Archive for November 2018

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 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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[Archived] “Great Men Undone by Weakness”

From the Director:
This article, originally published in 2018, has been replaced by an updated version, because the text below relied on and promoted anti-Black scholarship on Cleopatra and accepted white supremacist concepts of race. This was pointed out by Professor Shelley Haley (Hamilton College) in lecture at Durham University. I have preserved the original here as an illustration of how essential a critical understanding of the history and theory of race is to the practice of anti-racist scholarship.
– Curtis Dozier, Director of Pharos

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

From the Director:
This is an updated version of an article that I wrote for Pharos in 2018. As pointed out by Professor Shelley Haley in a lecture at Durham University, the original relied on and promoted anti-Black scholarship on Cleopatra and accepted white supremacist concepts of race. As Prof. Haley noted, my discussion of race was much less well-informed than my discussion of misogyny, as is frequently the case with white feminists. This ignorance made it easy for unquestioned white supremacist perspectives derived from my acculturation as a white person and from my training as a Classical Scholar to lead me to lend academic respectability to anti-Blackness. The original post is available here as an illustration of what that complicity looks like. I would like to thank Professor Haley for applying her expertise, time, and energy to Pharos and to acknowledge the harm the original article has done.
-Curtis Dozier, Director of Pharos

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