1. Education
Severan Dynasty Berlin Tondo February in the U.S. is African-American History Month, which isn't entirely relevant to this topic, but close. Although the men may not be American, now is as good a time as any to point out some of the important African figures in ancient -- mainly Roman -- history. At least one of these figures is known to have been dark-skinned, but we can't say with such certainty about the others. We know this from a rare surviving painting of an imperial family shown here. The emperor's Emesa, Syrian wife Julia Domna is several shades lighter than he is. Sometimes women are portrayed as lighter than men in ancient art, but in the tondo, their visible offspring, a male, is as light as his mother. This is that familiar picture vandalized when the emperor known as Caracalla (nicknamed for his preferred hooded cloak) excised the memory of his brother Geta.

Picture of the Berlin Tondo showing the Severans courtesy of Wikipedia.


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