The Passing of the Great Race
By Madison Grant
Part II - European Races In History
THE MEDITERRANEAN RACE
THE Mediterranean subspecies, formerly called the Iberian, is a relatively small, light boned, long skulled race, of brunet color becoming even swarthy in certain portions of its range. Throughout Neolithic times and possibly still earlier, it seems to have occupied, just as it does to-day, all the shores of the Mediterranean, including the coast of Africa from Morocco on the west to Egypt on the east. The Mediterraneans are the western members of a subspecies of man which forms a substantial part of the population of Persia, Afghanistan, Baluchistan, and Hindustan, with perhaps a southward extension into Ceylon.
The Aryanized Afghan and Hindu of northern India speak languages derived from Old Sanskrit, and are distantly related to the Mediterranean race. Aside from a common dolichocephaly these peoples are entirely distinct from the Dravidians of south India whose speech is agglutinative and who show strong evidence of profound mixture with the ancient negrito substratum of southern Asia.
Everywhere throughout the Asiatic portion of its range the Mediterranean race overlies an even more ancient negroid race. These negroids still have representatives among the Pre-Dravidians of India, the Veddahs of Ceylon, the Sakai of the Malay Peninsula, and the natives of the Andaman Islands.
This Mediterranean subspecies at the close of the Paleolithic spread from the basin of the Inland Sea northward by way of Spain throughout western Europe, including the British Isles, and, before the final expansion of the Alpines, was widely distributed up to and touching the domain of the Nordic dolichocephs. It did not cross the Alps from the south, but spread around the mountains across the Rhine into western Germany.
In all this vast range from the British Isles to Hindustan, it is not to be supposed that there is identity of race. Certain portions, however, of the populations of the countries throughout this long stretch do show in their physique clear indications of descent from a Neolithic race of a common original type, which we may call Proto-Mediterranean.
Quite apart from inevitable admixture with late Nordic and early Paleolithic elements, the little brunet Englishman has had perhaps ten thousand years of independent evolution during which he has undergone selection due to the climatic and physical conditions of his northern habitat. The
result is that he has specialized far away from the Proto-Mediterranean race which contributed this blood originally to Britain, probably while it was still a part of continental Europe.
On the other end of the range of the Mediterranean species, this race in India has been crossed with Dravidians and with Pre-Dravidian negroids. The Mediterraneans in India have also had imposed upon them other ethnic elements which came over through the Afghan passes from the northwest. The resultant racial mixture in India has had its own line of specialization. Residence in the fertile but unhealthy river bottoms, the direct rays of a tropic sun, and competition with the immemorial autochthones have unsparingly weeded generation after generation, until the existing Hindu has little in common with the ancestral Proto-Mediterranean.
It is to the Mediterranean race in the British Isles that the English, Scotch, and Americans owe whatever brunet characters they possess. In central Europe it underlies the Alpine race, and, in fact, wherever this race is in contact with either the Alpines or the Nordics, it appears to represent the more ancient stratum of the population.
So far as we know, this Mediterranean type never existed in Scandinavia, and all brunet elements found there are to be attributed to introductions in historic times. Nor did the Mediterranean race ever enter or cross the high Alps as did the Nordics, at a much later date, on their way to the Mediterranean basin from the Baltic coasts.
The Mediterranean race with its Asiatic extensions is bordered everywhere on the north of its enormous range from Spain to India by round skulls, but there does not seem to be as much evidence of mixture between these two subspecies of man as there is between the Alpines and the Nordics.
Along its southern boundary the Mediterranean race is in contact with either the long skull negroes of Ethiopia, or the ancient negrito population of southern Asia. In Africa this race has drifted southward over the Sahara and up the Nile valley, and has modified the blood of the negroes in both the Senegambian and equatorial regions.
Beyond these mixtures of blood, there is absolutely no relationship between the Mediterranean race and the negroes. The fact that the Mediterranean race is long skulled as well as the negro, does not indicate relationship as has been suggested. Overemphasis of the importance of the skull shape as a somatological character can easily be misleading, and other unit characters than skull proportions must also be carefully considered in all determinations of race.
Africa north of the Sahara, from a zoological point of view, is now, and has been since early Tertiary times, a part of Europe. This is true
both of animals and of the races of man. The Berbers of north Africa to-day are racially identical with the Spaniards and south Italians and the ancient Egyptians and their modern descendants, the fellaheen, are merely clearly marked varieties of this Mediterranean race.
The Egyptians fade off toward the south into the so-called Hamitic people (to use an obsolete name), and the infusion of negro blood becomes increasingly great, until we finally reach the pure negro. On the east in Arabia we find an ancient and highly specialized subdivision of the Mediterranean race, which has from time out of mind crossed the Red Sea and infused its blood into the negroes of east Africa.
To-day the Mediterranean race forms in Europe a substantial part of the population of the British Isles, the great bulk of the population of the Iberian Peninsula, nearly one-third of the population of France, Liguria, Italy south of the Apennines, and all the Mediterranean coasts and islands, in some of which, like Sardinia, it exists in great purity. It forms the substratum of the population of Greece and of the eastern coasts of the Balkan Peninsula. Everywhere in the interior, except in eastern Bulgaria and Rumania, it has been replaced by the South Slavs and by the Albanians, the latter a mixture of the ancient Illyrians and the Slavs.
In the British Isles the Mediterranean race represents the Pre-Nordic population and exists in considerable numbers in Wales and in certain portions of England, notably in the Fen districts to the north of London. In Scotland it is nearly obliterated, leaving behind only its brunetness as an indication of its former prevalence, though it is now often associated there with tall stature.
This is the race that gave the world the great civilizations of Egypt, of Crete, of Phoenicia including Carthage, of Etruria and of Mycensean Greece. It gave us, when mixed and invigorated with Nordic elements, the most splendid of all civilizations, that of ancient Hellas, and the most enduring of political organizations, the Roman State.
To what extent the Mediterranean race entered into the blood and civilization of Rome, it is now difficult to say, but the traditions of the Eternal City, its love of organization, of law and military efficiency, as well as the Roman ideals of family life, loyalty, and truth, point clearly to a Nordic rather than to a Mediterranean origin.
The struggles in early Rome between Latin and Etruscan, and the endless quarrels between patrician and plebeian, arose from the existence in Rome, side by side, of two distinct and clashing races, probably Nordic and Mediterranean respectively. The northern qualities of Rome are in
sharp contrast to the Levantine traits of the classic Greeks, whose volatile and analytical spirit, lack of cohesion, political incapacity, and ready resort to treason, all point clearly to southern and eastern affinities.
While very ancient, present for probably ten thousand years in western and southern Europe, and even longer on the south shore of the Mediterranean, nevertheless this race cannot be called purely European. The route of its migration along the north coast of Africa, and up the west coast of Europe, can be traced everywhere by its beautifully polished stone weapons and tools. The Megalithic monuments also are found in association with this race, and mark its line of advance in western Europe, although they extend beyond the range of the Mediterraneans into the domain of the Scandinavian Nordics. These huge stone structures were chiefly sepulchral memorials and appear to have been based on an imitation of the Egyptian funeral monuments. They date back to the first knowledge of the manufacture and use of bronze tools by the Mediterranean race, and they occur in great numbers, vast size, and considerable variety along the north coast of Africa and up the Atlantic seaboard through Spain, Brittany, and England to Scandinavia.
It is admitted that the various groups of the Mediterranean race did not speak, in the first in stance, any form of Aryan tongue. These Aryan languages we know were introduced into the Mediterranean world from the north. We have in the Basque tongue to-day a survival of one of the Pre-Aryan languages, which were spoken by the Mediterranean population of the Iberian Peninsula before the arrival of the Aryan-speaking Gauls of Nordic race.
The language of these invaders was Celtic, and replaced over most of the country the ancient speech of the natives, only in turn to be superseded, along with the Phcenician spoken in some of the southern coast towns, by the Latin of the conquering Roman, and Latin, mixed with some small elements of Gothic construction and Arabic vocabulary forms the basis of modern Portuguese, Castilian, and Catalan.
The native Mediterranean race of the Iberian Peninsula quickly absorbed the blood of these conquering Gauls, just as it later diluted beyond recognition the vigorous physical characters of the Teutonic Vandals, Suevi, and Visigoths. A certain amount of Nordic blood still persists to-day in northwestern Spain, especially in Galicia and along the Pyrenees, as well as generally among the upper classes. The Romans left no evidence of their domination except in their language and religion; while the earlier Phoenicians on the coasts, and the later swarms of Moors and Arabs all over the peninsula, but chiefly in the south, were closely related by race to the native Iberians.
That portion of the Mediterranean race which inhabits southern France oocupies the territory of ancient Languedoc and Provence, and it was these Proven~cals who developed and preserved during the Middle Ages the romantic civilization of the Albigensians, a survival of classic culture, which was drowned in blood by a crusade from the north in the thirteenth century.
In North Italy only the coast of Liguria is occupied by the Mediterranean race. In the valley of the Po the Mediterraneans were the predominant race during the early Neolithic, but with the introduction of bronze the Alpines appear, and round skulls to this day prevail north of the Apennines. About 11OO B.C. the Nordic Umbrians and Oscans swept over the Alps from the northeast, conquered northern Italy and introduced their Aryan speech, which gradually spread southward. The Umbrian state was afterward overwhelmed by the Etruscans, who were of Mediterranean race, and who, by 800 B.C. had extended their empire northward to the Alps. In the sixth century B.C. new swarms of Nordics, coming this time from Gaul and speaking Celtic dialects, seized the valley of the Po, and in 390 B.C. these Gauls, reinforced from the north and under the leadership of Brennus, stormed Rome and completely destroyed the Etruscan power. From that time onward the valley of the Po became known as Cisalpine Gaul. Mixed with Nordic elements, chiefly Gothic and Lombard, this population persists to this day, and is the backbone of modern Italy.
A similar movement of these same Gauls or Galatians, as the Greek world called them, starting from northern Italy, occurred a century later when these Nordics suddenly appeared before Delphi in Greece in 279 B.C., and then swept over into Asia Minor and founded the state called Galatia, which endured until Christian times.
South Italy, until its conquest by Rome, was Magna Graecia, and the population to-day retains many Pelasgian Greek elements. It is among these Hellenic remnants that artists search for the handsomest types of the Mediterranean race. In Sicily also the race is purely Mediterranean in spite of the admixture of types coming from the neighboring coasts of Tunis. These intrusive elements, however, were all of kindred race. Traces of Alpine elements in these regions and on the adjoining African coast are very scarce, and are to be referred to the great and final wave of round skull invasion which introduced bronze into Europe.
In Greece the Mediterranean Pelasgians, who spoke a non-Aryan tongue, were swamped by the Nordic Achaeans, who entered from the northeast according to tradition prior to 1250 B.C., probably between 1400 and 1300 B.C. There were also probably still earlier waves of these same Nordic invaders as far back as 1700 B.C., which was a period of migration throughout the ancient world. These Achaeans were armed with iron weapons of the Hallstatt culture, with which they conquered the bronze using natives. The two races, as yet unmixed, stand out in clear contrast in the Homeric account of the siege of Troy, which is generally assigned to the date of 1194 to 1184 B.C.
The same invasion that brought the Achaeans into Greece brought a related Nordic people to the coast of Asia Minor, known as Phrygians. Of this race were the Trojan leaders.
Both the Trojans and the Greeks were commanded by huge blond princes, the heroes of Homer, while the bulk of the armies on both sides was composed of little brunet Pelasgians, imperfectly armed and remorselessly butchered by the leaders on either side. The only common soldiers mentioned by Homer as of the same race as the heroes, were the Myrmidons of Achilles.
About the time that the Acheeans and the Pelasgians began to amalgamate, new hordes of Nordic barbarians, collectively called Hellenes, entered from the northern mountains and destroyed this old Homeric-Mycenaean civilization. This Dorian invasion took place a little before 1100 B.C. and brought in the three main Nordic strains of Greece, the Dorian, the Aeolian and the Ionian groups, which remain more or less distinct and separate throughout Greek history. It is more than probable that this invasion or swarming of Nordics into Greece was part of the same general racial upheaval that brought the Umbrians and Oscans into Italy.
Long years of intense and bitter conflict follow between the old population and the newcomers, and when the turmoil of this revolution settled down, classic Greece appears. What was left of the Achceans retired to the northern Peloponnesus, and the survivors of the early Pelasgian population remained in Messenia serving as helots their Spartan masters. The Greek colonies in Asia Minor were founded by refugees fleeing from these Dorian invaders.
The Pelasgian strain seems to have persisted best in Attica and the Ionian states. The Dorian Spartans appear to have retained more of the character of the northern barbarians than the Ionian Greeks, but the splendid civilization of Hellas was due to a fusion of the two elements, the Achaean and Hellene of Nordic, and the Pelasgian of Mediterranean race.
The contrast between Dorian Sparta and Ionian Athens, between the military efficiency, thorough organization, and sacrifice of the citizen for the
welfare of the state, which constituted the basis of the Lacedaemonian power, and the Attic brilliancy, instability, and extreme development of individualism, is strikingly like the contrast between Prussia with its Spartan-like culture and France with its Athenian versatility.
To this mixture of the two races in classic Greece the Mediterranean Pelasgians contributed their Mycenaean culture and the Nordic Achaeans and Hellenes contributed their Aryan language, fighting efficiency, and the European aspect of Greek life.
The first result of a crossing of two such contrasted subspecies as the Nordic and Mediterranean races, has repeatedly been a new outburst of culture. This occurs as soon as the older race has imparted to the conquerors its civilization, and before the victors have allowed their blood to be swamped by mixture. This process seems to have happened several times in Greece.
Later, in 339 B.C., when the original Nordic blood had been hopelessly diluted by mixture with the ancient Mediterranean elements, Hellas fell an easy prey to Macedon. The troops of Philip and Alexander were Nordic and represented the uncultured but unmixed ancestral type of the Achaeans and Hellenes. Their unimpaired fighting strength was irresistible as soon as it was organized into the Macedonian phalanx, whether directed against their degenerate brother Greeks, or against the Persians, whose original Nordic elements had also by this time practically disappeared. When in its turn the pure Macedonian blood was impaired by intermixture with Asiatics, they, too, vanished, and even the royal Macedonian dynasties in Asia and Egypt soon ceased to be Nordic or Greek except in language and customs.
It is interesting to note that the Greek states in which the Nordic element was most predominant outlived the other states. Athens fell before Sparta, and Thebes outlived them both. Macedon in classic times was considered quite the most barbarous state in Hellas, and was scarcely recognized as forming part of Greece, but it was through the military power of its armies and the genius of Alexander that the Levant and western Asia became Hellenized. Alexander, with his Nordic features, aquiline nose, gently curling yellow hair, and mixed eyes, the left blue and the right very black, typifies this Nordic conquest of the Near East.
It is not possible to-day to find in purity the physical traits of the ancient race in the Greek-speaking lands and islands, and it is chiefly among the pure Nordics of Anglo-Norman type that there occur those smooth and regular classic features, especially the brow and nose lines, that were the delight of the sculptors of Hellas.
So far as modern Europe is concerned culture came from the south and not from the east, and to
this Mediterranean subspecies is due the foundation of our civilization. The ancient Mediterranean world was of this race; the long-sustained civilization of Egypt, which endured during thousands of years of almost uninterrupted sequence; the brilliant Minoan Empire of Crete, which flourished between 4000 and 1200 B.C., and was the ancestor of the Mycensean cultures of Greece, Cyprus, Italy, and Sardinia; the mysterious empire of Etruria, the predecessor and teacher of Rome; the Hellenic states and colonies throughout the Mediterranean and Black Seas; the maritime and mercantile power of Phcenicia and its mighty colony, imperial Carthage; all were the creation of this race. The sea empire of Crete, when its royal palace at Cnossos was burned by the 'sea peoples' of the north, passed to Tyre, Sidon, and Carthage, and from them to the Greeks, so that the early development of the art of navigation is to be attributed to this race, and from them the north, centuries later, learned its maritime architecture.
Even though the Mediterranean race has no claim to the invention of the synthetic languages, and though it played a relatively small part in the development of the civilization of the Middle Ages or of modern times, nevertheless to it belongs the chief credit of the classic civilization of Europe, in the sciences, art, poetry, literature, and philosophy, as well as the major part of the civilization of Greece, and a very large share in the Empire of Rome.
In the Eastern Empire the Mediterraneans were the predominant factor under the guise of Byzantine Greeks. Owing to the fact that our histories have been written under the influence of Roman orthodoxy, and because in the eyes of the Frankish Crusaders the Byzantine Greeks were heretics, they have been regarded by us as degenerate cowards.
But throughout the Middle Ages Byzantium represented in unbroken sequence the Empire of Rome in the East, and as the capital of that empire it held Mohammedan Asia in check for nearly a thousand years. When at last in 1453 the imperial city, deserted by western Christendom, was stormed by the Ottoman Turks, and Constantine, last of Roman Emperors, fell sword in hand, there was enacted one of the greatest tragedies of all time.
With the fall of Constantinople the Empire of Rome passes finally from the scene of history, and the development of civilization is transferred from Mediterranean lands and Mediterranean race to the North Sea and the Nordic race.
Continue on to Part 2, Chapter 6 - THE NORDIC RACE