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By William Edward Hartpole Lecky

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Extra info for History of European morals from Augustus to Charlemagne

Sample text

The only undisputed reverse cases that have impacted on recorded world history are the domination by the Moors over the lighter-skinned Iberians (tenth to fourteenth/fifteenth centuries) and that of the very dark Cushites (Aethiopians) over the less dark Egyptians (circa the fifth century BC). As we know, Moorish domination in south-western Europe was itself relatively quickly reversed. The Iberians in fact immediately thereafter began their colonial and enslavement adventures in Africa. We shall see later that these two events may constitute an important factor that could help to account for some slight differences in black/white and Amerindian/white relations among the Iberians (Spanish and Portuguese) when compared with the English, Dutch and French.

The "roast breadfruit" and the "oreo" seem to have existed at all times. One of the most famous early Ethiopian Christian Fathers, Abba Moses, dressed in white vestments for his ordination at the beginning of the fifth century AD, is said to have wondered whether he was as white inwardly as he was (his clothing, that is) outwardly. Snowden talks about "this tradition of outer blackness and inner whiteness" (1983, 103). According to Snowden, the most we can impute to the Greeks and Romans is a "somatic norm image.

There, before the advent of European colonization and imperialism, lighter-skinned people from the north and west dominated darkerskinned people of the south and installed a colour prejudice in favour of light skin colour. This prejudice became reinforced under European colonialism and imperialism. 26 RACE AND E T H N I C I T Y The preference for white or light skin colour seems to be intimately linked to the general domination by people of northern regions over people of southern regions, whether it be in Europe, Asia, or Africa.

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