“Warrior” apparel invokes antiquity for violent White Nationalism

Warrior XII” sells t-shirts and other apparel that “embrac[e] the warrior mindset and the essence of what it means to stand on the thin blue line, serve in our military, or simply be a patriotic American.” The “12” of “Warrior XII” is a slang term for police. Their designs include slogans such as “I’ll control my guns, you control your kids”; “If you can’t be safe, be deadly”; and “Die a Hero, or live long enough to become the villain.” Warrior XII also sells several shirts that invoke classical antiquity, including designs such as “Spartan Helmet,”  “American Spartan,” and “SPQR.” As Pharos has documented, both the Spartans and SPQR are favorite sources of inspiration for white nationalists, and on closer inspection what might at first seem to be nothing more than a line of shirts for gun enthusiasts turns out to be a platform for xenophobia and coded white supremacy.

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Ancient fables said to prove that all women are “inveterate liars and deceivers”

One of the foundations of misogyny is a set of generalizations about women that justify their oppression. Authors in the misogynist and increasingly violent “Men’s Rights Movement” like to prop up their hateful view of women by pointing to ancient evidence as “proof” that these generalizations are true. In an article entitled “No Fable,” the misogynist Douglas Galbi, whose personal webpage and contributions to A Voice for Men have been documented on Pharos, cites the example of the ancient Greek woman Thais to argue that all women are deceptive and value material wealth over everything else. Like the rest of Galbi’s work, this article is meant to support one of the fundamental (and fundamentally wrong) claims of contemporary misogynists, that it is men, not women, who are oppressed in what Galbi calls today’s “gynocentric” culture, and that this oppression has very old, even ancient, roots.

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Pursuit of truth said to be unique to the “White West”

Altright.com is a website founded by white nationalist Richard Spencer that Pharos has previously documented. An article on the site entitled “The Will to Truth” argues that white Europeans should be considered superior to “the darker races” because “men of white descent” are the only ones who value the “Socratic idea of truth,” a possession that Europeans can “trace back, with justice, to our very origins in Ancient Greece.” It goes on to argue that “Should the White West perish, the love of truth perishes with it.” Read More→

Announcing Pharos’s Onomasticon of Classical Pseudonyms and Avatars

This week Pharos is launching a new initiative: the Onomasticon of Classical Pseudonyms and Avatars. It’s a list of names and images taken from Greco-Roman antiquity and used by those who espouse hateful politics. Many of these are authors who publish under classical names or use classicizing avatars on the sites Pharos documents. Others are people who leave comments on those sites (these are listed at the bottom of the Onomasticon’s list). Some, like “Lysander” or “Carnifex“, are figures who have attracted broader media attention. All of them are attempting to use the prestige of Greco-Roman antiquity to dignify their regressive views. An “onomasticon” is an index of names related to a particular theme; several ancient and medieval examples survive, such as Eusebius’ index of places mentioned in the gospels, or Pollux’s list of words and phrases in the Attic dialect of ancient Greek.  Read More→

The First Year of Pharos

by Curtis Dozier, Director of Pharos

The end of this month will be the one-year anniversary of the launch of Pharos: Doing Justice to the Classics. I started the site as an experiment to try to raise awareness of what hate groups were saying about Greco-Roman antiquity online and to create a platform for classical scholars to point out the errors, distortions, and sometimes outright lies that underlie those appropriations. And I had a further goal: to try to articulate politically progressive and inclusive ways of talking about the ancient world as an answer Donna Zuckerberg’s call to “seek better reaesons for studying Classics” than the traditional notion of Greco-Roman antiquity as the “foundation of Western Civilization” that all the hate groups Pharos documents rely on as the bedrock of their admiration of the ancient world.

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White Nationalist celebrates “European” Philosophers

Eurocanadian.ca is a white nationalist site devoted to the “promotion and defense of the ethnic interests of European Canadians.” Pharos previously documented a review on this site of a book arguing that ancient Greek homosexuality is “a myth”, but the site also contains original content about antiquity, such as a ranking of  seventy-five of the “greatest” philosophers entitled “Greatest Philosophers are ALL European Men.” It’s a textbook example of confirmation bias: the author presents the list as a scholarly assessment but is really only interested in “proving” the intellectual and racial superiority of Europeans.

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Mark Antony and Cicero, “great men undone by weakness”

Michael Sebastian is a misogyinst blogger whose site, Honor and Daring, features articles such as “How to turn your wife from a feminist into a traditional woman.”  He has also contributed articles to the misogynist site Return of Kings, such as “Why are so many women sluts?” in which he complains about contraception and Hollywood’s “Pro-Slut Agenda.” Another of his pieces on this site, “Powerful men who were undone by weakness”, presents “the lives of great, or nearly great, men who failed so that we can avoid making the same mistakes.” His examples include the ancient Roman statesmen Cicero and Mark Antony, for whom “failure” turns out to mean sharing power with a woman. It reads like little more than a clichéd interpretation of history until it turns to white supremacy and neo-Fascism.

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“Gladiator” calls for New Roman Legion to save “the West”

A Dream that was Rome is a site containing “writings on man, masculinity, and the emerging patriarchal renaissance” composed by someone who calls himself “Maximus” in imitation of the fictional character in the film Gladiator. Like other sites Pharos has documented, A Dream that was Rome begins with the assumption that the modern “West” is in decline, and prescribes that women and men should “come together as partners, not equals” in order to “heal the damage done by feminism to heterosexual relations between men and women.” But rather than invoke antiquity itself in support of its misogyinst politics, A Dream that was Rome looks no further back in history than the release of Ridley Scott’s film.

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Misogynists want to emulate Ares, not Hephaestus

Return of Kings is a misogynistic site that Pharos has previously documented. Before it announced it would no longer publish new content due to falling site revenue, it published an article entitled “Alpha Fux Beta Bux Even Held True in the Times of Ancient Greece” arguing that the story from Greek mythology of Aphrodite’s affair with Ares is an “allegory for red pill concepts” that sites like Return of Kings claim reveal the (always misogynist) “truths” about women. Identifying such allegories in ancient material is worthwhile, according to the post, because they provide one of the “best guards” against the modern “assault on manhood perpetuated by feminized elites.”

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Blog uses Roman “Virility” to Advocate Sexual Assault. Was it Satire? Does it Matter?

Mitchell Langbert is a professor of business at Brooklyn College who maintains a personal blog focused primarily on conservative and libertarian politics. A week before Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed as an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court amid accusations of attempted rape and sexual assault, Langbert published a post arguing that “if someone did not commit sexual assault in high school, then he is not a member of the male sex” and that “having committed sexual assault in high school ought to be a prerequisite for all appointments, judicial and political.” Langbert went on to invoke classical antiquity as proof that sexual violence against women should be acceptable: Kavanaugh’s critics, he said, lack the “virility, a sense of decency, or the masculine judgment that has characterized the greatest civilizations,” among which Langbert listed “classical Athens” and “republican Rome.” Langbert’s post has been denounced by the Provost of Brooklyn College and by the faculty of the Brooklyn College Department of Classics. Read More→

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