Ancient Africa - European relations

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Fantasus

Ad Honorem
Jan 2012
2,381
Northern part of European lowland
Sometimes a large part of Africa - the northern part, is almost seen as a western extension of Western Asia/the "Middle East". One reason is the many centuries of islam and Arabic and Turkish influence and domination.
Was those relations alwaysn that close? Or was there a time when much of africa had as much to do with Europe, the southern part in particular, as with any other region, if not more. After all large parts of Africa and europe are not so far away, and the distance over the straits of the Meditteranean should not be so much of a barrier even with fragile vessels - (comparable with the English and Irish channels, or the straits ,"Belts" of Northern Europe). So what do we know about ancient relations - prehistorical in particular? Trade, wars, invasions, migrations and cultural relations?
 

Larrey

Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
5,767
As a general rule, water connects. Mountains, forests and deserts are obstacles for contact between societies. Navigable water tends to work the opposite for at least recorded history.

Which is why the Mediterranean as a whole already in antiquity became pretty well interconnected. The Sahara to the south was a far greater obstacle for stable connections of significant magnitude. So were the forests and mountains of northern Europe.

I'd say culturally, up to and including the Middle Ages the shores of the Mediterranean defined pretty well a kind of cultural continuum. For all the obvious divide between Christianity and Islam, while both considered the other heretical, they were actually in massive agreement over basic assumptions about natural philosophy, medicine, etc. They may have thought each other wrong, but they had no problem understanding the broader world-view of the other, as they were virtually identical, constructed from the same building-blocks.
 
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Fantasus

Ad Honorem
Jan 2012
2,381
Northern part of European lowland
They may have thought each other wrong, but they had no problem understanding the broader world-view of the other, as they were virtually identical, constructed from the same building-blocks.
While there is a lot to say in favour of Your post, for me "virtually identical" may perhaps be a bit of an excaggeration. Anyway, I was particularly interested in pre-historical connections, since I don´t know very much about them, but guess there was some. Perhaps even people at both sides were at some times closely related?
 

Frank81

Ad Honorem
Feb 2010
5,088
Canary Islands-Spain
North Africa has shifted over time between strong inner Africa influences and not less strong Mediterranean-Middle East influence. This is particularly true for Egypt, but also, to a lesser degree, for Maghreb. Then we should consider the influence from Europe, the less important probably.

In regard to Prehistoric times, during the Holocene Optimun, when Sahara was green, there was not a barrier among "sub-saharan" Africa and the northern one, there wasn't Sahara at all. Cultures were shared among the south and the north, for example the Capsian culture.

Strong influences from the Middle East got North Africa: the expansion of neolithic, wheat, barley, goats and sheeps came together with humans. There is clear genetic inflow from the ME. This ME tendences arrived by the coast mostly. From Egypt, some religious cults extended over the rest of North Africa, for example Amon-Ra whorship. Later, Punics colonized Maghreb.

There is an ancient genetic barrier among Iberia-Italia and Maghreb, flowing of people seem to be that of minorities. There are some cultural relations: might there existed an Iberomaurisian culture shared by Iberia and western Maghreb on post-glacial age, while southern Italy and Tunisia seem to be lightly linked since very early. South Europe and North Africa shared Cardium Pottery culture and Bell Beaker culture.
 

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
27,054
Italy, Lago Maggiore
Technically the Ancient Egyptian culture was African, with deep roots in the south [where already in neolithic time there were communities with megalithic sites and astronomical interests, astronomical interests transmitted to the later Egyptian culture]. So for a couple of millennium [until the end of the New Kingdom for sure, I would say] the main flux of influence was Africa > Middle East.

But before of the Egyptian civilization the prehistorical Europe didn't leave clear evidences of an African influence. And the matter of fact that continental Europe [overall the central / western part] saw a slower development than Northern Africa seems to be a suggestion that there weren't wide contacts.
 
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Nov 2015
33
Memphis
The ancient Africans of Kemet actually banned "white" Europeans from the civilization until the Greek takeover. Whites were actually referred to as the "Tamahu" which translates into "the created white people" according to Gerald Massey's a Book of the Beginning. According to ancient Greek scholarship red haired people "gingers" were actually burned alive in ancient Kemet, because they were considered to be "Devils" or Set worshipers as opposed to Horus worshipers.

"Those whose hair is red, of a certain peculiar shade, are unmistakably vampires. It is significant that in ancient Egypt, as Manetho tells us, human sacrifices were offered at the grave of Osiris, and the victims were red-haired men who were burned, their ashes being scattered far and wide by winnowing-fans. It is held by some authorities that this was done to fertilize the fields and produce a bounteous harvest, red-hair symbolizing the golden wealth of the corn. But these men were called Typhonians, and were representatives not of Osiris but of his evil rival Typhon, whose hair was red."

In fact the Sea Peoples who attempted to invade Kemet from what many say is Europe indicates that there was essentially an early "race war" between the blacks of Northeast Africa namely Kemet, and the whites who had just exited the Caucus and were experiencing civilization for the first time as they wandered around Asia and Europe. Here is an exert from a famous book on ancient African origins of civilization.



"This lasted until Setnekht created the Twentieth Dynasty (1200). After he had reigned for two years, his son, Ramses III, succeeded him under extremely difficult conditions. He had to face a new invasion of "sea peoples," by land and sea, especially by the Palestinian Philistines...... The most formidable coalition ever witnessed during Antiquity was formed against the Egyptians. It comprised the whole group of white-skinned peoples who had been unstable since the first migrations in the thirteenth century; . . . .. . Thanks to superior organization, the Egyptian armed forces scored a dual victory, on land and sea, over that second alliance. The fleet of the "Peoples of the North" was entirely destroyed and the invasion route through the Delta was cut. At the same time a third coalition of the same white-skinned Indo-Aryans was being assembled, again in Libya, against the Black Egyptian nation.



Yet, this was not a racial conflict in the modern sense. To be sure, the two hostile groups were fully conscious of their ethnic and racial differences, but it was much more a question of the great movement of disinherited peoples of the north toward richer and more advanced countries. Ramses III demolished that third coalition as he had destroyed the first two. ...... Such was invariably the procedure for acclimating white-skinned persons in Egypt, a process that became especially widespread during the low period. By bearing this in mind, we may avoid attributing a purely imaginary role to people who contributed absolutely nothing to Egyptian civilization. Ramses III then carried his defense to Phoenicia (Djahi, in Ancient Egyptian9), on the northern frontier of the Egyptian Empire. He took personal command of the fleet and, near the Palestinian coast, he annihilated the fourth coalition in 1191 B.C.E



These people, whose alien slave origin was obvious, would gradually be freed by Egyptian law. Later, some would become notables as a reward for "loyal" services to the Egyptian ruler. Yet, their slave origin would never be forgotten by the true Egyptian national, even when they took advantage of troubled periods to exercise control of a given district in the Delta where military command had been entrusted to them by the Pharaoh. We shall see how these foreign elements, who felt no real sentimental attachment to Egyptian soil, were to undermine political mores beginning with Psammetichus. To protect the country against invasion, Ramses III had to resort to conscription, drafting one Egyptian national out of ten (cf. Pirenne, II, 476). Because of their immunity, we do not know whether this measure was applicable to the temple properties. Since Ramses II, Libyans and other White foreigners who were recruited into the auxiliary armed services had farmed land belonging to the royal domain, of which the well-informed Egyptian administration kept a strict accounting. To prevent their flight in troubled periods, Ramses III had them all branded with the seal of the local administration. This old Egyptian practice leaves no doubt about their slave status, whether they were farmers in peacetime or enrolled in the auxiliary forces in time of war. Authors often misuse the term "mercenaries" to designate those who were, in fact, slaves bearing the indelible mark of their royal master. . . . The Egyptian army was losing its nationality. It was rapidly becoming a force of free mercenaries or semi-slaves commanded by national officers; only the high command and a few detachments of archers remained Egyptian (cf. Pirenne, II, 477). This procedure reached its climax under the Libyan usurpers of the Twenty-sixth Dynasty, more precisely, under Psammetichus."
 
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Nov 2015
33
Memphis
After the Asiatic Persians had finally entered into Kemet, and sacked Thebes in the south where most of the aboriginal black population resided they migrated into what was Meroetic Nubia-Kush were the next seat of African civilization sat for a few centuries. The Greeks and then the Romans came into an already pounded Kemet, and attempted to move on the ancient treasure trove of the World Nubia further to the south. When Alexander was noted to make the attempt noted by an ancient Greek scholar interestingly, he was essentially punked out when he saw that Africans were not playing, and his divide and conquer would not work there.







"The wildly accepted view one given by Chancellor Williams who wrote ”The Destruction of Black Civilization” is that upon hearing Alexander the great coming Empress Candace, or Amanirenas, gathered her black troops, lined them up across the first cataract along with herself and stood on top of two African Elephants on a throne and waited for Alexander to show up. Alexander the “great”, didn’t want to chance a loss and give up his undefeated winning streak. He definitely didn’t want to lose it to a woman so once seeing the black Queen on her Elephants and her black armies along with her, Alexander the “great” halted his armies at the first cataract, and turned back up into Egypt. Once he saw the deadly military tactician in all her glory and her black army with the latest iron weapons, he decided against an invasion and turned around.

The other view offered by William Leo Hansberry says that Alexander met semi-privately with Candace. Legend has it that Candace advised Alexander to leave the region immediately and if he refused, after defeating his army, she would cut off his head and roll it down a hill. You use your imagination and pick which one happened!"


The Alexander account makes sense due to the known fact that Nubia was essentially where the original "Egyptian" or more correctly Kemetic inhabitants migrated to after the Persian invasion, and sacking of the southern town of Thebes. These Africans in Nubia were known throughout the World as the treasurer trove of the ancient World's most valuable raw materialsincluding gold, sacred ostrich feathers, frankincense, iron and myrrh etc etc. Of course if Alexander was any kind of conqueror he at least considered the taking the most land of Africa at the time. His divide and conquer schemes however would not have worked against the Africans, many of whom were already hip to the tactics of the European and Asiatic foreigners from when the encountered them in Kemet earlier.

The Empress Candace Of Ethiopia, 332 BC, Who Humiliated Alexander The Greek! | Urban Intellectuals

 

johnincornwall

Ad Honorem
Nov 2010
7,682
Cornwall
Such detail on stuff so long ago!

And there's me struggling with reconciling medieval sources 2000 years later!
 
Dec 2012
373
the idea that Egyptians are black africans is simply wrong, the amount of invaders entering into Egypt each time whether they be arabs, turks, greeks or Persians would be very small in number compared to the native population and would not genetically effect the native population in any meaningful sense
 

Naomasa298

Forum Staff
Apr 2010
35,243
T'Republic of Yorkshire
the idea that Egyptians are black africans is simply wrong, the amount of invaders entering into Egypt each time whether they be arabs, turks, greeks or Persians would be very small in number compared to the native population and would not genetically effect the native population in any meaningful sense

We do not discuss genetics on this forum.
 
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