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17:30 - 19:00 9 March 2016
The 'Jewish Indian Theory’: the problem of the origin of the American populations
Gustave Tuck Lecture Theatre |
Gower St | London | WC1E 6BT | United Kingdom
Ticketing: Pre-booking essential
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.
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