Chapter VIII Part Two


JUST as the rise and fall of the Hindu and Persian cultures are found to be one aspect of the spread and the decay of Nordic ruling classes, so it is with the history of the Hellenes (Greeks).

Philology sets the original Hellenic home between the middle and upper reaches of the Danube, somewhere about the Hungary of to-day, and believes that they migrated thence between 3000 and 2000 B.C. 'Like their Indo-European kinsfolk, especially their neighbours, the Thracians, the Greeks were originally a fair race.' 'It is fair hair that Homer gives his chosen heroes . . . the Laconian maidens, sung by Alkman in his "Partheneia," were blond, and the Boeotian women were still mostly blond in the third century.' 'The Epic paints us Achilles, Ajax, the Atridae, as men of imposing stature.'53

It was shown above how in Greece and Asia Minor cultures originating in Western Europe went down before the incoming Nordic tribes. What is called in Hellenic legend the Ionic and Doric migration is the memory among the people of the irruption of these same tribes. Legend and history have kept, too, clear memories of the aboriginal peoples (of predominantly Mediterranean race, but undoubtedly already with a fairly strong Dinaric and Hither Asiatic mixture) in the land of Greece -- above all, the memory of the Pelasgians. The Greek place-names are often pre-Indo-European. In the Hellenic religion figures from the pre-Nordic times are preserved, such as Poseidon, whom Homer calls black-haired, and Hephaistos. The whole of the so-called Mycenean culture has been clearly described by Schuchhardt as a Mediterranean-Nordic compromise, this culture flourishing between 1500 and 1200 B.C.

When did the immigration. of Nordic tribes into Greece come about? 'One thing is certain: just as a first movement came from central Europe into Greece as early as the Stone Age, bringing the Megaron-house, stretched burial, and all kinds of new ornamentation, and thus very gradually preparing the way for the Mycenean to grow out of the old Mediterranean culture, so, more than 1000 years later, towards the end of the Bronze Age, a second movement of the same kind came about, more Nordic in character, and embodying more stubborn powers of life. It laid hold particularly on Boeotia and Attica, and then flowed over the Peloponnesus, leaving Arcadia untouched.'

'Of the first immigration there are only a few muffled undertones heard sounding in the memory of the Greek people: the conception, that is, that before their first national heroes the Achaeans, there was in the land a primitive population foreign to them -- the Pelasgians, who were, however, not rooted out, but, on the contrary, handed on very much of their old culture to the new race, such as the cults of Dionysos and of the Kabeiri and the Hermes figures.' 'The Greek people, it has often been held, preserved a clearer memory of the second Nordic immigration, which brought the Dipylon culture. Eighty years after the taking of Troy, the Greek legend tells us, the Dorians, the Heraklidae, came from the north into Greece.'54

From the valley of the Danube 'the forefathers of the later Hellenes followed the Margos (Morava) valley, which has an easy communication (at about 450 metres above sea level) with the Axios (Vardar) valley, which then took them on to the shores of the Aegean Sea.55 That this was the road which their movement took from the north is pointed to also by the position of the Hellenic holy place at Dodona, which lay right in the north-west of the historical national territory, in Epirus.

Fig. 201 - Hellenic terra-cotta figure from Tanagra, girl with fair hair and blue eyes (in the Sculpture Collection, Dresden)

The heroic sagas of the Hellenes are a clear reflection of the Nordic race.56 They have evidently preserved memories of the not very strong ruling class of the first comers, who filled the Hellenic world with their deeds, whose bands, in contrast with the old Mediterranean bowmen, came in helmets, and armed with spear and round shield. The so-called Mycencan culture, whose end was brought about by the intrusion of the Nordic conquerors, had reached a high development. A mighty kingdom with great revenues had belonged to it; the dead were buried; the long shield was the defensive weapon. The invading Nordic bands were led by tribal leaders without any great authority, a condition which also characterizes the earliest history of the Persians and Hindus. The conquerors brought with them the institution of burning the dead, and those religious beliefs which later received their fairest development in the Olympic figures of Homer's gods.57 The Hellenic heroic sagas are concerned with the earliest times of Hellas, in which, as it were, a few tribes had first found the way to Greece as a vanguard of the Nordic race. Then perhaps the Ionians (referred to in the Bible as Javan) came in, as the first numerous band of invaders. They were followed about 1400 or 1300 B.C. by the Aeolians and Achaeans. The Mycenean culture came into being. An Achaean king is mentioned in a Hittite inscription as early as the second half of the fourteenth century B.C. Finally, about 1100 B.C. there was the last great Nordic immigration -- that of the Doric tribes; the Dipylon culture arose. It would seem to be in accordance with this later immigration of the Doric tribes that they have preserved in their dialect the most ancient forms of Greek.58 Herodotus says that the Dorians had their original home among the snows.

All these tribes from the first beginnings of the immigrations are characterized by the Nordic house, Nordic styles and weapons, and, from the Mycenean times, by the burning of the dead, which rite we find in the Iliad. The culture known as the Doric Dipylon culture points clearly to a Nordic heritage. The immigrants bring father-right with them; the earlier population had mother-right. Instead of the Mediterranean belief of the soul being taken to the gods, or to the Isles of the Blessed, there is now the Nordic belief in a gloomy abode of the dead, in the kingdom of Hades, which is the same as the kingdom of Hela in Germanic belief. It was only later that the Mediterranean belief again made its way in, and from those areas whither the Nordic immigration had not reached. Slowly there is born out of the world of the Nordic rulers, and that of the Mediterranean people of the lower orders, that wonderful mingling of forms which we know as the 'happy' Grecian world. But the upper stratum of Hellenic ideas: the religion of men such as Homer, Hellenic science and philosophy, Hellenic art bear clear witness to the Nordic nature of the creative class of men in Greece. If 'self-discipline, order, and conscientiousness' are the marks of great Hellenic art,59 it is these which are Nordic essential characteristics in Hellenic guise. The figures and the legends of the gods have preserved those heroic features which characterize the Nordic race. Athene, 'the blonde, blue-eyed goddess,' as she is called by Pindar (in the tenth Nemean Ode), is armed for the fray like the Germanic Valkyries; the life of the gods preserves the characteristics of the Heroic Age of Greece. It is indeed the mark of the early times of all peoples under Nordic leadership that this early history shows clearly an Heroic Age. Whether it is the early times of the Hindus, Persians, Hellenes, or Romans, or those of the Kelts, the Germans, or the Slavs that are in question, everywhere an heroic age is found, and with it and after it the age of the great heroic poems, those poems that everywhere show such an agreement in their heroic ideals that from these alone the conclusion may be drawn of a oneness of race, of a race that may fittingly be called the Heroic race. Homer gives the Greeks their heroic poetry; and the Iliad is a faithful picture of the ideals of the nobility in the heroic age of the Hellenes, in the age when the heroic Nordic blood in them was at its freshest. Wright found Homer's ideas on the sexual life 'of a Scandinavian type,'60 thus pointing to the Nordic nature of early Greece. It is clear that we -- so far as we feel the Nordic nature in ourselves -- have only made the Iliad wholly ours for our spiritual education, that we have only made early Greece our own in its actions, its thought, and its creativeness, when this world has been clearly described to us, and is seen by us, as the Hellenic form of the Nordic nature is seen by us as the vital answer given by Nordic men to all those great questions which were set to them when they broke into this particular land, and made themselves rulers over this particular subject people.61

Figs. 202a, 202b - Head of a victor in the games

Fig. 203 - Aphrodite

Fig. 204 - Menelaus

Fig. 205 - Kore of Praxiteles

Fig. 206 - The so-called Eros of Centocelli (probably after Praxiteles)

The type of beauty in Greece is thoroughly Nordic.62 Homer and Hesiod call gods and heroes blond, blue-eyed, and tall. Dark hair is in Homer characteristic of non-Hellenes: the Trojan Hector is called (Iliad, Book 12) black-haired. Greek sculptures are always showing the pure Nordic race.63 The ever-recurring phrase, 'fair and tall,' applied to men, women, and children (often, for instance, by Homer and Herodotus) goes to show that only the tall Nordic fulfilled the conditions of the Hellenic ideal of beauty. As late as the fourth century A.D., the Jewish physician and sophist Adamantios describes the population of Greece so that the Nordic blood can be recognized: 'Wherever the Hellenic and Ionic race has been kept pure, we see proper tall men of fairly broad and straight build, neatly made, of fairly light skin and blond; the flesh is rather firm, the limbs straight, the extremities well made. The head is of middling size, and moves very easily; the neck is strong, the hair somewhat fair, and soft, and a little curly; the face is rectangular, the lips narrow, the nose straight, and the eyes bright, piercing, and full of light; for of all nations the Greek has the fairest eyes.'64 This description is not very clear; one has the impression, too, that it has been brought by the use of older sources artificially into agreement with the early Hellenic ideal of beauty, for it is rather unlikely that in the fifth century A.D. there were many predominantly Nordic people left in Greece. But evidence such as this from late Hellenic times shows at least by its very purpose the tendency towards a Nordic ideal of beauty -- the ideal of the Heroic Age.

The ideal of beauty in the centuries before our era is perhaps best given by the small terra-cotta figures, mostly from the fourth century B.C., which have been mainly found about Tanagra, and generally represent women and girls in everyday life. So far as can now be seen, they often gave them light hair and blue eyes, and the features of the Nordic race. 'The hair in the examples I know of seems, without exception, to be red-brown, the eyes almost, but not quite, always blue.'65 The remains of the painted statues from the time before the Persian wars (before the fifth century B.C.) almost always have fair hair. Philostratos describes pictures where Narcissus and Antilochos are represented as fair.

Fig. 207 - Statue of a Hellenic woman from Herculaneum (in the Sculpture Collection, Dresden)

Not only was the ideal of beauty determined by the Nordic race, but the upper class of the people must have made a predominantly Nordic impression down to the fifth century B.C. Otherwise Pindar (middle of fifth century B.C.) could hardly have called his countrymen 'the blond Danai,' as he does in the ninth Nemean Ode. 'Xanthos' (the blond), too, is fairly often found as a proper name.66 Hellenic antiquity held the women of Thebes to be the most beautiful; Sophocles, too, praises them. 'They are through their height, their walk, and their movements the most perfect of all the women in Greece. They have fair hair, which they wear tied in a knot on the top of the head.' So Dikaiarchos67 describes them -- a writer of the second century B.C. Thebes, indeed, seems to have had the strongest Nordic strain of all. That even in earlier times dark men were found among the freemen, too, can be seen from Homer in the case of Thersites and Eurybates, Odysseus' herald. Both are described as woolly-haired, Thersites as shrilly abusive and a 'ceaseless chatterer,' Eurybates with a dark countenance and round shoulders.

It would seem that from early times the blood of short-headed races had been trickling into Greece from the Balkans, Asia Minor, and Crete, especially the blood of the Hither Asiatic race. The features of Socrates (Fig. 211) indicate Alpine (?) blood (his appearance combined with his intellectual greatness was felt to be an extraordinary exception), as do the representations of the satyrs, Silene, and the centaurs. The Alpine man was looked on as comic; this is seen, too, from the face of the comic mask, so called in contrast with the purely Nordic tragic mask. The Greek jesting figures (mostly small ones of clay) are always showing in a most striking way features of the Alpine and Hither Asiatic races: broad, blunted faces, small eyes, thick, very projecting noses, or sometimes the thick lips of Negro blood; at any rate, there is always a departure from the picture of the Nordic (and the Mediterranean) race (cp. Figs. 208, 209). When such non-Nordic people had become more numerous among the Hellenes, the use of fair dyes for dark hair began to be more frequent (as seems to happen in the later times of any people of Indo-European speech). Euripides mentions methods for dyeing the hair blond. Thus does an age that has become poor in Nordic blood seek an outward likeness with the early and the heroic ages. The above-mentioned Adamantios, again, speaks of a certain dislike in the late Hellenes towards black- and curly-haired persons, who were looked on as deceitful and lustful.

Greek history might be represented as the play between the spirit of the Nordic upper class and that of the foreign lower orders in the above-described environment. The racial structure of the people that now consists of rulers and conquered can be clearly seen in the constitution of the Doric Spartans with its strictly separated three classes: the uppermost of these was that of the Nordic Doric lords, the Spartiats, the second being the class of the Perioikoi, free, indeed, and liable for military service, but paying tribute, and probably mainly made up of the descendants of the pre-Doric, but always predominantly Nordic, Achaeans; the third of these classes, the Helots, comprised the serfs of predominantly Mediterranean race, whom the Achaeans had formerly held in subjection. Each Spartiat family had been granted its inalienable hereditary estate (the German word Adel, 'nobility,' is connected, too, with a word for hereditary estate). The Spartan state kept itself in existence mainly by the strict and truly Nordic military discipline under which all freemen were held for their whole lives. By means of eugenic measures the Spartans sought to keep the Nordic ruling class in full life and strength, and at the same time not to allow the Helot class to be over-prolific. Brasidas saw the dangerous position of an upper class set over a lower class of another race: 'We are few in the midst of many foes.'68 Hence there were prohibitions against emigration, punishments for not marrying, rewards for large families. The Lycurgan law allows of the dissolution of childless marriages, and punishes unions with worthless women. He who had four children or more was left free of taxation (a measure which is again proposed to-day by eugenic writers). But the children, too, of the upper class were subjected to a strict selection: the elders of a tribe decided whether a newborn child was to be brought up; if it was sickly or misshapen, it was left exposed. 'It was better for it and the state that a child which was not born well shaped and strong should not be left alive.'69 So Plutarch says, and adds that the Spartans were the first who sought to improve the breed not only of dogs and horses, but also of men: they would not allow the unrestricted breeding of the mentally and physically unfit, and of the worthless elements. Hence Xenophon's judgment: 'It is easy to see that these measures could not but produce a race excelling in build and in strength. It will be hard to find a healthier and more efficient people than the Spartans.'70 In the history of Sparta a certain pride in the racial inheritance is always to be seen, a feeling among Spartans that they were the only pure-blooded Hellenes. The beauty of Spartan women was proverbial, while their health and self-control were esteemed before all. Bakchylides (fifth century B.C.) sang of them, calling them blond. That the Spartan state was penetrated by the Nordic spirit is also pointed to by the fact that even in the latest times of conservative Sparta the woman had more rights and influence than in the democratic Hellenic states. In Homer the woman has greater freedom and consideration than in the strongly denordicized Athens of the Periclean period.

Figs. 208a, 208b - Hellenic terra-cotta figure from the Third Century B.C.; woman of Hither Asiatic Race (in the Sculpture Collection, Dresden)

The eugenic ideals corresponding to the laws of Lycurgus were bound to disappear in the same degree in which the ideals of the early times were attacked by the new theories. These theories, in contrast to the view (now felt to be old-fashioned) which made the individual a member of the community of the passing and the coming generations, laid stress on his individuality. In Plato's time denordization and degeneration -- the two phenomena preparing the way for the fall -- had already made much progress. Agis III (244-240 B.C.) in vain tried by his counsel and exemplary simplicity of life to restore the Lycurgan laws; but Spartan freedom had turned to licence, and Agis was soon afterwards condemned to death. Buddhism, too, in ancient India had stressed the individual, and taken him from out of the community. Always the decay of a culture founded by Nordic tribes has been brought about by theories of 'enlightenment' and 'individualism.' Decadent Athens shows this in her age of enlightenment (which was imbued with the spirit of the Hither Asiatic race) with its exaggerated individualism even clearer than Sparta.

Fig. 209 - Hellenic-Egyptian clay vessel (head as a pot) with a head of Hither Asiatic Race

The racial structure of the Athenian State is not so clear, but can easily be gathered: it was first under a king, and then governed by a nobility. But in Athens, as in Sparta, the decline is clearly marked by the exhaustion of the blood of the Nordic race. So soon as in the structure of a state resting on racial divisions classes become based on wealth, and not on status, we have a sure sign that the races are beginning to mingle. The non-Nordic upstart who has grown rich gets more and more power in the state; the Nordic land-owning nobility and peasantry lose in power, fall in the wars, which are the business of the class of freemen only, and in duels, which are so characteristic of the Nordic class, and finally make mixed marriages, which are the quickest means of effacing all racial distinctions. The Solonic constitution of Athens (549 B.C.), which at first used landed property as the basis of values, in the end bases values on possessions in money. This shows that the race is changing. The rise of Tyrants resting on the 'people' (demos) -- Peisistratos, for example, finds his support among the coastal traders and the poorer people of the mountains, both of whom are probably non-Nordic elements in the population -- is the sign of a far-advanced change in the relations between the races. Finally there come executions of noble leaders -- that is, the extirpation of the boldest spirits in the Nordic upper class -- and banishment of leading men -- that is, finally, the breeding up of masses who look on a great man as a public misfortune.71 The wars with the Persians, and above all the racially destructive fraternal strife among the Hellenes, could not but lead to the quick destruction of the warrior upper classes. 'The fall of Athens, like its splendour, is to be explained by the composition of its citizens, who were seldom more than 30,000 in number. Then in the Peloponnesian War alone the Athenians lost through the Sicilian expedition 60,000 men, only some of whom, naturally, were full citizens. After the fight at Chaeronea 20,000 of those who were not citizens had to be raised to citizenship. Thus the Demos of Athens lost its noble character. Here we would remind the reader of the classic passage in the speech of the Eupatrid Lykurgos against Leokrates, wherein he bewails the necessity that had arisen after the battle of Chaeronea to extend the citizenship, which he calls the most painful of all the misfortunes of the city, since before this a pure descent from the land was the greatest pride of the Athenian people. Athens fell through a want of Athenians, and what was left of her glory is as the light of one of those planets which in reality have long disappeared.'72

Fig. 210 - Unknown Greeks

Athens sank in the same measure that the blood of her Nordic upper class ran dry. Once more, right in the midst of democratic rule, the great Plato (427-347 B.C.) arises from the blood of the higher nobility, but he sees the end. In his work on The Laws, he outlines plans for government full of extraordinary, we might say eugenic, insight -- plans which are to hold up and save, and bring the Athenians the eugenic principles of the early times of Sparta; but it is too late. Foreign and civil wars had left their mark on the Nordic class. 'Moreover, malaria seems to have played its part in this, against which the Nordic race evidently has far less power of resistance than the southern dark races.'73 And now came, too, the change in ethical views. 'The real death-blow was dealt the Grecian people through deliberate birth-control, which naturally, as with us, hit the upper classes first of all. As a famous passage in Polybius bears witness, the Hellenes of his time would no longer marry, or if they did, would at least bring up only very few children. There were many means in use to prevent conception, and abortion was much practised. Homosexual love, which by Plato's time was no longer felt as repugnant, was so much in favour largely because it was barren. The hetaira, as an ideal -- that is, the free, cultivated woman who granted the man her favours from free choice and without the tie of wedlock -- was partly the result of the fear of offspring. The great part played by her in the downfall of Greece is brought home to us by an inscription on the monument to Lais: Hellas, unconquerable and fruitful in heroes, was overcome and enslaved by the divine loveliness of Lais. All these circumstances together led to a state of things where, for instance, of the Doric military nobility of the Spartiats, which in the time of the Persian wars had put 8000 of its members in the field, after the battle of Leuktra there were only 2000, and in the year 230, only 700 members left.'74

Fig. 211 - Socrates of Athens (470-399 B.C.)

Fig. 212 - Demosthenes of Athens (385-322 B.C.)

Figs. 213a, 213b - Menandros of Athens (341-290 B.C.)

Figs. 214a, 214b - Euripides of Athens (480-401 B.C.)

The non-Nordic blood shows itself again clearly all over Greece. Dikaiarchos (second century B.C.) paints the uneducated class in Athens, the 'Attics,'75 as 'inquisitive chatterers'; the upper class, on the other hand, the 'Athenians,' he paints as 'great-souled, honourable, and upright in friendship.' For this upper class it was ill-bred to make many or emphatic gestures with the hands. Even orators should be so restrained in their movements that the folds of their garments were not disordered, a precept which could never be understood by the Mediterranean racial soul. But the upper class, the 'Athenians,' grew fewer and fewer, and its place was taken by others that rose from the lower class, and by immigrants from peoples of predominantly Hither Asiatic race. In the second century B.C. Polybius was already calling his countrymen 'degenerate, pleasure-seeking beggars, without loyalty or belief, and without hope for a better future.' Over the whole of Greece it was now the rule of 'Lord Demos,' as Aristophanes had called the lower orders in his Knights, directed against Kleon the tanner.

Figs. 215a, 215b - Pericles of Athens, statesman (died 429 B.C.)

Fig. 216 - Herodotus (about 490-425 B.C.), born at Halicarnassus (Asia Minor). Thucydides (454-396 B.C.?), son of a Thracian immigrant into Athens

Fig. 217 - Sophocles of Athens (probably 497-406 B.C.)

Crete seems to have been the first to receive a considerable strain of Hither Asiatic blood; the oldest sculpture there already shows characteristics of this race. There, too, were especially found (according to Beloch) the unpleasing traits which stained the political life of the Hellenes, and which make them appear less Nordic than the Persians and the Italics (Romans) -- ill-faith, want of honour, venality, envy -- 'so many shameful deeds in public life by the side of incomparable masterpieces.'76 From Crete, too, spread homosexual love -- it may be presumed with the spread of Hither Asiatic blood. Among the Mediterranean-Hither Asiatic Etruscans, too, there was pederasty and a luxury like that which spread in the city life of late Hellenic times, especially in Sicily. Hellenic life more and more took on Eastern characters; the racial mixture of Greece to-day had begun, a mixture of the Hither Asiatic, Mediterranean, and Oriental.

Since at a later day besides the burning of bodies there was also burial, a few old Greek skulls have been examined. They are mostly dolichocephalic, with average index 75.7. Ridgeway says77 that as late as 400-300 B.C. dolichocephaly was predominant in Greece. Thus it seems to be after 300 B.C. that Hither Asiatic blood flowed more strongly into the Nordic and Mediterranean blood of the Hellenes. Since the Hither Asiatic race shows special trading aptitude, it may be that the growth of trade drew Hither Asiatics in ever-growing numbers into the life of the Mediterranean towns.

Figs. 218a, 218b - Attic philosopher from the Fourth Century B.C. Determined by F. Poulson (Copenhagen) as Plato (probably copy of Silanion's bust after life. The usual busts of Plato are copies of a grave bust made after Plato's death). The tip of the nose has been restored (in Dinaric form)

Figs. 219a, 219b - Zenon of Kition in Cyprus, founder of the Stoic school of philosophy (about 364-263 B.C.)

Figs. 220a, 220b - Poseidonios of Apameia (Syria), philosopher (135-45 B.C.)

In the late Greek drama, too, the hero still wore a mask with fair hair, but the people must have been already quite predominantly dark when Pausanias (first century A.D.) is filled with wonder at finding in a temple at Athens Athene represented with blue eyes. Hippocrates (460-377 B.C.), when considering the question of the shape of the head and the colour of the eyes being inherited, had referred to blue eyes as still an everyday sight.

The Roman Manilius in the reign of Augustus already reckoned the Hellenes among the dark nations (coloratae gentes).78

Greece was ripe for the fall. But 'it is interesting to note that the Greek states in which the Nordic element most predominated outlived the other states. Athens fell before Sparta, and Thebes outlived them both. The great thinkers and artists of the Hellenic tribes all belonged to the time before the Macedonian conquest. Attica between 530 and 430 B.C. had an average population of about 90,000 freemen, and yet from this number were born no less than fourteen geniuses of the very highest rank.'79

The late Greek thinkers after Aristotle cannot be compared with those before him, and, like Hellenic thought, Hellenic art faded away into insignificance, although the Macedonian, and later the Roman, conquerors encouraged Greek culture. Hellenism and Alexandrianism were the mental achievements of the denordicized times. The great time of Hellenic music had lasted from the seventh to the fourth century B.C. The denordicized times could no longer keep on the heights reached. 'Although Greek education for many more centuries was the predominant one for all the countries on the Mediterranean, and music in particular in the Roman Empire remained altogether the affair of the Greeks, yet no further development was made; and the ethical level quickly sank.'80

Figs. 221a, 221b - Alexander the Great (356-323 B.C.)

Fig. 222 - Seleucus I Nicator. Macedonian General under Alexander the Great, then Founder of the Kingdom of Syria. Murdered 280 B.C.

Fig. 223 - Macedonian warrior from the Sidon Sarcophagus (after Winter)

In the north of Greece that power had arisen which was to enter on the inheritance -- a power clearly marked out for dominion through its far stronger Nordic upper class at this time compared with Greece: this was Macedonia. In contrast with the ageing Greece that was entering a racial twilight, the Macedonians were now the Nordic people that had kept itself purer, and was making itself ready to take the lead. We know from anthropological investigations how Nordic the Macedonians of Alexander the Great were: the coloured sarcophagus of Sidon shows 'that the Macedonians had a white skin, fair hair, and blue eyes.'81 The figures show 'strongly developed mounds over the eyes, a slightly retreating forehead, and a not very high skull, a strong sharp chin,'82 and the other Nordic characteristics. We know of the appearance of Alexander himself that he was long-headed, fair-skinned, blond, and that he had such delicate skin-colouring that he could blush not only on the cheeks but also on the breast.83 Many sculptures bear witness to his Nordic features. From the anthropological standpoint it is easily seen why Macedonia's time had now come: in Greece the Nordic blood was coming to an end; in Macedonia there was a Nordic people just struggling up, which perhaps not long since had come south from a home to the north. Certain aspects of Macedonian culture, too, have quite a 'North European' look.84 From the anthropological standpoint the reason for the transfer of power from the Hellenes to the Macedonians is as clear as that for the withdrawal of Austria in favour of Prussia in the leadership of the German people. Greece was exhausted; if we reckon the great men of the several periods of Greek history, we see their number gradually growing less, and that many a highly gifted Greek had a father or mother of the blood of more northern peoples, of the Nordic Thracian or Macedonian blood. Hippocrates refers to the long heads of the Thracians, Aristotle to the fairness of the Scythians and Thracians. Xenophanes (born 570 B.C. (?)) had already referred to these fair and blue-eyed tribes, and their fair and blue-eyed gods. Alexander the Great now led one of these tribes, the Macedonians, to fame -- and, through the spread of the domination of the Nordic ruling class over far-off non-Nordic regions, he was leading them, too, towards their fall.

If old Greece was marked mainly by a Nordic-Mediterranean-Dinaric-Hither Asiatic mixture, later times and the Greece of to-day are marked by a Mediterranean-Hither Asiatic-Dinaric-Oriental mixture, and, it would seem, by an ever-swelling stream of the blood of short-headed races from the Balkans. Nordic blood is still found at times, so specially in the Sphakiots, mentioned previously. It seems, too, to have flowed in the Viking-like Khair-ed-din Barbarossa, the founder of Osman rule in North Africa, the red-bearded son of a Greek from Lesbos.

To Chapter VIII Part Three

Back to Index

Footnotes for Chapter VIII Part Two

53 Beloch, Griech. Gesch., i. 1912.

54 Schuchhardt, Alteuropa, 1919.

55 Beloch, Griech. Gesch., i., 1912.

56 Lytton, as long ago as 1842, pointed out the Nordic blood of the Greeks in his Zanoni.

57 Cp. Ridgeway, The Early Age of Greece, 1901.

58 The spirit of the non-Nordic masses had as yet had very little effect on the Doric dialect. The Ionic dialect is the earliest to show changes.

59 These are given by W. Müller, Die griechische Kunst, 1925.

60 F. A. Wright, Feminism in Greek Literature . . ., 1923.

61 It is between the early Germanic and Hellenic cultures that we especially find traits of likeness (cp. Schuchhardt, 'Hof, Burg. u. Stadt bei Germanen u. Griechen.' Neu. Jahrb. f. d. klass. Altertum, ii., 1908). The highly developed feeling for nature especially found in these two peoples of Nordic origin has been pointed out before now, as also the likeness in their names.

62 Homer, in the Iliad, calls Aphrodite, Demeter, Rhadamanthus, Aurora, Agamede, Herakles, Harmonia, and Lykos blond; he calls Achilles, Menelaus, Meleager, Helen, Briseis blond. Pindar's gods and heroes are blond, as are Theocritus'; contemporary blonds are named by Theocritus, and Bacchylides. Euripides calls Herakles and Harmonia blond. De Lapouge (L'Aryen, 1899) gives the passages in question.

63 If in many statues the Nordic projection of the back of the head is not fully shown, the whole design of the statue must be taken into account, since many statues were made to be looked at from one direction, and the opposite one correspondingly left out of account.

64 Physiognomonica, ii. 32.

65 Kekulé, Griech. Tonfiguren aus Tanagra, 1878.

66 Aristotle gives the colour of 'xanthos' as that of fire and of the sun. The colour of the lion's mane was also called 'xanthos' by the Hellenes.

67 Dicaearchi Messenii composita, ed. Fuhr., 1841.

68 Thucydides, iv. 126.

69 Plutarch, Lycurgus, 16.

70 In his work on the constitution of the Lacedaemonians, i. 10; v. 9.

71 A Chinese proverb says: 'A great man is a public misfortune.' This belief seems to belong particularly to the short, broad-faced, short-headed races.

72 Hoernes, Natur- u. Urgeschichte des Menschen, 1907.

73 Lenz, in Baur-Fischer-Lenz, Grundr. d. menschl. Erblichkeitslehre, etc., i., 1923.

74 Lenz, op. cit., i., 1923.

75 Plato (in his Laws) had already made a distinction between Athenians and Attics in the populations of Athens.

76 As Gobineau expresses himself in his Essai sur l'inégalité des races humaines, 1853-5.

77 The Early Age of Greece, i., 1901.

78 Astronomica, iv., 719.

79 M. Grant, The Passing of the Great Race, 1921.

80 Riemann, Kleines Handbuch d. Musikgesch., 1922.

81 de Ujfalvy, Le type physique d'Alexandre le Grand, 1902.

82 Id.

83 Id.

84 This is brought out under 'Makedonen' in Schrader's Reallex. d. indoger. Altertumskunde.