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Pharos

Doing Justice to the Classics

Ancient Orientalism in Modern White Ethnonationalism

The opening months of 2021 witnessed a surge in violence against Asian Americans, most visibly the murders of Xiaojie Tan, Daoyou Feng, Delaina Ashley Yaun Gonzalez, Soon Chung Park, Hyun Grant, Suncha Kim, Yong Ae Yue, and Paul Andre Michels in Atlanta in March 2021. One result has been new attention to the history of […]

Athens and Sparta (Pharos Surveys of Appropriations)

This page collects examples of articles on prominent white supremacist websites that invoke the ancient city states of Athens and Sparta in support of hateful politics. In connection with the recommendations and discussion questions on our “How to use Pharos in the Classroom” page, they are intended to spark discussion and further research about the ways that white supremacists […]

Misogyny and Gender (Pharos Surveys of Appropriations)

This page collects examples of articles that illustrate how modern white supremacists and misogynists use Greco-Roman antiquity to justify their gender politics. In connection with the recommendations and discussion questions on our “How to use Pharos in the Classroom” page, they are intended to spark discussion and further research about the ways that ancient history is used to legitimize […]

Virgil’s Aeneid Gives Hope to Totalitarians after Failed Capitol Attack

Following the domestic terrorist attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6th, white supremacist websites were awash with conspiracy theories, praise for the rioters, and false equivalencies between their violent insurrection and the summer’s Black Lives Matter demonstrations. One contributor to the white supremacist site Counter Currents, however, expressed his disillusionment with President Trump, calling […]

Election Defeat Prompts Comparisons to Roman Emperors by White Supremacists

Donald Trump’s loss in the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election has predictably prompted a wave of conspiracy theories among his supporters about the result, many of which the President himself has promoted, most recently saying that “it’s going to be a very hard thing to concede because we know there was massive fraud.” White supremacist websites, already […]

Not Just Hitler and Mussolini: Neo-Nazis Love Neoclassical Architecture too

On February 4th, 2020 Architectural Record reported on a leaked draft executive order from the Trump administration entitled “Making Federal Buildings Beautiful Again” that would require that “the classical architectural style shall be the preferred and default style” for future federal buildings. The American Institute of Architects immediately stated their opposition to the order, arguing that […]

Not just Sparta: White Supremacist Admiration of Athens

Thanks especially to the work of Sarah Bond and Myke Cole, the general public is increasingly familiar with white supremacists’ fetishization of Classical Sparta as a supposedly racially pure, hyper-masculine, hyper-militarized model for the totalitarian ethnostate they seek to bring about. Sparta is the ancient touchstone for hate groups that Pharos documents most frequently. What […]

“Western Civilization” means Classics…and White Supremacy

Earlier this month Iowa congressional representative Steve King, known for his xenophobia, support for white supremacy, and long history of promoting racist politics, was quoted by The New York Times asking “white nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?” No one has defended King for asking this about “white nationalist” or “white supremacist,” but […]

Onomasticon of Classical Pseudonyms and Avatars

(Last update: May 27th, 2020: New Addition: “The Noticer” (Avatar)) This page contains a list of names and images taken from Greco-Roman antiquity that are used by those who espouse hateful politics. We announced this project on November 30th, 2018 and will add to it periodically: if you only want to see new additions these […]

White supremacist site claims Nordic invaders gave rise to Classical Greece

“National Vanguard” is a white supremacist organization that is an offshoot of the “National Alliance,” whom the SPLC once called “the most dangerous and best organized” Neo-Nazi group in America. An article on NationalVanguard.org claims that when “Nordic” invaders arrived in Greece, “an older civilization”—described throughout as “Mediterranean aborigines“—”who had begun to succumb to racial mixing […]

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