|THE RACIAL GEOGRAPHY OF EUROPE.|
A SOCIOLOGICAL STUDY.
(Lowell Institute Lectures, 1896.)
ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF SOCIOLOGY, MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY; LECTURER IN ANTHROPO-GEOGRAPHY AT COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY.
TRADITION has long divided the Jewish people into two distinct branches: the Sephardim, or southern, and the Ashkenazim or north, European. Mediæval legend among the Jews themselves traced the descent of the first from the tribe of Judah; the second, from that of Benjamin. The Sephardim are mainly the remnants of the former Spanish and Portuguese Jews. They constitute in their own eyes an aristocracy of the nation. They are found primarily to-day in Africa; in the Balkan states, where they are known as Spagnuoli; less purely in France and Italy. A small colony in London and Amsterdam still holds itself aloof from all communion and intercourse with its brethren. The Ashkenazim branch is numerically far more important, for the German, Russian, and Polish Jews comprise over nine tenths of the people, as we have already seen in our preceding article.
Early observers all describe these two branches of the Jews as very different in appearance. Vogt, in his Lectures on Man, assumes the Polish type to be descended from Hindu sources, while the Spanish alone he held to be truly Semitic. Weisbach gives us the best description of the Sephardim Jew as to-day found at Constantinople. He is slender in habit, he says; almost without exception the head is "exquisitely": elongated and narrow, the face a long oval; the nose hooked and prominent, but thin and finely chiseled; hair and eyes generally dark, sometimes, however, tending to a reddish blond. This rufous tendency in the Oriental Jew is emphasized by many observers. Dr. Beddoefound red hair as frequent in the Orient as in Saxon England, although later results do not fully bear it out. This description of a reddish Oriental type corresponds certainly to the early representations of the Saviour; it is the type, in features, perhaps, rather than hair, painted by Rembrandt—the Sephardim in Amsterdam being familiar to him, and appealing to the artist in preference to the Ash-
- 1877, p. 214.
- 1861 b, pp. 227 and 331.
- Glück, 1896 a. Jacobs, 1890, p. 82, did not find a trace of it in the Sephardim congregation in London. See Andree, 1878, in this connection.