The Passing of the Great Race
By Madison Grant
Part II - European Races In History

Chapter 14

IN the Aegean region and south of the Caucasus the Nordics appear after 1100 B.C., but there were unquestionably invasions and raids from the north for many centuries previous to our first records. These early migrations probably were not in sufficient force to modify the blood of the autochthonous races or to substitute Aryan languages for the ancient Mediterranean and Asiatic tongues.

These men of the North came from the grasslands of Russia in successive waves, and among the first of whom we have fairly clear knowledge were the Achaeans and Phrygians. Aryan invaders are mentioned in the dim chronicles of the Mesopotamian empires about 1700 B.C., as Kassites, and later as Mitanni. Aryan names of prisoners captured beyond the mountains in the north, and of Aryan deities before whom oaths were taken, are recorded about 1400 B.C., but one of the first definite accounts of Nordics south of the Caucasus describes the presence of Nordic Persians at Lake Urmia about 900 B.C. There were many incursions from that time on, the Cimmerians raiding across the Caucasus as early as 680 B.C., and shortly afterward overrunning all Asia Minor.

The easterly extension of the Russian steppes north of the Caspian-Aral Sea in Turkestan, as far as the foothills of the Pamirs, was occupied by the Sace or Massagetae, who were also Nordics and akin to the Cimmerians and Persians. For several centuries groups of Nordics drifted as nomad shepherds across the Caucasus into the empire of the Medes, introducing little by little the Aryan tongue, which later developed into Old Persian.

In 538 B.C. these Persians had become sufficiently numerous to overthrow their rulers, and under the leadership of the great Cyrus they organized the Persian Empire, one of the most enduring of Oriental states. The base of the population of the Persian Empire rested on the round skull Medes who belonged to the Armenoid subdivision of the Alpines. Under the leadership of their priestly caste of Magi, these Medes rebelled again and again against their Nordic masters before the two peoples became fused.

From 525 to 485 B.C., during the reign of Darius, whose sculptured portraits show a man of pure Nordic type, the tall, blond Persians had become almost exclusively a class of great ruling nobles, and had forgotten the simplicity of their shepherd ancestors. Their language belonged to the Eastern or Iranian division of Aryan speech, and was known as Old Persian, which continued to be spoken until the fourth century before our era. From it were derived Pehlevi, or Parthian, and modern Persian. The great book of the old Persians, the Avesta, which was written in Zendic, also an Iranian language, does not go back to the reign of Darius, and was remodelled after our era, but the Old Persian of Darius was closely related to the Zendic of Bactria, and to the Sanskrit of Hindustan. From Zendic, also called Medic, are derived Ghalcha, Balochi, Kurdish, and other dialects.

The rise to imperial power of the dolichocephalic Aryan-speaking Persians was largely due to the genius of their leaders, but the Aryanization of western Asia by them is one of the most amazing events in history. The whole region became completely transformed so far as the acceptance by the conquered of the language and religion of the Persians was concerned, but the blood of the Nordic race quickly became diluted, and a few centuries later disappears from history.

At the time of the great wars with Greece the pure Persian blood was still unimpaired and in control, and in the literature of the time there is little evidence of race antagonism between the Greek and the Persian leaders, although their rival cultures were sharply contrasted. In the time of Alexander the Great the pure Persian blood was obviously confined to the nobles, and it was the policy of Alexander to Hellenize the Persians and to amalgamate his Greeks with them. The amount Of pure Macedonian blood was not sufficient to reinforce the Nordic strain of the Persians, and the net result was the entire loss of the Greek stock.

It is a question whether the Armenians of Asia Minor derived their Aryan speech from this invasion of the Nordic Persians, or whether they received it at an earlier date from the Phrygians, and from the west. These Phrygians entered Asia Minor by way of the Dardanelles and broke up the Hittite Empire. Their language was Aryan, and probably related to Thracian. In favor of the theory of the introduction of the Armenian language by the Phrygians from the west, rather than by the Persians from the east, is the highly significant fact that the basic structure of that tongue shows its relationship to be with the western rather than with the eastern group of Aryan languages, and this, too, in spite of a very large Persian vocabulary.

The Armenians themselves, like all the other natives of the plateaux and highlands as far east as the Hindu Kush Mountains, while of Aryan speech, are of the Armenoid subdivision, in sharp contrast to the predominant types south of the mountains in Persia, Afghanistan, and Hindustan, all of which are dolichocephalic and of Mediter- ranean affinity, but generally betraying traces of admixture with still more ancient races of negroid origin, especially in India.

We now come to the last and easternmost extension of Aryan languages in Asia. As mentioned above, the grasslands and steppes of Russia extend north of the Caucasus Mountains and the Caspian Sea to ancient Bactria, now Turkestan. This whole country was occupied by the Nordic Sacae and the closely related Massagetae. At a very early date, probably about the beginning of the second millennium B.C., or perhaps even earlier, the first Nordics crossed over the Afghan passes, entered the plains of India, and organized a state in the Penjab, "the land of the five rivers," bringing with them Aryan speech among a population probably of Mediterranean type, and represented to-day by the Dravidians. The Nordic Sacae arrived later in India and introduced the Vedas, religious poems, which were at first transmitted orally, and which were reduced to written form in Old Sanskrit by the Brahmans at the comparatively late date of 300 A.D. From this classic Sanskrit are derived all the modern Aryan languages of Hindustan, as well as the Singalese of Ceylon and the chief dialects of Assam.

There is great diversity of opinion as to the date of the first entry of these Aryan-speaking tribes into the Penjab, and the consensus of opinion seems to indicate a period between 1600 and 1700 B.C. or even somewhat earlier. However, the very close affinity of Sanskrit to the Old Persian of Darius and to the Zendavesta would strongly indicate that the final introduction of Aryan languages in the form of Sanskrit occurred at a much later date.

If close relationship between languages indicates correlation in time, then the entry of the Sacae into India would appear to have been nearly simultaneous with the crossing of the Caucasus by the Nordic Cimmerians and their Persian successors.

The relationship between the Zendavesta and the Sanskrit Vedas is as near as that between High and Low German, and consequently such close affinity prevents our thrusting back the date of the separation of the Persians and the Sacae more than a few centuries.

A simultaneous migration southward of nomad shepherds on both sides of the Caspian-Aral Sea would naturally occur in a general movement southward, and such migrations may have taken place several times. In all probability these Nordic invasions occurred one after another for a thousand years or more, the later ones obscuring and blurring the memory of their predecessors.

When shepherd tribes leave their grasslands and attack their agricultural neighbors, the reason is nearly always famine due to prolonged drought, and causes such as these have again and again in history put the nomad tribes in motion over large areas. During many centuries fresh tribes composed of Nordics, or under the leadership of Nordics, but all Aryan-speaking, poured over the Afghan passes from the northwest and pushed before them the earlier arrivals. Clear traces of these successive floods of conquerors are to be found in the Vedas themselves.

The Sacae and Massagetae were, like the Persians, blond dolichocephs, and they have left behind them dim traces of their blood among the living, Mongolized nomads of Turkestan, the Kirghizes. Ancient Bactria maintained its Nordic and Aryan aspect long after Alexander's time, and did not become Mongolized and receive the sinister name of Turkestan until the seventh century, when it was the first victim of the great series of ferocious invasions from the north and east, which, under various Mongol leaders, destroyed civilization in Asia and threatened its existence in Europe. These tall, blue eyed, Aryan-speaking Sacae were the most easterly members of the Nordic race of whom we have record. The Chinese knew well these "green eyed devils," whom they called by their Tatar name, the "Wu-suns," the tall ones, and with whom they came into contact in about 200 B.C. in what is now Chinese Turkestan.

The Zendic form of the Iranian group of Aryan languages continued to be spoken by these Sacae who remained in old Bactria, and from it is derived a whole group of closely related dialects still spoken in the Pamirs, of which Ghalcha is the best known.

The most easterly known Aryan tongue has been recently discovered in Turkestan. It is called Tokharian, and is undoubtedly a pure Aryan language, related, curiously enough, to the western group rather than to the Indo-Iranian. It has been deciphered from recently found inscriptions, and was a living language prior to the ninth century A.D. This constitutes another proof of the extent and duration of the Nordic occupation of Bactria.

Of all the wonderful conquests of the Sacae there remain as evidence of their invasions only these Indian and Afghan languages. Dim traces of their blood, as stated before, have been found in the Pamirs and in Afghanistan, but in the south their blond traits have vanished, even from the Penjab. It may be that the stature of some of the hill tribes and of the Sikhs, and some of the facial characters of the latter, are derived from this source, but all blondness of skin, hair, or eye of the original Sacae have utterly vanished.

The long skulls all through India are to be attributed to the Mediterranean race rather than to this Nordic invasion, while the Pre-Dravidians and negroids of south India, with which the former are largely mixed, are also dolichocephs.

In short, the introduction in Iran and India of Aryan languages, Iranian, Ghalchic, and Sanskrit, represents a linguistic and not an ethnic conquest.

In concluding this revision of the racial foundations upon which the history of Europe has been based, it is scarcely necessary to point out that the actual results of the spectacular conquests and invasions of history have been far less permanent than those of the more insidious victories arising from the crossing of two diverse races, and that in such mixtures the relative prepotency of the various human subspecies in Europe appears to be in inverse ratio to their social value.

The continuity of physical traits and the limitation of the effects of environment to the individual only are now so thoroughly recognized by scientists that it is at most a question of time when the social consequences which result from such crossings will be generally understood by the public at large. As soon as the true bearing and import of the facts are appreciated by lawmakers, a complete change in our political structure will inevitably occur, and our present reliance on the influences of education will be superseded by a readjustment based on racial values.

Bearing in mind the extreme antiquity of physical and spiritual characters and the persistency with which they outlive those elements of environment termed language, nationality, and forms of government, we must consider the relation of these facts to the development of the race in America. We may be certain that the progress of evolution is in full operation to-day under those laws of nature which control it, and that the only sure guide to the future lies in the study of the operation of these laws in the past.

We Americans must realize that the altruistic ideals which have controlled our social development during the past century, and the maudlin sentimentalism that has made America "an asylum for the oppressed," are sweeping the nation toward a racial abyss. If the Melting Pot is allowed to boil without control, and we continue to follow our national motto and deliberately blind ourselves to all "distinctions of race, creed, or color," the type of native American of Colonial descent will become as extinct as the Athenian of the age of Pericles, and the Viking of the days of Rollo.