Wednesday, June 4, 2014

"Lecture VII: History of the Celtic Race"

from The Races of Men:  A Fragment
by Robert Knox, M.D.
Lecturer on Anatomy
Corresponding Member of the National Academy of Medicine of France
Publisher:  Lea & Blanchard (Philadelphia)
1850
(Link)

[linearpopulationmodel blogger note:  This fragment is published to illustrate past and, unfortunately current, willful attempts to insert the notion of race, in this case, between populations in Western Europe, who are in any case, very homogeneous.]

"I visited, in 1814, the mountainous tract of Caledonia proper, the Grampians and their valleys.  It was here that I first saw the true Celt:  time nor circumstances have altered him from the remotest period.  Here I first studied that character which I now know to be common to all the Celtic race, wherever found, give him what name you will - Frenchman, Irishman, Scottish Highlander, Welshman;  under every circumstance, he is precisely the same; unaltered and unalterable.  Civilization but modifies, education effects little; his religious formula is the result of his race; his morals, actions, feelings, greatnesses and littlenesses; that structure which seems not to have altered since the commencement of recorded time.  Why should it alter?  But this great and oft debated question I have discussed when considering the Coptic, Jewish and Gipsy races.  The fact is sufficient for us here, that climate, nor time, affect man, physically - morally.  Let the history of the Gauls speak for itself.

"From the remotest period of historical narrative - usually called history - the abode of the Celtic race was Gaul on this side of the Alps - the present country called France.  This was the country which Caesar subdued and formed into a Roman province.  But long prior to this time, the Celtic race had overflowed its barriers, crossing the Alps, peopling the north of Italy, and making permanent settlements there - Gallia Ciselpina of Roman writers.  They had sacked Rome; they had burst into Greece and plundered the Temple of Delphi.  War and plunder, bloodshed and violence, in which the race delights, was their object.  From Brennus to Napoleon, the war-cry of the Celts was "To the Alps, to the Rhine!"  This game, which still engages their whole attention, has now been played for nearly four thousand years.  I do not blame them:  I pretend not to censure any race:  I merely state the facts, either quite obvious or borne out by history.  War is the game for which the Celt is made.  Herein is the forte of his physical and moral character; in stature and weight; as a race, inferior to the Saxon . . .

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