Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The Dubious Term Called Westernization - IV

The following figure (Via Quetzalcoatl Anthropology forum) clearly demonstrates the West Asian(pre-Semitic or Semitic) contribution to Greek genepool. Greeks have been hailed as founders of "Western Civilization". Considering their genetic make up(autosomal but we can also take into account high J2a among Greeks which is also responsible for Semitic Introgression in Hindu thoughts).

At K=6 Greeks are similar to Jews who are close to Middle Eastern population. The so-called Western civilization got its ideas from Middle Eastern population. Similarly, every society can get ideas from other societies and develop its own identity just like West which has never been called Asian civilization or people have been called Asianized. They escaped from the ignominy as there were none to record that history. So people commit a fallacy if they call people who get ideas from Europe, Westernized.

1 comment:

Maju said...

You're mixing genetics with culture. And Neolithic Middle East with Historical (post-Sumerian and Semitic) one.

For me it's clear that Greece has a strong Western Asian genetic component and that's probably due to Neolithic colonization - the how it happened is somewhat obscure, as Thessalian Neolithic (the core of most European Neolithic) is quite old and shows one of the earliest potteries in the region.

But in that time it seems that some of the cultural traits that make up historical and modern Middle East, specially the intense Patriarchy, were not present at all. Even such late groups as Minoans or Etruscans (of very likely Aegean origin) women had a high social status compared with Indo-Europeans, be these Greeks or Latins.

So does Europe have a strong Middle Eastern influence. Sure. Not just Greece but all the continent (that btw is traditonally Christian, a Jewish sect, for the most part). Europe suffered strong Western Asian influence (via pre-IE Greece, and maybe pre-Semitic Lebanon) in the Neolithic, in the Chalcolithic and Early Bronze from Troy and Cyprus, and probably also suffered that same process (via IE Greece and Semitic Lebanon) in the Iron Age and later. In better known historical times, Jews and Muslims (originally Arabs) exerted their influence over European culture as well. And much of ancient Greco-Roman culture was preserved by Muslims (for instance Aristotle, as Christians were strongly biased towards quasi-fascist idealistic Platonism).

While IE Greek influence is very important for modern and historical European culture and identity, actually Neolthic and later pre-IE Greece was maybe as important or even more. Agriculture and metallurgy came from the Aegean basically.

But... modern European culture (both Christian and secularist) draws on ancient Greece (and related Roman culture) more strongly than modern Middle Eastern (Muslim) culture that is actually more attached to Persian (and therefore Sumerian) background.

Sumer doesn't seem to have any significative influence in Europe except via Judaism-Christianity. While its legacy is very visible in all West Asia. This may be a difference.

Still I'd be wary of drawing any tight lines based on that. The cultural Europe-West Asia divide is rather recent and caused by the religious struggle between Christianity and Islam. For long there were no Europeans but Christians... but eventually both concepts became nearly the same (with few exotic exceptions). And hence the concept of Europe was born (and, ironically, Christianity then relegated to a dark corner by healthy skepticism).

Some Muslim cultural elements, like the most outrageous female dressing usages are actually of Greek origin. Modern Greeks might laugh at that but it's in their culture where such extreme covers for femenine bodies were extended once and where Muslims drew such ideas from.

In any case in Roman and pre-Roman times, the cultural divide was between civilized (central) and barbarian (peripheric) peoples. Europe was just a geographical concept (even if there was maybe some cultural divide, very minor, between IEs and Semites).

As someone suggested, if some specially wise sage would have forecasted to Romans that the barbaric Britons or Germans or Arabs would rise to the top positions of power and culture one day, they would have laughed with disbelief. Such peoples were then just the marginal elements around a civilization that was basically Mediterranean and Asian. The Oecumene (the important part of the world, as they saw it) was not any continent but a region stretching from Gibraltar to India, from the Danub to the Sahara.