First let me wish all the Fathers that follow and read IST a very Happy Father’s Day. Enjoy your special day.
Yesterday I got to watch the start of 24 hrs du Le Mans……as a sports car racing fan this is a must…..I am pulling for the Ford GT and the Toyota in the “hybrid” category…..had to take a break from the race to attend my meeting…..
To celebrate the race I am preparing a Cassoulet served with a fine white Bordeaux and a baguette….very French…….oui?
The Psi Phi Society has nothing to do with science fiction or the channel on cable (SyFy)……it is just a friendly (mostly) discussion group that meets a couple times a year.
My Sunday begins and I would like to talk about the meeting of the Psi Phi Society…..we have our get together at a local steak house and hold our discussions and debates.
After our meal we settle in with a cocktail and decide what the topic will be for the evening…..the group is me and another professor, a preacher, a scientist (chemist), a nurse, a contractor and a local artist.
As you would imagine with a diverse group there would be diverse opinions on what the discuss….after about an hour of debate my fellow professor, a historian, brought up a topic that we all found interesting….what race were the Greeks and Romans? (To be honest she picked up the check for all of us as a bribe to discuss her topic)
She brought up a paper that she had read recently on this subject…..to be on equal footing we asked the owner of the steakhouse (a friend) if he would print out the paper so that we could read it and then debate…..
Recent films about ancient Greece such as Troy, Helen of Troy, and 300, have used actors who are of Anglo-Saxon or Celtic ancestry (e.g. Brad Pitt, Gerard Butler). Recent films about ancient Rome, such as Gladiator and HBO’s series Rome, have done the same (e.g. Russell Crowe). Were the directors right, from an historical point of view? Were the ancient Greeks and Romans of North European stock?
Most classical historians today are silent on the subject. For example, Paul Cartledge, a professor of Greek culture at Cambridge, writes about his specialty, Sparta, for educated but non-academic readers, yet nowhere that I can find does he discuss the racial origins of the Spartans. Some years ago I asked several classics professors about the race of the ancient Greeks only to be met with shrugs that suggested that no one knew, and that it was not something worth looking into. Today, an interest in the race of the ancients seems to be taken as an unhealthy sign, and any evidence of their Nordic origins discounted for fear it might give rise to dangerous sentiments.
The discussion went into the late evening.
I came down on the side that the Greeks were of Minoan descent because they were great seafaring people and opened up new lands for colonies and settlements….thus Romans were descendants of these people as well…therefore olive skin with dark hair.
The evening ended when I got a call from a friend in Lebanon and had to cut my evening short.
We did decide to have another meeting next month…..
If you read the paper then….what do you think?
Settling in for a good a restful day and in prep for Monday and a new week……after all it is Father’s day….I hope everyone enjoys their special day……plus the race should be ending shortly…..Peace Out……chuq