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On the Physical Characters of the Egyptians

Researches into the Physical History of Man (London: Arch, 1813), pp. 376-388


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389

SECTION VI.

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 unfortunately scanty.

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 times.

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.



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