(SHELBURNE, Nova Scotia) — NEWS: Perusine Press celebrates Black History Month with author Procopius Canning’s deeply researched book “Ancient Black Civilizations Matter: Sort of like Wakanda, only real!” (ISBN: 979-8696570037), a fascinating survey of Blacks and Black culture in the ancient world.
Although ancient Black history has been studied extensively by specialized scholars in universities, little about the subject has been communicated to society at large by our mainstream media, Hollywood, or even high schools.
“Leaving out an entire race from ancient history is a rather egregious omission,” says Canning, and further, “it was disturbing to see some of the offenders who stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6th wear symbols from ancient Roman history as symbols of white power.”
“Ancient Black Civilizations Matter” importantly shows that such prejudice is historically fallacious and demonstrably false.
Unfortunately though, ancient Black history still remains largely hidden from both popular knowledge and professional historiography, meaning the scholarly writing and presentation of history. This book shows that people of color played a far greater role in Classical Civilizations than is commonly known amongst people today.
Ancient Black history includes the ancient Kushite Kingdom that once ruled Egypt, along with the Kingdom of Numidia, famous for its well trained and disciplined cavalry. Numidia was a nation that proved to be a valuable Roman ally in many times of conflict, but in certain other periods, it became a dreaded and fearsome enemy. Numidian warrior King Jugurtha took on, and attempted to defeat, the Roman empire in what we call the Jugurthine Wars. Historically, Jugurtha was one of ancient Rome’s greatest existential threats.
Real people and actual events present for the record the dynamic and often exciting role that Africans and people of color played in Classical Civilizations. The fascinating stories of Lusius Quietus, the first Black ancient Roman senator, and Juba, the philosopher king of Numidia, who married Cleopatra Selene, the daughter of the famous Egyptian Queen Cleopatra, in an inter-racial royal marriage ceremony that predated Harry and Meghan’s by 2,000 years, contribute to showing how Africans participated in shaping the ancient classical world. Ancient Black history includes many individuals, both men and women, who were of particular influence.
“On the topic of the famous ancient Roman empire, we know clearly that at times people of color became its rulers. For example, the Ethiopian Emperor Pescennius Niger, or the much longer lasting and influential African rulers of the Severan Dynasty,” says Canning.
This sun worshiping dynasty, lasting from 193 CE – 235 CE, was founded by Julia Domna of Syria, and Septimius Severus, of Africa. Domna’s familial ancestors were African as well, being from the same town as Septimius, Leptis Magna, a thriving seaport in the ancient African nation of Tripolitania.
While embracing long standing ancient Roman traditions, the Severans also brought numerous foreign influences with them, that many Romans eagerly adopted. This included certain fashion styles, and importantly, new theologies. Julia Domna’s father was a high priest of the Cult of Elagabal. By the late second century CE, many Romans were questioning the traditional pantheon of gods and goddesses, along with their ancient myths. They seemed to embrace much of what was new that the Severans brought with them to Rome. To the political benefit of the Severans, many Roman legions had already adopted these exotic African and Syrian influenced religions, such as the Cult of Mithras and the sun god Elagabal, the latter of which evolved into the official state cult of Sol Invictus, the invincible sun, under Emperor Aurelius in 274 CE.
The Severan Dynasty included also the Emperor Caracalla, who granted in his Constitutio Antoniniana, in the year 212 CE, Roman citizenship to the people of the African provinces. With this important edict, the population of people of color in the ancient Roman empire who were officially Roman citizens, and recognized as such, holding as Aristotle eloquently stated, “legal redress in accordance with justice” under Roman law, increased from the thousands, to well over a million. These are proportionally very significant numbers given the much smaller populations of ancient time.
Indeed, in the decades bordering the late second and early third centuries, ancient Roman history seems to be deeply intertwined with the famous ancient proverb, of unknown origin, but quoted by Erasmus, Aristotle, Pliny and others that, “semper aliquid novi Africam adferre,” meaning, “always something new out of Africa.”
For all those interested in filling a knowledge gap in the study of ancient history, “Ancient Black Civilizations Matter: Sort of like Wakanda only real!” is now available on amazon.com. here: https://a.co/d/89ybQ5x
Learn more about the author at: https://procopiuscanning.com/
Related link: https://procopiuscanning.com/
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