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Why did the Ancient Greeks refer to Ancient Blacks (the Ethiopians) as ‘blameless’ and ‘favored by the gods’? Also, what does it mean?
(Oh, God, not Afrocentric history, anything but that.)
Afrocentric pages online say Diodorus Siculus said:
“The Aethiopians (Ethiopians) are high favored with the gods, they were the first of all men created by the gods and were the founders of the Egyptian Civilization.”
Diodorus Siculus actually says this:
Now the Ethiopians, as historians relate, were the first of all men and the proofs of this statement, they say, are manifest. […] furthermore, that those who dwell beneath the noon-day sun were, in all likelihood, the first to be generated by the earth, is clear to all; since, inasmuch as it was the warmth of the sun which, at the generation of the universe, dried up the earth when it was still wet and impregnated it with life, it is reasonable to suppose that the region which was nearest the sun was the first to bring forth living creatures.
OK. That’s not saying Greeks thought black people were better than them. That’s just a Just-So story that the equator originated all life because Heat, somehow. And it has nothing to do with the Olduwai Gorge!
And they say that they were the first to be taught to honour the gods and to hold sacrifices and processions and festivals and the other rites by which men honour the deity; and that in consequence their piety has been published abroad among all men, and it is generally held that the sacrifices practised among the Ethiopians are those which are the most pleasing to heaven. As witness to this they call upon the poet who is perhaps the oldest and certainly the most venerated among the Greeks; for in the Iliad he represents both Zeus and the rest of the gods with him as absent on a visit to Ethiopia to share in the sacrifices and the banquet which were given annually by the Ethiopians for all the gods together:
For Zeus had yesterday to Ocean’s bounds
Set forth to feast with Ethiop’s faultless men,
And he was followed there by all the gods.
That just means that Homer found the Ethiopians exotic. And again, in all likelihood the reason for that was simply the Ancient Greeks, in Homer’s time, thinking Gods = Sun = Equator = Black people.
And they state that, by reason of their piety towards the deity, they manifestly enjoy the favour of the gods, inasmuch as they have never experienced the rule of an invader from abroad; for from all time they have enjoyed a state of freedom and of peace one with another, and although many and powerful rulers have made war upon them, not one of these has succeeded in his undertaking.
We actually know very little of the History of Ethiopia before the Kingdom of Aksum. Diodorus knew very little too. And that’s hardly a strong argument for anything.
They say also that the Egyptians are colonists sent out by the Ethiopians, Osiris having been the leader of the colony. For, speaking generally, what is now Egypt, they maintain, was not land but sea when in the beginning the universe was being formed; afterwards, however, as the Nile during the times of its inundation carried down the mud from Ethiopia, land was gradually built up from the deposit.
Yeah. More Just-So stories, I fear. You can read more at the link.
As far as I can tell, everything is just exoticisation of a people who lived near the equator, and that Greeks had very little contact with. (And Diodorus wrote in the Roman era anyway.)