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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 38.djvu/366

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

among those of central Asia, up to the frontiers of India on the south and to the Pacific on the extreme east. Thus it is hardly possible that fewer than three races should have contributed to the formation of the Slavonic people; namely, the blond longheads, the European brunet broad-heads, and the Asiatic brunet broad-heads. And, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, it is certainly permissible to suppose that it is the first race which has furnished the blond complexion and the stature observable in so many, especially of the northern Slavs, and that the brunet complexion and the broad skulls must be attributed to the other two. But, if that supposition is permissible, then the Aryan form and substance of the Slavonic languages may also be fairly supposed to have proceeded from the blond long-heads. They could not have come from the Asiatic brunet broad-heads, who all speak non-Aryan languages; and the presumption is against their coming from the brunet broad-heads of the central European highlands, among whom an apparently non-Aryan language was largely spoken, even in historical times.

In the same way, the tall blond tribes among the Finns may be accounted for as the product of admixture. The great majority of the Finno-Tataric people are brunet broad-heads of the Asiatic type. But that the Finns proper have long been in contact with the Aryans is evidenced by the many words borrowed from Aryan which their language contains. Hence there has been abundant opportunity for the mixture of races, and for the transference to some of the Finns of more or fewer of the physical characters of the Aryans, and vice versa. On any hypothesis, the frontier between Aryan and Finno-Tataric people must have extended across west-central Asia for a very long period; and at any point of this frontier, it has been possible that mixed races of blond Finns or of brunet Aryans should be formed.

So much for the European people who now speak Celtic, or Teutonic, or Slavonian, or Lithuanian tongues; or who are known to have spoken them before the supersession of so many of the early native dialects by the Romance modifications of the language of Rome. With respect to the original speakers of Greek and Latin, the unraveling of the tangled ethnology of the Balkan Peninsula and the ordering of the chaos of that of Italy are enterprises upon which I do not propose to enter. In regard to the first, however, there are a few tolerably satisfactory data. The ancient Thracians were proverbially blue-eyed and fair-haired. Tall blonds were common among the ancient Greeks, who were a long-headed people; and the Sphakiots of Crete, probably the purest repre. sentatives of the old Hellenes in existence, are tall and blondBut considering that Greek colonization was taking place on a great scale in the eighth century b. c., and that, centuries earlier