A slow-spreading(?) slur: "_anti_-slant[-]eye"
gogaku at IX.NETCOM.COM
Sat Mar 10 22:39:49 UTC 2012
Whether the Huns are the same people known in China as the Xiongnu is discussed a bit in Beckwith's "Empires of the Silk Road." I have the 2009 paperback, and he discusses it on page 72 and endnote 51. (He uses the Wades-Giles spelling of Hsiung-Nu.)
One paper he cites in his endnote (which contradicts his view in his main thesis) is Étienne de la Vaissière: "Huns et Xiongnu" in Central Asiatic Journal 49.1: 3-26. Evidently, Vaissière takes issue with Central Eurasianist consensus that the Xiongnu and Huns are unconnected.
FWIW, he also says that the first mention of the Huns is the second century by Ptolemy.
Beckwith probably deals with the language issue as well, though I don't recall that part enough to find it.
On Mar 10, 2012, at 2:23 PM, Jonathan Lighter wrote:
> For some reason, this mistakenly went to Jim only:
> The Huns were theorized in the 18th C. to have originated somewhere in the
> far eastern reaches of Mongolia or Manchuria. As I understand it, there's
> not much evidence to support this idea. It may have been based in part on
> the fact that the Huns were so weird, wild, and crazy, they must have been
> It seems more likely that they were a Turkic people - certainly their
> principal language appears to have been Turkic.
> Even the latest "Attila the Hun" movie (2001), starring the non-epicanthial
> Gerard Butler as Attila, seems implicitly to accept the Turkic theory. The
> silence of Ammianus offers minor support.
> On Sat, Mar 10, 2012 at 5:19 PM, Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com>wrote:
>> The Huns were theorized in the 18th C. to have originated somewhere in the
>> far eastern reaches of Mongolia or Manchuria. As I understand it, there's
>> not much evidence to support this idea. It may have been based in part on
>> the fact that the Huns were so weird, wild, and crazy, they must have been
>> It seems more likely that they were a Turkic people - certainly their
>> principal language appears to have been Turkic.
>> Even the latest "Attila the Hun" movie (2001), starring the
>> non-epicanthial Gerard Butler as Attila, seems implicitly to accept the
>> Turkic theory. The silence of Ammianus offers minor support.
>> On Sat, Mar 10, 2012 at 2:44 PM, James A. Landau <JJJRLandau at netscape.com>
>> <JJJRLandau at netscape.com> wrote:
>>> The Roman writer Ammianus Marcellinus, writing sometime between 378 and
>>> 391 AD, gives the following description of the Huns. If the Huns were
>>> indeed of the East Asian race (I do not know the current PC term for the
>>> race that includes the indigenous peoples of China, Mongolia, Korea, Japan,
>>> etc.), then this may be the oldet extant description of what an East Asian
>>> looks like to a Caucasian. Notice there is no mention of eyes, but we are
>>> not sure the Huns were of the East Asian race and hence do not know if the
>>> Huns had "slant" eyes.
>>> The people of the Huns,[footnote 5] but little known from ancient
>>> records, dwelling beyond the Maeotic Sea near the ice-bound ocean, exceed
>>> every degree of savagery. Since there the cheeks of the children are
>>> deeply furrowed with the steel [footnoe 6] from their very birth, in order
>>> that the growth of hair, when it appears at the proper time, may be checked
>>> by the wrinkled scars, they grow old without beards and without any beauty,
>>> like eunuchs. They all have compact, strong limbs and thick necks, and are
>>> so monstrously ugly and misshapen, that one might take them for two-legged
>>> beasts or for the stumps, rough-hewn into images, that are used in putting
>>> sides to bridges.[footnote 7] But although they have the form of men,
>>> however ugly, they are so hardy in their mode of life that they have no
>>> need p383of fire nor of savory food, but eat the roots of wild plants and
>>> the half-raw flesh of any kind of animal whatever, which they put between
>>> their thighs and the backs of their h!
>>> orses, and thus warm it a little.
>>> 5 Cf. Zos. IV.20; Sozom. VI.37; Agathias, 5.11 ff.
>>> 6 Cf. Sidonius, Paneg. ad Avitum, 243 ff.
>>> 7 Used for adorning the parapets of bridges. Cf. Jordanes, 24.
>>> - Jim Landau
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