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African Philosophy During the Period of the Pharaohs 2780-330 bce
AuthorThéophile Obenga
GenreHistory, Philosophy
PublisherPer Ankh
Pages671 pp

Starting from the month of October, we've decided to read African Philosophy During the Period of the Pharaohs 2780-330 bce by great scholar Théophile Obenga

Below are the notes made on the different subjects

Notes about the book



The introduction breaks down the philosophy of Afrika into 5 periods. Namely:

  1. Ancient Egyptian Philosophy
  2. Philosophy that came out if North Africa under European occupation.
  3. Afro-Arab philosophy from the Mahgreb
  4. Islamic Afrikan Philosophy
  5. Modern Afrikan Philosophy

Obenga also explains why one will never understand Kemet until one understands that Kemet was Afrikan.

Egyptian Language and Writing

This chapter is broken into two parts

  • Ancient Egyptian Grammar: An Overview
  • Egyptian Language and Writing

Egyptian Language and Writing is a short section that breifly talks about different communication techniquest employed by the ancient Kemetans. It follows the development of Medu Neter from it's theorized genesis in 3100 BCE on through the time of the foreign invasions that led to the eventual occupation of the land.

Different letters are discussed, and different grammatical styles are explained.

I. The Cosmos Before the Present Universe

The section on the Creation Stories put fourth by the Afrikans of the Nile Valley. Their story is also compared to a few similar stories, such as The Stoics as taught by the Ancient Greeks, The Biblical Genesis, the origin story as taught by the Dogon, the Akan, Bambara, and other Bantu peoples from southern Afrika.

II. Ontology and Cosmogenesis

The Ontology and Cosmogenesis speaks of the stories that the ancient Nile Valley Afrikans spoke to expain and understand the universe. Both outside and inside themselves. It's broken down into 3 parts:

  1. The Birth of the World According to the philosophical Tradition of Memphis (The Inscription of Shabaka)
  2. The Organization of Nature: The Great Hymn to Aten
  3. The Four Great Achievements of Ra at Creation Time
III. On Time and the Heavens
IV. Ethical Values
V. On Death and Immortality
VI. The Intellectual Vocation
VII. Mapmaking, Navigation, Textile Chemistry
VIII. Astronomy
IX. Medicine
X. Mathematics


A. A Hostorical Miscellany
B. The Institution of Pharaonic Rule
C. The Economy, Agriculture, Crafts
D. Deities and Temples
E. The Grave and the Afterlife
F. In Praise of the Intellectual Life
G. Science and Technology
H. Fine Arts
I. The Art of Love


Ancient Egyptian Sources

Intellectual Landmarks: A Chronology

About the book

African Philosophy During the Period of the Pharaohs 2780-330 bce

Providing evidence of the accomplishment and superiority of ancient Egyptian philosophy, this examination of Afrikan and comparative philosophy covers science, medicine, textile chemistry, astronomy, geology, zoology, and mathematics. Afrikan philosophical systems are traced to a common origin, and groups such as the Dogon of Mali, the Vai of Sierra Leone, and the Yoruba of Nigeria are shown to share modern philosophical and scientific systems with those of ancient Egypt. This substantial offering to the development of the history of Egyptology explores connections between ancient Egypt and modern Africa and provides translations of numerous languages including ancient Egyptian and Semitic.

About the Author

Théophile Mwene Ndzalé Obenga born in Mbaya, Republic of Congo, 2 February 1936, Historian and linguist by trade. Along with his late predecessor, Cheikh Anta Diop, he defends a vision of African history refocused on concerns of African researchers and intellectuals, eager to correct the racist theories and histories put fourth by white supremacist scholars.

Obenga has advocated a number of ideas such as a "Negro-Egyptian" language family (négro-égyptien), which includes all languages of Africa, an approach which he shares with Cheikh Anta Diop. He takes issue with the term Afro-Asiatic and states that the term is only a scientific invention and that the Egyptian language was never reconstructed following the methods of comparative historical linguistics, the very aim of which is to link genetically the languages concerned. [1]

In 1925, the linguist Antoine Meillet, in his book The Comparative Method in Historical Linguistics, questioned the possibility of a common origin of the "Negro languages ​​of Africa." But the foundations of a theory of "African historical linguistics" has been laid by Cheikh Anta Diop, in his first book, Negro Nations and Culture (1954) where he presented, among others, a "comparative study of grammar and Egyptian Wolof." To Diop, both the Negro-Egyptian theory and cultural unity of antiquity among the various "indigenous African" are the fundamental arguments of Afrikan-Centered thought.

Obenga cites three main language families in Africa, namely the Khoisan, Berber, and Negro-Egyptian.[2] The Berber language family being an unrelated foreign invasion language, not genetically linked to Khoisan and Negro-Egyptian.[3]


  2. Théophile Obenga, Origine commune de l'égyptien ancien, du copte et des langues négro-africaines modernes. Introduction à la linguistique historique africaine , éd. L'Harmattan, Paris, 1993, pp. 396-397.
  3. Obenga, Théophile (1996). Ancient Egypt and Black Africa. Karnak House Publishers. ISBN 978-0907015703.