Did the greco-romans realize they were related to the other indo-europeans?

Dreamhunter

Ad Honorem
Jun 2012
7,505
Malaysia
I guess you have not been in Italy or Greece much, he doesn't look Italian or Greek , perhaps you can find similarity with some Sicilians or Spanish perhaps due to the fact that Arabs had been there for some time . Still Semite populations are fairly white skinned and are part of the caucasoid group , they also intermixed with indoeuropeans and preserved their language cultural group. Upper Royal class also is usually more light skinned than the rest of the population that is made of ethnicties of different origins.
Okay, perhaps Italian/Greek tend to be relatively a bit longer headed. There were several Greeks in our uni in England that time. There were in fact two in the same undergrad class as mine.
 
Oct 2017
186
United States
No way because of...

Going to guess probably not.

Remember you are dealing with a time when the person 3 villages over was an alien to you.
No one knew anything about anything there and then... it was always a dark age, it's only after Rome that people conceptualize the era of "Dark age" when in reality it was all the era before in some ways...

so lots of people fought everyone and no one had any idea what lay beyond this or that.

So it didn't affect anything at all, basically.

Also you refer to Greco-roman's in like a primitive state, the main point is they weren't related by culture or language at all after that point. The point at which they became Roman is quite different... it's akin to someone who drinks their own urine versus going to a bathhouse of some kind.. unless you consider that the same culture.

Finally I don't know how a modern Italian gets thrown in with a Ukranian person they aren't alike at all really.

An overriding assumption in this Greco-Roman bull of cheerios is that somehow it wasn't authentically ancient or historical when I'm quite sure any pre-existing ancient or antiquity groiup whether it's from Egypt or Mesopotamia or anywhere else in all probability would of applauded the Roman situation as being a distinct heir to classicism. It's totally irrelevant the color of the skin, as one might imagine it's hard to come by when thousands of years later that very concept is still wreaking havoc on the modern world.

that's kind of why if you look at a map of Rome, it's basically all those places from the depths of Egypt all the way to Hadrian's wall.

The fact that the period was composed of basically 900 civil wars just makes my point moreso... this is a period where people are struggling mightily with the possibilities of competing societal forms of organizations than ones they had settled upon for hundreds of years.

And whatever the true name or inheritance of the "Romans" or wherever they came from, they are or were as distinct as any two groups can be, you might as well think of them as Asians forming a cadre distinct from Australians or Alaskans or whoever else.

I guess if I had to put this together...

I believe the very first founders of Rome were probably German in origin, but using Trojan inheritance, hence you get a brief blip of Romulus and Remus, that just gets the party started and then their shunted to the side.

I don't think that's controversial or weird as long as you accept the Frank's own description of their movements as being in Greece during the classical era.. and thus at the conclusion of the Trojan war they would of left along with a handful of Trojans perhaps for safer regions.

However, the Alba Long dynasty which was existing around the same time was probably italic or a mix of Italic and other groups, anyway they all kind of meet/fight/figure out a new identity known as "Roman" which features benevolent Roman leadership and Italic or modern Italian corpus of experience and such.

So Romans were Italians, but the Roman institution was a Germanic idea ripped straight from the core of the classical world, it's a weird way to get things started, but reality is always stranger than fiction right?

At any rate, since it was of little consequence to Italians or other groups who was at the center, Rome basically de-facto becomes an Italian centered government that expands over the Mediterranean, and due to a number of different group's basic familiarity with and solidarity with those norms, becomes even bigger and includes a wide variety of groups, such as people in England etc.

jLike Indo-Europeans didn't have Greek Mythology tucked away but it doesn't really matter because they really capture the substance of it all basically, for all intents and purposes, probably better than all the Greeks save the Macedons with whom they had a strained relationship.

Rome was for all intents and purposes, the center of the classical world for recorded history, even though a large number of people who were actors in it all were not directly related to or descended from many of those people.

The german element is just taxation and getting a small slice of things, with minimal involvement until the Punic Wars and the emperor era.. where they started to assume control over the functions of Rome, and this continues on until Odoacer basically renders most of those functions almost negligible.

Once Rome seems like s haky proposition, they start to bow out in masse and it's basically Syrians and the French, or gauls really, carrying the torch for like a hundred years or so.

Well unless you believe the series of Excharcates and such were substantially Roman and continue the legacy, which I think so... but that means digging up the when does Rome fall thing again and I just don't feel like it.

I guess you can think of Rome as the Plan C which actually ends up lasting thousands of years longer than Plans A and B and they never propelry re-organized thing around it's slipshod origins to actually make sense to people thousands of years later.

And that's all largely due to the Italians, who for whatever reason out of all the groups of Europe at the time and even elsewhere in Africa and the Middle East, were more strongly attached to the ideals of Babylon and Sumeria and any other groups than all the other groups for thousands of miles this way and that way.

Nowadays they are just known for Pasta or something and I guess now here theoretically denigrated for their similiarites from some distant ancestor on the steppes which is rendered completely irrelevant by the thousands of years of warfare I would think.

And literally lastly Italians are "dark" really dark I mean where does the skin thing come in anyway?

But yes it's really the goths that destroy rome, not the Franks who just want to be on the winning side, or the Scottish who just run hide forever, but just a neverending torrent of Gothic invasions that must of eventually bored the Romans to tears so much they just tossed the thing in the gutter for long enough to get away from it all.

Carthage was the element which was substantially not Indo-European in Origin, and that's why when Rome's identity is in flux (Is it German? Gallic? What about other violent local tribes? Greeks?) they are opposed to Rome.. but after the second punic war when pretty much all the corrupt elements of Rome get slaughtered, most of Carthage is more or less content with Rome's authority, although the third punic war is still vital to establishing the need to accomodate all groups.

So the Punic Wars end really any gap between the cultures of antiquity and the IE produced culture of modernity which resemebles closely enough at the conclusion of those wars antiquity, mainly by crippling the institutions of Rome, so that they can join the gradually exploding party without fear that it will be monopolized or weaponized.

Again, it's a very weird situation, if you look for sensible patterns or understandings of logic with Rome, that's a mistake, it's honeslty a miracle it all made as much sense as it did, given that there was literally no predecessors of any kind in the region.

That said, modern Belgium was a pretty stout inheritor of the ancient cultures legacy, just with bigger swords and weapons, I guess.

Gauls and Syrians I would consider just big fans, if I can be that blunt...

But yes it's just like the Holy Roman Empire ending the gap between antiquity of a borrowed sort and the modern world, by virtue of the attempt to create it, and the attempt itself being considered sacred, and that's the world which we live in today and which is often proving controversial.

You can think of it like...

Ancient Dynastic groiups/Babylon etc >>> Gradually ok with Phoenicians/Carthage >>>> Gradually ok with Rome >>> Gradually ok with HRE i.e. Germany.

So it boils down to we're all ok with Germany but then Nazis happened and well I guess we've been moving back to square 1, or something, I don't know.. you can pile Frankish atrocities into a 20 year period in the Middle Ages and you really won't find another time for the most part, and those were against some pretty crappy people by most people's accounts.

Everything else was some kind of regional squabble by random jerks.. no more or less.

But if that doesn't work for people, maybe something else can change, it's clearly obviously happened before.

Since I'm rambling off topic basically at this point I'd also add that Iberia was never really a part of the equation, it's not even clear who inhabitated the peninsula at various times, ditto for Portugal.

I wouldn't even really consider that whole region ever conquered by the Romans, just a giant neverending war more or less.
 
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Feb 2018
172
EU-Germany
i think with the mamertines and the first punic war there is only one instance in which kinship played a role in roman history, the other stylings such as 'brothers of rome' as in the case of the aedui and massiliots were solely politically based;

other than that the umbrians were sometimes styled as veteres galli and during the hellenisation period scholars like dionysius worked hard to give the romans an hellenic backround even direclty raging against a barbarian italic/ligurian backround but the romans themselves seem to have always had a distinct line between them(+italic tribes) and the italiotes(greeks of italy);
 

Matthew Amt

Ad Honorem
Jan 2015
3,011
MD, USA
No way because of...



No one knew anything about anything there and then... it was always a dark age, it's only after Rome that people conceptualize the era of "Dark age" when in reality it was all the era before in some ways...
No idea what you're trying to say, here. Several Greek and Roman writers gave accounts of lands far beyond their borders, some of it fantasy but some of it quite accurate. I remember a number of mentions of languages that resembled others. So yes, Greek and Roman intellectuals were very aware of the outside world, at least to a certain degree, and knew that there were families or groups of languages. It's not even a very complex observation.

so lots of people fought everyone and no one had any idea what lay beyond this or that.

So it didn't affect anything at all, basically.
I *do* agree that most of a population wouldn't be greatly concerned by "foreign affairs" or linguistic studies!

Also you refer to Greco-roman's in like a primitive state, the main point is they weren't related by culture or language at all after that point. The point at which they became Roman is quite different... it's akin to someone who drinks their own urine versus going to a bathhouse of some kind.. unless you consider that the same culture.
What are you going on about?? Drinking urine? Are you trying to imply that the cultures which preceeded or led to Greece and Rome were dung-smeared, grunting cavemen? Because you'd be wildly wrong.



I believe the very first founders of Rome were probably German in origin, but using Trojan inheritance, hence you get a brief blip of Romulus and Remus, that just gets the party started and then their shunted to the side.
I'm trying to think of a way you could be more wrong, it's just not coming...

I don't think that's controversial or weird as long as you accept the Frank's own description of their movements as being in Greece during the classical era.. and thus at the conclusion of the Trojan war they would of left along with a handful of Trojans perhaps for safer regions.
Okay, maybe you're confusing 900 BC with 900 AD?


So Romans were Italians
Victory!

but the Roman institution was a Germanic idea ripped straight from the core of the classical world
You're kidding, right?

The german element is just taxation and getting a small slice of things, with minimal involvement until the Punic Wars and the emperor era.. where they started to assume control over the functions of Rome, and this continues on until Odoacer basically renders most of those functions almost negligible.
Um, WTF?

I guess you can think of Rome as the Plan C which actually ends up lasting thousands of years longer than Plans A and B and they never propelry re-organized thing around it's slipshod origins to actually make sense to people thousands of years later.

And that's all largely due to the Italians, who for whatever reason out of all the groups of Europe at the time and even elsewhere in Africa and the Middle East, were more strongly attached to the ideals of Babylon and Sumeria and any other groups than all the other groups for thousands of miles this way and that way.
Sorry, none of this makes any sense to me.

...but after the second punic war when pretty much all the corrupt elements of Rome get slaughtered, most of Carthage is more or less content with Rome's authority...
Um, what??

...although the third punic war is still vital to establishing the need to accomodate all groups.
You mean the part where Rome deliberately started a war to *exterminate* Carthage? Is that what you mean by "accomodate"?

So the Punic Wars end really any gap between the cultures of antiquity and the IE produced culture of modernity which resemebles closely enough at the conclusion of those wars antiquity, mainly by crippling the institutions of Rome, so that they can join the gradually exploding party without fear that it will be monopolized or weaponized.
Sorry, does anyone else think this sounds like a bot wrote it?

Again, it's a very weird situation, if you look for sensible patterns or understandings of logic with Rome, that's a mistake, it's honeslty a miracle it all made as much sense as it did, given that there was literally no predecessors of any kind in the region.
I can see how it would seem weird to you. Those of us who have read a little history find it much more sensible.



Since I'm rambling off topic basically at this point...
Ya think?

...I'd also add that Iberia was never really a part of the equation, it's not even clear who inhabitated the peninsula at various times, ditto for Portugal.
Luckily there are only a few dozen books that would disagree with you.

I wouldn't even really consider that whole region ever conquered by the Romans, just a giant neverending war more or less.
Funny that all the people who lived back then, and all the historians since, disagree completely with you. Where do you come up with all this garbage?

Matthew
 
Mar 2015
1,461
Yorkshire
It is a few hundred years old. Observations were made but they were by no means comprehensive. Still, these obervations provided the foundation for the subject, Indo European Linguistics. This is what wiki has to say on the earlier pioneers:

"Indo-European studies are generally considered to have been begun by William Jones, an Anglo-Welsh philologist, a puisne judge in Bengal who postulated the common ancestry of Sanskrit, Latin, and Greek. Although his name is closely associated with this observation, he was not the first to make it. In the 1500s, European visitors to the subcontinent became aware of similarities between Indo-Iranian languages and European languages and as early as 1653 Marcus Zuerius van Boxhorn had published a proposal for a proto-language ("Scythian") for the following language families: Germanic, Romance, Greek, Baltic, Slavic, Celtic and Iranian. In a memoir sent to the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres in 1767 Gaston-Laurent Coeurdoux, a French Jesuit who spent all his life in India, had specifically demonstrated the existing analogy between Sanskrit and European languages.

In many ways Jones' work was less accurate than his predecessors', as he erroneously included Egyptian, Japanese and Chinese in the Indo-European languages, while omitting Hindi."
Just in case reading this wiki piece, you think Jones was a dunderhead. It is not so:

William Jones was a genius, wrote treatise on mathematician , botany and history translator of early Arabic and Persian texts and noted poet, is best known for his linguistic works, knowledgeable in 28 languages, fluent in Arabic, Persian, Hindi and Urdu as well as several European Languages.

He founded the Asiatick Society in Calcutta in 1783, modelled on the Royal Society but dedicated to the study of Asiatic culture, language, history and nature. As President of the Society, Jones gave an annual Discourse.

The Society was very successful and amongst other activities collected thousands of Sanskrit documents

Jones, in his capacity of Judge, was already working on trying to reconcile, Hindu, Islamic and English Law and had become familiar and translated Sanskrit Classic "Sakuntala" into both English and Latin. This created something of a storm in intellectual European circles and interest in Indian Studies.

The relationship of Sanskrit with certain other Indo-European languages,
especially with Greek and Latin, had also been recognized prior to Jones
Thomas Stephens [1549-1619] 1583, Filippo Sassetti [1540-1588] 1585, Jean François Pons 1743, Benjamin Schultze [1715-1790] 1760, Gaston Laurent Coeurdoux 1768, Nathaniel Halhed 1778, Lord Monboddo 1774-1809

Moreover, there were at least 47 published accounts of Sanskrit before Jones’ statement on the matter (Muller 1986: 14).

Jones was well aware of the views of some of these predecessors

However he is most remembered for his Third Annual Presidential Discourse where he pointed out the similarities between Ancient Greek, Latin and Sanskrit.

Perhaps he should be better known for founding Asiatic studies.

BTW Jones invited Indian scholars to join the Society which did happen and the first Indian born was elected President in 1885.
 
Jul 2017
842
Crete
There is no Indo Europeans, Greeks are Greeks, Latins are Latins. Europe is Europe, India is India. Similarities came about during trade and Imperialism.
 
Jan 2017
132
Virginia, USA
It is a few hundred years old. Observations were made but they were by no means comprehensive. Still, these obervations provided the foundation for the subject, Indo European Linguistics. This is what wiki has to say on the earlier pioneers:

"Indo-European studies are generally considered to have been begun by William Jones, an Anglo-Welsh philologist, a puisne judge in Bengal who postulated the common ancestry of Sanskrit, Latin, and Greek. Although his name is closely associated with this observation, he was not the first to make it. In the 1500s, European visitors to the subcontinent became aware of similarities between Indo-Iranian languages and European languages and as early as 1653 Marcus Zuerius van Boxhorn had published a proposal for a proto-language ("Scythian") for the following language families: Germanic, Romance, Greek, Baltic, Slavic, Celtic and Iranian. In a memoir sent to the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres in 1767 Gaston-Laurent Coeurdoux, a French Jesuit who spent all his life in India, had specifically demonstrated the existing analogy between Sanskrit and European languages.

In many ways Jones' work was less accurate than his predecessors', as he erroneously included Egyptian, Japanese and Chinese in the Indo-European languages, while omitting Hindi."
Great post, but in regards to this list of names, one cannot forget the Florentine Italian merchant Filippo Sassetti, who made connections between Sanskrit and Italian during the 16th century, as suggested by peccavi in his post above mine. Long before Sassetti, Gerald of Wales, in the 12th century AD, argued for a common linguistic root for Welsh and other Celtic languages like Cornish and Breton.

As for Julius Caesar's De Bello Gallico, it is true that he mentioned languages of the various Celtic peoples of Gallic regions and made it clear in certain passages that some of them could understand Latin, but I don't recall if he ever spoke at length about the comparisons between Latin and Celtic tongues. It must have been rather obvious to some Romans given the similarity between certain Latin and Celtic words, for instance, the Gallic word for king being "rix" and the Latin variant being "rex", etc. In that instance Latin is more similar to Gallic than to Greek, which uses "basileus" as the word for king, and yet the Romans and Greeks, in linguistic and grammatical guides, made seemingly endless comparisons between their respective languages.

There is no Indo Europeans, Greeks are Greeks, Latins are Latins. Europe is Europe, India is India. Similarities came about during trade and Imperialism.
LOL. Clearly you are not a philologist, then. You honestly think that some languages show similarities only because of borrowed words instead of cognates with a similar etymological path? That's retarded. You clearly have no idea how languages work. There is a reason why linguists group languages together into larger language families, often with distinct branches, and it's not because of imperialism or whatever nonsense you're babbling about here.
 
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Jan 2018
283
Netherlands
I am not convinced that they had that awareness. Some prominent Greek and Roman writers (Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Varro) apparently thought that the Latin language had largely descended from Aeolic (a Greek dialect which, like Latin, had also retained the v-sound), possibly via Evander and his companions, but had been modified by the linguistic influence of neighboring "barbaric" peoples in the course of its history. Within the Latin language itself individual words were given crude and unsystematic etymologies based on superficial similarities with other words. Later Christian Roman authors seem to have believed that all languages had either derived from Hebrew or were created as an act of God as a punishment for the Tower of Bable.