Nordic

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The Nordic race (Nordics) is one of the sub-races into which some late 19th- to mid 20th-century anthropologists divided the Caucasian race. People of the Nordic type were described as having light-colored (typically blond) hair, light-colored (typically blue) eyes, fair skin and tall stature, and they were empirically considered to predominate in the countries of Central and Northern Europe.

Defining characteristics

It was the Russian-born French anthropologist Joseph Deniker that initially proposed "nordique" (meaning simply "northern") as an "ethnic group" (a term that he coined).

He defined nordique by a set of physical characteristics: The concurrence of fair, somewhat wavy hair, light eyes, reddish skin, tall stature and a dolichocephalic skull.[21] Of six 'Caucasian' groups Deniker accommodated four into secondary ethnic groups, all of which he considered intermediate to the Nordic: Northwestern, Sub-Nordic, Vistula and Sub-Adriatic, respectively.[1] [2]

American economist William Z. Ripley purported to define scientifically a "Teutonic race" in his book The Races of Europe (1899).[3] He divided Europeans into three main subcategories: Teutonic (teutonisch), Alpine and Mediterranean. According to Ripley the "Teutonic race" resided in Scandinavia, north Germany, Baltic states and East Prussia, north Poland, north Russia, Britain, Ireland, parts of Central Europe and was typified by "very light" hair, blue eyes, tall stature and a narrow, aquiline nose. Georges Vacher de Lapouge had called this race "Homo Europaeus".

Madison Grant, in his book The Passing of the Great Race, took up Ripley's classification. He described a "Nordic" or "Baltic" type:

"long skulled, very tall, fair skinned, with blond or brown hair and light colored eyes. The Nordics inhabit the countries around the North and Baltic Seas and include not only the great Scandinavian and Teutonic groups, but also other early peoples who first appear in southern Europe and in Asia as representatives of Aryan language and culture."[4]

According to Grant, the "Alpine race", shorter in stature, darker in colouring, with a rounder head, predominated in Central and Eastern Europe through to Turkey and the Eurasian steppes of Central Asia and Southern Russia. The "Mediterranean race", with dark hair and eyes, aquiline nose, swarthy complexion, moderate-to-short stature, and moderate or long skull was said to be prevalent in Southern Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa.[5][6]

Odin Stone: Nordic rites

Invaders from Scandinavia reached Orkney by the 9th century, bringing a complex theology that they imposed on the preexisting Orcadian monuments; at least according to local legend. For example, the Ring of Brodgar and the Standing Stones of Stenness were allegedly known as the Temple of the Sun and Moon respectively.[7] Young people supposedly made their vows and prayed to Wōden at these "temples" and at the so-called "Odin Stone" that lay between the stone circles until it was destroyed by a farmer in 1814. [8] Others view these fanciful names with scepticism; Sigurd Towrie suggests that "they were simply erroneous terms applied by the antiquarians of the 18th or 19th centuries – romantic additions, in the same vein as the infamous "Druid's Circle" and "Sacrificial Altar"."[9] At the very least, several of the stones at Brodgar contain runic carvings that were left by Nordic peoples.[10] These include the name "Bjorn" and a small cross as well as an anvil.[11]

References

  1. Deniker, J. - Les Races de l'Europe (1899);The Races of Man (London: Walter Scott Ltd., 1900);Les Races et les Peuples de la Terre (Masson et Cie, Paris, 1926)
  2. Deniker (J.) "Essai d'une classification des races humaines, basée uniquement sur les caractères physiques". Bulletins de la Société d'anthropologie de Paris. Volume 12 Numéro 12. 1889. pp. 320-336.
  3. William Z. Ripley, in The Races of Europe: A Sociological Study (New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1899)
  4. Madison Grant, "The Passing of the Great Race", Scribner's Sons, 1921, p. 167
  5. John Higham (2002). Strangers in the Land: Patterns of American Nativism, 1860-1925. Rutgers University Press. p. 273. ISBN 0-8135-3123-3.
  6. Bryan S Turner (1998). The Early Sociology of Class. Taylor & Francis. p. 241. ISBN 0-415-16723-X.
  7. Heggie, Douglas C. (1981). Megalithic Science: Ancient Mathematics and Astronomy in North-west Europe. London: Thames and Hudson. ISBN 0-500-05036-8.p.13
  8. Heggie, Douglas C. (1981). Megalithic Science: Ancient Mathematics and Astronomy in North-west Europe. London: Thames and Hudson. ISBN 0-500-05036-8.p.13
  9. Sigurd Towrie. "The Temples of the Sun and Moon: True tradition or romantic addition?". Orkneyjar.
  10. Laing, Lloyd (1974). Orkney and Shetland: An Archaeological Guide. Newton Abbott: David and Charles Ltd. ISBN 0-7153-6305-0.p.233
  11. Wickham-Jones, Caroline (2012). Monuments of Orkney. Historic Scotland. ISBN 978-1-84917-073-4.p.42