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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 54.djvu/641

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619
THE PEOPLES OF THE BALKAN PENLNSULA.

every analogy with the neighboring populations leads us to the conclusion that the classical Hellenes were distinctly of the Mediterranean racial types, little different from the Phœnicians, the Romans, or the Iberians.

Since the Christian era, as we have said, a successive downpour of foreigners from the north into Greece has ensued.[1] In the sixth century came the Avars and the Slavs, bringing death and disaster. A more potent and lasting influence upon the country was probably produced by the slower and more peaceful infiltration of the Slavs into Thessaly and Epirus from the end of the seventh century onward. A result of this is that Slavic place names to-day occur all over the Peloponnesus in the open country where settlements could readily be made. The most important immigration of all is probably that of the Albanians, who, from the thirteenth century until the advent of the Turks, incessantly penetrated the land. As a result the Albanian language is spoken to-day over a considerable part of the Peloponnesus, especially in its northeastern corner, where it attaches to the mainland. Only one little district has preserved, it may be added, anything like the original classical Greek speech. The Tzakons, in a little isolated and very rugged district on the eastern coast, include a number of classical idioms in their language. Everywhere else, either in the names of rivers, mountains, and towns, or in borrowed words, evidence of the powerful influence of the Slavic infiltration occurs. This has induced Fallmerayer, Philippson, and others to assert that the Slavs have in fact submerged the original Greeks entirely,[2] Explicit rebuttal of this is offered by Hopf, Hertzberg, and Tozer, who admit the Slavic element, but still declare the Greeks to be Greek. This is a matter concerning which neither philologist nor geographer has a right to speak; the anthropological testimony is the only competent one. To this we turn.

The modern Greeks are a very mixed people. There can be no doubt of this fact from a review of their history. In despite of this, they still remain distinctly true to their original Mediterranean ancestry. This has been most convincingly proved in respect of their head form.[3] The cephalic index of modern living Greeks ranges with great constancy about 81. This, it should be observed, betokens an appreciably broader head than in the case of the ancient Hellenes. Stephanos, who has measured several hundred recruits, finds dolicho-


  1. Philippson, Zur Ethnographie des Peloponnes. Petermann, xxxvi, 1890, pp. 1-1 1, 33-41, with map, gives a good outline of these. Consult also Stephanos, 1884, pp. 422 et seq.
  2. Cf. Couvreur, 1890, p. 514; and Freeman, 1877 d, p. 401.
  3. Weisbach, 1882; Nicolucci, 186*7; Apostolides in Bull. Soc. d'Anth., 1883, p. 614; Stephanos, 1884; Neophytos, 1891; Lapouge, 1896 a, p. 419. Von Luschan, 1889, p. 209, illustrates the similarity between the Greek and the Bedouin skull.