December 22, 2003


-REVIEW: of GREEK GODS, HUMAN LIVES: What We Can Learn From Myths by Mary Lefkowitz (Oliver Taplin, NY Times Book Review)

Web rumor has it that ''Troy,'' Wolfgang Petersen's big-budget Hollywood version of the ''Iliad,'' will be godless. The screenwriter David Benioff has apparently decided to jettison Zeus and the whole Olympian apparatus. And he has a point, surely. How can you transplant that part awesome, part trivial extended family of self-centered hedonists into a realistic movie? Some may recall the gods in ''Clash of the Titans'': Laurence Olivier and a cluster of stars looked like World War I generals at a toga party as they petulantly shoved armies and fleets around a map of the world. Or suppose you turn the gods into eerie special effects: they would seem like extraterrestrial psychic forces from ''Star Trek.'' In our day the Greek gods make humans look like either pawns or robots.

Benioff is quoted as saying, ''The classicists are not going to like it.'' That is to turn classicists into a much more unanimous bunch than they are in reality. But there is at least one distinguished professor who will not like a godless ''Iliad'' at all -- Mary Lefkowitz of Wellesley College. Her thought-provoking new book, Greek Gods, Human Lives, is precisely an attempt to write the gods back into Greek myths. She maintains that modern accounts concentrate on the human dimension of these extraordinarily resilient tales, with a distorting playing down of the divine. Joseph Campbell -- whose highly influential hero (''The Hero With a Thousand Faces'') is presumably still waiting for the lights to change on the corner of 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue -- is perhaps her central target.

Considering how badly she brutalized her last target--Afrocentrism--perhaps it's for the best that Mr. Campbell has passed on.

-EXCERPT: First Chapter of GREEK GODS, HUMAN LIVES: What We Can Learn From Myths by Mary Lefkowitz

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 22, 2003 9:57 PM

Always amusing to see journalists wetting their toes in classicism. Yowtch! That water's cold!

You'd think E.R. Dodds never gave a lecture.

Posted by: Harry Eagar at December 23, 2003 1:41 AM

A godless Iliad?

Maybe he can produce a whale-free "Moby Dick" next......

Posted by: carl at December 23, 2003 8:20 AM


You didn't quote the strangest part of the review, where the reviewer states "In a world without gods we should still strive to display our humanity." I was surprised. I figured that it would be too juicy a target to resist.

Posted by: DW at December 23, 2003 10:02 AM

Ms. Lefkowtiz, why does humanity (White people) in particular hold onto lies when it comes to history? Did you not think that God would open the eyes of His children? We are all His children and He is not accepting the lies that the Indo European has given the world. No, love the Greeks philosophy did come from Ancient BLACK Egyptians....whether you like it or not. Books like yours is just another attempt to keep the Truth held from the world, but I love God...He gives the Truth to everyone and He is awakening His children. I am sorry that you are in Denial, but I pray that the Most High blesses you with unconditional love that goes beyond color and embrace the full Truth. Because when we deny ourselves, we deny Him. Research deeper and you will see that every philosophy, invention, science, spiritualilty, came from the cradle of Ancient Nubia ("Isle of the Blessed") as it was called by the Greeks! The Greeks learned everything they know of from the Ancient Black Egyptians/Kamits....and there is proof, because God's Truth always prevails. God is taking all humanity to a new level in Him, but we must stop fighting the inevitable and began healing ourselves with His Love and His Truth.. "Truth has no color, it simply is."

The bottomline is that many so called historians cannot truly research history due to racism and fear.

Posted by: at June 26, 2004 7:48 AM

Check out these sites for further wisdom:

Many of you seem to think black historians like Yosef ben Jochannan are just "making this up", that is so funny. The time that we are living in ignorance is not bliss, God needs for ALL of us to awaken to our true selves. No more holding onto the mentality "I am better than you..." My Indo European brothers and sisters...let it go. We have heard of the inferiority/superority concepts from you for years....and it is not of God. Life is not about a competition of whose better, but about recognizing our similairites and embracing the FULL Truth, many Whites cannot because your history is based upon lies, and you are afraid to walk hand and hand with people of color due to a superiority complex. I thank God for those White authors like Gerald Massy and Count Volney who are not afraid of Truth, because they researched and truly wanted to know. Like I said, Truth has no color, it simply is." it is time to move forward.

Posted by: at June 26, 2004 7:57 AM

There is no Black history or White history, but the history of the Truth. Why are we afraid to pay homage to African people? Why? Give one good reason other than stating the obvious. Count Volney said it best (a White author) "this race of Black the very race to which we owe our arts, sciences, and even our speech...A race of men rejected now for their Black skin and woolly hair founded on the study of the laws of Nature, those civil and religious systems that govern the universe..."

Posted by: Leslie Kee at June 26, 2004 8:02 AM
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