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African AthenaNew Agendas$
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Daniel Orrells, Gurminder K. Bhambra, and Tessa Roynon

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199595006

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199595006.001.0001

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(p.398) Afterword
African Athena

Martin Bernal

Oxford University Press

This afterword is an autobiographical survey or analysis of the background to the three volume series Black Athena. It treats the author's earlier concerns with cultural contacts between Europe and China and colonialism in Central Africa. It also considers the extent to which these interests prefigured the Black Athena project. There is a short description of his work linking the disappearance of Phoenicians to the appearance of Jews, in which the argument is made that the genetic component of the Jewish community has been exaggerated and the importance of conversion underplayed. The piece concludes with an investigation of the precipitation or provocation of the project by the author's close associations with student and faculty followers of the conservative philosopher Leo Strauss.

Keywords:   Black Athena, Egypt, Africa, The Levant, Cultural Contacts, Jewish Origins, Leo Strauss, Neo‐Conservatives

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