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ejhg2015233f1

Claudia_Cardinale_1963 The question of Italy population genetic structure comes up rather often for various reasons. I haven’t visited this topic in much detail since reading Consanguinity, Inbreeding, and Genetic Drift in Italy, a very old book using classical genetic techniques. L. L. Cavalli-Sforza did not find much structure in Italy at the time, but it turns out that there wasn’t enough power in the methods. I have some access to Italian data sets and I can tell you that there is a lot of variation. Sicilians in particular are mixed in ways unique outside of the Iberian peninsula A few years ago using the PopRes data set Peter Ralph and Graham Coop found in The Geography of Recent Genetic Ancestry across Europe some interesting facts about Italy:

In addition to the very few genetic common ancestors that Italians share both with each other and with other Europeans, we have seen significant modern substructure within Italy (i.e., Figure 2) that predates most of this common ancestry, and estimate that most of the common ancestry shared between Italy and other populations is older than about 2,300 years (Figure S16). Also recall that most populations show no substructure with regards to the number of blocks shared with Italians, implying that the common ancestors other populations share with Italy predate divisions within these other populations. This suggests significant old substructure and large population sizes within Italy, strong enough that different groups within Italy share as little recent common ancestry as other distinct, modern-day countries, substructure that was not homogenized during the migration period. These patterns could also reflect in part geographic isolation within Italy as well as a long history of settlement of Italy from diverse sources.

There were limitations in terms of how much geographic specificity the PopRes data set provided them, so there was only so much you could say. One hypothesis could be that unlike much of Europe deep local structure within the Italian peninsula predating the Roman Empire persists to this day. The Latinization of Italy then during the late Republican and early Imperial period could be thought of primarily as a matter of cultural diffusion and elite emulation. This stands to reason in part because much of the Italian peninsula was inhabited by peoples who were already speaking languages very close to Latin. But, another possibility is that this deep structure exists became of more recent migrations. For example, the existence of Magna Graecia in southern Italy and Sicily was due to the migration of males from Greece in the centuries before the rise of Rome. The genetic distance of this population would be inflated due to this gene flow, and if Italian demographic history is such that gene flow across regions is low, then it would persist.

italyBut things have changed since 2013. We know a fair amount more about European genetic history, thanks to ancient DNA. Just read Ancient human genomes suggest three ancestral populations to get a flavor. In short, it turns out that most European populations can be modeled as a three-way admixture, between one group with ancient Middle Eastern affinities, but different from modern Middle Easterners. Modern Sardinians are very close to this group. A second group are the indigenous European hunter-gatherers, who presumably expanded after the retreat of the tundra and had deeper roots in the continent, possibly at least back to the Gravettian period. Finally, a third group is a compound with a different Middle Eastern group, the European hunter-gatherer ancestry, and an ancient North Eurasian population more distant to other West Eurasians.

ejhg2015233x3 Most readers of this weblog are familiar with this song and dance. Now I want to submit new results from a paper in EJHG, The Italian genome reflects the history of Europe and the Mediterranean basin. A minor nit: I would assume that the Italian genome reflects the history of Europe and the Mediterranean basin! It would be really surprising if the Italian genome reflects the history of East Asia and the South China Sea!

What immediately jumped out for me about the results form this paper is that it seems clear that all non-Sardinian populations exhibit equal distance to Sardinians. That is, there is no “Sardinian-cline” in these data. Perhaps there are populations on the mainland that do exhibit a Sardinian-cline, but they haven’t been sampled in this study. What does this mean? The circumstantial evidence is strong that there was an intrusive population across Europe which arrived from the steppes spread across Northern Europe about ~4,500 years ago. The linguistic evidence tends to bind the Celtic and Italic branches of the Indo-European language family, so it seems the case that there was likely an intrusive population from Northern Europe that arrived sometime between 500 BC, when the Italian populations start to edge into history, and 2500 BC, when the Indo-Europeans swept Northern Europe. These people would presumably have amalgamated with the original Sardinian-like group. The best work suggests that though Sardinians have the most of this ancestry, it is still predominant in Southern Europe overall. It is curious then that the Sardinian fraction is so low, and, that it is relatively even. In fact, it is lowest in the southernmost Italian groups, and highest in Lombdary! Part of this is probably because Sardinian is not the same as Sardinian-like farmer. But I still would have expected some cline (I presume the Sardinians shifted toward the mainland are due to migration from the mainland). On the other hand, there is a large north-south gradient that you can see on the admixture plot .

ejhg2015233x5 The plot to the left is too small to make out well, but as people allude to Italian population structure in a world-wide context, this PCA does just that. The bright green are the Southern Italians, the bright light blue the Central Italians, and the red the Northern Italians. You see that the Southern Italians are shifted toward the Middle Eastern groups, while the Northern Italians are closer to groups like the Spanish and French. To the top right are Northern European groups, in purple, and the bottom right are Mozabites, with Turks in dark green in the middle, shifted toward Italians. Sardinians occupy the far left. As you can see, contrary to a commenter earlier this week, Italians of all stripes are not that distinct from other Europeans.

But, Southern Italians, and from what I have seen in private data Sicilians in particular, are distinct because of a possible admixture signal with exotic groups you don’t normally see in Europeans. If you look in the supplements the possibility becomes clearer. There is a lot of evidence that this admixture is North African. You see this in the ADMIXTURE plots in the supplements, as well as the IBD sharing patterns. The South Italian groups are enriched with the Mozabites and Moroccans, not groups from the eastern Mediterranean. The likely period when this admixture occurred is when Sicily was an Arab emirate, from 830 to 1070. More or less Sicily was then part of the greater Maghreb. Calabria also had a Muslim presence, though more tenuous.

Finally, the authors used LD patterns and reference populations to attempt to estimate admixture times:

We found evidence of the presence of a mix of Central-Northern European and Middle Eastern-North African ancestries in the Italian individuals (Supplementary Table S5). The estimated times of admixture ranged between ~2050 and 1300 years ago (y.a.), with an average of about 1650 y.a. – assuming 29 years per generation– for Northern Italians, and between ~3000 and 1450 y.a. (~2100 y.a. on average) for Central Italians. Finally, for the Southern Italian individuals, admixture between European and Northern African-Middle Eastern ancestry was estimated to have occurred about 1000 y.a. (see Supplementary Table S5 and Supplementary Results for a complete report of significant results).

The admixture in Southern Italy is estimated to have occurred ~1000 years ago. That’s pretty much what you’d expect. These methods tend to pick up the last signal of admixture, so there may have been ones earlier (e.g., Magna Graecia?). That might explain the relatively low fraction of “Sardinian” ancestry, as this area of Italy has had significant gene flow from outside Italy over the past 2,500 years, whether it be Greeks, people from other parts of the Mediterranean, and last Maghrebis.

The difference between Northern and Central Italians is intriguing. The reference populations are not optimal, and the dates have a wide interval. We actually know what was happening 2,100 years ago in Central Italy, and there was no admixture between Middle Eastern and Northern European groups. The Roman world empire was still in a nascent state. The Northern Italian admixture date might align with a German migration into Italy, or perhaps the Gauls in the centuries earlier. I really don’t know. I am of the inclination to suggest that the Central Italian signal might be somehow low balling the Indo-European admixture.

The authors say that their data will be released. But I looked up the accession number, and it’s not up there yet.

 
• Category: Science • Tags: Genomics, Italy 
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  1. Seems to explain why Southern Italy is notoriously kin based and northern Italy drives most of its progress. The North African element in particular would explain the mafia nicely.

    • Replies: @Niccolo Salo
    Too lazy.

    For example, the population of Corleone, Sicily descends from Northern Italians who migrated to Sicily during the Guelph-Ghibelline conflicts of the 12th and 13th centuries.

    Corleone is the most emblematic Mafia-town in all of Sicily, to the point where men like Luciano Leggio managed to become boss of all bosses by the 1970s.

    The best book on the Sicilian Mafia that I've read is John Dickie's Cosa Nostra: A History Of The Sicilian Mafia (2004). It delves deeply into the history of the island, the Risorgimento, and how it adversely affected the Mezzogiorno.
    , @Razib Khan
    the genetic distance is modest. so you must be talking about culture.
    , @LevantineJew
    I don't know how historically accurate Shakespeare was depicting medieval Italian blood vengeance, but Verona is far away from Sicily.
  2. “The best work suggests that though Sardinians have the most of this ancestry, it is still predominant in Southern Europe overall. It is curious then that the Sardinian fraction is so low…”

    I think that there is now a lot of data that suggests that what initially looked like high levels of residual Early Neolithic Farmer ancestry in all of southern Europe is actually from later migrations of people that carried a lot of a similar ancestry, but were not exactly the same. Similar to how the modern WHG ancestry in northern Europe mostly arrived in a roundabout way.

    Without the appropriate ancient genomes for comparison, this still seems mysterious. But how else could Ötzi and other ancient Neolithics share so much with modern Sardinians, while modern people in Italy do not share much with either?

    • Replies: @Razib Khan
    I think that there is now a lot of data that suggests that what initially looked like high levels of residual Early Neolithic Farmer ancestry in all of southern Europe is actually from later migrations of people that carried a lot of a similar ancestry, but were not exactly the same.

    where's the data?
  3. Anonymous • Disclaimer says: • Website

    It’s kinda interesting how Razib Khan many times tend to favor (lust for) the same beautiful women as Bob Dylan does.

    Case in point, Claudia Cardianale. {The first issues of the Blonde on Blonde album by Dylan in the US, Canada and the UK had nine photographs inside the gatefold sleeve, four on the left and five on the right. Those on the right hand side included a large portrait of the actress Claudia Cardinale.}

    http://www.rdf.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/BobPart1/BobPart1.htm

    We hope that Razib can go beyond tame Wikipedia stock photos and start to use photos tending toward the T&A genre.

  4. “The likely period when this admixture occurred is when Sicily was an Arab emirate, from 830 to 1070. More or less Sicily was then part of the greater Maghreb. Calabria also had a Muslim presence, though more tenuous.”

    I recall having read once that there’s evidence for emigration of North African Christians to Southern Italy after the Islamic conquests (have forgotten exactly where I read that, probably some regional history). Maybe that could also play a role for the findings on mainland Southern Italy (though that emigration would presumably have happened earlier than 1000 years ago).

    • Replies: @Rehmat
    An event most ignored in the Western history – is that the Southern part of Italy (Crete, Sicily) was under Muslim rule from 878 CE to 1072 CE. During this period of time the island became a ‘smiling garden’, proud of its achievements in sciences, trade and industry. It in fact, the new state acted as a bridge between the Dark Age Europe and the great Islamic civilization which existed in Muslim Spain during that period.

    "Both Milan and Venice were thriving commercial cities, thriving entirely from trade with Saracens. In fact the whole Renaissance, the "revival of learning in Europr", inexplicably “arose” in Italy, that long, narrow peninsula with Saracen civilization brilliant at its tip, and its every port opening to the Saracens’ Sea," – Rose Wilder Lane, in "Islam and the Discovery of Freedom".

    http://rehmat1.com/2009/09/20/islamic-state-of-sicily/
  5. Sorry Razib, I was offline for a few days, but I will continue the conversation here, as obviously this is now the relevant thread. 🙂

    I guess you are referring to me as the commenter who said Sicilians are distinct in Europe. Perhaps ‘distinct’ wasn’t the best word choice — of course Sicilians fall within European variation: on the edge of it. I never meant to convey that they aren’t European or aren’t related to other Italians/Europeans. But it’s known for a while that they are pulled towards the Middle East. What we’re discussing is, why?

    My argument is really simple and not controversial, and in fact inline with this post: I think Sicilians et al (other Southern Italians, Ash./Seph./Mor. Jews, and perhaps Cypriots, some Greeks, Maltese, Lebanese Christians, etc.) are more reflective of older population structure, and less reflective of recent admixture. Yes, all these people are compounds as you say: but what about percentages?

    The Arab influence you allude to I think ALSO followed an elite dominance model and left only a modest genetic trace. For example, why are the Calabrese even more pulled towards middle easterners than are Sicilians, who had much greater/longer Muslim influence?

    Also, the areas in Italy that are similar to Sicily aren’t perfectly mapped to areas of Greek colonization either: I think whatever happened, happened before the Greeks.

    So for this and other data, as well as a personal hunch, I believe what we’re seeing in the groups mentioned above is a signal of a middle eastern population(s) that was active in the Med well before the Greeks. Anyways I don’t feel too strongly about it, but I’m looking forward to the authors’ data, and to more aDNA as well.

  6. @Rick
    "The best work suggests that though Sardinians have the most of this ancestry, it is still predominant in Southern Europe overall. It is curious then that the Sardinian fraction is so low..."

    I think that there is now a lot of data that suggests that what initially looked like high levels of residual Early Neolithic Farmer ancestry in all of southern Europe is actually from later migrations of people that carried a lot of a similar ancestry, but were not exactly the same. Similar to how the modern WHG ancestry in northern Europe mostly arrived in a roundabout way.

    Without the appropriate ancient genomes for comparison, this still seems mysterious. But how else could Ötzi and other ancient Neolithics share so much with modern Sardinians, while modern people in Italy do not share much with either?

    I think that there is now a lot of data that suggests that what initially looked like high levels of residual Early Neolithic Farmer ancestry in all of southern Europe is actually from later migrations of people that carried a lot of a similar ancestry, but were not exactly the same.

    where’s the data?

  7. My current favor for vacuous journal article titles is this one:

    Rangaraju, et al., “Suppression of transcriptional drift extends C. elegans lifespan by postponing the onset of mortality.” eLife, 2015; 4.

    If you come up with a way that extends C. elegans lifespan without postponing the onset of mortality, please let me know.

  8. [the open thread exists for a reason. please use it in the future]

    Unrelated:

    “Whiteness is not a kinship or a culture. White people are no more closely related to one another, genetically, than we are to black people.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/06/magazine/white-debt.html

  9. The linguistic evidence tends to bind the Celtic and Italic branches of the Indo-European language family, so it seems the case that there was likely an intrusive population from Northern Europe that arrived sometime between 500 BC, when the Italian populations start to edge into history, and 2500 BC, when the Indo-Europeans swept Northern Europe.

    The latter part of that date range (1300 BCE to 750 BCE) is a good fit for the archaeological Urnfield culture which indeed did reach Italy (at least Northern to Central Italy from North to South) and has been hypothesized as a proto-Celtic or as a culture which bore the proto-language ancestral to both the Italic and Celtic languages (with the Italic and Celtic language distinction possibly arising due to different substrate languages in Italy and Western Europe respectively). The non-Indo-European Etruscan Civilization also dates, generously and including proto-Etruscan Iron Age civilizations from 1200 BCE to 0 BCE or so.

    The earlier part of that date range is a harder one to match. The Únětice culture flourishes at the right time (2300 BCE to 1600 BCE), and is possibly ancestral to the Urnfield culture, but doesn’t make it as far south as Italy. Neither does the Tumulus culture (1600 BCE to 1200 BCE) that emerges out of the Únětice culture which bridges that gap between that culture and Urnfield.

    The Bell Beaker culture which would also coincide with the earlier period chronologically, is represented by a couple of small outposts in Sardinia and Sicily, (at the tail end of the Bell Beaker culture globally) and is present at the foothills of the Italian Alps earlier on, but is also absent from the lion’s share of Italy except in contexts which appear to be nothing more than trade goods exchanged with outsiders.

    There is an abrupt archaeological divide between the Middle and Late Bronze Age Terramare culture (1700 BCE to 1150 BCE) of Northern Italy and the proto-Etruscan culture in part of that region. Roman historian Dionysius of Halicarnassus, in his first book on the Roman Antiquities, identifies the Terramare culture with the Pelasgians (pre-Mycenean people of mainland Greece). But, its origins are cryptic.

    Basically, there is no dramatic arrival of any new archaeological cultures in Italy more than a century before Bronze Age collapse that could bring these new languages and have major demic impact.

  10. It is stated in the supp info that the North African admixture is especially strong only in Sicily, Sardinia and Calabria (Reggio only). It’s not present in Basilicata.

  11. It would be interesting to see a genetic breakdown within Sicily. I say this because there are indications in the historical record that the Arab occupation of Sicily was not uniform. That is, the conquerors hand rested much more heavily on the cities and harbors than on the mountainous interior. Clearly there may be genetic implications to this if correct.

    The impression I get portrays Sicily as a bit of a backwater of empire, more concerned with raiding and slave-raiding than in the cultivation of resources. At least one noted Arib writer showed disdain for the local Muslim officialdom for their general lack of refinement and energy. This suggests to me that they may have been satisfied with submission and tribute from at least some areas of the interior rather than the sort of domination that brings with it population replacement.

    This is just a guess on my part from some snippets of writing. but it would be an interesting study.

    • Replies: @Razib Khan
    It would be interesting to see a genetic breakdown within Sicily.

    look at K = 3. lots of variation of "northern" in sicily. normans? the calabria sample is N = 12, but it is more "southern" than sicily.
  12. @The Philosopher
    Seems to explain why Southern Italy is notoriously kin based and northern Italy drives most of its progress. The North African element in particular would explain the mafia nicely.

    Too lazy.

    For example, the population of Corleone, Sicily descends from Northern Italians who migrated to Sicily during the Guelph-Ghibelline conflicts of the 12th and 13th centuries.

    Corleone is the most emblematic Mafia-town in all of Sicily, to the point where men like Luciano Leggio managed to become boss of all bosses by the 1970s.

    The best book on the Sicilian Mafia that I’ve read is John Dickie’s Cosa Nostra: A History Of The Sicilian Mafia (2004). It delves deeply into the history of the island, the Risorgimento, and how it adversely affected the Mezzogiorno.

  13. Razib: But I still would have expected some cline (I presume the Sardinians shifted toward the mainland are due to migration from the mainland). On the other hand, there is a large north-south gradient that you can see on the admixture plot .

    Could be that as there are only a few Italian populations in the mix, the drift of each population becomes more relevant and the levels of shared/different ancient ancestry less relevant, and that homogenises relatedness (and/or splits away Sardinian more in their own cluster)? Any extra drift Sardinians have compared to ancient farmers will pushes them away from all populations equally. PCA or ADMIXTURE with lots of populations will look for what systematically differentiates them from one another as a correlated dimension, which will tend to exclude recent drift particular to any population(s). PCA with a few population can’t do that the same way?

    I think we see that with FSTs for European populations, e.g. –/ http://i.imgur.com/Cq6eDP0.png. The populations who seem like they would normally closest on large scale PCA and measures of ancient population proportions as in the Haak et al paper are not necessarily closer by FST (e.g. Bulgaria slightly closer to Ukraine than Ukraine to UK-Kent, Norway as close to France and to Poland). Could be because recent shared drift that is unrelated to the patterns in ancient ancestry adds / subtracts from the expected levels of differentiation (e.g. the same proto-Slavic population moving from near Ukraine into Ukraine and Bulgaria). That maybe is lost in large scale plots which look to maximize the dimensions that explain differences across all samples.

    (Caveat: These FSTs are taken from the blog of M. Myllylä, http://terheninenmaa.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/fst-distances-in-europe-finnish-rolloff.html, table available there in spreadsheet form with some extra populations on and they have error bars on them).

    • Replies: @Razib Khan
    Could be that as there are only a few Italian populations in the mix, the drift of each population becomes more relevant and the levels of shared/different ancient ancestry less relevant, and that homogenises relatedness (and/or splits away Sardinian more in their own cluster)? Any extra drift Sardinians have compared to ancient farmers will pushes them away from all populations equally. PCA or ADMIXTURE with lots of populations will look for what systematically differentiates them from one another as a correlated dimension, which will tend to exclude recent drift particular to any population(s). PCA with a few population can’t do that the same way?

    same pattern in the pooled PCA above. also, they put otzi in one of the plots. sort of supports your view, but the pops are not really that differentitaed from otzi. it looks more that they're being pulled diff directions by non-otzi admixture.
  14. N.B. the popular saying in the North of Italy that “Garibaldi didn’t unite Italy, he divided Africa.”

    The Phoenicians aren’t mentioned by Mr. Khan. Perhaps Phoenician trade and colonization is a separate source of southern Italian genetics? Just a thought.

  15. @The Philosopher
    Seems to explain why Southern Italy is notoriously kin based and northern Italy drives most of its progress. The North African element in particular would explain the mafia nicely.

    the genetic distance is modest. so you must be talking about culture.

  16. @Thomas O. Meehan
    It would be interesting to see a genetic breakdown within Sicily. I say this because there are indications in the historical record that the Arab occupation of Sicily was not uniform. That is, the conquerors hand rested much more heavily on the cities and harbors than on the mountainous interior. Clearly there may be genetic implications to this if correct.

    The impression I get portrays Sicily as a bit of a backwater of empire, more concerned with raiding and slave-raiding than in the cultivation of resources. At least one noted Arib writer showed disdain for the local Muslim officialdom for their general lack of refinement and energy. This suggests to me that they may have been satisfied with submission and tribute from at least some areas of the interior rather than the sort of domination that brings with it population replacement.

    This is just a guess on my part from some snippets of writing. but it would be an interesting study.

    It would be interesting to see a genetic breakdown within Sicily.

    look at K = 3. lots of variation of “northern” in sicily. normans? the calabria sample is N = 12, but it is more “southern” than sicily.

    • Replies: @German_reader
    "lots of variation of “northern” in sicily. normans?"

    Not necessarily Normans (who in the narrow sense were only a small minority in Southern Italy anyway), but there was substantial immigration of Northern Italians ("Lombards") to Sicily after the Norman conquest:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lombards_of_Sicily
    They were notable in the anti-Muslim riots in Sicily during the 12th century.
  17. The Phoenicians aren’t mentioned by Mr. Khan. Perhaps Phoenician trade and colonization is a separate source of southern Italian genetics? Just a thought.

    i write what i write for a reason. read closely: The South Italian groups are enriched with the Mozabites and Moroccans, not groups from the eastern Mediterranean. there is a distinctive aspect to maghrebi genetics which separates them from levantines. the south italian samples have that. (there are druze, syrians, and palestinians in the data set to check).

    • Replies: @Dmitry Pruss
    The Phoenicians operating in Sicily were long based in Maghreb, and perhaps could have become more West-Mediterranean in their genetic makeup? Carthage has dominated Sicilian coast at least since 8th c. BC, and the Greeks didn't begin wrestling control until 5th c. BC and a series of Greco-Punic wars lasted nearly two centuries more. Are we sure that the Carthaginians stayed genetically Levantine despite more than half a millennium in the Western North Africa?

    (BTW I also posted a comment about a 1922 court case in Alabama which decided that the miscegenation laws did no apply to an African-Sicilian couple because there was reasonable doubt if the Sicilian was white ... did that comment fall through some cybercracks?)

  18. @Matt_
    Razib: But I still would have expected some cline (I presume the Sardinians shifted toward the mainland are due to migration from the mainland). On the other hand, there is a large north-south gradient that you can see on the admixture plot .

    Could be that as there are only a few Italian populations in the mix, the drift of each population becomes more relevant and the levels of shared/different ancient ancestry less relevant, and that homogenises relatedness (and/or splits away Sardinian more in their own cluster)? Any extra drift Sardinians have compared to ancient farmers will pushes them away from all populations equally. PCA or ADMIXTURE with lots of populations will look for what systematically differentiates them from one another as a correlated dimension, which will tend to exclude recent drift particular to any population(s). PCA with a few population can't do that the same way?

    I think we see that with FSTs for European populations, e.g. - http://i.imgur.com/ic4bBMX.png / http://i.imgur.com/Cq6eDP0.png. The populations who seem like they would normally closest on large scale PCA and measures of ancient population proportions as in the Haak et al paper are not necessarily closer by FST (e.g. Bulgaria slightly closer to Ukraine than Ukraine to UK-Kent, Norway as close to France and to Poland). Could be because recent shared drift that is unrelated to the patterns in ancient ancestry adds / subtracts from the expected levels of differentiation (e.g. the same proto-Slavic population moving from near Ukraine into Ukraine and Bulgaria). That maybe is lost in large scale plots which look to maximize the dimensions that explain differences across all samples.

    (Caveat: These FSTs are taken from the blog of M. Myllylä, http://terheninenmaa.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/fst-distances-in-europe-finnish-rolloff.html, table available there in spreadsheet form with some extra populations on and they have error bars on them).

    Could be that as there are only a few Italian populations in the mix, the drift of each population becomes more relevant and the levels of shared/different ancient ancestry less relevant, and that homogenises relatedness (and/or splits away Sardinian more in their own cluster)? Any extra drift Sardinians have compared to ancient farmers will pushes them away from all populations equally. PCA or ADMIXTURE with lots of populations will look for what systematically differentiates them from one another as a correlated dimension, which will tend to exclude recent drift particular to any population(s). PCA with a few population can’t do that the same way?

    same pattern in the pooled PCA above. also, they put otzi in one of the plots. sort of supports your view, but the pops are not really that differentitaed from otzi. it looks more that they’re being pulled diff directions by non-otzi admixture.

  19. I vaguely remembered that there was an infamous miscegenation court case in the US where it was supposedly decided that the Sicilians weren’t white.

    Actually the 1922 case, Rollins vs. State of Alabama, isn’t as straightforward. The judge just concluded that it was impossible to ascertain if “the woman in question, Edith Labue, was a white woman, or that she did not have negro blood in her veins” and threw the case on the basis of reasonable doubt, without deciding if she was indeed not “white”.

    But other sources claim that in Louisiana and Mississippi, Sicilian children did have to attend segregated non-white schools

    • Replies: @Jefferson
    "I vaguely remembered that there was an infamous miscegenation court case in the US where it was supposedly decided that the Sicilians weren’t white.

    Actually the 1922 case, Rollins vs. State of Alabama, isn’t as straightforward. The judge just concluded that it was impossible to ascertain if “the woman in question, Edith Labue, was a white woman, or that she did not have negro blood in her veins” and threw the case on the basis of reasonable doubt, without deciding if she was indeed not “white”.

    But other sources claim that in Louisiana and Mississippi, Sicilian children did have to attend segregated non-white schools"

    I could see the half Hungarian and half Sicilian actor Robert Hegyes being mistaken for a light skin Black man if he had lived in Mississippi or Louisiana during Jim Crow. He can grow a mean Jewfro.
    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-5ywEJr9lEdk/TyMv30Qcv6I/AAAAAAAAAwQ/2AktHJvW2Nc/s1600/b+h+copy.jpg
  20. @Razib Khan
    It would be interesting to see a genetic breakdown within Sicily.

    look at K = 3. lots of variation of "northern" in sicily. normans? the calabria sample is N = 12, but it is more "southern" than sicily.

    “lots of variation of “northern” in sicily. normans?”

    Not necessarily Normans (who in the narrow sense were only a small minority in Southern Italy anyway), but there was substantial immigration of Northern Italians (“Lombards”) to Sicily after the Norman conquest:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lombards_of_Sicily
    They were notable in the anti-Muslim riots in Sicily during the 12th century.

    • Replies: @syonredux

    The Sicilian Vespers (Italian: Vespri siciliani; Sicilian: Vespiri siciliani) is the name given to the successful rebellion on the island of Sicily that broke out on the Easter of 1282 against the rule of the French-born king Charles I, who had ruled the Kingdom of Sicily since 1266. Within six weeks, three thousand French men and women were slain by the rebels, and the government of King Charles lost control of the island. It was the beginning of the War of the Sicilian Vespers.
     
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sicilian_Vespers

    Sicilian Vespers (1282)
    Flexner, Pessimist's Guide to History: 2,000 k. 1st day.
    Davies: 4,000 Fr. k. in Palermo
    Gibbon D&F6: 8,000 French
     
    http://necrometrics.com/pre1700a.htm#SicVesp
  21. @Razib Khan
    The Phoenicians aren’t mentioned by Mr. Khan. Perhaps Phoenician trade and colonization is a separate source of southern Italian genetics? Just a thought.

    i write what i write for a reason. read closely: The South Italian groups are enriched with the Mozabites and Moroccans, not groups from the eastern Mediterranean. there is a distinctive aspect to maghrebi genetics which separates them from levantines. the south italian samples have that. (there are druze, syrians, and palestinians in the data set to check).

    The Phoenicians operating in Sicily were long based in Maghreb, and perhaps could have become more West-Mediterranean in their genetic makeup? Carthage has dominated Sicilian coast at least since 8th c. BC, and the Greeks didn’t begin wrestling control until 5th c. BC and a series of Greco-Punic wars lasted nearly two centuries more. Are we sure that the Carthaginians stayed genetically Levantine despite more than half a millennium in the Western North Africa?

    (BTW I also posted a comment about a 1922 court case in Alabama which decided that the miscegenation laws did no apply to an African-Sicilian couple because there was reasonable doubt if the Sicilian was white … did that comment fall through some cybercracks?)

    • Replies: @Megalophias
    The judgement indicates that the conviction was reversed mainly because the only evidence that a crime even took place was a *confession extracted at gunpoint* and later retracted.

    The relevant bit regarding the status of Sicilians is: "The mere fact that the testimony showed this woman came from Sicily can in no sense be taken as conclusive that she was therefore a white woman, or that she was not a negro or a descendant of a negro."

    This clearly is saying that the lower court *considered Sicilians to be white by default*; the appellate court is pointing out that merely having *come* from Sicily does not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the woman *was* white. The same logic would apply if she came from Sweden.
    , @Chiron
    Yeah, this is what I was thinking about the Phoenicians/Punics, they mixed with the Berbers in North Africa and with Souther Europeans like the Iberians.

    There is certain mystery about the Phoenicians since the speaked a language very similar to Hebrew but didn't left any writting records.

    H.G. Wells tought that the Sephardi Jews were are descendants of the Phoenicians, some of the stereotype that Phoenicians/Punics had among the Romans and Greeks is very similar to some jewish stereotypes.
    , @Twinkie

    The Phoenicians operating in Sicily were long based in Maghreb, and perhaps could have become more West-Mediterranean in their genetic makeup?
     
    The Carthaginians used very little citizen ground force for overseas "expeditionary" and colonial wars. They relied heavily on mercenaries such as Celts and various Italians. They also recruited heavily among Numidians/Berbers and Libyans. So Carthaginian armies in Sicily and Italy probably had a significant North African genetic component even if the Punics themselves were Levantine in origin.
  22. @German_reader
    "lots of variation of “northern” in sicily. normans?"

    Not necessarily Normans (who in the narrow sense were only a small minority in Southern Italy anyway), but there was substantial immigration of Northern Italians ("Lombards") to Sicily after the Norman conquest:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lombards_of_Sicily
    They were notable in the anti-Muslim riots in Sicily during the 12th century.

    The Sicilian Vespers (Italian: Vespri siciliani; Sicilian: Vespiri siciliani) is the name given to the successful rebellion on the island of Sicily that broke out on the Easter of 1282 against the rule of the French-born king Charles I, who had ruled the Kingdom of Sicily since 1266. Within six weeks, three thousand French men and women were slain by the rebels, and the government of King Charles lost control of the island. It was the beginning of the War of the Sicilian Vespers.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sicilian_Vespers

    Sicilian Vespers (1282)
    Flexner, Pessimist’s Guide to History: 2,000 k. 1st day.
    Davies: 4,000 Fr. k. in Palermo
    Gibbon D&F6: 8,000 French

    http://necrometrics.com/pre1700a.htm#SicVesp

  23. I am curious about regional differences in Sicily. The area of Sicily where my ancestors came from (Messina) has more in common with Calabria in many ways (language, history) than with central or western Sicily. I suspect the same is true from a genetic standpoint.

  24. @Dmitry Pruss
    The Phoenicians operating in Sicily were long based in Maghreb, and perhaps could have become more West-Mediterranean in their genetic makeup? Carthage has dominated Sicilian coast at least since 8th c. BC, and the Greeks didn't begin wrestling control until 5th c. BC and a series of Greco-Punic wars lasted nearly two centuries more. Are we sure that the Carthaginians stayed genetically Levantine despite more than half a millennium in the Western North Africa?

    (BTW I also posted a comment about a 1922 court case in Alabama which decided that the miscegenation laws did no apply to an African-Sicilian couple because there was reasonable doubt if the Sicilian was white ... did that comment fall through some cybercracks?)

    The judgement indicates that the conviction was reversed mainly because the only evidence that a crime even took place was a *confession extracted at gunpoint* and later retracted.

    The relevant bit regarding the status of Sicilians is: “The mere fact that the testimony showed this woman came from Sicily can in no sense be taken as conclusive that she was therefore a white woman, or that she was not a negro or a descendant of a negro.”

    This clearly is saying that the lower court *considered Sicilians to be white by default*; the appellate court is pointing out that merely having *come* from Sicily does not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the woman *was* white. The same logic would apply if she came from Sweden.

  25. @The Philosopher
    Seems to explain why Southern Italy is notoriously kin based and northern Italy drives most of its progress. The North African element in particular would explain the mafia nicely.

    I don’t know how historically accurate Shakespeare was depicting medieval Italian blood vengeance, but Verona is far away from Sicily.

  26. @Dmitry Pruss
    The Phoenicians operating in Sicily were long based in Maghreb, and perhaps could have become more West-Mediterranean in their genetic makeup? Carthage has dominated Sicilian coast at least since 8th c. BC, and the Greeks didn't begin wrestling control until 5th c. BC and a series of Greco-Punic wars lasted nearly two centuries more. Are we sure that the Carthaginians stayed genetically Levantine despite more than half a millennium in the Western North Africa?

    (BTW I also posted a comment about a 1922 court case in Alabama which decided that the miscegenation laws did no apply to an African-Sicilian couple because there was reasonable doubt if the Sicilian was white ... did that comment fall through some cybercracks?)

    Yeah, this is what I was thinking about the Phoenicians/Punics, they mixed with the Berbers in North Africa and with Souther Europeans like the Iberians.

    There is certain mystery about the Phoenicians since the speaked a language very similar to Hebrew but didn’t left any writting records.

    H.G. Wells tought that the Sephardi Jews were are descendants of the Phoenicians, some of the stereotype that Phoenicians/Punics had among the Romans and Greeks is very similar to some jewish stereotypes.

  27. @Dmitry Pruss
    The Phoenicians operating in Sicily were long based in Maghreb, and perhaps could have become more West-Mediterranean in their genetic makeup? Carthage has dominated Sicilian coast at least since 8th c. BC, and the Greeks didn't begin wrestling control until 5th c. BC and a series of Greco-Punic wars lasted nearly two centuries more. Are we sure that the Carthaginians stayed genetically Levantine despite more than half a millennium in the Western North Africa?

    (BTW I also posted a comment about a 1922 court case in Alabama which decided that the miscegenation laws did no apply to an African-Sicilian couple because there was reasonable doubt if the Sicilian was white ... did that comment fall through some cybercracks?)

    The Phoenicians operating in Sicily were long based in Maghreb, and perhaps could have become more West-Mediterranean in their genetic makeup?

    The Carthaginians used very little citizen ground force for overseas “expeditionary” and colonial wars. They relied heavily on mercenaries such as Celts and various Italians. They also recruited heavily among Numidians/Berbers and Libyans. So Carthaginian armies in Sicily and Italy probably had a significant North African genetic component even if the Punics themselves were Levantine in origin.

  28. > We actually know what was happening 2,100 years ago in Central Italy, and there was no admixture between Middle Eastern and Northern European groups.

    The 2,100 years figure is just an average. It could easily be from later Roman times as well, when it is well known by historians that there were large numbers of slaves and free immigrants from North Africa and the Middle East imported into Rome. The study dated admixture from those parts of the world in Central and Northern Italy to anywhere around Etruscan (about 3000 years ago) to Roman times.

  29. It could easily be from later Roman times as well, when it is well known by historians that there were large numbers of slaves and free immigrants from North Africa and the Middle East imported into Rome.

    again, the signal does not seem middle eastern but north african, so you can discount large effect of syrians (there are syrian ref pops, weak IBD signal). please read the post and see the figures before you comment. second, i generally discount slaves. yes, some freedman became very successful (e.g. pertinax’s father; since you are a history buff you’ll know who this is), but the preponderance of slaves in antiquity have very low fertility. the slaves on the latifundia in sicily didn’t have it as bad as those in the mines of sardinia, but it wasn’t a good situation…

    despite the fact that greek was heavily spoken in much of italy, and there were attested syrians, the genetic exchange is likely for whatever reason to be mostly with north africa. i suspect during the roman period this had to do with the fact that much of n africa was latin speaking, and many 4th century aristocrats had many of their lands and family roots in that area. but if it was due to the roman period i don’t understand why it’s so weak in latium and central italy, where many of these people congregated. i think it’s because the peasantry remained italian, and the cities evaporated with rome’s collapse.

    in contrast, the muslims came in larger numbers, and there was more demographic continuity between islamicized cities and the norman polities.

    • Replies: @History Buff

    again, the signal does not seem middle eastern but north african, so you can discount large effect of syrians (there are syrian ref pops, weak IBD signal). please read the post and see the figures before you comment. second, i generally discount slaves. yes, some freedman became very successful (e.g. pertinax’s father; since you are a history buff you’ll know who this is), but the preponderance of slaves in antiquity have very low fertility. the slaves on the latifundia in sicily didn’t have it as bad as those in the mines of sardinia, but it wasn’t a good situation…
     
    The study found Middle Eastern and North African DNA all over Italy, the second one more common in the South, and in the case of Central Italy it estimated Middle Eastern and North African DNA to be from either as far back as somewhat before Etruscan times (3000 years ago) to Roman times, certainly not from the Middle Ages, as was the case with their estimate for Southern Italy. These estimates are clearly stated in the passage you quoted yourself. Also too much importance should not be placed on IBDs, which are hardly very impressive since they can't even tell the direction of gene-flow in the first place, plus they are often contradicted by more standard methods of analysis like ADMIXTURE.

    Syrians were not by any means the only Near Eastern people who were very much present in Roman Italy in large numbers. Roman Italy had large communities of people who came from what today is Turkey and Palestine, including Jews.

    Regarding slaves, one word easily comes to mind: manumission. It was very common among the Romans. A good read on the subject is A.M. Duff's thesis, "Freedmen in the Early Roman Empire". How easily ex-slaves integrated into Roman society can be seen by the fact that by Tacitus' times he is already complaining that the Roman Senate barely has any old senatorial families (i.e. "real" Romans) left in it and has a lot of people who descended from slaves and freedmen. Plus on top of that a very large number of these foreigners were in fact not slaves at all but free citizens of the empire. By the time of emperors Septimius Severus and his son Caracalla, themselves of Libyan and Syrian origin, foreigners were even more common in Rome, specially after Caracalla made all freemen in the empire Roman citizens.

    in contrast, the muslims came in larger numbers, and there was more demographic continuity between islamicized cities and the norman polities
     
    I don't know where you are getting this idea from, but it certainly is not from scholars on the subject. It was only a military-religious invasion, not a mass migration of people. Even in Iberia, where Islam found a more lasting foot-hold than anywhere in Italy, Arabs and Berbers barely made up 5% of the total population of the peninsula, the bulk of the population, even of the Muslim population itself, was made up of the local native peoples (source: Professor Richard Hitchcock, "Mozarabs in Medieval and Early Modern Spain: Identities and Influences", page 2.) Roman Italy had a much larger presence of slaves and free citizens from foreign lands than during any period in the Middle Ages.
  30. “The difference between Northern and Central Italians is intriguing. The reference populations are not optimal, and the dates have a wide interval. We actually know what was happening 2,100 years ago in Central Italy, and there was no admixture between Middle Eastern and Northern European groups. The Roman world empire was still in a nascent state. The Northern Italian admixture date might align with a German migration into Italy, or perhaps the Gauls in the centuries earlier. I really don’t know. I am of the inclination to suggest that the Central Italian signal might be somehow low balling the Indo-European admixture.”

    Looks like they tested all combinations of North European and Near Eastern/African populations in their set and showing the admixing populations that produced a significant signal (|Z|>3) in order of signal strength, for one reason or other the program prefers the ones shown. I agree that those are surprising results. Barring ancient DNA what kind of additional references could be added though, especially if looking for a “celtic” or “germanic” signal? The set has CEU which is mixed Northwest European but does resemble North Germans (and produces significant mixture signals for North/Central Italy when paired with Near East, and Mozabites in case of Central Italy), and they have GBR and Orcadians too.

    • Replies: @Razib Khan
    Barring ancient DNA what kind of additional references could be added though

    you said it, i didn't. ancient DNA.
  31. I recall from some of the first autosomal studies that Italians were often found to be inexplicably similar to both Sephardi and Ashkenazi Jewish populations. I do not recall anyone ever explaining this convincingly. Is it now simply seen as an association which disappears when testing became more detailed, and populations with similar ancestral “ingredients” could be distinguished as not having the same actual single mixed ancestral population?

    • Replies: @Rollo
    For more info about Ralph and Coop et al.

    http://italicroots.lefora.com/topic/560/evidence-recent-West-Asian-ancestry-Italians-last-2500-y
    , @Razib Khan
    I recall from some of the first autosomal studies that Italians were often found to be inexplicably similar to both Sephardi and Ashkenazi Jewish populations

    sephardic jews are not a coherent cluster. i know because i've looked at hundreds of seph genotypes.
  32. But, Southern Italians, and from what I have seen in private data Sicilians in particular, are distinct because of a possible admixture signal with exotic groups you don’t normally see in Europeans. … There is a lot of evidence that this admixture is North African.

    [emphasis in the original]

    This is relevant to an exchange I once had with Kevin MacDonald in the comments of his Occidental Observer blog. He posted something about the low number of whites on the US Supreme Court. I questioned his counting: He counted the European Jews as non-white, but he counted the Sicilian Anthony Scalia as white. I asked whether Sicilians were really “more European” (whatever that means) genetically than Ashkenazi Jews.

    He said he didn’t know about Sicilians, but quoted something about Sardinians as the closest he had. But the rest of his reply shocked me. He said that the racial category “white” (or maybe he wrote “White”) was not determined by genes, or genealogy. Whether a group is white, according to Kevin MacDonald, is defined by a combination of its genealogy (he might have said “genetics”) and its political stance regarding whites.

    • Replies: @patrick
    Interesting that white nationalists like MacDonald agree that race is (at least partly) a social construct. If they believe that Sicilians and Ashkenazi Jews are different races (despite similar genetic profiles) because of Jews' political stance, then they are defining race as a social construct.
    , @L.K
    Aaron writes:
    " I asked whether Sicilians were really “more European” (whatever that means) genetically than Ashkenazi Jews"


    Yes, Sicilians ARE genetically A LOT MORE European than Ashkenazi Jews simply bc Sicilians are an european population while Ashkenazis are a people of mixed origins clustering between Europeans and Mid Easterners.

    As Prof.MacDonald wrote: "A recent paper by Marta Costa et al. found that around 80% of Ashkenazi mitochondrial DNA had a prehistoric European origin (and ruled out the Khazar hypothesis). Combined with previous Y chromosome studies indicating that the male line is Middle Eastern, the results suggested a scenario in which Jewish males married European females after traveling to Europe.
    Now another paper, by Shai Carmi et al., reinforces this scenario, finding an “even mix of European and Middle Eastern ancestral populations”

    On the maternal line, Ashkenazis are predominantly european while on their paternal line they r mostly middle easterner. Interestingly, they seem to have acquired most of their european admixture in Italy, northern italy if memory serves. As someone else wrote:'Genetic similarities between Italians and Ashkenazi Jews are due to the fact that about half of Jews' ancestry is European, a lot of which came from Italy when diaspora males migrated to Rome and found wives among local women who then converted to Judaism. The same process happened again to a lesser degree in other parts of Europe as Jews migrated further north.'

    That is what the most recent genetic studies demonstrate.

    Ashkenazi Jews seem to be, at best, half european(of course there r individual jews who r fully euro but i'm referring to pop.avgs).
    Sicilians have a little bit of non-euro admixture, which, according to many genetic studies are basically within the avg levels of admixture in Europe.
    But the point of Prof.Kevin MacDonald stands of course. Organized Jewry, not Sicilians, is hostile to europeans and people of european descent and have been working actively against the best interests of europeans.

    Genetics for Ashkenazi Jews & Italians, including southerners.

    Jews:
    Naama M Kopelman et al.
    Genomic microsatellites identify shared Jewish ancestry intermediate between Middle Eastern and European populations
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2797531/

    Marta Costas et al.
    http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2013/131008/ncomms3543/full/ncomms3543.html

    Shai Carmi et al.
    http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2014/140909/ncomms5835/full/ncomms5835.html

    Italian Genetics( includes sicilians):

    Combined data from two large mtDNA studies provides an estimate of non-Caucasoid maternal ancestry in Italians. The first study sampled 411 Italians from all over the country and found five South Asian M and East Asian D sequences (1.2%) and eight sub-Saharan African L sequences (1.9%). The second study sampled 465 Sicilians and detected ten M sequences (2.2%) and three L sequences (0.65%). This makes a total of 3% non-white maternal admixture (1.3% Asian and 1.7% African), which is very low and typical for European populations, since Pliss et al. 2005, e.g., observed 1.8% Asian admixture in Poles and 1.2% African admixture in Germans.
    (Plaza et al. 2003; Romano et al. 2003)
     

    Similar data from the Y-chromosome reveals Italians' even lower non-Caucasoid paternal admixture. Both studies obtained samples from all over the mainland and islands. No Asian DNA was detected anywhere, but a single sub-Saharan African E(xE3b) sequence was found in the first study's sample of 416 (0.2%), and six were observed in the second study's sample of 746 (0.8%). The total is therefore a minuscule 0.6%, which decreases to 0.4% if only Southern Italians are considered and 0% if only Sicilians are considered. Again, these are normal levels of admixture for European populations (e.g. Austrians were found to have 0.8% E(xE3b) by Brion et al. 2004). (Semino et al. 2004; Cruciani et al. 2004)
     

    An analysis of 10 autosomal allele frequencies in Southern Europeans (including Italians, Sicilians and Sardinians) and various Middle Eastern/North African populations revealed a "line of sharp genetic change [that] runs from Gibraltar to Lebanon," which has divided the Mediterranean into distinct northern and southern clusters since at least the Neolithic period. The authors conclude that "gene flow [across the sea] was more the exception than the rule," attributing this result to "a joint product of initial geographic isolation and successive cultural divergence, leading to the origin of cultural barriers to population admixture."
    (Simoni et al. 1999)

     

    Simoni et al. (1999) "divide the Mediterranean area into 2 large clusters, a northern cluster and a southern cluster," noting that "the existence of sharp genetic differences between the northern and southern coasts means that gene flow was more the exception than the rule." This is seen as "a joint product of initial geographic isolation and successive cultural divergence, leading to the origin of cultural barriers to population admixture." Samples in this study include Middle Easterners and North Africans (southern coast), and Italians from the mainland and islands (northern coast). [10]

    Kandil et al. (1999) have analyzed populations on both sides of the Mediterranean sea, finding that "the major genetic differentiation axis in the Mediterranean basin is a north-south axis", which "clearly differentiates the North African and Middle Eastern populations from the European populations. ... As expected, the highest distances are shown by the European-North African comparisons [while] the lowest genetic distances correspond to intra-European comparisons." Included on the 'European' side are mainland Italians, Sicilians and Sardinians. [11]


    Vona et al. (1998), in a study on western Sicilians, conclude that "the genetic differentiation of the population of Trapani [a former Carthaginian center] and the populations of southern Italy appears quite clear cut from the populations of North Africa. Our analysis seems, therefore, not to confirm the existence of an evident genic flow [from] the Northern African populations." The study also notes that "Palermo [a Phoenician city and later Moorish capital] lies close to Calabria" in a "branch group[ing] all the Italian and European populations" together, separate from the North African ones. [12]

    Scozzari et al. (2001) identify a Y-chromosome mutation that "diverged from the ancestor HG25.1 somewhere in North Africa a few thousand years ago", and is thus indicative of recent gene flow from North African males. The authors report that the marker "HG25.2 was seen at generally low frequencies in Spain, France, and Italy" (0.8% in Sicilians). [13]

    Cruciani et al. (2004) confirm the above, using the frequencies of 'Berber' mutations (now labeled E-M81 and E-M78β) in large sample populations to estimate that North African paternal admixture within the past 5000 years amounts to 1.5% in Northern Italians, 2.2% in Central Italians, 0% in Southern Italians, 1.4% in Sardinians and 1.4% in Sicilians. [14]

    Capelli et al. (2005) identify the Y-chromosome marker J*(xJ2) (or J-M267) as possible evidence of modern Arab/Semitic, rather than prehistoric Neolithic, gene flow from the Near East. This lineage exists at the low frequency of 5.2% in Sicilians, with no significant difference between the eastern and western halves of the island.[15]

    Romano et al. (2003) detect sub-Saharan (Negroid) mtDNA sequences at a rate of 0.65% in a Sicilian sample of 465, which is comparable to admixture levels for Western and Northern Europe. Asian mtDNA is observed at a frequency of 2.2%, again consistent with Northern and Eastern European admixture levels.
  33. @Dmitry Pruss
    I vaguely remembered that there was an infamous miscegenation court case in the US where it was supposedly decided that the Sicilians weren't white.

    Actually the 1922 case, Rollins vs. State of Alabama, isn't as straightforward. The judge just concluded that it was impossible to ascertain if "the woman in question, Edith Labue, was a white woman, or that she did not have negro blood in her veins" and threw the case on the basis of reasonable doubt, without deciding if she was indeed not "white".

    But other sources claim that in Louisiana and Mississippi, Sicilian children did have to attend segregated non-white schools

    “I vaguely remembered that there was an infamous miscegenation court case in the US where it was supposedly decided that the Sicilians weren’t white.

    Actually the 1922 case, Rollins vs. State of Alabama, isn’t as straightforward. The judge just concluded that it was impossible to ascertain if “the woman in question, Edith Labue, was a white woman, or that she did not have negro blood in her veins” and threw the case on the basis of reasonable doubt, without deciding if she was indeed not “white”.

    But other sources claim that in Louisiana and Mississippi, Sicilian children did have to attend segregated non-white schools”

    I could see the half Hungarian and half Sicilian actor Robert Hegyes being mistaken for a light skin Black man if he had lived in Mississippi or Louisiana during Jim Crow. He can grow a mean Jewfro.

  34. Few points:

    1) Muslims were completely expelled from Sicily to North Africa. Most of them were local converts and that explains the shared IBD segments. IBD analysis doesn’t shows the direction of the admixture.

    2) All Italians share more IBD with Northern and Eastern Europeans than with West Asians. That says a lot about the source of slaves in Italy. Medieval Italian cities were importing tens of thousands of Slavic and Germanic slaves annually. The same word “slave” denotes the Slavic origin of the servants.

    3) Ralph and Coop found that South Italians share quite a lot of IBD segments with Albanians and Yugoslavs in the middle age. No Italians share significant IBD with West Asians in the last 2500 years.

    • Replies: @patrick
    You make a lot of claims that you provide no evidence to support.
    1) North Africans have recent Italian ancestry but there is no North African ancestry in Italy (even in Sicily)?
    2) All Italians share more IBD with Northern and Eastern Europeans (including Scandinavians and Russians) than with ANY West Asians? Slaves from Slavic and other Northern European lands made a significant genetic contribution but other slaves did not?

    Quote the studies or post a link to them. Links to italicroots (which is an agenda driven racialist site) do not count.

    PS. I am of Sicilian ancestry so don't accuse me of being anti-Italian.
  35. @German_reader
    "The likely period when this admixture occurred is when Sicily was an Arab emirate, from 830 to 1070. More or less Sicily was then part of the greater Maghreb. Calabria also had a Muslim presence, though more tenuous."

    I recall having read once that there's evidence for emigration of North African Christians to Southern Italy after the Islamic conquests (have forgotten exactly where I read that, probably some regional history). Maybe that could also play a role for the findings on mainland Southern Italy (though that emigration would presumably have happened earlier than 1000 years ago).

    An event most ignored in the Western history – is that the Southern part of Italy (Crete, Sicily) was under Muslim rule from 878 CE to 1072 CE. During this period of time the island became a ‘smiling garden’, proud of its achievements in sciences, trade and industry. It in fact, the new state acted as a bridge between the Dark Age Europe and the great Islamic civilization which existed in Muslim Spain during that period.

    “Both Milan and Venice were thriving commercial cities, thriving entirely from trade with Saracens. In fact the whole Renaissance, the “revival of learning in Europr”, inexplicably “arose” in Italy, that long, narrow peninsula with Saracen civilization brilliant at its tip, and its every port opening to the Saracens’ Sea,” – Rose Wilder Lane, in “Islam and the Discovery of Freedom”.

    http://rehmat1.com/2009/09/20/islamic-state-of-sicily/

    • Replies: @Razib Khan
    An event most ignored in the Western history – is that the Southern part of Italy (Crete, Sicily) was under Muslim rule from 878 CE to 1072 CE.

    i mention this in the post. i assume you read it?
  36. Why has nobody mentioned Hannibal’s army, which lived off the land in Southern Italy unimpeded by Roman armies from the Battle of Cannae in 216 bce to at least Hannibal’s recall to Carthage in 202 bce? Undoubtedly a lot of his replacement troops were mercenaries of Celtic and Italian or Greek extraction. But his original force of perhaps 40,000 were from Carthage, Numidian allies, and troops from south of the Ebro in Iberia. As deserters and foragers spread out over South Italy, the amount of genetic distribution must have been consequential and lasted for a generation. Probably few troops were recalled with Hannibal after over 15 years in Italy, the rest went stayed with their conquest. (How many passengers, not crew, per ship? How many ships to recall Hannibal and his staff?). Like old HMMWVs, a common soldier wasn’t economically worth the transport cost.

    I suggest this historical event 2200 ya is the source of the Moroccan and Mozabite strain in Southern Italy, not from raiders during post-Arab times.

    • Replies: @Shaikorth
    The paper's dating doesn't match the Carthaginians in that case though, for South Italy the majority of North African related admixture events were supposed to happen 1000 years ago or a bit more recently (table S5c)
    http://www.nature.com/ejhg/journal/vaop/ncurrent/extref/ejhg2015233x11.doc

    As Razib wrote these events are older in the north, for Central Italy two oldest hit the Carthaginian timeframe and the rest date about late Roman period.
    , @History Buff

    Why has nobody mentioned Hannibal’s army, which lived off the land in Southern Italy unimpeded by Roman armies from the Battle of Cannae in 216 bce to at least Hannibal’s recall to Carthage in 202 bce? Undoubtedly a lot of his replacement troops were mercenaries of Celtic and Italian or Greek extraction. But his original force of perhaps 40,000 were from Carthage, Numidian allies, and troops from south of the Ebro in Iberia. As deserters and foragers spread out over South Italy, the amount of genetic distribution must have been consequential and lasted for a generation. Probably few troops were recalled with Hannibal after over 15 years in Italy, the rest went stayed with their conquest. (How many passengers, not crew, per ship? How many ships to recall Hannibal and his staff?). Like old HMMWVs, a common soldier wasn’t economically worth the transport cost.
     
    First of all, because it was only a military campaign, hardly a large-scale migration of people, and second, because the Carthaginian armies in Europe were in fact predominantly made up of Iberian, Celtiberian and Celtic recruits, not the Carthaginians themselves. Unlike the Roman armies, which in early times were composed mostly of the Romans themselves, the Carthaginian armies were mostly made up of local mercenaries and conscripts from wherever the Carthaginians happen to have been in. The Carthaginians were the leaders and elites, while the majority of the troops were local allies and mercenaries.

    I suggest this historical event 2200 ya is the source of the Moroccan and Mozabite strain in Southern Italy, not from raiders during post-Arab times.
     
    One would be inclined to think so, but unfortunately their estimate does not give a Roman era time-frame for this ancestry in Southern Italy, while it does for Northern and Central Italy.
  37. @Andrew Lancaster
    I recall from some of the first autosomal studies that Italians were often found to be inexplicably similar to both Sephardi and Ashkenazi Jewish populations. I do not recall anyone ever explaining this convincingly. Is it now simply seen as an association which disappears when testing became more detailed, and populations with similar ancestral "ingredients" could be distinguished as not having the same actual single mixed ancestral population?
  38. “Africa begins at Sicily”

  39. “All Italians share more IBD with Northern and Eastern Europeans than with West Asians.”

    So John and Nicholas Turturro for example are genetically closer in ancestry to Northern Europeans than they are to Middle Eastern people? Than phenotype wise do they look closer to Israelis and Palestinians in phenotype than they do to Swedes and Norwegians?

    • Replies: @L.K
    Well, I could not say anything about Nicholas Turturro specifically - who by the way does not represent what avg sicilians look like - but re the sicilian people as a whole, the answer is YES.
    Sicilians cluster with Europe not with the middle East.
    Photos of People from Catania, Sicily
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IgLrGspKxm8

    Take a look at my previous post with a lot of genetic evidence.

    Ignorant people equate blond/red hair/extremely pale skin with europeans while darker types must mean non european admixture but that is nonsense. The fact of the matter is that europeans range from brunette to blondes.
    Mediterranean types are present in most of Europe, for instance in the british isles. They r indigenous there, pre-dating the roman conquest.
    That is how we have irish and welsh folks like Colin Farrell & Catherine Zeta-Jones.
  40. The few Italians who post on Stormfront, they all claim to be either blond haired and blue eyed or light brown haired and blue eyed. And they all say that the darker haired and darker eyed Italians are either Jews, Arab immigrants, or Gypsies and don’t represent the real Italian people, LOL.

    Than I guess The U.S mostly received Italy’s Jewish, Arab, and Gypsy population at Ellis Island.

    • Replies: @Rollo
    Pigmentation is an environmental adaption. It has nothing to do with those genetic components.

    http://www.gnxp.com/blog/2008/12/nlsy-blogging-eye-and-hair-color-of.php

    According to this survey 35% of pure Italian Americans (90% are from the South) have either pure light and hazel eyes. Hazel eyes being these.

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f5/Hazel_green_eyes_close_up.jpg

    By contrast 65% of German Americans have pure light and hazel eyes.

  41. @BroadMindedDude
    Why has nobody mentioned Hannibal's army, which lived off the land in Southern Italy unimpeded by Roman armies from the Battle of Cannae in 216 bce to at least Hannibal's recall to Carthage in 202 bce? Undoubtedly a lot of his replacement troops were mercenaries of Celtic and Italian or Greek extraction. But his original force of perhaps 40,000 were from Carthage, Numidian allies, and troops from south of the Ebro in Iberia. As deserters and foragers spread out over South Italy, the amount of genetic distribution must have been consequential and lasted for a generation. Probably few troops were recalled with Hannibal after over 15 years in Italy, the rest went stayed with their conquest. (How many passengers, not crew, per ship? How many ships to recall Hannibal and his staff?). Like old HMMWVs, a common soldier wasn't economically worth the transport cost.

    I suggest this historical event 2200 ya is the source of the Moroccan and Mozabite strain in Southern Italy, not from raiders during post-Arab times.

    The paper’s dating doesn’t match the Carthaginians in that case though, for South Italy the majority of North African related admixture events were supposed to happen 1000 years ago or a bit more recently (table S5c)
    http://www.nature.com/ejhg/journal/vaop/ncurrent/extref/ejhg2015233x11.doc

    As Razib wrote these events are older in the north, for Central Italy two oldest hit the Carthaginian timeframe and the rest date about late Roman period.

  42. @Aaron Gross

    But, Southern Italians, and from what I have seen in private data Sicilians in particular, are distinct because of a possible admixture signal with exotic groups you don’t normally see in Europeans. ... There is a lot of evidence that this admixture is North African.
     
    [emphasis in the original]

    This is relevant to an exchange I once had with Kevin MacDonald in the comments of his Occidental Observer blog. He posted something about the low number of whites on the US Supreme Court. I questioned his counting: He counted the European Jews as non-white, but he counted the Sicilian Anthony Scalia as white. I asked whether Sicilians were really "more European" (whatever that means) genetically than Ashkenazi Jews.

    He said he didn't know about Sicilians, but quoted something about Sardinians as the closest he had. But the rest of his reply shocked me. He said that the racial category "white" (or maybe he wrote "White") was not determined by genes, or genealogy. Whether a group is white, according to Kevin MacDonald, is defined by a combination of its genealogy (he might have said "genetics") and its political stance regarding whites.

    Interesting that white nationalists like MacDonald agree that race is (at least partly) a social construct. If they believe that Sicilians and Ashkenazi Jews are different races (despite similar genetic profiles) because of Jews’ political stance, then they are defining race as a social construct.

    • Replies: @Jefferson
    "Interesting that white nationalists like MacDonald agree that race is (at least partly) a social construct. If they believe that Sicilians and Ashkenazi Jews are different races (despite similar genetic profiles) because of Jews’ political stance, then they are defining race as a social construct."

    Since Kevin MacDonald sees Sicilians and Ashkenazi Jews as completely different races who look nothing like each other racially , he must think that the casting of James Caan as Al Pacino's brother in The Godfather is the equivalent of casting Wesley Snipes to play Owen Wilson's brother.
    , @Aaron Gross
    Exactly. That's what surprised me so much in his reply. It was much more extreme than just acknowledging the social construction of the category "white." MacDonald went much further than that and said that he explicitly uses politics to categorize races.

    Hypothetically, if Jews were to become politically "pro-white," then MacDonald might personally classify Justices Kagan and Ginsburg as white. Even the "race is a social construct" definition of "white" isn't that volatile.
  43. @Rollo
    Few points:

    1) Muslims were completely expelled from Sicily to North Africa. Most of them were local converts and that explains the shared IBD segments. IBD analysis doesn't shows the direction of the admixture.

    2) All Italians share more IBD with Northern and Eastern Europeans than with West Asians. That says a lot about the source of slaves in Italy. Medieval Italian cities were importing tens of thousands of Slavic and Germanic slaves annually. The same word "slave" denotes the Slavic origin of the servants.

    3) Ralph and Coop found that South Italians share quite a lot of IBD segments with Albanians and Yugoslavs in the middle age. No Italians share significant IBD with West Asians in the last 2500 years.

    You make a lot of claims that you provide no evidence to support.
    1) North Africans have recent Italian ancestry but there is no North African ancestry in Italy (even in Sicily)?
    2) All Italians share more IBD with Northern and Eastern Europeans (including Scandinavians and Russians) than with ANY West Asians? Slaves from Slavic and other Northern European lands made a significant genetic contribution but other slaves did not?

    Quote the studies or post a link to them. Links to italicroots (which is an agenda driven racialist site) do not count.

    PS. I am of Sicilian ancestry so don’t accuse me of being anti-Italian.

    • Replies: @L.K
    I did not read rollos post but, basically, Genetics show there was very little demographic impact as a result of Roman Slavery, which is what is mostly claimed by some people.

    Regarding slavery in Roman times:

    "However, one piece of negative evidence...provides an intriguing hint that conventional estimates of slaves making up as much as 40 percent of Italy's population by the late first century B.C. may be far too high. An analysis of the genetic makeup of Italy's modern population argues that the various distinctive genetic combinations currently found in different regions within the peninsula by and large track the linguistic distribution that resulted from the migrations of the Iron Age. No data indicate the subsequent large-scale infusion of new genetic material into the populations of these regions except in the case of southern Italy and eastern Sicily, which is explained by the well-documented Greek migrations there. ... But if a population of 3 million slaves, representing as much as 40 percent of Italy's inhabitants in the first century B.C., was successfully reproducing itself, it would surely have left its mark on the genetic makeup of contemporary Italians. That it did not argues strongly for a very low rate of natural reproduction among Italy's slaves, which in turn is difficult to reconcile with the hypothesis that the number of slaves ever grew large enough to comprise 40 percent of the Italian population."
    (Nathan Rosenstein. Rome at War: Farms, Families, and Death in the Middle Republic. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2004.)

     

    , @Rollo
    1) You are confusing IBD and admixture. It's stated in the supp info of this same study that North African admixture is found above noise levels only in Sicily. Sardinia and Calabria (Reggio Calabria only). Southern Italians from Basilicata lack it. The shared IBD segments between Italians and North Africans are due to mass expulsions of muslims (90% of whom were native converts) to North Africa. The Aragonese imported the inquisition in Sicily after the War of the Sicilian Vespers, which quickly expelled any muslims left (including the ones who had converted to christianity).

    2) It's stated in the supp tables of this same study. Read all the stuff and do not make me quote everything. All mainland Italians share 5 or 6 times more IBD segments with North and Eastern Europeans than with West Asians. That means that whatever genetic impact the "middle eastern" immigrants had on Italy, it was dwarfed by the one from the Slavs, Germanics, Magyars, Normans, etc...

    This is also confirmed by Ralph and Coop et al. 2012. Italians actually share less IBD segments with West Asians than many Balkan/Eastern Europeans.
  44. L.K says:
    @Aaron Gross

    But, Southern Italians, and from what I have seen in private data Sicilians in particular, are distinct because of a possible admixture signal with exotic groups you don’t normally see in Europeans. ... There is a lot of evidence that this admixture is North African.
     
    [emphasis in the original]

    This is relevant to an exchange I once had with Kevin MacDonald in the comments of his Occidental Observer blog. He posted something about the low number of whites on the US Supreme Court. I questioned his counting: He counted the European Jews as non-white, but he counted the Sicilian Anthony Scalia as white. I asked whether Sicilians were really "more European" (whatever that means) genetically than Ashkenazi Jews.

    He said he didn't know about Sicilians, but quoted something about Sardinians as the closest he had. But the rest of his reply shocked me. He said that the racial category "white" (or maybe he wrote "White") was not determined by genes, or genealogy. Whether a group is white, according to Kevin MacDonald, is defined by a combination of its genealogy (he might have said "genetics") and its political stance regarding whites.

    Aaron writes:
    ” I asked whether Sicilians were really “more European” (whatever that means) genetically than Ashkenazi Jews”

    Yes, Sicilians ARE genetically A LOT MORE European than Ashkenazi Jews simply bc Sicilians are an european population while Ashkenazis are a people of mixed origins clustering between Europeans and Mid Easterners.

    As Prof.MacDonald wrote: “A recent paper by Marta Costa et al. found that around 80% of Ashkenazi mitochondrial DNA had a prehistoric European origin (and ruled out the Khazar hypothesis). Combined with previous Y chromosome studies indicating that the male line is Middle Eastern, the results suggested a scenario in which Jewish males married European females after traveling to Europe.
    Now another paper, by Shai Carmi et al., reinforces this scenario, finding an “even mix of European and Middle Eastern ancestral populations”

    On the maternal line, Ashkenazis are predominantly european while on their paternal line they r mostly middle easterner. Interestingly, they seem to have acquired most of their european admixture in Italy, northern italy if memory serves. As someone else wrote:’Genetic similarities between Italians and Ashkenazi Jews are due to the fact that about half of Jews’ ancestry is European, a lot of which came from Italy when diaspora males migrated to Rome and found wives among local women who then converted to Judaism. The same process happened again to a lesser degree in other parts of Europe as Jews migrated further north.’

    That is what the most recent genetic studies demonstrate.

    Ashkenazi Jews seem to be, at best, half european(of course there r individual jews who r fully euro but i’m referring to pop.avgs).
    Sicilians have a little bit of non-euro admixture, which, according to many genetic studies are basically within the avg levels of admixture in Europe.
    But the point of Prof.Kevin MacDonald stands of course. Organized Jewry, not Sicilians, is hostile to europeans and people of european descent and have been working actively against the best interests of europeans.

    Genetics for Ashkenazi Jews & Italians, including southerners.

    Jews:
    Naama M Kopelman et al.
    Genomic microsatellites identify shared Jewish ancestry intermediate between Middle Eastern and European populations
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2797531/

    Marta Costas et al.
    http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2013/131008/ncomms3543/full/ncomms3543.html

    Shai Carmi et al.
    http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2014/140909/ncomms5835/full/ncomms5835.html

    Italian Genetics( includes sicilians):

    Combined data from two large mtDNA studies provides an estimate of non-Caucasoid maternal ancestry in Italians. The first study sampled 411 Italians from all over the country and found five South Asian M and East Asian D sequences (1.2%) and eight sub-Saharan African L sequences (1.9%). The second study sampled 465 Sicilians and detected ten M sequences (2.2%) and three L sequences (0.65%). This makes a total of 3% non-white maternal admixture (1.3% Asian and 1.7% African), which is very low and typical for European populations, since Pliss et al. 2005, e.g., observed 1.8% Asian admixture in Poles and 1.2% African admixture in Germans.
    (Plaza et al. 2003; Romano et al. 2003)

    Similar data from the Y-chromosome reveals Italians’ even lower non-Caucasoid paternal admixture. Both studies obtained samples from all over the mainland and islands. No Asian DNA was detected anywhere, but a single sub-Saharan African E(xE3b) sequence was found in the first study’s sample of 416 (0.2%), and six were observed in the second study’s sample of 746 (0.8%). The total is therefore a minuscule 0.6%, which decreases to 0.4% if only Southern Italians are considered and 0% if only Sicilians are considered. Again, these are normal levels of admixture for European populations (e.g. Austrians were found to have 0.8% E(xE3b) by Brion et al. 2004). (Semino et al. 2004; Cruciani et al. 2004)

    An analysis of 10 autosomal allele frequencies in Southern Europeans (including Italians, Sicilians and Sardinians) and various Middle Eastern/North African populations revealed a “line of sharp genetic change [that] runs from Gibraltar to Lebanon,” which has divided the Mediterranean into distinct northern and southern clusters since at least the Neolithic period. The authors conclude that “gene flow [across the sea] was more the exception than the rule,” attributing this result to “a joint product of initial geographic isolation and successive cultural divergence, leading to the origin of cultural barriers to population admixture.”
    (Simoni et al. 1999)

    Simoni et al. (1999) “divide the Mediterranean area into 2 large clusters, a northern cluster and a southern cluster,” noting that “the existence of sharp genetic differences between the northern and southern coasts means that gene flow was more the exception than the rule.” This is seen as “a joint product of initial geographic isolation and successive cultural divergence, leading to the origin of cultural barriers to population admixture.” Samples in this study include Middle Easterners and North Africans (southern coast), and Italians from the mainland and islands (northern coast). [10]

    Kandil et al. (1999) have analyzed populations on both sides of the Mediterranean sea, finding that “the major genetic differentiation axis in the Mediterranean basin is a north-south axis”, which “clearly differentiates the North African and Middle Eastern populations from the European populations. … As expected, the highest distances are shown by the European-North African comparisons [while] the lowest genetic distances correspond to intra-European comparisons.” Included on the ‘European’ side are mainland Italians, Sicilians and Sardinians. [11]

    Vona et al. (1998), in a study on western Sicilians, conclude that “the genetic differentiation of the population of Trapani [a former Carthaginian center] and the populations of southern Italy appears quite clear cut from the populations of North Africa. Our analysis seems, therefore, not to confirm the existence of an evident genic flow [from] the Northern African populations.” The study also notes that “Palermo [a Phoenician city and later Moorish capital] lies close to Calabria” in a “branch group[ing] all the Italian and European populations” together, separate from the North African ones. [12]

    Scozzari et al. (2001) identify a Y-chromosome mutation that “diverged from the ancestor HG25.1 somewhere in North Africa a few thousand years ago”, and is thus indicative of recent gene flow from North African males. The authors report that the marker “HG25.2 was seen at generally low frequencies in Spain, France, and Italy” (0.8% in Sicilians). [13]

    Cruciani et al. (2004) confirm the above, using the frequencies of ‘Berber’ mutations (now labeled E-M81 and E-M78β) in large sample populations to estimate that North African paternal admixture within the past 5000 years amounts to 1.5% in Northern Italians, 2.2% in Central Italians, 0% in Southern Italians, 1.4% in Sardinians and 1.4% in Sicilians. [14]

    Capelli et al. (2005) identify the Y-chromosome marker J*(xJ2) (or J-M267) as possible evidence of modern Arab/Semitic, rather than prehistoric Neolithic, gene flow from the Near East. This lineage exists at the low frequency of 5.2% in Sicilians, with no significant difference between the eastern and western halves of the island.[15]

    Romano et al. (2003) detect sub-Saharan (Negroid) mtDNA sequences at a rate of 0.65% in a Sicilian sample of 465, which is comparable to admixture levels for Western and Northern Europe. Asian mtDNA is observed at a frequency of 2.2%, again consistent with Northern and Eastern European admixture levels.

    • Replies: @Razib Khan
    Yes, Sicilians ARE genetically A LOT MORE European than Ashkenazi Jews simply bc Sicilians are an european population while Ashkenazis are a people of mixed origins clustering between Europeans and Mid Easterners.

    i have sicilian genotypes through my work and familyTreeDNA. i don't need to cite papers, i have run the analyses. it is in fact the case that ashkenazi jews and sicilians do seem suggestively similar, but its because both are admixed from italian with middle easternish stock. they are differentiable mostly because ashkenazi jews went through a bottleneck and have lots of medium IBD segments.

    please don't attempt to respond with a raft of papers. as i said, i have the genetic data on my computer, and have run the analyses for months for ftDNA as part of a task. you can not believe me, but it is clear to me that ashkenazi jews and sicilians exhibit strong correspondences due to their similarities of admixture.
  45. @patrick
    You make a lot of claims that you provide no evidence to support.
    1) North Africans have recent Italian ancestry but there is no North African ancestry in Italy (even in Sicily)?
    2) All Italians share more IBD with Northern and Eastern Europeans (including Scandinavians and Russians) than with ANY West Asians? Slaves from Slavic and other Northern European lands made a significant genetic contribution but other slaves did not?

    Quote the studies or post a link to them. Links to italicroots (which is an agenda driven racialist site) do not count.

    PS. I am of Sicilian ancestry so don't accuse me of being anti-Italian.

    I did not read rollos post but, basically, Genetics show there was very little demographic impact as a result of Roman Slavery, which is what is mostly claimed by some people.

    Regarding slavery in Roman times:

    “However, one piece of negative evidence…provides an intriguing hint that conventional estimates of slaves making up as much as 40 percent of Italy’s population by the late first century B.C. may be far too high. An analysis of the genetic makeup of Italy’s modern population argues that the various distinctive genetic combinations currently found in different regions within the peninsula by and large track the linguistic distribution that resulted from the migrations of the Iron Age. No data indicate the subsequent large-scale infusion of new genetic material into the populations of these regions except in the case of southern Italy and eastern Sicily, which is explained by the well-documented Greek migrations there. … But if a population of 3 million slaves, representing as much as 40 percent of Italy’s inhabitants in the first century B.C., was successfully reproducing itself, it would surely have left its mark on the genetic makeup of contemporary Italians. That it did not argues strongly for a very low rate of natural reproduction among Italy’s slaves, which in turn is difficult to reconcile with the hypothesis that the number of slaves ever grew large enough to comprise 40 percent of the Italian population.”
    (Nathan Rosenstein. Rome at War: Farms, Families, and Death in the Middle Republic. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2004.)

    • Replies: @Razib Khan
    Genetics show there was very little demographic impact as a result of Roman Slavery,

    this is a defensible statement. but as i said above, the historical texts are sufficient to also infer this. slaves were last in line during times of want, and many masters did not seem to want small children who were not economically productive. they had very low fertility, and in some parts of the classical world were banned from having children (i assume infanticide would be a solution?).

    the slave reproductive rate in the american south seems to be sui generis. even in the carribean and south america their did not keep at replacement.
    , @patrick
    That may be true regarding Roman slavery. He claimed that there was a large Northern European genetic impact from medieval slavery. I can't recall the study, but the authors suggested that the Northern European ancestry might be from the barbarian invasions, and is predominantly in the north rather than throughout the peninsula.
  46. @Rehmat
    An event most ignored in the Western history – is that the Southern part of Italy (Crete, Sicily) was under Muslim rule from 878 CE to 1072 CE. During this period of time the island became a ‘smiling garden’, proud of its achievements in sciences, trade and industry. It in fact, the new state acted as a bridge between the Dark Age Europe and the great Islamic civilization which existed in Muslim Spain during that period.

    "Both Milan and Venice were thriving commercial cities, thriving entirely from trade with Saracens. In fact the whole Renaissance, the "revival of learning in Europr", inexplicably “arose” in Italy, that long, narrow peninsula with Saracen civilization brilliant at its tip, and its every port opening to the Saracens’ Sea," – Rose Wilder Lane, in "Islam and the Discovery of Freedom".

    http://rehmat1.com/2009/09/20/islamic-state-of-sicily/

    An event most ignored in the Western history – is that the Southern part of Italy (Crete, Sicily) was under Muslim rule from 878 CE to 1072 CE.

    i mention this in the post. i assume you read it?

  47. @L.K
    I did not read rollos post but, basically, Genetics show there was very little demographic impact as a result of Roman Slavery, which is what is mostly claimed by some people.

    Regarding slavery in Roman times:

    "However, one piece of negative evidence...provides an intriguing hint that conventional estimates of slaves making up as much as 40 percent of Italy's population by the late first century B.C. may be far too high. An analysis of the genetic makeup of Italy's modern population argues that the various distinctive genetic combinations currently found in different regions within the peninsula by and large track the linguistic distribution that resulted from the migrations of the Iron Age. No data indicate the subsequent large-scale infusion of new genetic material into the populations of these regions except in the case of southern Italy and eastern Sicily, which is explained by the well-documented Greek migrations there. ... But if a population of 3 million slaves, representing as much as 40 percent of Italy's inhabitants in the first century B.C., was successfully reproducing itself, it would surely have left its mark on the genetic makeup of contemporary Italians. That it did not argues strongly for a very low rate of natural reproduction among Italy's slaves, which in turn is difficult to reconcile with the hypothesis that the number of slaves ever grew large enough to comprise 40 percent of the Italian population."
    (Nathan Rosenstein. Rome at War: Farms, Families, and Death in the Middle Republic. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2004.)

     

    Genetics show there was very little demographic impact as a result of Roman Slavery,

    this is a defensible statement. but as i said above, the historical texts are sufficient to also infer this. slaves were last in line during times of want, and many masters did not seem to want small children who were not economically productive. they had very low fertility, and in some parts of the classical world were banned from having children (i assume infanticide would be a solution?).

    the slave reproductive rate in the american south seems to be sui generis. even in the carribean and south america their did not keep at replacement.

  48. @L.K
    Aaron writes:
    " I asked whether Sicilians were really “more European” (whatever that means) genetically than Ashkenazi Jews"


    Yes, Sicilians ARE genetically A LOT MORE European than Ashkenazi Jews simply bc Sicilians are an european population while Ashkenazis are a people of mixed origins clustering between Europeans and Mid Easterners.

    As Prof.MacDonald wrote: "A recent paper by Marta Costa et al. found that around 80% of Ashkenazi mitochondrial DNA had a prehistoric European origin (and ruled out the Khazar hypothesis). Combined with previous Y chromosome studies indicating that the male line is Middle Eastern, the results suggested a scenario in which Jewish males married European females after traveling to Europe.
    Now another paper, by Shai Carmi et al., reinforces this scenario, finding an “even mix of European and Middle Eastern ancestral populations”

    On the maternal line, Ashkenazis are predominantly european while on their paternal line they r mostly middle easterner. Interestingly, they seem to have acquired most of their european admixture in Italy, northern italy if memory serves. As someone else wrote:'Genetic similarities between Italians and Ashkenazi Jews are due to the fact that about half of Jews' ancestry is European, a lot of which came from Italy when diaspora males migrated to Rome and found wives among local women who then converted to Judaism. The same process happened again to a lesser degree in other parts of Europe as Jews migrated further north.'

    That is what the most recent genetic studies demonstrate.

    Ashkenazi Jews seem to be, at best, half european(of course there r individual jews who r fully euro but i'm referring to pop.avgs).
    Sicilians have a little bit of non-euro admixture, which, according to many genetic studies are basically within the avg levels of admixture in Europe.
    But the point of Prof.Kevin MacDonald stands of course. Organized Jewry, not Sicilians, is hostile to europeans and people of european descent and have been working actively against the best interests of europeans.

    Genetics for Ashkenazi Jews & Italians, including southerners.

    Jews:
    Naama M Kopelman et al.
    Genomic microsatellites identify shared Jewish ancestry intermediate between Middle Eastern and European populations
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2797531/

    Marta Costas et al.
    http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2013/131008/ncomms3543/full/ncomms3543.html

    Shai Carmi et al.
    http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2014/140909/ncomms5835/full/ncomms5835.html

    Italian Genetics( includes sicilians):

    Combined data from two large mtDNA studies provides an estimate of non-Caucasoid maternal ancestry in Italians. The first study sampled 411 Italians from all over the country and found five South Asian M and East Asian D sequences (1.2%) and eight sub-Saharan African L sequences (1.9%). The second study sampled 465 Sicilians and detected ten M sequences (2.2%) and three L sequences (0.65%). This makes a total of 3% non-white maternal admixture (1.3% Asian and 1.7% African), which is very low and typical for European populations, since Pliss et al. 2005, e.g., observed 1.8% Asian admixture in Poles and 1.2% African admixture in Germans.
    (Plaza et al. 2003; Romano et al. 2003)
     

    Similar data from the Y-chromosome reveals Italians' even lower non-Caucasoid paternal admixture. Both studies obtained samples from all over the mainland and islands. No Asian DNA was detected anywhere, but a single sub-Saharan African E(xE3b) sequence was found in the first study's sample of 416 (0.2%), and six were observed in the second study's sample of 746 (0.8%). The total is therefore a minuscule 0.6%, which decreases to 0.4% if only Southern Italians are considered and 0% if only Sicilians are considered. Again, these are normal levels of admixture for European populations (e.g. Austrians were found to have 0.8% E(xE3b) by Brion et al. 2004). (Semino et al. 2004; Cruciani et al. 2004)
     

    An analysis of 10 autosomal allele frequencies in Southern Europeans (including Italians, Sicilians and Sardinians) and various Middle Eastern/North African populations revealed a "line of sharp genetic change [that] runs from Gibraltar to Lebanon," which has divided the Mediterranean into distinct northern and southern clusters since at least the Neolithic period. The authors conclude that "gene flow [across the sea] was more the exception than the rule," attributing this result to "a joint product of initial geographic isolation and successive cultural divergence, leading to the origin of cultural barriers to population admixture."
    (Simoni et al. 1999)

     

    Simoni et al. (1999) "divide the Mediterranean area into 2 large clusters, a northern cluster and a southern cluster," noting that "the existence of sharp genetic differences between the northern and southern coasts means that gene flow was more the exception than the rule." This is seen as "a joint product of initial geographic isolation and successive cultural divergence, leading to the origin of cultural barriers to population admixture." Samples in this study include Middle Easterners and North Africans (southern coast), and Italians from the mainland and islands (northern coast). [10]

    Kandil et al. (1999) have analyzed populations on both sides of the Mediterranean sea, finding that "the major genetic differentiation axis in the Mediterranean basin is a north-south axis", which "clearly differentiates the North African and Middle Eastern populations from the European populations. ... As expected, the highest distances are shown by the European-North African comparisons [while] the lowest genetic distances correspond to intra-European comparisons." Included on the 'European' side are mainland Italians, Sicilians and Sardinians. [11]


    Vona et al. (1998), in a study on western Sicilians, conclude that "the genetic differentiation of the population of Trapani [a former Carthaginian center] and the populations of southern Italy appears quite clear cut from the populations of North Africa. Our analysis seems, therefore, not to confirm the existence of an evident genic flow [from] the Northern African populations." The study also notes that "Palermo [a Phoenician city and later Moorish capital] lies close to Calabria" in a "branch group[ing] all the Italian and European populations" together, separate from the North African ones. [12]

    Scozzari et al. (2001) identify a Y-chromosome mutation that "diverged from the ancestor HG25.1 somewhere in North Africa a few thousand years ago", and is thus indicative of recent gene flow from North African males. The authors report that the marker "HG25.2 was seen at generally low frequencies in Spain, France, and Italy" (0.8% in Sicilians). [13]

    Cruciani et al. (2004) confirm the above, using the frequencies of 'Berber' mutations (now labeled E-M81 and E-M78β) in large sample populations to estimate that North African paternal admixture within the past 5000 years amounts to 1.5% in Northern Italians, 2.2% in Central Italians, 0% in Southern Italians, 1.4% in Sardinians and 1.4% in Sicilians. [14]

    Capelli et al. (2005) identify the Y-chromosome marker J*(xJ2) (or J-M267) as possible evidence of modern Arab/Semitic, rather than prehistoric Neolithic, gene flow from the Near East. This lineage exists at the low frequency of 5.2% in Sicilians, with no significant difference between the eastern and western halves of the island.[15]

    Romano et al. (2003) detect sub-Saharan (Negroid) mtDNA sequences at a rate of 0.65% in a Sicilian sample of 465, which is comparable to admixture levels for Western and Northern Europe. Asian mtDNA is observed at a frequency of 2.2%, again consistent with Northern and Eastern European admixture levels.

    Yes, Sicilians ARE genetically A LOT MORE European than Ashkenazi Jews simply bc Sicilians are an european population while Ashkenazis are a people of mixed origins clustering between Europeans and Mid Easterners.

    i have sicilian genotypes through my work and familyTreeDNA. i don’t need to cite papers, i have run the analyses. it is in fact the case that ashkenazi jews and sicilians do seem suggestively similar, but its because both are admixed from italian with middle easternish stock. they are differentiable mostly because ashkenazi jews went through a bottleneck and have lots of medium IBD segments.

    please don’t attempt to respond with a raft of papers. as i said, i have the genetic data on my computer, and have run the analyses for months for ftDNA as part of a task. you can not believe me, but it is clear to me that ashkenazi jews and sicilians exhibit strong correspondences due to their similarities of admixture.

    • Replies: @L.K
    "please don’t attempt to respond with a raft of papers. as i said, i have the genetic data on my computer, and have run the analyses for months for ftDNA as part of a task."

    Uh?? Wow, ok. Let's just say the many geneticists( who have done the work) i mentioned disagree with you. :-)

    " you can not believe me"

    I DON'T.

    By the way, just for the record, I have no dog in this fight as i ain't Sicilian. I'm half German, half Northern Italian.
  49. @patrick
    Interesting that white nationalists like MacDonald agree that race is (at least partly) a social construct. If they believe that Sicilians and Ashkenazi Jews are different races (despite similar genetic profiles) because of Jews' political stance, then they are defining race as a social construct.

    “Interesting that white nationalists like MacDonald agree that race is (at least partly) a social construct. If they believe that Sicilians and Ashkenazi Jews are different races (despite similar genetic profiles) because of Jews’ political stance, then they are defining race as a social construct.”

    Since Kevin MacDonald sees Sicilians and Ashkenazi Jews as completely different races who look nothing like each other racially , he must think that the casting of James Caan as Al Pacino’s brother in The Godfather is the equivalent of casting Wesley Snipes to play Owen Wilson’s brother.

  50. @Jefferson
    "All Italians share more IBD with Northern and Eastern Europeans than with West Asians."

    So John and Nicholas Turturro for example are genetically closer in ancestry to Northern Europeans than they are to Middle Eastern people? Than phenotype wise do they look closer to Israelis and Palestinians in phenotype than they do to Swedes and Norwegians?

    Well, I could not say anything about Nicholas Turturro specifically – who by the way does not represent what avg sicilians look like – but re the sicilian people as a whole, the answer is YES.
    Sicilians cluster with Europe not with the middle East.
    Photos of People from Catania, Sicily

    Take a look at my previous post with a lot of genetic evidence.

    Ignorant people equate blond/red hair/extremely pale skin with europeans while darker types must mean non european admixture but that is nonsense. The fact of the matter is that europeans range from brunette to blondes.
    Mediterranean types are present in most of Europe, for instance in the british isles. They r indigenous there, pre-dating the roman conquest.
    That is how we have irish and welsh folks like Colin Farrell & Catherine Zeta-Jones.

    • Replies: @patrick
    You don't seem to have read anything Razib has written. Sicilians appear to have Middle Eastern or North African admixture (albeit in a small amount) that the Irish and Welsh lack, regardless of their phenotype. The "Mediterranean types" in the British Isles are more closely related to other British people than to Sicilians.

    It's too bad this topic has attracted a number of low-quality commenters- people referring to the opinions of Stormfront users, people trying to prove the "racial purity" of Sicilians, etc., because I have a lot of interest in Sicily and its history.

  51. @L.K
    I did not read rollos post but, basically, Genetics show there was very little demographic impact as a result of Roman Slavery, which is what is mostly claimed by some people.

    Regarding slavery in Roman times:

    "However, one piece of negative evidence...provides an intriguing hint that conventional estimates of slaves making up as much as 40 percent of Italy's population by the late first century B.C. may be far too high. An analysis of the genetic makeup of Italy's modern population argues that the various distinctive genetic combinations currently found in different regions within the peninsula by and large track the linguistic distribution that resulted from the migrations of the Iron Age. No data indicate the subsequent large-scale infusion of new genetic material into the populations of these regions except in the case of southern Italy and eastern Sicily, which is explained by the well-documented Greek migrations there. ... But if a population of 3 million slaves, representing as much as 40 percent of Italy's inhabitants in the first century B.C., was successfully reproducing itself, it would surely have left its mark on the genetic makeup of contemporary Italians. That it did not argues strongly for a very low rate of natural reproduction among Italy's slaves, which in turn is difficult to reconcile with the hypothesis that the number of slaves ever grew large enough to comprise 40 percent of the Italian population."
    (Nathan Rosenstein. Rome at War: Farms, Families, and Death in the Middle Republic. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2004.)

     

    That may be true regarding Roman slavery. He claimed that there was a large Northern European genetic impact from medieval slavery. I can’t recall the study, but the authors suggested that the Northern European ancestry might be from the barbarian invasions, and is predominantly in the north rather than throughout the peninsula.

  52. @Andrew Lancaster
    I recall from some of the first autosomal studies that Italians were often found to be inexplicably similar to both Sephardi and Ashkenazi Jewish populations. I do not recall anyone ever explaining this convincingly. Is it now simply seen as an association which disappears when testing became more detailed, and populations with similar ancestral "ingredients" could be distinguished as not having the same actual single mixed ancestral population?

    I recall from some of the first autosomal studies that Italians were often found to be inexplicably similar to both Sephardi and Ashkenazi Jewish populations

    sephardic jews are not a coherent cluster. i know because i’ve looked at hundreds of seph genotypes.

  53. @Shaikorth
    "The difference between Northern and Central Italians is intriguing. The reference populations are not optimal, and the dates have a wide interval. We actually know what was happening 2,100 years ago in Central Italy, and there was no admixture between Middle Eastern and Northern European groups. The Roman world empire was still in a nascent state. The Northern Italian admixture date might align with a German migration into Italy, or perhaps the Gauls in the centuries earlier. I really don’t know. I am of the inclination to suggest that the Central Italian signal might be somehow low balling the Indo-European admixture."

    Looks like they tested all combinations of North European and Near Eastern/African populations in their set and showing the admixing populations that produced a significant signal (|Z|>3) in order of signal strength, for one reason or other the program prefers the ones shown. I agree that those are surprising results. Barring ancient DNA what kind of additional references could be added though, especially if looking for a "celtic" or "germanic" signal? The set has CEU which is mixed Northwest European but does resemble North Germans (and produces significant mixture signals for North/Central Italy when paired with Near East, and Mozabites in case of Central Italy), and they have GBR and Orcadians too.

    Barring ancient DNA what kind of additional references could be added though

    you said it, i didn’t. ancient DNA.

  54. @Razib Khan
    Yes, Sicilians ARE genetically A LOT MORE European than Ashkenazi Jews simply bc Sicilians are an european population while Ashkenazis are a people of mixed origins clustering between Europeans and Mid Easterners.

    i have sicilian genotypes through my work and familyTreeDNA. i don't need to cite papers, i have run the analyses. it is in fact the case that ashkenazi jews and sicilians do seem suggestively similar, but its because both are admixed from italian with middle easternish stock. they are differentiable mostly because ashkenazi jews went through a bottleneck and have lots of medium IBD segments.

    please don't attempt to respond with a raft of papers. as i said, i have the genetic data on my computer, and have run the analyses for months for ftDNA as part of a task. you can not believe me, but it is clear to me that ashkenazi jews and sicilians exhibit strong correspondences due to their similarities of admixture.

    “please don’t attempt to respond with a raft of papers. as i said, i have the genetic data on my computer, and have run the analyses for months for ftDNA as part of a task.”

    Uh?? Wow, ok. Let’s just say the many geneticists( who have done the work) i mentioned disagree with you. 🙂

    ” you can not believe me”

    I DON’T.

    By the way, just for the record, I have no dog in this fight as i ain’t Sicilian. I’m half German, half Northern Italian.

    • Replies: @Razib Khan
    Uh?? Wow, ok. Let’s just say the many geneticists( who have done the work) i mentioned disagree with you. :-)

    you don't understand the work you are citing as well as i do. also, anything before 2010 isn't too relevant for various technical reasons.

    as i said, i have the genotypes, and i have the skills to analyze this. i don't need to make recourse to third parties.

    regular readers can take me at my word, or trust your interpretation of those citations (which i've read).

  55. stop this stupid argument about sicilians now. i don’t care, and i will stop posting comments in this vein.

  56. @L.K
    Well, I could not say anything about Nicholas Turturro specifically - who by the way does not represent what avg sicilians look like - but re the sicilian people as a whole, the answer is YES.
    Sicilians cluster with Europe not with the middle East.
    Photos of People from Catania, Sicily
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IgLrGspKxm8

    Take a look at my previous post with a lot of genetic evidence.

    Ignorant people equate blond/red hair/extremely pale skin with europeans while darker types must mean non european admixture but that is nonsense. The fact of the matter is that europeans range from brunette to blondes.
    Mediterranean types are present in most of Europe, for instance in the british isles. They r indigenous there, pre-dating the roman conquest.
    That is how we have irish and welsh folks like Colin Farrell & Catherine Zeta-Jones.

    You don’t seem to have read anything Razib has written. Sicilians appear to have Middle Eastern or North African admixture (albeit in a small amount) that the Irish and Welsh lack, regardless of their phenotype. The “Mediterranean types” in the British Isles are more closely related to other British people than to Sicilians.

    It’s too bad this topic has attracted a number of low-quality commenters- people referring to the opinions of Stormfront users, people trying to prove the “racial purity” of Sicilians, etc., because I have a lot of interest in Sicily and its history.

    • Replies: @Razib Khan
    The “Mediterranean types” in the British Isles are more closely related to other British people than to Sicilians.

    yeah. if you read the PoBI paper, not much structure in the british isles. the physical variation isn't due to differences in ancestry as much as probably selection and random individual to individual differences. this is clear if you look at changes due to selection implied by ancient DNA.

    p.s. catherine zeta-jones is 1/4 greek.
  57. @L.K
    "please don’t attempt to respond with a raft of papers. as i said, i have the genetic data on my computer, and have run the analyses for months for ftDNA as part of a task."

    Uh?? Wow, ok. Let's just say the many geneticists( who have done the work) i mentioned disagree with you. :-)

    " you can not believe me"

    I DON'T.

    By the way, just for the record, I have no dog in this fight as i ain't Sicilian. I'm half German, half Northern Italian.

    Uh?? Wow, ok. Let’s just say the many geneticists( who have done the work) i mentioned disagree with you. 🙂

    you don’t understand the work you are citing as well as i do. also, anything before 2010 isn’t too relevant for various technical reasons.

    as i said, i have the genotypes, and i have the skills to analyze this. i don’t need to make recourse to third parties.

    regular readers can take me at my word, or trust your interpretation of those citations (which i’ve read).

  58. @patrick
    You don't seem to have read anything Razib has written. Sicilians appear to have Middle Eastern or North African admixture (albeit in a small amount) that the Irish and Welsh lack, regardless of their phenotype. The "Mediterranean types" in the British Isles are more closely related to other British people than to Sicilians.

    It's too bad this topic has attracted a number of low-quality commenters- people referring to the opinions of Stormfront users, people trying to prove the "racial purity" of Sicilians, etc., because I have a lot of interest in Sicily and its history.

    The “Mediterranean types” in the British Isles are more closely related to other British people than to Sicilians.

    yeah. if you read the PoBI paper, not much structure in the british isles. the physical variation isn’t due to differences in ancestry as much as probably selection and random individual to individual differences. this is clear if you look at changes due to selection implied by ancient DNA.

    p.s. catherine zeta-jones is 1/4 greek.

  59. @Razib Khan
    It could easily be from later Roman times as well, when it is well known by historians that there were large numbers of slaves and free immigrants from North Africa and the Middle East imported into Rome.

    again, the signal does not seem middle eastern but north african, so you can discount large effect of syrians (there are syrian ref pops, weak IBD signal). please read the post and see the figures before you comment. second, i generally discount slaves. yes, some freedman became very successful (e.g. pertinax's father; since you are a history buff you'll know who this is), but the preponderance of slaves in antiquity have very low fertility. the slaves on the latifundia in sicily didn't have it as bad as those in the mines of sardinia, but it wasn't a good situation...

    despite the fact that greek was heavily spoken in much of italy, and there were attested syrians, the genetic exchange is likely for whatever reason to be mostly with north africa. i suspect during the roman period this had to do with the fact that much of n africa was latin speaking, and many 4th century aristocrats had many of their lands and family roots in that area. but if it was due to the roman period i don't understand why it's so weak in latium and central italy, where many of these people congregated. i think it's because the peasantry remained italian, and the cities evaporated with rome's collapse.

    in contrast, the muslims came in larger numbers, and there was more demographic continuity between islamicized cities and the norman polities.

    again, the signal does not seem middle eastern but north african, so you can discount large effect of syrians (there are syrian ref pops, weak IBD signal). please read the post and see the figures before you comment. second, i generally discount slaves. yes, some freedman became very successful (e.g. pertinax’s father; since you are a history buff you’ll know who this is), but the preponderance of slaves in antiquity have very low fertility. the slaves on the latifundia in sicily didn’t have it as bad as those in the mines of sardinia, but it wasn’t a good situation…

    The study found Middle Eastern and North African DNA all over Italy, the second one more common in the South, and in the case of Central Italy it estimated Middle Eastern and North African DNA to be from either as far back as somewhat before Etruscan times (3000 years ago) to Roman times, certainly not from the Middle Ages, as was the case with their estimate for Southern Italy. These estimates are clearly stated in the passage you quoted yourself. Also too much importance should not be placed on IBDs, which are hardly very impressive since they can’t even tell the direction of gene-flow in the first place, plus they are often contradicted by more standard methods of analysis like ADMIXTURE.

    Syrians were not by any means the only Near Eastern people who were very much present in Roman Italy in large numbers. Roman Italy had large communities of people who came from what today is Turkey and Palestine, including Jews.

    Regarding slaves, one word easily comes to mind: manumission. It was very common among the Romans. A good read on the subject is A.M. Duff’s thesis, “Freedmen in the Early Roman Empire”. How easily ex-slaves integrated into Roman society can be seen by the fact that by Tacitus’ times he is already complaining that the Roman Senate barely has any old senatorial families (i.e. “real” Romans) left in it and has a lot of people who descended from slaves and freedmen. Plus on top of that a very large number of these foreigners were in fact not slaves at all but free citizens of the empire. By the time of emperors Septimius Severus and his son Caracalla, themselves of Libyan and Syrian origin, foreigners were even more common in Rome, specially after Caracalla made all freemen in the empire Roman citizens.

    in contrast, the muslims came in larger numbers, and there was more demographic continuity between islamicized cities and the norman polities

    I don’t know where you are getting this idea from, but it certainly is not from scholars on the subject. It was only a military-religious invasion, not a mass migration of people. Even in Iberia, where Islam found a more lasting foot-hold than anywhere in Italy, Arabs and Berbers barely made up 5% of the total population of the peninsula, the bulk of the population, even of the Muslim population itself, was made up of the local native peoples (source: Professor Richard Hitchcock, “Mozarabs in Medieval and Early Modern Spain: Identities and Influences”, page 2.) Roman Italy had a much larger presence of slaves and free citizens from foreign lands than during any period in the Middle Ages.

    • Replies: @Razib Khan
    plus they are often contradicted by more standard methods of analysis like ADMIXTURE.

    you should put more weight on IBD than admixture. IBD uses more population informative variation (haplotype matching) than ADMIXTURE (just genotype frequencies). IBD is just harder to interpret is all. probably y fineStructure has not become more popular.

    Roman Italy had large communities of people who came from what today is Turkey and Palestine, including Jews

    oh for fuck's sake, stick to the history, you don't know the genetics. excluding african and south arabian ancestry there's not much difference between anatolian (e.g., armenian) and fertile crescent stock. the syrians of the 2nd century AD wouldn't have been very different from anatolians and palestinians. i know because i've managed to get my hand on obscure groups like assyrian christians and iraq mizrahi jews for genotype analysis. all these groups, along with armenians, druze, etc., are enriched for an similar 'west asian' signal.

    How easily ex-slaves integrated into Roman society can be seen by the fact that by Tacitus’ times he is already complaining that the Roman Senate barely has any old senatorial families (i.e. “real” Romans) left in it and has a lot of people who descended from slaves and freedmen. Plus on top of that a very large number of these foreigners were in fact not slaves at all but free citizens of the empire. By the time of emperors Septimius Severus and his son Caracalla, themselves of Libyan and Syrian origin, foreigners were even more common in Rome, specially after Caracalla made all freemen in the empire Roman citizens.

    spare me your erudition. my reference to pertinax should have made clear i'm aware of these dynamics. the key point is probably *in rome* it is clear that ancient cities, and pre-modern cities in general, were population sinks. this serves as a good explanation in many cases for why cosmopolitan cities (e.g.., rome, 7th century xian) did not leave the impact that people would have presumed.

  60. @BroadMindedDude
    Why has nobody mentioned Hannibal's army, which lived off the land in Southern Italy unimpeded by Roman armies from the Battle of Cannae in 216 bce to at least Hannibal's recall to Carthage in 202 bce? Undoubtedly a lot of his replacement troops were mercenaries of Celtic and Italian or Greek extraction. But his original force of perhaps 40,000 were from Carthage, Numidian allies, and troops from south of the Ebro in Iberia. As deserters and foragers spread out over South Italy, the amount of genetic distribution must have been consequential and lasted for a generation. Probably few troops were recalled with Hannibal after over 15 years in Italy, the rest went stayed with their conquest. (How many passengers, not crew, per ship? How many ships to recall Hannibal and his staff?). Like old HMMWVs, a common soldier wasn't economically worth the transport cost.

    I suggest this historical event 2200 ya is the source of the Moroccan and Mozabite strain in Southern Italy, not from raiders during post-Arab times.

    Why has nobody mentioned Hannibal’s army, which lived off the land in Southern Italy unimpeded by Roman armies from the Battle of Cannae in 216 bce to at least Hannibal’s recall to Carthage in 202 bce? Undoubtedly a lot of his replacement troops were mercenaries of Celtic and Italian or Greek extraction. But his original force of perhaps 40,000 were from Carthage, Numidian allies, and troops from south of the Ebro in Iberia. As deserters and foragers spread out over South Italy, the amount of genetic distribution must have been consequential and lasted for a generation. Probably few troops were recalled with Hannibal after over 15 years in Italy, the rest went stayed with their conquest. (How many passengers, not crew, per ship? How many ships to recall Hannibal and his staff?). Like old HMMWVs, a common soldier wasn’t economically worth the transport cost.

    First of all, because it was only a military campaign, hardly a large-scale migration of people, and second, because the Carthaginian armies in Europe were in fact predominantly made up of Iberian, Celtiberian and Celtic recruits, not the Carthaginians themselves. Unlike the Roman armies, which in early times were composed mostly of the Romans themselves, the Carthaginian armies were mostly made up of local mercenaries and conscripts from wherever the Carthaginians happen to have been in. The Carthaginians were the leaders and elites, while the majority of the troops were local allies and mercenaries.

    I suggest this historical event 2200 ya is the source of the Moroccan and Mozabite strain in Southern Italy, not from raiders during post-Arab times.

    One would be inclined to think so, but unfortunately their estimate does not give a Roman era time-frame for this ancestry in Southern Italy, while it does for Northern and Central Italy.

  61. @patrick
    Interesting that white nationalists like MacDonald agree that race is (at least partly) a social construct. If they believe that Sicilians and Ashkenazi Jews are different races (despite similar genetic profiles) because of Jews' political stance, then they are defining race as a social construct.

    Exactly. That’s what surprised me so much in his reply. It was much more extreme than just acknowledging the social construction of the category “white.” MacDonald went much further than that and said that he explicitly uses politics to categorize races.

    Hypothetically, if Jews were to become politically “pro-white,” then MacDonald might personally classify Justices Kagan and Ginsburg as white. Even the “race is a social construct” definition of “white” isn’t that volatile.

  62. @History Buff

    again, the signal does not seem middle eastern but north african, so you can discount large effect of syrians (there are syrian ref pops, weak IBD signal). please read the post and see the figures before you comment. second, i generally discount slaves. yes, some freedman became very successful (e.g. pertinax’s father; since you are a history buff you’ll know who this is), but the preponderance of slaves in antiquity have very low fertility. the slaves on the latifundia in sicily didn’t have it as bad as those in the mines of sardinia, but it wasn’t a good situation…
     
    The study found Middle Eastern and North African DNA all over Italy, the second one more common in the South, and in the case of Central Italy it estimated Middle Eastern and North African DNA to be from either as far back as somewhat before Etruscan times (3000 years ago) to Roman times, certainly not from the Middle Ages, as was the case with their estimate for Southern Italy. These estimates are clearly stated in the passage you quoted yourself. Also too much importance should not be placed on IBDs, which are hardly very impressive since they can't even tell the direction of gene-flow in the first place, plus they are often contradicted by more standard methods of analysis like ADMIXTURE.

    Syrians were not by any means the only Near Eastern people who were very much present in Roman Italy in large numbers. Roman Italy had large communities of people who came from what today is Turkey and Palestine, including Jews.

    Regarding slaves, one word easily comes to mind: manumission. It was very common among the Romans. A good read on the subject is A.M. Duff's thesis, "Freedmen in the Early Roman Empire". How easily ex-slaves integrated into Roman society can be seen by the fact that by Tacitus' times he is already complaining that the Roman Senate barely has any old senatorial families (i.e. "real" Romans) left in it and has a lot of people who descended from slaves and freedmen. Plus on top of that a very large number of these foreigners were in fact not slaves at all but free citizens of the empire. By the time of emperors Septimius Severus and his son Caracalla, themselves of Libyan and Syrian origin, foreigners were even more common in Rome, specially after Caracalla made all freemen in the empire Roman citizens.

    in contrast, the muslims came in larger numbers, and there was more demographic continuity between islamicized cities and the norman polities
     
    I don't know where you are getting this idea from, but it certainly is not from scholars on the subject. It was only a military-religious invasion, not a mass migration of people. Even in Iberia, where Islam found a more lasting foot-hold than anywhere in Italy, Arabs and Berbers barely made up 5% of the total population of the peninsula, the bulk of the population, even of the Muslim population itself, was made up of the local native peoples (source: Professor Richard Hitchcock, "Mozarabs in Medieval and Early Modern Spain: Identities and Influences", page 2.) Roman Italy had a much larger presence of slaves and free citizens from foreign lands than during any period in the Middle Ages.

    plus they are often contradicted by more standard methods of analysis like ADMIXTURE.

    you should put more weight on IBD than admixture. IBD uses more population informative variation (haplotype matching) than ADMIXTURE (just genotype frequencies). IBD is just harder to interpret is all. probably y fineStructure has not become more popular.

    Roman Italy had large communities of people who came from what today is Turkey and Palestine, including Jews

    oh for fuck’s sake, stick to the history, you don’t know the genetics. excluding african and south arabian ancestry there’s not much difference between anatolian (e.g., armenian) and fertile crescent stock. the syrians of the 2nd century AD wouldn’t have been very different from anatolians and palestinians. i know because i’ve managed to get my hand on obscure groups like assyrian christians and iraq mizrahi jews for genotype analysis. all these groups, along with armenians, druze, etc., are enriched for an similar ‘west asian’ signal.

    How easily ex-slaves integrated into Roman society can be seen by the fact that by Tacitus’ times he is already complaining that the Roman Senate barely has any old senatorial families (i.e. “real” Romans) left in it and has a lot of people who descended from slaves and freedmen. Plus on top of that a very large number of these foreigners were in fact not slaves at all but free citizens of the empire. By the time of emperors Septimius Severus and his son Caracalla, themselves of Libyan and Syrian origin, foreigners were even more common in Rome, specially after Caracalla made all freemen in the empire Roman citizens.

    spare me your erudition. my reference to pertinax should have made clear i’m aware of these dynamics. the key point is probably *in rome* it is clear that ancient cities, and pre-modern cities in general, were population sinks. this serves as a good explanation in many cases for why cosmopolitan cities (e.g.., rome, 7th century xian) did not leave the impact that people would have presumed.

  63. @patrick
    You make a lot of claims that you provide no evidence to support.
    1) North Africans have recent Italian ancestry but there is no North African ancestry in Italy (even in Sicily)?
    2) All Italians share more IBD with Northern and Eastern Europeans (including Scandinavians and Russians) than with ANY West Asians? Slaves from Slavic and other Northern European lands made a significant genetic contribution but other slaves did not?

    Quote the studies or post a link to them. Links to italicroots (which is an agenda driven racialist site) do not count.

    PS. I am of Sicilian ancestry so don't accuse me of being anti-Italian.

    1) You are confusing IBD and admixture. It’s stated in the supp info of this same study that North African admixture is found above noise levels only in Sicily. Sardinia and Calabria (Reggio Calabria only). Southern Italians from Basilicata lack it. The shared IBD segments between Italians and North Africans are due to mass expulsions of muslims (90% of whom were native converts) to North Africa. The Aragonese imported the inquisition in Sicily after the War of the Sicilian Vespers, which quickly expelled any muslims left (including the ones who had converted to christianity).

    2) It’s stated in the supp tables of this same study. Read all the stuff and do not make me quote everything. All mainland Italians share 5 or 6 times more IBD segments with North and Eastern Europeans than with West Asians. That means that whatever genetic impact the “middle eastern” immigrants had on Italy, it was dwarfed by the one from the Slavs, Germanics, Magyars, Normans, etc…

    This is also confirmed by Ralph and Coop et al. 2012. Italians actually share less IBD segments with West Asians than many Balkan/Eastern Europeans.

    • Replies: @Razib Khan
    The shared IBD segments between Italians and North Africans are due to mass expulsions of muslims (90% of whom were native converts) to North Africa.

    this is fucking retarded. the IBD segment matches were with *mozabites*, an isolated berber group of the atlas, and *moroccans*, not a group that receive people expelled from sicily, who would almost certainly go to tunis and eastern algeria.
  64. @Jefferson
    The few Italians who post on Stormfront, they all claim to be either blond haired and blue eyed or light brown haired and blue eyed. And they all say that the darker haired and darker eyed Italians are either Jews, Arab immigrants, or Gypsies and don't represent the real Italian people, LOL.

    Than I guess The U.S mostly received Italy's Jewish, Arab, and Gypsy population at Ellis Island.

    Pigmentation is an environmental adaption. It has nothing to do with those genetic components.

    http://www.gnxp.com/blog/2008/12/nlsy-blogging-eye-and-hair-color-of.php

    According to this survey 35% of pure Italian Americans (90% are from the South) have either pure light and hazel eyes. Hazel eyes being these.

    By contrast 65% of German Americans have pure light and hazel eyes.

  65. @Rollo
    1) You are confusing IBD and admixture. It's stated in the supp info of this same study that North African admixture is found above noise levels only in Sicily. Sardinia and Calabria (Reggio Calabria only). Southern Italians from Basilicata lack it. The shared IBD segments between Italians and North Africans are due to mass expulsions of muslims (90% of whom were native converts) to North Africa. The Aragonese imported the inquisition in Sicily after the War of the Sicilian Vespers, which quickly expelled any muslims left (including the ones who had converted to christianity).

    2) It's stated in the supp tables of this same study. Read all the stuff and do not make me quote everything. All mainland Italians share 5 or 6 times more IBD segments with North and Eastern Europeans than with West Asians. That means that whatever genetic impact the "middle eastern" immigrants had on Italy, it was dwarfed by the one from the Slavs, Germanics, Magyars, Normans, etc...

    This is also confirmed by Ralph and Coop et al. 2012. Italians actually share less IBD segments with West Asians than many Balkan/Eastern Europeans.

    The shared IBD segments between Italians and North Africans are due to mass expulsions of muslims (90% of whom were native converts) to North Africa.

    this is fucking retarded. the IBD segment matches were with *mozabites*, an isolated berber group of the atlas, and *moroccans*, not a group that receive people expelled from sicily, who would almost certainly go to tunis and eastern algeria.

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