1867 anti-Semite

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Wed Jan 18 01:37:27 UTC 2012

At 1/17/2012 04:15 PM, Baker, John wrote:
>The discussion in the quoted passage is really more about the
>original author, Daniel Ramee, than about the reviewer, E.L.G., who
>considers Ramee's theory outrageous.

Yes, I understood that.  I wondered whether knowing who E.L.G. was
would cast  more light on his (E.L.G/'s) use of "anti-Semitic."


>Note that Ramee is a strong proponent of the Egyptians, who were
>then considered a Hamitic people, so this presumably explains why he
>believes Ham to be a superior community.
>What is not clear to me is whether "anti-Semitic," as E.L.G. uses
>it, is simply a transparent collocation (where "Semitic" refers, at
>a minimum, to Jews and Arabs, and probably to other Semitic peoples
>too), or instead is a calque of some French phrase in Ramee's
>original.  Ramee's book is available via Google Books, but my French
>is not good enough to evaluate his work.
>John Baker
>-----Original Message-----
>From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On
>Behalf Of Joel S. Berson
>Sent: Tuesday, January 17, 2012 2:01 PM
>Subject: Re: 1867 anti-Semite
>At 1/17/2012 10:16 AM, Baker, John wrote:
> >There is an example of "anti-Semitic" in The Reader, vol. 1, pp. 140
> >- 41 (Feb. 7, 1863) (Google Books), in a review by "E.L.G." of
> >Daniel Ramee, Histoire Generale de l'Architecture (1862), although
> >the author does seem to use "Semitic" to refer broadly to the
> >Semitic peoples, rather than just to Jews:
> >
> >
> ><<Under the guise of a History of Architecture, M. Daniel Ramee,
> >author of a "Theologie Cosmogonique, ou Reconstitution de l'ancienne
> >et primitive Loi," administers a new version of universal history,
> >that might be defined as a sermon, in two thick volumes, on the
> >irreconcileable difference and eternal enmities of the chief human
> >races, the essential nobleness of the ancient Egyptian (especially
> >seen in its religion), and of most Arian races, and the
> >impossibility of their tolerating on the same globe the Semitic -
> >the source, either personally or by the religions it has engendered,
> >of all decline and every evil, past or present, in the superior
> >communities of Ham and Japhet.
>The "community of Ham" was associated, by some in ancient times but
>increasingly in the first few decades of the 1800s (I think) with
>"Negroes" (black Africans).  (There are, of course, widely varying
>interpretations of the "curse of Ham.")  Japhet is (by some)
>"believed to be the father of the Europeans".  Why both are referred
>to as "superior communities" above I have no idea; it seems
>inconsistent.  Nor do I have any idea whether this could conceivably
>clarify "anti-Semitic".
> >Considering rightly that "Architecture is one of the expressions of
> >the harmony or the disorder that rules a people or a civilization"
> >(p. 608), M. Ramee has taken its history as a fit one wherewith to
> >wrap up this outrageous theory of human affairs.  Not that any
> >attempt is made to connect them, or draw the slightest illustration
> >of one from the other . . . Here, on the contrary, the architectural
> >descriptions and the anti-Semitic diatribes are merely
> >interstratified, with as little connection as the alternate lines of
> >common and of sympathetic ink in which some secret despatches are
> >said to have been sometimes written. . . .
> >
> >The decline of Greece is attributed to the teaching of Socrates,
> >whose "idea of God was conformable to the Semitic view."  (Page
> >528.) . . . He occupied himself only with abstractions, and
> >separated thought from the terrestrial and material world, like the
> >Arabs and Jews.>>
>The previous two paragraphs do sound like the writer means
>"anti-Semitic ditrabes" to be at least anti-Jewish, given the
>reference to the Hebrew Testament, but also including the Semitic
>Arabs.  It would certainly help to know who E.L.G. was and what his
>views were.
> >I have not attempted to include the diacritical markings in the
> >original.  There is no reference to a translation of Ramee's work,
> >so I assume that the quotations from Ramee are the reviewer's translations.
> >
> >
> >John Baker
>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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