Essay On Martial bernal’s “black Athena”

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Martial bernal’s “black Athena”

This article defends the work of Martial Bernal against the criticism and accusations brought against him. This article is based on the religions of different cultures and how they relate to each other. Criticism, individualism and at times tribalism are the major dominants among the African tribes. The subject matter of the article on the different approaches to myths and misconceptions relate to the African myths of different tribes. Most African tribes believe in the blessings from the ancestors. Serious criticism cannot be avoided because of Bernal’s lack of methods. He had the tendency of conflicting cultures, language and somatic type. He had an obsession with origins, and had a different approach to myths. In the article “Black Athena”, Martin fully agrees that the Greek language originated from the invaders, who settled at the northern parts. He later on, debates after a much survey that the Greek culture did not spring from the arrival of the northerners, but was as a result of the imposition of the between the Egyptians, and the Semitic culture. The Egyptians and the Semitic tribes in the article, were believed to have similar cultural values and intermarried more frequently with each other, compared to other tribes. The origin of the Greek language is approximated to be in the 18th century B.C. in this period, the invasion of the Egyptian territory by the Hyksos surpassed into Aegean, Greece, and Crete. Bernal in his article, hit the classicists who were known to be the last two centuries in the 18th century. They made assumptions, on the matter of racial superiority among the Europeans, overlooked the races that were present, in the western Mediterranean regions. His article mainly focuses and points out the barbarians, who were among the first people to settle at the north, as the founders of the Greek culture. The argurement in his article on the different cultural beliefs are strongly based on the ideas of criticism, individualism, myths and the foundation of different languages.

Bernal in his article, seeks to argue and justify on his findings on revised ancient models of the origins of the Greeks. The salient ideas that Bernal debates on are the Hyksos, which bases its argument on the Normans, who settled in the ancient Middle East, the linguistic remnants and the Thera eruption. In his first contextual argument he draws similarity with the invasion of the Normans in England, and the Hun who invaded Europe, during the period of the 18th century. He argued on the fact that they expanded on their territory ending up spreading of their cultural values, and policies to the regions that they had interrupted. The Roman culture brought about the French culture in England, which most people had viewed it as a striking and complex culture. The Huns who occupied most parts in Europe especially, in the Roman territory brought about the German culture. Bernal in his findings of the Hyksos concluded that, the Hyksos who originated from the present day Kurdistan expanded their cultures, to the far ends of the Middle East. They later ended up transmitting their Egypt based Semitic culture, to the territories of the Greeks and Crete.

His main point of stress from his findings was that language always comes after the culture has been invented. He argued on the bases of the invaders, and the traders who came into the classical Greece from the region of Levant. He says that the invaders from region of the Levant were not the true founders of Greece. This was because like the Normans, and the Vikings who left their marks in England, did not leave any source of evidence that they would clearly justify that they were the original founders, and invaders of Greece.

Bernal’s detailed survey and conclusion of the recent realization of the volcanic Thera eruption was acknowledged, as one of his best and interesting salient argument. The eruption was believed to have caused a massive destruction to the Minoan civilization of the Crete region, back in the era of between around 200 years ago, in the year of 1628 B.C. This date is valid and is much more convenient for “Black Athena”. This is because it is believed to break the thesis between the old palace periods, and the new palace periods around 1730 BC. This was the exact date when the Hyksos invaded the Egyptian territory. The evidence that serves to be proof that the Hyksos were the first invaders in Egypt is the break, which is associated with both the eastern, and the Egyptian association on the culture of Cretan. The eruption in his article is said to have led to the disruption of the climatic patterns, which caused the collapse of the Xia dynasty in China. This fact drew a close and a very interesting debate that was based on the new development, in the political ideas. They based this idea on the Chinese emperors, which were termed as the “mandate of heaven”. They were able to withdraw such rules. This made it possible for the passing of the Chinese revolution, in the year 1949.

The argument that Bernal is basing in his article, black Athena is based on myths and things that happened millions of years ago. He talks about individualism and criticism on different tribes. This is not convincing basing his facts and surveys on non-existing things. The book is extremely varied, and it shows an informal absolution of the beliefs of the tribes. It seems to be ironic that the Egyptian civilization had a strong influence over the Greek culture. This is evidenced from a point of view, which is not clear and precise on whether the Greek culture is an inheritance from the Far East, or own development. The origin of the languages of the Greeks and the Egyptians resembles how some of the African countries were colonized and how the different languages such as English, French and German came to pass in different Africa countries. Some of the readings, especially that happened in the period between the BC and the 18th century are not very clear and precise, to understand. The volcanic thera eruption that brought about a massive destruction is what I can fully agree to and support. This is in relation to when the volcanoes erupt; they cause a massive destruction of property, agriculture, death and displacement of many people. The volcanoes in Africa such as the Mount Kilimanjaro in at the border of Tanzania erupted causing a shaking of the grounds of Kenya, Uganda and the whole of Tanzania.


Shea, John. Macedonia and Greece: The Struggle to Define a New Balkan Nation. Jefferson, N.C: McFarland, 2008. Print.