Diversity of Roman Britain

Aug 2016
926
Ireland, Dublin
#1
I came across this the other day....

https://www.google.ie/amp/s/amp.the...-twitter-abuse-roman-britain-ethnic-diversity


Many people are quick to criticize her claims (which isn't necessarily wrong because it's only right to maintain a fair amount scepticism especially on a topic such as this) but from what I've seen the majority of people attacking her and her claims are laymen who are even discrediting her credentials and accusing her of being politically correct and revisionistic which in my opinion is ridiculous, I read something where there was evidence of North African and Sub Saharan African remains found in York in Roman Britain.

https://www.unz.com/pfrost/african-community-in-roman-britain/

Leach et al. (2009) provide evidence for intense foreign settlement. At one burial ground near Roman York, craniometric analysis revealed that 66% of the individuals clustered most closely with Europeans, 23% with sub-Saharan Africans, and 11% with Egyptians. At another, the proportions were 53% European, 32% sub-Saharan, and 15% Egyptian (Leach et al., 2009).
In all fairness it's like those accusing some of being politically correct in their views are becoming historically incorrect in their views it really has to stop, some people are so lazy that it seems they could not be bothered to look up evidence for her claims Not that I necessarily agree with everything she said or atleast what others claimed she has said.


Thoughts?
 
Feb 2017
426
Rock Hill, South Carolina
#2
Genetic analysis of that same cemetery showed that none of them were Sub-Saharan, actually. Skull morphology is an incomplete picture.

https://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms10326

And Semitic and Sub-Saharan populations in North Africa don't rise significantly until the Post-Roman, Early Arab period:

https://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms15694

Likewise cemeteries from elsewhere in Britain point to areas of North African descent:

Going south of the river: A multidisciplinary analysis of ancestry, mobility and diet in a population from Roman Southwark, London - ScienceDirect

So what's my point here?

Were there Black people in Roman Britain? Yes. They were rare, they were rare across the entire Empire. The handful of sculptures, paintings, and literary references show that outside of parts of Tunisia and Libya they were very uncommon.

Were Roman-era North Africans the same as today? No. Not quite. People take examples like Urbicus, Severus, Hannibal, and Cleopatra but the reality is that these people came from the Punic upper classes (except Cleopatra, who was almost purely Greek or Greco-Macedonian). The upper classes avoided intermingling with the locals like the plague.

The BBC should be showing diversity via the olive-skinned, Mediterranean population and the "white" population.

However, my qualm was more showing the pre-Roman, low-mobility Iron age population, and the Saxons and Vikings/Normans including "Black" people, which is completely untrue.
 
Aug 2016
926
Ireland, Dublin
#3
Genetic analysis of that same cemetery showed that none of them were Sub-Saharan, actually. Skull morphology is an incomplete picture.

https://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms10326

And Semitic and Sub-Saharan populations in North Africa don't rise significantly until the Post-Roman, Early Arab period:

https://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms15694

Likewise cemeteries from elsewhere in Britain point to areas of North African descent:

Going south of the river: A multidisciplinary analysis of ancestry, mobility and diet in a population from Roman Southwark, London - ScienceDirect

So what's my point here?

Were there Black people in Roman Britain? Yes. They were rare, they were rare across the entire Empire. The handful of sculptures, paintings, and literary references show that outside of parts of Tunisia and Libya they were very uncommon.

Were Roman-era North Africans the same as today? No. Not quite. People take examples like Urbicus, Severus, Hannibal, and Cleopatra but the reality is that these people came from the Punic upper classes (except Cleopatra, who was almost purely Greek or Greco-Macedonian). The upper classes avoided intermingling with the locals like the plague.

The BBC should be showing diversity via the olive-skinned, Mediterranean population and the "white" population.

However, my qualm was more showing the pre-Roman, low-mobility Iron age population, and the Saxons and Vikings/Normans including "Black" people, which is completely untrue.

Where's the evidence of no Sub Saharan Africans in York?

Even if it did exclude Sub Saharan Africans, people are still denying that there was ethnic diversity in anyway at all which there obviously was as you have yourself shown in the first link, a Man that was analysed and shown to have Middle Eastern Ancestry.
 
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Aug 2016
926
Ireland, Dublin
#4
Genetic analysis of that same cemetery showed that none of them were Sub-Saharan, actually. Skull morphology is an incomplete picture.

https://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms10326

And Semitic and Sub-Saharan populations in North Africa don't rise significantly until the Post-Roman, Early Arab period:

https://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms15694

Likewise cemeteries from elsewhere in Britain point to areas of North African descent:

Going south of the river: A multidisciplinary analysis of ancestry, mobility and diet in a population from Roman Southwark, London - ScienceDirect

So what's my point here?

Were there Black people in Roman Britain? Yes. They were rare, they were rare across the entire Empire. The handful of sculptures, paintings, and literary references show that outside of parts of Tunisia and Libya they were very uncommon.

Were Roman-era North Africans the same as today? No. Not quite. People take examples like Urbicus, Severus, Hannibal, and Cleopatra but the reality is that these people came from the Punic upper classes (except Cleopatra, who was almost purely Greek or Greco-Macedonian). The upper classes avoided intermingling with the locals like the plague.

The BBC should be showing diversity via the olive-skinned, Mediterranean population and the "white" population.

However, my qualm was more showing the pre-Roman, low-mobility Iron age population, and the Saxons and Vikings/Normans including "Black" people, which is completely untrue.

And Semitic and Sub-Saharan populations in North Africa don't rise significantly until the Post-Roman, Early Arab period:


To say that is to say that the Romans and the Greeks themselves were lieing when they called certain groups eaithiop like such as the garamantes which were mentioned as being "black" in an Ancient Latin poem and not just that even the Punic Population which Hannibal was a part of has Been shown to have a considerable Sub Saharan African Component

https://scholar.google.com/scholar?um=1&ie=UTF-8&lr&q=related:LfMBNOgPmdZcHM:scholar.google.com/

the results seem to suggest the presence of several individuals of North African and sub-Saharan ancestry in Punic Ibiza.
Obviously there were Sub Saharan Africans in North Africa before the Roman Period. But let's stay on track.
 
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Naima

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
2,323
Venice
#5
Still with the crap about Romans beeing subsaharian? Who is spreading this crap? Black african agenda? Now greeks and Romans were black and also Vikings?

Romans were White, light skin and many were light hair and eyes too , thats proved and official , anyone saying they were olive skinned , dark and short like semitics or arabs are saying pure lies and idiocies out of some personal racial agenda.
 
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Aug 2016
926
Ireland, Dublin
#6
Still with the crap about Romans beeing subsaharian? Who is spreading this crap? Black african agenda? Now greeks and Romans were black and also Vikings?

Romans were White, light skin and many were light hair and eyes too , thats proved and official , anyone saying they were olive skinned , dark and short like semitics or arabs are saying pure lies and idiocies out of some personal racial agenda.
I don't think anyone was saying that, but rather that the Roman Britain population was more ethnically diverse than previously thought and accepted, which is why a tv producer was thinking of adding different ethnical types in a history program for kids concerning Roman Britain.
 
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Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
5,571
Portugal
#7
I don't think anyone was saying that, but rather that the Roman Britain population was more ethnically diverse than previously thought and accepted, which is why producers were thinking of adding different ethnic al types in a history program for kids concerning Roman Britain.
Due to the rarity of black skin people in the Roman empire, I think that making them appear in a BBC schools video is really what gives the so much need Political Correctness a bad name. The objective is clear, is to show racial inclusion since the ancient times, o present day societies, but I think is a bad path. It is like in the Hollywood movies from the last years… there is a constant need to show skin diversity.
 
Aug 2016
926
Ireland, Dublin
#8
Due to the rarity of black skin people in the Roman empire, I think that making them appear in a BBC schools video is really what gives the so much need Political Correctness a bad name. The objective is clear, is to show racial inclusion since the ancient times, o present day societies, but I think is a bad path. It is like in the Hollywood movies from the last years… there is a constant need to show skin diversity.
In some ways I actually agree, but I feel the way Hollywood has been doing things is really to blame for things like this, not some politically correct motive or some racial representation, because of Hollywood many people actually believe in nonsense such as the Greeks and Romans looking like your average Germanic or Anglo Saxon, which even people who have knowledge on what the Greeks and Romans may of looked liked don't ever really seem to be bothered by, so in this case where there's actually truth to the diverse reality of Roman Britain (to a small degree, but still quite significant) why is it so many people want to oppose the addition of historical truth while ignoring actual misrepresentations.
 

Scaeva

Ad Honorem
Oct 2012
5,592
#9
Romans were White, light skin and many were light hair and eyes too , thats proved and official , anyone saying they were olive skinned , dark and short like semitics or arabs are saying pure lies and idiocies out of some personal racial agenda.
If the Romans were light skinned and fair-haired then why isn't that also the case int their art? There is hardly a blonde to be found in any of Pompeii's frescoes. Nearly all the people depicted are tan and brown-haired. Surely some ancient Italians south of the Po were fair-haired and light-skinned as well, but they certainly were not the average.

As for Roman Britain, by the 1st Century AD a great many Romans were not Italian. To be Roman was to be a citizen of the city of Rome, not an ethnicity, and that citizenship had been extended to a great many provincials. So yes, there almost certainly were black African Romans regardless of whether or not some found their way to Roman Britain.
 
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Scaeva

Ad Honorem
Oct 2012
5,592
#10
Due to the rarity of black skin people in the Roman empire, I think that making them appear in a BBC schools video is really what gives the so much need Political Correctness a bad name. The objective is clear, is to show racial inclusion since the ancient times, o present day societies, but I think is a bad path. It is like in the Hollywood movies from the last years… there is a constant need to show skin diversity.
I've often seen the claim on the internet that black Africans were solely sub-Saharan in the ancient world and thus not part of the Roman Empire, but that is simply not true. The Roman poet Florus in a bit of racist verse explicitly describes Garamantian war captives enslaved and brought to Rome as black; he calls one a black slave and uses the phrase "pitch-colored body," so there were certainly black people within the Roman Empire's borders. Parts of the Roman province of Egypt also had black people.
 
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