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Introductory: The Aryan Immigration into Europe.

Ancient history, from the beginning of historical information to the downfall of the Western Roman Empire (? B.C. - 476 A.D.). The Western Nations: Greece.
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The grand historical fact connected with the spread of the highest form of civilisation throughout the world is the coming of the Aryans into Europe during a period perhaps extending from 2,000 to 1,000 years prior to the Christian era. We have, in this series of migrations, the coming forward of the race which was destined to rule the greater part of the modern world - to fill the leading continent, Europe; to dominate a large part of Asia; to become the masters of Africa; and to people America and Australasia with new nations superseding the non-Aryan aboriginal tribes. These Aryans, the noblest specimens of mankind, alike in physical, moral, and mental character, poured into Europe, it is supposed, mainly through the steppes lying between the southern spurs of the Ural Mountains and the Caspian Sea. In course of time, in successive swarms, they spread themselves into the peninsulas of Greece, Italy, and Spain, and reached the northern and western territories of Europe. It is most likely that the Celts were the first-comers, the people who, at the dawn of authentic history, are found in the extreme west, in the British Isles, and in Spain and Gaul. This earliest migration from Asia seems to have been slowly made, large numbers of settlers remaining behind in various parts of central Europe, as in Bohemia and throughout Germany, where many traces of Celtic occupation survived the arrival of the second-comers, the Teutons. The Celts who occupied central Gaul reached their highest point of native civilisation, and it is supposed that migrations from this part of the continent took them to the British Isles, the Spanish peninsula, and northern Italy. In the 3rd century b.c., a backward movement towards Asia took a band of Gauls into Greece, and thence into Asia Minor, where they settled in the interior region known as Galatia. The Teutons, who will be dealt with hereafter, drove the Celts before them, and occupied ultimately most of Germany, Denmark, Holland, much of what is now Belgium, and the southern and central parts of the Scandinavian peninsula (Sweden and Norway). The Slavs, the latest Aryan immigrants into Europe, occupied all the great eastern plain, prior to historical times, spreading northwards from the region of the Carpathians to the Baltic, westwards as far as the Elbe in its upper waters, and later, after the overthrow of the Huns in the 5th century a.d., going southwards beyond the Danube and peopling the whole peninsula between the Adriatic and Black Seas. The Slavs thus comprise most of the inhabitants of Russia, Bulgaria, Illyria, Poland, Silesia, Pomerania, Bohemia, and Croatia.

The Aryans have been also styled by scholars the Indo-European race, because some of the Asiatic branch, at the migrations from the original seats, came through the break between the Himalayas and the Hindu Kush chain into the Indian peninsula, long after the other branch had been making its way into Europe. The position reached by the Aryans in modern civilisation is due to the facts that they have not only inherited all the culture of the Oriental nations, including the Egyptians, but they possessed, in the highest degree, the faculties needful for attaining and keeping the moral and intellectual, as well as physical, mastery of the world - power of endurance, adaptability to varied conditions of life, and the capacity and zeal for indefinite self-improvement, and for continuous progress and achievement in science, literature, art, and all that has power to elevate mankind. It is now our purpose to deal, in the history of Greece, with one of the finest developments - in some;respects yet unequalled - of this grand historical race.

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Pictures for Introductory: The Aryan Immigration into Europe.

Map. the Ancient Western World
Map. the Ancient Western World >>>>

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