origin of the Greek culture
For centuries, scholars
have identified the Greek culture as the source of the western civilisation.
But what if the Greek culture itself was a legacy – a colony –
of the ancient Egyptians?
still teach that the Western civilisation is a child of Greece. Until
a few decades ago, many schools did not mention the cultural achievements
of Egypt or Sumer – and many schools in Europe still pay no attention
to the Inca’s, Toltecs, etc. But when it comes to the Greek and
Egyptian civilisations, it was made painfully clear that the Egyptian
civilisation was “primitive” when compared to the cultural
and specifically philosophical achievements of the Greeks.
This situation is now slowly beginning to change, though the chasm between
the Greek and Egyptian culture remains. Though geographically both countries
are close to each other, and whereas many Greeks would later travel
to Egypt, it is assumed that the Egyptians, a civilisation that predates
the Greek civilisation by two millennia, never used that time to sail
in the opposite direction. Though the ancient Egyptians had seaworthy
boats – e.g. the funerary boat in the boatpit on the Gizeh plateau
– the status quo is that they never sailed the Mediterranean Seas
Richard Poe in “Black Spark,
White Fire” argues that the assumption that the ancient Egyptians
did not sail across the Mediterranean Sea is a carefully constructed
scientific myth. Evidence that the ancient Egyptians did just that is
similar to the volume of evidence that the Phoenicians and Minoans sailed
that sea. Scientists willingly accept those cultures’ seafaring
capability, yet illogically limit the ancient Egyptians’ capability
to do the same.
Still, there is powerful evidence to show that the Egyptians did venture
beyond the Nile. It is also known that they possessed a large fleet.
And Thor Heyerdahl showed that even their “primitive boats”
were able to master the currents of the oceans – thus very well
equipped to master the much calmer waters of the Mediterranean Sea.
same veil of ignorance is maintained when it comes to philosophy.
Both Plato and Pythagoras, identified as icons of Greek philosophy,
stated that they and other great Greek philosophers had studied
and learned that knowledge in Egypt. Many had studied many years
at Egyptian schools, to return to Greece as the “first philosophers”.
Thales of Milete
wrote that Thales of Milete had to make it clear to Pythagoras that
the latter had to go to Memphis, in Egypt, to study. Thales added that
it were the Egyptian priests that were a veritable source of knowledge
and information. Thales stated this at a time when he himself was Greece’s
most famous and applauded philosopher, even though it would be his protégé
Pythagoras who is currently best remembered as the “first philosopher”.
After Socrates’ death, Plato left for Egypt, where he studied
for a period of 13 years. His mentor was Sechnuphis, a priest of Heliopolis
(modern Cairo and thus near the Great Pyramid).
Years afterwards, Strabo would travel through Egypt. His Egyptian guide
showed him where Plato had lived. It was how Plato learned the fable
of Thoth and Amun, which he wrote down in Phaedros. Despite its clearly
Egyptian source, many “scholars” interpreted that treatise
as a “typically Greek” text. They “explained”
their anomalous thinking by arguing that the Greeks “bragged”.
They argued that the Greeks wanted to make their philosophy appear to
be much older than it actually was. Though possible, it is clear that
the available evidence (of which we have not even presented one percent)
in this case does not warrant such a conclusion. If the Greeks stated
they learned their philosophy from the Egyptians, why not simply accept
The answer is clear: whereas the ancient Greeks were completely comfortable
with their inheritance of the Egyptian philosophy, modern scholars were
not. As a result, they have had to jump through hoops to explain certain
of Plato’s writings.
many will look towards the story of Atlantis and its Egyptian source,
it is actually Plato’s philosophy that is the best example of
this anomaly. Plato stated that many souls of the deceased reincarnated,
both in animals and humans. This concept was unknown in Greece, where
it was believed that death signalled the end; only an “underworld”
lay behind the veil of death. It were the Egyptians who believed that
death was only a passing, the soul continuing to exist beyond that event.
myths take the evidence further. They clearly state that the first “Greeks”
were Egyptians, who had colonised the Greek isles and mainland. Diodorus
Siculus wrote that Kekrops originated from Egypt and founded Athens
as a colony of the Egyptian town of Sais. The goddess Athena was in
truth the Egyptian Neith, matron of the city of Sais. Two Greek families,
the Eumolpidae and the Ceryces, were said to descend from Egyptian priests.
The two families were tasked with the rituals of the goddess Athena.
They stated: “and their offerings and their old ceremonies were
practiced by the people of Athens in the same manner as it was held
with the ancient Egyptians. [These two families] are the only Greeks
who swear to Isis and they resemble both facially and in mannerisms
Martin Bernal adds that Neith was written as “Ht” in Egyptian.
This was pronounced “Ath” or “At”. This means
that even in Sais, the ancient goddess Neith was addressed as “Athanait”,
with the Greeks later chosing to call the “nait” ending
for Neith, rather than the “Athan” for “Athena”.
Such verbal gymnastics aside, it is known that the Greek writer Charax
of Pergamon, in ca. 200 AD, wrote that the inhabitants of Sais referred
to their town as “Athenai”.
from Athens, Dodona was another Egyptian idea. Herodotus wrote that
the Greeks knew and stated that the Mysteries of Dodona originated in
Egypt. On his travels in Egypt, the priests told him that two priestesses
were abducted by the Phoenicians. One of these victims was said to have
founded the sanctuary of Dodona. Herodotus thus stated that both in
Greece and in Egypt, he heard repeatedly how the Greek civilisation
was a child of the Nile. How do scholars approach this conundrum? Herodotus
was duly given the reputation of being a “liar” –
a worse fate than Plato suffered, who is only labelled as having “imagined
an ideal world” when he spoke of Atlantis.
it is said that the Mysteries of Demeter in Eleusis were also of Egyptian
origin. They were traced back to Erechteus, who was said to have created
the Mysteries at Eleusis as a copy of the Mysteries of Isis and Osiris.
But, once again, scholars argued that the Greeks were wrong. After all,
was it not known that all myths and legends were not based in reality,
but in flights of fancy?
Who created the “veil of
ignorance” that guards over the separation of ancient Greece and
Egypt as a scientific Iron Curtain? The answer is to be found at the
end of the 19th century, and the racial situation of that era. The central
question is what race the ancient Egyptians were. The relationship between
blacks and white Europeans was a powerful social issue in the United
States and Great Britain; in 1879, Britain ruled one quarter of the
world. It was at this time that scholars began to awaken to the realisation
that the Egyptians possessed a powerful culture; it was at this time
that Greece was identified as the cradle of western civilisation. It
were largely white scholars who would do anything to make sure that
blacks would find no place in history… after all, it could lead
to serious social consequences. Blacks surely could never be at the
roots of that wonderful Greek civilisation? That “had” to
be erroneous. It was simply impossible…
However, the argument was difficult to maintain, and even the myth of
Atlantis was called into play to try and salvage the problematic situation:
if Atlantis had existed, it would have been a “white race”,
and it was this “white race” that had settled into Egypt
and had given the native black people its civilisation, its culture
and its philosophy. Problem solved…
This attitude is the opposite
of the Greek attitude, however difficult it is to believe, after more
than a century of brainwashing about ancient Greek thinking. The Greeks
had no problem in stating their knowledge originated from an African
origin; nowhere do they make references to “white deities”
or “white leaders” amongst the black culture that gave them
Poe and other analysts argue that modern archaeology, shaped as it is
by western thinking, cannot live with the concept that the Greek culture
– and western civilisation as a whole – is a legacy of black
Egypt. This has resulted in almost hilarious debates as to how the ancient
Egyptians could not possibly be African – or a more general attitude
that seems to prevail today, which leaves their racial identity unspecified.
After all, the Arab race is now the predominant race in Egypt (specifically
in the north), and references such as “our ancestors” often
imply that the ancient Egyptians were Arabs.
facts are vastly different and radically speak against any such revisionist
thinking. The Greek city of Thebes was founded by two brothers, Amphion
and Zethos. They were claimed to be the sons of Zeus, with a mortal,
known as Antiope. It was a typically Egyptian concept for the king to
state that he was born of god. This was purely symbolic – but
it should be realised that it was symbolic for the ancient Greeks also.
In 1971, Greek archaeologist Theodore Spyropoulos began his dig on the
Amphion hill, which was the legendary burial place of the twins. He
soon discovered a stone chamber, deep within the funerary mound. It
contained jewellery, including four golden hangers in the shape of lilies…
a typically Egyptian motif. He also discovered a vaulted tunnel that
ran in several directions. Spyropoulos labelled it a “typically
Egyptian tomb”. Further research showed that the tomb dated back
to 2900-2400 BC, placing this Greek discovery as a veritable anomaly:
there was no Greek civilisation at this time… though there was
already an Egyptian civilisation.
It was not the first archaeological discovery that showed such evidence.
Greek legend holds that an Egyptian king Danaos landed in Apobathmi,
in the Peloponnesus with a great fleet. He made himself ruler and ordered
the natives to call themselves "Danaans". Homer states that
the Greeks do not call themselves Greeks or Hellenes, but Danaans. Coincidence?
In Graeco-Roman times, tourists made pilgrimages to Apobathmi and even
went as far as to argue that the exact date of the landing can be dated
to 1511 BC, using an inscription on the Parian Marble.
Several Egyptian pharaohs claimed ownership over “Haunebut”,
which means "Behind the Islands." The Greek portion of the
Rosetta Stone text clearly translates the phrase Haunebu – meaning
"the people of Haunebut" – as Greek or Hellene. And
Greece does lie "behind the islands" of the Aegean Sea, when
viewed from Egypt. Thutmosis III boasted that he had "trussed…
the Haunebut" and struck those that lived "in the midst of
the Great Green Sea" (the Mediterranean Sea). In a single year,
he claimed to have collected 36,692 deben of gold from his conquered
subjects – the equivalent of three metric tons – of which
27,000 kilos is specifically said to have come from the Asian provinces
and the Isles in the Midst of the Great Green Sea (the Greek islands).
In 1946, Spyridon Marinatos, best known for his work on Thera (Akrotiri),
had found a series of grain silos in Boiotia. Marinatos also believed
that the Mycenaeans helped the Egyptians to expel the Hyksos and were
rewarded with the gold that has been found in the so-called shaft tombs
in Mycenae. These tombs date from the first 80 years after the expulsion
of the Hyksos. Some tombs show Egyptian influences, although the Mycenaeans
were much more careless with their dead than the Egyptians. On the topic
of the grain silos, Marinatos stated that they greatly resembled Egyptian
silos. Of course, his colleagues were unable to accept such a comparison.
One of these silos measured 30 metres high and 100 metres wide. The
entire grain production of Argolid could be stored in this complex;
only an organised state could and would resort to such a mechanism.
But Greece did not have an organised state when the silos were built
and used. The logical conclusion that the Greek land was used as a supply
of grain that was exported to Egypt was “of course” impossible,
for we all “know” that Greece’s cultural development
was completely independent of anything that happened anywhere else in
This article originally appeared in Frontier Magazine 5.3 (May-June
1999) and has been slightly adapted.