TABLE OF CONTENTS

Michele Oka Doner

BLACK ATHENA: THE AFROASIATIC ROOTS OF CLASSICAL CIVILIZATION

By Martin Bernal, New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1987–, vol. 1, The Fabrication of Ancient Greece 1785–1985, 575 pp.

The book that most impressed me this year I found late, after it had passed into paperback, but since it’s part of an ongoing series it seemed current enough to review. And its subject is certainly current, though it’s also ancient history. Martin Bernal’s political purpose is to “lessen European cultural arrogance.” According to Bernal, Greek history as we know it is far more recent than the ancient Greeks themselves: it was developed as late as the 1840s and ’50s by Aryan and English archaeologists. The work contends that Greek culture arose out of colonization, in around 1500 B.C., by the Egyptians and by the Semitic Phoenicians, who civilized the native inhabitants. It was only in the 19th-century,

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the December 1989 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.