...with this...

If you watch he excellent Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miss_Fish…, you learn fairly early on that her classically educated father, not fully himself on the morning of her christening, had come up with "Phryne" rather than "Psyche" as her... 2/
...name. Psyche was a mythical nymph. Phryne was a real person. Phryne... equivalences are difficult, but "artists' favorite model for Aphrodite and the Kim Kardashian of her time" is not far from the mark. She offered to pay for the rebuilding of the defensive walls of... 3/
...the city of Thebes if they would inscribe on it: "Alexander pulled this down; Phryne made it stand up again" and, yes, the sexual pun is deliberate.

Phryne came to Athens as a refugee after the destruction of her native city of Thespis (yes, Foundation stole that name)... 4/
...Her name was not Phryne, however, but rather Mnesarete, the "remembrance of excellence". "Phryne" means "toad". She was called "Phryne" because her skin tone reminded the Athenians of the skin of a toad—not that it was warty (see statue), but rather that was the... 5/
...yellowish-brown that Athenians thought was the absolute height of beauty. That Polish artists of the 1800s painted her as though she had the skin tone of northern Poland does not make her so. In America in the past she would not have been coded as "white", but rather as... 6/
..."oriental", "Latin", or "Mediterranean". Indeed, today I strongly suspect that the good people of the Proud Boys of Charlottesville, VA would reject her as one of them, and classify her as some sort of mystery ethnic.

But there is more. If you had told Marcus Tullius... 7/
...Cicero, Marcus filius, Marcus filius, that he shared an ethnic identity with the rude inhabitants of the Thames Valley who lived at the furthest-east ox crossing, he would have laughed at you: he thought the Britons were too stupid and uneducated to even make good slaves... 8/
To call classical Greeks and Romans "white guys" just because British intellectuals of the Augustan and Victorian Ages were desperate to appropriate them and their high civilizational accomplishments as their own is to fall victim to a now-300 year-old grift. And to let... 9/
...the Victorian Britons' cultural appropriation of them block you from making your own cultural appropriation, and from learning from them the great deal that you can, is simply stupid.

(Yes, this is what I regard as the true core of the argument that is vastly... 10/
...overstated in the very interesting Black Athena. The classical Greeks and Romans were not us, and were not like us as well. They were profoundly alien to us, no matter how much the civilizations that had their roots in a 300-mile radius circle centered on Dover wish... 11/
...that they were us. 12/END
...and lo and behold, I find this thread has somehow lost its first tweet:

It was: "timothyburke.substack.com/p/academia-str…

"Timothy Burke: 'The program, he says, does have to focus on 'core texts', it does have to be chronological (which means that authors... 13/
...I have a rather substantial problem... 1/" 14/REAL END

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More from @delong

26 Nov

First: COVID PLAGUE: Note, first, that neither the delta variant nor the likely-to-be-called-nu variant is “South African” any more than the 1918-1920 influenza plague was “Spanish”. The South African public health authorities are doing a global... 1/
... service in tracking and analyzing, and have long been doing so, and deserve much kudos for this global service they are performing—perhaps Pfizer and Moderna could mark such kudos with more aggressive mRNA supplies for South Africa? Just a... 2/ twitter.com/jburnmurdoch

My view: we are going to need 20 billion worldwide doses of mRNA vaccine every year going forward, provided on a six-month cycle with mRNA-platform doses tuned to the most recent case data available. That means no trials: design, start manufacturing, inject... 3/
Read 11 tweets
25 Nov
Slouching Towards Utopia, forthcoming from Basic Books on September 6. 1st sentence:

What I call the “long twentieth century” started with the watershed-boundary crossing events of around 1870—the triple emergence of globalization, the industrial research lab, and the... 1/
... modern corporation—which ushered in changes that began to pull the world out of the dire poverty that had been humanity’s lot for the previous ten thousand years." 2/
Slouching Towards Utopia, forthcoming from Basic Books on September 6. 2nd sentence:

"What I call the “long twentieth century” ended in 2010, with the world’s leading economic edge, the countries of the North Atlantic, still reeling from the Great Recession that had begun... 3/
Read 4 tweets
25 Nov

First: Adam Smith’s Big Project, and the Place of His Wealth of Nations in It:

J. Bradford DeLong: Lecture Notes: Adam Smith: ‘Adam Smith starts with the observation that humans are largely but not exclusively self-interested creatures: we are... 1/
..., largely but not exclusively greedy. Yet we have a complex and sophisticated societal division of labor. And that division of labor is essential to our prosperity. Indeed, it is essential to our survival: drop one of us into the Sierra Nevada, even in summer—or even in... 2/
...our environment of evolutionary adaptation in the Horn of Africa—and we will quite likely die. Drop 100 of us, and we will quite likely survive, and even flourish. How can animals that are by nature greedy nevertheless cooperate on a large scale? That is the deep... 3/
Read 13 tweets
24 Nov
How Can I Avoid Becoming "THAT GUY" in My Old Age?; & BRIEFLY NOTED: For 2021-11-24 We, by @delong braddelong.substack.com/p/how-can-i-av…

First: As I grow older, I find myself under increasing pressure to become THAT GUY. You know:

"I do not know what Rome is coming to. Today a boy... 1/
... prostitute costs more than a sword and a jar of fancy imported fish sauce more than a spread of land or yoke of oxen can plow in a day. The Young's spend all their time learning Greek and acting in theatricals, and they even allow their wives to embrace them in public... 2/
...—even when Iuppiter Optimus Maximus is not hurling his thunderbolts. What is to become of us?…"


"The JuiceBox Mafia has no conception of how hard we have worked to preserve space for tough-minded, effective liberalism in a neoliberal age. The JuiceBox Mafia has... 3/
Read 5 tweets
20 Nov
4. Barry Eichengreen's The Populist Temptation <github.com/braddelong/pub…> is—is going to be—very harsh in its judgments on modern political movements called "populist". Does he have a more positive take on the Populist movements back before 1950? Why do you think he...
[4. cont.]... winds up taking the attitudes toward these movements that he does?...
5. Lewis: Evolution of the International Economic Order <github.com/braddelong/pub…>: How would we go about finding out whether Arthur Lewis is right in his belief that over 1870-1914 the world was divided into rich and poor countries by the workings of the global market and...
Read 22 tweets
19 Nov


**The End of Yesterday's Gillian Tett "Anthro-Vision" Event:

Brad DeLong: May I grab the moderators’s privilege to ask the last question, apropos of the return of barter?

Partha Dasgupta writes that we started out doing the... 1/
@N2PE_Network [DeLong cont.] ... division-of-labor thing with our kin and our immediate neighbors, with the division-of-labor made possible via our thick, ongoing long-time extended gift exchange relationships with those that we had good sociological reason to trust. Then we invented... 2/
[DeLong cont.] ...money. Money was liquid trust. You no longer had to know someone very well to have them be part of your division -of-labor. All 8 billion of us could be part of our division-of-labor through the non-extended one-shot gift-exchange relationships that we... 3/
Read 17 tweets

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