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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 54.djvu/656

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634
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

farther to the east, new light upon this point may be expected. It will be asked at once why this primitive population should still lie bare upon the surface, here along the lower Danube, when it has been submerged everywhere else in Central Europe. Our answer is ready. Here in this rich alluvial plain population might, expectedly, be dense at a very early period. As we have observed before, such a population, if solidly massed, opposes an enormous resistance to absorption by new-comers. A few thousand Bulgarian invaders would be a mere drop in the bucket of such an aggregation of men. We are strengthened in this hypothesis that the dolichocephaly of the Danubian plain is primitive, by reason of another significant fact brought out by Bassanovitch.[1] Long-headedness is overwhelmingly more prevalent among women than among men. The former represent more often what Bassanovitch calls the "dolichocephalic Thracian type." The oval-faced Bulgarian woman among our portraits would seem to be one of these. Now, in our treatment of the Jews,[2] we have sought to illustrate the principle that in any population the primitive type persists more often in the women. The bearing of such a law in the case of the Bulgars would seem to be definite. Their long-headedness, where it occurs, must date from a far more remote period than the historic advent of the few thousand immigrants who have given the name Bulgaria to the country.

As for the other physical traits of the Bulgarians and Roumanians there is little to be added. It goes without saying that they are both deep brunets. Obédénare says the Roumanians are very difficult to distinguish from the modern Spaniards and Italians. This is probably true in respect of brunetness. The Oriental cast of features of our portraits, on the other hand, can not fail to attract attention. More than two thirds of Bassanovitch's nineteen hundred and fiftyfive Bulgarians were very dark-haired. Light eyes were of course more frequent, nearly forty per cent being classed as blue or greenish. A few—about five per cent—were yellow or tawny-haired, these individuals being at the same time blue-eyed. This was probably Procopius's excuse for the assertion that the Bulgars were of fair complexion. He also affirmed that they were of goodly stature. This is not true of either the modern Roumanians or Bulgars. They average less than five feet five inches in height,[3] being considerably shorter than the Turks, and positively diminutive beside the Bosnians and


  1. 1891, p. 31. Women dolicho-, twenty-five per cent; meso-, forty-two per cent; brachy-cephalic, thirty per cent; while among men the percentages are 3, 16, and 81 ± per cent respectively.
  2. Popular Science Monthly, January, 1899, p. 350.
  3. Bassanovitch's series of 1,955 individuals averages only 1.638 metre. Op. cit., p. 30. Auerbach, 1898, p. 259, gives an average of 1.63 metre for 880 Wallachians in Transylvania. Obédénare, 1876, p. 374, states brown eyes to be most frequent in Roumania.