Mediterranean race

Outdated grouping of human beings
Fischer Lexikon (1959) An italian man of Mediterranean character, from the ( 1959 ) The Mediterranean race ( besides Mediterranid race ) was a historic race concept that was a sub-race of the white subspecies as categorised by anthropologists in the recently 19th to mid-20th centuries. [ 1 ] According to diverse definitions, it was said to be prevailing in the Mediterranean Basin and areas near the Mediterranean, specially in Southern Europe, North Africa, most of western Asia, the Middle East or Near East ; western Central Asia, parts of South Asia, and parts of the Horn of Africa. To a lesser extent, certain populations of people in Ireland, westerly parts of Great Britain, and Southern Germany, despite living far from the Mediterranean, were thought to have some minority Mediterranean elements in their population, such as Bavaria, Wales and Cornwall. [ 2 ] [ 3 ] [ 4 ] [ 5 ] [ 6 ] [ 7 ] [ 8 ] Carleton S. Coon characterized the subgroup as having short or medium ( not tall ) stature, retentive ( dolichocephalic ) or moderate ( mesocephalic ) skull, a constrict and much slenderly aquiline nuzzle, prevalence of dark hair and eyes, [ 9 ] and cream to tan or dark brown skin tone ; olive complexion being specially common and epitomizing the supposed Mediterranean subspecies. [ 10 ]

racial theories [edit ]

early debates [edit ]

These differentiations occurred following long-standing claims about the alleged differences between the Nordic and the Mediterranean people. such debates arose from responses to ancient writers who had commented on differences between northern and southerly Europeans. The greek and roman people considered the Germanic and Celtic peoples to be wilderness, red haired barbarians. Aristotle contended that the Greeks were an ideal people because they possessed a medium skin-tone, in contrast to pale northerners. By the nineteenth hundred, long-standing cultural and religious differences between Protestant northwestern Europe and the Catholic south were being reinterpreted in racial terms. [ 11 ]

nineteenth hundred [edit ]

In the nineteenth hundred, the class of humanness into discrete races became a matter for scientific argue. In 1870, Thomas Huxley argued that there were four basic racial categories ( Xanthochroic, Mongoloid, Australioid and Negroid ). The Xanthochroic raceway were the “ carnival whites ” of north and central Europe. According to Huxley ,

On the south and west this character comes into contact and mixes with the “ Melanochroi, ” or “ blue whites ” … In these regions are found, more or less interracial with Xanthochroi and Mongoloids, and extending to a greater or less distance into the adjacent Xanthochroic, Mongoloid, Negroid and Australioid areas, the men whom I have termed Melanochroi, or dark whites. Under its best form this type is exhibited by many Irishmen, Welshmen and Bretons, by Spaniards, South Italians, Greeks, Armenians, Arabs and high-caste Brahmins … I am much disposed to think that the Melanochroi are the resultant role of an concoction between the Xanthochroi and the Australoids. It is to the Xanthochroi and Melanochroi, taken in concert, that the absurd denomination of “ white ” is normally applied. [ 12 ]

By the late nineteenth hundred, Huxley ‘s Xanthochroi group had been redefined as the “ Nordic ” race, whereas his Melanochroi became the Mediterranean race. As such, Huxley ‘s Melanochroi finally besides comprised respective other dark Caucasoid populations, including the Hamites ( e.g. Berbers, Somalis, northern Sudanese, ancient Egyptians ) and Moors. [ 13 ] William Z. Ripley ‘s The Races of Europe ( 1899 ) created a tripartite exemplary, which was later popularised by Madison Grant. It divided Europeans into three main subcategories : Teutonic, Alpine and Mediterranean. [ 14 ] Ripley noted that although the European Caucasoid populations largely spoke ( indo-european ) languages, the oldest extant language in Europe was Basque. He besides acknowledged the being of non-European Caucasoids, including diverse populations that did not speak indo-european or indo-iranian languages, such as afroasiatic and turkish groups. [ 15 ]

European racial types according to Ripley[16]









Very light



Narrow, aquiline

Nordic (Deniker), Homo Europaeus (Lapouge)

Alpine (Celtic)



Light chestnut

Hazel, gray

Medium; stocky

Variable; rather broad, heavy

Occidental (Deniker), Homo Alpinus (Lapouge)




Dark brown or black


Medium; slender

Narrow, slightly aquilline

Ibero-Insular, Atlanto-Mediterranean (Deniker)

twentieth hundred [edit ]

During the twentieth hundred, white supremacists and Nordicists in Europe and the United States promoted the merits of the Nordic race as the most “ advance ” of all the human population groups, designating them as the “ master race “. Southern/Eastern Europeans were deemed to be subscript, an controversy that dated back to Arthur de Gobineau ‘s claims that racial blend was responsible for the decline of the Roman Empire. [ 17 ] [ 18 ] however, in southerly Europe itself alternative models were developed which stressed the merits of Mediterranean peoples, drawing on established traditions dating from ancient and Renaissance claims about the superiority of culture in the south. [ citation needed ] Giuseppe Sergi ‘s much-debated reserve The Mediterranean Race ( 1901 ) argued that the Mediterranean slipstream had likely originated from a coarse ancestral stock that evolved in the Sahara region or the eastern separate of Africa, in the region of the capital lakes, near the sources of the Nile, including Somaliland, and which late spread from there to populate North Africa, and the circum-Mediterranean region. [ 19 ] Sergi added that the Mediterranean race “ in its external characters is a brown human variety show, neither white nor negroid, but pure in its elements, that is to say not a intersection of the mix of Whites with Negroes or negroid peoples. ” [ 20 ] He explained this taxonomy as inspired by an understand of “ the morphology of the skull as revealing those home forcible characters of human stocks which remain constant through long ages and at far remote control spots [ … ] As a zoologist can recognise the character of an animal species or variety belong to any region of the globe or any period of fourth dimension, so besides should an anthropologist if he follows the same method acting of investigating the morphologic characters of the skull [ … ] This method acting has guided me in my investigations into the present problem and has given me unexpected results which were often afterwards confirmed by archeology or history. ” [ 21 ] According to Sergi, the Mediterranean race was the “ greatest raceway of the world ” and was singularly responsible for the most accomplished civilizations of antiquity, including those of Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece, Ancient Persia, Ancient Rome, Carthage, Hittite Anatolia, Land of Punt, Mesopotamia and Phoenicia. The four capital branches of the Mediterranean malcolm stock were the Libyans, the Ligurians, the Pelasgians and the Iberians. [ 22 ] Ancient Egyptians, Ethiopians and Somalis were considered by Sergi as Hamites, themselves constituting a Mediterranean diverseness and one situated close to the birthplace of the stock. [ 23 ] To Sergi, the Semites were a arm of the Eurafricans who were closely related to the Mediterraneans. [ 24 ] He besides asserted that the light-skinned Nordic slipstream descended from the Eurafricans. [ 25 ] According to Robert Ranulph Marett, “ it is in North Africa that we must probably place the original hotbed of that Mediterranean rush ”. [ 26 ] former in the twentieth hundred, the concept of a distinctive Mediterranean slipstream was however considered utilitarian by theorists such as Earnest Hooton in Up From the Ape ( 1931 ) and Carleton S. Coon in his revised edition of Ripley ‘s Races of Europe ( 1939 ). These writers subscribed to Sergi ‘s depigmentation theory that the Nordic subspecies was the northern variety of Mediterraneans that lost pigmentation through natural choice ascribable to the environment. [ 27 ] According to Coon, the “ fatherland and rocker ” of the Mediterranean race was in North Africa and Southwest Asia, in the area from Morocco to Afghanistan. He promote stated that Mediterraneans formed the major population element in Pakistan and North India. [ 8 ] Coon besides argued that smaller Mediterraneans had travelled by land from the Mediterranean basin union into Europe in the Mesolithic earned run average. Taller Mediterraneans ( Atlanto-Mediterraneans ) were neolithic age seafarers who sailed in reed-type boats and colonised the Mediterranean basin from a near Eastern origin. He argued that they besides colonised Britain & Ireland where their descendants may be seen today, characterized by dark brown hair’s-breadth, black eyes and full-bodied features. He stressed the cardinal character of the Mediterraneans in his works, claiming “ The Mediterraneans occupy the focus on of the phase ; their areas of greatest concentration are precisely those where civilization is the oldest. This is to be expected, since it was they who produced it and it, in a feel, that produced them ”. [ 8 ]

C. G. Seligman besides asserted that “ it must, I think, be recognized that the Mediterranean race has actually more accomplishment to its accredit than any other, since it is creditworthy for by far the greater part of Mediterranean culture, surely before 1000 B.C. ( and probably much later ), and so shaped not entirely the Aegean cultures, but those of western angstrom well as the greater contribution of Eastern Mediterranean lands, while the culture of their near relatives, the Hamitic pre-dynastic Egyptians, formed the basis of that of Egypt. ” [ 28 ] In the U.S., the idea that the Mediterranean race included certain populations on the african continent was taken up in the early twentieth century by african-american writers such as W. E. B. Du Bois, who used it to attack white supremacist ideas about racial “ honor ”. such publications as the Journal of Negro History stressed the cross-fertilization of cultures between Africa and Europe, and adopted Sergi ‘s horizon that the “ educate ” race had originated in Africa itself. [ 29 ] H. G. Wells referred to the Mediterranean slipstream as the Iberian race. [ 30 ] While the conclude relationship between people living on both sides of the Mediterranean has been confirmed by mod genetics, [ 31 ] [ 32 ] [ 33 ] [ 34 ] the concept of clear-cut human races in a biological feel is rejected by advanced scientific consensus. In 2019, the American Association of Physical Anthropologists stated : “ The belief in ‘races ‘ as lifelike aspects of human biology, and the structures of inequality ( racism ) that emerge from such beliefs, are among the most damaging elements in the homo know both nowadays and in the past. ” [ 35 ]

physical traits [edit ]

The first physical and sociable description of the Mediterranean subspecies ( then termed “ celtic race ” ) was given by the scots scientist William Rhind in 1851 : [ 37 ]

The Celtic Race ( anc. Galatae, Pyreni ), are characterised by a grammatical read/write head, elongated from front to back, and moderate in width ; side egg-shaped ; features well defined and elegantly formed ; complexion blue ; dark brown university or black eyes ; black hair’s-breadth turning early grey ; form middle size, handsome ; feet and hands small. mental powers quick, active agent and energetic, rather than profound. Passions and affections solid. fond of club, but not unmindful of injuries. Monarchial in their governments. They occupy the southern and insular parts of Europe .

According to William Z. Ripley, the set features of the Mediterranean race were dark haircloth, blue eyes, a retentive confront, dolichocephalic skull, and a variable narrow-minded nose. [ 16 ] C. S. Coon wrote that check Mediterranean features included hide color ranging “ from tap or peaches-and-cream to a light brown ”, a relatively big and aquiline nose, considerable body hair, and dark embrown to black hair’s-breadth. [ 38 ] According to Renato Biasutti, frequent Mediterranean traits included “ skin color ‘matte’-white or brunet-white, chestnut or darkness chestnut eyes and hair’s-breadth, not excessive hairiness ; medium-low stature ( 162 ), torso of moderately longilinear forms ; dolichomorphic skull ( 78 ) with round occiput ; egg-shaped face ; leptorrhine nose ( 68 ) with straight spur, horizontal or slope downwards root of the septum ; large unfold eyes. ” [ 39 ] Agreeing with Cipriani ‘s classification, [ 40 ] Biasutti besides adopted a category of “ Ibero-Insular ” for a more archaic and isolate character observed in Sardinia, [ 41 ] and specially among the South Eastern Sardinians, which went by the specific name of Paleo-Sardinian. [ 42 ] According to Giuseppe Sergi, the earliest acknowledge inhabitants of Sardinia belonged, on the basis of the skeletons unearthed, to the Mediterranean race and were related to the North Africans ; they were relatively dark-skinned, black-to-chestnut haired, and short-circuit in stature. [ 43 ]

See besides [edit ]

bibliography [edit ]

  • Giuseppe Sergi. The Mediterranean Race: a Study of the Origins of European Peoples. London: Walter Scott.

References [edit ]

  • The Mediterranean Race by Giuseppe Sergi

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