[MGSA-L] Golden Dawn Abuse of History: Sparta

DANIEL P. Tompkins pericles at temple.edu
Fri Dec 26 10:31:12 PST 2014

Thanks, Jim,

I'm copying the Modern Greek Studies list as well

I went to JStor and did a quick search for what recent scholarship in bio,
anthro and other disciplines has had to say.  There is a lot of positive
comment, but also serious reservations, e.g. this from Jonathan Marks in The
Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 2006 (reviewing Lurkin's
book on Cavalli-Sforza).

It sounds as if one should be careful here.   I have not dug very deep.

I have always thought that the root of Cavalli-Sforza's failure to connect
with the broader anthropological community is simply that most
anthropologists simply do not know how seriously to take research that can
contrast the DNA of 64 samples of "Chinese in the San Francisco Bay Area,"
94 samples from two groups of African pygmies, and 110 samples from
"individuals of European origin from ongoing studies in our laboratories or
of the National Academy of Sciences USA."  However sophisticated the
statistics, they simply cannot transcend the limitations of unsophisticated


On Fri, Dec 26, 2014 at 12:54 PM, James H. Dee <jhdee1243 at gmail.com> wrote:

> Almost certainly to *The History & Geography of Human Genes* (Princeton
> 1994), a thousand-plus-page work -- done *before* the analysis of the
> genome was completed in the late 90s.  There must be better & more detailed
> information available now -- is there a population biologist in the house?
> There's a less-indigestible version, *The Great Human Diasporas* (1995).
> As a recently-released study of "African-American" & "Native-American"
> genetics shows, there can be significant gaps between "cultural identity"
> and "biological identity."
> J. H. Dee
> Austin, TX
> On Fri, Dec 26, 2014 at 10:38 AM, Elias j Theodoracopoulos <
> ejtheod at hunter.cuny.edu> wrote:
> > For those of us not up-to-date on anthropology or genetics, what is the
> > reference in "Cavalli-Sforza"? Thank you.
> > E. J. Theodoracopoulos
> > Hunter College, CUNY
> >
> > ________________________________________
> > From: Classical Greek and Latin Discussion Group [CLASSICS-L at LSV.UKY.EDU
> ]
> > on behalf of Aristide Caratzas [acaratzas at GMAIL.COM]
> > Sent: Thursday, December 25, 2014 3:50 PM
> > Subject: Re: [CLASSICS-L] Golden Dawn Abuse of History: Sparta
> >
> > Concepts such a "purity of Greek descent" are clearly outdated, given the
> > fact that DNA now allows us to establish the biological relationships
> > between human groupings; it is interesting to note that Cavalli-Sforza
> and
> > his students have established a genetic "map" of Greece, which attests to
> > the fact that 95% of the native population below a line formed by
> > Dyrrhachion, Monastiri (in today's Skopje statelet), Philippoupolis
> (today
> > Plovdiv, Bulgaria) and Pyrgos (Burgas, also in Bulgaria) all the way to
> > Crete and including the Ionian coast and Cyprus, has a continuity in a
> > *biologica*l presence (as distinct from *cultural *identity and the
> > elements on which it draws) of about 12,000 years.
> >
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