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Thread: How did the ancient Romans turn into Italians ?

  1. #151
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    1 members found this post helpful.


    Southern Italy's tragedy is that the cultural and economic advancements of Sicily during the Middle Ages,including a vernacular poetry much admired and copied by the Tuscans, and of Amalfi on the mainland were followed by centuries of total misrule which kept them out of the mainstream of European advancement. The same thing happened to Greece and the Balkans under the Ottomans.

    In the north, on the other hand, large areas were able to free themselves of the yoke of the German Emperors and to form communes which allowed the intelligence, creativity, and entrepreneurial spirit of the Italian people to flourish. These were the first areas where we see actual capitalism, and they were not, a la Weber, Protestant. Those areas under the strict control of these large autocratic entities stultified, and that includes not only the south under centuries of French and Spanish misrule, but the areas in the center, like Umbria and parts of the Marche, areas where genetically the people are not all that different from the Tuscans or northern Italians, but which were under the control of the Popes.

    These large countries then severely curtailed that flowering by the Habsburg/Valois Wars of the late 15th and 16th centuries.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Italian_Wars

    Invasions from over the Alps usually spell disaster for Italy.

    History matters.

    For those unfamiliar with Italian history you can read here about what Sicily was like during the time of the Norman French and even into the rule of Frederick II, and then see what the following centuries of misrule did to it. Why on earth would any people pay allegiance to foreign overlords who grabbed all the land and then let the countryside go to ruin, stifled any innovation or economic growth, and squeezed all the peasants and middle class natives of everything they owned through taxes or confiscation. You would have to be mad.
    http://www.bestofsicily.com/history2.htm

    The Kingdom of Amalfi:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duchy_of_Amalfi


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    Italians?

    If Italy was not formed in 1860 their would have been no italian ethnic people NOR any Italian language today

    The term Italian prior to 1860 is the same level as the terms of Britsh, Iberian or scandinavian.
    we have no ethnic british, we do have ethnic, welsh, english, scottish and irish though

    we have no ethnic scandinavian, we do have ethnic norwegians, danish and swedish though
    có che un pòpoło no 'l defende pi ła só łéngua el xe prónto par èser s'ciavo

    when a people no longer dares to defend its language it is ripe for slavery.

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    2 members found this post helpful.
    Yes, well, then there are no Germans either, and no Germanic ancestry for me to have supposedly inherited. They weren't unified until very late either, and there are language and other differences between the people of northern Germany and southern Germany even if the genetic differences aren't as large as those between northern Italy and southern Italy.

    No French, either, because up until the 20th century a lot of the southern French weren't speaking standard French, and were still referring to the northern French coming down to buy property as "the French".

    Yet because of the process of Germanification, all Germans consider themselves German. A similar process went on in France. Breton, Norman, Poitevin, Alsatien, Gascon, Provencal, you name it, they were French and they were expected to speak French, and no nonsense. Italy, on the other hand, has always given a lot of deference to people who want to hang on to their dialects, and even their dreams of secession, never mind whether or not it makes any sense. Maybe Italy would have been better off if it had taken a hard line initially too, but it didn't, so no use crying over spilt milk.

    I'm just tired of people applying one rule to Italians and another rule to everyone else.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    there are language and other differences between the people of northern Germany and southern Germany even if the genetic differences aren't as large as those between northern Italy and southern Italy.
    It seems that the difference between North Germans and South Germans is also large, check for example these PCA graphs. It looks like the average difference is almost as large as between North and South Italians, but there is more overlap on individual level:



    In some GEDmatch calculators I'm much closer to North Germans than to South Germans. In PuntDNAL K15 North Germans are my 4th population and South Germans only 20th (this indirectly implies that there is a large difference between these two groups):

    Single Population Sharing:

    # Population(source) Distance

    1 Polish 2.06
    (...)
    4 North_German 6.79
    5 Belarusian 7.58
    6 Slovenian 7.94
    (...)
    8 Austrian 8.36
    (...)
    12 Hungarian 9.25
    (...)
    20 South_German 13.53

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    North Germans are more Germanic but they are also Slavic-admixed (especially North-East Germans).

    South Germans are probably to a large extent descended from Celts etc. who became Germanized.

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    Each tool gives slightly different results. One shouldn't rely on just one measure.

    In terms of fst, the fst between north and south Germany is .000. North Italy to South Italy is .005, North Italy to France (not South France), which might presumably be closer, is .003, and to Spain is also .003. Oh, and North Italy to south Germany is .004, and to northern Germany is .005.

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    1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by binx View Post
    Roman ancestry is still there, in Italy. Mostly in North-Central Italy, but South Italy was never fully Roman and was always a bit different from the rest of Italy (but not North African!). Italians are still the most Roman people of all.
    Northern Italy was never fully Roman too. There were Celts and 'Etruscans'.

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    We can't just outright say which italians are closest to Romans without testing actual ancient roman samples. Doesn't help that Rome was a melting pot so finding those valuable corpses that are 100 percent original roman stock doesn't sound easy

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    In the north, on the other hand, large areas were able to free themselves of the yoke of the German Emperors and to form communes which allowed the intelligence, creativity, and entrepreneurial spirit of the Italian people to flourish. These were the first areas where we see actual capitalism, and they were not, a la Weber, Protestant. Those areas under the strict control of these large autocratic entities stultified, and that includes not only the south under centuries of French and Spanish misrule, but the areas in the center, like Umbria and parts of the Marche, areas where genetically the people are not all that different from the Tuscans or northern Italians, but which were under the control of the Popes.
    the same thing happened in Flanders already in the 11th century when the count of Flanders ruled more or less independent from the French king
    commerce and industry florished
    Flanders became so rich it was invaded several times by the French in the 14th century to subjugate Flanders again
    then, Antwerp just outside of Flanders started to develop
    then, by inheritance Flanders and Antwerp came under Spanish Habsburg rule and the inquisition
    many merchants fled to Holland which then developped very quickly into an overseas trading nation
    there were close ties between the famous Flemish and North Italian painters

    there was a free spirit already before protestantism
    protestantism developped in Holland and Germany, I guess as a reaction against inquisition and Catholic fundamentalism
    the Spanish Habsburgs used inquisition to tighten their grip
    as so often there was a mix between religion and politics

    and what does it make of the Flemish people genetically?
    are they the dumb, underdevelopped class who didn't emigrate to Antwerp, Holland or Italy?

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    There's a tendency among not only geneticists, but people interested in genetics, imo, to become very deterministic about it and attribute 100% of any differences between groups to genetic causes. I think that leads to sometimes false conclusions.

    Does genetic inheritance matter? Yes, I think it does, but environment, and not, according to the studies I've seen, the "home" environment so much, but the "outside" environment, does have an impact. How a country is ruled impacts behavior, certainly economic behavior. As I said above, "history matters".

    My take away is that since the Middle Ages those areas in Europe which either had local rulers who promoted trade and innovation, or local communes which did the same, and also had access to trade routes along rivers, seas, etc., where the people had the wit to take advantage of these circumstances, and where the local government basically then got out of the way and let capitalism flourish, were the areas which saw the most economic development, the most prosperity, and the ensuing flourishing of the arts, science, literature, etc.

    It started in Italy, partly, perhaps, because there was more memory of commerce and urbanization, where some urban centers still existed, if in much reduced circumstances, and because the sea routes were not totally forgotten, nor the routes using the Po and then over the Alps. I think another important factor was that they were ruled by the "Holy Roman Emperors", who weren't, after all, the representatives of a unified, monolithic, authoritarian nation state, but of fractious and competing small states, and which emperors often maintained a rather tenuous hold on power themselves. As a result, the Italian cities were able to free themselves relatively easily, although at some cost, and form relatively free communes. The combination led to the rebirth of trade and commerce and then all the other advancements.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medieval_commune
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Italian_city-states

    It then spread quickly to the low countries, where, as you explained, some of the same conditions existed. Amalfi, by the way, suffered much the same fate as you describe in Flanders. They were on the losing side of history and their flowering came to a relatively quick end.

    Does that mean that they suddenly became stupid? Obviously not. There's a limit to what you can accomplish given certain circumstances. I do think it's true, however, that certain areas can experience a sort of "brain drain" when this happens. I worry about it in terms of Italy, I have to tell you. I see all these Italian names on genetics papers, but they're at foreign universities.

    Anyway, this is all still operating to a certain extent, in my opinion. I saw the following map of GDP per individual in purchasing power posted on Razib Khan's twitter feed. He then wrote a blog post on it.

    Average GDP in purchasing power in EU by region.jpg

    The data is from 2014. If my memory serves, it was even higher for Italy a couple of years ago.

    In his Unz blog post on it he makes the "Habsburg Empire" connection, as did Peter Turchin, but they're not getting it quite right, in my opinion, as the fact that Spain/Portugal, also under their rule, lag behind, shows. It's not the greatness of the Habsburgs or the Carolingians and their policies that is important; it's the laxness of their rule in the "central corridor" which provided the freedom necessary for capitalism, added to the access to established trade routes and areas of high agricultural yield.

    See:
    http://www.unz.com/gnxp/

    Turchin, leftist that he is, will probably never acknowledge this.

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    there were 2 Habsburg branches, a Spanish and an Austrian
    I don't know exactly how far the Austrian branch reached, but I don't see an immeadiate connection with the map provided

    you're right, it was private intitiative and trade that created wealth, not some central government in favor of a few priviliged

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    Quote Originally Posted by bicicleur View Post
    there were 2 Habsburg branches, a Spanish and an Austrian
    I don't know exactly how far the Austrian branch reached, but I don't see an immeadiate connection with the map provided

    you're right, it was private intitiative and trade that created wealth, not some central government in favor of a few priviliged
    Exactly. Some of the people commenting on the Razib Khan blog post seem to have an imperfect understanding of the relevant history and geographical spread of the "Holy Roman Empire". To wit, many of the relevant areas actually weren't in the Empire; people were safe on the roads in Spain, too; the Spanish Golden Age was based on New World silver, and once that was gone there was no large mercantile class in place (especially since they had expelled all their Jews) and policies were oriented toward the interests of the large landowner; the same was true in the southern Italy they ruled.

    Given the orientation of many amateur geneticists there's also the reflexive Nordicism, to which I can only point out that East Germany, despite these supposedly superior genes, was a mess economically when under communism and the Soviet Union. Also, southern Germany and Austria, more "southern" areas of Germany, are actually more prosperous. Amalfi didn't have much "Germanic" ancestry, I might add. As I said, history and governance matter. (Oh, most of the prosperity of southern Ireland is because it's a tax haven, and that in the North is because of drilling.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tomenable View Post
    It seems that the difference between North Germans and South Germans is also large, check for example these PCA graphs. It looks like the average difference is almost as large as between North and South Italians, but there is more overlap on individual level:



    In some GEDmatch calculators I'm much closer to North Germans than to South Germans. In PuntDNAL K15 North Germans are my 4th population and South Germans only 20th (this indirectly implies that there is a large difference between these two groups):

    Single Population Sharing:

    # Population(source) Distance

    1 Polish 2.06
    (...)
    4 North_German 6.79
    5 Belarusian 7.58
    6 Slovenian 7.94
    (...)
    8 Austrian 8.36
    (...)
    12 Hungarian 9.25
    (...)
    20 South_German 13.53
    since south-germans border north- Italians ( austrians are south-germans ) why don't you plot their PCA and see how close they match or not

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    Exactly. Some of the people commenting on the Razib Khan blog post seem to have an imperfect understanding of the relevant history and geographical spread of the "Holy Roman Empire". To wit, many of the relevant areas actually weren't in the Empire; people were safe on the roads in Spain, too; the Spanish Golden Age was based on New World silver, and once that was gone there was no large mercantile class in place (especially since they had expelled all their Jews) and policies were oriented toward the interests of the large landowner; the same was true in the southern Italy they ruled.

    Given the orientation of many amateur geneticists there's also the reflexive Nordicism, to which I can only point out that East Germany, despite these supposedly superior genes, was a mess economically when under communism and the Soviet Union. Also, southern Germany and Austria, more "southern" areas of Germany, are actually more prosperous. Amalfi didn't have much "Germanic" ancestry, I might add. As I said, history and governance matter. (Oh, most of the prosperity of southern Ireland is because it's a tax haven, and that in the North is because of drilling.)
    Venice was never under holy roman lands and even conquests by venetians into holy roman lands removed these lands from the HRE ................same happened in netherlands and france.

    The genetic difference between north and south italy is evident by migration, but rich and poor division in Italy was due to the fact that central and north italy areas where ruled by themselves and became rich while the south became poor sitting under Iberian rule ......be it Aragon, Navaresse, Catalan, Castilian or Boubon rulers ...........the south was bled by the iberians

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    Italians descend from the Pre-Roman peoples rather than from the ancient Romans. At best people from certain parts of Latium could be the descendants of the Latins but in Rome today most the the inhabitants are or the sons or the grandsons of people who came from the Marche, Abruzzo, Calabria, Campania etc. Since the 1870 there has been an huge internal migration from Central-Southern Italy and to a lesser degree from the North toward the capital..already in the antiquity Rome was full of people from all over Italy and beyond

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    1 members found this post helpful.
    Speak for yourself.

    You're apparently forgetting all the colonies of Roman soldiers and others which were established all over northern Italy. Or aren't they teaching Roman history in Italian schools anymore?

    https://www.britannica.com/topic/col...man-settlement

    https://www.academia.edu/4752147/Sol...publican_Italy

    http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/...*/Colonia.html

    Some examples from Rome north: Ostia, Rimini, Modena, Parma, Luni.

    You're also being far too literal. What definition of Roman are you using? Does it include only the inhabitants of "Rome" itself? How about the Etruscans and Sabines whom they incorporated very early on?

    The people who "built" Rome probably had as much ancestry from the Etruscans and from related tribes of central and central Northern Italy as from the people who lived on the seven hills originally.

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    Roman colonies:


    Once all of Italy was unified, there would have been admixture all up and down the peninsula.

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    I am referring only to the inhabitants of ancient Rome, the original Romans to be precise (Archaic-Republican period)...Etruscans and the other Italic peoples were Socii Foederati they can't be considered ethnic Romans IMO

    Anyway i'm not Anti-Roman at all..my username is Cato (!)

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

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    1 members found this post helpful.
    Just want to add many great inventions were created by Italians during and after the Roman era.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...ian_inventions

    In this list many inventions were created during the medieval ages and the early modern era. The Etruscans were definitely not part the original Roman Patrician families, but the very least to say the Etruscans had an influence on Roman culture and were Italian peoples, they were Socii as Cato stated.

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    The earliest Romans were Latins, Sabines and Etruscans, according to Livy and others.
    The Claudii and Valerii among others were Sabine "gentes".

    An area near the Forum in Rome was called the Vicus Tuscus (Etruscan Quarter) while there was a Latin town called Tusculum (near modern Frascati).

    The great Tarquin dynasty of monarchical Rome was part Etruscan from Tarquinii and part Corinthian (Demaratus) Greek.

    Lucius Junius Brutus, founder of the Roman Republic, was the nephew of the last King of Rome, Tarquinius Superbus.

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    Indeed.

    The precise genetic profile of the first shepherds living in their miserable, thatched huts on the seven hills above the Tiber is rather irrelevant, in my opinion. What did they ever accomplish?

    Already by the time they appeared in the annals of history they were probably a mixed group.

    " Rome lay 12 miles inland from the sea on the Tiber River, the border between Latium and Etruria. Because the site commanded a convenient river crossing and lay on a land route from the Apennines to the sea, it formed the meeting point of three distinct peoples: Latins, Etruscans, and Sabines. Though Latin in speech and culture, the Roman population must have been somewhat diverse from earliest times, a circumstance that may help to account for the openness of Roman society in historical times."

    "
    Romulus, Rome’s first king according to tradition, was the invention of later ancient historians. His name, which is not even proper Latin, was designed to explain the origin of Rome’s name. His fictitious reign was filled with deeds expected of an ancient city founder and the son of awargod. Thus he was described as having established Rome’s early political, military, and social institutions and as having waged war against neighbouring states. Romulus was also thought to have shared his royal power for a time with a Sabine namedTitus Tatius. The name may be that of an authentic ruler of early Rome, perhaps Rome’s first real king; nothing, however, was known about him in later centuries, and his reign was therefore lumped together with that of Romulus.The names of the other six kings are authentic and were remembered by the Romans."

    "According to ancient tradition, the warlike founder Romulus was succeeded by the Sabine Numa Pompilius, whose reign was characterized by complete tranquility and peace. Numa was supposed to have created virtually all of Rome’s religious institutions and practices."

    "Rome’s urban transformation was carried out by its last three kings: LuciusTarquinius Priscus (Tarquin the Elder), Servius Tullius, and Lucius TarquiniusSuperbus (Tarquin the Proud). According to ancient tradition, the two Tarquins were father and son and came from Etruria. One tradition madeServius Tullius a Latin; another described him as an Etruscan named Mastarna. All three kings were supposed to have been great city planners and organizers (a tradition that has been confirmed by archaeology)."

    https://www.britannica.com/place/ancient-Rome

    The Etruscans didn't disappear. They were absorbed by the Romans.

    The following gens are all Etruscan: Lartia, Herminia, Caecina, and I could go on and on.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lartia_(gens)
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herminia_(gens)
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caecina_(gens)

    In the time of the four emperors between the Julio/Claudians and the Flavians, Otho, one of the four emperors, was descended from an Etruscan family.

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

    As to the Sabines, if the event known to us as "The Rape of the Sabines" has any historical accuracy at all, there was admixture between the "Romans" and the "Sabines.

    The initial Roman imperial family was, after the death of Augustus, more Claudii than Julii, and the Claudii were a Sabine family.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claudia_(gens)

    After them, we have another Sabine family, the Flavians...
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vespasian

    Cicero was from a Sabine family southeast of Rome.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cicero

    Livy was born near modern Padua, and given the inclusive nature of the "Romans", he might have had some "local" ancestry.

    Anyway, if the Flavians and Cicero and Otho weren't "Roman", then nobody was "Roman."

    I'm aware that the line has to be drawn at a certain point, but that point is certainly not with some shepherds living in thatched huts on the Palatine. Nor can it be drawn before the first century AD had even ended.

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    Horatius Cocles who defended the bridge over the Tiber against the Etruscans of Lars Porsenna of Clusium had with him 2 companions with Etruscan names, Spurius Larcius and Titus Herminius.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vallicanus View Post
    The earliest Romans were Latins, Sabines and Etruscans, according to Livy and others.
    The Claudii and Valerii among others were Sabine "gentes".

    An area near the Forum in Rome was called the Vicus Tuscus (Etruscan Quarter) while there was a Latin town called Tusculum (near modern Frascati).

    The great Tarquin dynasty of monarchical Rome was part Etruscan from Tarquinii and part Corinthian (Demaratus) Greek.

    Lucius Junius Brutus, founder of the Roman Republic, was the nephew of the last King of Rome, Tarquinius Superbus.
    I know that early Rome had a Sabine and a southern Etruscan component in its population, obviously i include them in the "ethnic Romans" label since they were there since the beginning and contributed to the expansion of Rome.

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    1 members found this post helpful.
    There is big span of time discussed here,to the general question how Romans turned into Italians?
    Roman empire expanded greatly in size,the same question can be asked about many today nations that emerged on it's former territory.
    However not all people were soldiers and emperors there as to what we have in mind,there was majority of simple people among them,soldiers were going anywhere where they were required.The soldiers,nobility would have been from the area they started to expanded from.Later on with many "Romans" from the conquered territories.
    Locations of Roman legions, 80 CE


    When Constantine moved the capital to Constantinople(new Rome) i guess Rome lost it's significance,everything shifted in Constantinople,there were the courts,the nobles etc,simply the capital was there.
    Map of all the territories once occupied by the Roman Empire, along with locations of limes


    for example when Justinian was sending troops against "Goths" in Italy they were gathering in Serdica(Sofia) present Bulgaria.Yes Romans.
    Roman was proffesion,common goal,politics bound by Romaness.

    Yes ancient Romans somehow turned into Italians and are credited with creation of that empire.

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    For example Constans II (641 to 668) wanted to move the capital yet again from Constantinople to Syracuse in Sicily,so obviosly that would have been the most prosperous part of the empire,it was smaller empire at the time and with internal as well many external conflicts but still rich and powerful empire,i don't think it is genetics or anything like that,to brought those things in question has to do with one own bias,"behavior" of ancient people vs modern,north better than south,to the contrary culture shift was going opposite in our own perception we call Europe.

    In 663 Constans visited Rome for twelve days—the only emperor to set foot in Rome for two centuries—and was received with great honor by Pope Vitalian (657–672)

    Rumours that he was going to move the capital of the Empire to Syracuse were probably fatal for Constans. On September 15, 668, he was assassinated in his bath by his chamberlain, according to Theophilus of Edessa, with a bucket.

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