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New PDF release: The Invention of Racism in Classical Antiquity

Posted On April 20, 2018 at 11:30 am by / Comments Off on New PDF release: The Invention of Racism in Classical Antiquity

By Benjamin Isaac

ISBN-10: 0691125988

ISBN-13: 9780691125985

There used to be racism within the historic international, in spite of everything. This groundbreaking publication refutes the typical trust that the traditional Greeks and Romans harbored "ethnic and cultural," yet now not racial, prejudice. It does so via comprehensively tracing the highbrow origins of racism again to classical antiquity. Benjamin Isaac's systematic research of historical social prejudices and stereotypes unearths that a few of these characterize prototypes of racism--or proto-racism--which in flip encouraged the early smooth authors who built the extra time-honored racist rules. He considers the literature from classical Greece to overdue antiquity in a quest for some of the different types of the discriminatory stereotypes and social hatred that experience performed such a massive position in contemporary historical past and proceed to take action in glossy society.

Magisterial in scope and scholarship, and engagingly written, The Invention of Racism in Classical Antiquity extra means that an realizing of old attitudes towards different peoples sheds mild not just on Greco-Roman imperialism and the ideology of enslavement (and the concomitant integration or non-integration) of foreigners in these societies, but additionally at the disintegration of the Roman Empire and on newer imperialism to boot. the 1st half considers common topics within the background of discrimination; the second one presents an in depth research of proto-racism and prejudices towards specific teams of foreigners within the Greco-Roman international. The final bankruptcy issues Jews within the old international, therefore putting anti-Semitism in a broader context.

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A topic which it will not be possible to treat here is the work of fascist and national-socialist ancient historians from the 1920s till the end of World War II. Although interesting, this is not immediately relevant here. Ancient historians, such as Helmut Berve, who supported the German Nazi or Italian fascist regime and accepted their ideologies, did not trace ancient predecessors of the racist, nationalist and imperialist ideas that they supported. 40 They were racist, but did not consider the nature of Greek and Roman imperialism or the development of racist ideas in antiquity.

81 Ideas about race and racism are often hopelessly confused in basic sources of reference. Even in the Subject Index of the Library of Congress Catalog “race” is an officially recognized subject to which reference is made. That may be justified by the claim that there are books about race. ” This implies the existence of white and black races. 82 The subject “race relations” has subheadings: “Mexican Americans” and “East Indians” which implies that Mexicans and East Indians are races. ” By the usual definitions this can only mean that there exists a movement on the part of the black race in favor of national independence.

56 Even if this study succeeds in showing that proto-racism was a significant phenomenon in antiquity, it may well be the case that the distinction between various forms of prejudice is more important to us than it was to Greeks and Romans. It is therefore essential to give other prejudices their due, even though particular attention has to be paid to proto-racism in order to demonstrate the relevance of this concept. There should be no disagreement as to the existence of ethnic prejudice or xenophobia in antiquity, even though there may be marked differences in the evaluation of these phenomena, but the existence of proto-racism is not obvious.

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The Invention of Racism in Classical Antiquity by Benjamin Isaac


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