Archive for February 2019

An Anti-Semitic interpretation of the Saturnalia

Radix Journal is a website founded by Richard Spencer, editor of Altright.com and president of the white supremacist think tank “National Policy Institute,” both of which Pharos has documented. In January 2019 Radix Journal published an article about the Saturnalia, an ancient Roman festival that is popularly but probably erroneously believed to be the origin of Christmas. The article, entitled “Christmas, the Saturnalia and the Jewish Saturn”, makes the anti-Semitic argument that the Roman festival, and Christmas itself, commemorates a pre-historic time when “Jews or proto-Jews ruled” before “the restoration of an Aryan hegemony.”

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Update to the Onomasticon of Classical Pseudonyms and Avatars

Last fall we launched the “Onomasticon of Classical Pseudonyms and Avatars” to collect examples of people using classically-themed pen-names and images in support of hatred. This week we’ve added four more examples to our database:

  • A misogynist whose work we’ve documented before but whose choice of name — “Atlas” — we hadn’t commented on
  • A xenophobe masquerading as a stoic philosopher by using the name “Marcus Aurelius”
  • A contributor to a white supremacist website who uses the name “Titus Quintus,” which might either be a garbled version of a famous Roman general or might only be two Roman praenomina thrown together
  • A racist YouTube channel with an illegible Latin name: Verbo Tempestas

Our full discussion of each can be found in the Onomasticon itself along with the other examples we’ve documented so far.

Classical Antiquity the Go-to Trope for White Supremacist “Politician”

Augustus Sol Invictus is a white supremacist and former U.S. Senate candidate. As Pharos has documented, he admires Greco-Roman antiquity so much that he legally changed his name to one that invokes ancient Roman imperial and religious associations. Although the SPLC notes that Invictus has “faded from the scene” since he was the headline speaker at the 2017 “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, VA, nevertheless his website, The Revolutionary Conservative, continues to feature new content written by Invictus himself and other contributors, and also maintains an active presence on social media. A look at the material he has published lately reveals that both his commitment to racist politics and his belief that Classical Antiquity supports his views remain strong.

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Degrading Murals “Civilize” Native Americans with Latin Textbook

In the fall of 2018 Dartmouth College decided to remove from campus a set of murals depicting Eleazer Wheelock meeting the Native Americans living in New Hampshire, where he founded the college in 1769. The murals have drawn protests since the 1970s for their racist depiction of Native Americans and the room in which they were displayed — a dining room for faculty — was closed in 1979. Since then the murals have been accessible only by special arrangement but were still located in a central location on campus that implicitly endorsed their representation of Native Americans as unsophisticated people who need to be “civilized.” The murals explicitly make Classical education part of this “civilizing” project.

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