The fact that the first human ancestors emerged for the plains of Africa is well established. But according to some new theories, Europe was dominated by black people before the Caucasians or the white people took over. While a lot of research is left to be done on the topic, this theory can completely alter the way Africans are portrayed in the chapters of world history.
The Etruscan civilization, which was centered on Italy got established around 900 BC and archeological evidence points out that Etruscans were black people. These are the people who may have laid the first foundations of ancient Rome. In sixth century BC Caucasians from the European plains migrated in the area and after a period of strife and violence, a mixed race started inhabiting the lands.
As per legends, the Etruscans were the refugees from the city of Troy and were led by prince Aeneas after Troy fell to the Greeks. The traces of this legend can be found in The Aeneid, which is a Latin epic poem written by Virgil in the late 1st century BC. The various statues and works of art that were discovered and related to the Etruscans, reveal them as black people.
The next centuries saw a variety of political equations being played out in the region between the Phoenicians, Greeks and the Etruscans. In 474 B.C, Syracuse’s tyrant Hiero, defeated the Etruscans at the Battle of Cumae and diminishing gradually, the Etruscan, people and their culture were absorbed by the mainstream population of Rome.
Stretching from north-western Europe, to North African plains and beyond, the Roman Empire was a multicultural civilization that lasted for around 500 years. The African presence in Roman era has been well documented through multiple discoveries. In one such excavation, the University of Leicester found 83 skeletons in a Roman graveyard dating back to 2nd century AD and six of the excavated skeletons have African cranial features.
Records also indicate that during the 4th century, Colchis was called the “second Ethiopia” due to its overwhelming majority of black people.
The important aspect to be noted here that blacks were not just slaves in the Roman era but were writers, chieftains and philosophers. Emperor Septimus Severus, who ruled from AD 193 to 211 was born in Libya and was Rome’s first African emperor. Another notable figure was Lusius Quietus who was the son of a Moroccan tribal chief. He served as an officer in the Roman cavalry and later became a senator as well as the legate of Judea.
While many scholars decline any idea of the foundations of Rome being set up by Africans due to lack of genetic evidence, the same can be explained in other ways. Factors like migration, genetic drift and various others can cause the loss of ancient lineages and this has been observed in many other regions around the world. One prime example is that there is no trace of the Danes in the British genome.
At the same time DNA analysis from a few burial sites may not present the true picture of an ancient society as diverse as that of Rome.
Reconstructing the past is complicated affair but with the right level of collaboration between various disciplines, the truth about the glorious past of black people will someday be presented to the world.