The New International Encyclopædia/Europe, Peoples of

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EUROPE, Peoples of. All Europeans belong to the White or Caucasian and the Yellow or Mongoloid varieties of man. Throughout historic time Europe has been a meeting-ground of races, differing from each other in complexion, stature, physical features, temperament, language, occupation, social organization, government, opinion, and religion. In studying the ethnology of this portion of the Eastern Hemisphere it is imperative to hold these several categories apart in the mind, especially those of race or blood kinship, the result of cross-breeding; speech or linguistic affinities, the result of acculturation; arts, the result of commerce or contact; and social life or nationality, the result of conquest. It is true that these concepts are related, and each is of value in the whole account of any people. When, however, one attempts to argue that people who speak the same language or practice the same arts are necessarily akin, confusion is certain to arise.


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Beginning with the first account of ancient man in Europe, paleo-ethnology may be divided into three parts: (1) Tertiary man, or the origin of humanity; (2) Quaternary man, or the development of humanity; (3) present types of man. It is to he distinctly understood that this classification is intended only as a guide to study. New discoveries are constantly demanding new adjustments with reference to the earliest races of men in Europe.

The existence of Tertiary man is yet in doubt, for our sole information concerning him rests upon the finding of extremely rude stone implements in geological layers which are thought to be Tertiary. These supposed primitive implements may be, however, only the refuse of later manufactures of more delicate objects. Such is the case in America, where, at first, materials of this character were regarded as showing the existence of man on this continent many thousands of years ago. They are now known to be the quarry refuse of historic tribes.

Still keeping in mind geological epochs, European archæologists divide human culture into Prehistoric, Protohistoric, and Historic. Again, it is thought possible to separate the life of man in Europe into ages according to the materials which characterize the several periods, as the Stone Age, Bronze Age, and Iron Age. It must he remembered at this point, however, that the word “age” does not refer to definite chronological dates, but that in the progress of human development man lived first in the stone grade, next in the bronze grade, and lastly in the iron grade of culture.

Leaving out of view, then, the question as to the existence of man in the Tertiary period, substantial exploration begins with the Quaternary epoch. In his investigations there the inquirer is everywhere confronted by problems concerning cosmic changes in climate, the plants and animals which were contemporaneous with man during these changes, the species or varieties of man based on the human crania actually discovered, as well as on the progress in arts, especially those in stone. Notwithstanding the speculative character of much that is affirmed about Quaternary man in Europe, an examination of the accumulated evidences leaves the impression of a long perspective of history, in which the life of the species, at first almost as naturistic as that of the beasts, was gradually transformed by human ingenuity into' the higher culture, the life wherein nearly every conscious action is performed artificially. On the assumption that the forward movement of this artificial life is an unquestionable fact, the relics of human industry discovered in the caves and other archæological stations throughout all the countries of Europe may be mapped out in a series. Attempts have been made to mark epochs in this progress, and names have been given to them from locations where typical specimens of that particular grade of art were to be found, beginning with the Chellean, and ending with the Tourassian for the Paleolithic period.

European Paleo-ethnology

Times Ages Periods Epochs

Actual or
Historic Of
Merovingian Wabenian (Waben, Pas-de-Calais).

Roman Champdolian (Champdolent, Seine et Oise).

Lugdunian (Lyon, Rhône).

Protohistoric Galatian Beuvraysian (Mont Beuvray, Nièvre).

Marnian (Department of the Marne).

Hallstattian (Hallstatt, Austria).

Tsiganian Larnaudian (Larnaud, Jura).

Morgian (Morges, Vaud. Switz.).

Prehistoric Of
Neolithic Robenhausian (Robenhausen, Zürich).

Tardenoisian (Fère-en-Tardenois, Aisne).

Paleolithic Tourassian. Hiatus (La Tourasse, Haute-Garonne).

Magdalenian (La Madeleine, Dordogne).

Solutrean (Solutre, Saone-et-Loire).

Mousterian (Le Moustier, Dordogne).

Acheulean (Saint Acheul, Somme).

Chellean (Chelles, Seine-et-Marne).

Tertiary Eolithic Puycouraian (Puy-courny, Cantal).

Thenaysian (Thenay, Loir-et-Cher).

As for man himself, out of less than fifty skulls to which the title Quaternary has been applied, not more than a dozen can be vouched for as beyond question. All of them are long-headed or dolichocephalic in form. That is, the ratio of the length to the width of the skull is less than 80-82. With our present knowledge it is possible to divide the oldest crania into the following types: the Neanderthal or spy man, referable to the Mousterian Epoch (q.v.); and the Laugerie Basse and Chancelade (Dordogne) type, to be referred to the Magdalenian Epoch. (See Madeleine, La.) The Neanderthal-spy type had the cephalic or length-width index of the skull, 70-75.3, together with a low, retreating forehead, prominent brow-ridges, and probably low stature, about 1.59 m., or 62½ inches. This race did not fully disappear from Europe in early times. Neanderthaloid skulls have been found in the later prehistoric and historic graves and dolmens, and individuals of the same type exist in Europe and America at the present time. The Laugerie-Chancelade type was also long-headed like the other, but the forehead was higher and the skull more capacious. The projecting brow-ridges were absent, the orbits were higher, the face with its prominent cheek bones was elevated and broad, but the stature was low. After these two types, short of stature, came the so-called Cro-Magnon race, who were extremely long headed, the ratio of the head length to the width being from 63 to 75; the face and the orbits were low, but the stature was lofty, approaching 68 inches.

Climatic and Other Changes in the Paleolithic Epochs

No. Climate Geologic action Plants Animals

As at present Fauna of to-day, Cervus elaphus abundant. Reindeer disappears.

Cold and dry Formation of red earth with angular pebbles Polar moss in Württemberg Man, race of Laugerie Basse. Great development of northern fauna, reindeer, etc. Extinction of mammoth.

Mild and dry Retreat of the glaciers Horse abundant. Reindeer. Mammoth. Increase of rhinoceros.

Cold and moist Great extension of glaciers, and consequent changes of the soil and levels Flora of cold regions Arctic fauna. Mammoth, Rhinoceros tichorinus, Cave-bear. Musk-ox.

Mild and moist Alluvium of the high levels. Loam of the plateaus Flora in transition Fauna intermediate. Appearance of mammoth. Disappearance of Elephas antiquus.

Warm and humid Subsidence. Filling of the valleys. Alluvium everywhere at lower levels Flora sub-tropical. Mediterranean plants in Seine Valley Man. Neanderthal race. Tropical fauna. Hippopotamus. Rhinoceros Merckii, Elephas antiquus. Extinction of Tertiary forms.

Classification of Quaternary Culture is Europe

Period Epoch Technic Characteristic implements

End of the
Tourassian Workmanship in bone and stone degenerated Harpoon heads flat, with large barbs, in antler. Passage from the Paleolithic period into the Neolithic.

Magdalenian Development of work on bone and hard substances Burins or gravers in flint. Flint blades thin and symmetrical. Development of bone implements and of fine art.

Solutrean Flints worked by pressure Laurel-leaf blades. The skin-scraper appears. Apogee of stone implements.

Mousterian Flints that show retouching (chipped and flaked) Stone blades to be held in the hand, knives and choppers. Blades wide and thick, and chipped on one face only. Disappearance of the flaked axe (coup de poing).

Acheulean Mixed art Leaf-shape blades, langue de chat, narrower, thinner, more delicate, and carefully finished.

Chellean Made by direct blows Only one stone implement, the coup de poing, large, coarse, with large facets on each side.

After these vague epochs came the Neolithic or Polished Stone Period, followed by the Bronze or Tsiganian Period, and this by the Age of Iron. These changes did not come by sudden breaking down of the stone and bronze ages, but by transitional steps with a separate history in each of the countries of Europe. For instance, the Polished Stone Period was not developed simultaneously over the Continent. Scandinavia, in its northern parts, was covered with glaciers, and only in the refuse-piles in Denmark are polished stone hatchets found contemporaneously with Neolithic tools of the rest of Europe. There were even, until quite recently, tribes in Russia who were still in this grade of progress.

These ancient Neolithic peoples were sedentary and industrial. Their fund was not obtained wholly by natural processes, hut artificialism in the cultivation of the soil and the domestication nf animals progressed. Their homes were no longer movable tents, but substantial buildings. They constructed the pile dwellings of Switzerland, France, Italy, and perhaps of Ireland. They buried their dead under dolmens, and it was they who set up huge megalithic monuments in England, Brittany, and Spain.

The Neolithic peoples of the British Isles, as well as of other parts of western Europe, were quite long-headed, the ratio of the length to the width of the skull being as low as 65-75. These earliest of European industrial peoples had also long faces like some existing populations of Europe. It must be carefully noted at this point that in Sweden, France, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Spain, and Portugal crania of short-headed peoples are found mixed with dolichocephalic skulls. This tells an important story, for it clearly shows that with progress race-mixture had begun to take place, the borrowing of blood being associated with the community of arts. Another fact worthy of notice is that the erection of huge stone and earth monuments, called barrows by ethnologists, indicates the consolidation of society, implying an increasing number of persons who could be brought together in the same enterprise, and the consequent raising of an artificial food-supply so that these masses might coöperate for longer periods of time.

The so-called Ages of Metal in Europe, that is, of Copper, Bronze, and Iron, comprise the remaining epochs in the popular scheme of European archæology. In America the earliest implements in copper were cold-hammered and ground into shape, the material being treated technically precisely as if it were stone. It is not surprising, therefore, to find the same condition of things in Europe. The parallelism is almost perfect in every respect. Copper tools and weapons do not mark a separate epoch, meaning that the stone implements ceased to be used at once, nor must it be inferred that there was a Copper Age as distinguished from a Bronze Age, for copper tools and weapons are found associated with bronze relics. And here arises one of the most interesting inquiries of all, how far the exquisite products in bronze, found all over Europe, are results of indigenous development, and how far they indicate commerce or instruction from without. There is no doubt that both of these factors coöperated, the result of which was the art as it existed in each region.

It is a well-known law of progress that suggestion is one of the strongest incentives to the use of materials and processes. There existed in central and western Europe a Bronze Age, which in some characteristics of its products resembles the Orient and in others is entirely original. The art of bronze smelting and working could not arise originally and develop completely and independently in any land; and secondly, such an art could not be imposed bodily upon a people who were not far enough advanced to add to it many thoughts and technical processes of their own. Progress and complexity in artificial activities are produced by the mutual influence of races and peoples. In proof of this, the Bronze Age witnessed the coming of a great variety of physical types. In England the people became more brachycephalic, the ratio of head-length to head-width being 81. In Sweden and Denmark long-headed people, tall and fair-haired, coëxisted with those of much larger index. In the Valley of the Rhine, as well as in southern Germany and Switzerland, the dolichocephaly was more pronounced. Knowledge of the use of fire among the peoples of the Bronze Age was contemporaneous also with the cremation of the dead.

The earliest relics of the Iron Age are found in the hamlet of Hallstatt, in Upper Austria, in thousands of graves, revealing implements of industry, weapons, and personal ornaments, but no pottery. At first it seemed to have had no affiliation with any other national art, but later researches put the earliest Iron Age as a medium between the more advanced art of southern Europe and the West. Iron gradually replaced bronze, which had then passed into its æsthetic stage, and revealed the existence of Oriental influence in Europe. The long heads also became mingled with short, heads, and in the La Tene, also called Marnean, epoch, skulls vary almost as much as at the present day.

The types of races mentioned extend far beyond the boundaries of Europe into Asia and Africa. The lines between the continents are entirely artificial.

Ripley finds three separate biological races of men in Europe:

1. TEUTONIC RACE. Dolicho-leptorhine of Kohlmann; Reihengräber of German writers; Germanic of English; Kymric of French; Nordic or Deniker; and Homo Europæus of Lapouge.

2. ALPINE RACE (or Celtic). Celto-Slavic of French writers; Sarmatian of Von Hölder; Disentis of German writers; Arvernian of Beddoe; Occidental of Deniker; Homo Alpinus of Lapouge; and Lappanold of Pruner-Bey.

3. MEDITERRANEAN RACE. Iberian of English writers; Ligurian of Italian writers; Ibero-Insular and Atlanta-Mediterranean of Deniker.


Long Long Very
Blue Tall Narrow,

Round Broad Light
Hazel-gray Medium,

Long Long Dark
or black
Dark Medium,

Inquiry into the causes of difference in stature, head-form, and color, leads to the profoundest of biological studies. To say that inheritance and variation is sufficient to account for them is to explain nothing. Even stature is not always a matter of nutrition. Much controversy has arisen over the origin of blondness in northern Europe. No doubt, albinism is more pronounced in Europe. Its marked appearance elsewhere is among the kindred peoples in northern Africa and southeastern Asia. The popular notion that exposure to the action of the sun's rays is the cause of brunetteness is altogether at fault. No single known cause produces either albinism or brunetteness. It is quite probable that long ago the subspecies to which Europeans belong were yellow or Mongoloid in color, and that by the coöperation of environment and obscure physiological processes these characteristics became fixed and persistent through heredity.

Having fixed these three biological types in mind, the difficulty is in finding their representatives in modern Europe. Race is a matter of blood kinship, requiring isolation under favorable conditions for bringing about new characteristics that become distinguishing and hereditary. These combined marks define race, and are not to be confounded with the term ‘people.’

A people is a collection of human beings living together under a definite nationality and occupying a specific region. It is an expansible term, applying, it may be, to a small community, as the people of a certain valley or plain, but can also include all who are under the sway of a great nationality. In Europe there are the people of France, Belgium, Scandinavia, and Germany; of Italy, Spain, and Portugal; of Switzerland, Tyrol, and the Netherlands; of the British Isles, Russia, Turkey, and Greece; and each one of these peoples becomes a problem to be solved with reference to race. No people are of one race, no race is confined to a single people. The entire population of Europe is 360,000,000, and besides the three races already mentioned, which include nearly all of this number, there are a few straggling peoples belonging to other races, such as the Basques, Lapps, Magyars, Semites, and Gypsies.

In the classification just described the races are only ideal types; but one of the latest authors on this subject. Deniker, publishes a scheme of the races of men more after the manner of the naturalists. Passing by the assumption that there may have been formerly a certain small number of typical races out of which all the peoples of Europe have grown, he takes the total population as he would a number of animals, and divides them up on biological characteristics as he finds them, without inquiring into their causes. The nations and peoples now existing in Europe have arisen from mixture in varying proportions of ancient varieties of our species. By abstracting from these millions of individuals certain ones having groups of definite characteristics relating to stature, the form of the head, pigmentation, and other somatic data, Deniker determines the status of each race, giving rise to six principal and four secondary races, leaving out Lapps, Ugrians, Mongolians, and others belonging to Asia.

Deniker's Scheme of European Peoples
I. Wavy brown or black hair, dark eyes.
1. Littoral European race — tall stature; elongated, oval face; straight fine nose; mesocephalic. Tawny white skin, black hair.
2. Ibero-Insular race — short stature, dolichocephalic.
3. Western European race — short stature, round face, strongly brachycephalic. Dull white skin, brown hair.
4. Adriatic race — tall stature, elongated face, brachycephalic.
II. Fair, wavy, or straight hair, light eyes.
5. Northern European race — somewhat wavy hair and reddish; tall stature; dolichocephalic. Reddish white skin.
6. Eastern European race — somewhat straight flaxen hair; short stature; sub-brachycephalic.

Sergi pushes the study of classifying Europeans still further into the domain of natural history. In his work on the Mediterranean Race, he emphasizes the obligations which modern Europe owes to ancient peoples, like the Hamites of Egypt and northern Africa, the Semites of southwestern Asia, the early Greeks, Italians, and Iberians, for the foundation of their culture.

Laying aside the biological divisions of European peoples or countries, the concept of speech may be invoked to show what languages they use. At the outset it is affirmed that no people belong to one language, no language is confined to one people. The following general scheme shows the relationship between nationality and languages in Europe:

1. Celtic group.
a. Gaelic. Irish, Highland Scotch, and Manx.
b. Cymric. Welsh, Low Breton, and Cornish (extinct).
2. Romance group.
a. French, in 18 dialects. The Langue d'Oc and Langue d'Oil are its two Romanic forms.
b. Italian, 14 principal dialects.
c. Spanish.
d. Provençal, 8 dialects.
e. Rumanic.
f. Portuguese.
g. Rumansch or Churwaelsh.
3. Germanic group. Scandinavian branch.
a. Swedish.
b. Danish or Danske.
c. Icelandic.
4. Germanic group. Germanic branch.
a. High German.
b. English.
c. Platt-Deutsch.
d. Dutch, with Flemish dialect.
e. Frisian.
5. Slavic group. Eastern branch.
a. Russian, with Ruthenian or Little Russian dialect.
b. Bulgarian.
c. Servian, with Sloventzi or Wend dialect and Croat dialect.
6. Slavic group. Western branch.
a. Polish.
b. Czech or Bohemian.
c. Wend, of Brandenburg and Silesia.
7. Lettic group.
a. Letts.
b. Lithuanian, with Shamaite and Prussian Lithuanian dialects.
8. Hellenic group.
a. Greek.
9. Illyrian group.
a. Albanian.
10. Indic group.
a. Gypsy or Romany, in several dialects.

The dead languages of the family in Europe are: Etruscan (doubtful), Oscan, Umbrian, Latin, and Langue d'Oc and Langue d'Oil, of the Romance group; Gothic, Anglo-Saxon, Old Saxon, Old Dutch, Old Frisian and Old Norse, in the Germanic group; Church Slavic, Old Bohemian and Polabish, in The Slavic group; Old Prussian in the Lettic Group; ancient Greek with its dialects.

1. Finnic group. Tchudic branch.
a. Finnic or Suomic, two dialects.
b. Esthonian.
c. Tchoud.
d. Lapp.
e. Voth.
f. Livonian.
2. Finnic group. Permian branch.
a. Votiak.
b. Sirian or Siryanian.
c. Permiak, with Bissermian.
3. Finnic group. Volgaic branch.
a. Tchuvash.
b. Mordvin.
c. Cheremiss.
4. Finnic group. Ugric branch.
a. Magyar or Hungarian, with Szekler dialect.
b. Samoyed.
5. Tataric group.
a. Turkish or Osmanli.

1. Lesghian.
2. Circassian, in 72 dialects.

1. Basque or Euskara {with Spanish group and French group).

1. Hebrew.

Bibliography. Sources of information on the ethnology of Europe are abundant. Ripley compiled, as a supplement to his Races of Europe, a bibliography of two thousand titles arranged by authors and by topics. The official publications of anthropological societies pay great attention to literature on all branches of this subject. The principal serials are the American Anthropologist (Washington); Annales de Démographie (Paris); Anthropologie (Paris); Archiv für Anthropologie (Brunswick); Archivio per l'Antropologia (Florence); Beiträge zur Anthropologie und Urgeschichte Bayerns (Munich); Bulletins de la Société d'Anthropologie de Paris (Paris); Centralblatt für Anthropologie, Ethnologie und Urgeschichte (Munich); Correspondenz-Blatt der deutschen Gesellschaft für Anthropologie, Ethnologie und Urgeschichte (Brunswick); Journal of the Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland (London); Mémoires de la Société d'Anthropologie de Paris (Paris); Memoirs Read Before the Anthropological Society of London (London); Mittheilungen der anthropologischen Gesellschaft in Wien (Vienna); Petermanns Mittheilungen aus Justus Perthes geographischer Anstalt (Gotha); Revue d'Anthropologie (Paris); Revue Mensuelle de L'Ecole d'Anthropologie de Paris (Paris); Revue d'Ethnographie (Paris); Verhandlungen der Berliner Gesellschaft für Anthropologie, its organ being the Zeitschrift für Ethnologie (Berlin).

At the close of the nineteenth century appeared the following comprehensive works, more or less devoted to European ethnology: Keane, Ethnology (Cambridge, 1896); id., Man, Past and Present (Cambridge, 1899); Ripley, The Races of Europe (New York, 1899); Deniker, The Races of Man (London, 1900); Macnamara, Origin and Character of the British People (London, 1900); Mortillet, G. and A., La préhistorique origine et antiquité de l'homme (Paris, 1900); Giuseppe Sergi, The Mediterranean Race (London, 1901).