The Real Latins

Excerpted from the 13th article of William Pierce’s “Who We Are: a Series of Articles on the History of the White Race”:


Today, when we speak of “Latins,” we reflexively think of short, swarthy, excitable people who are inordinately fond of loud rhythms, wine, spicy food, and seduction, and who aren’t to be taken very seriously. That is not an accurate image of all speakers of Romance languages, of course. Many individuals of French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, and Romanian nationality are as racially sound as the average Swede or German. Yet, the image persists, and for good reason.

The Latini, the Northern tribesmen who settled Latium in the ninth century B.C. and founded Rome a century later, were something altogether different. Most of today’s Latins share nothing with those of 28 centuries ago except the name. Not only are the two strikingly different in appearance and temperament, but every element of the culture the original Latins created as an expression of their race-soul has been fundamentally transformed by those who claim that name today.

Even the character and tone of the modern languages derived from that of the Latini are profoundly different. The Romance languages, overburdened with vowels, have a soft, effeminate air that was never present in the language of the early Romans, which was as hard and manly as the people themselves. (The Romans did not say See-sar or Sis-ero; they said Kai-sar and Kick-ero.)

Virtuous Race

Above all, the Latini were a people to be taken seriously. They brought with them to Italy the spirit of the northern forests whence they had come. They took themselves and life very seriously indeed.

Duty, honor, responsibility: to the early Romans these were the elements which circumscribed a man’s life. Their virtues (the Latin root of the word means “manliness”) were strength of body and will, perseverance, sobriety, courage, hardiness, steadiness of purpose, attentiveness to detail, intelligence, and the characteristically Nordic will to order. Through these virtues they brought the world under their sway and created a civic edifice of such magnificence that it has ever since provided the standard against which all others are measured.

The Romans shaped the world around them—its institution, its politics, its attitudes, and its lifestyles—more extensively and more profoundly than anyone else has, and then they perished. That fact has fascinated and occupied the energies of historical scholars as no other topic. What were the reasons that the Romans rose so high and then fell so far?

Typically Indo-European

When they arrived in the Italian peninsula in the ninth century the Latins, like their Italic neighbors before them, brought with them institutions and customs which were typically Indo-European. In a great many ways they remind us of the Mycenaean Greeks described by Homer. In the social and political institutions of the early Romans, in particular, we can see elements which were as familiar to the Dorians three centuries earlier as they were to the Celts and Germans ten centuries later. Just as the languages of all these kindred Northern peoples were derived from a common source, so were their modes of organizing and governing themselves.

The earliest history of the Romans is partly shrouded in the mists of antiquity. The Latins were not as fond of writing books as were the Greeks, and only a few inscriptions in stone have come down to us from the time prior to the fifth century B.C.—and not a great deal after that, until the second century B.C. The oral traditions of the Roman people from the eighth century B.C. are a blend of myth and history and must be taken cum grano salis, as they would have said.

Latins, Sabines, Etruscans

Very early in its history, Romulus’ hilltop village of Latins joined forces with a neighboring village of Sabines, the Titienses. The Sabines and the Latins were of very closely related Indo-European stocks, and the amalgamation did little to change social institutions, other than doubling the number of senators.

A few years later, however, the Etruscan Luceres—of non-Indo-European stock—were absorbed by the growing Rome. Although the Etruscans remained a tribe apart from the Latin and Sabine inhabitants of the city, without patrician status, this condition was destined not to last.

Kings of Rome

Tradition gives the date 716 B.C. for the death of the Latin founder of Rome, Romulus. He had long before carried out the amalgamation of his tribe with the Titienses, and a year after he died the combined Latin-Sabine populus chose a Sabine, Numa Pompilius, as the second king of Rome.

For a century the kingship alternated between Latin and Sabine, but about the year 616 B.C. it passed to a man who was neither. He was Tarquinius Priscus (Tarquin the Elder) and was said to be the son of a Greek father and an Etruscan mother. How a half-Etruscan came to be king of the Romans is not clear; the traditional account is not convincing.

Probably what happened is that Rome suffered a military defeat at the hands of one of the powerful Etruscan communities on the other side of the Tiber. In any event, Tarquin forced the Romans to accept 100 new patrician families from among the Etruscan inhabitants of the city. Although the Etruscan patricians were accorded a status subordinate to that of the elders of the Latin and Sabine clans (the former were designated patres minorum gentium, or “fathers of the lesser clans”), time eventually blurred this distinction; the Etruscans entered the Senate, bringing the number of senators to 300, where it remained for more than five centuries, until the dictatorship of Julius Caesar.

Servian “Reforms”

It was Tarquin’s successor, Servius Tullius, however, who wrought changes which were to have much more profound racial consequences: in essence, Servius made the plebs a part of the populus Romanus. He accomplished this by overshadowing the patrician assembly, the Comitia Curiata, with two new popular assemblies, one civil and one military.

Gold over Blood

Servius certainly cannot be accused of being a democrat. Yet he clearly initiated the process which eventually led to the ascendancy of gold over blood in Roman society, just as Solon had done in Athens a few years earlier.

Four Factors

The following centuries saw the political power of the plebs increase greatly relative to that of the patricians, while wealth continued to gain weight relative to race and family.

The Romans survived the founding of the Republic by roughly a millennium, but we are not concerned in this series with the political and cultural details of their history, except as these details have a salient racial significance. Therefore, the emphasis in the following historical summary is rather different than that found in most textbooks on Roman history.

Let us focus on four factors: first, the growing racial diversity of the Roman state; second, the eventual decadence of Rome’s patricians; third, the differential in birthrates between Rome’s patrician and plebeian classes; and fourth, the effects on the Roman peasantry of large-scale slavery as a capitalist institution.

1 Reply on “The Real Latins