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Thread: How do you interpret thevery smal North African DNA in Italy during the imperial era?

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    How do you interpret thevery smal North African DNA in Italy during the imperial era?

    Sorry for the spelling mistakes, I mean : How do you interpret the very small North African DNA in Italy during the imperial era?

    In the recent genetic studies on Rome and Tuscany, no big North African DNA was detected, whereas the written sources talk about large scale migration of slaves from Carthage to Italy (right after the victory of Rome over the Punic city).

    According to you, is this the result of a poor and unrepresentative sampling ?

    Or could it mean that the inhabitants of Carthage were mainly of Near Eastern stock (and that their presence in Italy could then be guessed through the Near Easterner DNA of the imperial samples from Italy)?

    Or were the Carthaginian slaves sent to other parts of Italy and the upcoming discovery of ancient samples in other parts of the peninsula will change our current understanding of it all?

    Or do you think that the number of Carthaginian slaves (and "Carthaginian migrants") was not that big and that at the end these samples from Imperial Rome and Tuscany give us an accurate idea of the Carthaginian presence in Italy? (and that as a consequence the written sources about the big number of Carthaginian slaves are misleading and exaggerate everything)

    Tell me what you think.
    Thank you very much for your time.
    Greetings
    Last edited by Gab the Gaul; 07-30-2021 at 06:16 PM.

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    Would not only freed slaves have progeny? Certainly in any noticeable number disregarding other circumstances like affair or rape. I am not sure what or if there are any figures on what percentage of slaves actually became free. And when slaves who became free were finally freed, I guess many were older and sadly did not have a huge long life after that (life expectancy also being much lower than today).

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    North African DNA in Italy might have the same origin that most of the ones in spaniards and portugueses, and it could be traced with punic raids.


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    for starters no source claims that the slaves were brought to italy
    and appian (the og source on the 50k survivers) does not even claim that they got enslaved, that stuff ut quos belli clades reliquos fecit, saltem seruire liceat is an addition from a much later time (orosius ~400AD/CE); so coming back to reality you have IA villamar on sardinia and an outlier (R475) in IA central italy which might just be connected punic wise; the imperial era samples R132 and R80 are from two seperate sites but seem however isolates among the other samples (med. and east med.) of these sites as these do not score any african admixture (Fig.S23 C.ADMIXTURE); which is indeed the case for the majority of med. and east-med. samples 24/31; a pos. indicator that the roman exchange with north africa was indeed far less spectacular than the exchange with the hellenistic east

    the future IA papers also talk about 'surprises' and 'outliers' (IA?punic connection)
    depends on what is meant exactly and once these papers come out we will know
    Last edited by alexfritz; 07-31-2021 at 02:07 AM.
    GENO2.0 51SEURO 19WCEURO 13SCANDINAVIA 5ASIAMINOR 4EEURO 4GB/IRELAND 3ARABIA myOrigins 26ITA.PEN. 13GREECE&BALKANS 12SARDINIA 18GREATBRITAIN 14IRELAND 10C.EUROPE 8SCANDINAVIA DNA.Land 49NWEURO 27SEURO 13MED.ISLANDER 11SARDINIAN myHeritage 51.8NWEURO 33.2ITALIAN 7.9GREEK/S.ITALY 7.1BALKAN gencove 29NITALY 19EMED 15NBRITISLES 12SWEURO 10NCEURO 9SCANDINAVIA 6NEEURO GenePlaza 54.4NWEURO 37.6GRE/ALB 5.6WASIAN 2.4SWASIA LivingDNA 57.4S.GER 3.3NE.GER 25.8N.ITA 5S.ITA 4.3TUSCANY 2.5CYPRUS 1.7AEGEAN

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    Apparently, there were indeed Carthaginian slaves brought to Italy, especially at the end of the second Punic war in 209 BC : around 10 000 Carthaginians were enslaved (here are the sources : App. Hisp. 23; Cass. Dio 16.57.42; Diod 26.21.1; Eutrop. 3.15; Flor. 1.22.37-40; Liv. 26.49f.; Polyb. 10.17.6; 19.8; Oros. 4.18.1; Zon. 9.8). Later in 146 BC at the end of the third Punic War, around 50 000 Carthaginians (and allies) were captured (source : App. Pun. 130; Oros. 4.23.3; Zon. 9.30). If not all of the captured Carthaginians here were enslaved and sent to Italy, many of them surely were.

    Now all of this happened during the Republican era, so it's possible that by the time of the Empire this Carthaginian influx and its genetic consequences became less noticeable. And if the number of Carthaginians was not small, it was not particularly massive neither (in comparison to all the other conquered and enslaved peoples by Rome).

    Here is the interesting paper which made me learn so many things about this topic : https://livrepository.liverpool.ac.u...2014_17893.pdf ("The Enslavement of War Captives by the Romans to 146 BC").

    Some interesting extracts from the conclusion :
    "In Conclusion, war captives were a less significant contribution to the slave supply of Rome than has been commonly believed by historians. As demonstrated in this study, captivity did not alwaysresult in enslavement. Repeated examples show that ransom, release and execution were alternative measures carried out by Roman captors. During the early Republic, theRomans often released captives, albeit with the humiliation of passing sub iugum,with an understanding that leniency to the defeated eased the transition of incorporation into their hegemony. Leniency continued throughout the Republic to be an attributethe Romans wished to portray to other nations. According to Pausanias, the destruction of the Greek cities by P. Villius Tappulus in 199 BC was against the orders of the senatus consultum, and as a consequenceFlamininus was sent to replace him. Greek ‘freedom’became the casus belli for Roman involvement in Greece after the First Macedonian War. On fifteen separate occasions the Romans released their captives without ransom before 146 BC."

    "Furthermore, instances of capture did not necessarily lead to the same wholesale disposal of all the captives. Many examples given above,indicate that captives were commonly sorted by the Roman forces, either in rooting out rebel leaders, isolating political factions or nationalities, or often in separating men, women, children and slaves from each other. As clearly demonstrated at New Carthage in 209 BC, where P. Cornelius Scipio (soon Africanus) released,without ransom,the Spaniards and kept the strongCarthaginians to man the Roman fleet; the latter were promised, after good service, that they would be released.

    An important aspect of Roman warfare, during the period covered in this study, is that Roman military strategy whichled to outward expansionwasdirected towards the capture of towns and cities. The frequency of sieges and battles near metropolitan centres, meant the Roman forces acquired civilian captives as often as they tookenemy troops. Women and children were frequently enslaved where their male counterparts were killed or executed. The fear of the capture and abuse of women and children after the men were slaughtered,led some communities to take drastic measures to deny themselves to Romans the human booty through their mass suicide. For the most part, as so often in history, the women and children were ignored by ancient writers, but in occurrences of enslavement, where women are neglected by the sources, it can be inferred that they were very likely enslaved. The enslavement of womenand children suggests that the slave population of Rome wasmore reliant on reproduction to maintain itself. Too much of our understanding of the slave population,and our understanding of the development of Roman plantation style farming,is based upon alarge influx of slaves. However, as Welwei has shown, the number of enslaved captives given by the sources cannot be trusted, and the figures for captives, as well as for other battle statistics, should be consistently reduced by modern historians. Furthermore, as this study has shown, the result of capture was not always enslavement, and even enslavements were not necessarily permanent or long enough for a captive to be effectively utilised in Italian production. Thus, the contribution of wartime enslavements towards the growth and eventual maintenance of slavery in Italy was significantly less thanhas beentraditionally believed."

    "The ubiquitous use of slaves in ancient societies meant Rome was never the sole market for slaves. North Africa, Sicily and Greece were also significant consumers of slaves."

    "Once Rome’s conquest pushed eastwards, they also entered a long standing slave trade network in which captives could bedistributed throughout the Mediterranean and hinterlands, rather than directly to Rome."
    Last edited by Gab the Gaul; 07-31-2021 at 06:12 PM.

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    Interesting question.
    I found some worth reading ideas (although sometimes contradictory) on these two links : https://livrepository.liverpool.ac.u...2014_17893.pdf (The Enslavement of War Captives by the Romans to 146 BC) and https://factsanddetails.com/world/ca...ntry-6302.html (SLAVES IN ANCIENT ROME: NUMBERS, SOURCES AND LAWS).
    It seems that even the slaves who didn't become free had children (especially that apparently there were more women than we tend to think among slaves, especially among those captured in wars, although males were way more numerous on the whole slave population). Now it probably depends on the era and the context...
    And of course when they became free, they could marry freemen/freewomen (with the authorization of their former masters, at least in the case of women, as it is mentioned in a Roman law in this second link I sent you). How many slaves became finally free?
    On this website https://www.unrv.com/slavery.php , it is written that "By the end of these civil wars and general social disorder, slaves were abundantly present in Rome. The slave population was at least equal to that of freedmen (non citizens), and has been estimated at anywhere from 25 to 40% of the population of the city as a whole."
    Last edited by Gab the Gaul; 08-01-2021 at 04:37 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gab the Gaul View Post
    Interesting question.
    I found some worth reading ideas (although sometimes contradictory) on these two links : https://livrepository.liverpool.ac.u...2014_17893.pdf (The Enslavement of War Captives by the Romans to 146 BC) and https://factsanddetails.com/world/ca...ntry-6302.html (SLAVES IN ANCIENT ROME: NUMBERS, SOURCES AND LAWS).
    It seems that even the slaves who didn't become free had children (especially that apparently there were more women than we tend to think among slaves, especially among those captured in wars, although males were way more numerous on the whole slave population). Now it probably depends on the era and the context...
    And of course when they became free, they could marry freemen/freewomen (with the authorization of their former masters, at least in the case of women, as it is mentioned in a Roman law in this second link I sent you). How many slaves became finally free?
    On this website https://www.unrv.com/slavery.php , it is written that "By the end of these civil wars and general social disorder, slaves were abundantly present in Rome. The slave population was at least equal to that of freedmen (non citizens), and has been estimated at anywhere from 25 to 40% of the population of the city as a whole."
    Interesting, happy to be proved wrong in my hypothesis. I guess it was a similar thing to people in service (i.e. servants) later where relationships between servants, say in a large house, stately home etc. were common. I guess it was also fairly hard to stop it happening if you had a lot of servants.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gab the Gaul View Post
    Apparently, there were indeed Carthaginian slaves brought to Italy, especially at the end of the second Punic war in 209 BC : around 10 000 Carthaginians were enslaved (here are the sources : App. Hisp. 23; Cass. Dio 16.57.42; Diod 26.21.1; Eutrop. 3.15; Flor. 1.22.37-40; Liv. 26.49f.; Polyb. 10.17.6; 19.8; Oros. 4.18.1; Zon. 9.8). Later in 146 BC at the end of the third Punic War, around 50 000 Carthaginians (and allies) were captured (source : App. Pun. 130; Oros. 4.23.3; Zon. 9.30). If not all of the captured Carthaginians here were enslaved and sent to Italy, many of them surely were.

    Now all of this happened during the Republican era, so it's possible that by the time of the Empire this Carthaginian influx and its genetic consequences became less noticeable. And if the number of Carthaginians was not small, it was not particularly massive neither (in comparison to all the other conquered and enslaved peoples by Rome).

    Here is the interesting paper which made me learn so many things about this topic : https://livrepository.liverpool.ac.u...2014_17893.pdf ("The Enslavement of War Captives by the Romans to 146 BC").

    Some interesting extracts from the conclusion :
    "In Conclusion, war captives were a less significant contribution to the slave supply of Rome than has been commonly believed by historians. As demonstrated in this study, captivity did not alwaysresult in enslavement. Repeated examples show that ransom, release and execution were alternative measures carried out by Roman captors. During the early Republic, theRomans often released captives, albeit with the humiliation of passing sub iugum,with an understanding that leniency to the defeated eased the transition of incorporation into their hegemony. Leniency continued throughout the Republic to be an attributethe Romans wished to portray to other nations. According to Pausanias, the destruction of the Greek cities by P. Villius Tappulus in 199 BC was against the orders of the senatus consultum, and as a consequenceFlamininus was sent to replace him. Greek ‘freedom’became the casus belli for Roman involvement in Greece after the First Macedonian War. On fifteen separate occasions the Romans released their captives without ransom before 146 BC."

    "Furthermore, instances of capture did not necessarily lead to the same wholesale disposal of all the captives. Many examples given above,indicate that captives were commonly sorted by the Roman forces, either in rooting out rebel leaders, isolating political factions or nationalities, or often in separating men, women, children and slaves from each other. As clearly demonstrated at New Carthage in 209 BC, where P. Cornelius Scipio (soon Africanus) released,without ransom,the Spaniards and kept the strongCarthaginians to man the Roman fleet; the latter were promised, after good service, that they would be released.

    An important aspect of Roman warfare, during the period covered in this study, is that Roman military strategy whichled to outward expansionwasdirected towards the capture of towns and cities. The frequency of sieges and battles near metropolitan centres, meant the Roman forces acquired civilian captives as often as they tookenemy troops. Women and children were frequently enslaved where their male counterparts were killed or executed. The fear of the capture and abuse of women and children after the men were slaughtered,led some communities to take drastic measures to deny themselves to Romans the human booty through their mass suicide. For the most part, as so often in history, the women and children were ignored by ancient writers, but in occurrences of enslavement, where women are neglected by the sources, it can be inferred that they were very likely enslaved. The enslavement of womenand children suggests that the slave population of Rome wasmore reliant on reproduction to maintain itself. Too much of our understanding of the slave population,and our understanding of the development of Roman plantation style farming,is based upon alarge influx of slaves. However, as Welwei has shown, the number of enslaved captives given by the sources cannot be trusted, and the figures for captives, as well as for other battle statistics, should be consistently reduced by modern historians. Furthermore, as this study has shown, the result of capture was not always enslavement, and even enslavements were not necessarily permanent or long enough for a captive to be effectively utilised in Italian production. Thus, the contribution of wartime enslavements towards the growth and eventual maintenance of slavery in Italy was significantly less thanhas beentraditionally believed."

    "The ubiquitous use of slaves in ancient societies meant Rome was never the sole market for slaves. North Africa, Sicily and Greece were also significant consumers of slaves."

    "Once Rome’s conquest pushed eastwards, they also entered a long standing slave trade network in which captives could bedistributed throughout the Mediterranean and hinterlands, rather than directly to Rome."
    Most of the Apuan Ligurians (of present-day NW Tuscany) who had fiercely opposed Roman expansion through the Apennine stretch of NW Italy were transported to desolate land in Samnium in the early to mid 2nd century BCE and settled in free farming communities there.

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    ¿Why slaves? North Africa was was part of the Roman Empire, and the Mediterranean coast of North Africa was quite romanised. It was divided into different provinces depending to times

    Mauretania_Tingitana
    http://https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki...ania_Tingitana
    Mauretania_Caesariensis
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mauretania_Caesariensis
    Mauretania_Sitifensis
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mauretania_Sitifensis
    Roman Africa
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Africa_(Roman_province)

    And also:

    Maurish Roman Kingdom
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mauro-Roman_Kingdom

    The metropolis could receive groups of people from any corner of the empire (the mobility of the time was not as fluid as it is today of course ), and let's not forget that areas of the south and southeast of the peninsula and north of Morocco had already shared or depended on the same political powers before Romans, and they had had commercial or other contacts from very ancient times.

    The NA contribution of current Italians is not in the same proportions or as widespread as that of current Iberians, but in those times it is not strange to me that it can be found in specific individuals.

    Edit:I have posted links to wikipedia for convenience, so if anyone wants to have more in-depth or detailed information on the subject, they already know what to look for.
    Last edited by mokordo; 08-03-2021 at 07:32 PM.

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    i believe it's more related to saracens invasions and such rather than punic raids, but who knows

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