Why are Southern Italians darker than Northern Italians?

General Non-Genealogy Discussions.
Ask questions, chat and talk about anything.
carubia
Master
Master
Posts: 1110
Joined: 25 Jan 2011, 12:13
Location: Tokyo, Japan

Re: Why are Southern Italians darker than Northern Italians?

Post by carubia »

What is your source of that bottom quote? I note that it doesn't seem to contradict the paper that I cited (Sicily is not part of the Italian peninsula!). Do you have anything to refute the technical assertions of the paper? I'm not qualified to judge, but it was a coauthored by a researchers in genetics and mathematics.

They also assert that the genetic composition of Sicily is similar to that observed in other Mediterranean islands.
PeterTimber
Master
Master
Posts: 6817
Joined: 16 Dec 2007, 18:57
Location: Yonkers NY

Re: Why are Southern Italians darker than Northern Italians?

Post by PeterTimber »

Phonecian Semetic Near-East settlers predated the establishment of Greek Colonies in Sicily and Southern Italy, principally on the western part of Southern Italy and Sicily. Other Phonecian colonies were also established in North Africa (later all became known as Carthiginians) and various islands. The Greek colonies became established along the Adriatic or eastern parts of Southern Italy as well as the Eastern part of Sicily about 2,500 years ago. It was not until the Punic wars commenced between the Roman Empire and the Carthiginian Empire that the colonial period ended and became part of the Roman world. I am obviously not into numbers but thought this might set the historical parameters for your discussion as an addendum. Peter
~Peter~
carubia
Master
Master
Posts: 1110
Joined: 25 Jan 2011, 12:13
Location: Tokyo, Japan

Re: Why are Southern Italians darker than Northern Italians?

Post by carubia »

It's been thought that in eastern Sicily there should have been more Greek genetic influence while in western Sicily one would see more of a Phoenician contribution. While there are some east-west differences, on balance the Greek influence seems to be much, much stronger in SIcily than the Phoenician one, except perhaps in parts of Trapani.
PeterTimber
Master
Master
Posts: 6817
Joined: 16 Dec 2007, 18:57
Location: Yonkers NY

Re: Why are Southern Italians darker than Northern Italians?

Post by PeterTimber »

I heartily agree for both real and cultural reasons that the Greek contribution in Eastern Sicily and Adriatic Southern Italy was more pronounced. The Carthiginians were distingjuished by their cultural immersion in Mediterranean trade and commerce. I recall that there was a village somewhere in the Eastern part of Sicily where up until the 1930's the local spoken dialect was Greek which the Fascists abolished along with other existing Greek (culturally non-Italian) customs and mores. Sciacca was spelled Xiacca (or something similar) and changed to its present spelling during this same fascist period for Greek influence in the spelling. Peter
~Peter~
carubia
Master
Master
Posts: 1110
Joined: 25 Jan 2011, 12:13
Location: Tokyo, Japan

Re: Why are Southern Italians darker than Northern Italians?

Post by carubia »

Sciacca was spelled the same way even in the early 19th century. The name of the city and province Girgenti was changed to Agrigento by the fascists, though, to make it closer to the old Latin name. Sciacca (and Agrigento) did have a large Greek colony, as was noted in the article I linked to above, where they group it with the towns from eastern Sicily for that reason. The are other towns in Agrigento that do use an 'x' in their names, such as Joppolo Giancaxio and Sant'Angelo Muxaro, but those are (or were) Arbëreshë.
PeterTimber
Master
Master
Posts: 6817
Joined: 16 Dec 2007, 18:57
Location: Yonkers NY

Re: Why are Southern Italians darker than Northern Italians?

Post by PeterTimber »

I do recall seeing an old map with the Sciacca Spelling appearing somewhat like Xiacca with the Fascist influences being the reason for the update on the spelling so perhaps authors can also be human and err. Like the exchanges of info very much. Peter
~Peter~
dita531
Rookie
Rookie
Posts: 48
Joined: 02 Oct 2014, 17:04

Re: Why are Southern Italians darker than Northern Italians?

Post by dita531 »

My family always thought we were from Northern Italy but documents say Southern.
I have a photo of my great grandfather who was born in Laurenzana and he was fair skinned, light hair and eyes.
carubia
Master
Master
Posts: 1110
Joined: 25 Jan 2011, 12:13
Location: Tokyo, Japan

Re: Why are Southern Italians darker than Northern Italians?

Post by carubia »

PeterTimber wrote:I do recall seeing an old map with the Sciacca Spelling appearing somewhat like Xiacca with the Fascist influences being the reason for the update on the spelling so perhaps authors can also be human and err.
I think I know what you might have been thinking of. It has been theorized that the name Sciacca derived from the pre-Roman name Xacca, which was then rendered as Sacca in Latin. I'm not aware of any effort by the fascists to revert to that spelling, although they did had a tendency to Latinize names (hence Girgenti to Agrigento), so it wouldn't surprise me if they tried to change the name to Sacca. (I have seen the name spelled that way in early 20th-c. records, but they were from the US.)
DanceDiva234
Rookie
Rookie
Posts: 48
Joined: 05 Feb 2015, 05:03

Re: Why are Southern Italians darker than Northern Italians?

Post by DanceDiva234 »

I have genetics in my family with red hair and blue eyes. Only a few people in my family have the pairing but it is enough to make you wonder they come from. It could just be a recessive gene. My aunt has it and her daughter does too. My aunt is full Italian so I know it isn't Irish or something different contributing. I also had a great uncle who had it too. Must be all the different ethnicities coming together. Although, the rest have light skin and dark hair and eyes.
Family names: D'Attellis, Angelicola, Iarezza, Messineo, La Monica, Spero, Angelini
magbag1
Rookie
Rookie
Posts: 71
Joined: 02 Mar 2015, 16:37

Re: Why are Southern Italians darker than Northern Italians?

Post by magbag1 »

I bet if you do a DNA test say like thru ancestry.com and find out where all your genetics are from, you will find some surprises in there that you may not have been aware of. You will definetly find many cousins that you didn't know you even have. Think about you and maybe several other generations of family members taking the test. It will be very interesting. I had a grandmother who told me and a cousin about an indian grandmother she had, no she was wrong, no idea whatsoever in us. All our genetics are from Europe. My part is mainly Italy because of my father's mother who's parents came from Italy and married in 1892. I have their marriage certificate finally. Check it out!
Margaret
User avatar
Italianthro
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 4
Joined: 26 Sep 2010, 11:49
Contact:

Re: Why are Southern Italians darker than Northern Italians?

Post by Italianthro »

Why are Southern Italians darker than Northern Italians?
For the same reason Northern Italians are darker than Southern Germans, and Southern Germans are darker than Northern Germans etc. etc. -- more sun as you go south and more depigmentation as you go north.

But the difference between Northern and Southern Italians is so small that it doesn't really show in large samples:

http://italianthro.blogspot.com/search/ ... Composites
http://italianthro.altervista.org/amici.html
http://italianthro.altervista.org/grande-fratello.html

It's got nothing to do with non-European admixture, which is extremely low everywhere in Italy:

http://italianthro.altervista.org/italians.html
http://italianthro.altervista.org/sicilians.html

It's true that Greek ancestry is high in Southern Italy, but that's European. In fact Italians are very genetically close to Ancient Mycenaean Greeks:

http://italianthro.blogspot.com/2018/01 ... lians.html
Italian Anthropology: Website | Blog
jennabet
Master
Master
Posts: 1396
Joined: 14 Jul 2010, 20:28
Location: Ancestral Homeland - Abruzzo Italy

Re: Why are Southern Italians darker than Northern Italians?

Post by jennabet »

Hi, thanks for the updated and correct information about my people. Yes, Italians are Europeans and we are tired of hearing mis-information and untruths about ourselves. I looked at the composites, the graphs, and all 250 photos. Those pictured look like my relatives, friends and neighbors in Italy. People I see every day. I saw very little, if any, Berber admixture in those faces and I didn't see ANY sub-Saharan African admixture in those faces.
Christinia
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 1
Joined: 05 Feb 2018, 17:51

Re: Why are Southern Italians darker than Northern Italians?

Post by Christinia »

Thanks guys,
I even haven`t known this info before! :)
It looks like
alived
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 8
Joined: 11 Mar 2013, 23:47
Contact:

Re: Why are Southern Italians darker than Northern Italians?

Post by alived »

PeterTimber wrote: 31 Oct 2009, 03:00 Dear Squigy your primary question relating to the swarthy appearance of southern Italians should be further answered by reading the History Of Italy at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Italy

Many cultures and civilization have existed there since prehistoric times. Culturally and linguistically the origins of Italian history can be traced back to the 9th century B.C. when earliest accounts date the presence of Italic tribes in modern central Italy.

Hopefully the reading will succinctly provide you with the mosaic to understand the differences between the swarthy appearance of southern Italians as opposed to the lighter skinned italians of Northern Italy.

I hope this succinct background will enlarge your understanding and answer your question within the framework of a total picture. =Peter=
Thank you for the Wikipaedia link, very complete and very interesting, did you write it? Thank you if you contributed at all, my ancestors are from Stigliano, Basilicata, just above Calabria, and in general had green eyes and light brown hair. However living now in North Europe it is really pigmented compared to "pink people' :wink:
cdemarco
Rookie
Rookie
Posts: 36
Joined: 17 Apr 2016, 00:33

Re: Why are Southern Italians darker than Northern Italians?

Post by cdemarco »

I've never thought much of coloring stereotypes, considering my mom's dark brown hair and dark brown eyes come from the Swedish/Irish side of the family. And she can darken a surprising amount considering the red-haired English/German side of the family.

Dad, though, well, definitely looks stereotypically Southern Italian (traveling home from a Caribbean vacation two months after 9/11 took quite awhile with all the security stops...). Though his Basilicatan grandfather had grey eyes.
Post Reply