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17:30 - 19:00 9 March 2016

The 'Jewish Indian Theory’: the problem of the origin of the American populations

Location

Gustave Tuck Lecture Theatre | Wilkins Building (link Map)
Gower St | London | WC1E 6BT | United Kingdom

Open to: Academic | Alumni | Public | Student
Admission: Free
Ticketing: Pre-booking essential

Speaker information

Nathan Wachtel, Emeritus Professor, College de France

With the discovery of an unknown continent during the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries not only was a radical change brought about in traditional representations of the world. The West was now also faced with the revelation of the existence of another humankind, an ‘otherness’ all the more radical because even the possibility of its existence had never been imagined. Numerous questions now came to the fore: what were the origins of these savages (labelled from the start as ‘Indians’ following on Columbus’ original mistake); how had this continent come to be inhabited?

Chroniclers, theologians and cosmographers proposed numerous answers: the population of the Americas could be the result of migrations of all kinds: Egyptians, Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Vikings, Tartars and Chinese.


Contact

Oscar Martinez
+44 (0)20 3108 9721 | ucl-ia@ucl.ac.uk


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