Fedra A. Pizzato

An Anhropological History of Nation. Mediterranean Myth and Nation Building in Giuseppe Sergi (1880-1919)

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Giuseppe Sergi; Physical Anthropology; Mediterranean Race; Italian Identity; Southern Question.

The physical anthropologists were involved in the Italian nation building process. In fact, they worked to build and diffuse the Italian national feeling. However, they assumed different positions on the spreading of Arian mythology. Different ideas of Italian identity and of Italian foreign and internal politics were linked with those positions. The Italian anthropologist Giuseppe Sergi fought against the hypothesis of building the Italian national identity on the concept of «Arianity» by proposing a theory driven by the political environment. Instead, using anthropological dates, he sustained the idea of the superiority of the Mediterranean race and he tried to demonstrate the existence of a deep relation between Italian, Scandinavian and Britannic people against the Triple Alliance. At the same time, his theory was linked with the political discussion about the «Meridional Question»: he criticized the choices in favor of the northern part of the country that characterized the Italian politics across the end of the XIX century and the beginning of the XX century by sustaining the possibility of a real development of the south. All those positions were based on racist theories. Moreover, Sergi used the anthropological analysis to sustain the opportunity of building the United States of Europe.

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