Category: Kemp

Playing Out The String: Rome

The last century (or so) of the Western Roman Empire.

I will consider two relevant books, building on previous discussion at this blog on the subject of the Fall of Rome.

The first book: Theodosius: The Empire at Bay, by Williams and Friell

This book begins with the battle of Adrianople and its outcome (disastrous for Rome, good for the Goths and, hence, for Der Movement), focuses its major sections on Theodosius and his reign and its implications, and then finishes with a brief epilogue of the post-Theodosius Roman world and the question as to the inevitability of the collapse of the Western Roman Empire.

The historical background for the reign of Theodosius, and its influence on European history, which are covered in this book, are a matter of record, can be read (in summarized form) online, and we need not repeat all of that here.

Instead, we can address certain issues of interest to this blog.

This book makes some good points, which usually escape the obsessives and fetishists.  The Fall of Rome, the Western Empire at any fate, can be effectively explained without resort to sweaty rambling about “racial degeneration through admixture.”  

What about the Decline of Rome, as opposed to its Fall, if we agree that a “decline” took place?   

That Rome changed is without a doubt, but what do you expect?  The Theodosius book makes (what should be) the obvious point that the gigantic land empire of Rome could be maintained over time, and against the constant barrage of threats, only by co-opting and assimilating the subject peoples.  This process invariably would erode the specifically Roman – as in the original Romans – nature of the state. By state I mean the empire as a whole, as well as the nature of its rulers, as emperors eventually came from non-Roman and then non-Italian origins. This does not imply a mass panmixia of the population.  In other words, the Roman state, its citizenship, and its leadership, eventually came to include all the various ethnies found within it, so that any specific and exclusive character to the state was lost.  That is not the same as postulating “racial degeneration through admixture” – cultural and political degeneration may be more accurate, if one holds the narrow character of the early Roman Republic as the ideal.. But again, these changes are the price of establishing an empire – an integrated land empire especially – through conquest.

Other obvious points made is that as peoples become more civilized, their willingness and effectiveness as warriors diminishes to some extent (genetic pacification, along with cultural and social changes), and so the need exists to expand the pool of prospective soldiers; for Rome, from Italy to Gaul and Spain to the Danubian provinces and then, ultimately to Germanic and Asiatic barbarians (the latter of which contributed to the Fall).

So, yes, we observe the inevitable changes in the nature of the Roman state, the elevation of Emperors of non-Roman (in the strictest sense) and non-Italian heritage, and the creation of a multiethnic civil service and military force.

None of this should come as a surprise – was it possible for Rome itself, alone or in conjunction with local Italian allies, to administer and defend this vast territory against constant threats (Germans, Persians, Huns, Alans, etc.) for century after century?

The choice was between a Roman Rome or a multiethnic Empire.  A strictly ethnically Roman empire was an impossibility. Note that the European colonial empires of the last few centuries were for the most part overseas empires, local elites were co-opted even then, and these empires lasted not very long before collapsing and resulting in a backflow of colonized peoples into Europe itself.  One could argue that the overseas colonial model ended up being a worse disaster than Rome’s.


Another point made is that conquest of the empire, which brought with it all the goodies initially extracted from the conquered lands, was economically, politically, and organizationally easier than maintenance of its vast holdings over the centuries.

It is true that there was a lot of political corruption in the Later Western Roman Empire, but that had nothing to do with racial degeneration, as the Theodosius book clearly demonstrates. The chapter “The Topheavy Empire” discusses in detail the causes, types of, and consequences of, the excessive levels of political corruption that grew over time in the Roman Empire, particularly in the West.

So, yes, lots of political corruption. But then there was always corruption in Rome, including in the Republic period, also including Pierce’s favorite, Sulla.

Indeed, corruption throughout the Classical period was a problem, and it is also important to distinguish political corruption from moral.  Political corruption is always a problem for bureaucracies, and the larger the bureaucracy grows – as one would expect from a large, established empire over time – the more political corruption grows.  Moral corruption has some overlap with political corruption, but the two are not the same.  One could have political corruption without a large amount of moral corruption spread throughout society; on the other hand, political corruption is usually found whenever moral corruption is widespread.  So, it does not follow that political corruption in the Late Western Roman Empire necessarily means that that moral corruption was growing; one can argue that the Christian Late Western Roman Empire was significantly less morally corrupt than the Rome of Sulla, Caesar, Tiberius, Caligula, or Nero. Likewise, the America of Tammany Hall, the Grant administration, and the Harding administration, had enormous amounts of political corruption, but was far less morally corrupt than the America of today.

So, it is understandable that growing powers and established empires will have political corruption and such corruption is bad and it is destructive, but it is not the same as moral corruption, and there is no clear connection of corruption to “racial degeneration” as Der Movement typically asserts.

The racial degeneration theory raises the question as to why the more racially degenerate Eastern Roman Empire lasted a thousand years longer than the West.  Perhaps because the Fall of the West was due in large part to military reasons and not racial degeneracy, and that the East had the wealth to “buy off threats.” This the West could not effectively do. Of course, Der Movement will assert that unlike the degenerate later empire, the noble, Aryan, Dolph Lundgren-like original Romans would never stoop to buy off their enemies. Yeah, sure.

Indeed, the Roman accommodation of the Goths under Theodosius, and their treatment as equals and settlement in Roman lands as an integrated unassimilated group – that would later prove disastrous – was done because of serious Roman manpower shortages and the realization of other threats over the horizon – Huns and Alans.  Manpower shortages, coupled perhaps to Frost’s “genetic pacification” of the shrunken population, and, most importantly, the constant hammering from “barbarian” threats – Goth, Huns, Alans, etc. – were too much for the Empire to bear, especially when coupled to strategic idiocy and infighting from the leadership of the state.

Under those circumstances, one wonders how the Western Empire lasted as long as it did, not that it collapsed.

On another point, if the Romans had been in a better positon in the West, and had the Goths (and Vandals and other Germanics) been more reasonable and far-sighted, the initial steps of Roman and Germanic cooperation (e.g., Frankish generals and Gothic soldiers serving in the Western Roman military, as well as the cooperation at Chalons), could have led to the evolution to a more modern Europe without the interregnum of the Dark Ages.

As an amusing aside, as part of moral posturing on the part of the authors of this book about ‘racism and xenophobia,” they note the anti-barbarian sentiments of Synesius of Cerene who proposed that “Let all fair-haired men be banished from positions of power.”  Cue fainting fits from Der Movement. (Jordanes’ Getica is more in Der Movement style).

The authors suggest that Synesius’ opinions were unrealistic, before telling us all about the disintegration of the Western Roman empire under the onslaught of the selfsame barbarians critiqued by Synesius, including “allies” of one emperor or another (or of their behind the scenes handlers).  Does the name “Alaric” ring a bell?  So, the authors need to do a better job of refuting Synesius than SJW hysteria about “racism and xenophobia.”

This book is the mirror image of the Theodosius biography; it gives a brief summary of what went on before the main subject of this volume, including a brief history of the reign of Theodosius himself, and then concentrates on the last decades of the Western Roman Empire, including an analysis of what went wrong.

The Vandal conquest of Rome’s African province was devastating for the Western Empire, cutting off a significant source of revenue, leading to bankruptcy and the inability to maintain an effective independent military force.  Grain shipments were disrupted, as was trade in the Mediterranean.  The Roman aristocracy selfishly refused to contribute to the empire’s defense, with either men or money, and the provinces began losing loyalty to Rome (itself obsessed with palace intrigue and civil wars), with an increased emphasis on local loyalties and dissension due to religious conflicts.  Superimposed on this was the constant barbarian threat, and the split of the empire between West and East, with the wealthier areas in the East – an East that increasingly thought of itself as a self-contained entity superior to the West. Therefore, the Western Empire spun increasingly out of control.  “Racial degeneration through admixture” need not play a part in any of this.

The author points out that Romans, and then Italians in general, soured on the idea of military service quite early, and were content to let border provincials carry the brunt of the duty, leading to a situation that made the peoples of Italy increasingly unfit as effective soldiers (20th century Italian military disasters can be considered in this light, perhaps – a too-long period of genetic pacification?).  This is more a function of genetic pacification, overcivilized softening with prosperity, and altered social mores, as it is any “racial degeneration through admixture.” The last “Conclusion” chapter of this book sums up the many inter-related problems faced by the Late Western Roman Empire and the (postulated by the author) “inevitability” of its collapse.  

In any case, empires built through conquest (of one form or another) are inherently unstable, and this has nothing to do with “racial admixture.”  The very maintenance of such an empire over time drains its vitality and resources, and degenerates the population (in ways not dependent upon “admixture” but of course admixture may in theory also occur). For example, would anyone seriously expect the Assyrian Empire to still exist today even if we assume the Assyrians maintained strict racial purity?

As regards the various leaders of the late Western Roman Empire, I am sure at least some of them had an at least an implicit understanding that they were just “playing out the string” – doing the best they could under circumstances in which a bad ending was more or less inevitable, doing their duty as long as they could, delaying that inevitable bad ending for as long as possible, going through the motions of empire even when a point was reached that the “Western Roman Empire” was reduced to mainland Italy and Sicily and really not much else. 

There were opportunities to (temporarily, if we assume collapse was “inevitable”) reverse the degeneration before things reached that point; it was unlikely to have saved the empire on a permanent basis, but it could have lasted longer with better decisions, better luck, and less infighting.  By the way, my judgment is that the division of the Roman Empire into Western and Eastern halves was the beginning of the end for the West; even though that grand strategy may have been useful as an expedient when initially devised, ultimately it led to a situation in which the richer and more secure Eastern Roman Empire viewed itself as an independent (and superior) entity, bent on its own preservation at the cost of the Fall of the West.  An integrated empire would have been able to draw on its total strength for defense, and could have lasted longer to ensure a more gradual change to the sort of federated European union that could have been possible between the remnants of the Empire and the more “Romanized” of the “barbarians” – eventually integrating the West as a whole, and letting the more alien parts of the East go its own way.

Let’s consider Nietzsche as the coda here, contrasting his views to Der Movement dogma, emphasis added.

That which stood there aere perennis, the imperium Romanum, the most magnificent form of organization under difficult conditions that has ever been achieved, and compared to which everything before it and after it appears as patchwork, bungling, dilletantism those holy anarchists made it a matter of “piety” to destroy “the world,” which is to say, the imperium Romanum, so that in the end not a stone stood upon another and even Germans and other such louts were able to become its masters.  The Christian and the anarchist: both are decadents; both are incapable of any act that is not disintegrating, poisonous, degenerating, blood sucking ; both have an instinct of mortal hatred of everything that stands up, and is great, and has durability, and promises life a future.  Christianity was the vampire of the imperium Romanum, overnight it destroyed the vast achievement of the Romans: the conquest of the soil for a great culture that could await its time.  Can it be that this fact is not yet understood?  The imperium Romanum that we know, and that the history of the Roman provinces teaches us to know better and better, this most admirable of all works of art in the grand manner was merely the beginning, and the structure to follow was not to prove its worth for thousands of years.  To this day, nothing on a like scale sub specie aeterni has been brought into being, or even dreamed of!  This organization was strong enough to withstand bad emperors: the accident of personality has nothing to do with such things the first principle of all genuinely great architecture.  But it was not strong enough to stand up against the corruptest of all forms of corruption against Christians.  These stealthy worms, which under the cover of night, mist and duplicity, crept upon every individual, sucking him dry of all earnest interest in real things, of all instinct for reality this cowardly, effeminate and sugar coated gang gradually alienated all “souls,” step by step, from that colossal edifice, turning against it all the meritorious, manly and noble natures that had found in the cause of Rome their own cause, their own serious purpose, their own pride.

The whole labour of the ancient world gone for naught: I have no word to describe the feelings that such an enormity arouses in me.  And, considering the fact that its labour was merely preparatory, that with adamantine self consciousness it laid only the foundations for a work to go on for thousands of years, the whole meaning of antiquity disappears!  To what end the Greeks?  To what end the Romans?  All the prerequisites to a learned culture, all the methods of science, were already there; man had already perfected the great and incomparable art of reading profitably that first necessity to the tradition of culture, the unity of the sciences; the natural sciences, in alliance with mathematics and mechanics, were on the right road, the sense of fact, the last and more valuable of all the senses, had its schools, and its traditions were already centuries old!  Is all this properly understood?  Every essential to the beginning of the work was ready: and the most essential, it cannot be said too often, are methods, and also the most difficult to develop, and the longest opposed by habit and laziness.  What we have today reconquered, with unspeakable self discipline, for ourselves for certain bad instincts, certain Christian instincts, still lurk in our bodies that is to say, the keen eye for reality, the cautious hand, patience and seriousness in the smallest things, the whole integrity of knowledge all these things were already there, and had been there for two thousand years!  More, there was also a refined and excellent tact and taste!  Not as mere brain drilling!  Not as “German” culture, with its loutish manners!  But as body, as bearing, as instinct in short, as reality.  All gone for naught!  Overnight it became merely a memory!  The Greeks!  The Romans!  Instinctive nobility, taste, methodical inquiry, genius for organization and administration, faith in and the will to secure the future of man, a great yes to everything entering into the imperium Romanum and palpable to all the senses, a grand style that was beyond mere art, but had become reality, truth, life.  All overwhelmed in a night, but not by a convulsion of nature!  Not trampled to death by Teutons and others of heavy hoof!  But brought to shame by crafty, sneaking, invisible, anaemic vampires!  Not conquered, only sucked dry!  Hidden vengefulness, petty envy, became master!  Everything wretched, intrinsically ailing, and invaded by bad feelings, the whole ghetto world of the soul, was at once on top!  

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Kemp Weeps: Greeks

Population genetics

Read this.  Emphasis added:

Now, ancient DNA suggests that living Greeks are indeed the descendants of Mycenaeans, with only a small proportion of DNA from later migrations to Greece. And the Mycenaeans themselves were closely related to the earlier Minoans, the study reveals, another great civilization that flourished on the island of Crete from 2600 B.C.E. to 1400 B.C.E. (named for the mythical King Minos).

Not surprisingly, the Minoans and Mycenaeans looked alike, both carrying genes for brown hair and brown eyes. Artists in both cultures painted dark-haired, dark-eyed people on frescoes and pottery who resemble each other, although the two cultures spoke and wrote different languages. The Mycenaeans were more militaristic, with art replete with spears and images of war, whereas Minoan art showed few signs of warfare, Lazaridis says. Because the Minoans script used hieroglyphics, some archaeologists thought they were partly Egyptian, which turns out to be false.

When the researchers compared the DNA of modern Greeks to that of ancient Mycenaeans, they found a lot of genetic overlapModern Greeks share similar proportions of DNA from the same ancestral sources as Mycenaeans, although they have inherited a little less DNA from ancient Anatolian farmers and a bit more DNA from later migrations to Greece. 

The continuity between the Mycenaeans and living people is “particularly striking given that the Aegean has been a crossroads of civilizations for thousands of years,” says co-author George Stamatoyannopoulos of the University of Washington in Seattle. This suggests that the major components of the Greeks’ ancestry were already in place in the Bronze Age, after the migration of the earliest farmers from Anatolia set the template for the genetic makeup of Greeks and, in fact, most Europeans. “

Alt Right Goes Arthur Kemp

Lulz crowd.

Yawn again (towards the end).

It is certainly not surprising that their commentators are ethnic fetishists, given that the gaggle of stolen valor frauds, lulzing retards, Trump fanboys, weasel-faced girls school field hockey coaches, and other paragons of White (non)achievement behave in the same manner.

Do we need any more evidence that the Alt Right is a blight on racial nationalism?  The Alt Right, particularly AltRight.com, requires more critical analysis, which will be forthcoming on this blog, on a more or less regular basis.

Meet Chad Crowley: Anti-White Activist

Another Type I fetishist.

I am postponing the post originally scheduled for today, to make some brief comments about Chad Crowley, the latest Type I Alt Righter who regurgitates warmed over Kempism, deluded that some novel insights are being made.

Crowley’s all-too-familiar, and, from a general “movement” standpoint, boringly repetitive and grossly unimaginative, ramblings on Rome are both non-historical as well as anti-scientific (*).

I know I’ve seen the name “Chad Crowley” before, and a cursory search brings up sweaty mumblings about “Indo-Europeans” that laughably accepts Gunther as some sort of serious scholar, instead of the embarrassing crank that he was, at Beavis-and-Butthead.com, and we can also observe more juvenile Alt Right nonsense at Counter-Currents.  Let’s examine a piece about “Viking Superman” (of course).  Emphasis added:

Viking — the word itself still conjures up the stereotypical image of bloodthirsty blonde barbarians, whose rage can only be sated by acts of pillage and rapine. Fortunately, this dated historical perspective has been somewhat revised, and establishment historians now tacitly acknowledge that Norse civilization was much more complex than previously thought, and a lot less one-dimensional. 

If only Der Movement could consider the history of Rome and the rest of the Classical World, as well as that of “modern” Southern Europe, in a manner that is “much more complex” and “a lot less one-dimensional.” Alas, that would entail some original thinking and a break with fossilized dogma (blasphemy) so such revised “historical perspective” will not be forthcoming from the babbling zombies of “movement” discourse.

If you are familiar with any of my writings, you’ll know that I firmly advocate the study and superimposition of past historical experiences onto present circumstances. Julius Evola

Who was of course a non-Indo-European, non-White, subhuman mongrel (which doesn’t prevent the Type I crowd from being fascinated with Evola and his insipid ramblings)

…presents my view of the usefulness of history succinctly when he posits that exploration of the past isn’t done for the ghoulish resurrection of long-dead peoples or cultures, but rather for the perennial spirit that animates and gives life to both. 

Or to engage in the usual “movement” ethnic fetishism.

The Vikings were many things — warriors, poets, explorers, statesmen — and in the dark days to come, I can think of no better “spirit” to invoke and study than that of our intrepid and oft-misunderstood Norse brethren. Like White Nationalism, Norse culture and the ‘Viking Age’ are still a sadly misunderstood phenomena, and this makes their examination all the more relevant.

The Roman period, particularly the Later Western Roman Empire, is still “a sadly misunderstood” period (misunderstood by Nutzi nitwits); I plan to read up on that period and eventually share my insights here (which you should not read if disagreement with “movement” dogma gives you fainting fits).

Furthermore, for centuries the Vikings were feared and hated by their non-Norse contemporaries, and later despised by generations of the anti-White academic establishment. All of this has only changed within the past several decades. What does this tell us? It illustrates that like our Viking kin, we White Nationalists will too someday be vindicated retrospectively, because nature favors the victorious, and our cause is glorious.

Please don’t say “we White nationalists.” I neither consider you a White nationalist nor part of “we.”

The White/European predisposition for heterodox thinking

Oh, the irony!  Someone who parrots decades of rigidly fossilized “movement” dogma with nary an original thought anywhere to be found talks about the “White/European predisposition for heterodox thinking.”

… is rooted in our people’s unique ethno- and evolutionary history. The great prophet of decline Oswald Spengler

Who would vehemently disagree with the bulk of your writing, including the confusion of Apollonian with Faustian.

 speculated that the Nordic (Aryan/Indo-European/European) soul was forged in the “harder struggling” environs of the “Nordic steppe,” and though I am not an environmental determinist, I would hold that this is partially true.[4] In the early Indo-European world, and even later in the Norse world of the Viking Age, the love of competition, permeated by the struggle of low-intensity conflict and in conjunction with the extreme climes of Northern Europe, gave birth to an inegalitarian and hierarchical society of aristocratic-warriors and heroic individuals. 

At the same time, the HBD-Nordicists tell us that Germanic Northwest Europeans are egalitarian altruistic universalists, uniquely helpless against immigration, being descended from “high trust hunter gatherers” who evolved in “the extreme climes of Northern Europe.”  The fact that these internally inconsistent views cause no cognitive dissonance is clear evidence that we are not dealing with rational analysis, but with a form of secularized religious faith.

These individuals favored deed and action over the pettiness of mere physical existence and material comfort. The cumulative tempering effect of all of these forces gave shape to the White/European man, whose desire to transcend the biological and the material…

That coming from someone who is a biological-minded materialist, albeit one peddling pseudoscience.

…whose penchant for a grounded abstract, became a proclivity for transcendence through self-overcoming. The White race’s ability to think clearly and creatively, harnessing our inner ‘Faustian’ nature has always been our people’s greatest strength, and we would be wise to continue to harness that which has always made us strong.
As White Nationalists…

Crowley is an anti-White activist, not a White nationalist (see below).

..we’ve dedicated ourselves to representing the highest, most transcendent attributes of our race, and the utilization of our ‘Faustian’ spirit in the service of a cause greater than our individual egos should be one of our greatest ideals. Ernst Jünger proclaimed that the underlying principle of the modern world is the centrality of pain. By experiencing and embracing hardship we have much in common with our Viking and Indo-European ancestors, and as such possess the potential for yet-undreamed-of greatness. 

Such greatness not manifested by the likes of Crowley.

Adolf Hitler once said that the Aryan “is the Prometheus of mankind” and I can conjure up no better epithet to describe the collective awesomeness intrinsic to our blood.

“Collective awesomeness.”  Cue cries of Pepe!  And Hail Kek!

Crowley is just another run-of-the mill, dime-a-dozen ethnic fetishist; same old, same old. By peddling distortions and untruths to divide Whites against themselves, Crowley does the dirty work of the System, and therefore can be considered a dedicated anti-White activist, not a White nationalist.

Sadly, The Occidental Observer has degenerated into a highbrow version of Chateau Heartiste, being a mix of Trump fanboyism, HBD pseudoscience, Nordicism, and juvenile AltRightism. More evidence that Der Movement, Inc. corrupts everything it comes in contact with, including otherwise intelligent and well individuals (TOO blog founders, not necessarily all of the contributors).

*Further, looking at Novembre’s “genes mirror geography” study, we can see that Italian samples, derived from various parts of that nation, fall exactly where one would expect given the geographic cline of gene frequencies.  There is no significant shift, as one would expect if the population base of the nation had been significantly replaced by others from origins outside the European genetic cline.

Population Genetics: 8/17/17

More refutation of “movement” ethnic fetishism.

Read this.

And then this.

From the original paper (emphasis added):

Phenotype prediction from genetic data has enabled the reconstruction of the appearance of ancient Europeans who left no visual record of their pigmentation. By contrast, the appearance of the Bronze Age people of the Aegean has been preserved in colourful frescos and pottery, depicting people with mostly dark hair and eyes. We used the HIrisPlex tool (Supplementary Information section 4) to infer that the appearance of our ancient samples matched the visual representations (Extended Data Table 2), suggesting that art of this period reproduced phenotypes naturalistically. 

We estimated the fixation index, FST, of Bronze Age populations with present-day West Eurasians, finding that Mycenaeans were least differentiated from populations from Greece, Cyprus, Albania, and Italy (Fig. 2), part of a general pattern in which Bronze Age populations broadly resembled present-day inhabitants from the same region (Extended Data Fig. 7).

No, no, a thousand times, no! 

Seriously though, I believe we will find that (relative) genetic continuity is more the rule rather than the exception.  The big changes in population composition are occurring today, and it’s probably more realistic to concentrate on preserving our genetic interests today than indulging in increasingly refuted “movement” ethnic fetishism.

More Alt Right Stupidity

More “movement” stupidity.

Getting back to a point made here, one needs to remember that Liddell has a history of fossilized “movement” ethnic fetishism, previously noted, for example here and also here.

Of course, one cannot forget this either (emphasis added):

Perhaps worst vice in our circles is accusing one’s opponents of being “controlled opposition” or enemy agents without adequate evidence. Mike Cernovich has said it about Richard Spencer. Ramzpaul and Colin Liddell have said it about Andrew Anglin…but calling people informants without evidence should be an absolute taboo — right up there with doxing our own people to settle petty scores — as it undermines the trust that is the foundation of every functional movement. The enemy spends a great deal of time sowing distrust in our ranks. So the suspicion of being an enemy agent should fall back on anyone who throws around that charge without evidence. They stand convicted by their own flimsy standards of evidence.

Certainly a well-rounded contributor to Der Movement, indeed!   To be fair, the same should apply to those who call – with no evidence whatsoever – Spencer a “CIA asset.”


The “Buck Negger” Trump is once again asserting his desire to do comprehensive immigration reform.


Cuckadoodledoo!  But, hey. Let’s concentrate instead on Trump’s “negs” and handshakes – more important no doubt.


Read this.

I observed no equivalent of jock culture; the overall dearth of masculinity among Nordic men is not a secret. Guys are mostly thin, well dressed, polite, and unprepared for a fight.

When Sunic made a similar point some years ago – albeit with less polite language – he was vilified.  Perhaps this author would be better received. One wonders – compare the modern description of “Nordic men” compared to that of the time of Karl X Gustav and, of course, earlier than that, the Vikings.  A Kempian racial “historian” of the future may as well claim that this drastic change in behavior has been due to “racial admixture.”  That’s not the case of course, and in cases like this, Frost’s “genetic pacification” is a more likely explanation – and for the Classical World as well.