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Afrikan Origin of the University

By Kwaku Person-Lynn, Ph.D.

     As world history is being re-written, old concepts considered canon in academia are melting away as new, and/or neglected or omitted information begins to surface. For instance, ancient Greece has been credited with achievements created in Afrika before Greece existed. The university is a worldwide entity, but only a handful knows of its genesis. Very few are aware that ancient Kemet (called Egypt by the Greeks) was the intellectual, spiritual, scientific and industrial center for the world. Ancient Greece’s greatest scholars honed their skills and acquired their knowledge in Kemet (Egypt). A small sample of the students from ancient Greece who were educated in Kemet were: Thales (so-called father of philosophy), Hippocrates (so-called father of medicine), Pythagoras (so-called father of mathematics), including other noted Greeks: Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Democritus, and hundreds of other scholars from Greece attended Afrika’s famous Kemetic (Egyptian) temple-universities in Ipet Isut (called Karnak by the Arabs) and Waset (called Thebes by the Greeks; Luxor by the Arabs).

     Dr. Asa Baffour Hilliard, the renowned educational psychologist and historian tells us that the, “
Ancient Kemetic (Egyptian) higher education system was old and grey before the Greek Heroic age existed, before the city states existed, before Greece as a nation existed, indeed before the famed Greek scholars existed.  The easy way to show this is to look at Greece and Kemet (Egypt) at 2000 B.C.E.  There was no textbook in Greece at that time, but the Ahmes (Rhind) Mathematical Papyrus material existed, with problems in geometry and trigonometry. Wisdom literature was much older than that, such as the Teachings of Ptahotep.  Architecture and astronomy are manifest in the even more ancient pyramids, tombs and temples.  In fact, full university curricula in grammar (MDW NTR, known as the hieroglyphs by the Greeks), mathematics, sciences, arts, literature of many types, and philosophy as well.  The Greek record itself is full of references to the priority of Kemetic scholarship, and to it as a source for Greek scholar's study. As Solon was told by the scholars of Kemet, the Greeks were 'children in the 'mysteries,' even in the knowledge of the history of Greece itself.” Incidentally, Greece first written literature,  The Iliad and The Odyssey, did not appear until around 800 B.C.E.?

     The term of education was 40 years and the curriculum was quite extensive. “The temple-university had a huge library and its faculty, called ‘teachers of mysteries,’ were divided into five major departments: astronomy and astrology; geography; geology; philosophy and theology; law and communication.” Ivan Van Sertima Nile Valley Civilizations. A student would not major in one discipline, as is today, but would be trained in all disciplines. No known Greeks completed the entire term. Pythagoras lasted 22 years, Plato 13 years, Democritus 5 years.

     The concept of education was holistic in nature. “The process of education was not seen primarily as a process of acquiring knowledge. It was seen as a process of the transformation of the learner who progressed
through successive stages of rebirth to become more godlike. Disciplined study under the guidance of a master teacher was the single path to becoming a new person.” Asa Baffour Hilliard Nile Valley Civilizations.

     The spiritual nature of the instruction was not only commonplace, the language in which it was taught reflected the same. The medu neter (defined as divine or sacred language or speech, known as the hieroglyphs by the Greeks) also had a spiritual character. The symbol for one million was a man kneeling, arms stretched forward, palms up, praising the Creator.

     Another point of great debate and contention is who were the ancient Kamites (Egyptians). Some of the most defining proof was presented by two of Afrika’s greatest scientists: Dr. Cheikh Anta Diop from Senegal, and his colleague, Dr. Theophile Obenga of the Congo, at the January 1974 UNESCO conference of Egyptologists in Cairo entitled “The Peopling of Ancient Egypt.” The report was published in major volumes by UNESCO on the history of Afrika. Their striking multi-disciplinary approach proved that the ancient Kamites (Egyptians) were the black inhabitants of Kemet (defined ‘the land of Black people’), though several Egyptologists, then and now, attempt to disprove their work.

     The science of education, the university and library are only a portion of the gifts the Nile Valley in Afrika has given to the world. Probably the greatest gift of all, besides the birth of humanity, was organized societies, what we today call, civilization.

Dr. Kwaku Person-Lynn is on the faculty at Loyola Marymount University in African American Studies and instructor for Afrikan World Civilizations history classes taught in the Leimert
Park Community.


E-mail: DrKwaku@hotmail.com

Website: www.drkwaku.com