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April 04, 2012


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Robert Folsom

The building is the Egyptian Building at the VCU Medical Center. It was the Medical College of Virginia prior to and during the Civil War. It is located in Richmond, Virginia. The architectural style is Egyptian Revival. The building was built in this style because it was believed that the Egyptians were the source of medicine. The use of Egyptian Revival reflects the spiritual connection that the American South had to the slave-dependent society of ancient Egypt and its ruling class. It also references a historic precedence for slavery within a sophisticated and civilized society.

Alfred Brophy

Very nice, Robert!


I find it offensive that anyone would ever consider something as barbaric and cruel as slavery to be "sophisticated and civilized." It's sickening.

Alfred Brophy

Anon--I agree with you, of course. Alas, that was a popular argument among proslavery southerners. I'm hoping to post some more on this shortly, especially how the proslavery mentality made slavery seem like something that was the natural state of humans -- and how they turned to history from ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome, to the West Indies and the rest of the Americas.

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