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(Guardian)   What if I told you that Greeks and Romans weren't Europeans?   (guardian.co.uk ) divider line
    More: Interesting, ancient Greeks, Middle East, Europeans, Greece, Eastern Mediterranean, Koine Greek, Central Europe, Western culture  
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5299 clicks; posted to Geek » on 12 Jul 2013 at 9:08 AM (2 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-07-12 09:17:59 AM  
There is a big difference between saying that the Greeks and Romans were great because they were of european descent, and saying that Europe as a cultural entity exists in part because its institutions are descended from or mapped onto those of Greece and Rome.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2013-07-12 09:18:43 AM  
What if I told you that Kalmia is a genus of North American herbaceous and woody plants with attractive flowers often used in ornamental plantings?
 
2013-07-12 09:19:36 AM  
I would say that it may have been an interesting article, but it was all Greek to me.
 
2013-07-12 09:24:37 AM  
So civilizations largely centered in the south and east of the Mediterranean show cultural elements to the south and east of the Mediterranean?
 
2013-07-12 09:25:07 AM  
Really, they were just the most successful civilizations of a broader Mediterranean culture that had many aspects to it.
 
2013-07-12 09:26:56 AM  

mutterfark: I would say that it may have been an interesting article, but it was all Greek to me.


Really? I would have thought at least part of that would have been Latin.
 
2013-07-12 09:29:29 AM  

Arkanaut: mutterfark: I would say that it may have been an interesting article, but it was all Greek to me.

Really? I would have thought at least part of that would have been Latin.


It's hell trying to type cuneiform on a phone.
 
2013-07-12 09:29:34 AM  

Aarontology: Really, they were just the most successful civilizations of a broader Mediterranean culture that had many aspects to it.




Long live the bull!
www.civilization.org.uk
/history nut
 
2013-07-12 09:31:46 AM  
This is just another strain of academics trying to make a career out of some controversial, hair-splitting revisionism.

Anyone with a decent grounding in classical history understands full well that even the Romans weren't "European" in the sense of, say, Western Europe of the past three or four centuries. That said, even the Greeks were a damn sight of a different civilization from what was in Mesopotamia, Egypt, or the Levant.

Everything is relative, but this is just plain f*cking stupid.
 
2013-07-12 09:38:23 AM  
Does that mean we can treat the olive pickers like other brown people? Good. Because we already do.
 
2013-07-12 09:42:26 AM  

Arkanaut: mutterfark: I would say that it may have been an interesting article, but it was all Greek to me.

Really? I would have thought at least part of that would have been Latin.


Linear B.
 
2013-07-12 09:47:12 AM  
"European" isn't a race submittard.

We farking know they weren't Germanic for instance.
 
2013-07-12 09:47:42 AM  

RET71: This is just another strain of academics trying to make a career out of some controversial, hair-splitting revisionism.

Anyone with a decent grounding in classical history understands full well that even the Romans weren't "European" in the sense of, say, Western Europe of the past three or four centuries. That said, even the Greeks were a damn sight of a different civilization from what was in Mesopotamia, Egypt, or the Levant.

Everything is relative, but this is just plain f*cking stupid.


Depends.
traumwerk.stanford.edu

gohistoric.com


/blames nationalism
 
2013-07-12 09:48:06 AM  

ZAZ: What if I told you that Kalmia is a genus of North American herbaceous and woody plants with attractive flowers often used in ornamental plantings?


Boy, you sould be glad you stated that on an online forum because if you would have said that to my face I would have boxed your nose, so help me god.... thems fighting words.

/whats a Kalmia?
 
2013-07-12 09:48:43 AM  

spawn73: "European" isn't a race submittard.

We farking know they weren't Germanic for instance.


Look into Theoderic and Justinian.
 
2013-07-12 09:53:11 AM  

Bashar and Asma's Infinite Playlist: Arkanaut: mutterfark: I would say that it may have been an interesting article, but it was all Greek to me.

Really? I would have thought at least part of that would have been Latin.

It's hell trying to type cuneiform on a phone.


I tried but it cracked the screen :(
 
2013-07-12 09:53:29 AM  
I'd say you have a knowledge of history that surpasses 9th grade.
 
2013-07-12 10:08:18 AM  
Invented for 19th century imperialism? Well, I'd say somebody is drumming up a crowd for his exhibition, and an audience for his paper. Oh, and he's talking to a Guardian reporter.
 
2013-07-12 10:09:30 AM  
Headline sounds like one of those ESPN 30 for 30 promos.
 
2013-07-12 10:12:40 AM  

ZAZ: What if I told you that Kalmia is a genus of North American herbaceous and woody plants with attractive flowers often used in ornamental plantings?


i111.photobucket.com

/shamelessly stolen from another farker/Fark thread
 
2013-07-12 10:20:28 AM  

mainsail: Invented for 19th century imperialism? Well, I'd say somebody is drumming up a crowd for his exhibition, and an audience for his paper. Oh, and he's talking to a Guardian reporter.


Q.E.D.
 
2013-07-12 10:35:42 AM  

The Crepes of Wrath: I'd say you have a knowledge of history that surpasses 9th grade.


So not from Texas.
 
2013-07-12 10:37:50 AM  
OLD NEWS IS EXCITING!
 
2013-07-12 10:41:43 AM  
It's political correctness gone mad. You can't ever carve anti-Barbarian abuse on somebody's henge without Liberal Inquisition jumping down your throat
 
2013-07-12 10:45:17 AM  
I could argue that trade between different cultures caused ideas, art styles and stories to blend together. Also, what about the Etruscans?
 
2013-07-12 10:46:23 AM  

mainsail: Invented for 19th century imperialism? Well, I'd say somebody is drumming up a crowd for his exhibition, and an audience for his paper. Oh, and he's talking to a Guardian reporter.


I know Tim; he knows what he's talking about.  Of course the Guardian is pretty good at trying to sensationalize something that's really not that controversial: that the Greeks and Romans were not isolated cultures, but borrowed and adapted and exchanged with a huge number of societies, while at the same time considering themselves distinct, without modern notions of "multiculturalism."
 
2013-07-12 10:54:43 AM  
Also, the Romans were successful precisely because they were masters of grabbing useful things from other cultures, and the Greeks borrowed from the Egyptians among others:

i39.tinypic.com

Egyptian statue

i44.tinypic.com

Greek kouros
 
2013-07-12 11:04:31 AM  
I would correct you by pointing out that Greece and Italy are, in fact, in Europe.
 
2013-07-12 11:06:16 AM  

RET71: This is just another strain of academics trying to make a career out of some controversial, hair-splitting revisionism.

Anyone with a decent grounding in classical history understands full well that even the Romans weren't "European" in the sense of, say, Western Europe of the past three or four centuries. That said, even the Greeks were a damn sight of a different civilization from what was in Mesopotamia, Egypt, or the Levant.

Everything is relative, but this is just plain f*cking stupid.


Very much THIS.  Hell, there was no 'Europe' as we know it today back then.   They had no concept of it.  They knew they were 'Romans' or 'Greeks', but even those labels were mute if you were a slave.
 
2013-07-12 11:14:01 AM  

God Is My Co-Pirate: mainsail: Invented for 19th century imperialism? Well, I'd say somebody is drumming up a crowd for his exhibition, and an audience for his paper. Oh, and he's talking to a Guardian reporter.

I know Tim; he knows what he's talking about.  Of course the Guardian is pretty good at trying to sensationalize something that's really not that controversial: that the Greeks and Romans were not isolated cultures, but borrowed and adapted and exchanged with a huge number of societies, while at the same time considering themselves distinct, without modern notions of "multiculturalism."


Exactly. His work is interesting (Greek lit and Roman copy) but you can just hear the Guardian reporter slavering at the idea that it's all about 19th C imperialism. I swear that must come up in their word processors; types 'European', gets "Do you mean "19th Century Imperialist Pigs"?
 
2013-07-12 11:14:45 AM  

raerae1980: RET71: This is just another strain of academics trying to make a career out of some controversial, hair-splitting revisionism.

Anyone with a decent grounding in classical history understands full well that even the Romans weren't "European" in the sense of, say, Western Europe of the past three or four centuries. That said, even the Greeks were a damn sight of a different civilization from what was in Mesopotamia, Egypt, or the Levant.

Everything is relative, but this is just plain f*cking stupid.

Very much THIS.  Hell, there was no 'Europe' as we know it today back then.   They had no concept of it.  They knew they were 'Romans' or 'Greeks', but even those labels were mute if you were a slave.


Moot?
 
2013-07-12 11:15:13 AM  
I'm not sure I really get what's the to do about this.
 
2013-07-12 11:24:16 AM  
But were they true Scotsmen?
 
2013-07-12 11:26:38 AM  
Eggplants.
 
2013-07-12 11:26:47 AM  

mainsail: raerae1980: RET71: This is just another strain of academics trying to make a career out of some controversial, hair-splitting revisionism.

Anyone with a decent grounding in classical history understands full well that even the Romans weren't "European" in the sense of, say, Western Europe of the past three or four centuries. That said, even the Greeks were a damn sight of a different civilization from what was in Mesopotamia, Egypt, or the Levant.

Everything is relative, but this is just plain f*cking stupid.

Very much THIS.  Hell, there was no 'Europe' as we know it today back then.   They had no concept of it.  They knew they were 'Romans' or 'Greeks', but even those labels were mute if you were a slave.

Moot?


No, the slaves had a habit of talking back to master so as a hole they all had their tongues excised.
 
2013-07-12 11:38:14 AM  

spawn73: "European" isn't a race submittard.

We farking know they weren't Germanic for instance.


Race is a social construct, commentard.
 
2013-07-12 11:40:25 AM  

mainsail: Moot?


Yes...thanks.

/my bad
 
2013-07-12 11:41:25 AM  
Some of them were Europeans, some of them weren't. Why does it matter?
i.imgur.com
 
2013-07-12 11:45:43 AM  

burning_bridge: I'm not sure I really get what's the to do about this.


There's nothing to do about this. The headline is derived from this portion of text ftfa:

As Tim Whitmarsh, professor of ancient literatures at the University of Oxford says: "What if what we think of as the classical world has been falsely invented as European, for reasons serving the cause of 19th-century imperialism? Should the Greek and Roman worlds, albeit in different ways, be seen rather as part of the Iraqi-Syrian-Palestinian-Egyptian complex? If so, what would that mean for ideas about European identity today?"

I haven't read any serious scholarship that attempts to frame the ancient world in 19th/20th century imperialist/nationalist terms. I know this was done in NAZI Germany, but to suggest that's how we view ancient Greece and Rome today is a little insulting. That said, the the identity of of a member of the "Iraqi-Syrian-Palestinian-Egyptian complex" of 1000 B.C.E. is a far cry from a member of said "complex" today.
 
2013-07-12 11:47:06 AM  

Angry Drunk Bureaucrat: But were they true Scotsmen?


No, those didn't turn up until the 5th Century.
 
2013-07-12 11:51:55 AM  

StoPPeRmobile: spawn73: "European" isn't a race submittard.

We farking know they weren't Germanic for instance.

Look into Theoderic and Justinian.


What about them?

They weren't Germanic, so I don't understand your point?
 
2013-07-12 11:57:25 AM  
Sure there was a Europe back then.  Zeus turned into a bull and did wicked things to her.
 
2013-07-12 12:05:46 PM  

Bad_Seed: spawn73: "European" isn't a race submittard.

We farking know they weren't Germanic for instance.

Race is a social construct, commentard.


USIAN BOLT IS KYRIARCHY!
 
2013-07-12 12:20:25 PM  

creepy ass-cracka: I haven't read any serious scholarship that attempts to frame the ancient world in 19th/20th century imperialist/nationalist terms. I know this was done in NAZI Germany, but to suggest that's how we view ancient Greece and Rome today is a little insulting. That said, the the identity of of a member of the "Iraqi-Syrian-Palestinian-Egyptian complex" of 1000 B.C.E. is a far cry from a member of said "complex" today.


That's not what they meant. They were referring to the kind of 19th century Neo-classicism, where the Greco-Roman classical world is held up as the absolute paragon of civilisation and culture, and we (western/northern Europeans) are naturally the heirs to this civilisation. The flip side of that coin is that everyone else is a bunch of uncultured barbarians, so we are fully justified in invading their countries and civilizing them.

Even if the imperialist subtext is gone, the idea that we are the heirs of classical civilization (as opposed to the assorted Mohammedians living around the eastern Mediterranean) is still a default assumption amongst many people today. I always found it funny that Herodotus, while describing in detail the history and geography of "the middle east" dismissed the existence of Britain as an unlikely rumour. It didn't stop generations of learned British gentlemen form walking around with a permanent hard-on for anything Greek.
 
2013-07-12 12:32:25 PM  
You mean they weren't white, yeah, we know.
 
2013-07-12 12:36:44 PM  

Bad_Seed: creepy ass-cracka: I haven't read any serious scholarship that attempts to frame the ancient world in 19th/20th century imperialist/nationalist terms. I know this was done in NAZI Germany, but to suggest that's how we view ancient Greece and Rome today is a little insulting. That said, the the identity of of a member of the "Iraqi-Syrian-Palestinian-Egyptian complex" of 1000 B.C.E. is a far cry from a member of said "complex" today.

That's not what they meant. They were referring to the kind of 19th century Neo-classicism, where the Greco-Roman classical world is held up as the absolute paragon of civilisation and culture, and we (western/northern Europeans) are naturally the heirs to this civilisation. The flip side of that coin is that everyone else is a bunch of uncultured barbarians, so we are fully justified in invading their countries and civilizing them.

Even if the imperialist subtext is gone, the idea that we are the heirs of classical civilization (as opposed to the assorted Mohammedians living around the eastern Mediterranean) is still a default assumption amongst many people today. I always found it funny that Herodotus, while describing in detail the history and geography of "the middle east" dismissed the existence of Britain as an unlikely rumour. It didn't stop generations of learned British gentlemen form walking around with a permanent hard-on for anything Greek.


This.
 
2013-07-12 12:36:53 PM  

Bad_Seed: creepy ass-cracka: I haven't read any serious scholarship that attempts to frame the ancient world in 19th/20th century imperialist/nationalist terms. I know this was done in NAZI Germany, but to suggest that's how we view ancient Greece and Rome today is a little insulting. That said, the the identity of of a member of the "Iraqi-Syrian-Palestinian-Egyptian complex" of 1000 B.C.E. is a far cry from a member of said "complex" today.

That's not what they meant. They were referring to the kind of 19th century Neo-classicism, where the Greco-Roman classical world is held up as the absolute paragon of civilisation and culture, and we (western/northern Europeans) are naturally the heirs to this civilisation. The flip side of that coin is that everyone else is a bunch of uncultured barbarians, so we are fully justified in invading their countries and civilizing them.

Even if the imperialist subtext is gone, the idea that we are the heirs of classical civilization (as opposed to the assorted Mohammedians living around the eastern Mediterranean) is still a default assumption amongst many people today. I always found it funny that Herodotus, while describing in detail the history and geography of "the middle east" dismissed the existence of Britain as an unlikely rumour. It didn't stop generations of learned British gentlemen form walking around with a permanent hard-on for anything Greek.


2/10
try harder next time

/I keed
//posts like this give me hope for humanity
 
2013-07-12 12:37:18 PM  

Bad_Seed: creepy ass-cracka: I haven't read any serious scholarship that attempts to frame the ancient world in 19th/20th century imperialist/nationalist terms. I know this was done in NAZI Germany, but to suggest that's how we view ancient Greece and Rome today is a little insulting. That said, the the identity of of a member of the "Iraqi-Syrian-Palestinian-Egyptian complex" of 1000 B.C.E. is a far cry from a member of said "complex" today.

That's not what they meant. They were referring to the kind of 19th century Neo-classicism, where the Greco-Roman classical world is held up as the absolute paragon of civilisation and culture, and we (western/northern Europeans) are naturally the heirs to this civilisation. The flip side of that coin is that everyone else is a bunch of uncultured barbarians, so we are fully justified in invading their countries and civilizing them.

Even if the imperialist subtext is gone, the idea that we are the heirs of classical civilization (as opposed to the assorted Mohammedians living around the eastern Mediterranean) is still a default assumption amongst many people today. I always found it funny that Herodotus, while describing in detail the history and geography of "the middle east" dismissed the existence of Britain as an unlikely rumour. It didn't stop generations of learned British gentlemen form walking around with a permanent hard-on for anything Greek.


That's cause anything resembling Seleucid Empire & Ptolemaic Kingdom has long sense been ground into the dust and/or massacred by the Mongols, Islamist and every other invader under the sun
 
2013-07-12 12:49:11 PM  

Bad_Seed: spawn73: "European" isn't a race submittard.

We farking know they weren't Germanic for instance.

Race is a social construct, commentard.


Oh, so you can't tell the difference between an Ethiopian and a Japanese?

Oh you can?

Moron.
 
2013-07-12 12:52:35 PM  

Ivo Shandor: Some of them were Europeans, some of them weren't. Why does it matter?
[i.imgur.com image 750x441]


European isn't a race, it's a continent.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greeks

People from Greece are unsurprisingly enough Greek (and a few Albanians).
 
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