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Ancient Rome Antiochus IV Epiphanes David Skrbina Final solution Hadrian Horace Jerusalem Jewish question (JQ) Judaism Old Testament Seneca The Jesus Hoax (book) Vespasian and Titus

The Jesus Hoax, 4

 
CHAPTER 4: ONE AGAINST ALL

If the Jews are chosen by God, then everyone else is, of necessity, not chosen. If Jews are first class humans in the eyes of God, everyone else is second-class at best. And indeed, Jews do view themselves as distinct, special, and superior to others. As Exodus states, “We are distinct from all other people that are upon the face of the earth” (33:16). Similarly, the Hebrew tribe is “a people dwelling alone, and not reckoning itself among the nations” (Numbers 23:9).

Moses adds that “you shall rule over many nations” (15:6)… you shall eat the wealth of the nations” (61:5-6).

Clearly, when other people began to encounter these ideas and the attitudes that derived from them, one would expect a backlash. And there was. Hence we find a consistent thread of opinions from non-Jewish observers, for centuries, who are repelled by such arrogance…

The earliest direct references come from Aristotle’s star pupil Theophrastus. He had a concern about one of their customs: “the Syrians, of whom the Jews (Ioudaioi) constitute a part, also now sacrifice live victims… They were the first to institute sacrifices both of other living beings and of themselves”. The Greeks, he added, would have “recoiled from the entire business.” The victims—animal and human —were not eaten, but burnt as “whole offerings” to their God, and were “quickly destroyed.” The philosopher was clearly repelled by this Jewish tradition.

Egyptian high priest Manetho (ca. 250 BC) tells of a group of “lepers and other polluted persons,” 80,000 in number, who were exiled from Egypt and found residence in Judea… When in power they treated the natives “impiously and savagely,” “setting towns and villages on fire, pillaging the temples and mutilating images of the gods without restraint,” and roasting the animals held sacred by the locals. This is a very different version than we read in the Jewish Bible…

The decline of the Seleucids coincided with Roman ascent. Rome was still technically a republic in the second century BC, but its power and influence were rapidly growing. Jews were attracted to the seat of power, and travelled to Rome in significant numbers. As before, they grew to be hated. By 139 BC, the Roman praetor Hispalus found it necessary to expel them from the city: “The same Hispalus banished the Jews from Rome, who were attempting to hand over their own rites to the Romans, and he cast down their private alters from public places”. In even this short passage, one senses a Roman Jewry who were disproportionately prominent, obtrusive, even ‘pushy.’

Perhaps in part because of this incident, and in light of the Maccabean revolt some 30 years earlier, the Seleucid king Antiochus VII Sidetes was advised in 134 BC to exterminate the Jews… Apollonius Molon wrote the first book to explicitly confront the Hebrew tribe, Against the Jews.

The rhetoric is clearly heating up. In 63 BC, as we know, Roman general Pompey took Palestine. In the year 59 BC Cicero gave a speech, now titled Pro Flacco. The Jewish religion is “at variance with the glory of our empire, the dignity of our name, the customs of our ancestors.” That the gods stand opposed to this tribe “is shown by the fact that it has been conquered, let out for taxes, made a slave.”

Ten years later Diodorus Siculus wrote his Historical Library. Among other things, it again recounts the Exodus: “The refugees had occupied the territory round about Jerusalem, and having organized the nation of Jews had made their hatred of mankind into a tradition” (34, 1).

Here, though, it is Antiochus Epiphanes, not his successor Sidetes, that was urged “to wipe out completely the race of Jews, since they alone of all nations avoided dealings with any other people and looked upon all men as their enemies”.

The great lyric poet Horace wrote his Satires in 35 BC, exploring Epicurean philosophy and the meaning of happiness. At one point, though, he makes a passing comment on the apparently notorious proselytizing ability of the Roman Jews—in particular their tenaciousness in winning over others. Horace is in the midst of attempting to persuade the reader of his point of view: “and if you do not wish to yield, then a great band of poets will come to my aid, and, just like the Jews, we will compel you to concede to our crowd” (I.4.143). Their power must have been legendary, or he would not have made such an allusion.

The last commentator of the pre-Christian era was Lysimachus. Writing circa 20 BC, he offers another variation on the Exodus story. The exiled ones, led by Moses, were instructed to “show goodwill to no man,” to offer “the worst advice” to others, and to overthrow any temples or sanctuaries they might come upon. Arriving in Judea, “they maltreated the population, and plundered and set fire to the local temples.” They then built a town called Hierosolyma (Jerusalem), and referred to themselves as Hierosolymites.

The charge of misanthropy, or hatred of mankind, is significant and merits further discussion, especially in light of the Christian story.

 

Romans of the Christian Era

Emperor Tiberius expelled them in the year 19 AD. The expulsion did not succeed. Eleven years later, as we recall from chapter two, Sejanus found reason to oppose them again.

Anti-Jewish actions continued. In 49, Claudius once again had to expel them. In a fascinating line from Suetonius circa the year 120, we find mention of one ‘Chrestus’ (Latin: Chresto) as the leader of the rabble; this would be perhaps the fourth non-Jewish references to Jesus. “Since the Jews constantly made disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus, [Claudius] expelled them from Rome”. This is an important observation that, even at that late date, the Romans still identified Christianity with the Jews.

Despite all this, the beleaguered tribe still earned no sympathy. The great philosopher Seneca commented on them in his work On Superstition, circa 60. He was appalled not only by their ‘superstitious’ religious beliefs, but more pragmatically with their astonishing influence in Rome and around the known world, despite repeated pogroms and banishments. Seneca adds: “The customs of this accursed race (sceleratissima gens) have gained such influence that they are now received throughout all the world. The vanquished have given laws to their victors.”

Seneca is clearly indignant at their reach. Then came the historic Jewish revolt in Judea, during the years 66 to 70. The Romans were surely gratified; to their mind, the Jews received their just deserts.

In besieging Jerusalem, and consequently the mighty Jewish temple, Titus had the Jews trapped. There was thought of sparing the temple, but Titus opposed this option. For him, “the destruction of this temple was a prime necessity in order to wipe out more completely the religion of the Jews and the Christians.” These two religions, “although hostile to each other, nevertheless sprang from the same sources; the Christians had grown out of the Jews: if the root were destroyed, the stock would easily perish”. The passage closes by noting that 600,000 Jews were killed in the war.

The third and final Jewish uprising occurred just a few years later, in 132. The reasons for this were many, but two stand out: the construction of a Roman city on the ruins of Jerusalem, and Emperor Hadrian’s banning of circumcision: “At this time the Jews began war, because they were forbidden to practice genital mutilation (mutilare genitalia)”. Dio describes the conflict in detail. “Jews everywhere were showing signs of hostility to the Romans, partly by secret and partly overt acts”. They were able to bribe others to join in the uprising: “many outside nations, too, were joining them through eagerness for gain, and the whole earth, one might almost say, was being stirred up over the matter.” For those today who argue that Jews were perennially the cause of wars, this would provide some early evidence. Hadrian sent one of his best generals, Severus, to put down the insurgency. Through a slow war of attrition, “he was able to crush, exhaust, and exterminate them. Very few of them in fact survived.”

Finally we have Celsus, a Greek philosopher who composed a text, The True Word, sometime around 178. The piece is striking as an extended and scathing critique of the increasingly prominent Christian sect.

 

Conclusions

So what can we conclude from this brief overview of some 600 years of the ancient world? To say that the Jews were disliked is an understatement. The critiques come from all around the Mediterranean region, and from a wide variety of cultural perspectives. And they are uniformly negative. I note here that it’s not a case of ‘cherry-picking’ the worst comments and ignoring the good ones. The remarks are all negative; there simply are no positive opinions on the Jews or early Christians. A reasonable conclusion is that there is something about the Jewish culture that inspires disgust and hatred.

In any case, it’s clear that the Jews had few if any friends in the ancient world. Their religion instructed them to despise others (Gentiles), and others in turn despised them. But the originating source was the Jews themselves: their religion, their worldview, their values. They were willing to use and exploit non-Jews for their own ends. They were willing to kill, and to die.

This situation feeds directly into the circumstances of the Roman occupation and Paul’s reaction. The preceding analysis suggests that Paul was interested in nothing other than saving ‘Israel,’ the Jewish people. We have seen a few textual clues indicating that he was willing even to commit murder in order to further his ends. Surely he hated the Romans with a vengeance, and yet he also could see the futility of confronting them directly.

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Horace Quotable quotes

Latin proverb

Quidquid præcipies esto brevis.
‘Whatever advice you give, be short’.
Horace, Ars Poetica (18 BC), CCCXXXV.

Categories
Horace Poetry

Horace quote

A man is blessed who, free from any business deals,
As were the mortal race of old,
With his own oxen works among ancestral fields,
Free from debts of any sort,
He hears no martial trumpet calling him to war
Nor fears to face the angry sea,
And he avoids the forum and the haughty gates
Of influential citizens.

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Ancient Greece Ancient Rome Aristotle Aryan beauty Classical sculpture Destruction of Greco-Roman world Eugenics Euripides Extermination of the Neanderthals Genuine spirituality Horace Indo-European heritage Leonidas Lycurgus Miscegenation Plato Plutarch Seneca Xenophon

Great personalities defend eugenics, 2

by Evropa Soberana

Antiquity

With the de-barbarization that ensued after the emergence of a sedentary lifestyle, the people soon realised that a society uprooted from Nature immediately degenerates. In short, humanity woke up to the dangers of civilisation.

To compensate for it, the leaders of these societies set up processes aimed at counteracting the pernicious effects of the greatest cancer that humanity has suffered: dysgenics, that is, the degeneration of the race that results from the absence of natural selection.

Here we will see that, in many civilised societies of antiquity, the laws of Nature were automatically followed. Its leaders intervened consciously and voluntarily to stop human reproduction and allow reproduction only to the best, so that the species did not degenerate. As Madison Grant wrote, where the environment is too soft and luxurious and it is not necessary to fight to survive, not only weak individuals are allowed to live. Strong types also gain weight mentally and physically!

The most illustrative examples of this era are Hindus, Greeks (among these the Spartans) and Romans. The Hellenic ideal of the kalokagathia, that is to say, an association of goodness-beauty—achieved by maintaining the purity of blood within the framework of a process of selection of the best—laid the foundations to everything that in the West has been considered ‘classical’ and ‘beautiful’ since then until recently.

In another long essay we have seen that the art that has come to us from European antiquity is perhaps only two percent of what existed and, to top it off, probably the least interesting and sublime: primitive Christians destroyed almost every legacy Greco-Roman civilisation. No one can know how many philosophers and authors suffered total destruction of their works, without anyone knowing again who they were or what they thought; and many other classic writings were censored, adulterated, corrected or mutilated.

However, we have at least some spoils of the pre-Christian era. Although ninety-eight percent of classical art was destroyed by the early Christians, what survived speaks for itself as a tribute to the selection, balance, health and excellence of all human qualities.

The Hindus. The Indo-European (i.e., Nordic) invaders arrived in India around 1400 BCE and immediately placed measures to favour high birth rates of the best elements of the population, identified with the Aryan invaders, and the decline of the worst, identified with the Negroid-Dravidic stratum.

The entire caste system was a great eugenics process in which the chandala (a term also used by Nietzsche to define the morals of Jews and Christians), the outcast, the untouchable, the sinful caste, the one considered inferior, was subjected to a horrendous lifestyle: using only the clothes of the dead bodies, drink only water from stagnant areas or animal tracks, not allow their women to be attended during childbirth, prohibition of washing, work as executioners, burials and latrine cleaners, and an unpleasant etcetera. Such impositions favoured that diseases were endemic among them; they fell like flies so that their numbers never constituted a danger for the best.

We are therefore faced with an example of negative eugenics: limiting the procreation of the worst. These measures are included in the Laws of Manu, the legendary Indo-Aryan legislator who laid the foundations for caste hierarchy. According to scientist Theodosius Dobzhansky, a renowned Ukrainian geneticist, ‘The caste system of India has been the greatest genetic experiment ever conducted by man’ (Genetic Diversity and Human Equality).

A woman always gives the world a child endowed with the same qualities as the one who has fathered him… A man of abject birth takes the natural evil of his father or his mother, or both at the same time, and can never hide its origin (Law of Manu, Book X).

Lycurgus (8th century BCE), a regent of Sparta, travelled through Spain, Egypt and India accumulating wisdom and, later, carrying out a revolution in Sparta after which the polis would militarize and establish a social system based on eugenics. The measures of this program highlight the infanticides of deformed, ugly or stupid newborns. Broadly speaking, Lycurgus’s policy was based on training perfect human beings that gave birth to perfect human beings, and there was no place for genetic engenders in that plan. On the other hand, the crypteia, carried out by the Spartan authorities on the helots (the submissive plebs) can perfectly be considered a very brutal and primitive example of negative eugenics.
 

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Editor’s Note: Having helots as slaves was a fatal flaw for Spartan civilisation. The laws of Lycurgus did not foresee that eugenic customs would fatally relax after a catastrophic war (as would happen after the Peloponnesian War). A real solution would have been, as William Pierce saw in his study on Greece, to exterminate the non-Nordic Mediterraneans of Sparta and extend such policy to all Greece, and eventually to all Europe.
 

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As for the Spartan policies of positive eugenics—favouring the multiplication of the best—we see popular rituals such as the coronation of a male champion and a female champion in a sports competition, or a king and queen in a beauty pageant, or tax exemption to the citizens who left four children. The best were expected to marry the best. Single people over twenty-five years old were extremely frowned upon and punished with fines and humiliating acts.

If the parents are strong, the children will be strong (Fr. 7).

Heraclitus (535-484 BCE), a pre-Socratic Greek philosopher known for his aphorisms in the style of the Oracle of Delphi. He established that wisdom was much more than a mere accumulation of knowledge and intelligence, also valuing intuition, instinct and will. He said: ‘I ask all mortals to father well-born children of noble parents’.

Leonidas (dies in 480 BCE), King of Sparta and supreme commander of the Greek troops in the Battle of Thermopylae. He fought in numerical inferiority against the Persians until the end, giving time for the evacuation of Greek cities, granting margin for an Athenian victory in the battle of Salamis and laying the foundations of the definitive Persian defeat in Plataea. Leonidas and his Spartans are an example of heroism, dedication to their people, a spirit of sacrifice, training and honour for all Western armies of all time.

Marry the capable and give birth to the capable! (exhortation to the Spartan people before leaving for the Thermopylae according to Plutarch, On the Malice of Herodotus, 32).

Theognis of Megara (6th century BCE) was one of the great Greek poets. He has bequeathed us in his Theognidea a series of interesting reflections and advice to his disciple Cyrnus. Among other things, Theognis divides the population into ‘good’—the nobility, identified with the Hellenic invaders—and ‘bad’—the native plebeian population of Greece, which progressively accumulated money and rights:

In rams and asses and horses, Cyrnus, we seek
the thoroughbred, and a man is concerned therein
to get him offspring of good stock;

Yet in marriage a good man thinketh not twice of wedding
the bad daughter of a bad sire if the father give him many possessions;

Nor doth a woman disdain the bed of a bad man if he be wealthy,
but is fain rather to be rich than to be good.

For ’tis possessions they prize;
and a good man weddeth of bad stock and a bad man of good;
race is confounded of riches.

In like manner, son of Polypaus,
marvel thou not that the race of thy townsmen is made obscure;
’tis because bad things are mingled with good.

Even he that knoweth her to be such, weddeth a low-born woman for pelf,
albeit he be of good repute and she of ill;
for he is urged by strong Necessity, who giveth a man hardihood.

 

Critias (460-403 BCE), Athenian philosopher, speaker, teacher, poet and uncle of Plato. He is known for being part of the Spartan occupation government known as the thirty tyrants. We will appreciate the importance that this man attached not only to inheritance, but to sports training without which a human being will never be complete.

I begin with the birth of a man, demonstrating how he can be the best and strongest in the body if his father trains and endures hardness, and if his future mother is strong and also trains.

Plato (428-347 BCE), probably the most famous philosopher of all time, was inspired by Sparta to propose the measures of Greek regeneration in his work The Republic, plagued with values of both positive eugenics—promoting the best—as negative eugenics—limit the worst—, especially with regard to the caste of the ‘guardians’. Plato, like most Greek philosophers, was in favour of exposing defective children to the weather so that they died.

It is necessary, according to our principles, that the relationships of the most outstanding individuals of one sex or the other are very frequent, and those of the lower individuals very rare. In addition, it is necessary to raise the children of the first and not of the second, if you want the flock to not degenerate (The Republic).

Based on what was agreed, it is necessary for the best men to join the best women as often as possible, and on the contrary, the worst with the worst; and the offspring of the best and not the worst should be raised, so our flock will become excellent (Statesman, 459).

That even better children are born from elite men, and from useful men to the country, even more useful children (Statesman, 461).

Xenophon (430-354), soldier, accomplished horseman during the Peloponnesian war, mercenary in the heart of Persia during the expedition of the ten thousand, philosopher, pro-Spartan and historian. Notorious anti-democrat who abhorred the Athenian government, he longed for fairer forms of government such as those he met in Persia and Sparta, where he sent his children to be educated. Together with Plutarch, Xenophon is the greatest source of information about Sparta, admiring the eugenic practices established by Lycurgus.

[Lycurgus] considered that the production of children was the noblest duty of free citizens (Constitution of the Lacedaemonians).

An old man had to introduce his wife to a young man in the prime of life whom he admired for his qualities, to have children with him (Constitution of the Lacedaemonians).

Isocrates (436-338 BCE), politician, philosopher and Greek teacher, was one of the famous ten Attic speakers and probably the most influential rhetorician of his time. He founded a public speaking school that became famous for its effectiveness and criticised the politics of many Greek cities, which instead of stimulating their birth rate inflated their numbers through the mass immigration of slaves, which he considered inferior to the Hellenic population. In this quotation it is verified to what extent Isocrates valued quality versus quantity:

It should not be said as happy that city which, from all extremes, randomly accumulates many citizens; but the one that best preserves the race of the settled since the beginning.

Euripides (480-406 BCE), playwright, a friend of Socrates and undoubtedly one of the greatest poets of all antiquity; his stain was an excessive machismo that led him to criticise the greater freedom enjoyed by women in Sparta. Disappointed and disgusted by the policies of a decadent Greece he retired to Macedonia, a place where Hellenic traditions were still pure, where he finally died.

There is no more precious treasure for children than to be born of a noble and virtuous father and to marry among noble families. Curse to the reckless who, defeated by passion, joins the unworthy and leaves his children to dishonour in return for guilty pleasures (Heracleidae).

Aristotle (384-322 BCE), the famous philosopher who educated Alexander the Great and laid the western foundations of Hellenism, logic and sciences such as biology, taxonomy and zoology. Aristotle extends extensively in his work Politeia on the problems posed by eugenics, birth control, childhood feeding and education (books VII and VIII). He generally admired the ancient Spartan system, with some reservations—in my opinion unfounded as Sparta was not decadent—because the ephorate was tyrannical.

(Left, a Patrician bust.) The Patricians were the Roman leaders in the early days, when Rome was a Republic. These men were the patriarchs or clan chiefs of each of the thirty noble families descended from Italic invaders, and they ran all Roman institutions including the legions, the courts and the Senate. Sober, pure, ascetic and hard, their people held them in high regard as repositories of the highest wisdom and Roman posterity honoured them as gods.

Their descendants formed the Patricians, the later Roman aristocracy, which gradually decayed throughout the Empire until almost completely dissolving, turning Rome into a disgusting decadent monster that deserved to be razed. After the Punic wars and Julius Caesar, Rome largely lost its Indo-European spirit.

In the IV of the XII tablets of the law, it was established that deformed children must be killed at birth. It was also left to the patriarchs of the patrician clans to decide which were the unfit children. They were usually drowned in the waters of the Tiber River, and other times abandoned, exposing them to wild animals and elements in a process called exposure. Apparently, the Romans did not fare so badly with this purifying tactic as we see in their conquering history.

Distorium vultum sequitur distortio morum, ‘A crooked face follows a crooked moral’—Roman proverb.

Meleager of Gadara (1st century BCE), Greek epigram compiler within the Hellenistic stage, who wrote: ‘If one mixes good with bad, a good progeny would not be born, but if both parents are good, they will beget noble children’ (Fr. 9).

Horace (65 BCE-8 CE) said: ‘The virtue of parents is a great dowry’ and ‘’The good and the brave descend from the good and the brave’ (Odes, IV, 4, 29).

Seneca (4 BCE-65 CE), Roman philosopher of the Stoic school (the same school that Marcus Aurelius and Julian the Apostate belonged), of Hispanic-Celtic origin and teacher of Emperor Nero.

We exterminate hydrophobic dogs; we kill the indomitable bulls; we slaughter sick sheep for fear that they infest the flock; we suffocate the monstrous foetuses and even drown the children if they are weak and deformed. It is not passion, but reason, to separate healthy parts from those that can corrupt them (Of Anger, XV).

Plutarch (45-120 CE). Philosopher, mathematician, historian, speaker and priest of Apollo at the Oracle of Delphi. It is also one of the important sources of information about Sparta in his books Ancient Customs of the Lacedaemonians and Life of Lycurgus.

Leaving a being who is not healthy and strong from the beginning is not beneficial for the State or for the individual himself (Ancient Customs of the Lacedaemonians).

When a baby was born he was taken to a council of elders to be examined. If the baby was defective in some way the elders threw him down a ravine. Such a baby, in the opinion of the Spartans, should not be allowed to live (Life of Lycurgus).

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Catholic religious orders Darkening Age: The Christian Destruction of the Classical World (book) Horace Libanius Ovid Transvaluation of all values

Darkening Age, 25

Bosch, The Last Judgement
(detail) 1500-05

Editor’s note: Regarding the view of Robert Morgan in the previous post, I disagree in the sense that it is unclear what would have happened to technology if the Third Reich had emerged triumphant. As the bad guys won the war, the use of technology in the West is self-destructing for the fair race.

It is true what Arthur Kemp says: that the use of non-whites after the Aryan conquests has been the primary cause of the decline of empires, due to the eventual miscegenation. But we live in a time when whites have become passionately ethno-suicidal, and that can only be explained by the texts linked in the sticky post. The history of Christianity, one of the two DNA axes of Aryan suicide according to the POV of this site, should be analysed with the same eagerness as white nationalists analyse the Jewish question.

When I talk to the white people, say, with whom I have spoken in England, I see an injured self-image to the degree that it evokes the mass psychosis, in a sector of the population, right after the triumph of Constantine. I refer to the Christian hermits and ascetics whose movement would eventually evolve into monastic orders. The mass psychosis, so well depicted by Hieronymus Bosch, had to do with the introduction of a fear that did not exist in the Greco-Roman world. I refer to the fear of eternal torment: something that, occasionally, persists even on the internet sites of southern nationalists in the US.

To understand what is happening to the white man it is necessary to realise that Kevin MacDonald and his followers fail to diagnose the origin of this tremendous collective guilt. Jews only thrive because of it. That’s why it is essential to tell what really happened to the Aryan psyche after the crushing triumph of Constantine. In chapter 14 of The Darkening Age: The Christian Destruction of the Classical World, Catherine Nixey wrote:

 

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If you had travelled to the great cities in the eastern empire, to Alexandria and to Antioch, in the fourth and fifth centuries, then long before you came to a city itself you would have seen them. At dawn, they emerged from caves in the hills and holes in the ground, their dark robes flapping; their faces gaunt and pale from hunger, their eyes hollow from lack of sleep. As the cocks began to crow, while the city beyond was still slumbering, they gathered in the monasteries and hills beyond and, ‘forming themselves into a holy choir, they stand, and lifting up their hands all at once sing the sacred hymns’. An impressive sight – and an eerie one, their filthy, emaciated figures a living rebuke to the opulence and bustle of urban life below: a new, and newly strange, power in the world.

This was the great age of the monk. Ever since Antony had set out to the desert to do battle with demons, men had flocked after him in imitation. These men were the ideal Christians; the perfect renouncers of all those sinful pleasures of the flesh. And their way of life was thriving: so many had gone out since Antony that the desert was described as a city. And what a strange city this was. You wouldn’t find bathhouses and banquets and theatres here. The habits of these men were infamously ascetic. In Syria, St Simeon Stylites (‘of the pillar’) stood on a stone column for decades, until his feet burst open from the continual pressure. Other monks lived in caves, or holes, or hollows or shacks. In the eighteenth century, a traveller to Egypt had looked up into the cliffs above the Nile and seen thousands of cells in the rock above. It was in these burrows, he realized, that monks had lived out lives of unimaginable austerity, surviving on almost no food and only able to drink by letting down buckets on ropes to draw water from the river when it was in flood.

What was a monk at this time? In the fourth and fifth centuries, the now-ancient tradition of monasticism was only in its infancy and its ways were still being formed. In this odd and as yet uncodified existence, monks turned to the wisdom of their famous predecessors to know how to live. Collections of monkish sayings proliferated. Self-help guides of a sort – but a world away from Ovid. What is a monk? ‘He is a monk,’ wrote one, ‘who does violence to himself in everything.’ A monk was toil, said another. All toil. How should a monk live? ‘Eat straw, wear straw, sleep on straw,’ advised another revered saying. ‘Despise everything.’ Athletes of austerity, these men mortified their flesh in a hundred ways on a thousand days. One monk, it was said, had stood upright in thorn bushes for a fortnight. Another lived with a stone in his mouth for three years, to teach himself to be silent. Some, nostalgic for the tortures of past persecutions, draped themselves in chains and clanked round in them for years…

It is hardly surprising, therefore, that many of the empire’s urban, urbane men found this new breed of men who shunned the civilized life baffling to the point of repellent. To the Greek orator Libanius, monks were madmen, ‘that crew who pack themselves tight into the caves’ and who then ‘claim to converse with the creator of the universe in the mountains’. Their fasts were fiction, he said. These men weren’t starving themselves: they didn’t not eat; they just didn’t grow or buy their own food. When no one was looking, he said, they scuttled into the temples of the loathed pagans, stole those sinful sacrifices and ate them instead. Far from being ascetics they were ‘models of sobriety, only as far as their dress is concerned’. Their vicious and thuggish attacks on the temples weren’t done out of piety, said Libanius. They committed them out of pure greed…

The modern mind would tend towards a more clinical (albeit anachronistic) conclusion: many of these men must have been profoundly depressed.

Starvation was one of the most popular of monkish mortifications – no special equipment was required – but it was also one of the hardest to bear. One monk fasted all day then ate only two hard biscuits. Another lived from the age of twenty-seven to thirty on just roots and wild herbs, then for the next four years on half a pound of barley bread a day and some herbs. Eventually he felt his eyes going dim while his skin became ‘as rough as a pumice stone’. He added a little oil to his diet, then went on as before until he was sixty, to the awe and admiration of his fellow monks. There had been asceticism before – but this went further. Others, like ruminants, lived on all fours, browsing for their food like animals. In some ways hunger helped: a famished monk would be less beset by the demons of fornication or anger than one with a full belly. ‘A needy body,’ as one put it, ‘is a tame horse.’ But thoughts of food became an obsession with these men. In their reading of the Fall, the apple that Eve gives to Adam is not seen as a symbolic representation of sex; it is seen as nothing more, or less, than an apple. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs made monkish flesh.

The monks tormented themselves by what they put on their bodies as much as what they put in them. Some chose to dress in woven palm fronds instead of any softer fabric. To wear the usual coarse monkish habit was regarded, in this extreme world, as being ‘foppishly dressed’. Others, under the desert sun, tortured their skin with abrasive hair shirts. Another dressed in an extraordinary leather costume (that would in a later era have different connotations) that left only his mouth and nose exposed. To be pleasing to the Lord, a monk’s clothes must, it was said, be an offence against aestheticism: a habit should be tatty rather than smart, old rather than new, mended and re-mended and mended again. Anything less was vanity. A monk’s clothes should be such that, if he threw his habit out of his cell for three days, no one would steal it. The monks’ self-sacrifice was unquestionable; their smell must have been unspeakable.

If this sounds like a life lived on the edge of sanity, it was. In the searing heat of the desert day, reality shimmered, flickered and thinned. One monk saw a dragon in a lake; another slew a basilisk. Another saw the Devil himself sitting at his window. Demons appeared then vanished like smoke; meditating monks turned into flames. Watch one monk as he prayed and you would see his fingers turn into lamps of fire. Pray well and you might yourself become all flame. Demons teemed around monks like flies around food. One monk was beset by visions of rotting corpses, bursting open as they decayed. Alone for weeks, months on end in their cells, with nothing more than ageing hard bread to eat and an oil lamp to look at, monks were plagued by more tempting visions of sex, and food, and youth. Some monks lost their minds – if they had ever been in full possession of them. When Apollo of Scetis, a shepherd who later became a monk, spotted a pregnant woman in a field, he said to himself: ‘I should like to see how the child lies in her womb.’ He ripped the woman open and saw the foetus. The child and the mother died.

The reasons for these peculiar practices are hard to fathom. One theory is that Christian domination of the empire had brought many gains; but one of its great losses was that it had become considerably harder to be made a martyr by unsympathetic Roman governors. Deprived of the chance to die in one terrible, glorious, sin-erasing show, these men instead martyred themselves slowly, agonizingly, tormenting their flesh a little more every hour, thwarting their desires a little more every year. These practices would become known as ‘white martyrdom’. The monks died daily in the hope that, one day, after they died, they might live. ‘Remember the day of your death,’ advised one monk. ‘Remember also what happens in hell and think about the state of the souls down there, their painful silence, their most bitter groanings, their fear, their strife, their waiting…’ A terrible enough plight, but the monk had not finished yet; he concluded his cheering list with: ‘the punishments, the eternal fire, worms that rest not, the darkness, gnashing of teeth, fear and supplications…’

Carpe diem, Horace had said. Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow you will be dead for eternity. The monks offered an alternative to this view: die today and you might live for eternity. This was a life lived in terror of its end. ‘Always keep your death in mind,’ was a common piece of advice: do not forget the eternal judgement. When one brother started to laugh during a meal, he was immediately reproached by a fellow monk: ‘What does this brother have in his heart, that he should laugh, when he ought to weep?’ How should one live well in this new and austere world? By constantly accusing yourself, said another monk, by ‘constantly reproaching myself to myself.’ Sit in your cell all day, advised another, weeping for your sins.

A hint of desert isolationism started to find its way into pious city life, too. In John Chrysostom’s writings, contact with women of all kinds was something to be feared and, if possible, avoided altogether. ‘If we meet a woman in the market-place,’ Chrysostom told his congregation, herding his listeners into complicity with that first-person plural, then we are ‘disturbed’. Desire was dangerously easy to inflame. Women who inflamed it were not to be relished as Ovid had relished them, but eschewed, scorned and denigrated in writings that made it abundantly clear that the fault of the man’s desire lay with them. In this atmosphere a group of fashionable women with their low-cut necklines were not praised as beauties but excoriated as a ‘parade of whores’.

Eventually, clerical disapproval was reinforced by law. Pagan festivals, with their exuberant merriment and dancing, were banned… If anyone declared themselves an official in charge of pagan festivals then, the law said, they would be executed. John Chrysostom jubilantly observed their decline. ‘The tradition of the forefathers has been destroyed, the deep rooted custom has been torn out, the tyranny of joy [and] the accursed festivals have been obliterated just like smoke.’

Categories
Darkening Age: The Christian Destruction of the Classical World (book) Horace Ovid

Darkening Age, 23

Below, first words (an epigraph) and last paragraph of Carpe diem(Horace’s Latin words), chapter 12 of The Darkening Age: The Christian Destruction of the Classical Worldby Catherine Nixey:

Let the girl with a pretty face lie supine, Let the lady who boasts a good back be viewed from behind…
The petite should ride horse…

– the Roman poet Ovid advises on
positions for lovemaking, Ars Amatoria, 3

Christian preachers expressed none of Horace’s uncertainty about what tomorrow might bring. On the contrary, they knew precisely what was coming: death and judgement. Followed by Heaven for the fortunate few—and Hell for everyone else. One should therefore be perpetually mindful of the dangers threatened by the next life—and constantly watchful of one’s behaviour in this one.

Eating, drinking and making love were, they warned, the last things that one must do. Merrymaking in this life would not win eternal bliss in the next. ‘You are too greedy of enjoyment, my brother,’ warned the Christian scholar Jerome, ‘if you wish to rejoice with the world here, and to reign with Christ hereafter.’

Categories
Ancient Rome Cicero Evropa Soberana (webzine) Horace Jewish question (JQ) Judaism Judea v. Rome (masthead of this site) Juvenal Marcus Aurelius Seneca Tacitus

Apocalypse for whites • V

by Evropa Soberana

 
Roman anti-Semitism: a spiritual conflict
What happened after the arrival of Roman troops in Judea was a spiritual confrontation unprecedented in the history of mankind. Four million Jews were now going to share borders with the other 65 million subjects of the Roman Empire.
It is impossible to write an article on this subject without mentioning the profoundly anti-Jewish quotes written by great Roman authors of the time. In them a true conflict is perceived between two systems of values exactly opposite each other. The clash between Roman rigidity and the dogmatism of the desert caused in Rome a genuine movement of rejection of Judaism. Although anti-Semitism goes back to the very origins of Jewry, the Romans, heirs of the Greeks and of a superior military discipline, were undoubtedly, until then, the ones who showed the greatest hostility towards the Jews.
Cicero (106-43 BCE), as we shall see later, condemns hostile Jewry considering that their mentality of skulduggery and cowardice is incompatible with the altruistic mentality of the best in Rome.

Horace (65-8 BCE), in Book I of his Satires mocks the Sabbath or Sabbatic rest, while Petronius (dies in 66 CE) in his Satyricon ridicules the circumcision.
Pliny the Elder (23-79 CE) in his Natural History speaks about ‘Jewish impiety’, and refers to ‘the Jews, well known for their contempt for the gods’.
Seneca (4-65 CE) called Jewry ‘the most evil nation, whose waste of a seventh of life [he refers to Shabbat] goes against the utility of it… These most perverse people have come to extend their customs into the whole world; the defeated have given laws to the victors’.
Quintilian (30-100 CE) says in his Institutio Oratoria that the Jews are a derision for the rest of men, and that their religion is the embodiment of superstition.
Martial (40-105), in his Epigrams, sees the Jews as followers of a cult whose true nature is secret to hide it from the rest of the world, and he attacks circumcision, the Shabbat (or Saturday: that is, doing nothing on the seventh day of the week, which gave them lazy press), and their abstinence from pork.
Tacitus (56-120), the famous historian who praised the Germans, also spoke about the Jews but in very different terms. He says that they descend from lepers expelled from Egypt, and that under the Assyrians, the Medes and Persians, they were the most despised and humiliated people. Among the terms with which Tacitus qualifies Jewry we have ‘perverse, abominable, cruel, superstitious, alien to any law of religion, evil and filthy’ among many others:

The Jewish customs are sad, dirty, vile and abominable, and if they have survived it is thanks to their perversity. Of all enslaved peoples, Jews are the most despicable and disgusting.
For the Jews, everything that is sacred to us is despicable, and what is repugnant to us is lawful.
The Jews reveal a stubborn bond with one another, which contrasts with their hatred for the rest of humanity… Among them, nothing is lawful. Those who embrace their religion practice the same thing, and the first thing they are taught is to despise the gods [History, chapters 4 and 5].

Juvenal (55-130), in his Satires, criticizes the Jews for the Sabbath, for not worshiping images, for circumcising themselves, for not eating pork, for being scrupulous with their laws while despising those of Rome, and that they only reveal the ‘initiates’ the true nature of Judaism. In addition, he blames Orientals in general and Jewry in particular for the degeneration of the environment in Rome itself.
Marcus Aurelius (121-180) passed through Judea on his trip to Egypt, being surprised by the ways of the local Jewish population. He will say, ‘I find this people worse than the Marcomanni, the Quadics and the Sarmatians (Rerum Gestarum Libri by Ammianus Marcellinus).
These quotes summarise how the Romans, an Indo-European martial, virile and disciplined people, saw the Jewish quarter. It can be said that, until the triumph of the Romans, no people had been so aware of the challenge posed by Judaism.
All these quotes point to a stubborn ideological as well as military confrontation, in which both Rome and Judea were going to think a lot for a final solution: a conflict that would influence History in a huge way and, therefore, cannot be ignored under any pretext. This article tries to give an idea of what the old clash of the East against the West meant.

Categories
Ancient Greece Ancient Rome Aryan beauty Hesiod History Homer Horace Iliad (epic book) Juvenal Madison Grant Miscegenation Nordicism Ovid Pindar Plutarch Racial studies Sparta (Lacedaemon) Tacitus Thebes

What race were the Greeks —

and Romans?

athena

The evidence is clear—but often ignored

by John Harrison Sims

 
Recent [1] films about ancient Greece such as Troy, Helen of Troy, and 300, have used actors who are of Anglo-Saxon or Celtic ancestry (e.g. Brad Pitt, Gerard Butler). Recent films about ancient Rome, such as Gladiator and HBO’s series Rome, have done the same (e.g. Russell Crowe). Were the directors right, from an historical point of view? Were the ancient Greeks and Romans of North European stock?
Most classical historians today are silent on the subject. For example, Paul Cartledge, a professor of Greek culture at Cambridge, writes about his specialty, Sparta, for educated but non-academic readers, yet nowhere that I can find does he discuss the racial origins of the Spartans. Some years ago I asked several classics professors about the race of the ancient Greeks only to be met with shrugs that suggested that no one knew, and that it was not something worth looking into. Today, an interest in the race of the ancients seems to be taken as an unhealthy sign, and any evidence of their Nordic origins discounted for fear it might give rise to dangerous sentiments.
A hundred years ago, however, Europeans took it for granted that many Greeks and Romans were the same race as themselves. The famed 11th edition of the Encyclopedia Brittanica, published in 1911, noted that “survival of fair hair and complexion and light eyes among the upper classes in Thebes and some other localities shows that the blond type of mankind which is characteristic of north-western Europe had already penetrated into Greek lands before classical times.” It added that the early Greeks, or Hellenes, were Nordic, one of “the fair-haired tribes of upper Europe known to the ancients as Keltoi.” Sixty years ago even Bertrand Russell, the British philosopher and socialist, believed that the Hellenes “were fair-haired invaders from the North, who brought the Greek language with them” (History of Western Philosophy, 1946).
Scholars today recoil at this pre-1960s consensus. The Penguin Historical Atlas of Ancient Greece, written in 1996, scoffs at the “undoubtedly dubious racial theories underlying much of this reconstruction,” but offers no theory to replace it, conceding only that “the origin of the Greeks remains a much-debated subject.” The Penguin author makes this startling admission, however: “Many of the ideas of racial origins were developed in the 19th century and, although they may have had some foundation in historical tradition, archaeology or linguistics, they were often combined with more dubious presumptions.” The author fails to list these dubious presumptions. Beth Cohen [editor’s note: a jew], author of Not the Classical Ideal: Athens and the Construction of the Other in Greek Art (2000), asserts that the Thracians, distant cousins of the Greeks, had “the same dark hair and the same facial features as the Ancient Greeks.”
In fact, there was a good basis for the 1911 Britannica to write about blonds in Thebes. Thebes was the leading city of Boeotia, a rich agricultural region in south-central Greece. Fragments from an ancient 150 BC travelogue describe the women of Thebes as “the tallest, prettiest, and most graceful in all of Hellas. Their yellow hair is tied up in a knot on the top of their head.” Pindar, a fifth century Theban lyric poet, refers to the Greeks as “the fair-haired Danaoi,” using a poetical name for the Hellenes. Likewise, in his Partheneia, or “Maiden Songs,” the seventh century BC Spartan poet Alcman, praised the beauty of Spartan female athletes, with their “golden hair” and “violet eyes.” He also wrote of Spartan women with “silver eyes,” meaning light gray. The seventh-century BC Greek poet Archilochus praises the “yellow hair” of one of his lovers, and Sappho—also of the seventh century BC—writes of her “beautiful daughter, golden like a flower.”
As late as the fourth century AD, Adamantius, an Alexandrian physician and scientist, wrote in his Physiognominica, that “of all the nations the Greeks have the fairest eyes,” adding, that “wherever the Hellenic and Ionic race has been kept pure, we see tall men of fairly broad and straight build, of fairly light skin, and blond.” Several centuries of mixing had presumably changed the racial character of many Greeks, but blonds still survived, and Xanthos, which means “yellow” in Greek, was a common personal name.
Professor Nell Painter of Princeton [editor’s note: a negress], author of The History of White People (see “Whiting Out White People,” AR, July 2010), complains that “not a few Westerners have attempted to racialize antiquity, making ancient history into white race history.” She points out that the Greeks often painted their marble statues—“the originals were often dark in color”—that the paint wore off over time, and Europeans mistakenly concluded from the white marble that the Greeks were white.
Yes, the Greeks painted their statues, but the originals were not dark. Praxiteles’ Aphrodite, from the Greek city of Knidos, was the most famous and most copied statue in the ancient world. Hundreds of copies survive. Experts have determined from microscopic paint particles that Aphrodite was painted blonde. The Romans had their own name for this goddess, Venus, and likewise her “cult images” were ubiquitous and “painted with pale-coloured flesh and golden-blonde hair” (see Joanna Pitman’s On Blondes, 2003).
Phidias’ masterwork, the Athena Parthenos, stood in the Parthenon for nearly 1,000 years until it was lost, probably in the 5th century AD. When American sculptor Alan LeQuire set out to make a faithful copy for the full-scale Parthenon replica in Nashville’s Centennial Park he modeled it on descriptions of the original work. The 42-foot-tall Athena, unveiled in 1990, has light skin, blue eyes, and golden hair [editor’s note: see detail of this image above].
Many small terra-cotta figurines from Greece of the fourth century BC have survived with traces of paint. They show light hair, usually reddish brown, and blue eyes, as do larger statues from the time of the Persian Wars in the early fifth century BC. Even a cursory examination of ancient marble reliefs, statues, and busts reveals European features. Many of the faces could just as easily be those of Celtic chieftains or Viking kings.
There is more evidence of the appearance of the Greeks. Xenophanes, an Ionian Greek philosopher who lived in the fifth century BC, was amused to note that different peoples believed that the gods look like themselves: “Our gods have flat noses and black skins, say the Ethiopians. The Thracians (despite Prof. Cohen’s observations above) say our gods have red hair and hazel eyes.” Indeed, a fourth century BC fresco of a Thracian woman, found in the Ostrusha Mound in central Bulgaria, shows distinctly red hair and European features.
The Greek poet Hesiod (c. 700 BC) called Troy the “land of fair women.” According to the Roman historian Diodorus Sicilus, who lived in the first century BC, the Egyptian god Set had “reddish hair,” a color that was “rare in Egypt, but common among the Hellenes.” Plutarch (46–120 AD) tells us that while the Theban general Pelopidas (d. 364 BC) was campaigning in central Greece, he had a dream in which a ghost urged him to sacrifice a red-haired virgin if he wished to be victorious in the next day’s battle.
 
Two racial types
There were two racial types in ancient Greece: dark-haired whites and fair-haired whites, as well as gradations in between. The earliest known inhabitants were of the former type. These included the Minoans, who were not Greeks at all, and who built an impressive civilization on the island of Crete. The Pelasgians, which is the name later Greeks gave to the pre-Hellenic population of mainland Greece, were also dark. They tended to have black, curly hair and olive-shaped eyes. Their type is plainly visible on many Attic (Athenian) vases, and has lead some scholars to conclude that all Greeks looked as they did.
Neither the Minoans nor the Pelasgians spoke Greek—the linear A inscriptions of the Minoans have still not been deciphered—so the Greek language must have arrived with the light-haired conquerors who migrated from the north, most likely from the middle Danube River Valley. According to Greek national myth, the Hellenes were descended from Hellen (not to be confused with Helen of Troy), the son of Deucalion. Hellen had sons and grandsons, who correspond to the four main tribal divisions of ancient Greece: the Aeolians Achaeans, Ionians, and Dorians.
Scholars today tend to dismiss such myths but they would not have survived if they had not been generally consistent with the long folk memories of ancient peoples. In this case they point to what classical scholars have long believed was a series of Hellenic descents upon mainland Greece and the Aegean islands. The first Hellenes to arrive were the Ionians and Aeolians; then a few centuries later, the Achaeans, and finally the Dorians.
The early bronze-age Greek civilization (1600-1200 BC) was certainly influenced by Minoan and other eastern Mediterranean cultures, but it was unmistakably Greek. Linear B, which began to dominate Cretan culture around 1500 BC, has been deciphered and found to be an early form of Greek. Around the year 1200 BC this culture, known as Mycenaean, collapsed; its cities were destroyed and abandoned, and Greece entered a 400-year Dark Age. Earthquakes and volcanic eruptions probably played a part in the destruction, and later Greeks attributed it to invasions from the north. Waves of Hellenic warriors swept down and burned the Mycenaean citadels and became the ruling race in Greece. They also sacked the city of Troy, and Homer’s Iliad is about them. They also seem to have snuffed out much of Mycenaean culture: Greeks stopped writing, and abandoned the arts, urban life, and trade with the outside world.
We know something about the early Hellenes from the Iliad. It was first written down in the late eighth century BC, at the end of the Greek Dark Age, after the Phoenicians taught the Greeks how to write again. It recounts events some four to five hundred years earlier. Although we think of the poem as being about the Greeks, Homer’s warrior heroes belong to the Achaean nobility, which suggests that it was the Achaeans who overthrew Mycenaean civilization, not the Dorians, who would descend upon Greece and displace the Achaeans a hundred years later. Archeology confirms this supposition, for Troy was burned around 1200 BC, and the traditional date for the Trojan War is 1184 BC. The Dorian invasion is dated by various ancient historians at 1149, 1100, or 1049 BC.
There is good reason to think that Homer was recording stories handed down during the Dark Age. He was a bard who lived in Ionia, a region on the Aegean coast of what is now Turkey, and if he were making the stories up he would have claimed that the heroes were Ionian. Instead, he sings praises to the light-haired Achaean nobility: Achilles, their greatest warrior, has “red-gold hair,” Odysseus, their greatest strategist, has “chestnut hair,” his wife Penelope has “white cheeks the color of pure snow,” Agamede, a healer and expert on medicinal plants, is “blonde,” and King Menelaus of Sparta, the husband of Helen, has “red hair.” Helen, likewise, has “fair hair,” and even slave girls are light-skinned: “fair-tressed Hecamede,” “fair-cheeked Chryseis,” and “blonde Briseis.” This is significant, for if even some of the slaves were blond it would mean the Nordic type was not unique to the Achaeans, that it was present elsewhere in the Aegean world.
Homer (and Pindar) describe most of the Olympian gods and goddesses as fair haired and “bright eyed,” meaning blue, grey or green. The goddess Demeter has “blond” or “yellow hair,” as does Leto, mother of Apollo, who is also described as “golden haired.” Aphrodite has “pale-gold” hair, and Athena is known as “the fair, bright-eyed one” and the “grey-eyed goddess.” Two of the gods, Poseidon and Hephaestus, are described as having black hair. As noted above, Xenophanes complained that all peoples imagine the gods to look like themselves.
It was the Dorians, the last Greek invaders, who ended Achaean rule and probably provoked a mass migration of Aeolian and Ionian Hellenes—no doubt including Homer’s ancestors—across the Aegean Sea to the coast of Asia Minor. The Dorians who settled in the fertile valley of the Eurotas in the southern Peloponnesus were the direct ancestors of the Spartans of the classical age, and they claimed to be the only pure Dorians.
Werner Jaeger, Director of the Institute of Classical Studies at Harvard, writes:

“The national type of the invader remained purest in Sparta. The Dorian race gave Pindar his ideal of the fair-haired warrior of proud descent, which he used to describe not only the Homeric Menelaus, but the greatest Greek hero, Achilles, and in fact all the ‘fair-haired Danaeans’ [another name for the Achaeans who fought at Troy] of the heroic age” (Paideia: The Ideals of Greek Culture, 1939).

The classical Greeks made no claim to being autochthones, that is to say, “of the earth,” or the original inhabitants of the land. Rather, they took pride in being epeludes, the descendants of later settlers or conquerors. Two notable exceptions were the Arcadians and the Athenians, whose rocky soils presumably offered little temptation to armed colonizers. The historian Herodotus (484-420 BC) recorded that the Athenians were “a Pelasgian people [who] had occupied Attica and never moved from it,” as were the Arcadians. Language lends support to this view, for both the Athenians and Arcadians spoke unique dialects. They learned Greek from the northern invaders but retained Pelasgian elements.
Thus, classical Greece was a fusion, both cultural and racial, of these two types of whites. Some city-states, such as Thebes and Sparta, were predominantly Nordic. Others, such as Athens, were predominantly Mediterranean, and still others were mixtures of the two.
 
The Roman patricians
Nell Painter [the negress mentioned above], author of the above-mentioned History of White People, finds it “astonishing” that the American Nordicist Madison Grant (1865-1937) argued in The Passing of the Great Race (1916) that the Roman nobility was of Nordic origin, yet there is good evidence for this view. There are many lavishly illustrated books about ancient Rome with examples of death masks, busts, and statues that clearly depict the Roman patricians not simply as Europeans but as northern European.
R. Peterson’s fine study, The Classical World (1985), which includes an analysis of 43 Greek, and 32 Roman figures, is persuasive. Dr. Peterson explains that the Romans painted their death masks to preserve the color, as well as the shape, of their ancestors’ faces.
Blue eyes, fair hair, and light complexions are common. A good example of racial type is the famous portrait bust of Lucius Junius Brutus, the founder of the Roman Republic, which dates from the fourth century BC. Brutus’ face is identifiably Germanic, and so is the color of his eyes. The sculptor used ivory for the whites and blue glass for the pupils.
Or take the famous marble head of a patrician woman from the late first century AD, which is often included in illustrated surveys of imperial Rome to demonstrate the fashion for curled hair. Her features are typically northern European: a delicate, aquiline nose, high cheekbones, and a face angular and long rather than round. Another classic example is the famous fresco from the Villa of the Mysteries in Pompeii, which shows four women undergoing ritual flagellation. They are tall, light-skinned, and brown-haired.
There is also evidence from Roman names. Rutilus means “red, gold, auburn” and stems from the verb rutilo, which means “to shine with a reddish gleam.” Rufus, meaning red, was a common Roman cognomen or nickname used for a personal characteristic, such as red hair. The Flavians were an aristocratic clan whose family name was derived from flavus, meaning golden-yellow. The Flaminians were another noble family whose clan name came from flamma, meaning flame, suggesting red hair.
According to Plutarch, Marcus Porcius Cato had “red hair and grey eyes,” Lucius Cornelius Sulla, the general and dictator, had “blue-grey eyes and blond hair,” and Gaius Octavius (Augustus), the first Roman emperor, had “bright eyes and yellow hair.” Recent analysis of an ancient marble bust of the emperor Caligula found particles of the original pigment trapped in the stone. Experts have restored the colors to show that the demented ruler had ruddy skin and red hair.
The love poetry of Publius Ovidius Naso, better known as Ovid, (43 BC to AD 17) offers much evidence of the color of upper-class Roman women during the early years of the empire. That Ovid ascribes blond hair to many goddesses—Aurora, Minerva, Ceres, Diana, and Venus—tells us something about the Roman ideal of beauty; that he describes many of his lovers the same way tells us that the Nordic type was still found in imperial Rome. “I’m crazy for girls who are fair-haired and pale-complexioned,” he writes in his Amores of 15 BC, but “brunettes make marvelous lovers too.” He admires the contrast of “dark-tresses against a snow-white neck,” and adores young girls who blush. One of his favorite lovers is “tall” with a “peaches-and-cream complexion,” “ivory cheeks,” and “bright eyes.” Another was a “smart Greek blonde.”
So where did the Romans come from? They were a Latin people, although according to legend that may have some basis in fact, there were also Greek colonists and Trojan refugees among the founding races. The Latins were one of eight Nordic Italic tribes—Apulii, Bruttii, Lucanians, Sabines, Samnites, Umbrians/Oscians and the Veneti—who migrated into the Italian peninsula around 1000 BC. Of course, Italy was not vacant. The Etruscans lived to the north of Rome in what is now Tuscany, and there were other darker-complexioned whites living in the peninsula. The Etruscans are likely to have been Carians from Asia Minor.
What became of the Nordic Greeks and Romans? Their numbers were reduced and thinned through war, imperialism, immigration, and slavery. Protracted internecine war was devastating. The Hellenes lost relatively few men in their two wars with the Persian Empire (490, 480-479 BC), but they were decimated by the ruinous series of inter-Hellenic wars that followed. The Peloponnesian War (431-404 BC) pitted Athens and her subject Ionian cities against the Spartan Dorian confederacy. That was followed by 35 years of intermittent warfare between Sparta and Thebes (396-362 BC), which pitted Nordics against Nordics. These wars so weakened the Greek republics that they fell under Macedonian rule about 20 years later (338 BC), bringing to an end the classical age of Greece.
Money was, as always, a racial solvent. Theognis, a noble poet from the Dorian city of Megara wrote in the sixth century BC: “The noblest man will marry the lowest daughter of a base family, if only she brings in money. And a lady will share her bed with a foul rich man, preferring gold to pedigree. Money is all. Good breeds with bad and race is lost.”
The Roman experience was similarly tragic. All of her later historians agreed that the terrible losses inflicted by Hannibal during the Second Punic War (218-201 BC) were minor compared to the horrendous losses Rome inflicted on herself during the nearly 100 years of civil war that followed the murder of the reforming Tribune Tiberius Gracchus in 133 BC.
Immigration was the inevitable backwash of imperialism as slaves, adventurers, and traders swarmed into Rome. Over time, slaves were freed, foreigners gave birth to natives, non-Romans gained citizenship, and legal and social sanctions against intermarriage fell away. By the early empire, all that was left of the original Roman stock were a few patrician families.
The historian Appian lamented that “the city masses are now thoroughly mixed with foreign blood, the freed slave has the same rights as a native-born citizen, and those who are still slaves look no different from their masters.” Scipio Aemilianus (185–129 BC), a statesman and general of the famed clan of the Aemilii, called these heterogeneous subjects “step-children of Rome.”
One hundred and fifty years later, Horace (65–8 BC) wrote in Book III of the Odes:

Our grandfathers sired feeble children; theirs
Were weaker still—ourselves; and now our curse
Must be to breed even more degenerate heirs.

The last Roman writers therefore came to see their own people as both morally and physically degenerate. The subtext of Tacitus’ (56-117 AD) ethnological treatise Germania is a longing for the northern vigor and purity the Romans had lost. He saw the Gauls and Germans as superior to the Romans in morals and physique, and Roman women shared this admiration. Blond hair became the rage, and German and Gaulic slave women were shorn of their blond or reddish-brown hair to make wigs for wealthy women. By the time of Tertullian (160-225 AD), so many Roman women were dying their hair that he complained, “they are even ashamed of their country, sorry that they were not born in Germany or Gaul.” In the early second century AD, the satirist Juvenal complained of the dwindling stock of “the bluest patrician blood,” which is a figurative phrase for the nobility, whose veins appear blue through their light skin.
Viewed in a historical context, it is almost as if today’s northern Europeans have set out perfectly to imitate the ways in which the Greeks and Romans destroyed themselves. In both Europe and America, patriotic young men slaughtered each other in terrible fratricidal wars. In North America, the descendents of slaves are the majority in many great cities. Both continents have paid for imperial ambitions with mass immigration of aliens.
Will we be able to resist the forces that brought down the ancients?
 
________________
[1] This article was originally published in 2010 by American Renaissance. Mr. Sims is an historian and a native of Kentucky.