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Thread: The genetic origin of Daunians and the Pan-Mediterranean southern Italian Iron Age

  1. #221
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    Quote Originally Posted by darknorman11 View Post
    Offhand request; what types of roles were slaves from Thracia/Illyria/Carpathians involved in?
    I would guess mostly manual work, so definitely more often in the role of land workers, miners and household workers. Greek speaking slaves, especially of higher social status and education, regardless of exact ethnic background, were more often in non-manual and intellectually more demanding positions. Like a large portion of teachers for the Roman elite and middle class was for quite some time Greek derived. Romans did grab the intellectuals for their own institutions quite often, after the conquest many came to Italia as slaves. Later they came on their own to offer their skills and sometimes sophistry as being noted by the Roman historians, which even banned some of the debates because they thought of it being bad influence on society.
    Obviously many if not most of these Greek-speaking slaves working as teachers, merchants, in the administration etc. would have been freed in their lifetime and if not going back, founding families in Italia or whatever province they were.

    The survival rate and reproduction of Daco-Thracian slaves might have been much worse, but if having the numbers and gaining better positions, those sure would have left a mark as well, considering their relatively more Northern ancestry, balancing out somewhat the slaves from the Eastern and Southern parts of the empire.

    That Daco-Thracian and Syrian slaves played a significant role in the Southern plantagement system can be seen by prominent their involvement in various slave rebellions:
    Another development was the introduction of large plantations (latifundia). They were owned by rich Romans and produced grain that was exported to Rome. The work was done by large numbers of slaves - often prisoners of war belonging to the same ethnic group: e.g., Celtiberians, Syrians, or Thracians. They were permitted to venerate their own gods and could speak their native language, so they were able to organize resistance against their owners without the Romans being aware. In 136 or 135, a man named Eunus was able to provoke an insurrection and seized the city of Henna in central Sicily. The praetor was defeated, Agrigentum, Tauromenium and Catana were captured, and Eunus was recognized as king.

    However, the Romans were able to overcome the revolt. Eunus was brought to Rome and died in jail. His legacy was simple: he had shown that slaves could be successful. In 104-101, Salvius Trypho and Athenio revolted on Sicily, and in 73-71, Italy was in great turmoil because of the insurrection led by the famous slave leader Spartacus.
    https://www.livius.org/articles/place/sicily/sicily-7/

    Its noteworthy how relatively free they could live and organise themselves in the South of Italia, this clearly implicates they also had their own families and children often enough.

    About Eunus:
    Eunus (died 132 BC) was a Roman slave from Apamea in Syria who became the leader of the slave uprising in the First Servile War (135 BC–132 BC) in the Roman province of Sicily. Eunus rose to prominence in the movement through his reputation as a prophet and wonder-worker and ultimately declared himself king. He claimed to receive visions and communications from the goddess Atargatis, a prominent goddess in his homeland whom he identified with the Sicilian Demeter. Some of his prophecies were that the rebel slaves would successfully capture the city of Enna and that he would be a king some day.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eunus

    How much people like Eunus the Syrian and Spartacus the Thracian contributed to the patrilineages of Sicily and Southern Italia should be testable with more yDNA, I guess not much at all, but not nothing neither.
    Last edited by Riverman; 08-03-2021 at 12:09 PM.

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  3. #222
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    Quote Originally Posted by Riverman View Post
    I think a major role played the fact that the South was Greek speaking, directly connected by the sea routes and had a completely different agricultural system. In much of the North slavery never got that important, especially not with the same Latifundia-system as in Southern Italia and Sicily. This is like comparing an industrial city's migratory pattern with that of a small rural town. The Latifundia-system was more like the industrial complexes of late. Also, Rome did attract a lot, but these urban areas largely kept the immigrants in their borders, with little flow in the closer, even less in the wider, rural environment. That's why it did disappear or got reduced much more in all of the North, than in areas in which even the rural population descended to a large degree from bond- and slave workers.
    But this won't explain everything, there are different categories for that sort of gene flow and I don't think it was "one explains all", but rather different factors playing in over time, like starting with the Greek colonisation, the conquests and slave deliveries from the South and East, constant migration of bond- and slave land workers etc. So I expect the Greek colonisation to cause a major shift in the right direction, but don't reaching the status the late Imperial population got, with some back-shift to a more Northern trend at the very end of Antiquity and Medieval times, with only very little effect of the Saracenes and others.
    I don't know how much Greek poleis citizens would play a role as slaves in the Roman Empire, they would (along with many Hellenized Near Easterners) be literate and quite skillful - perhaps their own slaves, but considering the strict social divisions in a Greek polis (one of the reasons Jews rebelled btw) I doubt even that.

    In any case, I agree - it probably arrived from several sources, but the epicenter of this all wasn't Rome - which is where you'd expect the most migrants would settle if it was.

    As for the case that the South was the most heavily settled or developed - I'm not that certain - perhaps the Greek poleis, yes, but you had Etruria just north of Rome which would also be quite developed and a target for such migration.

    Again, if this would mostly be direct-to-Rome as a result of the rise of Rome, we'd see a different admixture pattern, even in ancient samples.

    Instead, judging by the Etruscan pre-print several months ago, and the rumored additional ancient S. Italian paper results, and the Antonio et al. paper we've seen, and this paper - I think it's quite obvious the South-to-North pattern was there back in Roman times, and have remained, although now limited to the former boundaries of the Kingdom of Naples, to this day.

    If anything, I think what sparked massive East Med spread all over Italy was the result of the Social Wars in the early 1st century BCE, when all Italians (ex. Sicilians, Sardinians, Corsicans and Cisalpine Italians) got full Roman citizenship and so were free to move and marry all over Italy.
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  5. #223
    Quote Originally Posted by Erikl86 View Post
    Considering this is a map of Carthage, several key points about this:

    1. ...We know they kept using Phoenician dialect - ie they spoke a Levantine language, but that doesn't mean they were still mostly Levantine genetically of course.

    2. As can be seen, S. Italy had precisely zero Punic settlement.

    3. The dominant genetic profile in S. Italy isn't half n' half IA Italian / Near Eastern, but Aegean, with also significant Near Eastern component

    4. the pattern of East Med admixture in Italy is South to North.... This means the East Med component arrived to Italy regardless of Rome, and Rome inherited it when it expanded Southward in the Italian peninsula.
    Great guys, we found the source of the Near Eastern component. Phoenicians established colonies in Western Sicily, overtime the Near Eastern DNA was diluted due to intermixing with natives. When the Romans conquered Sicily, this DNA profile was eventually carried around Southern Italy. Case solved, we can dismiss the slave assumptions now.

  6. #224
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryukendo View Post

    Though a migration-based scenario this leads to a weird historical conundrum: why this continuous movement from the Eastern Mediterranean to the Western Mediterranean? Why was the Eastern Mediterranean able to generate so much demographic surplus? Note that this is separate from the question of population density/carrying capacity; why was the Eastern Mediterranean continuously generating population surpluses that are free to migrate is the question. Unless of course we see an equal and opposite "Westernisation/Northernisation" of populations from the Eastern Mediterranean region, in which case internal migration sufficies to explain everything.
    Well the highest population density in the ancient Mediterranean world were Hellenized "Greater Syria" and Egypt - they even bore the second and third largest cities following Rome (Alexandria and Antioch - both Greek/Hellenized cities). These people might have sought new opportunities in the newly formed Roman Empire which appreciated and admired and was already heavily influenced by Greek culture and heritage (via Etruria and Magna Graecia poleis).
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  8. #225
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    Quote Originally Posted by lockdownboredom View Post
    Great guys, we found the source of the Near Eastern component. Phoenicians established colonies in Western Sicily, overtime the Near Eastern DNA was diluted due to intermixing with natives. When the Romans conquered Sicily, this DNA profile was eventually carried around Southern Italy. Case solved, we can dismiss the slave assumptions now.
    Huh? This is the precise opposite to what I've been saying in that post you've quoted.
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  10. #226
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    Quote Originally Posted by Erikl86 View Post
    I don't know how much Greek poleis citizens would play a role as slaves in the Roman Empire
    After the conquest of the Greek territories true masses of upper and middle class Greek citizens came as slaves and hostages to Rome. Like the market for native Greek teachers got oversaturated instantly and every good Roman household with children got its own Greek teacher for a time. This was a rather short term effect, but it was a gigantic one.

    they would (along with many Hellenized Near Easterners) be literate and quite skillful - perhaps their own slaves, but considering the strict social divisions in a Greek polis (one of the reasons Jews rebelled btw) I doubt even that.
    They had no choice, they were defeated.

    In any case, I agree - it probably arrived from several sources, but the epicenter of this all wasn't Rome - which is where you'd expect the most migrants would settle if it was.
    Well, other urban and trade centers received their fair share too. They didn't just move to Rome, even if migrants from everywhere, also the North, came to Rome of course.

    As for the case that the South was the most heavily settled or developed - I'm not that certain - perhaps the Greek poleis, yes, but you had Etruria just north of Rome which would also be quite developed and a target for such migration.
    It was, but not as much and with more migrants and slaves from the North to balance things out somewhat.

    Instead, judging by the Etruscan pre-print several months ago, and the rumored additional ancient S. Italian paper results, and the Antonio et al. paper we've seen, and this paper - I think it's quite obvious the South-to-North pattern was there back in Roman times, and have remained, although now limited to the former boundaries of the Kingdom of Naples, to this day.

    If anything, I think what sparked massive East Med spread all over Italy was the result of the Social Wars in the early 1st century BCE, when all Italians (ex. Sicilians, Sardinians, Corsicans and Cisalpine Italians) got full Roman citizenship and so were free to move and marry all over Italy.
    No doubt that had an effect as well, but don't underestimate the Greek colonisation and the bond- and slave workers, especially in the Latifundia plantation system. Like Ryukendo wrote, some regions in particular approached the situation of Haiti and Alabama, just with Thracian, Anatolian and Syrian slaves among others. Don't underestimate that, it was a big business and there was a constant demand for cheap and strong land workers. Like the quotations from my last posts suggest, they also did reproduce, even more so the females, but the males as well. They were the capital of the big landowners and dominated specific landscapes.
    The absolute and relative impact that had genetically, I can impossibly know, this is all up to future large scale and long term sampling with comparisons of ancient and modern DNA. But I definitely say it can't have had no significant effect at all, that's nearly impossible.
    Last edited by Riverman; 08-03-2021 at 12:27 PM.

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  12. #227
    Quote Originally Posted by Erikl86 View Post
    Huh? This is the precise opposite to what I've been saying in that post you've quoted.
    Are you refuting that the Phoenician colonizers had a genetic impact on Southerners? The only colonizers to do so were the Greeks?

  13. #228
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    Quote Originally Posted by lockdownboredom View Post
    Are you refuting that the Phoenician colonizers had a genetic impact on Southerners? The only colonizers to do so were the Greeks?
    Considering there was no Phoenician colonizers in peninsular S. Italy, and we don't know exactly just how large the Phoenician settlement in Sicily was, then yeah, I doubt this was the main source for the genetic shift we see in S. Italy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by lockdownboredom View Post
    Are you refuting that the Phoenician colonizers had a genetic impact on Southerners? The only colonizers to do so were the Greeks?
    Factually north African influence is far smaller than Greek and Near Eastern one, so either we assume the Punic settlers in Sicily were mostly Near Eastern throughout this entire period or this theory doesn't work.
    From what we know the Punic settlers start being quite north African relatively quickly.

  16. #230
    Quote Originally Posted by Erikl86 View Post
    Considering there was no Phoenician colonizers in peninsular S. Italy, and we don't know exactly just how large the Phoenician settlement in Sicily was, then yeah, I doubt this was the main source for the genetic shift we see in S. Italy.
    Alrighty.

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