Analysis Of Martin P. Nilsson's Article On The Race Problem Of The Roman Empire

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In 1921, Martin P. Nilsson published an article called “The Race Problem of the Roman Empire”, in which he detailed the composition and changes in ethnic groups throughout the course of the Roman Empire, and ultimately concluded that race was part of the fall of the Roman Empire (Nilsson). What was interesting about the article was that the scientific journal, Hereditas, covering heredity and genetics, had only been started a year before, and the topic was unusual for such a scientific forum. Also interesting was the fact that the original article was resurrected and discussed 89 years later in the same journal (Bengtsson). However, considering the hindsight of history with Hitler’s uprising, WWII, and the perfect race, coupled with current genetic engineering questions, the article offered a unique perspective. Martin P. Nilsson was a Swedish scholar of Greek and Roman religious systems, who…show more content…
His conclusion stated that as long as the older tribes were hostile to each other and independent in the past, the separate groups were stable. He blamed failures of countries on the innate flaws of certain races. Slavery also introduced weakness, since slaves were debased humans. He didn’t say that slaves were any particular race, but were of a lower quality of people because of their station in life. Nilsson’s phrases near the end of the article included the word “bastardizing” or “bastard” fourteen times over two pages, which illustrated his opinions about the mixture of races in the Roman Empire. He observed very little good in the expansion of the Empire with its eventual integration of the other races, which introduced inferior traits. His final point stated “the consequences of victory to be fatal to the victors, who have been merged and lost in the broad masses of the conquered

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