Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Diodorus on Ethiopia and the Origins of Kemet

There is a popular myth still existing in the minds of many that Ancient Egyptians and their culture were introduced into Africa through Asia. But this is a modern myth, born of the racism of the last few centuries. It was largely disseminated by a highly regarded Egyptologist, Flinders Petrie.

Petrie was responsible for mentoring and training a whole generation of Egyptologists, including Howard Carter (known for discovering Tutahkhamen's tomb.) Petrie contended that the culture of Ancient Egypt was derived from an invading Caucasian "Dynastic Race" which had conquered Egypt in late prehistory and introduced the Pharaonic culture (Trigger, 1994). Petrie also happened to be a dedicated follower of the pseudo-science of Eugenics. Petrie claimed that his "Dynastic Race", in which he never ceased to believe, was a "fine" Caucasian race which entered Egypt from the south in late pre-dynastic times, conquered the "inferior" and "exhausted" "mulatto" race which then inhabited Egypt, and slowly introduced the finer Dynastic civilization as they interbred with the inferior indigenous people (Silberman, 1999).

As astutely pointed out by John Henrik Clarke, it's difficult to believe that Caucasians could have brought civilization to ancient Egypt when at that time they had no comparable civilization from which to bring it!

Nevertheless, thanks to Diodorus Siculus we can get a glimpse of how the ancients themselves understood their own origin.
Diodorus Siculus was a Sicilian Greek historian who lived from 90 to 21 BC. He wrote, a world history in 40 books, ending it near the time of his death with Caesar’s Gallic Wars, entitled Bibliotheca Historica ("Historical Library"). Below is an account from Book III.

On the Ethiopians who dwell beyond Libya and their antiquities (Book III)

(Ancient Greek historians such as Herodotus and Diodorus used the word Aethiopia(Αιθιοπία) to refer to the peoples living immediately to the south of ancient Egypt, specifically the area now known as the ancient Kingdom of Kush, now a part of modern Nubia, as well as all of Sub-Saharan Africa in general.)

"Now the Ethiopians, as historians relate, were the first of all men and the proofs of this statement, they say, are manifest. For that they did not come into their land as immigrants from abroad but were natives of it and so justly bear the name of "autochthones" (sprung from the soil) is, they maintain, conceded by practically all men..."

"And they say that they were the first to be taught to honour the gods and to hold sacrifices and processions and festivals and the other rites by which men honour the deity; and that in consequence their piety has been published abroad among all men, and it is generally held that the sacrifices practised among the Ethiopians are those which are the most pleasing to heaven."

"As witness to this they call upon the poet who is perhaps the oldest and certainly the most venerated among the Greeks (Homer) ; for in the Iliad he represents both Zeus and the rest of the gods with him as
absent on a visit to Ethiopia to share in the sacrifices and the banquet which were given annually by the Ethiopians for all the gods together:

For Zeus had yesterday to Ocean's bounds
Set forth to feast with Ethiop's faultless men,
And he was followed there by all the gods.

"They say also that the Egyptians are colonists sent out by the Ethiopians, Osiris having been the leader of the colony. For, speaking generally, what is now Egypt, they maintain, was not land but sea when in the beginning the universe was being formed; afterwards, however, as the Nile during the times of its inundation carried down the mud from Ethiopia, land was gradually built up from the deposit. Also the statement that all the land of the Egyptians is alluvial silt deposited by the river receives the clearest proof, in their opinion, from what takes place at the outlets of the Nile; for as each year new mud is continually gathered together at the mouths of the river, the sea is observed being thrust back by the deposited silt and the land receiving the increase.
And the larger part of the customs of the Egyptians are, they hold, Ethiopian, the colonists still preserving their ancient manners. For instance, the belief that their kings are gods, the very special attention which they pay to their burials, and many other matters of a similar nature are Ethiopian practices, while the shapes of their statues and the forms of their letters are Ethiopian; for of the two kinds of writing which the Egyptians have, that which is known
as "popular" (demotic) is learned by everyone, while that which is called "sacred" is understood only by the priests of the Egyptians, who learn it from their fathers as one of the things which are not divulged, but among the Ethiopians everyone uses these forms of letters. Furthermore, the orders of the priests, they maintain, have much the same position among both peoples; for all are clean who are engaged in the service of the gods, keeping themselves shaven, like the Ethiopian priests, and having the same dress and form of staff, which is shaped like a plough and is carried by their kings..."


Unknown said...

ray ban sungalsses
oakley sunglasses sale
abercrombie and fitch
toms outlet
toms wedges
ray ban outlet
michael kors uk
hollister clothing store
tory burch outlet
discount christian louboutin
chi flat iron
michael kors outlet online
coach outlet online
burberry outlet
louis vuitton outlet
dior outlet
imitation watches
michael kors outlet online
ray ban sunglasses
adidas running shoes
jordan 11 columbia
coach outlet store online
cheap oakley sunglasses
red christian louboutin
cheap lululemon
burberry outlet
coach factorty outlet

Unknown said...

louis vuitton handbags
tiffany jewelry
tommy hilfiger outlet
nike roshe run
nhl jerseys
hermes outlet
insanity workout
michael kors canada, http://www.michaelkorsoutletcanada.in.net
michael kors outlet, http://www.michaelkorsoutletcanada.in.net
air max 2014
cheap wedding dresses
kate spade outlet
baltimore ravens jerseys
asics shoes
oakley sunglasses
oakland raiders jerseys
oakley sunglasses
oakley sunglasses
tory burch outlet
discount oakley sunglasses
evening dresses
air jordan 13
marc jacobs
new balance shoes
nike free
lebron james shoes
mulberry uk
gucci outlet
kobe bryants shoes
ray ban sunglasses online
beats headphones
the north face jackets
michael kors outlet
louis vuitton outlet
indianapolis colts jerseys
babyliss pro
air jordan 11

Unknown said...

adidas superstar trainers
polo ralph lauren outlet
oakley sunglasses
christian louboutin shoes
coach factory outlet online
louis vuitton bags
louis vuitton purses
coach outlet online
louboutin femme
michael kors outlet clearance
tory burch shoes
louboutin shoes
retro 11
cheap air jordans
michael kors canada outlet
louis vuitton purses
louis vuitton handbags
toms shoes outlet online
louis vuitton handbags
timberland outlet
beats by dre outlet
ghd hair straighteners
louis vuitton purses
adidas wings
tods sale
hollister clearance
louis vuitton purses
fitflop shoes
tory burch outlet
marc jacobs outlet
fitflop shoes
louis vuitton purses
ray bans
nike blazers uk
adidas originals
jordan 3s
nike roshe one
cheap louis vuitton handbags
michael kors outlet clearance
michael kors outlet

SSSSSS said...

tom ford glasses
salvatore ferragamo belt
100% real jordans for cheap
vans outlet
jordan retro
golden goose slide
lebron 13
longchamp handbags
pandora charms

xjd7410@gmail.com said...

20180803 junda
prada handbags
clippers jerseys
michael kors outlet
michael kors
coach canada
swarovski outlet
cheap mlb jerseys
ugg boots
simulation shoes
minnetonka outlet

jjjjjjjjjjjjj said...

adidas eqt support
vapor max
asics running shoes
off white jordan 1
goyard bags
michael kors outlet online
reebok shoes
cheap nfl jerseys
pandora jewelry
yeezy boost 350

5689 said...

air max 90
canada goose outlet
basketballl shoes
canada goose outlet
louboutin shoes
north face
coach outlet online
red bottom shoes
tod's outlet
nike blazers