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ANTHRO CAMPER BUFFON DAUBENTON ROUSSEAU
17TH C. ALBINUS READINGS SEMINAR GLOSSARY
Petrus Camper's anatomy teacher Bernardi Siegfried Albini
Anatomes & Chirurgiae in Academia Batava,
quae Leidae est, Professoris
DISSERTATIO SECUNDA.
DE
SEDE ET CAUSSA
COLORIS AETHIOPUM
ET
CAETERORUM HOMINUM.
ACCEDUNT ICONES COLORIBUS DISTINCTAE.
LEIDAE BATAVORUM,
Apud THEODORUM HAAK, Bibliop.
Prostat etiam AMSTELAEDAMI,
Apud JACOBUM GRAAL, & HENRICUM DE LETH,
MDCCXXXVII

B. S. ALBINI
DISSERTATIO
DE
SEDE ET CAUSSA
COLORIS AETHIOPUM
ET
CAETERORUM HOMINUM.

Secundam hanc vobis, elegantioris Anatomes Amatores & Cultores, do Dissertationem. De sede & caussa coloris aethiopum, & caeterorum hominum, nova quaedam continet, permista notis, sed partim de novo confirmatis, partim elimatis.  Rem si non indignam judicabitis, in qua aliquid otii teratis, ego non plane perdidisse me bonas horas, quas impendi, putabo.

B. S. Albinus, Dissertation on the Seat and Cause of the Color of Ethiopians and all the Other Human Beings (Leiden: Theodorum Haak; Amsterdam: Jacobum Graal & Henricum de Leth, 1737).

I.  First Section: Description of Data Relating to the Color of the Skin of Ethiopians.

The skin ("cutis") of all people, no matter what color they are, is bright. The brightness, however, is not the same all over the body, since it is very lightly tincted by the color of a substance which is very close to it, and which is called, by authority of Malpighius, the "net" ("corpus reticulare," "reticulum").

4 DISSERTATIO DE COLORE AETHIOPUM

          Cutem omnibus hominibus, cujuscunque essent coloris, candidam inveni: non tamen candoris omnino ejusdem, sed leviter tinctam illo colore, cujus est proximum quod Malpighio auctore dicunt corpus reticulare: & tam leviter, ut cum res in aethiopibus manifestior ob colorem eorum saturatiorem esse deberet, ne nigerrimis quidem tinctam cutem esse, primo adspectu putaverim.  Quo minus mirum, nive candidiorem aethiopi esse dixisse Riolanum,1 albissimam Ruyschium:2 albam certe Malpighius3 dicere potuit, candidam Santorini.4  Cum vero aliquantulum colore reticuli tinctam este trado, noli, quaeso, putare, aliquid decepisse me reticulum.  Scio, quam facile contingat, quando cutis à reticulo liberatur, frustulum remanere.  Scio, & saepius, quam voluissem, expertus sum, reticulum facile vel ex parte, vel in totum tabescere, & humoris fusci specie summam cutem plus minus insicere: quale quid etiam Ruyschio contigit, ut subnigra apparuerit cutis aethiopissae; colore illo, ut monet, inducto ab epidermide.5   Verum non minus quoque scio, habuisse cutem aethiopum, quorum examinavi, levissimi quid de colore reticuli, etaimsi reticulum integerrime detraxerim, nihil quidquam vel cute vitiata, vel reticulo: non aliter autem, tanquam si ob proximitatem levissime perfusa cutis esset colore reticuli.  Atque adeo id leve apparuit, ut ad colorem aethiopum efficiendum non nisi perparum cutis dicit

1 Anthrop. Lib. II. Cap. 4.
2 Cur. renov. n°. 6. 59. 87.
3 Exercit. epist. de Tactus org.
4 Observ. Anat. Cap. I. §. 1.
5 Cur. renov. n°. 59.
Riolan, Ruysch, and Malpighi claim all three that the skin of Ethiopians is bright, that is, not dark, although they use different words for the same concept: Riolan says "whiter than snow," Malpighi says "white," Ruysch says "very white," Santorini says "bright."  [Albinus returns to this question on page 6.]
The "net" ("reticulum") is very vulnerable, once it has been torn off the skin, as has been proved through experiments.
Albinus claims that the skin ("cutis") is only to a very small extent ("non nisi perparum") responsible for the Ethiopians' color.
ET CAETERORUM HOMINUM. 5

possit conferre.  Coloris illius praecipua sedes in reticulo est: est & in epidermide; quod etiam à diligentissimo Santorini animadversum.6  Nec tamen errasse Riolanus dicendus est, quod solam cuticulam nigrore illo infectam tradit.7  Nam ex quo postea epidermidem & reticulum effecere, id unam epidermidem antiquiores dixerunt: quemadmodum etaim Ruyschius, qui reticulum agnovit, tamen, quasi oblitus, meminit8 aethiopis cuticulae nigricantis; de cuticula una cum reticulo intelligendus, ut qui epidermidem aethiopis cineream dixit,9 reticulum autem semper invenisse se totum nigrum, tradidit:10 similiterque meminit11 cutis aethiopissae, cui, ut paullo ante annotavimus, ab epidermide color subniger inductus fuerit; cum de illa ipsa epidermide, à qua color ille inductus fuerit, dixisset, coloris fuisse cinerei, corpore reticulari nigro.  Et revera unum aliquod tegmen cutem extrinsecus vestit, in lamellas plus minus dividuum: cujus tegminis pars interior, quae cutem proxime contingit, est quod dicunt reticulum; exterior, quam antiquo nomine epidermidem.  Ejusdemque naturae sunt: reticulum autem mollius, & coloratius.  Itaque partes illae cohaerent inter se, ut altera alterius, nisi continuatio, certe pars dicenda sit; quod apparere scripsit12 clarissimus Winslow.  Aethiopi igitur reticulum fuscum est, & quasi nigrum.  Quocirca recte Malpighius

6 Observ. an. Cap. I. §. 1.
7 Anthrop. Lib. II. Cap. 4.
8 Thesaur. II. Ass. V. n°.  12.
9 Curae renov. n°. 59. 87.
10 Advers. Decad. III. 8.
11 Curae renov. n°. 59.
12 Exposit. anat. traitées tegum §. 40.
The most important seat of the color is in the "net" ("reticulum") and in the upper skin ("epidermis") [see Santorini, note 6]. These two substances together were called "epidermis" by the older authors, or "cuticula" (lit. "little skin") by Riolan.  Ruysch claims that Ethiopians have an epidermis which is ash-like [see note 9] and that their reticulum is always black [see note 10].  The skin, cutis, he says, gets its almost black color from the epidermis [see note 11].

The skin, cutis, Albinus goes on to explain, is covered from the outside by a layer, which is divided into parts like small metal plates ("lamellae"). The interior part of this layer is called reticulum, the exterior part is called epidermis. They are of the same substance, but the reticulum is more soft and has more brightness. They are inseparable from each other.

6 DISSERTATIO DE COLORE AETHIOPUM

conjecit,13 (nam, quod à praeclaro Morgagno jam annotatum,14 non nisi conjecit) nigrorem aethiopum à corpore reticulari effici: non recte autem, effici totum.13 Quod vero ad colorem reticuli attinet, quem nigrum plerique dixerunt; eum cum eximio Morgagno15 adhuc fuscum inveni, habentem speciem nigri, ut eleganter de aethiopum colore Macrobius. 16  Epidermis coloris ejusdem est, cujus reticulum: sed multo minus colorata; qualis fere color lamellae tenuis & perlucidae cornu nigri, cui assimilat17 clarus Winslow.  De colore autem epidermidis aethiopis maxime differre inter se videntur egregii Anatomici, Malpighius, Ruyschius, Santorini: Malpighio dicente18 albam esse, Ruyschio19 cineream, Santorino20 nigram. Sed fortrasse nomine differunt, non re. Potuit Malpighius albam dixisse, quoniam certe atritatem aethiopis non habet. Potuit Ruyschius cineream, quoniam ad cinereum colorem accedit.  Potuit Santorini nigram, quoniam habet de fusco illo colore, quem nigrum dicere solemus.  Sed qui dixerunt21 aeque albam esse ac caeterorum hominum; eorum dictquem colorem dem, non invenio.  Reticuli color, ad quem redeo, saturatior est, qua id cuti proximum: ab altera parte, qua epidermidi conjunctum, jam

13 Exerc. epist. de Tactus org.
14 Advers. anat. II. Anim. 4.
15 Ibid.
16 In Somn. Scipion. Lib. II. Cap. 10.
17 Exposit. anat. traité des tegum §. 41.
18 Exerc. epist. de Tactus organ.
19 Curae renovat. n°. 59. & 87.
20 Observat. anat. Cap. I. §. 1.
21 Histoir. de l'Acad. Roy. des Scienc. Ann. 1702. Divers. observ. Anatom. n°.  13.

The reticulum of Ethiopians is dark-colored, like black. Malpighi [see note 13] is right in assuming that the blackness of the Ethiopians' skin stems from the corpus reticulare, but he is wrong in assuming that it stems entirely from it.

As to the color of the reticulum, Albinus found it to be not black, but just dark-colored ("fuscus"), with a shade of black (or, looking like black, "habentem speciem nigri," an expression borrowed from Macrobius, [note 16]). Morgagnus [see note 15] claims the same thing. The epidermis has the same color, but it has a lesser brightness. Different scientists describe the color of the epidermis in varying terms: Malpighius calls it white, Ruysch ash-like, and Santorini black. Albinus assumes that this is just a matter of terminology; they meant to describe exactly the same color.

ET CAETERORUM HOMINUM. 7

liquantum exstinctus.  Itaque intelligi potest, qui fiat, ut extrinsecus aethiops tam fuscus non sit, quam est pars intima reticuli sui.  Nequit intimi reticuli color integre apparere per corpus reticuli, & per epidermidem, quoniam tantum perluciditatis non habent.  Sic Littre animadvertit,22 reticulum, cujus nigror carbonem ligneum assimilaret, per epidermidem tantum apparuisse ad similitudinem fuliginis.  Non aequaliter autem colorata est pars illa intima reticuli: qua enim contingit & implet intervalla papillarum cutis, ibi coloratior, quam qua papillas ipsas ambit.  Cujus rei intelligendae caussa, obiter hic monuisse sufficiet, reticulum non esse foraminulis pertusum, per quae papillae cutis penetrent; neque ea re assimile esse reticulo, quale bovis linguam Malpighius habere scribit.  Ex cute eminent tubercula perexigua, quibus densissime per totam amplitudinem suam consita quasi est; praeterquam in plantis ac volis, respondentibusque partibus digitorum; ubi non tubercula, sed filorum constipatorum species: papillas & tubercula illa, & fila appellant; putamusque tactus instrumenta esse.  Huic papillatae cuti superinducta epidermis vestit & papillas, & intervalla earum: quo fit, ut pars ejus interior, hoc est, reticulum, tot talesque habeat foveolas, ceu vaginulas; quot qualesque sunt papillae; quemadmodum apparet, cum de cute & de epidermide subtiliter & accurate detractum reticulum est.  Atque in foveolis illis color minus

22 Histoir. de l'Academ. Roy. des Scienc. loc. cit.

Back to the color of the reticulum: the part which is closer to the cutis is fuller, the other part, linked with the epidermis, is dimmer (like fading). This is why the Ethiopian is not quite as dark as the inner part of the reticulum is, for the bright color of the inside cannot shine altogether through to the outside, the epidermis not being very translucent [see also Littré note 22].

The inner part of the reticulum does not have an equal, an uniform brightness of color either. For where it is close to and fills the (intervals consisting of) the nipple-like protuberances ("papillae" - the fiber-like ducts Camper speaks about on p. 15 of his speech), it is more colorful than where it goes around the protuberances themselves. Very numerous small humps ("tubercula") stick out of the skin, through which the protuberances of the skin penetrate. Another word for these protuberances ("papillae") or humps ("tubercula") is "fila," "threads" and, says Albinus, we assume them to be the instruments through which we feel. This hump-covered skin in covered by the epidermis; the inner part of it, the reticulum, has little holes of the same number and kind as the skin's protuberances.

8 DISSERTATIO DE COLORE AETHIOPUM

fuscus est, mediis in locis saturatior.  Haec coloris in minimis his partibus differentia.  Longe major in dissitis ejusdem reticuli partibus.  Ut enim idem omnibus aethiopis partibus color non est, ita neque reticuli; quod colori partium ubique respondent suo.  Habeo pulchrae aethiopis, cui erat color ille venuste una cum nitore & splendore nigricans, qui in primis laudatur: habeo portiones reticuli ejus, quarum alias de facie detraxi, alias de mammis, ventre, brachio, femore, genu, crure, pede, manu, planta, vola, digitis manus, pedisque; quae tantopere differunt inter se colore, ut unius ejusdemque aethiopis esse dubitares.  In planta, & calce, inque vola, internaque parte digitorum, quae albicant aethiopibus, etiam reticulum ad rationem atritatis aethiopum pene albicat, coloris maxime leucophaei: neque tamen aequaliter coloratum ibi est, sed maculis paullo saturatioribus quasi aspersum.  Minus quoque saturatum, & similiter maculosum est reticulum, quod unguibus subjacet.
          In caeteris hominibus eadem coloris sedes, eademque ratio.  Habeo epidermidem, quam detraxi de superiore parte brachii foeminae candidissimae; cui epidermidi adhaeret reticulum omnino candidum, & ob id difficulter discernendum ab epidermide; quale in candidis hominibus, nec multum solis aestui expositis, semper se invenisse Ruyschius annotavit.23 Idem meminit24 de reticulo, quod ejusdem fere
23 Advers. an. Decad. III. 8.24 Curae poster. n°. 8.

In these holes, the color is less dark, in the parts between the holes it is fuller. The surface of the reticulum on the other hand varies even more strongly in color, for as the Ethiopians do not have the same color all over their body, so neither does the reticulum. Here, Albinus mentions the samples of skin from the different parts of the body which he dissected from a Negro woman; they varied in their shade of darkness.

People from other races have the same origin for the color of their skin, and the same principles are valid. Albinus mentions an example: the epidermis of the upper arm of a woman with very white skin: that epidermis is attached to a reticulum which is completely white, and which is therefore hard to discern from the epidermis.

Ruysch [see note 23] mentions the same phenomenon.

ET CAETERORUM HOMINUM. 9

boris fuerit, atque epidermis.  Habeo epidermidem mammae foeminae subfuscae, ubi & reticulum subsuscum.  Aliam foeminae eleganter fuscae, ubi talis etiam coloris reticulum.  Alias, ubi subflavum, quale Ruyschius aliquoties memorat.25 Et in colore subflavo ipso differentia. Ruyschius,26 semiaethiopis dilutius nigrum esse. In planta pedis europaeorum, qualia idem quoque Ruyschius memorat,27 plerumque luteolum; ficuti etiam in vola, internaque parte digitorum, tum manus, tum pedis: quorum aliquot exempla servo.  Saturatior color in genitalibus, & in pube.  Servo de pube viri cum epidermide reticulum, quod admodum fuscum: foeminae, quod luteum.  Servo de scroto europaei, quod tantummodo aliquanto minus fuscum, quam quae de tibia aethiopis habeo: magis etiam fuscum de pene, ut aethiopis esse putares.  Ac semper epidermis plus minus habet de colore reticuli sui: quoniam vero in europaeis epidermis non ita multum ab albore abest, idcirco videtur Ruyschius indiscriminatim dixisse cineraceam,28 candidiorem, 29 albissimam;30 etiamsi reticulum esset subflavum.
          Ita autem color inhaeret in reticulo & epidermide, ut servent eum in aqua, servent in spiritu vini; quod de reticulo Littre jam occupavit,31 qui portionem cutis

25 Thes. III. n°. 81. & Thes. V. n°. 5. & Thes. X. n°. 2.
26 Advers. an Decad. III. 8 & Curae poster.  n°. 7.
27 Thes. I. Ass. 3.  n°. 4. & Thes. III.  n°. 34. & Curae renov.  n°. 79.
28 Thes. V. n°. 5.
29 Thes. III. n°. 81.
30 Thes. X.  n°. 2.
31 Histoir. de l'Acad. Roy. des Scienc. ann. 1702.  Divers. Observ. anat.  n°. 13.
Albinus has evidence which points to the same direction. On the other hand, there is contrary evidence, namely the virtual auburn-colored ("subflavus") and yellow ("luteolus") reticulum, which is found on the hollow part of the hand, the inner side of the fingers, the hands and feet of Europeans. He also mentions the brown color of the reticulum of Europeans' privy parts, which is also mentioned by Petrus Camper. It is always the case that the epidermis has more or less the same color as the reticulum. Therefore, in the European races, the epidermis is almost white.

The color of reticulum and epidermis is resistant to water and wine [see Littré note 31].

10 DISSERTATIO DE COLORE AETHIOPUM

aethiopis maceravit aqua tepida dies continuos septem; aliamque spiritu vini; nulloque modo neque mutatus color reticuli, neque aqua, spiritusve, ejusdem colore tincta.  In spiritu vini puro, in quem experiundi caussa epidermidem & reticulum demersi; aliisque illius generis liquoribus colorem suum tam multos annos apud me servaverunt, ut credibile sit, semper servatura.  In aqua reticulum servat donec ipsum dissolvatur: sed quia mollius & tenerius, maceratione aquae facile dissolvitur, mistumque aquae, tingere eam colore suo videtur; cum contra epidermis longe durabilior sit.  Atque hic laudandus doctissimus Santorini, qui epidermidem aethiopis ab omni reticulo liberatam maceravit aqua per plures hebdomadas, & neque aquam infectam nigrore ejus, neque ipsam albam effectam fuisse observavit: reticulum autem post brevem macerationem pene diffluxisse, suoque nigrore subjectam cutem facile infecisse, manusque, & scalpelli aciem.32
          Quid vero esse potest caussae, cur colore illo alii atque alii homines adeo discrepent? in primis, cur nigricent aethiopes, albi nos simus?  Ni fallor, quod suum parentes colorem in liberos propagant; quod Strabo dicit,33 in utero xατα   δπεξματιxην   διαςεδιν tales fieri,  quales sint, qui genuerint.  Aethiops foemina si cum mare aethiope rem habuerit, aethiopem, ni quid forte ludat natura, gignit: alba si cum albo, album.  Unde fortasse Herodotus, aut à quo accepit,

32 Observ. anat. Cap. I. §. 1. 33 Geograph. Lib. XV.
The reticulum will dissolve in water after a short while, the epidermis after a longer while, but both retain their color until the end.

II.  Second Section: What is the Cause of the Difference in Color between Races, More Specifically, Why Are We, Europeans, White, Whereas the Ethiopians are Black.

A number of possibilities are offered. First: the ancient tradition. Second: the problem considered in light of the origin of humanity according to Christian Revelation.

(i) The cause is, first of all, the genetic process, more specifically, the constitutional predisposition of the sperm. Albinus mentions all the ancient theories in this field, which all originate in Strabo [note 33] and which are also discussed by Petrus Camper in his own oration.

ET CAETERORUM HOMINUM. 11

putavit34 aethiopum genituram,  quam in mulieres emittunt, atram esse, ut corpus; cum caeterorum hominum alba sit: quem de re ipsa jam olim reprehendit35 Aristoteles. Sed vicini fideris vapore torreri aethiopas, adustisqe similes gigni, non esse dubium, Plinius tradit: 36 quos ideo Lucretius dicit37 percoctos calore. Quae antiquorum plerorumque fuit sententia. De Theodecte refert38 Strabo, sic ajisse,

Ης   αγχιτεζμωυ  ηλιος  διΦζηλατωυ
Σxστεινον  ανξος   εξεχζωσε  λιγνυος
Εις   σωματ  ανσζων
Quod fere Tibullus,39
fusci, quos india torret,
Solis & admotis inficit ignis equis.

Galenus fic explicat;40 Aethiopibus naturam cutis ex ambientis aestu, & naturali calore foras acto, ustam & nigram reddi, toto corpore naturalis quidem caloris exiguam obtinente portionem, sed alieno, atque adscititio incalescente.  Refutavit autem Theodectem, unaque cum eo idem sentientes, Onesicritus,41 dicens calorem non esse nigroris caussam, non enim esse illis, qui in ventre sunt matris, quos nondum sol attigit.  Cui obstare videtur, quod nuper nati aethiopum eundem colorem habent, quem alborum, auctore Labate;42 certe nigri non sunt. Non obstat

34 Thalia.
35 De Hist. Anim. Lib. III. Cap. 22.
36 Nat. Hist. Lib. II. Cap. 78.
37 De Rer. Nat. Lib. VI. vers. 722. & 1107.
38 Geograph. Lib. xv.
39 Lib. II. 6.
40 De Temperament. Lib. II. Cap. 6.
41 Apud Strabon. Geogr. Lib. xv.
42 Nouveau Voy. aux Iles de l'Amerique Tom. II. Chap. 6.
Besides Strabo: Herodotus, Aristotle, Galen, and, cited by Strabo [note 41] Onesicritus.
12 DISSERTATIO DE COLORE AETHIOPUM

autem: nam nuper natis illis, eodem Labate auctore, 43 genitalia, & partes ubi ungues è cute nasuntur, jam tum nigricant, ut ex eo internoscantur; iidemque illi infantes infuscari elapsis octo vel decem à partu diebus incipiunt:44 ad quem modum etiam alborum infantes primo rubelli sunt, sensimque deinde colorem mutant.  Adde Onesicrito, aethiopes delatos in regiones,45 quarum incolae nunquam fuerunt nigri, inque ipsas glaciales mundi plagas, ubi non amplius exuruntur sole, aethiopes manere, talesque gignere, modo cum similibus misceantur: albos non torreri in adurente illa aethiopum regione, neque quos procreant in ea foetus.  Addi quoque argumentum potest ex cicatricibus, quae, si quas aethiopes exceperint insigniores, ut postquam aqua ferventi adusti sunt,46 fere albicant, & non fiunt concolores.  Quo non differunt aethiopes à caeteris hominibus, quibus omnibus cicatrices candidiores sunt: loco enim verae cutis & reticuli cum epidermide, nascitur callosi quid, candidius, laeve; quod cicatricem appellamus.  At vis tamen solis adurens apparet in heliocaustis, quorum corpora sole fuscata.  In iis reticulum Ruyschius flavescens invenit.47 Sole colorari homines, non dubium: eousque autem, ut nigrescant, non constat.  Et ne dici possit diuturnitate temporis alborum progenies ad postremum solis ardoribus adusta itura, obstat alba, aut illius tantum coloris, qualis

43 Ibid.
44 Ibid.
45 Labat nouvelle relation de l'Afrique occident.  II. Part. Chap. 14.
46 Ibid.
47 Cur. poster. n°. 9 & Advers. an. Deca. III. 8.
Albinus adds to this material the evidence from scars: when the skin has been damaged, the scar, bearing evidence of the healed damage, is white — even in black people.

The theory that the white race eventually turns black when it lives in the Ethiopian regions, does not hold water, for it is known that, although the power of the sun affects the skin, it turns the skin red; not black. An illustration of this are the Moors, who live close to the Ethiopian region, but whose skin color remains somewhere between black and white.

ET CAETERORUM HOMINUM. 13

est, cum candorem perdidit sole corpus, gens maurorum, in torrente illa Africa aethiopibus nigris finitima.48 Pleraque ex dictis valent quoque contra Onesicritum, in aquis caussam ponentem, 49 quemadmodum peregrina pecora aquam potantia, colores suos in regioni ei familiarem mutent colorem.  Sed si spermaticae diathesi suum tum albi tum nigri colorem debent; qui fieri potuit, ut à primis illis parentibus, cujuscunque coloris fuerint, progenies orta fuerit tum candida cute tum nigra?  An dicemus parentes illos nobis fuisse concolores; primorum autem aethiopum coloris caussam, ut Strabo velle50 videtur, tribuendam soli, ejusque adustioni, per vehementem quandam summi humoris deminutionem: ac deinde nigros nigros procreasse xατα   σπεζματιxην  διαξεδιν? Non nigrescunt albi, etiamsi inter aethiopes vivant, eodemque adurantur sole, ut supra annotatum.  An dicemus sensim in aliis atque aliis colorem degenerasse?  quemadmodum cum nigri miscent se candidis, ex iis oriuntur leucophaei: cum leucophaei rursus candidis, leucophaeis quoque oriuntur candidiores, ac sic color niger paullatim exstinguitur, tandemque omnis deperditur.51 Sed ad hanc degenerationem semper primo requiritur, ut exstent tum nigra cute, tum candida, è quorum miscela degeneratio proveniat: ex nigris enim candidi non proveniunt, ut neque ex candidis nigri.  An dicemus casu natum primum nigrum, aut candidum; illum è parentibus albis, hunc è

48 Labat Afriq. II. Part. Chap. 14.
49 Strabo Geograph. Lib. xv.
50 Ibid.
51 Labat Ameriq. Tom. II. Chap. 6 & Afriq. II. Part. Chap. 14
(ii) Accepting the fact that genetics ("diathesis spermaticae" the constitutional predisposition of the sperm) is responsible for the color of the skin, how do we account for the fact that two wholly different races stem from Adam and Eve, whatever color their skin was?

Here, a number of possibilities are considered.

[1.] Do we assume, agreeing with what seems to be Strabo's opinion [note 50], that the blacks originally had our color but that the sun made them black on account of a diminution of the summus humor (one of the four liquids of the human body), and that, following that process, the black race came into being through the constitutional predisposition of sperm?

[2.] Or should we say that the color gradually degenerated (or: changed)? This theory is rejected by Albinus because whites by definition only produce white progeniture and blacks only black progeniture.

14 DISSERTATIO DE COLORE AETHIOPUM

nigris?  Fieri id potuisse, exemplum à Labate proditum52 declararet; exstitisse foeminam, quae nata inter aethiopes, parentibus pernigris, ipsa omnino candida fuerit; conjunctaque aethiopi, infantes procreaverit pernigros.  An assentiendum Labati,53 Adamum fuisse rubrum, aut rubellum, quoniam Moyses scribat, Adamum ex luto terrae formatum; terra autem virgo dicta, plerumque rubra, aut subrussa sit; unde & nomen acceperit primus homo, adam significante rubrum vel rufrum.  Haud dubie autem Evam, quae è costa illius hominis creata sit, fuisse coloris ejusdem, aut fere ejusdem, id est, fieri potuisse, ut Adami color in Eva inceperit aliquantum exstingui, & ad album accesserit: & cum magis magisque exstinctus fuerit color in infantibus eorum, & in horum deinde progenie; primi hominis colorem in candidum maxime ad naturam accommodate degenerasse.  Postea candorem illum aliquantum obscuratum, indeque colorem ortum asiaticorum, & americanorum.  Unde aliqui fortasse inferrent, quanquam fieri ipse non posse putet, asiaticorum quoque & americanorum colorem magis & magis obscuratum, abiisse tandem in fuscum aethiopum: nam ut obscurari possit albus, sic & obscuratus ille color obscurari magis magisque.  An potius nigrities nota fuit, quam Deus Caino, postquam is fratrem suum occiderat, impresserit, ut impediret, ne ad vindicandam caedem occideretur Cainus ab illis, qui eum offenderent?  quae sententia à Labate memorata.54 Tempore autem diluvii nigra Caini

52 Afriq. II. Part. Chap. 14.
53 Ibid.
54 Ibid.

[3.] Or should we say that the first offspring was either black or white, one person stemming from white parents; the other from black parents. That this is possible is illustrated by an example from Labat [note 52]: he knew of a woman, born from Ethiopians, who was completely white, and who, having married a black, begot completely black children.

[4.] Or should we accept, with Labat [note 53] that Adam had a red-colored, or reddish colored skin, because Moses writes that he was formed out of the clay of the earth ("Adam" meaning literally "red" or "russet")? It is not to be doubted that Eve had the same color as Adam, for she was created from his side, or almost the same, for it is possible that in Eve the color lost some of its glow and came closer to white. Therefore, it is possible that their offspring was double-colored: one group became completely white, one group became red (origin of the races of Asians and Americans, i.e. American Indians), and finally, as one might suppose - although Labat himself did not think that - turned into the black color of the Ethiopians, for white can become darks, as can red.

[5.] Or should we accept the opinion, mentioned by Labat [note 54], that blackness was a mark, put on Cain by God after he killed his brother, in order to save him from his revengers? At the time of the Deluge, however, Cain's black offspring was not saved in Noah's Ark, for he saved only whites, the offspring of Seth, which didn't mix with the offspring of the sinful Cain.

ET CAETERORUM HOMINUM. 15

progenies non quidem cum Noacho servata, cum quo tantum evaserint uxor ejus, filiique tres cum suis uxoribus, omnes coloris candidi, utpote progenies Sethi, quae non commiscuerit se cum peccatrice illa Caini: sed cum diluvium non fuerit universale, nisi in plagis mundi tunc cognitis; in incognitas recessere multae gentes, & inter eas nigra Caini progenies? An, quod alii, Chami filius Canaan niger factus cum execratus eum est Noachus? De his certe non magis constat, quam de hac aethiopum Marabaeorum traditione,55 ex tribus filiis Noachi unum fuisse candidum, alterum fuscum coloris adustioris, tertium nigrum; & uxores fuisse coloris sui quamque mariti: atque ab his orta tria illa colore maxime diversa hominum saecla.  Qui vero in prima rerum omnium generatione varias animantium naturas è terra vivas procreatas existimarunt,56 iis, ut omnis generis caeterorum animalium formae, ita hominum quoque species enasci vi illa terrae facile potuerunt. Mirum, quomodo aethiopes à nobis non solummodo colore, sed aliis etiam differant: cujus tam magnae differentiae, ut diu quaeras, quae caussa fuerit, fortasse non reperies.
          Sed color hominis non tantum est mixtus ex colore cutis, & reticuli, & epidermidis: accedit enim color humorum, qui continentur & in canalibus cuti subjectis, & in illis, qui cuti ipsi inhaerent.  Caeruleae venae per cutem plus minus apparent, & in finitimas

55 Ibid. 56 Diodor. Sic. Biblioth. Lib. I.
Is it possible that the blacks, together with many other nations, took refuge in at that time unknown parts of the world and were thus saved? Although Labat himself did not think so.

[6.] Or is the assumption of still others true, that Canaan, the son of Ham, was made black when Noah cursed him.

[7.] All this is not more certain than that tradition known among the Marabaeic Ethiopeans, that of Noah's three sons: one was black, the other red , and the third white; likewise their wives, and that thus the three major human races came into being.

[8.] Those who consider [note 56] that originally many sorts of animal life were procreated by nature, assume likewise that different species of humans could have been formed by the power of nature. It is noteworthy how much the Ethiopians differ from us, not only in color, but also in other aspects. These differences are so great, that one might never find the cause for them.

16 DISSERT. DE COL. AET. ET CAETER. HOM.

partes fundunt coloris sui argumentum. Quam ob rem alius, caeteris paribus, color est macilento, in quo venae, subjectae cuti, eminent conspicuae: alius obeso, in quo eaedem illae venae pingui immersae sunt.  De humoribus, qui in ipsius cutis canalibus continentur, res, praeter alia, apparet in iis, qui rubore suffunduntur. Confirmare videntur multi morbi, in quibus humorum color naturalis degenerat, aut certe aliter, quam secundum naturam, colorati humores in canales illos penetrant. Quemadmodum in ictero, ubi bilis colore infecta cutis apparet, & ubi humores colore illo infectos esse, urina satis indicat. Pallor cachecticorum, hydropicorum, chlorosi laborantium, idem declarat: idem alia declarant non pauca. At in morbis tamen reticulum quoque decolorari, ac fortasse etiam epidermidem, argumento est, quod de aethiopibus referunt;57 colorem, cum aegrotant, mutare pro gravitate, & pro diuturnitate morbi; pallidos fieri, & coloris, qualis est aquae cui fuligo admixta; saepe cuprei. Quae decoloratio in aethiopibus, quam in nobis, ob colorem eorum manifestior est.
          Adde quod color mutetur cutis vel distentu, vel laxitate. Purior idcirco obesis, ac splendentior, quam macilentis.

57 Labat Ameriq. Tom. IV. Chap. 7 & Afriq. II. Part. Chap. 14.

F I N I S.

On top of that, the color of men is not only a product of skin, reticulum and epidermis; one must also take into account the color of the fluids, contained in the canals under the skin and within the skin. Blue veins shine through the skin, more or less, and influence the neighboring parts with their color. Thus, thin, fat, sick and healthy people of the same race can vary in color of their skin (Albinus mentions a series of examples).

Albinus's anatomical preparation of a thumbnail from an African woman. Leiden, circa 1735 — Universiteit Leiden, Anatomisch Museum, Leiden, The Netherlands.
Click the image to see a photo of the original colored (one of the first) engraving [page 19]:

original plate in color

EXPLANATIO ICONUM.

Has idem ille Ladmiral, nec minore artificio, confecit, qui arteriarum & venarum intestini hominis, quam anno proxime superiore edidi. Is laudabili artis suae singularis specimina exhibendi studio incensus, non destitit me donec obtinuerit rogare, ut opportunitatem darem. Ego, postquam dedi, non potui quin aliquid scriberem, quo illustrarem quas fecerat icones.

ICONIS I.

Pars cutis mammae foeminae aethiopis, una cum epidermide & reticulo. Cutis nuda, qua parte reticulum ipsi adhaerebat.
B  Reticulum, cuti extrinsecus adhaerens; nudum, & liberatum ab epidermide, quae ipsi extrinsecus adhaerebat.
C  Epidermis detracta, dependens, eaque parte expressa, qua reticulo, à quo separata, adhaerebat.
D  Reticulum solum, detractum de cute, dependens; itemque separatum ab epidermide. Ex interiore parte, qua cutem contingebat, exhibitum.
E  Albae pilorum radices, è cute protractae; pilis reticulo adhuc inhaerentibus.
Figure I

ICONIS  II.

Pars epidermidis foeminae ejusdem, una cum adhaerente reticulo; detracta de calce, & parte pedis illa, quae supra calcem est. Ex interiore parte, qua reticulum est exhibita.
A  Crassitudo sectae epidermidis.
B  Pars, quae calcem vestiebat, ubi reticulum longe minus coloratum.
C  Hac parte epidermidis vestiebatur pars pedis, quae mox supra calcem est: eaque pars longe tenuior est, & habet.
D  Reticulum coloratius.
Figure II

ICONIS  III.

Unguis, detractus de pollice manus foeminae ejusdem, una cum epidermidis portione, cui circumcirca inhaeret & continuatus est. Ex interiore parte, qua cutem spectat, exhibitus.
A A  Reticulum epidermidis.
B C  Reticulum unguis;
B  qua unguem vestit, coloratius:
C  qua radicem unguis, albicantius.
Figure III

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