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Angela
01-09-17, 19:26
Gosh, I sure hope so. How exciting.

Apparently, it has been left to molder away after a tentative identification years ago. Now, the Otzi team is being asked to test him, and they're seeking funding. I just hope they can subtract all the contamination from years of handling, including paying attention to these concerns Kurd expressed on anthrogenica. com:


He's always been a hero of mine:

"If successful, the effort would mark the first positive identification of the remains of a high-ranking figure from ancient Rome, highlighting the work of a man who lost his life while leading history's first large-scale rescue operation, and who also wrote one of the world's earliest encyclopedias."

"Gaius Plinius Secundus, better known as Pliny the Elder, was the admiral of the Roman imperial fleet moored at Misenum, north of Naples, on the day in 79 C.E. when Vesuvius erupted."

"He would have had about a dozen quadriremes, warships with four banks of rowers, at his disposal, says Flavio Russo, who in 2014 wrote a book for the Italian Defense Ministry about Pliny's rescue mission and the tentative identification of his remains.


Remains of a skull attributed to Pliny the Elder from the Museo di Storia dell'Arte Sanitaria in Rome Flavio Russo
These ships were some of the most powerful units in the Roman naval arsenal, capable of carrying some 200 soldiers (or survivors) on deck while braving the stormy seas and strong winds stirred up by the eruption, Russo told Haaretz in an interview. "Before him, no one had imagined that machines built for war could be used to save people," he said.
The Roman fleet made the 30-kilometer journey across the Gulf of Naples at full speed, launching lifeboats to collect the hundreds of refugees who had made their way to the beaches.
According to Pliny the Younger, his uncle also disembarked and went looking for his friends in Stabiae. But as he was leading a group of survivors to safety, he was overtaken by a cloud of poisonous gas, and died on the beach."

"Besides his last, humanitarian gesture, Pliny is known for the books he wrote, ranging from military tactics, to history and rhetoric. His greatest and only surviving work was his Naturalis Historia (Of Natural History): 37 books filled with a summation of ancient knowledge on astronomy, mathematics, medicine, painting, sculpture and many other fields of the sciences and arts."

"Researchers plan to carry out two tests: a comparison between the skull's morphology with known busts and images of Pliny, and, more importantly, an examination of the isotope signatures in his teeth.
"When we drink water or eat something, whether it's plants or animals, the minerals from the soil enter our body, and the soil has a different composition in every place," explains Isolina Marota, a molecular anthropologist from the University of Camerino, in central Italy.
By matching the isotopes in the tooth enamel, which is formed in childhood, with those in soil samples, scientists can determine where a person grew up. In the case of the Iceman, they managed to pinpoint the Alpine valley where he had spent his childhood. For Pliny, they would look for signatures from the northern Italian town of Como, where he was born and bred, Marota told Haaretz."

Let's hope they test more than the above two things.

That it's precisely Pliny is something we could never probably know with any certainty, but if it comes back "Como" like in terms of area, it's a 50 year man, and the artifacts show equestrian and/or senatorial rank, I think it's probably a decent bet.

http://www.haaretz.com/polopoly_fs/1.809905.1504158021!/image/1637042352.jpg_gen/derivatives/headline_1200x630/1637042352.jpg

bicicleur
01-09-17, 19:47
If the skull is already in the museum for a long time, contamination is quite possible.
I wonder whether the busts and images are accurate enough to compare with the actual skull.
They should also check whether there is variation on the skull shape in the busts and images.

Angela
01-09-17, 20:37
Pliny the Elder:
https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-6pY2Yd-oQbc/WEWovDjSWzI/AAAAAAAAAM4/hbqqa6-c2HsCojLcwjtzgN4wKDadhbY8wCLcB/s1600/15338733_10154396197658778_2572653827439758710_n.j pg

He reminds me of ancient carvings of saints in our area:
https://i.pinimg.com/236x/37/00/4b/37004be2a5c71b984a0dffb45c28bd93.jpg

Alessio Boni, Italian actor from Como?
https://i.pinimg.com/736x/bc/90/dd/bc90dd5aa9cc8fb7eaf1a9560e9fdc4b--long-hair-actors.jpg

Manzoni has a weird, ugly chin:
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/15/Manzoni_1805.jpg/220px-Manzoni_1805.jpg

This is another view of the skull in question. Can someone tell something from the two pictures?

http://www.haaretz.com/polopoly_fs/1.809769.1504097922!/image/3775183998.jpg_gen/derivatives/fullscreen_310xAuto/3775183998.jpg

bicicleur
01-09-17, 22:53
Manzoni has a weird, ugly chin.
He's the only one who doesn't cover it up with a beard.

Angela
02-09-17, 00:27
Manzoni has a weird, ugly chin.
He's the only one who doesn't cover it up with a beard.

Very true, Bicicleur...although you can see Boni's chin pretty clearly. Nothing about him is weird or ugly imo. :) Pliny's chin seems pretty short too.

My saint carving might hide an ugly chin, but going through mental images we just don't run to chins like this generally speaking. The biggest part of the face is usually the nose, and sometimes the skull.

My entrant for closest to Augustus look...our local baker...

Augustus:
https://i.pinimg.com/originals/4c/e6/46/4ce6463f3688fc77bb527963265724a5.jpg

9110

9108

Another one:

9111
9109

davef
02-09-17, 01:19
Why did he include fantasy creatures like griffins who are like lion/eagle hybrids in his book about nature? I never read it, but I used to wiki creatures I would find in a video game and his name (and book) would reliablly show up in the wiki.

Promenade
02-09-17, 11:38
Why did he include fantasy creatures like griffins who are like lion/eagle hybrids in his book about nature? I never read it, but I used to wiki creatures I would find in a video game and his name (and book) would reliablly show up in the wiki.
Check out the Mosiac of Palestrina for your own amusement. It's a Roman depiction of scenes along the Nile and features Jurrasic and fanciful looking creatures next to Hippos and Crocodiles.

Pax Augusta
02-09-17, 14:04
Pliny the Elder

https://www.recuperando.com/17448-thickbox_default/plinio-busto-terracotta-statua-romana.jpg

https://www.recuperando.com/17453/plinio-copia-di-statua-romana.jpg

https://www.recuperando.com/17443-thickbox_default/plinio-busto-terracotta-statua-romana.jpg



Alessandro Manzoni

https://nonnananna.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/manzoni-giovane.jpg?w=840

https://archiviodelverbanocusioossola.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/manzoni-in-un-disegno-eseguito-da-ss-il-13-ottobre-1848-in-due-ore-piovose.jpg

http://www.valsassinanews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/ritratto-di-alessandro-manzoni-giuseppe-molteni.jpg

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/cf/Alessandro_Manzoni_1870.jpg

Angela
02-09-17, 17:48
I saw those busts too, but I didn't use them because I couldn't find a link that said they were specifically Pliny the Elder versus Pliny the younger. I probably should have spent more time looking.

This highlights the kinds of difficulties they're going to have, I believe. The engraving supposedly based on the bust of Pliny the Elder looks quite a bit different.

I do see the resemblance with Manzoni, which is why I included him, but the chin is a bit different, and if the bust you posted is the legit one, the nose is, as well, with Manzoni's much straighter.

Don't misunderstand, I'm not nitpicking. We're not going to get clones, just resemblances.

Maciamo
04-09-17, 08:26
Whether the skull is his or belongs to another Roman upper class, it would be great to finally get a Roman genome and see how it compares with modern Italians.

Salento
05-09-17, 05:04
I'm going to speculate that Ancient Romans were 90+% similar to Modern Italians from South Tuscany to Calabria, and 85+% similar to North Italians, Sicilians, and Sardinians.
IMO as you walk in Italy so many faces resemble sculptures of the old timers.

Diomedes
13-09-17, 19:37
^ The question is: were the first Italiotes the same as the people in the Roman Era? So many Roman citizens were moving through the empire and we know they came from several parts of the world.

Salento
13-09-17, 20:54
Yes, or very similar, because There's no Way that the new comers ever outnumbered the Italians. And the Outsider's genes were absorbs, just like in Greece.
Also the genetic remnants of the Roman's Italians is widespread in the Empire.
Rome is in Italy, and the Romans were Italians, and the Italians were part of the City of Rome Territory.
When we mention the Ancient Greeks, we Includes all the City States, no matter which City was in charge at any given time, we also includes Alexander the Great, even if he was from Macedonia.

Salento
13-09-17, 21:39
^ The question is: were the first Italiotes the same as the people in the Roman Era? So many Roman citizens were moving through the empire and we know they came from several parts of the world.

Same question for to the Celts, the Greeks, the Saxons, and so on?
Does anybody positive for Italian AC has some Roman in them?
The Romans were Italians.
Surely that gene is not Viking, or Irish.
Do the Math.

Azzurro
14-09-17, 07:39
I'm going to speculate that Ancient Romans were 90+% similar to Modern Italians from South Tuscany to Calabria, and 85+% similar to North Italians, Sicilians, and Sardinians.
IMO as you walk in Italy so many faces resemble sculptures of the old timers.

I think your underestimating the Greek component in Southern Italians, which the Romans would not have had, Magna Graecia was huge part of Southern Italy's history and likely played a large part in genetics as well, and Greek is only 1 of the differences, although being the major difference.

Salento
14-09-17, 13:42
I think your underestimating the Greek component in Southern Italians, which the Romans would not have had, Magna Graecia was huge part of Southern Italy's history and likely played a large part in genetics as well, and Greek is only 1 of the differences, although being the major difference.

People were already living in Italy when the Greeks arrived, and the Greeks didn't control all of the Centre/South of Italy.
Eventually, once the Greek were harshly oppose and at times defeated, first by some of the local tribes (parts of Puglia and Calabria for example), and later by Rome, the left over Greeks and their genes were slowly diluted and assimilated.

Azzurro
14-09-17, 16:52
People were already living in Italy when the Greeks arrived, and the Greeks didn't control all of the Centre/South of Italy.
Eventually, once the Greek were harshly oppose and at times defeated, first by some of the local tribes (parts of Puglia and Calabria for example), and later by Rome, the left over Greeks and their genes were slowly diluted and assimilated.

Greeks settled heavily though were not talking a couple of colonies, thousands of Greeks flocked to Southern Italy, there was even in fighting amongst groups. To get into bigger context Greece was overpopulated and little arable land, when they set up these colonies it was to settle these 2 issues, and Southern Italy was very fertile. Now they certainly mixed with local groups that is a given, but by the time the Romans came some of these Greek colonies could have been close to 500 years old, plenty of time to establish themselves genetically. Certain areas will have more Greek ancestry than others.

Salento
14-09-17, 17:47
Greeks settled heavily though were not talking a couple of colonies, thousands of Greeks flocked to Southern Italy, there was even in fighting amongst groups. To get into bigger context Greece was overpopulated and little arable land, when they set up these colonies it was to settle these 2 issues, and Southern Italy was very fertile. Now they certainly mixed with local groups that is a given, but by the time the Romans came some of these Greek colonies could have been close to 500 years old, plenty of time to establish themselves genetically. Certain areas will have more Greek ancestry than others.

By the Time of Rome expansion in to Italy, the Greeks were already in Massive Decline.
Carthage as example.
The Greek colonist stop coming in to Italy long before.
The Greeks didn't outnumber the South Italian. The Greeks genetic contribution had already decline, and diluted in many places by the South Italian Majority by this time.

Azzurro
14-09-17, 18:36
By the Time of Rome expansion in to Italy, the Greeks were already in Massive Decline.
Carthage as example.
The Greek colonist stop coming in to Italy long before.
The Greeks didn't outnumber the South Italian. The Greeks genetic contribution had already decline, and diluted in many places by the South Italian Majority by this time.

Those Greek colonists are Southern Italians now, there was no Southern Italians before just different tribes like the Oenotrians, there are some late colonies as well, and Puglia had Illyrian Tribes around the same time, and the Italic Tribes like the Lucanians and Brutti came after the Greeks.

Angela
14-09-17, 19:14
Those Greek colonists are Southern Italians now, there was no Southern Italians before just different tribes like the Oenotrians, there are some late colonies as well, and Puglia had Illyrian Tribes around the same time, and the Italic Tribes like the Lucanians and Brutti came after the Greeks.

Could you please provide the dates you are using for the Italic tribes who settled in the south and the dates you are using for the Greek settlement, with some academic citations, please.

Btw, the definition of "Italian" people would change depending on the particular time period in question. The same applies to any national group in Europe. When did the English become the English? One could say no earlier than the Anglo-Saxon invasions, and/or the Danish incursions, but then what about the Normans? Should it be dated after them, or was their input too small? See the difficulty? Such discussions are not really useful for genetic discussions.

Salento
14-09-17, 19:26
The Illyrian arrived in Italy 1500 Years before the Greeks, and they mixed with the locals too.
At what point is a Population Label "South Italian", or Greek, or Spanish, ....?
Multiple Tribes, in some case related with each other, migrated, settle, and mingle with the locals.
Everywhere in Europe.
To a less extent maybe the Basques and the Sardinians.
Most Populations are a collections of ancient tribes.
The Greeks too are not exactly the same everywhere in Greece.
The Ratio and Percentage of genes similarity makes a Population.
For example:
https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170914/221e2ce0e12400d06cc027c7b49ef529.jpg

Azzurro
14-09-17, 19:34
Could you please provide the dates you are using for the Italic tribes who settled in the south and the dates you are using for the Greek settlement, with some academic citations, please.

Btw, the definition of "Italian" people would change depending on the particular time period in question. The same applies to any national group in Europe. When did the English become the English? One could say no earlier than the Anglo-Saxon invasions, and/or the Danish incursions, but then what about the Normans? Should it be dated after them, or was their input too small? See the difficulty? Such discussions are not really useful for genetic discussions.

http://www.academia.edu/Documents/in/Greek_Colonization_Magna_Graecia_and_Sicily_

Academic sources for Magna Graecia.

wikipedia for both Oscan-Italic Tribes and Magna Graecia for dates.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Graecia

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucanians

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bruttians

yes and in the context that Salento was using Southern Italian cannot be defined like Southern Italians today.

Azzurro
14-09-17, 19:42
The Illyrian arrived in Italy 1500 Years before the Greeks, and they mixed with the locals too.
At what point is a Population Label "South Italian", or Greek, or Spanish, ....?
Multiple Tribes, in some case related with each other, migrated, settle, and mingle with the locals.
Everywhere in Europe.
To a less extent maybe the Basques and the Sardinians.
Most Populations are a collections of ancient tribes.
The Greeks too are not exactly the same everywhere in Greece.
The Ratio and Percentage of genes similarity makes a Population.
For example:
https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170914/221e2ce0e12400d06cc027c7b49ef529.jpg

I am not agreeing or disagreeing with you, you bring up good points, don't get me wrong, I just think you underestimate the Greek heritage of Southern Italians, and that Greek heritage would have made Southern Italians living in that time already different than the Romans.

Salento
14-09-17, 19:46
I Never said that there's not Greek's gene in South Italians.
History and Genetics.
When possible, Genes prove or disprove History.
[emoji846]

Azzurro
14-09-17, 20:56
I Never said that there's not Greek's gene in South Italians.
History and Genetics.
When possible, Genes prove or disprove History.
[emoji846]

I think this is something we can both 100% agree about :), it will be very important we get some Roman dna, also would be very interesting to see what Pliny's Y line will be.

Angela
14-09-17, 20:56
Of course, when the Iron Age "Greeks" arrived in the 8th-7th centuries BC, southern Italy was not empty. There were the "Oenotrians,Chones, and Lauternoi", whom some authors identify as pastoralists.

See:
https://www.saylor.org/site/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/HIST301-4.3.2-AncientPeopleoftItaly-FINAL.pdf

Even more interestingly, ancient authors held that at least one group of these people, called "people of the vine", had migrated into the area from the Peloponnese. Shades of the "Greek" paper, yes?

Of course, I'm always rather leery of the pronouncements of ancient authors.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oenotrians

In Sicily you have, of course, the Elymians, the Sicani, and the Siculi, all of whose origin is rather obscure and controversial, but some of whom may have been Ligurian or Iberian.

Now, how different any of these peoples were from one another and from the "Greeks" of the first millennium BC immigration is unknown and will remain unknown until some ancient dna is analyzed and compared to that of other areas. It may be extremely difficult to disentangle it all given that they were all heavily "farmer" populations.

There is the further question of how "Indo-European" or Italic the ancient Romans of, say, the Republic, actually were, i.e. was the admixture on the order of what happened with the Mycenaeans, or from 4-16%. Was there a class difference? If that was limited to the upper classes, the "Romans" as a whole might not be all that different from prior populations or indeed from the Greeks.

This is why I refrain from speculating about such things.

I will say that "Romans" who hailed from northern Italy might have been a bit different given that the "Italic" ancestry was probably on a cline in Italy, with more of it in the north, and the North had also been impacted by the "Gallic/Celtic" migrations by this later time.

What I'd really like to know is the make up of people like Vespasian, from Central Italy, of relatively humble birth, but who became a great emperor.



https://www.thefamouspeople.com/profiles/images/vespasian-1.jpg



https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f5/Vespasianus03_pushkin.jpg

Salento
14-09-17, 21:02
I am not agreeing or disagreeing with you, you bring up good points, don't get me wrong, I just think you underestimate the Greek heritage of Southern Italians, and that Greek heritage would have made Southern Italians living in that time already different than the Romans.

Different, but Similar.
Because all the Tribes in Italy carried in them the ancient genes of Pre Bronze Age settlers that began earlier. That DNA was added in the gene poll once those Tribes got to Italy.
That probably happen Everywhere in Europe in places with Pro Bronze Age settlers.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Italy

Salento
14-09-17, 21:33
A Clarification.
When I mention the Romans, I'm thinking about the timeline from the 8th Century BC, until the ascension of Emperor Augustus.
Apologies