From Nice Things to say About Attila the Hun to the European Original Ethnic “Salad Mix Bowl” Melting Pot and its Present Days World’s Peaceful Adjustment​s Attempts — Written 05/28/12

“For one thing, the barbarian leader was, for the most part, a man of his word—by the standards 0f his time, at least. For years, he levied annual tribute from the Roman Empire, but while the cost of peace with the Huns was considerable—350 pounds of solid gold a year in 422, rising to 700 in 440 and eventually to 2,100 in 480—it did buy peace. While the tribute was paid, the Huns were quiet. And though most historians agree that Attila chose not to press the Romans harder because he calculated that it was far easier to take their money than to indulge in risky military action, it is not hard to think of examples of barbarians who extracted tribute and then attacked regardless—nor of leaders (Æthelred the Unready springs to mind) who paid up while secretly plotting to massacre their tormentors. It might be added that Attila was very much an equal-opportunity sort of barbarian. “His main aim,” notes Goldsworthy, “was to profit from plunder during warfare and extortion in peacetime.”

 

“More compelling, perhaps, is the high regard that Attila always placed on loyalty. A constant feature of the diplomatic relations he maintained with both the Eastern and the Western portions of the Roman Empire was that any dissident Huns found in their territories should be returned to him. In 448, Attila showed himself ready to go to war against the Eastern Empire for failing to comply with one of these treaties and returning only five of the 17 Hun turncoats that the king demanded. (It is possible, that the other dozen fled; our sources indicate that the fate of those traitors unlucky enough to be surrendered to Attila was rarely pleasant. Two Hun princes whom the Romans handed over were instantly impaled.)”

 

“The discovery of a rich fifth century Hun hoard in Pietrosa, Romania, strongly suggests that the Hun king permitted his subjects to enrich themselves, but it is to Priscus that we owe much of our evidence of Attila’s generosity. Surprised to be greeted in Greek by one “tribesman” he and his companions encountered on the Hungarian plain, Priscus questioned the man and discovered he had once been a Roman subject and had been captured when Attila sacked a city of the Danube. Freed from slavery by his Hun master, the Greek had elected to fight for the “Scythians” (as Priscus called the Huns), and now protested that “his new life was preferable to his old, complaining of the Empire’s heavy taxes, corrupt government, and the unfairness and cost of the legal system.” Attila, Priscus recorded, also employed two Roman secretaries, who served him out of loyalty rather than fear, and even had a Roman friend, Flavius Aëtius, who lived among the Huns as a hostage for several years. Aëtius used the military skills he learned from them to become a highly proficient horseman and archer, and, eventually, one of the leading generals of his day.”

 

“In the public culture, Attila is almost only showed as European. Often blond, long haired, with long blonde mustache and/or beard; straight Caucasoid face features, with huge, blue and blooded eyes. This is what we see in every painting, sculpture or movie depicting Attila. However, this doesn’t fit the historical truth.”

 

“In many cases this is due to misconception or ignorance.”

 

“But it could also come from the wrong idea that the Huns are ancestors of the Hungarians. This way, Attila is thought to be Hungarian and consequently Caucasoid. Paradoxical in this concept is that Hungarians – at their arrival in Europe – were, in fact, of Mongoloid race (at most slightly mixed with Caucasoid populations) and their present racial type is the result of mixing and assimilation with neighboring European people.”

 

“The Huns vanished from history after Attila’s death. There is a gap of almost five centuries between the Huns’ disappearance from Panonia and the arrival of the Hungarians there.”

 

“Meanwhile, many populations installed in Panonia, the most notorious being the Avars (distantly related to the Huns).”

 

“Moreover, the Hungarians are not even related to the Huns; they speak an Ugro-Finnic language, so they are close to the Finns, Sami (Lapps), Estonians and even more to the Siberian tribes Mansi and Kanthy, which – by isolation – preserved the original Ugro-Finnic Mongoloid race. Less mixed Ugro-Finnic populations, like the Lapps, show obvious mixed features even today.”

 

“Attila’s physical appearance was most likely that of an Eastern Asian, Mongol or Turkic. Europeans were not used to seeing these facial features and so they often described him in harsh terms.”

 

“Actually, what were the Huns?”

 

“Historians think they are an early branch of Turkic speaking people who – in 2nd century – departed from Northern China and arrived in Europe in their migration to West, in the 4th century. The only extant Turkic people thought to be closely related to them are the Chuvash, located close to the Ural Mountains.”

 

“The Turkic people have their roots in the region of Mongolia and Northern China. They share an ancestral root with Mongol people.”

 

“And indeed, those who stayed close to the place of their origin are still of Mongoloid race (like Kirghiz, Kazah, Uigur, Yakut). Those established – in time – more to the west were assimilated in the Caucasoid race (like Turks, Azers). Others present a mixed type (Turkmens, Uzbeks).”

 

“Recent genetic research shows that many of the great confederations of steppe war tribes were not entirely of the same race, but rather tended to be ethnic mixtures, of the Mongoloid (Turkic, Tungus, Mongolian, Finno-Ugric) and Caucasoid ( Iranian, Caucasian = Caucasoid people from Caucasus Mountains) races.”

 

“Of course, the Huns during Attila’s time had incorporated many unrelated Caucasoid tribes: Iranian Scythians (Alans, Sarmatians), Germanics (Gepids, Gothians), Slavs.”

 

“The Iron Age Sarmatians were an Iranian people in Classical Antiquity, flourishing from about the 5th century BC to the 4th century AD.”

 

“Their territory was known as Sarmatia to Greco-Roman ethnographers, corresponding to the western part of greater Scythia (modern Southern Russia, Ukraine, and the eastern Balkans). At their greatest reported extent, around 100 BC, these tribes ranged from the Vistula River to the mouth of the Danube and eastward to the Volga, bordering the shores of the Black and Caspian seas as well as the Caucasus to the south.”

 

“The Sarmatians declined in the 4th century with the incursions connected to the Migration period (Huns, Goths). The descendants of the Sarmatians became known as the Alans during the Early Middle Ages, and ultimately gave rise to the modern Ossetic ethnic group.”

 

“Although the classical Scythians may have largely disappeared by the 1st century BC, Eastern Romans continued to speak conventionally of “Scythians” to designate Germanic tribes and confederations or mounted Eurasian nomadic barbarians in general: in 448 AD two mounted “Scythians” led the emissary Priscus to Attila’s encampment in Pannonia. The Byzantines in this case carefully distinguished the Scythians from the Goths and Huns who also followed Attila.

The Sarmatians (including the Alans and finally the Ossetians) counted as Scythians in the broadest sense of the word – as speakers of Northeast Iranian languages, and are considered mostly of Indo-Iranian descent.”

 

“Byzantine sources also refer to the Rus raiders who attacked Constantinople around 860 AD in contemporary accounts as “Tauroscythians”, because of their geographical origin, and despite their lack of any ethnic relation to Scythians. Patriarch Photius may have first applied the term to them during the Siege of Constantinople (860).”

 

“A number of groups have claimed possible descent from the Scythians, including the Ossetians, Pashtuns, Jats and the Parthians (whose homelands lay to the east of the Caspian Sea and who were thought to have come there from north of the Caspian). Some legends of the Poles, the Picts, the Gaels, the Hungarians, the Serbs and the Croats (among others) also include mention of Scythian origins. Some writers claim that Scythians figured in the formation of the empire of the Medes and likewise of Caucasian Albania.”

 

“The Scythians also feature in some national origin-legends of the Celts. In the second paragraph of the 1320 Declaration of Arbroath, the élite of Scotland claim Scythia as a former homeland of the Scots. According to the 11th c. Lebor Gabála Érenn (The Book of the Taking of Ireland), the 14th c. Auraicept na n-Éces and other Irish folklore, the Irish originated in Scythia and were descendants of Fénius Farsaid, a Scythian prince who created the Ogham alphabet and who was one of the principal architects of the Gaelic language.”

 

“The Carolingian kings of the Franks traced Merovingian ancestry to the Germanic tribe of the Sicambri. Gregory of Tours documents in his History of the Franks that when Clovis was baptised, he was referred to as a Sicamber with the words “Mitis depone colla, Sicamber, adora quod incendisti, incendi quod adorasti.”‘. The Chronicle of Fredegar in turn reveals that the Franks believed the Sicambri to be a tribe of Scythian or Cimmerian descent, who had changed their name to Franks in honour of their chieftain Franco in 11 BC.”

 

“Based on such accounts of Scythian founders of certain Germanic as well as Celtic tribes, British historiography in the British Empire period such as Sharon Turner in his History of the Anglo-Saxons, made them the ancestors of the Anglo-Saxons. The idea was taken up in the British Israelism of John Wilson, who adopted and promoted the “idea that the “European Race, in particular the Anglo-Saxons, were descended from certain Scythian tribes, and these Scythian tribes (as many had previously stated from the Middle Ages onward) were in turn descended from the ten Lost Tribes of Israel.” Tudor Parfitt, author of The Lost Tribes of Israel and Professor of Modern Jewish Studies, points out that the proof cited by adherents of British Israelism is “of a feeble composition even by the low standards of the genre.””

 

“Whatever the claims of various modern ethnic groups, many of the peoples once known as the Scythians of Antiquity were amalgamated into the various Slavic peoples of eastern and southeastern Europe.

Linguistically, only modern-day Ossetic and Pashto as well as Yaghnobi and Pamiri languages are similar to old Eastern Iranic languages once spoken by Scythians.”

 

“The melting pot is a metaphor for a heterogeneous society becoming more homogeneous, the different elements “melting together” into a harmonious whole with a common culture. It is particularly used to describe the assimilation of immigrants to the United States; the melting-together metaphor was in use by the 1780s.

After 1970 the desirability of assimilation and the melting pot model was challenged by proponents of multiculturalism, who assert that cultural differences within society are valuable and should be preserved, proposing the alternative metaphor of the mosaic or salad bowl – different cultures mix, but remain distinct.”

 

“There also exists a view that attempts to reconcile some of the differences between multiculturalists and assimilationists. Proponents of this view propose that immigrants need not completely abandon their culture and traditions in order to reach the goal that the melting pot theory seeks. This reasoning relies on the assumption that immigrants can be persuaded to ultimately consider themselves a citizen of their new nation first and of their nation of birth second. In this way, they may still retain and practice all of their cultural traditions but “when push comes to shove” they will put their host nation’s interests first. If this can be accomplished, immigrants will then avoid hindering the progress, unity and growth that assimilationsts argue are the positive results of the melting pot theory—while simultaneously appeasing some of the multiculturalists.”

 

“This compromise view also supports a strong stance on immigration and a primary language in school with the option to study foreign languages. (A consensus on affirmative action does not currently exist.) Proponents of this compromise claim that the difference with this view and that of the assimilationists is that while their view of the melting pot essentially strips immigrants of their culture, the compromise allows immigrants to continue practicing and propagating their cultures from generation to generation and yet sustain and instill a love for their host country first and above all. Whether this kind of delicate balance between host and native countries among immigrants can be achieved remains to be seen.”

Resources:

http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/history/2012/02/nice-things-to-say-about-attila-the-hun/

http://news.softpedia.com/news/Attila-039-s-Real-Face-35908.shtml

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarmatians

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scythians

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melting_pot

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s