Still Out Of Africa
 
DEBATING THE IMPLICATIONS
OF AN ANTI-AFROCENTRIC CRITIQUE
 

Amenhotep III
 
by Dr. Charles S. Finch, III, MD
 
In the history of ideas affecting the course of American higher education, few emerging paradigms have generated as much heated, even vitriolic, commentary as Afrocentricity. Not surprisingly, it has become a catch-all term: a cloak covering a wide continuum of academic and intellectual postures, positions, and opinions.
 
Admittedly, the Afrocentric paradigm has generated much questionable, even irresponsible, rhetoric, yet it has also forced a long-delayed and much-needed reexamination of Western values, self-concepts, and sense of history.
 
Reduced to its essentials, Afrocentricity asserts that Africa must sit at the center of all studies of the history of peoples of African descent, from the beginning of human time to the present. The tumult surrounding Afrocentricity reached a fever-pitch in 1996 with the publication of Professor Mary Lefkowitz's Not Out Of Africa, a pointed counter-attack on the "Afrocentric notion" that ancient Greece owed its civilization to Africa, Egypt (Kemit) and Ethiopia (Kesh) especially.
 
The book, however, attempts not merely to refute a particular thesis but condemns Afrocentricity as a whole, ending with a thinly-veiled recommendation that Afrocentric scholars not be allowed to teach in American universities.
 
The current debate attempts to address three questions: (1) what, if anything, did ancient Greece owe the older African civilizations; (2) is the Afrocentric approach intellectually defensible; (3) is there a legitimate place in the university for an Afrocentric frame of reference? These questions, and their answers, will impact contemporary intellectual history for the forseeable future.
 
Dr. Charles S. Finch, III, MD
Morehouse School of Medicine
Atlanta, Georgia
October 1, 1996
(c) Dr. Charles S. Finch, III, MD, 1996.
All rights reserved by the author.
 
In the Fall of 1989, I participated in a symposium convened by Professor Molefi Asante at Temple University where a varied group of scholars were invited to discuss and debate the merits of Martin Bernal's Black Athena. The paper I delivered, entitled The African Sources of Greek Myths, opened as follows:
 
"In historical times, the world has probably never seen the emergence of a 'single- source' culture." That statement is as applicable now as ever and particularly applies to ancient Greece. To paraphrase Dr. Asa Hilliard, ancient Greek civilization was not the product of a cultural "immaculate conception."
 
It is a chimerical idea and as a paradigm of history, first appeared about 200 years ago as an outgrowth of an interpretive movement among German antiquarians that Bernal has dubbed the "Aryan Model." Down to the Common Era, one can search the ancient literature virtually in vain for any hint of a suggestion that the civilization of the Greeks, proud as they were of it, had emerged fully-formed sui generis, free of influences from surrounding cultures.
 
Modern classicists find themselves in an incongruous position: their unbounded admiration for all that Greek thinkers achieved in philosophy, mathematics, astronomy, music, the plastic arts--indeed all of the humanities, liberal arts and sciences--is matched only by their smug condescension toward the putative Greek credulity and naivete when writing about their own history. Many classicists take the position, clearly exemplified in Not Out of Africa, that they know more about the "true" history of the ancient Greeks than the Greeks themselves, a bizarre claim made also by not-a-few antiquarian scholars in other fields.
 
With some rare and notable exceptions, European antiquarian scholars tend to act as if the ancients were not qualified to write about their own history to the same degree as people living several thousand years after them. Classicists seem to want it both ways: they want to pontificate about the great accomplishments of civilizations they claim are ancestral to themselves but to ignore the profound debt these same civilizations owed to other high cultures, especially African ones.
 
Northeast Africa, i.e., the Nile Valley, played as formative a role in the early evolution of Greek culture as Greece did Western civilization. Everything proclaims it, including all the ancient Greek commentators who mentioned the subject.
 

Amenemhet I
 
At present, it is possible to travel to any corner of the globe and find cassette tapes by Michael Jackson, Madonna, and Tupac Shakur-- powerful testimony to the extraordinary global influence of American popular culture. Nile Valley civilization exercised a similar influence over all of the civilized Old World west of the Indus. Nile Valley high culture is already complete and mature by 4,000 B.C. and remained an intact and powerful force for the next four millenia.
 
Over large swaths of that time, Egypt was the political overlord of most of the eastern half of the Mediterranean and even when not in political control, her cultural hegemony was paramount. She left her imprint everywhere, not only in material artifacts, but in customs, practices, beliefs, and rituals. It is not strange that we should find a pronounced Nilotic influence on the northern Mediterranean nations of antiquity; it would be strange if we did not.

 
Architecture
 
In architecture, Egypt is the first to raise massively precise edifices in stone, elaborating architectural styles whose influence would eventually even be felt as far away as Mexico. The so-called "Doric column" had already achieved a perfection of form by the 3rd Dynasty, more than 3,000 years before the building of the Parthenon. No other culture would build so widely, massively and prolifically in stone. Even the original Temple at Jerusalem, erected by Solomon, was "built on the ground plan of an Egyptian temple" according to James Henry Breasted.
 
Sculpture
 
In sculpture and statuary, Egypt set standards that have lasted for all time. The sphinx-form spread itself over all the civilized world west of India. The Egyptian canon of proportion-- one that often incorporated the Golden Number--became the standard measure of beauty and harmony in sculpture. The Greeks of the 6th century--in the fashion of apprentices--sculpted careful imitations of Egyptian statues now known as Kouros statues. Thus, the first artistically important sculptures of post-Mycenaean Greece owed as much to the Egyptian form as Michelangelo's Pieta or David owed to his ancient Greek predecessors.
 
Astronomy
 
In astronomy, almost every Greek writer who mentions the subject traces the origin of scientific astronomy to Egypt and Chaldea, though always giving priority to Egypt. Testaments to the Nilotic proficiency in astronomy abound. They developed no fewer than three calendars: lunar, Sirian-solar, and precessional. The precessional calendar is derived from the retrograde movement of the celestial north pole around the ecliptic north pole, encompassing a period of 26,000 years.
 
The Sirian solar calendar is based on the difference between the true year of 365 1/4 days determined by the heliacal rising of Sirius at the summer solstice and the civil calendar conventionalized at 365 days. With the civil calendar slipping back relative to the Sirian 1/4 day every year, it took 1460 years for the two calendars to re-synchronize. In late antiquity, at the insistence of first the Ptolemies, then Julius Caesar, the calendrists of Kemit devised leap year to reconcile the two calendars.
 
Systematic star-gazing had been going on in the Nile Valley long before the beginning of the dynastic period around 4,000 B.C.. Moreover, there are records of Nile Valley astronomers predicting lunar eclipses going back to the middle of the 8th century B.C. They were among the earliest, as the Greeks said, to identify the constellations that Thales brought from the Nile to Greece. These astronomer-priests were also the first to devise the 24-hour day.
 
Mathematics
 
It is again to the Nile Valley that we must look for evidence of the early influence on Greek mathematics. With respect to geometry, the commentators are unanimous: the mathematician-priests of the Nile Valley knew no peer. The geometry of Pythagoras, Eudoxus, Plato, and Euclid was learned in Nile Valley temples. Four mathematical papyri still survive, most importantly the Rhind mathematical papyrus dating to 1832 B.C. Not only do these papyri show that the priests had mastered all the processes of arithmetic, including a theory of number, but had developed formulas enabling them to find solutions of problems with one and two unknowns, along with "think of a number problems." With all of this plus the arithmetic and geometric progressions they discovered, it is evident that by 1832 B.C., algebra was in place in the Nile Valley.
 
Problem no. 56 in the Rhind Papyrus gives an equation to find the angle of the slope of a pyramid's face, which in fact is its cotangent. With a cotangent, one automatically has a tangent by taking the inverse of the cotangent. Moreover, the means were present with pyramidal models to obtain sine and cosine values. Thus, trigonometry was also developed earliest in the Nile Valley. The advanced state of this math is confirmed by an architectural drawing even older than the Rhind Papyrus that shows that Nilotic engineers had learned to find the area under a curve more than 5,000 years ago.
 
Finally, as Flinders Petrie found, the architects had several times built into their structures right triangles that obeyed the theorem: a2 + b2 = c2, where a and b are the two sides and c is the hypoteneuse. Since Pythagoras studied in the temples of the Nile Valley for 22 years it would not have surprised him to learn there was the source of the theorem that bears his name.
 
Medicine
 
Homer, in Book 4 of The Odyssey, states simply, "in medicine, Egypt leaves the rest of the world behind." This quote and the many examples of foreign princes who retained Egyptian physicians testifies to their high repute and influence beyond their borders. The Persian emperors Cyrus and Darius each relied on an Egyptian personal physician.
 
The medical papyri, particularly the Edwin Smith and the Ebers, supply ample evidence of the extraordinary skill of the ancient physicians of the Nile. These documents, whose originals date back to around 4,000 B.C., show a medical science already in full flower.
 
The Edwin Smith shows a startling knowledge of neuroanatomy and neurophysiology, revealing 6000 years ago the ancient doctors' understanding of the relation between the temporal portion of the brain and language, speech, and hearing. The Book of the Heart and Vessels, a source book for both the Edwin Smith and the Ebers Papyri, shows that Nile Valley anatomo-physiologists had recognized the heart as the center of a circulatory system that sent blood through the major vessels emanating from it to the body's vital organs. Not surprisingly, Nile Valley physicians measured the pulse as an aid to diagnosis. Trephination, the forerunner of neurosurgery, was successfully performed in the Old Kingdom.
 
As to Hippocrates: he was unquestionably a physician of genius who is entirely deserving of his exalted 2500 year-old reputation. What he wasn't was the "Father of Medicine." He did not even compose the famed Hippocratic Oath. It is known that he was descended from a line of priests of Asclepios on the isle of Cos. By the 6th century B.C., Asclepios had become identified with the physician Imhotep who lived around 3,700 B.C. and was called by Sir Williams Osler "the first figure of a physician to stand out clearly from the mists of antiquity." It can be reasonably inferred that, like his forbears, Hippocrates revered Imhotep who, if anyone does, deserves the title "Father of Medicine."
 
From Alexandrian times (330 B.C. - 200 B.C.), the major medical figures of the Greco-Roman world studied in Egypt, including Galen, Herophilus, and Erasistratos. Egypt continued to "leave the rest of the world behind" in medical knowledge until well after the beginning of the Common Era.
 
Religion and Mythology
 
Herodotus and Diodorus are the two classical authorities who insist most strongly that Greece owed her rites, religion, and gods to Egypt and Ethiopia, i.e., Nile Valley civilization. Diodorus informs us that "the Ethiopians were the first to be taught to honor the gods and to hold sacrifices and festivals and processions...and other rites by which men honor the deity."Herodotus adds that "The names of nearly all the gods came to Greece from Egypt."
 
He further asserts, "I will never admit that the similar ceremonies performed in Greece and Egypt are the result of mere coincidence--had that been so, our rites would have been more Greek in character and less recent in origin."
 
Contrary to repeated assertions in Not Out of Africa, neither Diodorus nor Herodotus were uncritical Egyptophiles supinely accepting what the priests told them. Both of them were learned men, well-read and well-travelled. They cross-checked their information and consulted a variety of sources and informants, both Greek and Egyptian, then compared this information to their own personal observations.
 
Their conclusions were carefully arrived at on the strength of a basically sound method of inquiry. Herodotus, in particular, was careful to differentiate between information or opinions drawn from others, his own observations, and his own interpretations. He was careful not to vouch for everything he heard but to record it as told for verification by others. That he was wrong on a number of points is more than compensated for by the independent corroboration of most of his account by later authorities, even up to the present.
 
The veneration and emulation of Nilotic religious practices begins with Homer (8th century B.C.) who in three places in The Iliad and the Odyssey, refers to the tendency of Olympian deities to go to feast among the blameless Ethiopians. Moreover, several other mythographers cite the African or Libyan provenance of important Olympians, demigods, heroes, and other Hellenic mythotypes. Dionysus and Athene were both born in Libya (Africa).
 
Robert Graves says that the origins of Demeter are also to be looked for in Libya. Hercules, in one of his many guises, was said to have come from Egypt. A triad of Hellenic gods known to hail from Ethiopia were Helios, Eos, and Selene. Olympian deities not infrequently represented as Ethiopians--especially on the Kabeiric vases--were Aphrodite, Hera, and Artemis.
 
Aphrodite was sometimes called Melaenis, i.e., "the Black One."
 
Certain mythological dramatis personae were distinctly Ethiopian in origin or depiction: Memnon, Tithonus, Cepheus, Cassiopeia, Andromeda, Theia (also Melaena), Delphos, Aeetes, Medea, Circe, Proteus, Phaeton, Eurybates, Danaus, Aegyptus, Belus, and Cephalus. What is more, there was sometimes such a close identification between a Hellenic and an African god that the two became fused. Zeus, for example, was linked with the Nilotic Amon to such a degree that he became Zeus Ammon.
 
It defies all evidence and logic to insist that Greek religion was not markedly impacted by Nile Valley religion. Religiously, we have as much evidence for a Nile-to-Greece link as we do for a Greece-to-Rome link.
 
Credibility Issues
 
A brief word about Greek sources and ancient historiography: if we accept Professor Lefkowitz's assertion that we cannot rely on the evidence put forward by an "over-credulous" group of ancient writers, then history itself must be jettisoned. The same method of attack can be applied to all historians of all times everywhere; it can be said that no historian's evidence is credible because he was moved by an implied emotion that compromises his conclusions. If we rely on this way of looking at it, history becomes impossible to write.
 
Furthermore, Professor Lefkowitz "cross-examines her own witnesses," that is, discredits the very authorities that form the basis of the classical studies that constitute her whole career. This approach is not defensible; just because one does like the admiring manner in which Herodotus, Diodorus, Plato, Aristotle, and so many others speak about ancient African civilizations and acknowledge the Greek debt to them, doesn't mean that these savants didn't know what they were talking about.
 
As a new paradigm, evolving a new set of rules and premises, there are clearly occasions when the Afrocentric method can be questioned, particularly where the methodology lacks rigor. But Not Out of Africa does not show that the author is conversant with the whole range of the Afrocentric "school." She has read C.A. Diop, the "spiritual father" of Afrocentricity, but her criticisms of him are superficial and easily turned aside.
 
She has not dealt with Theophile Obenga who has as comprehensive a command of Greco-Roman antiquity as any person living, nor is she sufficiently conversant with the works of Ivan Van Sertima. Until the writings of Afrocentric scholars of this caliber are confronted and refuted, Afrocentricity, to paraphrase Molefi Asante, will stand as an authentic new paradigm not to be wished away by conservative academic opinion. Again, its manifesto is simply that where the history of people of African descent is concerned, Africa must sit at the center of its study.
 

Ancient Hebrews
 
Though scholars would vehemently deny it, myth-making either makes or rises out of history. Examples of national myths that decisively impacted the history of certain peoples include the "chosen people" mantle of the ancient Hebrews, the "manifest destiny" of an expansive American nation, and the "thousand-year Reich" of German National Socialism. If a people do not have a national myth, they create one because it is the myth that determines what they hope to be and what they strive for. Thus myths are not "fictions"; they are the symbolic essence of a people's quest for meaning and destiny.
 
It is too early to tell what, if any, enabling myth will rise out of the Afrocentric spirit. But the most conscientious of Afrocentric writers have no interest in fictions; we have spent too many years listening to those spun around our history by those who have sought to dominate us by controlling it.
 
 
THE POWER OF MYTH: DOGON PHILOSOPHY IN THE PALE FOX
 
The myth, so tanie, "astonishing word," which the Dogon consider to be "real" history...constitutes here the whole of coherent themes of creation; this is why, by virtue of their coherence and their order of succession, they make up a "history of the universe," aduno so tanie.
 
By no means here "...should the word myth be understood in its ordinary sense, as a childlike or fantastic, somewhat absurd poetic form. The myth is, for the Blacks, only a means by which to explain something; it is a consciously composed lore of master ideas....It conceals clear statements and coherent systems reserved for initiates, who alone have access to the deep knowledge."
 
MYTHOLOGY
 
Zeus made a journey to the shores of the Ocean to feast among the blameless Ethiopians (for 12 days).
- Homer, The Iliad, Book 1, lines 423-424.
 
...when they saw her (Iris), all the winds rose up with invitations....But she refused and said: I'm bound onward, across the streams of Ocean, to the country of the Ethiopians; hekatombs they'll make for the gods; I must attend the feast. - Homer, The Iliad, Book 23, lines 205-207.
 
But now that god (Poseidon) had gone far off among the Ethiopians, most remote of men...in sunset lands and the lands of the rising sun, to be regaled by smoke of thighbones burning, haunches of rams and bulls, a hundred fold. He lingered delighted at the banquet table.
- Homer, the Odyssey, Book 1, lines 25-31.
 
[the Ethiopians] were the first to be taught to honor the gods and to hold sacrifices and festivals and processions and festivals and the other rites by which men honor the deity...
-Diodorus
 
Aelian does not overlook the fact that Ethiopia is the place where the gods bathe.
- Snowden, Blacks in Antquity, p. 147.
 
They also told me that the Egyptians first brought into use the names of the twelve gods, which the Greeks took over from them.
- Herodotus, Book 2
 
...it was not the Egyptians who took the name Heracles from the Greeks. The opposite is true: it was the Greeks who took it from the Egyptians...
- Herodotus.
 
Melampus ("black-footed")...brought into Greece a number of things that he had learned in Egypt, and amongst them was the worship of Dionysus (Osiris). I will never admit that the similar ceremonies performed in Greece and Egypt are the result of mere coincidence--had that been so, our rites would have been more Greek in character and less recent in origin.
- Herodotus.
 
The names of nearly all the gods came to Greece from Egypt. I know from the inquiries I have made that they came from abroad, and it seems likely that it was from Egypt.
 
- Herodotus.
 
And Eos bare to Tithonus brazen-crested Memnon, king of the Ethiopians....And to Cephalus she bare a splendid son, strong Phaeton...
- Hesoid, Theogony, lines 985-7.
 
...an image of pious, just Ethiopians became so imbedded in Greco-Roman tradition that echoes are heard throughout classical literature.
- Frank Snowden, Blacks in Antiquity, p. 144.
 
The fifty sons of Aegyptus were described as black....The Danaids described themselves as "black and smitten by the sun"....To King Pelasgus they have the appearance of Libyans, or inhabitants of the Nile.
- Snowden, p. 157.
 
Satyrs (sileni after Silenus) often resemble Negroes with respect to thickness of the lips and snubness of nose. - Snowden, p. 160.
 
Two of these [kabeiric] vases depict Odysseus and a Negro Circe...
- Snowden, p. 161.
 
Figures with Negroid traits appearing in other Kabeiric vases include Aphrodite, Hera, Cephalus...
- Snowden, p. 161.
 
The castration of Uranus is not necessarily metaphorical if some of the victors had originated in East Africa where, to this day, the Galla warriors carry a miniature sickle into battle to castrate their enemies.
- Robert Graves, The Greek Myths, vol.1, p. 38.
 
According to the Pelasgians, the goddess Athene was born beside Lake Tritonis in Libya...
- Graves, quoting Apollonius Rhodius, p. 44.
 
Plato identified Athene, patroness of Athens, with the Libyan goddess Neith...
- Graves, citing Timaeus.
 
Pottery finds suggest a Libyan immigration into Crete as early as 4,000 B.C.; and a large number of goddess-worshipping Libyan refugees from the Western Delta seem to have arrived there when Upper and Lower Egypt were forcibly united under the first dynasty...
- Graves, p. 45.
 
...elsewhere [Aphrodite] was called Melaenis ("black one")...[and]Scotia ("dark one")...
- Graves, p. 72.
 
Demeter is said to have reached Greece by way of Crete...But Demeter's origin is to be looked for in Libya.
- Graves, pp.95-96.
 
..the three Gorgons, dwellers in Libya...
- Graves, p. 127
 
When [Typhon] came rushing toward Olympus, the gods fled in terror to Egypt where they disguised themselves as animals: Zeus becoming a ram; Apollo a crow; Dionysus, a goat; Hera, a white cow; Artemis, a cat; Aphrodite, a fish; Ares, a boar; Hermes, an ibis, and so on.
- Graves, p. 134.
 
At Dodona...the priestesses who deliver the oracles have a different version of the story: two black doves, they say flew away from Thebes in Egypt, and one of them alighted at Dodona, and the other in Libya.
- Herodotus, p. 151
 
As to the bird being black [at Dodona], they merely signify by this that the woman was an Egyptian.
- Herodotus, p. 152
 
The Telchines (Rhodes) were Children of the Sea....They were...worshipped by an early matriarchal people of Greece...whom the patriarchal Hellenes persecuted...Their origin may have been East African.
- Graves, p. 189.
 
King Belus, who ruled Chemmis in Thebaid, was the son of Libya by Poseidon, and twin-brother of Agenor. His wife...daughter of Nilus, bore him the twins Aegyptus and Danaus and a third son Cepheus.
- Graves, citing Herodotus, Apollodorus, p. 200.
 
Danaus...had fifty daughters called the Danaids (born of Egyptian and Ethiopian mothers)....he built a ship for himself and his daughters...and sailed toward Greece together, by way of Rhodes....[He] became so powerful a ruler that all the Pelasgians of Greece called themselves Danaans.
- Graves, citing Hyginus, Apollodorus, Herodotus, Strabo, Diodorus, Pausanias, and Plutarch, p. 201-2.
 
The myth [of the Danaids] records the early arrival in greece of Helladic colonists from Palestine, by way of Rhodes, and their introduction of agriculture into the Peloponnese. It is claimed that they included emigrants from Libya and Ethiopia, which seems probable.
- Graves, p. 203.
 
Melampus, ("black foot") the Minyan, Cretheus's grandson...was the first mortal to be granted prophetic powers, the first to practice as a physician, the first to build temples to Dionysus in Greece, and the first to temper wine with water.
- Graves, citing Apollodorus and Athenaeus, p. 233.
 
Melampodes ("black feet") is a common Classical name for the Egyptians; and these stories of how Melampus understood what birds...were saying are likely to be of African origin...
- Graves.
 
Perseus paused for refreshments at Chemmis in Egypt...and then flew on. As he rounded the coast of Philistia...he caught sight of a naked woman chained to a sea-cliff, and instantly fell in love with her. This was Andromeda, daughter of Cepheus, the Ethiopian King of Joppa, and Cassiopeia....Perseus (who married Andromeda) founded Mycenae.
- Graves, citing Herodotus, Tzetzes, Strabo, Pliny, and Apollodorus.
 
[Minos] laid siege to Nisa, ruled by Nisus the Egyptian, who had a daughter named Scylla.
- Graves, p. 308.
 
WHAT'S IN A NAME? Source: Blacks in Antiquity
 
Greek and Roman Descriptions of Ethiopians or Blacks generally:
 
aethiops, melas, melanochoros, niger, ater, aquilus, exustus, furvus, fuscus, percotus. (p. 3)
 
Additional Greco-Roman ethnonyms of Blacks: Afer (African), Indus/Indi (India), Maurus(Moor) (p. 11)
 
Greco-Roman toponyms of--national, regional, continental:
 
Libya: derived from ancient Egyptian word lebu, given to the people who inhbited the lands west of the Nile.
 
India: in the ancient mind, Africa and continental India were linked; Indians were often called the eastern Ethiopians.
 
Ethiopia: An early Greek name, meaning "sunburnt," for the African countries and regions to the south and west of Egypt. The term Ethiopia was interchangeable with Libya, India, Nubia, and Africa.
 
Nubia: Latin term, derived from Egyptian word nub meaning "gold" referring to the southern fifth of Egypt plus the northern fifth of the Sudan.
 
Africa or Afer: Latin term which came to be, and remains, the name for the entire continent.
 
SOURCES OF GREEK SCIENCE
 
The biographies of Pythagoras are unanimous that at an early age he travelled widely to assimilate the wisdom of the ancients...He is said by Iamblichus to have spent some 22 years in Egypt studying there with the priests.
- K.S. Guthrie, the Pythaorean Source Book, p. 20.
 
Thales...advised him [Pythagoras] to go to Egypt, to get in touch with the priests of Memphis and Zeus. Thales confessed that the instruction of these priests was the source of his own reputation for wisdom.
- Guthrie, p. 59 (citing Iamblichus)
 
He [Pythagoras] passed twenty-two years in the sanctuaries of temples, studying astronomy and geometry...
- Guthrie/Iamblichus, p. 61.
 
In Egypt he [Pythagoras] lived with the priests, and learned the language and the wisdom of the Egyptians, and their three kinds of letters, the epistolographic, the hieroglyphic, and symbolic...
- Guthrie/Porphyry, p. 125
 
...in Egypt too he had entered into the holiest parts of their temple, and learned all the most secret mysteries that relate to their Gods.
- Guthrie/Diogenes Laertius, p. 142.
 
Another influence [on Pythagoras] may have been Thales' belief that the universe began from water, an idea he may have picked up from Egypt.
- Peter Gorman, Pythagoras: A Life, p. 35.
 
From this and the Egyptian hieratic myths concerning the creation of the world he [Thales] learnt that the cosmos arose from the primeval water.
- Gorman, p. 37.
 
His [Pythagoras'] is such an important name in the history of philosophy that he actually invented the term "philosophy" or love of wisdom.
- Gorman, p. 38.
 
The symbolic method which Iamblichus claims Pythagoras learnt in Egypt was a system of presenting abstract truths in an enigmatic way.
- Gorman, p. 80.
 
Since the Greeks of his day were not educated in the arcane sciences of Egypt and Babylon, Pythagoras probably regarded them as children and sought to arouse their curiosity with riddles.
- Gorman, p. 82.

 
 
Dr. Charles S. Finch, III, MD is a licensed, physician, and internationally known lecturer who is based in the Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, GA. He has lectured on the African origins of humanity, the contributions of Egypt to the world, Blacks in Science, Astronomy, Medicine and Education. In addition to the United States, he has lectured in Egypt, Brazil, and London.
 
Using ancient papyri, artifacts of all kinds, and primary sources of information, Dr. Finch connected math, physics, astronomy, architecture, medicine, metallurgy, and music to African cultural origins.
 
 
This article was published courtesy of Dr. Charles S. Finch, III, MD.
Copyright © 1996 Dr. Charles S. Finch, III, MD. All rights reserved by the author.
 
Dr. Charles S. Finch, III, MD
Morehouse School of Medicine
Atlanta, Georgia
October 1, 1996

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