[Late antiquity constitutional historical and social-anthropologic observations of middle and north European populations at the time of population migrations].

  • Heinrich Wurm
  • Published 1990 in
    Anthropologischer Anzeiger; Bericht über die…

Abstract

This review on reports of mostly late antique authors concerning the physical appearance of Teutonic and Nordic populations of the so-called "Völkerwanderungszeit" is part of an extensive study of possible nutritional effects on somatotypes in early periods of the German history. It is linked up with a similar study on Teutonics of protohistorical periods (Wurm 1986a). The authors of the late antique periods were again and again impressed by the comparatively tall and sturdy stature as well as by the permanent martial aggressiveness and the considerable population growth of Northern peoples. One can observe a marked social variability in the distribution of somatotypes, and one can suppose, too, that physical superiority was favourable to social rise. However, as compared with Roman soliders the Teutonic-Nordic warriors of the "Völkerwanderungszeit" were obviously inferior as far as permanent physical stress is concerned. This seems to be caused by nutritional differences. Furthermore, the repeatedly claimed inclination of Teutonic-Nordic populations to a considerable consumption of alcoholics seems also be due to nutritional factors. Hair and eye colour of these populations are described by the various antique authors in a different way. The reported geographical differences in the distribution of hair and eye colour seem to indicate considerable Celtic elements in certain populations, which originally were designed as Teutonics. Apart from that no clear anthropological differences were recorded between different populations of this period.

Cite this paper

@article{Wurm1990LateAC, title={[Late antiquity constitutional historical and social-anthropologic observations of middle and north European populations at the time of population migrations].}, author={Heinrich Wurm}, journal={Anthropologischer Anzeiger; Bericht über die biologisch-anthropologische Literatur}, year={1990}, volume={48 2}, pages={165-92} }