Black Athena

14May

00:0000:00

In 1987, a historian of modern China wrote a book that was way outside of his field - a historiographical work about the classical world, which argued that argued a racist and imperialist Europe had written Egyptian and Phoenician origins out of Greek history -- essentially whitewashing the African roots of Western civilization. The book caused a firestorm within the field of Classics, launching a series of rebuttals and re-rebuttals. Today’s episode is about the thesis that Bernal posed in his Black Athena, but it is also a peek behind the curtain of the academic world. It might get a little weird - because our discussion will be about the evidence Bernal used to support his assertion that Egyptian and Levantine civilizations significantly shaped ancient Greek civilization, but we will also dive into the backlash against Bernal’s work, and what that says about our profession, and how even historians are human and thus susceptible to the world in which we live. Join Averill and Sarah to learn more about Black Athena - and how the historical sausage gets made.