African American Travelers Encounter Greece, ca. 1850–1900

American Journal of Philology 143 (4):631-651 (2022)
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Abstract

Abstract:This essay examines the experiences of three 19th-century African American travelers to Greece—David Dorr (1852), Frederick Douglass (1887), and John Wesley Gilbert (1890–1)—using evidence from their letters, diaries, and published writings. The essay shows that although each traveler's unique personal perspective shaped his response to seeing the ancient sites and monuments of Greece, all three men responded most deeply to a site connected with Greece's Christian heritage: the Areopagus or Mars Hill, where according to 19th-century understanding the Apostle Paul had spoken the words recorded in the Book of Acts.

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