Italy and the Mediterranean: Words, Sounds, and Images of - download pdf or read online

By Norma Bouchard; Valerio Ferme

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Additional resources for Italy and the Mediterranean: Words, Sounds, and Images of the Post-Cold War Era

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It is later taken up by Robert Knox and Arthur de Gobineau. In The Races of Men (1850), Knox endorsed Linnaeus’s classification and argued for the superiority of whites over other races. Most interesting for our purposes is the further breakdown that Knox proposed for white Europeans, dividing them into Celtic, Nordic, Sarmantian, and Slovenian groups. Like Knox, in Essay on the Inequality of the Human Races (1853–1855), de Gobineau propounded the superiority of whites, or Aryans, and made distinctions among white Europeans, viewing southern and eastern Europeans as degenerate—the result of a miscegenation spanning the course of centuries.

Most interesting for our purposes is the further breakdown that Knox proposed for white Europeans, dividing them into Celtic, Nordic, Sarmantian, and Slovenian groups. Like Knox, in Essay on the Inequality of the Human Races (1853–1855), de Gobineau propounded the superiority of whites, or Aryans, and made distinctions among white Europeans, viewing southern and eastern Europeans as degenerate—the result of a miscegenation spanning the course of centuries. Knox’s and de Gobineau’s views were extremely influential in England, France, and Germany, fueling the myths of Aryan supremacy and of the moral and intellectual superiority of whites over nonwhites that traverse discourses on nation and race by Thomas Carlyle and Ernst Renan among others.

Graham reminds us that the eight hundred years of the Reconquista were “a spasmodic process [ . . ] The iconic Islamic cities of Cordoba and Seville only fell to Christian forces in 1236 and 1248 respectively, while Granada held on—through negotiations—until 1492” (ibid. 78), the year Boabdil surrendered. This lengthy takeover suggests that medieval Spain was a place “in which the barrier between Islam and Christianity was a permeable one across which Christian, Muslim and Jewish influences intermingled” (ibid.

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