably not. Not Caucasian in the WASP sense, fine. But do you honestly think the Athenians, xenophobes as they were, wouldn't have explicitly mentioned that?

The apotheosis of the king (...) in imperial Rome was greatly assisted by the practice of the Isiac faith. Really? Prove it! Sounds like rubbish to me.

77BarkingMatt
Jan 11, 2013, 1:23pm Top

Don't worry though, as far as science currently can tell we are all out of Africa. All of us: the Chinese, the Neanderthals, etc. Only it seems to have happened a long long time before the period you're talking about.

78nathanielcampbell
Edited: Jan 11, 2013, 2:56pm Top

>75 quicksiva:: It seems odd, then, that Virgil denegrates the Egyptian temptress and her monstrous gods while glorifying Augustus and his noble and divine Roman companions in the depiction of the Battle of Actium on the Shield of Aeneas, in Book VIII of the Aeneid (trans. Mandlebaum):
Across the center of the shield was shown
the ships of brass, the strife of Actium:
you might have seen all of Leucata’s bay
teeming with war's array, waves glittering
with gold. On his high stern Augustus Caesar
is leading the Italians to battle,
together with the senate and the people,
the household gods and Great Gods; his bright brows
pour out a twin flame, and upon his head
his father’s Julian star is glittering.
Elsewhere Agrippa towers on the stern;
with kindly winds and gods he leads his squadron;
around his temples, glowing bright, he wears
the naval crown, magnificent device,
with its ships’ beaks. And facing them, just come
from conquering the peoples of the dawn,
from the red shores m the Erythraean Sea—
together with barbaric riches, varied
arms—is Antonius. He brings with him
Egypt and every power of the East
and farthest Bactria; and—shamefully—
behind him follows his Egyptian wife.
The squadrons close headlong; and all the waters
foam, torn by drawn-back oars and by the prows
with triple prongs. They seek the open seas;
you could believe the Cyclades, uprooted,
now swam upon the waters or steep mountains
had clashed with mountains as the crewmen thrust
in their great galleys at the towering sterns.
Torches of hemp and flying darts of steel
are flung by hand, and Neptune’s fields are red
with strange bloodshed. Among all this the queen
calls to her squadrons with their native sistrum;
she has not yet looked back at the twin serpents
that swim behind her. Every kind of monster
god—and the barking god, Anubis, too—
stands ready to cast shafts against Minerva
and Venus and at Neptune. In the middle
of all the struggle, Mars, engraved in steel,
rages beside fierce Furies from the sky;
and Discord, joyous, strides in her rent robe;
Bellona follows with a bloodstained whip.
But Actian Apollo, overhead,
had seen these things; he stretched his bow; and all
of Egypt and of India, and all
the Arabs and Sabaeans, turned their backs
and fled before this terror. The queen herself
was seen to woo the winds, to spread her sails,
and now, yes now, let fall the slackened ropes.
The Lord of Fire had fashioned her within
the slaughter, driven on by wave and west wind,
pale with approaching death; but facing this,
he set the Nile, his giant body mourning,
opening wide his folds and all his robes,
inviting the defeated to his blue-gray
breast and his sheltering streams.
Every indication is that Cleopatra's Egyptian oddities were shunned by Augustus and his Roman ideologues; it was only later, in the first century CE, that the cult of Isis spread to Rome; and even then, it had nothing to do with the Imperial cult.

79orsolina
Jan 11, 2013, 10:15pm Top

Many Romans did not understand--or care about--distinctions between Egyptians of Greek or Macedonian descent (such as the Ptolemies and many of their inner circle), Graeco-Egyptians, and Egyptians of purely Egyptian descent. When they wrote "Egyptian" they meant, as Herodotus said, one who lives in Egypt and drinks the waters of the Nile. Virgil, writing poetry for Augustus, is hardly going to be a reliable authority on Cleopatra's family background, which is primarily Macedonian with a dash of Iranian (a tidbit that has delighted a couple of Iranian-Americans of my acquaintance). Some writers make much of the fact that the identity of her paternal grandmother is unknown--as though that missing name is going to "prove" that the Queen was part Egyptian on her father's side. Since Cleopatra's grandfather spent a good deal of time in Cyprus, one might suspect that a Cypriot lady was involved. (It's too bad we don't know exactly when Ptolemy Auletes was born.) Said grandmother could have been Syrian or Greek or Cypriot or Egyptian. Could have.

So Cleopatra learned Egyptian (and some other languages too--good for her) and practiced Egyptian cult, sometimes making public appearances dressed appropriately for that role. This does not make her Egyptian (ethnically and linguistically). Many Greeks and Macedonians who settled in Egypt worshiped Isis; they didn't have to marry into Egyptian families as a prerequisite. Roman soldiers in Britain and Germany also found the cult attractive--and they came from all over the civilized world.

80quicksiva
Edited: Jan 12, 2013, 8:37am Top

"Isis was favoured by Roman rulers. Caligula and Otho were her worshippers. Vespasian, who wrought miracles in the name of Sarapis, practised incubation along with Titus in the Roman Iseum. Later on in the capital Domitian built another Iseum and a Sarapeum. Hadrian adorned his villa at Tibur with Isiac scenes. Commodus took part in the rites of Isis and wore the mask of Anubis. At Thessalonica Galerius held Isis as his divine protectress. Emperor worship and the Egyptian faith stood together hand in hand."R. E. Witt, Isis in the Ancient World p.51

81quicksiva
Jan 12, 2013, 8:56am Top

"Alexandria was the center of Isis worship in the Greek world, and there were forty-two temples dedicated to her worship in that city alone. Unlike the gods of other nations whose formal worship was confined to specified feast days throughout the year, Isis was the only god of the ancient world to require daily worship rituals. Daily worship of the gods was an ancient Egyptian practice and its continuation in the form of daily worship of Isis suggests strongly that the substance of the ritual remained Egyptian and had not become Hellenized. The rituals remained unchanged through Roman times. While other gods came and went in fashion, only the worship of Isis-Osiris persisted and flourished until the very end of paganism.

The important consequence of the three century-long Ptolemaic rule of Egypt was the preservation of the ancient Egyptian theology of Osiris, Isis, and Horus and the establishment of that theology as the official religion of Egypt and the Ptolemaic empire. Freed after a millennium from the stranglehold of sacerdotalism, Egyptian theology was reinvigorated under the Ptolemies. The long repressed doctrine of piety based in the individual’s personal relationship with a just and caring god reemerged and strongly influenced ethical thinking, even as it was added to the ancient promises of resurrection, judgement, and eternal life.

The attraction of this theology for both Romans and Greeks was its promise of consolation, ethical guidance, and the eventual reward of eternal life, elements missing in the native religions of the West. The Isis theology spread throughout the Hellenistic and then the Roman world exposing large populations to the ancient Egyptian faith for the first time.

So widespread and popular was the cult of Isis that by the first century B.C.E. anyone alive in Palestine and almost anywhere else in the West could hardly have been unaware of its existence, temples, rituals, and theological principles. This included that small band of Jewish reformers who became the world’s first Christians."

Richard Gabriel (2005-04-12). Jesus The Egyptian: The Origins of Christianity And The Psychology of Christ (Kindle Locations 1617-1618). iUniverse. Kindle Edition.

82groovykinda
Jan 13, 2013, 3:33pm Top

I wonder how much of the emperor's "worship of Isis" was done for political reasons. After all, lots of people hold Ronald Reagan up as a paragon of Christianity, even though he admitted he never went to church and planned a lot of events according to Nancy's astrologer.

83quicksiva
Edited: Jan 13, 2013, 3:55pm Top

Reagan the pagan. Nancy ha a chef who could always whip up some King's Cake for the Queen of Heaven.

84prosfilaes
Jan 13, 2013, 5:03pm Top

#82: Astrology is a hobby practiced by many Christians, though.

85quicksiva
Jan 15, 2013, 4:13pm Top

"It had long been believed that Pythagoras, Plato and other wise men of the Greeks had travelled in the East and sat at the feet of its renowned teachers; and occasionally their visits were reciprocated, by the ' Chaldaean' and the ' magi' who visited at the Academy of Plato while its founder was still alive”
Fowden, Garth, The Egyptian Hermes: A Historical Approach to the Late Pagan Mind pp. 213,214

The "wise Men" are plainly called "magi" in the Greek text, the plural form of "magus." This word was used among the pagans of antiquity to identify teachers, physicians, astrologers, or augurs. Thus the Christmas Story of Matthew includes pagan astrologers whose reading of the starry sky had informed them of the birth of the "King of the Jews" Matthew 2:1-3

86BarkingMatt
Edited: Jan 15, 2013, 4:42pm Top

Actually the Greek text calls them μάγοι (magoi), which is the plural of μάγος (magos), but never mind.

87groovykinda
Jan 15, 2013, 5:55pm Top

And there's a big difference between: "It had long been believed" and "we now know."

88quicksiva
Edited: Jan 15, 2013, 7:20pm Top

And there's a big difference between: "It had long been believed" and "we now know."
==========
People have always said that, and they always will. It's always true.

What do you now know, and how did you find out?

Would you say the people who held this belief were mistaken, lying, or some combination of the two.

89quicksiva
Jan 18, 2013, 8:51pm Top

In 1871, H.P. Blavatsky could write, “Contaminated by centuries of dogmatic superstition, by an ineradicable--though quite unwarranted--sense of superiority over those whom the English term so contemptuously "niggers," the white European would hardly submit himself to the practical tuition of either Kopt, Brahman, or Lama. To become a neophyte, one must be ready to devote himself heart and soul to the study of mystic sciences”.

Blavatsky, H.P. (2008-02-24). Isis Unveiled (Kindle Locations 23739-23742). . Kindle Edition.

90BarkingMatt
Jan 19, 2013, 3:13am Top

I don't think anybody is denying that there was, and still is, a lot of racism around. In fact Mrs. Blavatsky had very peculiar notions about races herself: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Root_race

91quicksiva
Jan 19, 2013, 6:20am Top

Yeah, that whacky Blavatsky. Here is something else she wrote:

"(2) Skulls exhumed on the banks of the Danube and Rhine bear a striking similarity to those of the Caribs and Old Peruvians (Littre). Monuments have been exhumed in Central America, which bear representations of undoubted negro heads and faces."

The following quotation runs with No. (2), but its significance is such and the writer cited so authoritative, that it deserves a place to itself: -- "With regard to the primitive dolichocephalae of America, I entertain a hypothesis still more bold, namely, that they are nearly related to the Guanches of the Canary Islands, and to the Atlantic populations of Africa, the Moors, Tuaricks, Copts, which Latham comprises under the name of Egyptian-Atlantidae. We find one and the same form of skull in the Canary Islands, in front of the African coast, and in the Carib islands, on the opposite coast which faces Africa. The colour of the skin on both sides of the Atlantic is represented in these populations as being of a reddish-brown."
(Professor Retzius, "Smithsonian Report," 1859, p. 266.)

Blavatsky, H.P. (2011-06-20). The Secret Doctrine: All Volumes (Illustrated) (Kindle Locations 28123-28129). . Kindle Edition.

92BarkingMatt
Edited: Jan 19, 2013, 8:32am Top

Right: skull forms and unspecified Central American monuments. Very convincing. Why not bring in Churchward and the rest of cloud cuckooland? Von Dänicken maybe? Personally I wouldn't accept Blavatsky for anything, except as a source for the confused ideas of late 19th century occultists.

P.s.: Also I see her theories as deeply racist.

93quicksiva
Edited: Jan 19, 2013, 2:44pm Top

The Wiki article quotes Helena P. Blavatsky three times. She wrote thousands of pages. I have found many of her ideas dated but useful.The discovery of a colossal head at Tres Zapotes in the nineteenth century spurred the first archaeological investigations of Olmec culture by Matthew Stirling in 1938. See National Geographic on Indians of the Americas: A Color-illustrated Record by Matthew W. Sterling, where he jokingly referrs to the la Venta head as "Joe Lewis"

"With regard to the primitive dolichocephalae of America, I entertain a hypothesis still more bold, namely, that they are nearly related to the Guanches of the Canary Islands, and to the Atlantic populations of Africa, the Moors, Tuaricks, Copts, which Latham comprises under the name of Egyptian-Atlantidae. We find one and the same form of skull in the Canary Islands, in front of the African coast, and in the Carib islands, on the opposite coast which faces Africa. The colour of the skin on both sides of the Atlantic is represented in these populations as being of a reddish-brown."

(Professor Retzius, "Smithsonian Report," 1859, p. 266.)

Some posters often mention Van Danicken, whom I don't know. He sounds like Mary Lefkowitz who wrote that crazy Not Out of Africa. Any connection?

94BarkingMatt
Jan 19, 2013, 3:01pm Top

Von Dänicken saw "evidence" of extraterrestrials in all ancient cultures. I haven't read any of Lefkowitz, so I can't comment. I have read a lot of Blavatsky though, decades ago, and - as memory goes - I can't agree with your evaluation.

95nathanielcampbell
Jan 19, 2013, 3:15pm Top

>93 quicksiva:: Can you find any peer-reviewed research that isn't 150 years old to substantiate the claim that the Americas were colonized by African Muslims (i.e. Moors)?

Is there any archaeological evidence? Any DNA evidence? Any at all considered reputable by today's scholars?

96HectorSwell
Jan 19, 2013, 8:57pm Top

97Garp83
Jan 20, 2013, 5:20pm Top

DNA seems to be pretty supportive of the linguistic and other evidence linking the native populations in the Americas with their Asiatic cousins. If African Muslims had made any kind of impact on the Americas in this fanciful colonization, they certainly would have brought them in their bloodline a resistance to malaria of some type -- as evidenced in sickle cell -- something quite absent in the Americas as natives later fell victim to malaria as routinely as their European overlords. If these Africans were here, they vanished without a trace, perhaps on Von Dänicken's spaceship return visits?

We know there were Norse visits that predated Columbus by centuries. Perhaps there were others. Some say the Chinese eunich admiral Zheng He made it to the Americas, though most discount this. If there were others, they left little evidence and therefore could not have had much of an impact. I used to be drawn to the parallels between ancient Egypt and the Americas in pyramid-building and mummification and the lack of the wheel, but again there is simply no evidence to support a connection other than a coincidental one.

I know that you, Quicksiva, like to see blacks everywhere, but with the greatest respect I -- like Matt -- have to say that without evidence it is but an idea, albeit one with little to support it.

PS On the other hand, the Olmec guy does look like a dude I saw in a blues band in Detroit once, for whatever that's worth LOL

98quicksiva
Jan 21, 2013, 8:40am Top

On the other hand, the Olmec guy does look like a dude I saw in a blues band in Detroit once, for whatever that's worth LOL

=========
Garp:

I never claimed African Muslims had anything to do with the Olmec. The Olmec introduced a high civilization into Meso America at least 2,000 years before Mohammad was born. I would guess they were Punic or Nubian marines in the service of Egypt, who were blown to America. They also invented a game that combined soccer and basketball, i.e. the solid rubber ball (Olmec) had to be kicked through a stone hoop 20 feet in the air. They even wore “football” helmets.

Funny you should mention. Mathew Stirling, who led the National Geographic team that dug this one Olmec head up, thought he looked like "Joe Lewis"; also from Detroit.
See National Geographic on Indians of the Americas by Matthew W. Stirling;
Director, Bureau of American Ethnology, Smithsonian Institution and Leader of National Geographic Society-Smithsonian Institution Expeditions to Mexico and Panama.
See also:
The Olmec Mother Culture of Mesoamerica by Roman Pina Chan

99nathanielcampbell
Jan 21, 2013, 10:06am Top

>98 quicksiva: You "would guess", based on no evidence other than your own desire to see Africa everywhere? And your "guess": does it involve simply ignoring the mountains of evidence that Meso-American peoples migrated from Asia, not Africa?

100quicksiva
Edited: Jan 21, 2013, 1:02pm Top

Leo Wiener was a Russian historian and polyglot, who knew more than twenty languages. Beginning in 1896, Wiener lectured on Slavic culture at Harvard and became the first American professor of Slavic literature. He translated 24 volumes of Tolstoy's works into English.

He was the father of MIT mathematician Norbert Wiener.

In his book, Africa and the Discovery of America (1920); Leo Wiener wrote that, Columbus was well aware of the Mandinka presence in the New World and that the West African Muslims had spread throughout the Caribbean, Central, South and North American territories, including Canada,where they were trading and intermarrying with the Iroquois and Algonquin Indians.

101nathanielcampbell
Jan 21, 2013, 11:43am Top

>100 quicksiva:: So we've at least moved from the 1850's to the 1920's. Any serious evidence from, say, the last 90 years?

What evidence does Weiner provide for the presence of West African Muslims throughout North and South America?

102BarkingMatt
Edited: Jan 21, 2013, 1:04pm Top

> 101: Well, to be fair, quicksiva didn't claim they were muslims. He's apparently thinking c. 1 millennium before Islam ever started. Otherwise I'm as "lost" as you are though.

> 100: Face it, Columbus and his close contemporaries didn't have a clue (at least, not at first). They apparently even thought they were somewhere in the vicinity of India (hence West Indies, Indians, etc.)

For example: the 1539 Carta Marina by Olaus Magnus "clearly shows" the great island of Thule somewhere between Iceland and Scotland. It's neither the Orkney's nor Faeröer though, since those are indicated separately. Believe me, people have looked: it's simply not there.

P.s.: Don't get me wrong though. I'm not saying those people were stupid. They went with the info they had. It merely proved not to be very good.

103quicksiva
Edited: Jan 21, 2013, 1:01pm Top

Cotton

Tobacco

Bead Money

104BarkingMatt
Edited: Jan 21, 2013, 1:14pm Top

What about them?

I don't know of any irrefutable evidence for "new world" plant products in the pre-Columbian "old world", but I'm willing to be enlightened. (Using beads for money could have occurred to anybody independently and therefore can't really prove anything either way).

105quicksiva
Edited: Jan 21, 2013, 1:46pm Top

To Matt >102 BarkingMatt:
Well, to be fair, quicksiva didn't claim they were muslims. He's apparently thinking c. 1 millennium before Islam ever started. Otherwise I'm as "lost" as you are though.
=========
Thanks Matt, but I'm thinking even earlier than that. The Olmec go back to 1,500 B.C. Where did they come from if not West Africa? They knew calendars, monumental sculpture, engineering. Their records that survive the Christian flames provide us with the earliest recorded date in American history (November 4, 291 B.C).
In another one of his “lies”, Plato tells us about a long vanished island to the West of Africa. Helena Blavatsky thinks the Olmec came from this Atlantis. Garp’s friend, Von Dänicken seems to thinks they came on flying teapots from Sirius B.

106BarkingMatt
Edited: Jan 21, 2013, 1:59pm Top

Okay, fair enough, not that I'm not at all interested, but I freely admit Meso-America simply isn't my field.

But: "Where did they come from if not West Africa?" Really? Do you think Native Americans are naturally inferior or something like that? Why do you presuppose they couldn't have come up with something like that themselves?

P.s.: 1,500 BCE would be a bit early for Phoenicians at the African west coast though.

107quicksiva
Jan 21, 2013, 1:56pm Top

Cocaine has been found in mummies. Does that count?

108BarkingMatt
Edited: Jan 21, 2013, 2:13pm Top

Depends how it got there. I'm not actually claiming Egyptians didn't use cocaine - a.k.a. without further evidence I reserve my case - but cocaine found in mummies examined decades ago might just as easily point to egyptologists using cocaine as to egyptians using cocaine. They weren't really very careful examining those mummies. It's bad, but a lot of evidence got contaminated and is therefore useless.

109quicksiva
Jan 21, 2013, 2:52pm Top

"In the year 1869, Jose Maria Melgar y Serrano published an article in the Bulletin of the Mexican Society of Geography and Statistics, entitled "Mexican Antiquities."
Melgar wrote “In 1862 I was residing in San Andres Tuxtla, village of Veracruz State, in Mexico, and on some of my excursions I learned of a colossal head that had been discovered a few years earlier ... on one of the excursions I made, seeking antiquities, I came to the hacienda mentioned to me and bade the owner to take me to see it; we went and I was astounded: as a work of art, it is without exaggeration a magnificent sculpture . . . but what struck me the most was the Ethiopian type it represented; I reflected that there had undoubtedly been negroes in this area, during the early period of the world; that head was important not only for Mexican archaeology but for world archaeology in general, since it evidenced a fact with equally important consequences."

''Other scholars of the time, including Alfredo Chavero, supported the thesis of the existence of a negroid physical type in the ancient population of the New World, particularly the Gulf Coast area (Veracruz-Tabasco), based on the evidence offered by those colossal heads and the anthropomorphic axes of hard stone found in Veracruz and in Guatemala."
The Olmec Mother Culture of Mesoamerica, Roman Pina Chan

110nathanielcampbell
Jan 21, 2013, 3:16pm Top

>109 quicksiva:: " but what struck me the most was the Ethiopian type it represented; I reflected that there had undoubtedly been negroes in this area, during the early period of the world"

You don't notice, do you, the extraordinary racism that undercuts these "archaeologists" claims from the 19th century? They make superficial assumptions about African bone structure to conclude that Meso-American cultures adopted "African" artistic styles.

And still, you are serving up 19th-century quotes based on outmoded and unreliable methodologies.

Meanwhile, modern archaeology and anthropology has demonstrated mounds of evidence indicating that the indigenous peoples of the Americas are descended 10,000 years and more from immigrants from Asia.

Are you simply going to ignore that evidence?

111quicksiva
Jan 21, 2013, 3:17pm Top

In 1871 Melgar published an article, entitled "Estudios sobre las antigiiedades y el la cabeza colocal de tipo etiopico que existe en Hueyapan del canton de los Tuxtlas." In it he speculates on the origin of the natives, stressing the existence of the negro race as a factor.

In 1878 S. Habel reported on certain pieces in "The Sculptures of Santa Lucia Coszumalwhuapa in Guatemala,"

In 1887, Alfredo Chavero published his Historia Antigua, reproducing the colossal head of Hueyapan as evidence of the negro race and describing it as "made of granite, two rods in height... its subject is clearly Ethiopian and of particular interest are its special headdress and the cruciform incision on the forehead, reminiscent of some sacred signs of Asia." The author associates this sculpture with "a granite axe also found in Veracruz. . . of which the upper part is a human head similar to that of Hueyapan . . . but the negro type is more marked, the nostrils broader and the protruding lips more pronounced."

112BarkingMatt
Jan 21, 2013, 3:27pm Top

Yeah, right, but I've also seen interpretations of Olmec masks / heads as "clearly" Chinese. Apparently it isn't all that clear.

Also I don't put much weight on 19th century anthropologists - they simply didn't have the apparatus. That's why some of them revived such rubbish as Mû and Atlantis. But apparently you take Atlantis seriously. Sorry, but without supporting evidence: you've lost me there and then. If you bring in Atlantis you might as well bring in a dowsing rod.

History, as any scientific endeavour, should look for verifiable facts.

113quicksiva
Edited: Jan 21, 2013, 4:05pm Top

>110 nathanielcampbell:
A. And still, you are serving up 19th-century quotes based on outmoded and unreliable methodologies.
B. Are you simply going to ignore that evidence?

======
A. And this from a man who specializes in Medieval proofs for the existence of God
B. What evidence, All your posts have provided so far are your unsupported claims that I am wrong.

P.S. Why do you think I have been able to find so many Dead White Men (and Women), see the Touchstones; whose writings support my “peculiar” positions.

PSS. What do your students think of Librarything? Tell them that they are free to use any of my posts ;)

114BarkingMatt
Jan 21, 2013, 4:13pm Top

Sometimes, maybe because of your legal system, I get the impression you Americans have a problem distinguishing between evidence and proof.

Yes, some 19th century scholar said something. We can verify, at least to a reasonable degree, that (s)he did. In a way that's evidence: evidence of what 19th century people said/thought/etc.

It does not, however, in itself prove anything about the thing the 19th century scholar was making his/her statement about.

115prosfilaes
Jan 21, 2013, 5:52pm Top

#107: http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/2375/whats-up-with-the-cocaine-mummies

It's about ten years old, but makes the point that no one believes the reports; that if they actually want to claim that cocaine has been found in mummies, they need to make more then a passing claim.

In any case, recent times have armed us with much more powerful tools then, hey, that looks like the head of an African. Show us the genetic evidence that that people came directly from Africa to Central American in ancient times.

116Garp83
Jan 21, 2013, 5:56pm Top

Quicksiva -- DNA evidence? Got any? I mean we need some sort of scientific evidence to support your assertions, as opposed to the speculations of anthropologists, explorers, dreamers, etc. I mean, the bar is the same for your theory as anyone else's, right?

117quicksiva
Jan 21, 2013, 6:11pm Top


It's about ten years old, but makes the point that no one believes the reports; that if they actually want to claim that cocaine has been found in mummies, they need to make more then a passing claim.
==========
Some people believe the reports.
"A British TV studio put together a documentary on the Germans' work, focusing on one of the investigators, a forensic toxicologist named Svetla Balabanova. Balabanova told interviewers that she initially hadn't believed the results either, that she'd had them checked by other labs, and so on.

The TV guys also talked to respected British Egyptologist Rosalie David, who vouched for the authenticity of the Egyptian mummies (since the owners refused to show them to her, this wasn't altogether convincing). She also tested some other Egyptian mummies and, to her surprise, found traces of nicotine."

"The TV show wasn't a bad piece of work. (You can read the script at http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/misc/mummies.htm.) It gave ample airtime to the skeptics but overall left the impression that Balabanova, Parsche, et al. might be on to something, making a better case for their work than they had bothered to make themselves."

"But it was just TV. It's not the kind of thing scientists normally respond to, and they haven't."

"There the matter rests. According to Emily Teeter, an Egyptologist at the University of Chicago's Oriental Institute, the Germans' work has been dismissed by mainstream archaeologists. No discussion of it is to be found in recent surveys of the field. Theories about transoceanic trade in ancient times are considered too outré to warrant serious consideration. To defenders of Balabanova, Parsche, and company, this suggests a pigheaded refusal to reexamine entrenched beliefs. I disagree. If the Germans aren't being taken seriously, it's largely their own fault."

— Cecil Adams

118BarkingMatt
Edited: Jan 21, 2013, 6:21pm Top

I don't as such doubt that cocaine was found in mummies. But what does it mean? Again: cocaine found in mummies might simply mean that Egyptologists involved were/are on cocaine.

119Garp83
Jan 21, 2013, 6:39pm Top

I'm looking for DNA evidence of Africans in Native American populations. If you can come up with that, we can all do a few lines and celebrate. In the meantime, this cocaine in mummies story seems like nothing but a distraction from the central core concept of the discussion.

120BarkingMatt
Edited: Jan 21, 2013, 6:55pm Top

Theories about transoceanic trade in ancient times are considered too outré to warrant serious consideration

Not really. I may have wandered from the path of true academia myself. But I'm still in touch with serious archaeologists, egyptologists, etc.

It's not that it's "outré", it's that there is not a single shred of hard proof (or even serious evidence might do, provisionally). Provide it and it would be seriously investigated.

Might have been / could have been / you never know / etc. simply don't count in history as a science.

121quicksiva
Jan 21, 2013, 6:56pm Top

From the TV show:
"On september 26th, 1976, amid all the pomp and circumstance - due a visiting head of state - French TV cameras recorded the arrival of the mummy of Ramses II at an airport in Paris. An exhibition about him at the museum of mankind was planned.
But the body was found to be badly deteriorated, so a battery of scientist set about trying to repair this damage.
The bandages wrapped around the mummy needed replacing, so botanists were given pieces of the fabric to analyse what it was made of. One found some plant fragments in her piece, and took a closer look. Emerging on the slide, according to her experience, were the unmistakable features - the tiny crystals and filaments - of a plant that couldn't possibly be there."

DR MICHELLE LESCOT - Natural History Museum, Paris:
"I prepared the slides, put them under the microscope and what did I see? Tobacco. I said to myself, that's just not possible - I must be dreaming. The Egyptians didn't have tobacco. It was brought from South America at the time of Christopher Columbus. I looked again, and I tried to get a better view and I thought, well, it's only a first analysis. I worked feverishly and I forgot to have lunch that day. But I kept getting the same result."

122quicksiva
Edited: Jan 21, 2013, 7:13pm Top

I'm looking for DNA evidence of Africans in Native American populations. If you can come up with that, we can all do a few lines and celebrate.
========
Anthropology 100, teaches "that race is a social construct, not a biological one. The difference in DNA between a "Black" person and a "White" person or an "Asian" person is less than that between two siblings in the same family. In other words, inconsequential".

p.s. Drugs are bad.

123BarkingMatt
Edited: Jan 21, 2013, 7:26pm Top

Take transoceanic trade for example. We do know that Native Americans (both continents) started dying by the millions when they came in contact with post-Columbic Europeans.

Would that have happened if they had contact with the "old world" before? First of all, I must admit that this is way beyond my area of expertise. But it does sound like a real problem. Viruses are impartial. If ancient Americans had contact with Africans (or Europeans, or Asians) way before Columbus, then why were they so vulnerable to diseases imported from the old world? They died, massively. It indicates that there had been no virological contact for a very very long time.

How does that tie in with the Norse in Greenland and visiting Nova Scotia and such? I honestly don't know. Maybe that's why the branch of Inuits the Norse first encountered died out (apparently they did). Maybe there were too few Norse to make a real difference. Maybe Native Americans simply lucked out at that time. But such are questions would need to be answered.

Simply assuming contact because of perceived lookalikeness isn't history though.

124BarkingMatt
Jan 21, 2013, 7:23pm Top

Anthropology 100, teaches "that race is a social construct, not a biological one. The difference in DNA between a "Black" person and a "White" person or an "Asian" person is less than that between two siblings in the same family. In other words, inconsequential".

Right. Finally we agree upon something. (By the American single drop rule I wouldn't count as "white" myself by the way).

125Garp83
Edited: Jan 21, 2013, 7:31pm Top

#122 Race is a social construct largely that it communicates very little of importance and that is why we don't use the term. However, DNA can successfully identify populations that can be divided into distinct groups. As Nicholas Wade points out, these distinct populations are kung-san, pygmy, black african, caucasian, asiatic, Australian aborigines. There may be others. There is nothing superior or less than superior about these populations, but they can be distinguished. If you read Wade's "Before the Dawn," you will note that mitochondrial DNA and Y-chromosome evidence can clearly identify how the three original African population groups moved apart from one another as they traveled out of Africa. Using DNA to identify and track population changes is hardly racist.

Drugs may be bad, but in the scholarly world wild theories with no supporting evidence is far worse IMHO.

126prosfilaes
Jan 21, 2013, 7:39pm Top

That's a cop-out. You're comparing Olmec statues to genetically determined facial features, and then claiming that precise genetic mapping tells you nothing. If there was nothing genetic here, you couldn't point at a statue at say that looked like an African face; it wouldn't look any different from any other face.

For one example, pre-Columbian people below the Rio Grande seem to have 100% O blood types. Nowhere in Africa (or the Old World, excluding Australia) do they approach that, and that speaks of some isolation.

127quicksiva
Jan 21, 2013, 7:47pm Top

Diamond’s works have been criticised for "environmental determinism and specific factual inaccuracies", although I look forward to reading Why Sex is Fun.

See: McAnany, Patricia A. & Yoffee, N. (Eds) (2010). Questioning Collapse: Human Resilience, Ecological Vulnerability, and the Aftermath of Empire. Cambridge University Press.

128prosfilaes
Jan 21, 2013, 7:56pm Top

#127: I don't know what you're referring to, but that's pretty rich comparing the sources you're calling on.

129Garp83
Jan 21, 2013, 8:32pm Top

Wade and Diamond and a host of others can point to the accuracy of DNA to identify population groups. Do your anecdotal threads of suggestive maybes top DNA? Also, I would think that "environmental determinism" is a compliment rather than a criticism, and he makes a damn good case for it. Prosfilaes makes a good point with blood types. I would add that Native Americans had zero resistance to old world diseases and malaria, which points, as Charles Mann would underscore, to isolation as well.

Quicksiva, you remind me of an evangelical who is so certain of his belief that he cannot understand how anyone could doubt that Christ rose from the dead and ascended into heaven. No matter how hard you believe in something, it does not make it true in the world of science, only in the world of faith. I suppose I can admire your tenacity in trying sell your fanciful beliefs to the rest of us, but it remains here -- as in your many other threads -- that unless you are able to provide something in the way of evidence -- and I don't mean the stuff you are tossing out -- you are not going to convince any of us, any more than Von Daniken could convince real historians that what looked like space helmets on the walls of temples were actually space helmets.

Ciao!

130quicksiva
Jan 21, 2013, 8:39pm Top

I think it's rich that a couple of "natives" sued Diamond for 10 million (I hope it was Euros). They said he defamed them in a case study.

131quicksiva
Jan 21, 2013, 8:57pm Top

PROF ALICE KEHOE - Anthropologist, Marquette University:
"I think there is good evidence that there was both trans-atlantic and trans-pacific travel before Columbus. When we try to talk about trans-oceanic contact, people that are standard archeologists get very, um, skittish, and they want to change the subject or move away. They suddenly see a friend across the room - they don't want to pursue the subject at all. They seem to feel that it's some kind of contagious disease they don't want to touch, or it will bring disaster to them."
The Cocaine Mummies

132BarkingMatt
Jan 21, 2013, 9:12pm Top

Ehr, no. We merely want to see some hard evidence. Real proof, that's all.

Well, I'll admit I would try to avoid causing such embarrassment. But I'm absolutely willing to pursue the subject if the other side is willing to make a fool a him/her self.

133andejons
Jan 22, 2013, 1:24am Top

>123 BarkingMatt:
From what I recall, there were not that many Greenlanders that went to Vinland. They were isolated themselves from the start (there were two voyages for a disease to make before it got to the Greenlanders), landed on a sparsely populated part of the continent and only lived there permanently for a few years. It's really not that strange if they didn't transmit any diseases.

134setnahkt
Jan 22, 2013, 1:50am Top

In no particular order:

It seems unfair to answer hundreds of years of bigotry, oppression, and lynch mobs with "Well, it turns out race is just a social construct. Sorry about that."

But - I'm white, old, tired and lack any enthusiasm or personal interest to do anything about it. Sorry about that, too.

As fair as Black Egyptians go, I was originally rather offended by the whole thing; but further reading suggests there is actually something there - not anywhere near as much as the more extreme Afrocentric scholars suggest, but more than white writers of ancient history suggest as well. In particular, Herbert Winlock noted that one of the queens of Mentuhotep II was black (he didn't say black - he says "dusky Nubian maiden", or something similar - but it was 1942 and they talked like that then). Under the Woolworths Test (could the person in question be served at a Woolworths lunch counter in 1965) that would make her children black. I don't know if she and Montuhotep II were the parents of subsequent pharaohs in the Second Intermediate Period, but I suppose it could be researched. The "Prophecy of Neferti" suggests that Amenemhat I was at least half black - he goes out of his way to say that his mother was from Ta-Seti - so he would fail the Woolworths Test as well, and thus the whole rest of the Middle Kingdom. And, of course, the whole 26th Dynasty.

As far as Socrates goes - again, coming from the old, tired, and not particularly enthusiastic side - suppose he were "black" - whatever that social construct happens to mean. Would that really make any difference to modern black Americans? Or blacks anywhere else? If Bill and Ted managed to bring him back from the past, would he actually be of any use to modern blacks? (Note - that's a late night and too much rum rhetorical question - harsh answers will be instructive, not offensive).

135quicksiva
Jan 22, 2013, 7:50am Top

I always thought Erich von Däniken was a Science Fiction writer like L. Ron Hubbard.

136quicksiva
Jan 22, 2013, 8:07am Top

When Dr. Balabanova went ahead and published a paper, claiming the presence of cocaine and tobacco in the mummies, she received a sharp reminder that science is a conservative world.

DR SVETLA BALABANOVA - Institute of Forensic Medicine, Ulm:
"I got a pile of letters that were almost threatening, insulting letters saying it was nonsense, that I was fantasizing, that it was impossible, because it was proven that before Columbus these plants were not found anywhere in the world outside of the Americas."

NARRATOR:
From toxicologists to anthropologists - everyone thought the same.
DR JOHN HENRY - Consultant Toxicologist, Guys Hospital, London:
"The first thing you think of is that this is just mad. It's wrong. There's contamination present. Maybe there's a fraud present of some kind. You don't think that cocaine can be present in an Egyptian mummy."

The Mystery of the Cocaine Mummies

137BarkingMatt
Jan 22, 2013, 8:15am Top

If it's there it's there. Assuming for the moment that it is, the question remains: how did it get there? Surely considering contamination isn't unreasonable?

138Garp83
Jan 22, 2013, 8:44am Top

I'm leaving this thread. It's just silly and goes ever round in circles while evading the complete lack of evidence for the central tenet. Have fun!

139quicksiva
Edited: Jan 24, 2013, 2:31pm Top

NARRATOR:
Yet Balabanova herself had been worried about contamination. First she checked all the lab equipment. But being a forensic toxicologist, that wasn't all she did. Balabanova had learned her trade from working for the police, and had been trained in the methods they use for investigating a suspicious death. She'd been taught how vital it is when an autopsy is carried out to know whether the victim has consumed or been given any drugs or poisons. And she had also been taught that a special forensic technique exists which can show that the deceased has consumed a drug and rule out contamination at the same time.
So, anxious to ensure that her tests on the mummies were beyond reproach, she used this very technique - it's called the hair shaft test. Drugs and other substances consumed by humans get into the hair protein, where they stay for months, or after death - forever. Hair samples can be washed in alcohol and the washing solution itself then tested. If the testing solution is clear, but the hair tests positive, then the drug must be inside the hair shaft, which means the person consumed it during their lifetime. It's considered proof against contamination before or after death.

The Mystery of the Cocaine Mummies

140quicksiva
Jan 24, 2013, 2:34pm Top

The cocaine might explain why mummy flesh was such a hit.

“Eating the flesh of mummies was a common 16th century practice in Europe. People believed that mummies contained a black tar called bitumen, and so thought powder made from the ground up bodies would cure various illnesses.
This is the very origin of the word mummy, from the Persian for bitumen, mummia, and although it made people sick a roaring trade in powdered mummia grew, supplied from body parts and tissue shipped in bulk from Egypt.”

“The temptation to resort to fakes was high”.

"Very soon, the demand outstripped the supply and certainly in the 16th century a French physician undertook a study of this trade. And he found that in fact they were burying bodies of convicted criminals in the sand. They were producing mummies, and these then became a source for the medicinal ingredient."

ROSALIE DAVID - Keeper of Egyptology, Manchester Museum: Author; Discovering Ancient Egypt. p.17 .

141quicksiva
Jan 28, 2013, 3:45pm Top

When Socrates heard Plato publicly read one of his first dialogues, he declared, “By Heracles, what a lot of lies this young man is telling about me!”

Plato (2001-02-01). The Atlantis Dialogue: Plato's Original Story of the Lost City and Continent (Kindle Locations 36-37). Shepard Publications. Kindle Edition.

142BarkingMatt
Edited: Jan 28, 2013, 10:36pm Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

143prosfilaes
Jan 28, 2013, 6:36pm Top

#141: Huh? Why on Earth would you source it to some pay site? Are you getting a kickback here? If it is historical, you could source it to Timaeus or Critias, either of which have a million and one free copies on the web, including The Jowett translations or the bilingual version at Tufts. Looking it up on Amazon, the book you cited is simply the Jowett translations of those two works, so you could have cited the exact words from a free source.

144quicksiva
Jan 29, 2013, 8:30am Top

Being too lazy to find a free souce for the Socrates quotation, I was forced to pay $0.99 American, to Kindle. I cite the site I source.

145Sasongko
Dec 23, 2013, 8:18pm Top

please read book, "LUQMANUL HAKIM ADALAH SOCRATES BERKULIT HITAM"
http://pts.com.my/buku/luqmanul-hakim-adalah-socrates-berkulit-hitam/

This book is the first book in the world to successfully unravel the mystery figure Luqmanul Judge in history. From a study conducted by the authors, it appears Luqmanul Judge philosophers of Athens, Socrates (469-366 BC).
Tradition states tradition Luqmanul Justice is a black man (negro descent) and former slave. But Socrates whose known as the parent trigger Western philosophy, believed white European descent. Obviously this thing against physical Luqmanul Justice.
Through comparison synchronic-diachronic method, content analysis, frame analysis, and semantic analysis components, Muhammad Alexander @ Wisnu Sasongko think there are two equations:

First - the Physical of Socrates was same 100% with Luqman the wise, namely blacks and former slave. (Socrates was a former slave of Alcibiades. Socrates was paidagogos (pedagogy) that always keep Alcibiades, and not the gay couples of Alcibiades. The paidagogos in Greek history was a slave whose job keeping the child from his master)

Second - The teaching philosophy of Socrates has the same thematic 100% with the advice of Luqman in Al-Quran surah Luqman. (Advice of Luqman to his son was the same as the advice of Socrates to Lamprocles, the Socrates son's)

The book debuted cleaning Socrates as a believer in God, and not a pagan, nor is it a gay. This Book also succeeded in uniting the two ideas and civilization, the west and east, which have been considered different.

Table of contents

Preliminary
1. Study of Surah Luqman in the Quran, and History of Luqman
2. Life history and philosophy of Socrates
3. The Timeline of the Ancient Greek
4. Socrates has Dark skin from descent of African
5. Socrates was a paidagogos (slave) that keep Alcibiades
6. Socrates was a Expert of Wisdom and Seeker of Wisdom
7. Socrates Teach Humans that so grateful to God with How to Recognize Self and Prayer (shalat)
8. Socrates gives advice to Human do not believe in many Gods
9. Socrates gives advice to Lamprocles (son of Socrates) for obey to Mother & Father
10. Socrates Believes that God will Replying to All Human Conduct
11. Socrates invites to Virtue and Prevent Crime
12. Patience and Self-Control Socrates
13. Do not be Arrogant
14. Socrates invites for Simple Living
15. Socrates believed that God had created all to serve human
16. Socrates Sentenced to Death in a way forced to drink poison so given the name "Luqman" (swallow - in arabic)
17. Looking for a relationship of meaning from the name of Luqman and Socrates
18. Towards to purification of Philosophy Socrates
19. Conclusion: Socrates (469-399 BC) was Luqman Hakim in History

for complete explanation that socrates = luqman, please try to read book:

http://pts.com.my/buku/luqmanul-hakim-adalah-socrates-berkulit-hitam/
http://pts.com.my/penulis/muhammad_alexander/

ebook version : http://pts.com.my/ebook/luqmanul-hakim-adalah-socrates-berkulit-hitam/

Story of Luqman in the Quran:

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

31:1 - Alif, Lam, Meem.
31:2 - These are verses of the wise Book,
31:3 - As guidance and mercy for the doers of good
31:5 - Who establish prayer and give zakah, and they, of the Hereafter, are certain in faith.
31:6 - Those are on right guidance from their Lord, and it is those who are the successful.
31:7 - And of the people is he who buys the amusement of speech to mislead others from the way of Allah without knowledge and who takes it in ridicule. Those will have a humiliating punishment.
31:8 - And when our verses are recited to him, he turns away arrogantly as if he had not heard them, as if there was in his ears deafness. So give him tidings of a painful punishment.
31:9 - Indeed, those who believe and do righteous deeds - for them are the Gardens of Pleasure.
31:10 - Wherein they abide eternally; it is the promise of Allah which is truth. And He is the Exalted in Might, the Wise.
31:11 - He created the heavens without pillars that you see and has cast into the earth firmly set mountains, lest it should shift with you, and dispersed therein from every creature. And We sent down rain from the sky and made grow therein plants of every noble kind.
31:12 - This is the creation of Allah . So show Me what those other than Him have created. Rather, the wrongdoers are in clear error.
31:13 - And We had certainly given Luqman wisdom and said, "Be grateful to Allah ." And whoever is grateful is grateful for the benefit of himself. And whoever denies His favor - then indeed, Allah is Free of need and Praiseworthy.
31:14 - And mention, O Muhammad, when Luqman said to his son while he was instructing him, "O my son, do not associate anything with Allah . Indeed, association with him is great injustice."
31:15 - And We have enjoined upon man care for his parents. His mother carried him, increasing her in weakness upon weakness, and his weaning is in two years. Be grateful to Me and to your parents; to Me is the final destination.
31:16 - But if they endeavor to make you associate with Me that of which you have no knowledge, do not obey them but accompany them in this world with appropriate kindness and follow the way of those who turn back to Me in repentance. Then to Me will be your return, and I will inform you about what you used to do.
31:17 - And Luqman said, "O my son, indeed if wrong should be the weight of a mustard seed and should be within a rock or anywhere in the heavens or in the earth, Allah will bring it forth. Indeed, Allah is Subtle and Acquainted.
31:18 -O my son, establish prayer, enjoin what is right, forbid what is wrong, and be patient over what befalls you. Indeed, all that is of the matters requiring determination.
31:19 - And do not turn your cheek in contempt toward people and do not walk through the earth exultantly. Indeed, Allah does not like everyone self-deluded and boastful.
31:20 - And be moderate in your pace and lower your voice; indeed, the most disagreeable of sounds is the voice of donkeys."
31:21 - Do you not see that Allah has made subject to you whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth and amply bestowed upon you His favors, both apparent and unapparent? But of the people is he who disputes about Allah without knowledge or guidance or an enlightening Book from Him."""

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