In this episode I am joined by Spencer McDaniel from Tales of Times Forgotten on a controversial episode that revolves around race, ethnicity and the ancient world.
Most people assume that everyone who lived in ancient Greece and Rome was white. This is a notion that has been continually reinforced through modern films and television shows. This is especially obvious in the egregiously historically inaccurate film 300, which portrays all the Greek characters as white and all the Persian characters as people of color. How accurate is this idea really, though? Were the Greeks and Romans really white? What does “whiteness” actually mean anyway?
I won’t deny that the majority of people who lived in Greece and Italy in ancient times would probably be considered white by most Americans if they were alive today. Nonetheless, the ancient Greeks and Romans certainly did not think of themselves as white and modern Greeks and Italians haven’t always been considered white either.
Furthermore, there were undoubtedly people whom we would consider Brown and Black present in ancient Greece and Rome from a very early date. These people almost certainly included famous ancient philosophers, writers, theologians, and even Roman emperors. In fact, people whom we would consider people of color probably made up a significant proportion of the total population of the Roman Empire, if not the majority.
Description above was taken from the original article.
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Original article titled "Were the Ancient Greeks and Romans White?"
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