Professor Painter begins this chapter with the statement:
“What we can see depends heavily on what our culture has trained us to look for.” She goes on to talk about how the Romans began to differentiate further among people who had formerly been known as “Celts” or “barbarians.” But how might this statement challenge us as 21st century readers looking at this ancient history?
William F. Buckley wrote that, “History is the polemics of the victor,” and Painter’s presentation of the Roman historians views of the Gauls, Romani and Celts is certainly consistent with that. Here, we begin to see immutable traits being ascribed to various groups based on their willingness to be assimilated into a dominant culture. How might we imagine this history written from the perspective of the conquered?
For background on this Beyond Black and White book discussion, see the main page
The Facebook discussion of this chapter is here.
This post will take you to the prompts and Facebook discussion for the introduction and first chapter.