Intelligence Trends in Ancient Rome

Jovialis

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We analysed 127 Ancient Roman genomes with a view to understanding the possible reasons for the fall of the Roman Empire. Taking the polygenic score for educational attainment (EA4) as a proxy for intelligence, we find that intelligence increased from the Neolithic Era (Z= -0.77) to the Iron Age (Z= 0.86), declines after the Republic Period and during the Imperial Period (Z= -0.27) and increases in Late Antiquity (Z= 0.25) and is approximately at the same level today (Z= 0.08). We show that this is congruent with a cyclical model of civilization based around intelligence, with the documented history of Rome, and also with patterns of immigration into Rome.

https://openpsych.net/paper/73/


To me this is no surprise, considering the following.

Correct me if I am wrong, but aren't many of the Republican era samples, elites? While most of the Imperial samples are commoners?

If so, it is far more likely that elites are genetically more endowed with intelligence (not always the case though). While commoners are more likely to be more middle of the road.

It would sort of be like comparing the intelligence of a handful of attorneys to a large group of factory workers.
 
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The Italic tribes mixed with the natives and thisis reflected in the dramatic change in ancestry, which shifted from being entirely Anatolian Neolithic/Sardinianduring the Neolithic to mostly (72 %) central European in the Iron Age/Republican sample (Antonio et al.,2019). At the same time, the new immigrants established Latin as the language of the rising Mediterraneanpower.

Extremely ignorant and/or misleading statement, considering the Latins and Etruscans were still a majority Anatolian_N
 
The Italic tribes mixed with the natives and thisis reflected in the dramatic change in ancestry, which shifted from being entirely Anatolian Neolithic/Sardinianduring the Neolithic to mostly (72 %) central European in the Iron Age/Republican sample (Antonio et al.,2019). At the same time, the new immigrants established Latin as the language of the rising Mediterraneanpower.

Extremely ignorant and/or misleading statement, considering the Latins and Etruscans were still a majority Anatolian_N

Even the southernmost Europeans roughly can be modelled as being 50% Scandinavian (for example, let's take the proto-greeks harbouring around 40%-50% steppe as vaguely similar to northern Europeans and subsequent greeks that had around 20% were 40-50% northern European) and 50% EEF, since this approximates by remote ancestral profiles the birth of southern Europeans' gene pool when people speaking IE languages and harbouring steppe ancestry migrated en masse to south Europe around 2200-2000 B.C; hence it is extremely misleading to suggest that Latins were "smart" because they were "72% central European" (which "central European"? If it is an average counting also southern French it is no wonder such average can model Latins as 72% "central European") and that they were 72% central European because Italic speakers migrated into Italy founding Rome, when the evidence is that Europeans are a subcluster of the caucasoid cluster(which itself already is homogeneous when compared to other clusters), so it is quite trivial and uninformative that another European group can be used to model quite a high percentage of another one, and when the evidence also points to the fact the gene pool of northern Italy (which later migrated into central Italy it seems) became "72% Central European" at least 1300 years before the legendary founding of Rome, and very likely the Italic migrations were not the first migrations of IE speaking groups into Italy.

Let's grant for discussion's sake that Middle Easterners are dumber than Europeans (need I stress again "for discussion's sake"?): it still doesn't follow that the increase of intelligence (at least granting that those polygenetic scores do measure intelligence, which I am skeptical about) was due to "Germanics settling in Italy" when the evidence points to a resurgence of local ancestry (because, as it is clear, when the local custom was to incinerate it is trivial that buried remains are more likely to represent not local people, especially when the samples are gathered from known cosmopolitan urban centers) and the absolute insignificance of the numerical presence of Germanic immigrants into Italy. Also isn't it quite convenient that the imperial samples which the study links to decreased intelligence brought the collapse of the empire when the samples are from the early empire (a period of wealth) and it stood for centuries to follow but the increase of intelligence brought by Germanics corresponds to the actual period of collapse of the empire? I guess that one could argue for a "prosperous times beget weak men, who beget hard time..." model which could account for the lag between the decrease in intelligence and the actual collapse and between the increase in intelligence and the beginning of the dark ages, but such a move would weaken the link between ancestral make up and intelligence as the cause of collapse (becoming more an effect of environment).

To be fair the study does make clear that they can't say whether it was a decrease due to laxer selection for intelligence or a decrease due to "ethnic replacement", and says to be cautious when trying to drawing conclusions about this issue (again, granting for discussion sake's that the polygenetic scores are indeed linked to intelligence), but overall the paper uses cherry-picked "truths" (for example, the "72% central European" might as well be true but it's trivially and how it is presented is extremely misleading) to build a misleading picture, which conveniently feeds into a narrative of "we wuz kangz" for central/northern Europeans when it comes to classical antiquity.
 
This 'paper' is hilariously wrong on a number of levels, beginning with the fact that the so-called "Roman Republican" cluster of 11 samples from Antonio et al 1) is not from Rome 2) is not from the Republican period 3) is not homogeneous 4) is not "western European"
 
This 'paper' is hilariously wrong on a number of levels, beginning with the fact that the so-called "Roman Republican" cluster of 11 samples from Antonio et al 1) is not from Rome 2) is not from the Republican period 3) is not homogeneous 4) is not "western European"

Yet, the thread promoting on twitter has thousands of likes, comments, and views. This is how ignorance is spread.
 
Even the southernmost Europeans roughly can be modelled as being 50% Scandinavian (for example, let's take the proto-greeks harbouring around 40%-50% steppe as vaguely similar to northern Europeans and subsequent greeks that had around 20% were 40-50% northern European) and 50% EEF, since this approximates by remote ancestral profiles the birth of southern Europeans' gene pool when people speaking IE languages and harbouring steppe ancestry migrated en masse to south Europe around 2200-2000 B.C; hence it is extremely misleading to suggest that Latins were "smart" because they were "72% central European" (which "central European"? If it is an average counting also southern French it is no wonder such average can model Latins as 72% "central European") and that they were 72% central European because Italic speakers migrated into Italy founding Rome, when the evidence is that Europeans are a subcluster of the caucasoid cluster(which itself already is homogeneous when compared to other clusters), so it is quite trivial and uninformative that another European group can be used to model quite a high percentage of another one, and when the evidence also points to the fact the gene pool of northern Italy (which later migrated into central Italy it seems) became "72% Central European" at least 1300 years before the legendary founding of Rome, and very likely the Italic migrations were not the first migrations of IE speaking groups into Italy.

Let's grant for discussion's sake that Middle Easterners are dumber than Europeans (need I stress again "for discussion's sake"?): it still doesn't follow that the increase of intelligence (at least granting that those polygenetic scores do measure intelligence, which I am skeptical about) was due to "Germanics settling in Italy" when the evidence points to a resurgence of local ancestry (because, as it is clear, when the local custom was to incinerate it is trivial that buried remains are more likely to represent not local people, especially when the samples are gathered from known cosmopolitan urban centers) and the absolute insignificance of the numerical presence of Germanic immigrants into Italy. Also isn't it quite convenient that the imperial samples which the study links to decreased intelligence brought the collapse of the empire when the samples are from the early empire (a period of wealth) and it stood for centuries to follow but the increase of intelligence brought by Germanics corresponds to the actual period of collapse of the empire? I guess that one could argue for a "prosperous times beget weak men, who beget hard time..." model which could account for the lag between the decrease in intelligence and the actual collapse and between the increase in intelligence and the beginning of the dark ages, but such a move would weaken the link between ancestral make up and intelligence as the cause of collapse (becoming more an effect of environment).

To be fair the study does make clear that they can't say whether it was a decrease due to laxer selection for intelligence or a decrease due to "ethnic replacement", and says to be cautious when trying to drawing conclusions about this issue (again, granting for discussion sake's that the polygenetic scores are indeed linked to intelligence), but overall the paper uses cherry-picked "truths" (for example, the "72% central European" might as well be true but it's trivially and how it is presented is extremely misleading) to build a misleading picture, which conveniently feeds into a narrative of "we wuz kangz" for central/northern Europeans when it comes to classical antiquity.


Ideology > Facts unfortunately.
 
I saw some of the counter-arguments on the author of Intelligence Trends in Ancient Rome's twitter.

It seems to go like this,

-They present an utterly retarded paper i.e. Intelligence Trends in Ancient Rome.

-It gets repudiated for monstrous inaccuracies by many, including the authors of the papers they cited

-They simply laugh it off and tell people to "cope". Masses of retards continue to believe the lie.

They only dysgenics regarding intelligence I have seen is from the authors and the people who support them.
 
^^As was shown in the paper on the Danube/Balkans, the prosperous elite had genomes more similar to people from the southeast/Middle East. I think we should all be able to agree that the elite merchants became elite merchants because their cognitive functioning was high.

If authors are going to do a eugenics paper, perhaps they should have made themselves aware of the fact that the most educated, most skilled slaves, merchants etc. would have come from Greece, Anatolia etc. Those, like Greek tutors, accountants, etc. would be the people most likely to survive and pass on their genes to succeeding generations. There's a reason why, in Late Antiquity, the only part of the "West" the Byzantines wanted to hold onto was Italy and Greece.

I'm sorry to have to say such things, but these authors opened the door.

The least skilled and educated would be sent to latifundia, mines, the galleys, dangerous "factories" where toxic substances were used, and would most likely die before passing on their genes. This would apply to women as well, as the life span of the average worker in a brothel was very low, and the cemeteries of newborns indicates what happened to their offspring.

Also, from what I remember, the Republican Era Latins and Etruscans are closest to modern day Spaniards and North Italians. Since when did we get promoted to Northwestern Europeans??? :)
 
The Italic tribes mixed with the natives and thisis reflected in the dramatic change in ancestry, which shifted from being entirely Anatolian Neolithic/Sardinianduring the Neolithic to mostly (72 %) central European in the Iron Age/Republican sample (Antonio et al.,2019). At the same time, the new immigrants established Latin as the language of the rising Mediterraneanpower.

Extremely ignorant and/or misleading statement, considering the Latins and Etruscans were still a majority Anatolian_N

Not really ignorant because you're misreading it. The Latins came from central Europe, and already had substantial farmer ancestry. I suspect they can make this claim because they can look at a Copper Age Italian like Otzi or even Neolithic Sardinians and see that was the pre-Bell Beaker type in Italy, and compare it to a population like Bell Beaker Germany (south) and determine that 72% of the ancestry of the Latins came from the central European population. I believe this was a theory long before genetics anyhow. Nowhere did it say one of these macro ancestries was responsible for intelligence. If intelligence is party linked to genes it could have come up in any population at any time, whether it was central Europe or Anatolia or what % of the genome is EEF is also irrelevant. Of course a female "lefty" got offended. Without government support, their left winged research would be nothing.
 
Not really ignorant because you're misreading it. The Latins came from central Europe, and already had substantial farmer ancestry. I suspect they can make this claim because they can look at a Copper Age Italian like Otzi or even Neolithic Sardinians and see that was the pre-Bell Beaker type in Italy, and compare it to a population like Bell Beaker Germany (south) and determine that 72% of the ancestry of the Latins came from the central European population. I believe this was a theory long before genetics anyhow. Nowhere did it say one of these macro ancestries was responsible for intelligence. If intelligence is party linked to genes it could have come up in any population at any time, whether it was central Europe or Anatolia or what % of the genome is EEF is also irrelevant. Of course a female "lefty" got offended. Without government support, their left winged research would be nothing.

Well, maybe I misread it because it was written in an absolutely retarded fashion. Saying they were mostly Anatolian_N and then saying they are Central European are confusing the nomenclature.


Also, we do not know that for sure, because they didn't even examine the BA in Antonio et al. 2019.


Regardless, they were still a majority Anatolian_N, are you disputing that?


Listen here, my Canadian friend, I am far more right-wing than you I am sure. Socially, and fiscally. I bet you are not even upper-class.
 
Not really ignorant because you're misreading it. The Latins came from central Europe, and already had substantial farmer ancestry. I suspect they can make this claim because they can look at a Copper Age Italian like Otzi or even Neolithic Sardinians and see that was the pre-Bell Beaker type in Italy, and compare it to a population like Bell Beaker Germany (south) and determine that 72% of the ancestry of the Latins came from the central European population. I believe this was a theory long before genetics anyhow. Nowhere did it say one of these macro ancestries was responsible for intelligence. If intelligence is party linked to genes it could have come up in any population at any time, whether it was central Europe or Anatolia or what % of the genome is EEF is also irrelevant. Of course a female "lefty" got offended. Without government support, their left winged research would be nothing.

The Latin "SPEAKERS", not the Latins of history who actually accomplished anything. If you look at the schematic above you can see that the LATINS were majority Anatolia Neolithic with a big chunk of Iranian like, i.e. non-steppe CHG.

When compared to modern Europeans the Republican Era Latins were closest to modern Spaniards and Northern Italians. Since when does that equal Northwest European like???

So, the authors are either ignorant or deliberately trying to misrepresent the actual facts in the paper which they cite as support for their conclusions. There's a reason Hannah Moots, who worked on the paper to which they're referring, is so incensed over all of this.

You think, perhaps, that the authors of that paper don't know more about the genomes of their samples that this crew???
 
"This change may be attributed to the substantial immigration from other parts of the Roman empire, where selection pressures may not have been as strong. The collapse of the Roman Empire was accompanied and accelerated by an influx of Germanic people which
settled in Italy and changed its genetic landscape (Antonio et al., 2019). This influx can explain the slow rise in the polygenic scores of Late Antiquity and into the Medieval period, which partly reversed the decline observed in the Imperial Period. "


The ethnic replacement obsession the authors and so many other people seem to have with Italians should be classified as an endemic mental illness. We apparently only exist for others to pigeonhole us into convenient categories for ideological fulfillment and some sort of Roman era LARP. Whenever we accomplish anything of note it's apparently because of how similar we are to the author's own ethnic group, but any time Italians fail at anything it's immediately because of how dissimilar we are. In this case the authors are postulating Germanic admixture as carrying high polygenic scores for educational attainment and middle eastern admixture as the inverse. The author simultaneously assumes that Italians are basically a 2 way admixture between these two foreigners without any investigation as to a possibility of local continuity over such a scenario for reason that it would invalidate the "mantra" which is attempting to be dogwhistled to their fellow nordicist compatriots.

So here's a better idea; let's sanity check these claims and maybe call the author's own educational attainment and IQ into question:

The vast majority of Roman citizens during the Republic were illiterate and at best only able to receive oral education which is subpar compared to having the ability to study written material. More commonly they received no formal education outside only the most wealthy and aristocratic elite classes. In comparison modern Italians are 99%+ literate and educated for much longer on average, achieving a verifiably higher education due to scientific and technological advancements achieved that the Romans quite simply didn't have access to. According to the claimed polygenic results of this study we should see the inverse, in which moderns show significantly reduced educational attainment compared to Italians of Republican Rome, but this is obviously not the case. Rome should in theory have been a society where formal education was standardized to a higher level than what we see today, but this is obviously not the case. What's more is that modern Italy's intellectual achievements are far greater than that of the Romans, even if it is no longer militarily as dominant. This aspect really isn't even debatable.

So with that alone we can say this study goes into the trash and so too any credibility associated with the authors - all of whom very vocally advocate Nordicist thought in their personal lives I might add. Feel free to do a quick search on their names if you think otherwise. Furthermore let's not also forget that Davide Piffer believes in extrasensory perception (ESP) (https://openpsych.net/forums/18/thread/25/) - a claim that I'm sure merits him a lot of respect in academia and other fields of intellectual interest alike. :rolleyes:

I've said it before and I'll say it again. Until the Anglosphere can get over its sick obsession with pigeonholing Italians into some mass immigration fetish involving Germanics and Middle Easterners I don't see any point in even slightly humoring these types. It doesn't really matter if the author is a Nordicist or a Multiculturalist - both are equally wrong despite seemingly being in love with each other over this "theory". In contrast if things remain as they are, it will be Northern Europeans who end up becoming some sort of two way admixture between middle easterners and Germanics, not Italians. Perhaps the fetishists should spend more time thinking about that, than LARPing about how uneducated barbaric Germans supposedly saved the most technologically and politically advanced civilization on planet earth from IQ decline with some supposed mass population turnover that was never documented.
 
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The Italic tribes mixed with the natives and thisis reflected in the dramatic change in ancestry, which shifted from being entirely Anatolian Neolithic/Sardinianduring the Neolithic to mostly (72 %) central European in the Iron Age/Republican sample (Antonio et al.,2019). At the same time, the new immigrants established Latin as the language of the rising Mediterraneanpower.

Extremely ignorant and/or misleading statement, considering the Latins and Etruscans were still a majority Anatolian_N

It's referring to this chart:
1706064613249.png
 

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