When the piece on “top-grade education” ran, many expressed interests on understanding at deeper level some historical elements on indigenous knowledge and technology in Africa. Prof Gloria Emeagwali left a comment which seeded a debate on how a continent with a pragmatic scientific paradigm lost its ways.
Speaking about ancient Egypt, Homer, in the Odyssey iv. p.231 (circa 850BCE) points out that Egyptian doctors ‘are the first scientists of the world.’ Pythagoras, born around 558BCE, studied for 22 years in Egypt.The Hippocratic classification of head wounds was derived from the Edwin Smith papyrus – 2,500 years after it was first written by the ancient Africans – by Hippocrates (460 – 377BCE). Hippocrates was inspired by the books in the library of the Temple of Imhotep.
Isocrates (436-338BCE) testified on the Egyptian influence on Pythagoras. For Aristotle, Egypt was the cradle of maths. See his Metaphysics.
A great deal of Plato’s references were of Egyptian origin. See Plato’s, Timaeus. Plato also studied in Egypt in the era before the occupation of Egypt by the Macedonian, Alexander the Great. For three thousand years before that, Egypt built up its Indigenous Knowledge base.
Many asked questions on LinkedIn on the early virtuoso scientific advancements Africans had recorded. Prof has shared a document (Herodotus, PDF) that could help for deeper insights on this. I have extracted some parts below. Largely, Egyptians and Ethiopians were category-king inventors and innovators before they all went into paralyses where people that created scientific wonders are now struggling on how to purify water for drinking.
. So that if there were snow in that part of the world, there would necessarily be rain too; thirdly, the natives are black because of the hot climate. Again, hawks and swallows remain throughout the year, and cranes migrate thither in winter to escape the cold weather of Scythia.
That, at least, is how I should explain the obvious impossibility of a dove using the language of men. As to the bird being black, they merely signify by this that the woman was an Egyptian. It is certainly true that the oracles at Thebes and Dodona are similar in character. Another form of divination – by the inspection of sacrificial victims – also came from Egypt.
The Egyptians did, how ever, say that they thought the original Colchians were men from Sesostris’ army. My own idea on the subject was based first on the fact that they have black skins and woolly hair (not that that amounts to much, as other nations have the same), and secondly, and more especially, on the fact that the Colchians, the Egyptians, and the Ethiopians are the only races which from ancient times have practised circumcision.”
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