The living races and peoples of Europe

Let us now superimpose the different maps which have been compiled to illustrate the distribution of anthropological traits in Europe. The extreme regions of the various anthropological traits would only on rare occasions be identical. Hence, only a few, completely satisfactory, comprehensive geographic correlations would be produced. We consider, therefore, not the individual combination types (which also do not appear directly on the maps), but only the mean types of the actual regions. Thus a great quantity of different local combinations of these values is already indicated.

We have prepared a map of the racial geography of Europe, on which we have drawn only the most sharply defined borders of the anthropological traits analyzed here. Thus, a significant coincidence of different borders is still frequently indicated. For example, at about the northern base of the German central mountain region we find a distinct increase in pigmentation and round-headedness (brachycephaly), coupled with a decrease in stature. Another particularly strong accumulation of changes in values of racial characteristics is found at the national boundaries between the Scandinavians and the Lapps, and also between the Russians and the Kirghiz peoples of Central Asia. In earlier times there were noticeable differences between the Germans and the West Slavs (i.e., Czechs and Poles) in anthropological traits, such as cranial height and frequency of blood type gene q, and in the case of the Czechs also hair colour.

Europe can be divided, at least for pedagogical purposes, into four anthropologically distinct quadrants. The point of intersection of these four regions is approximately in the Lausitz area of central Germany and western Poland. The four regions are listed below in decreasing order of homogeneity:

1. A blood type q-gene low, low- (and mostly also long-) skulled, rather tall, and blond “Germanic” northwestern quadrant;
2. A likewise blood type q-gene low, and low-skulled (with the exception of southern Spain), but shorter-statured, and dark “Romanic” southwestern quadrant (still with very variable breadth-length relation of the head);
3. A high-skulled and rather dark Balkan southeastern quadrant (with very variable stature and breadth-length index of the head), and blood type q-gene mostly a little above the European mean;
4. A blood type q-gene high and also high-skulled “SlavoFinnic” quadrant, with variable pigmentation and stature, and mostly only a lesser degree of round-headedness.

Outside of these four quadrants remain the Lapp groups, and naturally also the small Mongolid enclaves in Europe.

The Anthropological Systematics of Europe

Apart from the above rather artistic quartering of Europe, a synthetic anthropological map of the continent appears mostly like a landscape of sand dunes. The maxima of the different types have natural centers in the different regions of Europe. However, they show mostly flowing transitions into one another. The maxima are quite stable. But, for the most part, rather slow shifts of these maxima in the course of time can be recognized. For they are neither as firm as a granite mountain, nor as changeable as a stormy sea.

Consequently, we find in many regions of Europe a population concentrated around one predominant anthropological type. We can well designate this type as a race, so long as we do not set greater standards of homogeneity than the zoologists do for their races. We should not conceive the races too narrowly, as if in each case all men in their nuclear regions would be of almost the completely same hereditary-type.

The names of these races are now generally well known. To break with this terminology would be a rejection of the biological rules of nomenclature. The foundation of all classifications of the peoples of Europe is and remains that of the (Russian-born) French zoologist and anthropologist Joseph Deniker. Deniker, who died in 1918, worked out his classificatory system for the races of Europe in the 1890′s. However, he intentionally did not consider the Finnish and Turkish peoples of our continent. Deniker based his system upon the total anthropological material known at that time. Naturally that material still showed many deficits.

Other investigators have later altered, extended, or added to this classificatory system-with more or less fortunate hand. My conception, however, has been strongly influenced by the so-called newer biosystematic school of Bernard Rensch, Ernst Mayr and Julian Huxley. Furthermore, I am inclined to give much greater consideration to the height-length index of the skull and to the distribution of the blood group alleles in my anthropological systematic studies than occurred in the case of earlier investigators.

As a modern biologist I am less inclined than Deniker to award the status of race to a scattered distribution, without historical and geographical grounds. I prefer to think rather of parallel evolution in regions situated far from one another. Hence, in this case one should speak of two distinct races even if they are morphologically very similar. There are also often found on closer consideration some pervading differences between two such races which previously were not observed.

To be sure, these differences are apparently insignificant, but obviously important from the standpoint of anthropological systematics Here also, one can often make use of differences in cranial height and sometimes of the blood group allelic relations. Consequently, some of the races described by Deniker, which are to be distributed in regions situated far from one another, can be divided into two separate races: a western with low cranial height and an eastern with higher values. This is particularly true of the Mediterranean and Alpine races. By this means the map of the races of Europe assumes a much more natural appearance (See Map 17). However, I have not had to strike out any of Deniker’s primary European races and only one of his subraces. This is the Vistula race, which is completely unclear to all anthropologists following Deniker. The Litorid race of Deniker is still only a rather late hybrid-race. The specific contributions of the author concern almost only a few insignificant remnant races. These are primarily among the Finnic tribes which Deniker did not take into consideration in his anthropological systematics.

Map 17. The geographical distribution of the races of europe.

The Races of Europe – An Outline

Let us begin with northwestern Europe. Here we encounter the Nordid race or the North-race (the Nordic race of Deniker). The Nordid race is light-eyed, mostly rather light-haired, low-skulled and long-skulled (dolichocephalic), tall and slender, with more or less narrow face and narrow nose, and low frequency of blood type gene q (See Figure 1). The Nordid race has several subraces. The most divergent is the Faelish subrace in western Germany and also in the interior of southwestern Norway. The Faelish subrace is broader of face and form (See Figure 2). So is the North-Atlantid subrace (the North-Occidental race of Deniker), which is like the primary type, but has much darker hair. Above all in the oceanic parts of Great Britain the North-Atlantid subrace is also very high in blood type gene r and low in blood type gene p. The major type with distribution particularly in Scandinavia is here termed the Scandid or Scando-Nordid subrace.

In certain outlying parts of Scandinavia and Ireland, a primitive race – the Palaeo-Atlantid-still lives in small remnants (See Map 18). The Palaeo-Atlantid race is darker than the Nordid race – especially as regards to hair color. It is also coarser than the Faelish subrace, with stronger brow ridges, and a broader, plumper nose. With respect to the ABQ-blood group system, the Palaeo-Atlantid race is high in blood type gene r and low in blood type genes p and q. In the north, this race is named the Tydals race, after a village in central Norway.

Map 18. Early migrations of the races of europe (Lundman, 1957) (Natufids = Prae-South-Mediterranids)

The short and thickset brunet, Central European population with low and round (brachycephalic) skulls and with round faces belongs to the West-Alpine race (the Occidental race of Deniker). This race is also low in the frequency of blood type gene q. A similar, but high-skulled, type, with a higher frequency of blood type gene q, is found further to the east in Europe. This is the East-Alpine or Gorid race (See Figure 6).

The true West-Mediterranean race (the Ibero-Insular race of Deniker) in southwestern Europe is low-skulled and longskulled (dolichocephalic), dark, short-statured, and gracile in body form (See Figure 3). This race has a narrow face and is low in the frequency of blood type gene q. Within this region, however, there are remnants of the still smaller Berid race (See Map 18). This race is broader-formed in face and nose, but very similar to the West-Mediterranean race in the other anthropological traits – such as head form and pigmentation. The Berid race is also low in the frequency of blood type genes p and q.

In southern Spain and southern Portugal we have a branch of the East-Mediterranean race-the South-Mediterranean or Saharid subrace. This subrace is also high-skulled, but very similar to the West-Mediterranean race in the remaining anthropological traits. It is also low in the frequency of blood type gene q. Likewise very similar, but higher in frequency of blood type gene q, is the Pontid subrace of the East-Mediterranean race. This subrace is found in certain regions west and north of the Black Sea.

The Arabid race (i.e., the Bedouins, et al.) is distinguished from the West-Mediterranean race almost only by a nevertheless unusually large number of small, but very characteristic facial traits (See Figure 10). These include the almond eyes, the “Semitic smile” (conditioned by unusually deep Fossa canina), etc. This race had in earlier times a broader-formed Syrid subrace, which was found among the farmers of the “Fertile Crescent.” It is now only typical of the Jews.

The Dinarid race is very tall, dark, high-skulled and round-skulled (brachycephalic), with a very large, long, but also rather broad, face and with a large, more or less bent nose (See Figure 4). This race is low in the frequency of blood type gene q. The Dinarid race probably originated in south-eastern Europe.

The Dinarid race has a very closely-related, somewhat shorter-statured, subrace in southwestern Asia, namely, the Armenid subrace (See Figure 9). The Armenid subrace has higher frequencies of blood type genes p and q. The very much shorter-statured population around the Carpathian mountain region of eastern Central Europe forms a special “hybrid-race” (“Mischrasse”) – the Carpathid race (the Litoral race of Deniker). This race, which resembles the east-Alpines in many anthropological traits, has a larger nose. This is due to ancient Armenid strains (which is also the view of Hungarian investigators). The Carpathid race evidently originated from mixtures of Mediterraneans with Armenids.

In eastern Russia we frequently have a very small, dark, high-skulled and also long-skulled (dolichocephalic) race – the Volgid. This race has a broader, somewhat protomorphic face and a smaller, plumper nose. The Volgid race is high in the frequency of blood type gene q. Strains of a similar race are found westward to Bohemia, where it is known as the “Sudeten-race.” Moreover, in the Balkans traces of an extraordinary long-skulled (dolichocephalic) race are encountered – the Pre-Pontid type. (These are not Gypsies).

In western and central Russia, northern Poland, and, still stronger, in Estonia and Finland, the East Baltid race is found. The East Baltids are light-blond, high-skulled and round-skulled (brachycephalic), with a broad angular face and a stub-nose (See Figure 5). This race is high in the frequency of blood type gene q. It is polymorphic (vielgestaltig). There are in Finland two subraces of the East Baltid race, a western Tavastid subrace (the Sub-Nordic race of Deniker?) and a more eastern Savolaxid subrace. The latter is smaller and somewhat less brachycephalic than the former, but almost just as blond.

We classify the Scandinavian Lapps as the Scando-Lappid or South-Lappid race (also termed the Samid race). The Scando-Lappids are short-statured, high-skulled and roundskulled (brachycephalic), and broad-faced (See Figure 7). They have a weak lower jaw and are small-nosed. The Scando-Lapps are very low in the frequency of blood type gene q and are also unique in the remaining serological traits. The East-Lapps show, in part, more Mongolid traits. However, the similarity of the two Lapp groups in most anthropological traits is still extensive.

The Mongolid strains in Europe belong mostly to the Kumid subrace of the Altaid race. Some Mongolid elements in northeastern Russia belong to another subrace – the Taigid. The former is very round-headed (brachycephalic), and almost medium tall in stature. The Kumid subrace is very high in the frequency of blood type gene q. The Taigid subrace is more long-skulled (dolichocephalic) and very short in stature. It is somewhat lower in the frequency of blood type gene q. Both Mongolid subraces are thickset, very low-skulled, broad-faced and rather broad-nosed.

Figure 1
Scando-Nordid Racial Type

Figure 2
Faelish Racial Type

Figure 3
West-Mediterranean Racial Type

Figure 4
Dinarid Racial Type

Figure 5
East-Baltid Racial Type

Figure 6
East-Alpine Racial Type

Figure 7
Scando-Lappid Racial Type

Figure 8
East-Mediterranid Racial Type

Figure 9
Armenid Racial Type

Figure 10
Arabid Racial Type

The Races and Peoples of Northwest Europe

We shall now proceed to a brief description of the racial structure of the individual lands of Europe. This covers the oldest time period accurately known to us, the predominantly pre-industrial period of the middle of the nineteenth century, with the national boundaries of that time. The reader must always keep in mind the very summary and often extremely problematic character of this description.

Let us begin with the north of Europe. The nuclear area of the Scando-Nordid race is shown on Map 19. We find strong strains of a rather dark, low-skulled and weakly round-skulled “Alpinoid” race along the Norwegian west coast. This race has just as little relation to the high-skulled and round-skulled Scando-Lappids as the latter do to the Mongolids.

Map 19. Nuclear area of the Scando-Nordid race (Lundman, 1946). (The lines on the map enclose the nuclear area of this race, apart from some small enclaves: Cephalic Index or Breadth-Length Index (B.L.I.) of the head on the average below 80, stature at most one cm. below the Swedish-Norwegian mean, and at most 7 % brown eyes).

The rest of Norway and Sweden is rather pure Nordic in race, with several local types (Gauschlägen). The local type in the interior of southern Norway is obviously identical with the Faelish subrace. In the most distant corners of Scandinavia, Palaeo-Atlantid strains are found. Here and there on the eastern coast of Sweden East-Baltid strains are also found. Such strains in later times are occasionally found in the interior of Scandinavia – especially in mining regions.

Iceland possesses strong North-Atlantic strains. The islands of Denmark are somewhat less Nordid than the mainland, due perhaps to Alpine admixture. In comparison, the mainland province of Jutland is more Nordid in race. The same is true both now and in earlier times of the Frisian regions in Holland and in northwestern Germany. Moreover, this area is more Faelish, but also shows weak Alpine strains.

Northeastern Germany has a similar racial structure to that of the northwest. However, there are, in addition, south German Alpine strains, which are explainable from the history of German settlement in the East. Furthermore, there are weak East-Baltid strains, which were probably brought about mostly by the Slavs. The relatively low frequency of blood type gene q and the high degree of low-skulledness in this part of Germany, however, indicate that the Slavic elements are smaller than has been frequently believed.

The non-Frisian Dutch population is racially more Faelish-Nordid in the north of Holland. In the south of Holland there are weak Mediterranean and Alpine strains. This is also true of the Flemish population in Belgium. In addition, we find Litoral strains in many places on the Atlantic coast of western Europe.

South Germany and Austria are often less Nordic in race, especially in the mountain regions. In the western areas the south Germans and Austrians are more Alpine in race, while in the eastern areas, and also in Alsace, they are often more Dinarid. In the outermost eastern German-speaking regions we find East-Baltid strains with a higher frequency of blood type gene q. The Rhine valley and large parts of the Swiss plateau are more Nordid in race. So also is Vienna and its surrounding area in Austria.

Switzerland is divided into several language regions. The earliest inhabitants are of uncertain origin, the Rhaetians in the southeast and the Ligurians in the southwest. The Celtic Helvetii are the oldest tangible substratum of the population. The Helvetii migrated into Switzerland from the northeast. They inhabited the more fertile northern and western parts of the land.

Then came the Romans around the time of Caesar Augustus. They gave the land their language for the time being. After the collapse of the Roman Empire, the Germanic Allemani occupied the northern plain. Another Germanic people, the Burgundians, settled the southwest up to the shore of Lake Geneva. Linguistically, Allemani dialects of the Germanic language family became predominant in the north of Switzerland. However, around Lake Geneva and in the southeast Romanic daughter-languages continued.

Racially, foreign elements have trickled into Switzerland in later times only in small number, even though this migration has constituted a steady stream due to conditions in the midst of Europe. The most important of these later migrations were the often noble southern French Huguenots. The Huguenots settled down around Lake Geneva in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The strikingly strong strain of tall Mediterranoids noticeable in this region of Switzerland today can possibly be explained by these late settlements.

However, the German-speaking high-plain region of Switzerland, which from time immemorial has been the core of the land, is still rather Nordic in race. To the southeast of Switzerland, strong Dinaric strains are indicated. In addition, there is an Alpine component in this part of Switzerland, as well as somewhat further to the north. In the Appenzell region a strikingly short-statured Alpine racial island predominates.

The Tessin region which borders northern Italy shows some racial types which appear Armenid-Arabid. Perhaps they entered this area with the Etruscans in ancient times. Furthermore, all of western Switzerland is more brown-haired than the east of the land. The original forest cantons are strikingly gray-eyed. Geneva and Waadt are more longskulled (dolichocephalic) than the rest of the country.

The British Isles are more Nordid in race in the eastern regions. This is to be expected from the history of settlement of these lands. In parts of the counties of York and Lincoln and in the lowlands of Scotland, the population is just as pronouncedly Nordid in race as in Sweden or Friesland. The poorer parts of Scotland and almost all Ireland become always more North-Atlantid in race toward the west. There are also local survivals of the Palaeo-Atlantid proto-stock. We find Mediterranean strains in the south of Wales, in some heath-regions of southwestern England, and in a few bogregions in the interior of Ireland. In earlier times marsh regions were more extensive in these parts of Ireland. Nowadays a higher frequency of blood type gene q is found in these areas of Ireland, which may perhaps be correlated with the Mediterranean racial strain.

The Races and Peoples of Southwest Europe

The southwestern “Romanic” quadrant is predominantly Mediterranean-Alpine in race. However, this part of Europe naturally contains many other racial components. The northernmost parts of France are less Alpine than Nordid, and also somewhat Mediterranean, in race. In comparison the Walloonish region of Belgium, which is French-speaking in language, is more Alpine in race.

Northeastern France is more strongly Dinarid, but above all still Nordid-Alpine in race. Central France is predominantly Alpine in race. Western France is a true patchwork of regions predominantly Alpine, Mediterranean, and occasionally also Nordid in race. In the Perigord there is even a region predominantly Berid in race. We find strong North-Atlantid strains in the Celtic province of Brittany. These are partly a result of Britons fleeing from southwestern England in the early Middle Ages. Finally, in southern France the people are mostly Alpine, and along the coast Mediterranean in race.

The Spanish Basques belong predominantly to a Mediterranean subrace, which is also rather closely related to the North-Atlantid subrace of the Nordid race. In particular they are characterized by their athletic body-build or constitution. This is indicated also by the sharp chin and the rather large nose. However, the very pronounced degree of low-skulledness makes it impossible to think in this connection of Dinarid or Litorid strains. The Basques are also characterized by unique serological traits, such as almost no blood type gene q and a very high frequency of the Rh-negative blood type. In pigmentation the Basques are not at all homogeneous. In addition, the French Basques contain Alpine strains. This results in an easily distinguishable local type, Gautypus, with almost distended temples.

North Spain is predominantly West-Mediterranid in race, with several local types. There are also Nordid strains, Alpine strains in the Asturian mountain region, and weak Bend strains in Galicia. Northern Portugal resembles Spanish Galicia in anthropological structure. The rest of the Iberian peninsula is principally South-Mediterranid, with Berid strains in the Sierra Nevada region. We find a strong Litorid mixture in a wedge-shaped area in southeastern Spain. The whole southeast Spanish coast forms the base of the wedge, while the point reaches deep into the land. There is also a unique population isolate in the Castilian border region, which unfortunately has still not been comprehensively investigated.

The island of Sardinia is strongly Mediterranid in race and has in the interior many Bend strains. Corsica is mostly Mediterranid. Sicily is similar in anthropological structure. But according to its history it contains a greater mixture of races. These include, among others, Armenids, but also “African” strains, et al. Southernmost Italy possesses a similar mixture of races, but with a still strong Mediterranean component. In Campania, which is an old Etruscan colony, we likewise encounter not a few Armenid and also Arabid strains.

Central Italy is a mixture of Mediterranean and Alpine with Nordid and other strains. There are Litorid elements in old Etruria, the Tuscany of today. In this part of Italy we also find a somewhat higher frequency of blood type gene q.

Further to the north in Italy we have on the western side around Lucca again an evidently strong island of long-headed Mediterraneans. To the east in the Romagna region we find an East-Alpine-Dinarid mixture. A similar anthropological structure is found in the Po-Valley. This region, however, has a higher frequency of blood type gene q than the Romagna region. This may be due to early Etruscan settlements.

In the mountainous areas surrounding the Po-Valley, more Nordid blood is present. This is especially noticeable in the relatively malaria-free regions, situated more than 300 meters above sea level. Finally, a small Mediterranean racial and climatic island is found around Lake Garda.

The Races and Peoples of Southeast Europe

East of the Adriatic Sea lies Yugoslavia. This region is predominantly Dinarid in race. The maximum is attained in the southern part of Yugoslavia, in Herzegovina and still more in Montenegro. Other racial types are found in the poor interior Alpine mountain regions. Toward Austria the frequency of Nordid types increases. In the northeastern part of Yugoslavia East-Baltid and also East-Alpine strains are found. Albania is somewhat less Dinarid than Yugoslavia. Nordid, East-Alpine, and other strains are also present in Albania.

In Greece the Dinarids predominate only in the western part. Toward the northeast more East-Mediterraneans are found. On the Aegean islands we often encounter a rather primitive, dark, long- and low-skulled strain, probably of the Berid race. Likewise there are in Greece blond individuals, both of the Nordid and also the East Baltid race.

Bulgaria and southeastern Macedonia appear to be predominantly East-Mediterranean in race, with still unexplained Pre-Pontic, East-Baltid, and Nordid strains. Only in the western part of Bulgaria are there some Dinarids. The strikingly beautiful classical people of Old Rumania are similar in anthropological structure, although somewhat more Dinarid. The Rumanians of Transylvania show numerous Dinarid, and also East-Baltid as well as Nordid types.

Hungary is probably the most strongly racially-mixed land in Europe. However, it is predominantly East-Baltid-Carpathid in race with Dinarid strains in the western part of the country. In parts of the Pussta region in Hungary, we find rather strong Mongolid strains.

The most striking dark-haired Czechs are East-Baltid, East-Alpine and Carpathid in race, with Nordid and other strains. With regard to blood groups the Czechs and the Slovaks are not particularly similar to one another. We find a higher frequency of blood type gene p in the west among the Czechs and of blood type gene r in the east among the Slovaks.

Southwestern Poland shows similar relations. However, the East-Alpine race is predominant in this area. In eastern Galicia the Carpathids predominate, with more Dinarids in the high mountain regions.
In comparison, northern Poland, Lithuania, and the bordering parts of White Russia are somewhat blonder, although also very mixed racially. These lands are thus more East-Baltid-Nordid in race. The boundary between the more blond and the more brunet is apparently rather sharply defined. This boundary follows here in an interesting way approximately the plant-geographical boundary between the marsh-forest in the north and the more open loess lands in the south.

The Races and Peoples of Russia and Northeast Europe

In southwestern Russia the predominantly East-Mediterranean region is continued from the Moldau across to the Black Sea port of Odessa. In this area we find a surprisingly low frequency of blood type gene q. Around the Don river there is a region with a similar anthropological structure. Perhaps these are vestiges of the descendants of the Irano-Scythian tribes who inhabited southern Russia in ancient times.

In comparison, the population of the Ukraine proper is tall and round-headed. Likewise, there are as many blonds as brunets. The Ukraine is strongly East-Baltid-Nordid in race, but perhaps very Dinarid as well. The population of central Great Russia is much shorter in stature with coarser and rounder faces. This area is East-Baltid and East-Alpine in race, with Nordid and other strains.

Mongolid strains are only weakly present almost everywhere in European Russia. They are strongest among the Karaite Jews in the Crimea.

Toward the Volga river in eastern European Russia, the Volgid racial strains increase in proportion. In some Volga-Finnish regions the Volgids probably predominate. Here where formerly, and partly still today, countless Tatars lived, we find the beginning of a stronger Mongolid admixture.

Among the Turkic Bashkirs east of the Volga river, the Mongolid component is dominant. However, it is not as strong as it is among the Khirgiz, who live further toward Central Asia. In comparison, the more highly civilized Tatars in southeastern Russia, from the Crimea up to Kazan, are strongly mixed with remnants of the peoples of the Caucasus.

Northeastern Russia is predominantly East-Baltid and Volgid in race. It also has some Nordid and Mongolid strains. Occasionally some Lapp-like types are found in this region. On the White Sea and around Old Novgorod the Nordid strains increase.

In the former Baltic lands, the Estonians are very blond. They have ash-blond-hair and light blue-grey eyes, are mostly tall, and medium to moderately round-headed. For the most part, the Estonians are East-Baltid and Nordid in race, the former more in the east and the latter more in the west of the country. There are some weak, and certainly very ancient, Mongolid traits. These comprise the slanted and flat position of the eyes, coarse hair form, thick and dense skin, a higher frequency of blood type gene q (on the average about 18%) than all surrounding regions, and a surprisingly low frequency of blood type gene p.

The Latvians resemble the Estonians in anthropological structure. However, they are somewhat more round-headed and also somewhat darker in pigmentation. The Latvians show some Dinarid and more East-Mediterranean strains. The latter are concentrated in a remarkable manner in western Courland. Very light, clear-blue eyes, rarely the East-Baltic gray-white-blue eyes, are characteristic of surprisingly many Livland Latvians, but less so of the Courland Latvians.

In Finland around the turn of the century, the coastal population was in many regions linguistically still purely Swedish. In comparison, the interior was, as always, purely Finnish in language. Racially, the two nationalities were, as so often, somewhat less distinct. Furthermore, the different East-Baltid subraces are prominent among the Finns. These are the Tavastids in the west and the Savolaxids in the east of Finland. The border between these two subraces was up until recently rather sharply defined.