GENEALOGY-DNA-L ArchivesArchiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2007-06 > 1182714624
From: "David Wilson" <>
Subject: Re: [DNA] Roman army in China
Date: Sun, 24 Jun 2007 12:50:24 -0700
A fast flip of the Latin into English:
"I am happy to report to you that my genetic testing is done and that three
haplotypes in the world match mine: in Northern Portugal near the Tagus
River (= modern Tajo or Tejo), in Poland, and in China. What does the
Chinese individual have to do with me? Roman soldiers who fought under
Marcus Licinius Crassus at Carrhae in 53 BC were sent off to China after
that great disaster. Therefore: I am a Roman citizen."
The last line is Portuguese and says "Of course this is a working
[mailto:] On Behalf Of Sam Vass
Sent: Sunday, June 24, 2007 9:14 AM
Subject: [DNA] Roman army in China
I have been exchanging correspondence with a Jewish probable R1b1c
person from Italy (KV7Y2) who also has a Hui (Chinese) match at yhrd as I
do. His investigation into the possible origins of this person ultimately
led to writing an email that he recently sent to me. I asked for and
received permission to resubmit it here as shown below (I left in both the
Latin and the Italian without knowing what it means; so don't complain to
me) Sam Vass:
Begin forwarded message:
> From: Gioiello Tognoni
> Subject: Civis romanus
> This is the email I sent to "sc-gen".
> Adnuntio vobis gaudium magnum: examine genetico confecto, orbi
> terrarum tria haplotypa mihi aequalia sunt: in Lusitania (apud Tagum
> flumen), in Polonia, in Imperio Orientali. Quid ad me homo siniticus
> pertinet? Milites Romani, qui anno DCC a. U. c. Carrhis pugnaverunt,
> Marco Licinio Crasso duce, ob magnam cladem in Imperium Orientale
> reiecti sunt. Ergo: miles Romanus sum.
> Roman descendants found in China? By Richard Spencer in Liqian,
> north-west China Last Updated: 12:36am GMT 04/02/2007
> Richard Spencer meets the residents of Liqian Residents of a remote
> Chinese village are hoping that DNA tests will prove one of history's
> most unlikely legends that they are descended from Roman legionaries
> lost in antiquity. Scientists have taken blood samples from 93 people
> living in and around Liqian, a settlement in north-western China on
> the fringes of the Gobi desert, more than 200 miles from the nearest
> They are seeking an explanation for the unusual number of local people
> with western characteristics green eyes, big noses, and even blonde
> hair mixed with traditional Chinese features. "I really think we
> are descended from the Romans," said Song Guorong, 48, who with his
> wavy hair, six-foot frame and strikingly long, hooked nose stands out
> from his short, round-faced office
> colleagues. "There are the residents with these special
> features, and then there are also historical records about the
> existence of these people long ago," he said.
> Studies claiming that Liqian has Roman ancestry have greatly excited
> the impoverished county in which it is situated. The village is now
> overlooked by a pillared portico, in the hope of attracting tourists.
> A statue at the entrance of the nearby county town, Yongchang, shows a
> Roman legionary standing next to a Confucian scholar and a Muslim
> woman, as a symbol of racial harmony. Even entrepreneurs have caught
> on: in "Imperial City Entertainment Street" there is a Caesar Karaoke
> The town's link with Rome was first suggested by a professor of
> Chinese history at Oxford in the 1950s. Homer Dubs pulled together
> stories from the official histories, which said that Liqian was
> founded by soldiers captured in a war between the Chinese and the Huns
> in 36BC, and the legend of the missing army of Marcus Crassus,
> a Roman general. In 53BC Crassus was defeated disastrously and
> beheaded by the Parthians, a tribe occupying what is now Iran, putting
> an end to Rome's eastward expansion.
> But stories persisted that 145 Romans were taken captive and wandered
> the region for years. Prof Dubs theorised that they made their way as
> a mercenary troop eastwards, which was how a troop "with a fish-scale
> formation" came to be captured by the Chinese 17 years later.
> He said the "fish-scale formation" was a reference to the Roman
> "tortoise", a phalanx protected by shields on all sides and from
> above. Gu Jianming, who lives near Liqian, said it had come as a
> surprise to be told he might be descended from a European imperial
> army. But then the birth of his daughter was also a surprise. Gu
> Meina, now six, was born with a shock of blonde hair. "We shaved it
> off a month after she was born but it just grew back the same colour,"
> he said. "At school they call her 'yellow hair'. Before we were told
> about the Romans, we had no idea about this. We are poor and have no
> family temple, so we don't know about our ancestors."
> Another resident, Cai Junnian, 38, said his ruddy skin and green eyes
> meant he was now nicknamed Cai Luoma, or Cai the Roman, by friends. He
> has become a local celebrity, and was recently flown to the Italian
> consulate in Shanghai to meet his supposed relatives.
> The professor's hypothesis took almost 40 years to reach China.
> During Chairman Mao's rule, ideas of foreign ancestry were not
> ideologically welcome and the story was suppressed. Mr Cai said his
> great-grandfather told him that there were Roman tombs in the Qilian
> mountains a day and a half's walk away, but he had never connected
> them to the unusual appearance he inherited from his father. "People
> thought I had a skin problem," he said.
> The blood tests are part of a project undertaken by scientists and
> historians after local authorities loosened control over genetic
> research. The results will be published in a scientific journal.
> But Prof Xie Xiaodong, a geneticist from Lanzhou University,
> cautioned against over enthusiasm. "Even if they are
> descendants of the Roman empire, it doesn't mean they are necessarily
> from the Roman army," he said. "The empire covered a large area. Many
> soldiers were recruited locally, so anything is possible."
> The issue has split the university's history department, with some
> scholars supporting the claim, some rejecting it. Prof Wang Shaokuan
> poured scorn on Prof Dubs's thesis, saying the Huns themselves
> included Caucasians, Asians and Mongols.
> Naturalmente è uma hipòtese de trabalho. Gioiello
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