Aryan race
Overview
The Aryan race is a concept historically influential in Western culture
Western culture
Western culture, sometimes equated with Western civilization or European civilization, refers to cultures of European origin and is used very broadly to refer to a heritage of social norms, ethical values, traditional customs, religious beliefs, political systems, and specific artifacts and...

 in the period of the late 19th century and early 20th century. It derives from the idea that the original speakers of the Indo-European languages
Indo-European languages
The Indo-European languages are a family of several hundred related languages and dialects, including most major current languages of Europe, the Iranian plateau, and South Asia and also historically predominant in Anatolia...

 and their descendants up to the present day constitute a distinctive race or subrace of the larger Caucasian race
Caucasian race
The term Caucasian race has been used to denote the general physical type of some or all of the populations of Europe, North Africa, the Horn of Africa, Western Asia , Central Asia and South Asia...

. Belief in the existence of an Aryan race is sometimes referred to as Aryanism.

While originally meant simply as a neutral ethno-linguistic classification, it was later used for ideologically motivated racism
Racism
Racism is the belief that inherent different traits in human racial groups justify discrimination. In the modern English language, the term "racism" is used predominantly as a pejorative epithet. It is applied especially to the practice or advocacy of racial discrimination of a pernicious nature...

 in Nazi and neo-Nazi doctrine and hence also in other currents such as occultism and white supremacism.
The term Aryan originates from the Sanskrit
Sanskrit
Sanskrit , is a historical Indo-Aryan language and the primary liturgical language of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.Buddhism: besides Pali, see Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Today, it is listed as one of the 22 scheduled languages of India and is an official language of the state of Uttarakhand...

 word ārya, in origin an ethnic self-designation, in Classical Sanskrit meaning "honourable, respectable, noble".

In the 18th century, the most ancient known Indo-European languages
Indo-European languages
The Indo-European languages are a family of several hundred related languages and dialects, including most major current languages of Europe, the Iranian plateau, and South Asia and also historically predominant in Anatolia...

 were those of the Indo-Iranians' ancestors.
Encyclopedia
The Aryan race is a concept historically influential in Western culture
Western culture
Western culture, sometimes equated with Western civilization or European civilization, refers to cultures of European origin and is used very broadly to refer to a heritage of social norms, ethical values, traditional customs, religious beliefs, political systems, and specific artifacts and...

 in the period of the late 19th century and early 20th century. It derives from the idea that the original speakers of the Indo-European languages
Indo-European languages
The Indo-European languages are a family of several hundred related languages and dialects, including most major current languages of Europe, the Iranian plateau, and South Asia and also historically predominant in Anatolia...

 and their descendants up to the present day constitute a distinctive race or subrace of the larger Caucasian race
Caucasian race
The term Caucasian race has been used to denote the general physical type of some or all of the populations of Europe, North Africa, the Horn of Africa, Western Asia , Central Asia and South Asia...

. Belief in the existence of an Aryan race is sometimes referred to as Aryanism.

While originally meant simply as a neutral ethno-linguistic classification, it was later used for ideologically motivated racism
Racism
Racism is the belief that inherent different traits in human racial groups justify discrimination. In the modern English language, the term "racism" is used predominantly as a pejorative epithet. It is applied especially to the practice or advocacy of racial discrimination of a pernicious nature...

 in Nazi and neo-Nazi doctrine and hence also in other currents such as occultism and white supremacism.

Origin of the term

The term Aryan originates from the Sanskrit
Sanskrit
Sanskrit , is a historical Indo-Aryan language and the primary liturgical language of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.Buddhism: besides Pali, see Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Today, it is listed as one of the 22 scheduled languages of India and is an official language of the state of Uttarakhand...

 word ārya, in origin an ethnic self-designation, in Classical Sanskrit meaning "honourable, respectable, noble".

In the 18th century, the most ancient known Indo-European languages
Indo-European languages
The Indo-European languages are a family of several hundred related languages and dialects, including most major current languages of Europe, the Iranian plateau, and South Asia and also historically predominant in Anatolia...

 were those of the Indo-Iranians' ancestors. The word Aryan was therefore adopted to refer not only to the Indo-Iranian people, but also to native Indo-European speakers as a whole, including the Greeks
Greek language
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...

, Latins
Latin Europe
Latin Europe is a loose term for the region of Europe with an especially strong Latin cultural heritage inherited from the Roman Empire.-Application:...

, and Germans. It was soon recognised that Armenians
Armenians
Armenian people or Armenians are a nation and ethnic group native to the Armenian Highland.The largest concentration is in Armenia having a nearly-homogeneous population with 97.9% or 3,145,354 being ethnic Armenian....

, Balts, Celts, Albanians
Albanians
Albanians are a nation and ethnic group native to Albania and neighbouring countries. They speak the Albanian language. More than half of all Albanians live in Albania and Kosovo...

 and Slavs also belonged to the same group. It was argued that all of these languages originated from a common root—now known as Proto-Indo-European
Proto-Indo-European language
The Proto-Indo-European language is the reconstructed common ancestor of the Indo-European languages, spoken by the Proto-Indo-Europeans...

—spoken by an ancient people. The ethnic group composed of the Proto-Indo-Europeans
Proto-Indo-Europeans
The Proto-Indo-Europeans were the speakers of the Proto-Indo-European language , a reconstructed prehistoric language of Eurasia.Knowledge of them comes chiefly from the linguistic reconstruction, along with material evidence from archaeology and archaeogenetics...

 and their modern descendants was termed the "Aryans".

This usage was common in the late 19th and early 20th century. An example of an influential best-selling book that reflects this usage is the 1920 book The Outline of History
The Outline of History
The Outline of History, subtitled either "The Whole Story of Man" or "Being a Plain History of Life and Mankind", is a book by H. G. Wells published in 1919...

by H. G. Wells
H. G. Wells
Herbert George Wells was an English author, now best known for his work in the science fiction genre. He was also a prolific writer in many other genres, including contemporary novels, history, politics and social commentary, even writing text books and rules for war games...

. In it he wrote of the accomplishments of the Aryan people, stating how they "learned methods of civilization" while "Sargon II and Sardanapalus were ruling in Assyria and fighting with Babylonia and Syria and Egypt". As such, Wells suggested that the Aryans had eventually "subjugated the whole ancient world, Semitic, Aegean and Egyptian alike". In the 1944 edition of Rand McNally
Rand McNally
Rand McNally is an American publisher of maps, atlases, textbooks, and globes for travel, reference, commercial, and educational uses. It also provides online consumer street maps and directions, as well as commercial transportation routing software and mileage data...

’s World Atlas, the Aryan race is depicted as being one of the ten major racial groupings of mankind. The science fiction
Science fiction
Science fiction is a genre of fiction dealing with imaginary but more or less plausible content such as future settings, futuristic science and technology, space travel, aliens, and paranormal abilities...

 author
Author
An author is broadly defined as "the person who originates or gives existence to anything" and that authorship determines responsibility for what is created. Narrowly defined, an author is the originator of any written work.-Legal significance:...

 Poul Anderson
Poul Anderson
Poul William Anderson was an American science fiction author who began his career during one of the Golden Ages of the genre and continued to write and remain popular into the 21st century. Anderson also authored several works of fantasy, historical novels, and a prodigious number of short stories...

 (1926–2001), an anti-racist
Anti-racism
Anti-racism includes beliefs, actions, movements, and policies adopted or developed to oppose racism. In general, anti-racism is intended to promote an egalitarian society in which people do not face discrimination on the basis of their race, however defined...

 libertarian
Libertarianism
Libertarianism, in the strictest sense, is the political philosophy that holds individual liberty as the basic moral principle of society. In the broadest sense, it is any political philosophy which approximates this view...

 of Scandinavian
Scandinavians
Scandinavians are a group of Germanic peoples, inhabiting Scandinavia and to a lesser extent countries associated with Scandinavia, and speaking Scandinavian languages. The group includes Danes, Norwegians and Swedes, and additionally the descendants of Scandinavian settlers such as the Icelandic...

 ancestry, in his many novel
Novel
A novel is a book of long narrative in literary prose. The genre has historical roots both in the fields of the medieval and early modern romance and in the tradition of the novella. The latter supplied the present generic term in the late 18th century....

s, novella
Novella
A novella is a written, fictional, prose narrative usually longer than a novelette but shorter than a novel. The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America Nebula Awards for science fiction define the novella as having a word count between 17,500 and 40,000...

s, and short stories
Short story
A short story is a work of fiction that is usually written in prose, often in narrative format. This format tends to be more pointed than longer works of fiction, such as novellas and novels. Short story definitions based on length differ somewhat, even among professional writers, in part because...

, consistently used the term Aryan as a synonym for Indo-Europeans. He spoke of the Aryan bird of prey which impelled those of the Aryan race to take the lead in developing interstellar travel
Interstellar travel
Interstellar space travel is manned or unmanned travel between stars. The concept of interstellar travel in starships is a staple of science fiction. Interstellar travel is much more difficult than interplanetary travel. Intergalactic travel, or travel between different galaxies, is even more...

, colonize habitable planets in other planetary systems and become leading business entrepreneur
Entrepreneur
An entrepreneur is an owner or manager of a business enterprise who makes money through risk and initiative.The term was originally a loanword from French and was first defined by the Irish-French economist Richard Cantillon. Entrepreneur in English is a term applied to a person who is willing to...

s on the newly colonized planet
Planet
A planet is a celestial body orbiting a star or stellar remnant that is massive enough to be rounded by its own gravity, is not massive enough to cause thermonuclear fusion, and has cleared its neighbouring region of planetesimals.The term planet is ancient, with ties to history, science,...

s.

The use of "Aryan" as a synonym for "Indo-European" or to a lesser extent for "Indo-Iranian", is regarded today by many as obsolete and politically incorrect
Political correctness
Political correctness is a term which denotes language, ideas, policies, and behavior seen as seeking to minimize social and institutional offense in occupational, gender, racial, cultural, sexual orientation, certain other religions, beliefs or ideologies, disability, and age-related contexts,...

, but may still occasionally appear in material based on older scholarship, or written by persons accustomed to older usage, such as in a 1989 article in Scientific American
Scientific American
Scientific American is a popular science magazine. It is notable for its long history of presenting science monthly to an educated but not necessarily scientific public, through its careful attention to the clarity of its text as well as the quality of its specially commissioned color graphics...

by Colin Renfrew in which he uses the word "Aryan" in its traditional meaning as a synonym for "Indo-European".

19th-century physical anthropology

In 19th century physical anthropology
Physical anthropology
Biological anthropology is that branch of anthropology that studies the physical development of the human species. It plays an important part in paleoanthropology and in forensic anthropology...

, represented by some as being scientific racism
Scientific racism
Scientific racism is the use of scientific techniques and hypotheses to sanction the belief in racial superiority or racism.This is not the same as using scientific findings and the scientific method to investigate differences among the humans and argue that there are races...

, the "Aryan race" was defined as the subgroup of the Caucasian
Caucasian race
The term Caucasian race has been used to denote the general physical type of some or all of the populations of Europe, North Africa, the Horn of Africa, Western Asia , Central Asia and South Asia...

 (or Europid) race consisting of the native speakers of Indo-European languages
Indo-European languages
The Indo-European languages are a family of several hundred related languages and dialects, including most major current languages of Europe, the Iranian plateau, and South Asia and also historically predominant in Anatolia...

 descended from the original Proto-Indo-Europeans
Proto-Indo-Europeans
The Proto-Indo-Europeans were the speakers of the Proto-Indo-European language , a reconstructed prehistoric language of Eurasia.Knowledge of them comes chiefly from the linguistic reconstruction, along with material evidence from archaeology and archaeogenetics...

, that in modern times
Modern history
Modern history, or the modern era, describes the historical timeline after the Middle Ages. Modern history can be further broken down into the early modern period and the late modern period after the French Revolution and the Industrial Revolution...

 reside in Northern India, Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka, officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka is a country off the southern coast of the Indian subcontinent. Known until 1972 as Ceylon , Sri Lanka is an island surrounded by the Indian Ocean, the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait, and lies in the vicinity of India and the...

, Maldives
Maldives
The Maldives , , officially Republic of Maldives , also referred to as the Maldive Islands, is an island nation in the Indian Ocean formed by a double chain of twenty-six atolls oriented north-south off India's Lakshadweep islands, between Minicoy Island and...

, Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

, Gujarat, Maharashtra
Maharashtra
Maharashtra is a state located in India. It is the second most populous after Uttar Pradesh and third largest state by area in India...

, Eastern India, Bangladesh
Bangladesh
Bangladesh , officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh is a sovereign state located in South Asia. It is bordered by India on all sides except for a small border with Burma to the far southeast and by the Bay of Bengal to the south...

, Nepal
Nepal
Nepal , officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, is a landlocked sovereign state located in South Asia. It is located in the Himalayas and bordered to the north by the People's Republic of China, and to the south, east, and west by the Republic of India...

, Northeast India, Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

, Asian Russia, Anglo-America
Anglo-America
Anglo-America is a region in the Americas in which English is a main language, or one which has significant British historical, ethnic, linguistic, and cultural links...

, Quebec
Quebec
Quebec or is a province in east-central Canada. It is the only Canadian province with a predominantly French-speaking population and the only one whose sole official language is French at the provincial level....

, Southern South America, South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

, Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

 and New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

, Armenia
Armenia
Armenia , officially the Republic of Armenia , is a landlocked mountainous country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia...

, Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

, and in Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

 and Tadzhikistan, .

The original 19th-century and early 20th-century use of the term Aryan referred to "the early speakers of Proto-Indo European and their descendents". Max Müller
Max Müller
Friedrich Max Müller , more regularly known as Max Müller, was a German philologist and Orientalist, one of the founders of the western academic field of Indian studies and the discipline of comparative religion...

 is often identified as the first writer to speak of an Aryan "race" in English. In his Lectures on the Science of Language in 1861 he referred to Aryans as a "race of people". At the time, the term race had the meaning of "a group of tribes or peoples, an ethnic group".

When Müller's statement was interpreted to imply a biologically distinct sub-group of humanity, he soon clarified that he simply meant a line of descent, insisting that it was very dangerous to mix linguistics and anthropology. "The Science of Language and the Science
Science
Science is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe...

 of Man cannot be kept too much asunder ... I must repeat what I have said many times before, it would be wrong to speak of Aryan blood as of dolichocephalic
Cephalic index
Cephalic index is the ratio of the maximum width of the head multiplied by 100 divided by its maximum length ....

 grammar". He restated his opposition to this method in 1888 in his essay Biographies of words and the home of the Aryas.
Müller was responding to the development of racial anthropology, and the influence of the work of Arthur de Gobineau
Arthur de Gobineau
Joseph Arthur Comte de Gobineau was a French aristocrat, novelist and man of letters who became famous for developing the theory of the Aryan master race in his book An Essay on the Inequality of the Human Races...

 who argued that the Indo-Europeans represented a superior branch of humanity. A number of later writers, such as the French anthropologist Vacher de Lapouge in his book L'Aryen, argued that this superior branch could be identified biologically by using the cephalic index (a measure of head shape) and other indicators. He argued that the long-headed "dolichocephalic-blond" Europeans, characteristically found in northern Europe, were natural leaders, destined to rule over more "brachiocephalic" (short headed) peoples.

The division of the Caucasian race into Aryans, Semites and Hamites is in origin linguistic, not based on physical anthropology, the division in physical anthropology being that into Nordic, Alpine
Alpine race
The Alpine race is an historical racial classification or sub-race of humans, considered a branch of the Caucasian race. The term is not commonly used today, but was popular in the early 20th century.-History:...

 and Mediterranean
Mediterranean race
The Mediterranean race was one of the three sub-categories into which the Caucasian race and the people of Europe were divided by anthropologists in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, following the publication of William Z. Ripley's book The Races of Europe...

. However, the linguistic classification of "Aryan" later became closely associated, and conflated, with the classification of "Nordic" among some archaeologists and anthropologists.

This claim became increasingly important during the 19th century. In the mid-19th century, it was commonly believed that the Aryans originated in the southwestern steppe
Steppe
In physical geography, steppe is an ecoregion, in the montane grasslands and shrublands and temperate grasslands, savannas, and shrublands biomes, characterized by grassland plains without trees apart from those near rivers and lakes...

s of present-day Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

. However, by the late 19th century the steppe theory of Aryan origins was challenged by the view that the Aryans originated in ancient Germany or Scandinavia
Scandinavia
Scandinavia is a cultural, historical and ethno-linguistic region in northern Europe that includes the three kingdoms of Denmark, Norway and Sweden, characterized by their common ethno-cultural heritage and language. Modern Norway and Sweden proper are situated on the Scandinavian Peninsula,...

, or at least that in those countries the original Aryan ethnicity had been preserved. The German origin of the Aryans was especially promoted by the archaeologist Gustaf Kossinna
Gustaf Kossinna
Gustaf Kossinna was a linguist and professor of German archaeology at the University of Berlin...

, who claimed that the Proto-Indo-European peoples were identical to the Corded Ware culture
Corded Ware culture
The Corded Ware culture , alternatively characterized as the Battle Axe culture or Single Grave culture, is an enormous European archaeological horizon that begins in the late Neolithic , flourishes through the Copper Age and culminates in the early Bronze Age.Corded Ware culture is associated with...

 of Neolithic Germany. This idea was widely circulated in both intellectual and popular culture by the early twentieth century, and is reflected in the concept of "Corded-Nordics" in Carleton S. Coon
Carleton S. Coon
Carleton Stevens Coon, was an American physical anthropologist, Professor of Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania, lecturer and professor at Harvard, and president of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists.-Biography:Carleton Coon was born in Wakefield, Massachusetts to a...

's 1939 The Races of Europe
The Races of Europe
The Races of Europe is the title of two anthropological publications*The Races of Europe by William Z. Ripley*The Races of Europe by Carleton S. Coon...

.

Other anthropologists contested such claims. In Germany, Rudolf Virchow
Rudolf Virchow
Rudolph Carl Virchow was a German doctor, anthropologist, pathologist, prehistorian, biologist and politician, known for his advancement of public health...

 launched a study of craniometry, which prompted him to denounce "Nordic mysticism" in the 1885 Anthropology Congress in Karlsruhe
Karlsruhe
The City of Karlsruhe is a city in the southwest of Germany, in the state of Baden-Württemberg, located near the French-German border.Karlsruhe was founded in 1715 as Karlsruhe Palace, when Germany was a series of principalities and city states...

, while Josef Kollmann, a collaborator of Virchow, stated in the same congress that the people of Europe, be they English, German, French, and Spaniard belonged to a "mixture of various races," furthermore declaring that the "results of craniology...[are] against any theory concerning the superiority of this or that European race" to others.

Virchow's contribution to the debate sparked a controversy. Houston Stewart Chamberlain
Houston Stewart Chamberlain
Houston Stewart Chamberlain was a British-born German author of books on political philosophy, natural science and the German composer Richard Wagner. He later became a German citizen. Chamberlain married Wagner's daughter, Eva, some years after Wagner's death...

, a strong supporter of the theory of a superior Aryan race, attacked Josef Kollmann arguments in detail. While the "Aryan race" theory remained popular, particularly in Germany, some authors defended Virchow's perspective, in particular Otto Schrader
Otto Schrader (philologist)
Otto Schrader was a German philologist best known for his work on the history of German and Proto-Indo-European vocabulary dealing with various aspects of material culture, such as the names of domesticated plants and animals, the names of the metals, etc.- Education and Early Life :Schrader came...

, Rudolph von Jhering and the ethnologist Robert Hartmann
Robert Hartmann
Robert Hartmann was a German naturalist, anatomist and ethnographer.-Career:A native of Blankenburg am Harz, Hartmann studied medicine and science in Berlin, and in 1865 was an instructor of comparative zoology and physiology at the agricultural academy in Proskau. In 1873 he became a professor of...

 (1831–1893), who proposed to ban the notion of "Aryan" from anthropology.

Indo-Aryan migration

Models of the Indo-Aryan migration discuss scenarios of prehistoric migrations of the early Indo-Aryans
Indo-Aryans
Indo-Aryan is an ethno-linguistic term referring to the wide collection of peoples united as native speakers of the Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-Iranian family of Indo-European languages...

 to their historically attested areas of settlement in the northwest of the Indian subcontinent
Indian subcontinent
The Indian subcontinent, also Indian Subcontinent, Indo-Pak Subcontinent or South Asian Subcontinent is a region of the Asian continent on the Indian tectonic plate from the Hindu Kush or Hindu Koh, Himalayas and including the Kuen Lun and Karakoram ranges, forming a land mass which extends...

 and from there further across all of North India
North India
North India, known natively as Uttar Bhārat or Shumālī Hindustān , is a loosely defined region in the northern part of India. The exact meaning of the term varies by usage...

. Claims of Indo-Aryan migration are primarily drawn from linguistic
Natural language
In the philosophy of language, a natural language is any language which arises in an unpremeditated fashion as the result of the innate facility for language possessed by the human intellect. A natural language is typically used for communication, and may be spoken, signed, or written...

 evidence but also from a multitude of data stemming from genetics,(although more recent genetic studies cast doubt on the certitude of earlier claims), Vedic
Vedic period
The Vedic period was a period in history during which the Vedas, the oldest scriptures of Hinduism, were composed. The time span of the period is uncertain. Philological and linguistic evidence indicates that the Rigveda, the oldest of the Vedas, was composed roughly between 1700–1100 BCE, also...

 religion
Historical Vedic religion
The religion of the Vedic period is a historical predecessor of Hinduism. Its liturgy is reflected in the mantra portion of the four Vedas, which are compiled in Sanskrit. The religious practices centered on a clergy administering rites...

, rituals, poetics
Vedas
The Vedas are a large body of texts originating in ancient India. Composed in Vedic Sanskrit, the texts constitute the oldest layer of Sanskrit literature and the oldest scriptures of Hinduism....

 as well as some aspects of social organization and chariot
Chariot
The chariot is a type of horse carriage used in both peace and war as the chief vehicle of many ancient peoples. Ox carts, proto-chariots, were built by the Proto-Indo-Europeans and also built in Mesopotamia as early as 3000 BC. The original horse chariot was a fast, light, open, two wheeled...

 technology.

All discussion of historical Indo-Aryan migrations or Aryan and Dravidian races remains highly controversial in India to this day, and continues to affect political and religious debate. Some Dravidians, and supporters of the Dalit movement
Dalitstan
Dalitstan.org was a Dalit advocacy website run advocating for a Dalit homeland and the breakup of India into several separate nations. According to its website, "The Dalitstan Organization is a Human Rights Organization working for the Upliftment of Dalits, the Black Untouchables of India...

, most commonly Tamil
Tamil people
Tamil people , also called Tamils or Tamilians, are an ethnic group native to Tamil Nadu, India and the north-eastern region of Sri Lanka. Historic and post 15th century emigrant communities are also found across the world, notably Malaysia, Singapore, Mauritius, South Africa, Australia, Canada,...

s, claim that the worship of Shiva
Shiva
Shiva is a major Hindu deity, and is the destroyer god or transformer among the Trimurti, the Hindu Trinity of the primary aspects of the divine. God Shiva is a yogi who has notice of everything that happens in the world and is the main aspect of life. Yet one with great power lives a life of a...

 is a distinct Dravidian religion going back to the Indus Civilization
Indus Valley Civilization
The Indus Valley Civilization was a Bronze Age civilization that was located in the northwestern region of the Indian subcontinent, consisting of what is now mainly modern-day Pakistan and northwest India...

, to be distinguished from Brahmin
Brahmin
Brahmin Brahman, Brahma and Brahmin.Brahman, Brahmin and Brahma have different meanings. Brahman refers to the Supreme Self...

ical "Aryan" Hinduism. In contrast, the Indian nationalist Hindutva
Hindutva
Hindutva is the term used to describe movements advocating Hindu nationalism. Members of the movement are called Hindutvavādis.In India, an umbrella organization called the Sangh Parivar champions the concept of Hindutva...

 movement argues that no Aryan invasion or migration ever occurred, asserting that Vedic beliefs emerged from the Indus Valley Civilisation, which pre-dated the supposed advent of the Indo-Aryans in India, and is identified as a likely candidate for a Proto-Dravidian
Proto-Dravidian
Proto-Dravidian is the proto-language of the Dravidian languages. It is thought to have differentiated into Proto-North Dravidian, Proto-Central Dravidian and Proto-South Dravidian around 500 BC, although some linguists have argued that the degree of differentiation between the sub-families points...

 culture.

Some Indians were also influenced by the debate about the Aryan race during the British Raj
British Raj
British Raj was the British rule in the Indian subcontinent between 1858 and 1947; The term can also refer to the period of dominion...

. The Indian nationalist V. D. Savarkar believed in the theory that an "Aryan race" migrated to India, but he didn't find much value in a racialized interpretation of the "Aryan race". Some Indian nationalists supported the British version of the theory because it gave them the prestige of common descent with the ruling British class.

Genetic studies

A genetic study in the year 2000 in Andhra Pradesh state of India found that the upper caste Hindus shared marginally more mitochondrial DNA with west Eurasian populations than did Hindus from lower castes, although the majority of mitochondrial DNA in both upper and lower Hindu castes was of Asian stock.

A 2003 report confirmed that upper caste Hindus shared marginally more mitochondrial DNA with west Eurasian groups than did lower caste Hindu groups. The majority of mitochondrial DNA, however, was indigenous to South Asia, suggesting limited gene flow in and out of South Asia.

However, a study conducted by the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology
Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology
The Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology or CCMB is a National level Research laboratory located in Hyderabad, India. CCMB is one of the constituent national laboratories of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research CSIR, the premier multidisciplinary Research & Development...

 in 2009 (in collaboration with Harvard Medical School
Harvard Medical School
Harvard Medical School is the graduate medical school of Harvard University. It is located in the Longwood Medical Area of the Mission Hill neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts....

, Harvard School of Public Health
Harvard School of Public Health
The Harvard School of Public Health is one of the professional graduate schools of Harvard University, located in the Longwood Area of the Boston, Massachusetts neighborhood of Mission Hill, which is next to Harvard Medical School. HSPH is considered a significant school focusing on health in the...

 and the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT) analyzed half a million genetic markers across the genomes of 132 individuals from 25 ethnic groups from 13 states in India across multiple caste groups. The study asserts, based on the impossibility of identifying any genetic indicators across caste lines, that castes in South Asia grew out of traditional tribal organizations during the formation of Indian society, and was not the product of any Aryan invasion and "subjugation" of Dravidian people.

Theosophy

These debates were addressed within the Theosophical
Theosophy
Theosophy, in its modern presentation, is a spiritual philosophy developed since the late 19th century. Its major themes were originally described mainly by Helena Blavatsky , co-founder of the Theosophical Society...

 movement founded by Helena Blavatsky
Madame Blavatsky
Helena Petrovna Blavatsky , was a theosophist, writer and traveler. Between 1848 and 1875 Blavatsky had gone around the world three times. In 1875, Blavatsky together with Colonel H. S. Olcott established the Theosophical Society...

 and Henry Olcott
Henry Steel Olcott
Colonel Henry Steel Olcott was an American military officer, journalist, lawyer and the co-founder and first President of the Theosophical Society....

 at the end of the nineteenth century. This philosophy took inspiration from Indian culture, in this case, perhaps, from the Hindu reform movement the Arya Samaj
Arya Samaj
Arya Samaj is a Hindu reform movement founded by Swami Dayananda on 10 April 1875. He was a sannyasi who believed in the infallible authority of the Vedas. Dayananda emphasized the ideals of brahmacharya...

 founded by Swami Dayananda.

Blavatsky argued that humanity had descended from a series of "Root Race
Root race
Root Races are stages in human evolution in the esoteric cosmology of theosophist Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, as described in her book The Secret Doctrine . These races were said to have existed on now-lost continents. Blavatsky's model was developed by later theosophists, most notably William...

s", naming the fifth root race (out of seven) the Aryan Race. She thought that the Aryan
Aryan
Aryan is an English language loanword derived from Sanskrit ārya and denoting variously*In scholarly usage:**Indo-Iranian languages *in dated usage:**the Indo-European languages more generally and their speakers...

s originally came from Atlantis
Atlantis
Atlantis is a legendary island first mentioned in Plato's dialogues Timaeus and Critias, written about 360 BC....

 and described the Aryan races with the following words:
"The Aryan races, for instance, now varying from dark brown, almost black, red-brown-yellow, down to the whitest creamy colour, are yet all of one and the same stock -- the Fifth Root-Race -- and spring from one single progenitor, (...) who is said to have lived over 18,000,000 years ago, and also 850,000 years ago -- at the time of the sinking of the last remnants of the great continent of Atlantis
Atlantis
Atlantis is a legendary island first mentioned in Plato's dialogues Timaeus and Critias, written about 360 BC....

."


Blavatsky used "Root Race
Root race
Root Races are stages in human evolution in the esoteric cosmology of theosophist Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, as described in her book The Secret Doctrine . These races were said to have existed on now-lost continents. Blavatsky's model was developed by later theosophists, most notably William...

" as a technical term to describe human evolution over the large time
Time
Time is a part of the measuring system used to sequence events, to compare the durations of events and the intervals between them, and to quantify rates of change such as the motions of objects....

 periods in her cosmology
Cosmology
Cosmology is the discipline that deals with the nature of the Universe as a whole. Cosmologists seek to understand the origin, evolution, structure, and ultimate fate of the Universe at large, as well as the natural laws that keep it in order...

. However, she also claimed that there were modern non-Aryan peoples who were inferior to Aryans. She regularly contrasts "Aryan" with "Semitic
Semitic
In linguistics and ethnology, Semitic was first used to refer to a language family of largely Middle Eastern origin, now called the Semitic languages...

" culture, to the detriment of the latter, asserting that Semitic peoples are an offshoot of Aryans who have become "degenerate in spirituality and perfected in materiality." She also states that some peoples are "semi-animal creatures". These latter include "the Tasmanians, a portion of the Australians and a mountain tribe in China." There are also "considerable numbers of the mixed Lemuro-Atlantean peoples produced by various crossings with such semi-human stocks -- e.g., the wild men of Borneo, the Veddhas of Ceylon, most of the remaining Australians, Bushmen, Negritos, Andaman Islanders, etc."

Despite this, Blavatsky's admirers claim that her thinking was not connected to fascist or racialist ideas, asserting that she believed in a Universal Brotherhood of humanity and wrote that "all men have spiritually and physically the same origin" and that "mankind is essentially of one and the same essence". On the other hand, in The Secret Doctrine, Blavatsky states: "Verily mankind is 'of one blood,' but not of the same essence."

Blavatsky connects physical race with spiritual attributes constantly throughout her works:
"Esoteric history teaches that idols and their worship died out with the Fourth Race, until the survivors of the hybrid races of the latter (Chinamen, African Negroes, &c.) gradually brought the worship back. The Vedas countenance no idols; all the modern Hindu writings do".

"The intellectual difference between the Aryan and other civilized nations and such savages as the South Sea Islanders, is inexplicable on any other grounds. No amount of culture, nor generations of training amid civilization, could raise such human specimens as the Bushmen
Bushmen
The indigenous people of Southern Africa, whose territory spans most areas of South Africa, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Mozambique, Swaziland, Botswana, Namibia, and Angola, are variously referred to as Bushmen, San, Sho, Barwa, Kung, or Khwe...

, the Veddhas of Ceylon, and some African tribes, to the same intellectual level as the Aryans, the Semites, and the Turanians so called. The 'sacred spark' is missing in them and it is they who are the only inferior races on the globe, now happily -- owing to the wise adjustment of nature which ever works in that direction -- fast dying out. Verily mankind is 'of one blood,' but not of the same essence. We are the hot-house, artificially quickened plants in nature, having in us a spark, which in them is latent".


According to Blavatsky, "the MONADS of the lowest specimens of humanity (the "narrow-brained" savage South-Sea Islander, the African, the Australian) had no Karma to work out when first born as men, as their more favoured brethren in intelligence had".

She also prophecies of the destruction of the racial "failures of nature" as the future "higher race" ascends:
"Thus will mankind, race after race, perform its appointed cycle-pilgrimage. Climates will, and have already begun, to change, each tropical year after the other dropping one sub-race, but only to beget another higher race on the ascending cycle; while a series of other less favoured groups -- the failures of nature -- will, like some individual men, vanish from the human family without even leaving a trace behind".


The second subrace of the Fifth or Aryan root race, the Arabian, is regarded by Theosophists as one of the Aryan subraces. It is believed by Theosophists that the Arabians, although asserted in traditional Theosophy to be of Aryan (i.e., Indo-European) ancestry, adopted the Semitic language of the people around them who had migrated earlier from Atlantis (the fifth or (original) Semite subrace of the Atlantean root race
Root race
Root Races are stages in human evolution in the esoteric cosmology of theosophist Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, as described in her book The Secret Doctrine . These races were said to have existed on now-lost continents. Blavatsky's model was developed by later theosophists, most notably William...

). Theosophists assert that the Jews
Jews
The Jews , also known as the Jewish people, are a nation and ethnoreligious group originating in the Israelites or Hebrews of the Ancient Near East. The Jewish ethnicity, nationality, and religion are strongly interrelated, as Judaism is the traditional faith of the Jewish nation...

 originated as an offshoot of the Arabian subrace in what is now Yemen
Yemen
The Republic of Yemen , commonly known as Yemen , is a country located in the Middle East, occupying the southwestern to southern end of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the north, the Red Sea to the west, and Oman to the east....

 about 30,000 BC. They migrated first to Somalia
Somalia
Somalia , officially the Somali Republic and formerly known as the Somali Democratic Republic under Socialist rule, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. Since the outbreak of the Somali Civil War in 1991 there has been no central government control over most of the country's territory...

 and then later to Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

 where they lived until the time of Moses
Moses
Moses was, according to the Hebrew Bible and Qur'an, a religious leader, lawgiver and prophet, to whom the authorship of the Torah is traditionally attributed...

. Thus, according to the teachings of Theosophy, the Jews are part of the Aryan race.

Samael Aun Weor
Samael Aun Weor
Samael Aun Weor , born Víctor Manuel Gómez Rodríguez, Colombian citizen and later Mexican, was an author, lecturer and founder of the 'Universal Christian Gnostic Movement' with his teaching of 'The Doctrine of Synthesis' of all religions in both their esoteric and exoteric aspects...

 published a book in 1967 retitled in 2008 The Doomed Aryan Race in which he asserted that the Aryan "Root Race" is doomed to be destroyed by hydrogen bombs unless the people of the Aryan race learn tantric yoga.

Ariosophy

Guido von List
Guido von List
Guido Karl Anton List, better known as Guido von List was an Austrian/German poet, journalist, writer, businessman and dealer of leather goods, mountaineer, hiker, dramatist, playwright, and rower, but was most notable as an occultist and völkisch author who is seen as one of the most important...

 (and his followers such as Lanz von Liebenfels
Lanz von Liebenfels
Adolf Josef Lanz aka Jörg Lanz, who called himself Lanz von Liebenfels was an Austrian publicist and journalist...

) later took up some of Blavatsky's ideas, mixing her ideology with nationalistic and fascist ideas; this system of thought became known as Ariosophy
Ariosophy
Armanism and Ariosophy are the names of ideological systems of an esoteric nature, pioneered by Guido von List and Jörg Lanz von Liebenfels respectively, in Austria between 1890 and 1930. The term 'Ariosophy', meaning wisdom concerning the Aryans, was first coined by Lanz von Liebenfels in 1915 and...

. It was believed in Ariosophy that the Teutonic
Germanic languages
The Germanic languages constitute a sub-branch of the Indo-European language family. The common ancestor of all of the languages in this branch is called Proto-Germanic , which was spoken in approximately the mid-1st millennium BC in Iron Age northern Europe...

s were superior to all other peoples because according to Theosophy the Teutonics or Nordics were the most recent subrace of the Aryan root race to have evolved. Such views also fed into the development of Nazi ideology. Theosophical publications such as The Aryan Path
The Aryan Path
The Aryan Path was an Anglo-Indian theosophical journal published in Bombay, India from 1930. Its purpose was to form "a nucleus of universal brotherhood of humanity, without distinction of race, creed, sex, caste or color; to study ancient and modern religions, philosophies, and sciences, and to...

were strongly opposed to the Nazi usage, attacking racialism
Racialism
Racialism is an emphasis on race or racial considerations. Currently, racialism entails a belief in the existence and significance of racial categories, but not necessarily that any absolute hierarchy between the races has been demonstrated by a rigorous and comprehensive scientific process...

.

Nazism

The idea of the Northern origins of the Aryans was particularly influential in Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

. It was widely believed that the "Vedic Aryans" were ethnically identical to the Goths
Goths
The Goths were an East Germanic tribe of Scandinavian origin whose two branches, the Visigoths and the Ostrogoths, played an important role in the fall of the Roman Empire and the emergence of Medieval Europe....

, Vandals
Vandals
The Vandals were an East Germanic tribe that entered the late Roman Empire during the 5th century. The Vandals under king Genseric entered Africa in 429 and by 439 established a kingdom which included the Roman Africa province, besides the islands of Sicily, Corsica, Sardinia and the Balearics....

 and other ancient Germanic peoples of the Völkerwanderung. This idea was often intertwined with antisemitic ideas. The distinctions between the "Aryan" and "Semitic
Semitic
In linguistics and ethnology, Semitic was first used to refer to a language family of largely Middle Eastern origin, now called the Semitic languages...

" peoples were based on the aforementioned linguistic and ethnic history.

Semitic peoples came to be seen as a foreign presence within Aryan societies, and the Semitic peoples were often pointed to as the cause of conversion and destruction of social order and values leading to culture and civilization's downfall by proto-Nazi and Nazi theorists such as Houston Stewart Chamberlain
Houston Stewart Chamberlain
Houston Stewart Chamberlain was a British-born German author of books on political philosophy, natural science and the German composer Richard Wagner. He later became a German citizen. Chamberlain married Wagner's daughter, Eva, some years after Wagner's death...

 and Alfred Rosenberg
Alfred Rosenberg
' was an early and intellectually influential member of the Nazi Party. Rosenberg was first introduced to Adolf Hitler by Dietrich Eckart; he later held several important posts in the Nazi government...

.

According to the adherents to Ariosophy
Ariosophy
Armanism and Ariosophy are the names of ideological systems of an esoteric nature, pioneered by Guido von List and Jörg Lanz von Liebenfels respectively, in Austria between 1890 and 1930. The term 'Ariosophy', meaning wisdom concerning the Aryans, was first coined by Lanz von Liebenfels in 1915 and...

, the Aryan was a "master race
Master race
Master race was a phrase and concept originating in the slave-holding Southern US. The later phrase Herrenvolk , interpreted as 'master race', was a concept in Nazi ideology in which the Nordic peoples, one of the branches of what in the late-19th and early-20th century was called the Aryan race,...

" that built a civilization that dominated the world from Atlantis
Atlantis
Atlantis is a legendary island first mentioned in Plato's dialogues Timaeus and Critias, written about 360 BC....

 about 10,000 years ago. This alleged civilization declined when other parts of the world were colonized after the 8000 BC destruction of Atlantis
Atlantis
Atlantis is a legendary island first mentioned in Plato's dialogues Timaeus and Critias, written about 360 BC....

 because the inferior races mixed with the Aryans but it left traces of their civilization in Tibet
Tibet
Tibet is a plateau region in Asia, north-east of the Himalayas. It is the traditional homeland of the Tibetan people as well as some other ethnic groups such as Monpas, Qiang, and Lhobas, and is now also inhabited by considerable numbers of Han and Hui people...

 (via Buddhism
Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

), and even in Central America
Central America
Central America is the central geographic region of the Americas. It is the southernmost, isthmian portion of the North American continent, which connects with South America on the southeast. When considered part of the unified continental model, it is considered a subcontinent...

, South America
South America
South America is a continent situated in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. The continent is also considered a subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the north and east...

, and Ancient Egypt
Ancient Egypt
Ancient Egypt was an ancient civilization of Northeastern Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile River in what is now the modern country of Egypt. Egyptian civilization coalesced around 3150 BC with the political unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under the first pharaoh...

. (The date of 8000 BC for the destruction of Atlantis
Atlantis
Atlantis is a legendary island first mentioned in Plato's dialogues Timaeus and Critias, written about 360 BC....

 in Ariosophy
Ariosophy
Armanism and Ariosophy are the names of ideological systems of an esoteric nature, pioneered by Guido von List and Jörg Lanz von Liebenfels respectively, in Austria between 1890 and 1930. The term 'Ariosophy', meaning wisdom concerning the Aryans, was first coined by Lanz von Liebenfels in 1915 and...

 is 2,000 years later than the date of 10,000 BC given for this event in Theosophy
Theosophy
Theosophy, in its modern presentation, is a spiritual philosophy developed since the late 19th century. Its major themes were originally described mainly by Helena Blavatsky , co-founder of the Theosophical Society...

.) These theories affected the more esotericist strand of Nazism.

A complete, highly speculative theory of Aryan and anti-Semitic history can be found in Alfred Rosenberg
Alfred Rosenberg
' was an early and intellectually influential member of the Nazi Party. Rosenberg was first introduced to Adolf Hitler by Dietrich Eckart; he later held several important posts in the Nazi government...

's major work, The Myth of the Twentieth Century
The Myth of the Twentieth Century
The Myth of the Twentieth Century is a book by Alfred Rosenberg, one of the principal ideologues of the Nazi party and editor of the Nazi paper Völkischer Beobachter. It was the most influential Nazi text after Hitler's Mein Kampf. The titular "myth" is "the myth of blood, which under the sign of...

. Rosenberg's well-researched account of ancient history, melded with his racial speculations, proved to be very effective in spreading racialism among German intellectuals in the early twentieth century, especially after the First World War
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

.

These and other ideas evolved into the Nazi
Nazism
Nazism, the common short form name of National Socialism was the ideology and practice of the Nazi Party and of Nazi Germany...

 use of the term "Aryan race" to refer to what they saw as being a master race
Master race
Master race was a phrase and concept originating in the slave-holding Southern US. The later phrase Herrenvolk , interpreted as 'master race', was a concept in Nazi ideology in which the Nordic peoples, one of the branches of what in the late-19th and early-20th century was called the Aryan race,...

 of people of northern European descent. They worked to maintain the purity of this race through eugenics
Nazi eugenics
Nazi eugenics were Nazi Germany's racially-based social policies that placed the improvement of the Aryan race through eugenics at the center of their concerns...

 programs (including anti-miscegenation
Miscegenation
Miscegenation is the mixing of different racial groups through marriage, cohabitation, sexual relations, and procreation....

 legislation, compulsory sterilization
Compulsory sterilization
Compulsory sterilization also known as forced sterilization programs are government policies which attempt to force people to undergo surgical sterilization...

 of the mentally ill and the mentally deficient, the execution of the institutionalized mentally ill as part of a euthanasia program).

Heinrich Himmler
Heinrich Himmler
Heinrich Luitpold Himmler was Reichsführer of the SS, a military commander, and a leading member of the Nazi Party. As Chief of the German Police and the Minister of the Interior from 1943, Himmler oversaw all internal and external police and security forces, including the Gestapo...

 (the Reichsführer of the SS), the person ordered by Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler was an Austrian-born German politician and the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party , commonly referred to as the Nazi Party). He was Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and head of state from 1934 to 1945...

 to implement the Final Solution
Final Solution
The Final Solution was Nazi Germany's plan and execution of the systematic genocide of European Jews during World War II, resulting in the most deadly phase of the Holocaust...

, or The Holocaust
The Holocaust
The Holocaust , also known as the Shoah , was the genocide of approximately six million European Jews and millions of others during World War II, a programme of systematic state-sponsored murder by Nazi...

,, told his personal masseur Felix Kersten
Felix Kersten
Felix Kersten was before and during World War II the personal masseur of Heinrich Himmler...

 that he always carried with him a copy of the ancient Aryan
Aryan
Aryan is an English language loanword derived from Sanskrit ārya and denoting variously*In scholarly usage:**Indo-Iranian languages *in dated usage:**the Indo-European languages more generally and their speakers...

 scripture, the Bhagavad Gita
Bhagavad Gita
The ' , also more simply known as Gita, is a 700-verse Hindu scripture that is part of the ancient Sanskrit epic, the Mahabharata, but is frequently treated as a freestanding text, and in particular, as an Upanishad in its own right, one of the several books that constitute general Vedic tradition...

 because it relieved him of guilt
Guilt
Guilt is the state of being responsible for the commission of an offense. It is also a cognitive or an emotional experience that occurs when a person realizes or believes—accurately or not—that he or she has violated a moral standard, and bears significant responsibility for that...

 about what he was doing – he felt that like the warrior Arjuna
Arjuna
Arjuna in Indian mythology is the greatest warrior on earth and is one of the Pandavas, the heroes of the Hindu epic Mahābhārata. Arjuna, whose name means 'bright', 'shining', 'white' or 'silver' Arjuna (Devanagari: अर्जुन, Thai: อรชุน, Orachun, Tamil: Arjunan, Indonesian and Javanese: Harjuna,...

, he was simply doing his duty without attachment to his actions.

Himmler was also interested in Buddhism and his institute Ahnenerbe
Ahnenerbe
The Ahnenerbe was a Nazi German think tank that promoted itself as a "study society for Intellectual Ancient History." Founded on July 1, 1935, by Heinrich Himmler, Herman Wirth, and Richard Walther Darré, the Ahnenerbe's goal was to research the anthropological and cultural history of the Aryan...

sought to mix some traditions from Hinduism and Buddhism – Gautama Buddha
Gautama Buddha
Siddhārtha Gautama was a spiritual teacher from the Indian subcontinent, on whose teachings Buddhism was founded. In most Buddhist traditions, he is regarded as the Supreme Buddha Siddhārtha Gautama (Sanskrit: सिद्धार्थ गौतम; Pali: Siddhattha Gotama) was a spiritual teacher from the Indian...

's original name for the religion we now call Buddhism
Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

was The Aryan Path. Himmler sent a 1939 German expedition to Tibet
1939 German expedition to Tibet
The 1938-1939 German Expedition to Tibet was a May 1938 - August 1939 German scientific expedition led by German zoologist and SS officer Ernst Schäfer.- The origins of the expedition :...

 as part of his research into Aryan origins.

Neo-Nazism

Since the military defeat of Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

 by the Allies
Allies
In everyday English usage, allies are people, groups, or nations that have joined together in an association for mutual benefit or to achieve some common purpose, whether or not explicit agreement has been worked out between them...

 in 1945, most neo-Nazis
Neo-Nazism
Neo-Nazism consists of post-World War II social or political movements seeking to revive Nazism or some variant thereof.The term neo-Nazism can also refer to the ideology of these movements....

 have expanded their concept of the Aryan race, moving from the Nazi concept that the purest Aryans were the Teutonics or Nordics of Northern Europe to the idea that the true Aryans are everyone descended from the Western or Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

an branch of the Indo-European peoples because it is believed that they most closely resemble the original racial stock of the Proto-Indo-Europeans
Proto-Indo-Europeans
The Proto-Indo-Europeans were the speakers of the Proto-Indo-European language , a reconstructed prehistoric language of Eurasia.Knowledge of them comes chiefly from the linguistic reconstruction, along with material evidence from archaeology and archaeogenetics...

. Although admitting that those of the Eastern or Indo-Iranian
Indo-Iranian
Indo-Iranian can refer to:* Indo-Iranian languages* Prehistoric Indo-Iranians * Indo-European languages* Proto-Indo-Iranian religion* Proto-Indo-Iranian language...

 branch of the Indo-European peoples are "Aryans" in name, it is felt that they are not really true Aryans because it is believed that the Iranian peoples
Iranian peoples
The Iranian peoples are an Indo-European ethnic-linguistic group, consisting of the speakers of Iranian languages, a major branch of the Indo-European language family, as such forming a branch of Indo-European-speaking peoples...

 are mostly too intermixed with the Arabs and Mongols
Mongols
Mongols ) are a Central-East Asian ethnic group that lives mainly in the countries of Mongolia, China, and Russia. In China, ethnic Mongols can be found mainly in the central north region of China such as Inner Mongolia...

, and the Indo-Aryans
Indo-Aryans
Indo-Aryan is an ethno-linguistic term referring to the wide collection of peoples united as native speakers of the Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-Iranian family of Indo-European languages...

 are mostly too intermixed with the Dravidians, to still be pure Aryans.

Moderate white nationalists who embrace what is called Pan-Aryanism want to establish a democratically governed
Democracy
Democracy is generally defined as a form of government in which all adult citizens have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives. Ideally, this includes equal participation in the proposal, development and passage of legislation into law...

 Aryan Federation. It is envisioned that the North America
North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

n part of the "Aryan Federation" would be a new nation for Euro-Anglo Americans (European Americans and English Canadians) called Vinland which would include what is now the northern United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 and all of Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

 except Quebec
Quebec
Quebec or is a province in east-central Canada. It is the only Canadian province with a predominantly French-speaking population and the only one whose sole official language is French at the provincial level....

, and which would use the Vinland flag
Vinland flag
The Vinland flag is a flag first used by the musical group Type O Negative to encompass a variety of front man Peter Steele's interests and political beliefs, including his own Icelandic heritage...

.

On the other hand, according to Nicholas Goodrick-Clark, many neo-Nazis want to establish an autocratic state
Autocracy
An autocracy is a form of government in which one person is the supreme power within the state. It is derived from the Greek : and , and may be translated as "one who rules by himself". It is distinct from oligarchy and democracy...

 modeled after Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

 to be called the Western Imperium. It is believed this proposed state would be able to attain world domination
World domination
World Domination or Global Domination may refer to:* World Domination , 2001* World Domination , 2005* World Domination Enterprises, a UK independent rock band* World Domination Recordings, a US record label...

 by combining the nuclear arsenals of the four major Aryan world power
World Power
World Power is the debut album of German Eurodance project Snap!, released in 1990 on Bookmark/Ariola Records. The album received generally positive reviews from music critics, as the project's musical style and its vocalists, Turbo B and Penny "Tiny" Ford, were well-received...

s, the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, and Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

 under a single military command
Military command
Military command is the principle of the exercise of authority in a military, naval or air force context. The exercise of command is normally articulated in the legal framework which embodies the force concerned....

.

This proposed state would be led by a Führer
Führer
Führer , alternatively spelled Fuehrer in both English and German when the umlaut is not available, is a German title meaning leader or guide now most associated with Adolf Hitler, who modelled it on Benito Mussolini's title il Duce, as well as with Georg von Schönerer, whose followers also...

-like figure called the Vindex, and would include all areas inhabited by the "Aryan race", as conceived by Neo-Nazis. Only those of the Aryan race would be full citizens of the state. The "Western Imperium" would embark on a vigorous and dynamic program of space exploration
Space exploration
Space exploration is the use of space technology to explore outer space. Physical exploration of space is conducted both by human spaceflights and by robotic spacecraft....

, followed by the creation by genetic engineering
Genetic engineering
Genetic engineering, also called genetic modification, is the direct human manipulation of an organism's genome using modern DNA technology. It involves the introduction of foreign DNA or synthetic genes into the organism of interest...

 of a super race
Super race
A super race is a future race of improved humans that it is proposed be created from present day human beings by deploying various means such as eugenics, genetic engineering, yoga, or nanotechnology and brain-computer interfacing to accelerate the process of human evolution.-Aryan super race:The...

 called Homo Galactica. The concept of the "Western Imperium" as outlined in the previous three sentences is based on the original concept of the Imperium as outlined in the 1947 book Imperium: The Philosophy of History and Politics by Francis Parker Yockey
Francis Parker Yockey
Francis Parker Yockey was an American political thinker and polemicist best known for his neo-Spenglerian book Imperium: The Philosophy of History and Politics, published under the pen name Ulick Varange in 1948. This 600-page book argues for a culture-based, totalitarian path for the...

 as further updated, extended and refined in the early 1990s in pamphlets published by David Myatt.

Tempelhofgesellschaft

A neo-Nazi esoteric Nazi
Esoteric Nazism
The term Esoteric Nazism refers to semi-religious developments of Nazism in the post-World War II period. After 1945, esoteric elements of the Third Reich were developed into new völkisch religions of white identity. Examples of post-war Nazi mystical philosophies include Esoteric Hitlerism and...

 Gnostic sect headquartered in Vienna, Austria called the Tempelhofgesellschaft, founded in the early 1990s, teaches a form of what it calls Marcionism
Marcionism
Marcionism was an Early Christian dualist belief system that originated in the teachings of Marcion of Sinope at Rome around the year 144; see also Christianity in the 2nd century....

. They distribute pamphlets claiming that the Aryan race originally came to Atlantis from the star Aldebaran
Aldebaran
Aldebaran is a red giant star located about 65 light years away in the zodiac constellation of Taurus. With an average apparent magnitude of 0.87 it is the brightest star in the constellation and is one of the brightest stars in the nighttime sky...

.

See also

  • Anatolian hypothesis
    Anatolian hypothesis
    The Anatolian hypothesis is also called Renfrew's Neolithic Discontinuity Theory ; it proposes that the dispersal of Proto-Indo-Europeans originated in Neolithic Anatolia...

  • Aryan
    Aryan
    Aryan is an English language loanword derived from Sanskrit ārya and denoting variously*In scholarly usage:**Indo-Iranian languages *in dated usage:**the Indo-European languages more generally and their speakers...

  • Germanic peoples
    Germanic peoples
    The Germanic peoples are an Indo-European ethno-linguistic group of Northern European origin, identified by their use of the Indo-European Germanic languages which diversified out of Proto-Germanic during the Pre-Roman Iron Age.Originating about 1800 BCE from the Corded Ware Culture on the North...

  • Indo-Aryan migrations
  • Indo-Iranians
    Indo-Iranians
    Indo-Iranian peoples are a linguistic group consisting of the Indo-Aryan, Iranian, Dardic and Nuristani peoples; that is, speakers of Indo-Iranian languages, a major branch of the Indo-European language family....

  • Iranian peoples
    Iranian peoples
    The Iranian peoples are an Indo-European ethnic-linguistic group, consisting of the speakers of Iranian languages, a major branch of the Indo-European language family, as such forming a branch of Indo-European-speaking peoples...

  • Nordic theory
    Nordic theory
    The Nordic race is one of the racial subcategories into which the Caucasian race was divided by anthropologists in the first half of the 20th century...

  • Nordic race
  • Proto-Indo-Europeans
    Proto-Indo-Europeans
    The Proto-Indo-Europeans were the speakers of the Proto-Indo-European language , a reconstructed prehistoric language of Eurasia.Knowledge of them comes chiefly from the linguistic reconstruction, along with material evidence from archaeology and archaeogenetics...

  • Indo-European language family
  • Kurgan hypothesis
    Kurgan hypothesis
    The Kurgan hypothesis is one of the proposals about early Indo-European origins, which postulates that the people of an archaeological "Kurgan culture" in the Pontic steppe were the most likely speakers of the Proto-Indo-European language...

  • R1a1a
  • Race Life of the Aryan Peoples
    Race Life of the Aryan Peoples
    Race Life of the Aryan Peoples is a book written by Joseph Pomeroy Widney, published in New York by Funk & Wagnells in 1907, of the history of the Aryan race, a hypothesized race commonly described in the late 19th and early 20th century as consisting of native Indo-European Language-speaking...

  • SLC24A5
    SLC24A5
    Sodium/potassium/calcium exchanger 5 also known as solute carrier family 24 member 5 is a protein that in humans is encoded by the SLC24A5 gene that has a major influence on natural skin colour variation. The NCKX5 protein is a member of the potassium-dependent sodium/calcium exchanger family...

  • Scandinavism
    Scandinavism
    Scandinavism and Nordism are literary and political movements that support various degrees of cooperation between the Scandinavian or Nordic countries...

  • White nationalism
    White nationalism
    White nationalism is a political ideology which advocates a racial definition of national identity for white people. White separatism and white supremacism are subgroups within white nationalism. The former seek a separate white nation state, while the latter add ideas from social Darwinism and...

  • White supremacy
    White supremacy
    White supremacy is the belief, and promotion of the belief, that white people are superior to people of other racial backgrounds. The term is sometimes used specifically to describe a political ideology that advocates the social and political dominance by whites.White supremacy, as with racial...


Philosophical

  • Esotericism in Germany and Austria
    Esotericism in Germany and Austria
    This article gives an overview of esoteric movements in Germany and Austria between 1880 and 1945, presenting Theosophy, Anthroposophy and Ariosophy, among others, against the influences of earlier European esotericism.-Knights Templar and occultism:...

  • Thule Society
    Thule Society
    The Thule Society , originally the Studiengruppe für germanisches Altertum , was a German occultist and völkisch group in Munich, named after a mythical northern country from Greek legend...

  • Germanic Neopaganism
    Germanic Neopaganism
    Germanic neopaganism is the contemporary revival of historical Germanic paganism. Precursor movements appeared in the early 20th century in Germany and Austria. A second wave of revival began in the early 1970s...

  • Neo-völkisch movements
    Neo-völkisch movements
    Neo-völkisch movements, as defined by the historian Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke, cover a wide variety of mutually influencing groups of a radically ethnocentric character which have emerged, especially in the English-speaking world, since World War II...


As opposed to:
  • Soviet people
    Soviet people
    Soviet people or Soviet nation was an umbrella demonym for the population of the Soviet Union. Initially used as a nonspecific reference to the Soviet population, it was eventually declared to be a "new historical, social and international unity of people".-Nationality politics in early Soviet...

  • Zhonghua minzu
    Zhonghua minzu
    Zhonghua minzu , usually translated as Chinese ethnic groups or Chinese nationality, refers to the modern notion of a Chinese nationality transcending ethnic divisions, with a central identity for China as a whole...


Third Reich specific

  • Aryanization
    Aryanization
    Aryanization is a term coined during Nazism referring to the forced expulsion of so-called "non-Aryans", mainly Jews, from business life in Nazi Germany and the territories it controlled....

  • Aryan paragraph
    Aryan paragraph
    An Aryan paragraph is a clause in the statutes of an organization, corporation, or real estate deed that reserves membership and/or right of residence solely for members of the Aryan race and excludes from such rights any non-Aryans, particularly Jews or those of Jewish descent, as well as to those...

  • Honorary Aryan
    Honorary Aryan
    Honorary Aryan is a term from Nazi Germany. It was a status granted by the Nazi Bureau of Race Research to certain individuals and groups of people—who were not generally considered to be biologically part of the Aryan race—which certified them as being part of the Aryan race...

  • Ahnenpass
    Ahnenpass
    The Ahnenpaß documented the Aryan lineage of citizens of Nazi Germany. It was one of the forms of the Aryan certificate ....

  • Aryan Games
    Aryan Games
    The Aryan Games were a proposed replacement for the Olympic Games by the National Socialist government of the Third Reich, to be housed permanently in Nuremberg at the German Stadium that was designed, but never built, by Albert Speer. Adolf Hitler told Albert Speer that after the German Stadium...


Contemporaneous concepts of race

  • Alpine race
    Alpine race
    The Alpine race is an historical racial classification or sub-race of humans, considered a branch of the Caucasian race. The term is not commonly used today, but was popular in the early 20th century.-History:...

  • Armenoid race
  • Dinaric race
    Dinaric race
    The Dinaric race is one of the sub-categories of the Europid race into which it was divided by physical anthropologists in the early 20th century...

  • East Baltic race
    East Baltic race
    The East Baltic race is one of the subcategories of the Europid race into which it was divided by anthropologists in the early 20th century....

  • Iranid race
    Iranid race
    Iranid race was a term used in scientific racism for the populations native to the Iranian plateau. The Iranid type was classified as belonging to the greater Caucasian race, and was variously associated with either the Nordic or the Mediterranean subtypes, depending on the authority...

  • Mediterranean race
    Mediterranean race
    The Mediterranean race was one of the three sub-categories into which the Caucasian race and the people of Europe were divided by anthropologists in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, following the publication of William Z. Ripley's book The Races of Europe...


Further reading

  • The Arctic Home in the Vedas
    The Arctic Home in the Vedas
    The Arctic Home in the Vedas is a seminal work on the origin of Aryans presented by Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak, a mathematician turned astronomer, historian, journalist, philosopher and political leader of India during 1880 to 1920...

     by Bal Gangadhar Tilak
    Bal Gangadhar Tilak
    Lokmanya Tilak –, was an Indian nationalist, teacher, social reformer and independence fighter who was the first popular leader of the Indian Independence Movement. The British colonial authorities derogatorily called the great leader "Father of the Indian unrest"...

  • Arvidsson, Stefan. Aryan Idols. The Indo-European Mythology as Science and Ideology. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 2006 ISBN 0-226-02860-7
  • Poliakov, Leon
    Leon Poliakov
    Léon Poliakov was a French historian who wrote extensively on the Holocaust and anti-Semitism.Born into a Russian Jewish family, Poliakov lived in Italy and Germany until he settled in France....

    . The Aryan Myth: A History of Racist and Nationalistic Ideas In Europe New York: Barnes & Noble Books. 1996 ISBN 0-7607-0034-6
  • Widney, Joseph P
    Joseph Pomeroy Widney
    Joseph Pomeroy Widney, M.D. D.D. LL.D was a polymathic pioneer American physician, clergyman, entrepreneur-philanthropist, proto-environmentalist, prohibitionist, racial theorist, and prolific author....

     Race Life of the Aryan Peoples
    Race Life of the Aryan Peoples
    Race Life of the Aryan Peoples is a book written by Joseph Pomeroy Widney, published in New York by Funk & Wagnells in 1907, of the history of the Aryan race, a hypothesized race commonly described in the late 19th and early 20th century as consisting of native Indo-European Language-speaking...

    New York: Funk & Wagnalls. 1907 In Two Volumes: Volume One--The Old World Volume Two--The New World ISBN B000859S6O:

External links

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