Even before Romulus, the son of Mars founded Rome in 735 B.C., the ancient capital of Cush (Ethiopia) was thriving along the Nile River. Blacks and Ethiopia have been mentioned favorably, reverently and more than any other nations. Most of the gods of Greece had African origins. Herodotus the most famous and most thorough of Greek historians said, “Almost all of the names of Greek gods came into Greece from Egypt.” (Egypt has been described as the daughter of Ethiopia.). Zeus the father of all gods was of Ethiopian ancestry. Zeus sired a mulatto son named Epaphus. Famed tragic poet Aschylus said of Zeus, “and thou shall bring forth Black Epaphus.” Io bore him after she arrived at the banks of the Nile. One of the tittles of Zeus was Ethiop, which meant black. Hercules had African origins. The Goddess Diana of Attica was black and Ethiopian. It was Apollo who took her away from her country. It was the Greek city of Corinth where a Black Venus was adorned and worshipped. The black virgin Isis was worshipped many centuries after the advent of Christianity. Processions to her honor marched through the streets of Rome as late as 394 A.D. evidently; African women became the favorite of Greek poets. Some writers contend that ancient Greeks chose an African princess to represent Minerva, their goddess of wisdom.
Ethopians are found in Homer’s Illiad and Oddesy, as well as in the works of Euripides, Herodotus, Aeschylus and Hesoid. Homer stressed that black Ethiopians were the dominant people in India, Asia and in their own country. After the age of Pericles, the fifth century before Christ, classical literature reached its peak. Ethiopia and its people were favorite and familiar topics with leading poets, historians and geographers.
Africans were called the favorites of gods and the most just of men. According to Dr. William Metford, in his book History of Greece, there were Ethiopian colonies in Greece. The oracle of Delphi had Negroid features. History remembers the Ethiopian king from Meroe who came to aid the Trojans in the defense of Troy. George Wells Parker claims that the great Greek years were due to African influence. We have seals of Queen Tiyi, the Sudanese grandmother of Tutankhamen, and Axamenophis III, his grandfather. These seals describe the Greek civilization and also told of the Blacks who educated the Greeks. Thucydides claims that Attica was founded by an African named Cecrops. Great Greek scholars and scientist who were taught by black Africans and Egyptians included Thales of Miletus, Pythagoras of Samos, Archimedes of Sicily, Diodorus, Homer, Solon, Aristotle and Lycurgas. Euphorus (405 B.C.) was so impressed that he called them the most mighty and numerous people of the known world. Herodotus said, “That country (Egypt) contains more wonders than any other country and may vie with all other regions in the work it exhibits, admirable beyond the powers of description.” Diodorus says, “Egypt excels all other places in magnificent structures.” Philostrates referred to Blacks as “Charming Ethiopians with wooly hair.” Democrates learned astrology in Egypt and the Greeks learned agriculture and lettering from the Egyptians. Telecles and Theodorus learned sculpture.
From the beginning of the Punic Wars (264 B.C.), through Rome’s mightiest years until its decline, Blacks had an active role in Roman society. They were citizens, soldiers, military leaders, teachers, writers, slaves, chariot drivers and racers and artisans. Romans designed, printed and distributed coins bearing African heads during the reign of Caesar Agustus. They were used until the fourth century after Christ. The great sport of Romans involving wild animals mean that the tigers, lions, panthers were shipped to Rome from Africa. There was at least two African born Roman generals. One of them is said to have become Emperor of Rome, the Sudanese Septimus Severus. He was the first native African to rule this expansive empire. Roman coins, which were skillfully made, showed the expression of Severus as being somber. These coins were circulated until the forth century after Christ. Septimus died dramatically in 211 A.D. at York in Britain. It is written that Septimus asked to see the urn that would contain his own ashes after his death and cremation. Septimus spoke to the urn and said, “you are about to contain the ashes of a man for whom the world was too small.” Lucius Quietus also a Sudanese, served under Emperor Marcus Ulpius Trajanus (98-117 A.D.).
So as we investigate the history of Blacks and Africans, we see that Africans hold significant places throughout time, the world and in history. Africans were gods who were worshiped in as well as outside of their own country. Africans had positive influences throughout the world, they were respected as historians, teachers, artisans, kings and military leaders. They were respected as people.