Who were the Aryans?

Earlier thread of mine as to this very report: http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=490428

The Tolkien letter to a German publisher, linked in the OP, is still worth a look.

We know at least some of early Greeks were blonde haired and blue eyed because they painted their statues and we see the paint remnants today.

Modern day Greeks obviously aren’t.

The Greeks covered a large area including much of Turkey and many Black Sea coasts. They were contiguous with ‘Celts’ (though there are two types of Celt, linguistic and ethnic)

Oppenheimer’s work on The Origins of the British covers a lot of the immediate post-iceage migrations including from a refuge in Southern Ukraine on the Black-Sea coast. This may well be the proto Indo-European location.

Incidentally, how would an Ancient Greek statue painter fare at the local paint shop? e.g. “I’d like a gallon of umm, err, you know, umm, like the sky…”

What did the Greeks call Egyptian blue?

Orange. Completely coincidentally, too, as they knew about the (what we would call) orange-colored fruit and the House of Orange was quite a ways in the future. And oddly, because their literature all rhymed and everybody knows that nothing rhymes with orange, limiting their poetry to describing cloudy days.

I, for one, am disappointed that no Neo-Nazis have arrived to school us on Aryan history. :mad:

Did they /have/ paint shops?

On another note, the Kurgan hypothesis’s stock has fallen a bit of late. Many are now looking at Anatolia, which is, after all, the home of the first known Indo-Europeans, the Hittites, though even the Hittites are much more recent than the Indo-European ancestors. (Note, calling them “Hittites” is an old tradition, but it has never actually been proven that they had anything to do with the “Hittites” of the Bible.)

Really? comparative linguistics dates back to the 1500’s? I would have thought that it wouldn’t be until the late 1600’s, or 1700’s, when the Europeans began to move into India?

It surprised me too but Cecil has it right. (Although I guess it’s how you interpret ‘scholars’.) From Wikipedia:

It is, indeed, an awesome response.

I do feel rather badly for poor old Tolkien. There he was, a world-expert and lover of what was a rather obscure niche subject - Germanic folklore - just at the time when the Nazis came along, obsessed in a bad way with the same thing!

Not the popularization of his beloved subject he would have wanted, I would imagine.

A multilingual priest and a merchant who probably spoke several languages? One or the other describes most scholars of linguistics in the 16th century. Especially ones who studied the languages of subcontinental Asia. Age of Discovery and all. They were there and picked up some patterns.

It was William Jones’ famous paper of 1786, though, that lit the fuse. Sometimes that just happens in history.

No, indeed. He wrote to a friend that Hitler’s twisted appropriation of Northern European mythos had ruined it for everyone for a long time to come.