Blacks in Antiquity: Ethiopians in the Greco-Roman Experience

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9780674076266: Blacks in Antiquity: Ethiopians in the Greco-Roman Experience

The Africans who came to ancient Greece and Italy participated in an important chapter of classical history. Although evidence indicated that the alien dark- and black-skinned people were of varied tribal and geographic origins, the Greeks and Romans classified many of them as Ethiopians. In an effort to determine the role of black people in ancient civilization, Mr. Snowden examines a broad span of Greco-Roman experience--from the Homeric era to the age of Justinian--focusing his attention on the Ethiopians as they were known to the Greeks and Romans. The author dispels unwarranted generalizations about the Ethiopians, contending that classical references to them were neither glorifications of a mysterious people nor caricatures of rare creatures.

Mr. Snowden has probed literary, epigraphical, papyrological, numismatic, and archaeological sources and has considered modern anthropological and sociological findings on pertinent racial and intercultural problems. He has drawn directly upon the widely scattered literary evidence of classical and early Christian writers and has synthesized extensive and diverse material. Along with invaluable reference notes, Mr. Snowden has included over 140 illustrations which depict the Negro as the Greeks and Romans conceived of him in mythology and religion and observed him in a number of occupations--as servant, diplomat, warrior, athlete, and performer, among others.

Presenting an exceptionally comprehensive historical description of the first major encounter of Europeans with dark and black Africans, Mr. Snowden found that the black man in a predominantly white society was neither romanticized nor scorned--that the Ethiopian in classical antiquity was considered by pagan and Christian without prejudice.

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Review:

Here's a book to raise the spirits of anyone of African descent who feels that he or she has nothing to do with the making of Western civilization. Frank M. Snowden Jr., a world-renowned scholar on ancient Greece and Rome who taught at Howard and Georgetown Universities, details with encyclopedic and painstaking scholarship and research the undeniable presence of Africans in the Greco-Roman world. "The experiences of those Africans who reached the alien shores of Greece and Italy constituted an important chapter in the history of classical antiquity," he writes. Using evidence from terra cotta figures, paintings, and classical sources like Herodotus and Pliny the Elder, Snowden proves, contrary to our modern assumptions, that Greco-Romans did not view Africans with racial contempt. Many Africans worked in the Roman Empire as musicians, artisans, scholars, and generals as well as slaves, and they were noted as much for their virtue as for their appearance of having a "burnt face" (from which came the Greek name Ethiopian). --Eugene Holley Jr.

About the Author:

Frank M. Snowden, Jr., was Professor of Classics, Emeritus, at Howard University.

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Descrizione libro HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS, United States, 1970. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Revised ed.. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. The Africans who came to ancient Greece and Italy participated in an important chapter of classical history. Although evidence indicated that the alien dark- and black-skinned people were of varied tribal and geographic origins, the Greeks and Romans classified many of them as Ethiopians. In an effort to determine the role of black people in ancient civilization, Mr. Snowden examines a broad span of Greco-Roman experience--from the Homeric era to the age of Justinian--focusing his attention on the Ethiopians as they were known to the Greeks and Romans. The author dispels unwarranted generalizations about the Ethiopians, contending that classical references to them were neither glorifications of a mysterious people nor caricatures of rare creatures.Mr. Snowden has probed literary, epigraphical, papyrological, numismatic, and archaeological sources and has considered modern anthropological and sociological findings on pertinent racial and intercultural problems. He has drawn directly upon the widely scattered literary evidence of classical and early Christian writers and has synthesized extensive and diverse material. Along with invaluable reference notes, Mr. Snowden has included over 140 illustrations which depict the Negro as the Greeks and Romans conceived of him in mythology and religion and observed him in a number of occupations--as servant, diplomat, warrior, athlete, and performer, among others.Presenting an exceptionally comprehensive historical description of the first major encounter of Europeans with dark and black Africans, Mr. Snowden found that the black man in a predominantly white society was neither romanticized nor scorned--that the Ethiopian in classical antiquity was considered by pagan and Christian without prejudice. Codice libro della libreria BTE9780674076266

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