On the Physical Characters of the ancient Indians.
I shall now proceed to state the facts which
I can collect, concerning the physical character
of the ancient inhabitants of India. They are
It is remarkable that Herodotus, in his enumeration
of the forces of Xerxes, mentions a tribe
of Ethiopians from the eastern parts of
Asia, who were drawn out in the same division
of the army with the Indians. " These eastern
Ethiopians," says he, " differed nothing from
be supposed that no variety occurred in it. The Egyptians
were a civilized people and we should expect to find
examples of a fair complexion among the better orders at
least. It is highly probable that such existed, and we even
have positive testimony for the fact. Diodorus relates that
Typhon was red (Iry r) and adds that some of the native
Egyptians though few, (iAiyovs v s) were of the same
complexion. These were sacrificed to Osiris in ancient
Particular eauses in some countries have doubtless re.
tarded the evolution of varieties in the human complexion
and figure. A permanent degradation of the lower orders,
and such circumstances in their condition as tend to approx.
imate them to the state of savages, may be supposed to have
this power. And we have remarked that certain modifications
of climate and local situation promote the appearance of
varieties, which show themselves more tardily
under a contrary influence. See Diodor. hist. lib. 1. p. 79.