Posted by Maniates on May 23, 2002 at 13:41:39:
(Chapter XII, section 14)
The title of this section is The Greeks, and not Greece, since from the mythical days of the Argonauts to the present, neither the peninsula of Hellas nor Ionia and the Aegean Islands have been large enough to hold the far-wandering Hellenes. Greek is a language and a civilization, the Greeks a people; the Greeks are the descendants of all the peoples who have adopted and retained that language and that civilization from classical times to the present. Some of these converts to Hellenicism were inhabitants of Asia Minor, others of Thrace and Byzantium, others of the lands bordering the Black Sea, especially the Crimea.
It is inaccurate to say that the modern Greeks are different physically from the ancient Greeks; such a statement is based on an ignorance of the Greek ethnic character. In classical times the Greeks included many kinds of people living in different places, as they do today. If one refers to the inhabitants of Attica during the sixth century, or to the Spartans of Leonidas, then the changes in these localities have probably not been nearly as great as that between the Germans of Tacitus and the living South Germans, to cite but a single example.
The stature mean for Greeks in general runs about 167 cm., and there seems to be little regional variation; those in Asia Minor and in the Crimea are a millimeter shorter, those measured in Boston a millimeter taller. The Greeks are as tall as most South Germans or northern Frenchmen; their stature is too elevated for the prevalence, in partial brachycephalization-ALPINE, of a strong, small Mediterranean strain. About half of them have brunet-white or light brown skin color, the rest the usual pinkish-white of central and northern Europe; over 80 per cent have dark brown hair, the rest have hair evenly divided between black and the lighter shades of brown. Pronounced blondism, although rare, is not unknown. The beard is rarely lighter than the head hair, in contrast to the condition found among Ghegs and Montenegrins; the implication is that the dark brown hair of the majority of Greeks is a pure brunet condition. Over 65 pa-cent of Greeks have pure brown eyes, and most of these are dark brown: pure lights are sporadic, but there is a 15 per cent incidence of light-mixed iris forms.
Within the Greek group, heavy beards, heavy browridges, and concurrent eyebrows tend to associate themselves with an Alpine type; there is also a linkage between tall stature, in the 170 cm. class, cephalic indices of about 80, straight noses, dark brown hair, and dark brown eyes. This last set of associations clearly denotes the presence of a strong Atlanto-Mediterranean element. There are also strong connections between black hair, occipital flattening, and narrow facial features, which means Dinaric or Armenoid. That the small amount of blondism among the Greeks is mostly Nordic in origin is indicated by its linkage with external eyefolds, relative thinness of beard, and absence of eyebrow concurrency.
The Greeks, in short, are a blend of racial types, of which two are most important; the Atlanto-Mediterranean and the Alpine. Dinaricisrn here is present, but not all pervading; true Alpines are commoner than complete Dinarics. The Nordic element is weak, as it probably has been since the days of Homer. The racial type to which Socrates belonged is today the most important-ALPINE, while the Atlanto-Mediterranean, prominent in Greece since the Bronze Age, is still a major factor, it is my personal reaction to the living Greeks that their continuity with their ancestors of the ancient world is remarkable, rather than the opposite.
THE DORIANS WERE NOT OVERWHELMINGLY NORDIC-BUT ALPINE DINARIC
One special group, the Sphakiots, living near the western end of the south side of the island, differ from the other Cretans in a number of characters; they are very tall, with a mean stature of 175 cm., and meso- to sub-brachycephalic, with a mean cephalic index of 81.6. They have especially large heads, with a mean length of 191 mm. and breadth ci 155 mm.; their faces are longer than the others, and equally broad or broader. Morphologically Dinaric types are common among them; they may be compared with Montenegrins and the northernmost Ghegs. According to the general assumption of authorities on Crete, the Sphakioti are the partial descendants of the Dorians who invaded the island at the end of the Minoan period. That some of them do resemble the traditional Spartan type is very likely. One can only derive them from the north, from the region in which the larger branch of the Dinaric race was formed.
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