In Whitman's Hand


About this Item

Title: Scythia (as Used by the Greeks)

Creator: Walt Whitman

Date: Undated

Whitman Archive ID: duk.00687

Source: Trent Collection of Whitmaniana, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University. Transcribed from digital images of the original item. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the marginalia and annotations, see our statement of editorial policy.

Editorial note: At one point, this manuscript likely formed part of Whitman's cultural geography scrapbook. Edward Grier estimates that the date of this manuscript is between 1857 and 1860 (Walt Whitman: Notebooks and Unpublished Manuscripts, ed. Edward F. Grier [New York: New York University Press, 1984], 5:1920). Although Grier (quoting Floyd Stovall) notes that the quotations near the end of the manuscript likely come from Bunsen's Outlines of the Philosophy of Universal History, it appears that they instead come from the introduction to Noah Webster's American Dictionary of the English Language, likely the 1847 edition that was most familiar to Whitman (see Ed Folsom, "Whitman and Dictionaries," in Walt Whitman's Native Representations [Cambridge University Press, 1994], 14). In the 1847 edition of Webster's, the quotations appeared on page xxv of the Introduction.

Contributors to digital file: Lauren Grewe, Nicole Gray, Ty Alyea, Matt Cohen, and Kevin McMullen

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(as used by the Greeks)

—the northern part of Europe & Asia

—the people thereof "Kelts" viz (woods‑men

(These were descendamts from the same ancestors as the Greeks & Romans themselves.)

—another name of the above the "Umbri"


—The Celtic, Teutonic & Gothic races are all of Japhetic stock


Sarmatia ancient Russia & Poland


? "the Teutonic Races, originally from Persia"

—"then the inhabitants of India, and the descendants of the Keltic and Teutonic nations, are all of one family, and must all have migrated from one country, after the separation of the nations of the

—Whether that country was Persia, or Cashmir, or a country farther east, is not easily determined—but it seems that, accordingly, the white man of Europe and the tawny man of India have a common ancestry.

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