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Andromeda, Ancient Ethiopian Civilization

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Andromeda, Ancient Ethiopian Civilization

In discussing the origin of civilization in the ancient Near East, Professor Charles Seignobos in his History of Ancient Civilization, notes that the first civilized inhabitants of the Nile and Tigris-Euphrates valleys, were a dark-skinned people with short hair and prominent lips; and that they are referred to by some scholars as Cushites (Ethiopians), and as Hamites by others. This ancient civilization of the Cushites, out of which the earliest cultures of Egypt and Mesopotamia grew, was not confined to the Near East. Traces of it have been found all over the world.

In modern geography the name Ethiopia is confined to the country known as Abyssinia, an extensive territory in East Africa. In ancient times Ethiopia extended over vast domains in both Africa and Asia. “It seems certain,” declares Sir E. A. Wallis Budge, “that classical historians and geographers called the whole region from India to Egypt, both countries inclusive, by the name of Ethiopia, and in consequence they regarded all the dark-skinned and black peoples who inhabited it as Ethiopians. Mention is made of Eastern and Western Ethiopians and it is probable that the Easterners were Asiatics and the Westerners Africans.” (History of Ethiopia, Vol. I., Preface, by Sir E. A. Wallis Budge.) In addition Budge notes that, “Homer and Herodotus call all the peoples of the Sudan, Egypt, Arabia, Palestine and Western Asia and India Ethiopians.” (Ibid., p. 2.) Herodotus wrote in his celebrated History that both the Western Ethiopians, who lived in Africa, and the Eastern Ethiopians who dwelled in India, were black in complexion, but that the Africans had curly hair, while the Indians were straight-haired. (The aboriginal black inhabitants of India are generally referred to as the Dravidians, of whom more will be said as we proceed.) Another classical historian who wrote about the Ethiopians was Strabo, from whom we quote the following: “I assert that the ancient Greeks, in the same way as they classed all the northern nations with which they were familiar as Scythians, etc., so, I affirm, they designated as Ethiopia the whole of the southern countries toward the ocean.” Strabo adds that “if the moderns have confined the appellation Ethiopians to those only who dwell near Egypt, this must not be allowed to interfere with the meaning of the ancients.” Ephorus says that: “The Ethiopians were considered as occupying all the south coasts of both Asia and Africa,” and adds that “this is an ancient opinion of the of the Greeks.” Then we have the view of Stephanus of Byzantium, that: “Ethiopia was the first established country on earth; and the Ethiopians were the first who introduced the worship of the gods, and who established laws.” The vestiges of this early civilization have been found in Nubia, the Egyptian Sudan, West Africa, Egypt, Mashonaland, India, Persia, Mesopotamia, Arabia, South America, Central America, Mexico, and the United States. Any student who doubts this will find ample evidence in such works as The Voice of Africa, by Dr. Leo Froebenius; Prehistoric Nations, and Ancient America, by John D. Baldwin; Rivers of Life, by Major-General J. G. R. Forlong; A Book of the Beginnings by Gerald Massey; Children of the Sun and The Growth of Civilization, by W. J. Perry; The Negro by Professor W.E.B. DuBois; The Anacalypsis, by Sir Godfrey Higgins; Isis Unveiled by Madam H. P. Blavatsky; The Diffusion of Culture, by Sir Grafton Elliot Smith; The Mediterranean Race, by Professor Sergi; The Ruins of Empires, by Count Volney; The Races of Europe, by Professor William Z. Ripley; and last but not least, the brilliant monographs of Mr. Maynard Shipley: New Light on Prehistoric Cultures and Americans of a Million Years Age.

In the study of ancient affairs, folklore and tradition throw an invaluable light on historical records. In Greek mythology we read of the great Ethiopian king, Cepheus, whose fame was so great that he and his family were immortalized in the stars. The wife of King Cepheus was Queen Cassiopeia, and his daughter, Princess Andromeda. The star groups of the celestial sphere, which are named after them are called the ROYAL FAMILY—(the constellations: CEPHEUSCASSIOPEIA and ANDROMEDA.) It may seem strange that legendary rulers of ancient Ethiopia should still have their names graven on our star maps, but the voice of history gives us a clue. A book on astrology attributed to Lucian declares that: “The Ethiopians were the first who invented the science of stars, and gave names to the planets, not at random and without meaning, but descriptive of the qualities which they conceived them to possess; and it was from them that this art passed, still in an imperfect state, to the Egyptians.” The Ethiopian origin of astronomy is beautifully explained by Count Volney in a passage in his Ruins of Empires, which is one of the glories of modern literature, and his argument is not based on guesses.

We read of Memnon, King of Ethiopia, in Greek mythology, to be exact in Homer’s Iliad,where he leads an army of Elamites and Ethiopians to the assistance of King Priam in the Trojan War. His expedition is said to have started from the African Ethiopia and to have passed through Egypt on the way to Troy.

Another great nation of Ethiopian origin was Elam, a country which stretched from the Tigris River to the Zagros Mountains of Persia. Its capital was the famous city of Susa, which was founded about 4,000 B.C., and flourished from that date to its destruction by Moslem invaders about the year 650 C.E.

We cannot devote much space to the early inhabitants of India, though they were beyond all doubt an Ethiopic ethnic type. They are described by Professor Lynn Thorndike as “short black men with almost Negro noses.” (Short History of Civilization, p. 227, New York, 1936.) Dr. Will Durant pictures these early Hindus as “a dark-skinned, broad-nosed people whom, without knowing the origin or the word, we call Dravidians.” (Short History of Civilization, Part I, p. 396, New York, 1935.)

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