# Popular Science Monthly/Volume 54/January 1899/The Racial Geography of Europe: Supplement - The Jews XVII

(1899)
The Racial Geography of Europe: Supplement - The Jews XVII by William Zebina Ripley

 THE RACIAL GEOGRAPHY OF EUROPE.

A SOCIOLOGICAL STUDY.

(Lowell Institute Lectures, 1896.)

By WILLIAM Z. RIPLEY, Ph. D.,

ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF SOCIOLOGY, MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY; LECTURER IN ANTHROPO-GEOGRAPHY AT COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY.

SUPPLEMENT.—THE JEWS (continued).

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[1] 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. Beddoe[2]found red hair as frequent in the Orient as in Saxon England, although later results do not fully bear it out.[3] 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 Ashkenazim type. This latter is said to be characterized by heavier features in every way. The mouth, it is alleged, is more apt to be large, the nose thickish at the end, less often clearly Jewish, perhaps. The lips are full and sensual, offering an especial contrast to the thin lips of the Sephardim. The complexion is swarthy oftentimes, the hair and eyes very constantly dark, without the rufous tendency which appears in the other branch. The face is at the same time fuller, the breadth corresponding to a relatively short and round head.

During the last quarter of a century about twenty-five hundred Jews have submitted their heads to scientific measurement. These have naturally for the most part been taken from the Great Russian and Polish branch; a few observers, as Lombroso, Ikof, Jacobs, Glück, and Livi, have taken observations upon a more or less limited number from southern Europe. For purposes of comparison we have reproduced in our footnote a summary of all the results obtained thus far. Inspection of the table shows a surprising uniformity. Ikof's limited series of Spagnuoli from Constantinople, and that of the Jews from Caucasia and Daghestan, are the only ones whose cephalic index lies outside the limits of 80 to 83. In other words, the Jews,

 Authority. Place. Number. Cephalic Index. Lombroso, 1894 a Turin, Italy. 112 82.0 Weisbach, '77 Balkan states. 19 82.2 Majer and Kopernicki, '77. Galicia. 316 83.6 Blechmann, '82 W. Russia 100 83.2 Stieda, '83 (Dybowski) Minsk, Russia. 67 82.2 Ikof, '84 Russia. 120 74.5 Ikof, '84 Constantinople. 17 crania 74.5 Ikof, '84 Crimea. 30 crania (Karaim). 83.3 Majer and Kopernicki, '85 Galicia. 100 81.7 Jacobs, '90 England. 363 80.0 Jacobs, '90 England (Sephardim). 51 Talko-Hyrncewicz, '92 Russia. 713 Chantre, '95 Caucasia. 34 85.0 Weissenberg, '95 South Russia. 100 82.5 Weissenberg, '95 South Russia. 50 women 82.4 Glück, '96 Bosnia (Spagnuoli). 55 80.1 Livi, '96 Italy. 34 81.6 Elkind, '97 Poland 325 ${\displaystyle \scriptstyle {\left\{{\begin{matrix}\ \end{matrix}}\right.}}$ ⁠Men, 81.9Women 82.9 Deniker, '98 Daghestan 19 87.0
wherever found in Europe, betray a remarkable similarity in head form, the crania being considerably broader than among the peoples of Teutonic descent. As we know, the extremes of head form in Europe, measured by the cephalic index, extend from 74 to 89; we thus observe that the Jews take a place rather high in the European

Arab. Index, 76.

Mussulman, Tunis. Index, 75.

Jew, Tunis. Index, 75.

African Semitic Types.

series. They are about like the northern French and southern Germans. More important still, they seem to be generally very closely akin in head form to the people among whom they reside. Thus, in Russia and Poland scarcely an appreciable difference exists in this respect between Jews and Christians. The same is true in Turin, while in the direction of Asia our Jews are as bullet-headed as even the most typical Armenians and Caucasians round about them.

Nothing is simpler than to substantiate the argument of a constant intercourse and intermixture of Jews with the Christians about them all through history, from the original exodus of the forty thousand (?) from Jerusalem after the destruction of the second temple. At this time the Jewish nation as a political entity ceased to exist. An important consideration to be borne in mind in this connection, as Neubauer suggests very aptly, is that opposition to mixed marriages was primarily a prejudice of religion and not of race. It was dissipated on the conversion of the Gentile to Judaism. In fact, in the early days of Judaism marriage with a nonbeliever was not

Ferghana, Turkestan.

Jewish Types.

invalid at all, as it afterward became, according to the Jewish code. Thus Josephus, speaking of the Jews at Antioch, mentions that they made many converts, receiving them into their community. An extraordinary number of conversions to Judaism undoubtedly took place during the second century after Christ. As to the extent of intermarriage which ensued during the middle ages discussion is still rife. Renan, Neubauer, and others interpret the various rigid prohibitions against intermarriage of Jews with Christians-—as, for example, at the church councils of 538, 589, at Toledo, and of 743 at Rome—to mean the prevalent danger of such practices becoming general; while Jacobs, Andree, and others are inclined to place a lower estimate upon their importance. Two wholesale conversions are known to have taken place: the classical one of the Khozars, in South Russia, during the reign of Charlemagne, and that of the Falashas, who were neighboring Arab tribes in Yemen. Jacobs has ably shown, however, the relatively slight importance of these. It is probable that the greatest amount of infusion of Christian blood must have taken place, in any event, not so much through such striking conversions, as insidiously through clandestine or irregular marriages.

We find, for example, much prohibitive legislation against the employment of Christian servants by Jews. This was directed against the danger of conversion to Judaism, by the master, with consequent intermarriage. It is not likely that these prohibitions were of much avail, for, despite stringent laws in Hungary, for example, we find the archbishop of that country reporting in 1229 that many Jews were illegally living with Christian wives, and that conversions by thousands were taking place. In any case, no protection for slaves was ever afforded. The confinement of the Jews strictly to the Ghettos during the later centuries would naturally discourage such intermixture of blood, as also the increasing popular hatred between Jew and Chrisian; but, on the other hand, the greater degree of tolerance enjoyed by the Israelites even during this present century would be competent speedily to produce great results. Jacobs has strenuously, although perhaps somewhat inconclusively, argued in favor of a substantial purity of the Jews by means of a number of other data—such as, for example, by a study of the relative frequency of Jewish names, by the supposed relative infecundity of mixed marriages, and the like. Experience and the facts of everyday observation, on the other hand, tend to confirm us in the belief that racially no purity of descent is to be supposed for an instant. Consider the evidence of names, for example. We may admit a considerable purity, perhaps, to the Cohns and Cohens, legitimate descendants of the Cohanim, the sons of Aaron, early priests of the temple. Their marital relations were safeguarded against infusion of foreign blood in every possible way. The name is, perhaps, in its various forms, the most frequent among Jews to-day. But how shall we account for the equally pure Jewish names in origin, such as Davis, Harris, Phillips, and Hart? How did they ever stray so far from their original ethnic and religious significance, unless the marital bars were lowered to a large degree? Some of them certainly claim a foremost position numerically in our Christian English directories. We have an interesting case of indefinite Jewish delimitation in our portraits. The middle portrait at page 341 is certainly a Jewish type. Dr. Bertholon writes me that all who saw it immediately asserted it to be a Jew. Yet the man was a professed Mussulman, in fact, even though his face was against him.

There is, as we have sought to prove, no single uniform type of head peculiar to the Jewish people which may be regarded as in any sense racially hereditary. Is this true also of the face? Our first statement encounters no popular disapproval, for most of us never, perhaps, happened to think of this head form as characteristic. But the face, the features! Is this another case of science running counter to popular belief?

The first characteristic to impress itself upon the layman is that the Jew is generally a brunette. All scientific observers corroborate this impression, agreeing in that the dark hair and eyes of this people really constitute a distinct racial trait. About two thirds of the Ashkenazim branch in Galicia and Russia, where the general population is relatively quite blond, is of the brunette type, this being especially marked in the darker color of the hair. For example, Majer and Kopernicki,[10] in Galicia, found dark hair to be about twice as frequent as the light. Elkind,[11] in Warsaw, finds about three fifths of the men dark. In Bosnia, Glück's observations on the Sephardim type gave him only two light-haired men out of fifty-five. In Germany and Austria[12] this brunette tendency is likewise strongly emphasized. Pure brunette types are twice as frequent in the latter country, and three times as frequent in Germany, among Jewish as among Christian school children. Pacts also seem to bear out the theory, to which we have already alluded, that the Oriental Jews betray a slightly greater blond tendency, thus inclining to rufous. In Germany also the blond tendency becomes appreciably more frequent in Alsace-Lorraine, a former center of gravity of the nation, as the map in our previous article has shown. This comparative blondness of the Alsatian Jew is not new, for in 1861 the origin of these same blondes was matter of controversy. Broca believed them to be of northern derivation, while Pruner Bey traced them from a blondish Eastern source. The English Jews seem also to be slightly lighter than their continental brethren, even despite their presumably greater proportion of Sephardim, who are supposed to be peculiarly dark. As to the relative red blondness of the Oriental Jew, the early observations of Dr. Beddoe, and those of Langerhans (1873) as to the blue eyes and red-brown hair of the Druses of Lebanon, do not seem to be borne out; or, as Jacobs puts it, the "argument may be dismissed with costs." Certainly the living Semites are dark enough in type, and the evidence of the sacred books bears out the same theory of an original dark type. Thus "black" and "hair" are commonly synonymous in the early Semitic languages. In any case, whatever the color in the past, we have seen that science corroborates the popular impression that the Jews as a people are distinctively of a brunette type. This constitutes one of the principal traits by which they may be almost invariably identified. It is not without interest to notice that this brunetteness is more accentuated, oftentimes, among the women, who are, the world over, persistent conservators of the primitive physical characteristics of a people.[13]

Secondly, as to the nose. Popularly the humped or hook nose constitutes the most distinctive feature of the Jewish face. Observations among the Jews, in their most populous centers, do not, however, bear out the theory. Thus Majer and Kopernicki (1885), in their extended series, found only nine per cent of the hooked type—no greater frequency than among the Poles; a fact which Weissenberg confirms as to the relative scarcity of the convex nose in profile among his South Russian Jews. He agrees, however, that the nose is often large, thick, and prominent. Weisbach (1877) measured the facial features of nineteen Jews, and found the largest noses in a long series of people from all over the earth; exceeded in length, in fact, by the Patagonians alone. The hooked nose is, indeed, sometimes frequent outside the Jewish people. Olechnowicz found, for example, over a third of the noses of the gentry in southeast Poland to be of this hooked variety. Running the eye over our carefully chosen series of portraits, selected for us as typical from four quarters of Europe—Algeria, Russia, Bosnia, and the confines of Asia—representing the African, Balkan Spagnuoli, and Russian Ashkenazim varieties, visual impression will also confirm our deduction. The Jewish nose is not so often truly convex in profile. Nevertheless, it must be confessed that it gives a hooked impression. This seems to be due to a peculiar "tucking up of the wings," as Dr. Beddoe expresses it. Herein lies the real distinctive quality about it, rather than in any convexity of outline. In fact, it often renders a nose concave in profile, immediately recognizable as Jewish. Jacobs[14] has ingeniously described this "nostrility," as he calls it, by the following diagrams: Write, he says, a figure 6 with a long tail (Fig. 1); now remove the turn of the twist, and much of the Jewishness Fig. 1.Fig. 2.Fig. 3. disappears; and it vanishes entirely when we draw the lower continuation horizontally, as in Fig. 3. Behold the transformation! The Jew has turned Roman beyond a doubt. What have we proved, then? That there is in reality such a phenomenon as a Jewish nose, even though it be differently constituted from our first assumption. A moment's inspection of our series of portraits will convince the skeptic that this trait, next to the prevalent dark hair and eyes and the swarthy skin, is the most distinctive among the chosen people.

Another characteristic of the Jewish physiognomy is the eyes. The eyebrows, seemingly thick because of their darkness, appear to be nearer together than usual, arching smoothly into the lines of the nose. The lids are rather full, the eyes large, dark, and brilliant. A general impression of heaviness is apt to be given. In favorable cases this imparts a dreamy, melancholy, or thoughtful expression to the countenance; in others it degenerates into a blinking, drowsy type; or, again, with eyes half closed, it may suggest suppressed cunning. The particular adjective to be applied to this expression varies greatly according to the personal equation of the observer. Quite persistent also is a fullness of the lips, often amounting in the lower one almost to a pout. The chin in many cases is certainly rather pointed and receding, Jacobs to the contrary notwithstanding. A feature of my own observation, perhaps not fully justified, is a peculiar separation of the teeth, which seem to stand well apart from one another. But a truce to speculations. Entering into greater detail, the flat contradictions of different observers show that they are vainly generalizing from an all too narrow base of observations. Even the fancied differences in feature between the two great branches of the Hebrew people seem to us to be of doubtful existence. Our portraits do not bear it out. It seems rather that the two descriptions of the Ashkenazim and Sephardim types which we have quoted denote rather the distinction between the faces of those of the upper and the lower classes. Enough for us to know that there is a something Jewish in these faces which we instantly detect. We recognize it in Rembrandt's Hermitage, or in Munkaczy's Christ before Pilate. Not invariable are these traits. Not even to the Jew himself are they always a sure criterion. Weissenberg gives an interesting example of this.[15] To a friend, a Jew in Elizabethgrad, he submitted two hundred and fifty photographs of Russian Jews and Christians in undistinctive costume. Seventy per cent of the Jews were rightly chosen, while but ten per cent of the Russians were wrongly classed as Jews. Of what concern is it whether this characterization be entirely featural, or in part a matter of expression? The first would be a matter of direct heredity, the second hypothesis partakes more of the nature of a characteristic acquired from the social environment. Some one—Jacobs, I think—speaks of it as the "expression of the Ghetto." It certainly appears in the remarkable series of composite Jewish portraits published in his monograph. It would not be surprising to find this true. Continued hardship, persecution, a desperate struggle against an inexorable human environment as well as natural one, could not but write its lines upon the face. The impression of a dreary past is deep sunk in the bodily proportions, as we have seen. Why not in the face as well?

We are now prepared, in conclusion, to deal with what is perhaps the most interesting phase of our discussion. It is certainly, if true, of profound sociological importance. We have in these pages spoken at length of the head form—primary index of race; we have shown that there are Jews and Jews in this respect. Yet which was the real Jew it was not for us to decide, for the ninety-and-nine were broad-headed, while the Semite in the East is still, as ever, a longheaded member of the Africanoid races. This discouraged our hopes of proving the existence of a Jewish cephalic type as the result of purity of descent. It may indeed be affirmed with certainty that the Jews are by hereditary descent from early times no purer than most of their European neighbors. Then we discovered evidence that in this head form the Jews were often closely akin to the people among whom they lived. In long-headed Africa they were dolichocephalic. In brachycephalic Piedmont, though supposedly of Sephardim descent, they were quite like the Italians of Turin. And all over Slavic Europe no distinction in head form between Jew and Christian existed. In the Caucasus also they approximate closely the cranial characteristics of their neighbors. Hypnotic suggestion was not needed to find a connection here, especially since all history bore us out in our assumption of a large degree of intermixture of Gentile blood. Close upon this disproval of purity of type by descent came evidence of a distinct uniformity of facial type. Even so impartial an observer as Weissenberg—certainly not prejudiced in favor of cephalic invariability—confesses this featural unity.

How shall we solve this enigma of ethnic purity, and yet impurity, of type? In this very apparent contradiction lies the grain of comfort for our sociological hypothesis. The Jew is radically mixed in the line of racial descent; he is, on the other hand, the legitimate heir to all Judaism as a matter of choice. It is for us a case of purely artificial selection, operative as ever only in those physical traits which appeal to the senses. It is precisely analogous to our example of the Basques in France and Spain. What we have said of them will apply with equal force here. Both Jews and Basques possessed in a high degree a "consciousness of kind"; they were keenly sensible of their social individuality. The Basques primarily owed theirs to geographical isolation and a peculiar language; that of the Jews was derived from the circumstances of social isolation, dependent upon the dictates of religion. Another case in point occurs to us in this connection. Chantre,[16] in a recent notable work, has shown the remarkable uniformity in physical type among the Armenians. They are so peculiar in head form that we in America recognize them at once by their foreshortened and sugar-loaf skulls, almost devoid of occiput. They too, like the Jews, have long been socially isolated in their religion. Thus in all these cases, Basques, Armenians, and Jews, we have a potent selective force at work. So far as in their power lay, the individuality of all these people was encouraged and perpetuated as one of their dearest possessions. It affected every detail of their lives. Why should it not also react upon their ideal of physical beauty? and why not influence their sexual preferences, as well as to determine their choice in marriage? Its results became thus accentuated through heredity. But all this would be accomplished, be it especially noted, only in so far as the physical traits were consciously or unconsciously impressed upon them by the facts of observation. There arises at once the difference between artificial selection in the matter of the head form and that concerning the facial features. One is an unsuspected possession of individuality, the other is matter of common notice and, it may be, of report. What Jew or Christian, till he became anthropologist, ever stopped to consider the shape of his head, any more than the addition of a number of cubits to his stature? Who has not, on the other hand, early acquired a distinct concept of a Jewish face and of a distinctly Jewish type? Could such a potent fact escape observation for a moment?

We are confirmed in our belief in the potency of an artificial selection, such as we have described, to perpetuate or to evolve a Jewish facial type by reason of another observation. The women among the Jews, as Jacobs[17] notes, in confirmation of our own belief, betray far more constantly than the men the outward characteristics peculiar to the people. We have already cited Weissenberg's testimony that brunetteness is twice as prevalent among Russian Jewesses as among the men. Of course this may be a matter of anabolism, pure and simple. This would be perhaps a competent explanation of the phenomenon for physiologists like Geddes and Thompson. For us this other cause may be more directly responsible. Artificial selection in a social group, wherein the active choice of mates falls to the share of the male, would seem to tend in the direction of an accentuated type in that more passive sex on which the selective influence directly plays. At all events, observations from widely scattered sources verify the law that the facial individuality of a people is more often than otherwise expressed most clearly in the women. Thus, for example, the women betray the Mongol type more constantly than the men among the Asiatic tribes of eastern Russia.[18] On the other hand, Mainof, best of authority, confirms the same tendency among those of Finnic descent,[19] The Setti Communi in northern Italy still preserve their German language as evidence of a historic Teutonic descent. They seem to have lost their identity entirely in respect of the head form,[20] but Ranke[21] states that among the women the German facial type constantly reappears. This, I confess, is not altogether easy to understand, unless the Lombards, of whom these colonies are supposedly the remnants, brought their native women with them across the Alps. Perhaps, however, not bringing their women, a new Teutonic resemblance has been evolved out of whole cloth. A better example than this is offered among the Hamitic peoples of Africa north of the Sahara. These peoples, from Abyssinia to Morocco, really belong to the white races of Europe. Among nearly all their tribes the negroid traits are far more accentuated among the women, according to Sergi.[22] It is not necessary to cite more specific testimony. The law occupies a respected place among anthropologists. That the Jews confirm it, would seem to strengthen our hypothesis at every point.

Our final conclusion, then, is this: It is paradoxical, yet true, we affirm. The Jews are not a race, but only a people, after all. In their faces we read its confirmation, while in respect of their other traits we are convinced that such individuality as they possess—by no means inconsiderable—is of their own making from one generation to the next, rather than as a product of an unprecedented purity of physical descent.

1. 1877, p. 214.
2. 1861 b, pp. 227 and 331.
3. 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.
4. The cephalic index by which we measure the head-form is merely the breadth of the head in percentage of its length from front to back. The index rises as the head becomes relatively more broad.
5. Verneau, 1881 a, p 500.
6. Primer Bey, 65 b; Gillebert d'Hercourt, 1868, p. 9; and especially Collignon, 1887 a, pp. 326-339; Bertholon, 1892, p. 41; also Collignon, 1896 b.
7. Eliseev, 1883.
8. Bertholon, 1892, p. 43; Sergi, 1897 a, chapter i, and even more recently Fouquet, 1896 and 1897, on the basis of De Morgan's discoveries.
9. Compare Brinton, 1890 a, p. 132, and 1890 b, for interesting linguistic data on the Semites.
10. 1877, pp. 88-90; 1885, p. 34.
11. Centralblatt für Anthropologie, vol. iii, p. 66.
12. Virchow, 1886 b, p. 364; Schimmer, 1884, p. xxiii.
13. Weissenberg, 1895, p. 567, finds brunettes twice as frequent among the south Russian Jewesses as among the men.
14. 1886 a, p. xxxii.
15. 1895, p. 563.
16. Recherches anthropologiques dans l'Asie Occidentale (Archives du Museum d'histoire naturelle, Lyons, vol. vi, 1895).
17. 1886 a, p. xxviii.
18. Sommier, 1887, reprint, p. 116. Cf. Zograf, 1896, p. 50, on crania from the sixteenth century in Moscow.
19. Congrès int. des sciences géographiques, Paris, 1875, p. 268.
20. Livi, 1896 a, pp. 137 and 146.
21. Beiträge zur Anth. Bayerns, vol. ii, 1879, p. 75.
22. Africa, Antropologia della stirpe Camitica, Torino, 1897, p. 263.