XXIV. Such, in outline and in general, is the character of Europe and of Asia. In Europe too there are tribes differing one from another in stature, in shape and in courage. The differences are due to the same causes as I mentioned above, which I will now describe more clearly. Inhabitants of a region which is mountainous, rugged, high, and watered,

[p. 135] where the changes of the seasons exhibit sharp contrasts, are likely to be of big physique, with a nature well adapted for endurance and courage, and such possess not a little wildness and ferocity. The inhabitants of hollow regions, that are meadowy, stifling, with more hot than cool winds, and where the water used is hot, will be neither tall nor well-made, but inclined to be broad, fleshy, and dark-haired ; they themselves are dark rather than fair, less subject to phlegm than to bile. Similar bravery and endurance are not by nature part of their character, but the imposition of law can produce them artificially. Should there be rivers in the land, which drain off from the ground the stagnant water and the rain water, these1 will be healthy and bright. But if there be no rivers, and the water that the people drink be marshy, stagnant, and fenny, the physique of the people must show protruding bellies and enlarged spleens. Such as dwell in a high land that is level, windy, and watered, will be tall in physique and similar to one another, but rather unmanly and tame in character. As to those that dwell on thin, dry, and bare soil, and where the changes of the seasons exhibit sharp contrasts, it is likely that in such country the people will be hard in physique and well-braced, fair rather than dark, stubborn and independent in character and in temper. For where the changes of the seasons are most frequent and most sharply contrasted, there you will find the greatest diversity in physique, in character, and in constitution.

[p. 137] These are the most important factors that create differences in men's constitutions ; next come the land in which a man is reared, and the water. For in general you will find assimilated to the nature of the land both the physique and the characteristics of the inhabitants. For where the land is rich, soft, and well-watered, and the water is very near the surface, so as to be hot in summer and cold in winter, and if the situation be favourable as regards the seasons, there the inhabitants are fleshy, ill-articulated, moist, lazy, and generally cowardly in character. Slackness and sleepiness can be observed in them, and as far as the arts are concerned they are thick-witted, and neither subtle nor sharp. But where the land is bare, waterless, rough, oppressed by winter's storms and burnt by the sun, there you will see men who are hard, lean, well-articulated, well-braced, and hairy ; such natures will be found energetic, vigilant, stubborn and independent in character and in temper, wild rather than tame, of more than average sharpness and intelligence in the arts, and in war of more than average courage. The things also that grow in the earth all assimilate themselves to the earth. Such are the most sharply contrasted natures and physiques. Take these observations as a standard when drawing all other conclusions, and you will make no mistake.

1 The people or the rivers ? Probably the former, in which case "bright" will mean "of bright (clear) complexion."

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