Theodor Friedrich Wilhelm Poesche (23 March 1825 – 27 December 1899)
was a German American anthropologist and author, specializing in
Born in 1825 in
Zoeschen (now part of Leuna) in the Province of Saxony
of the Kingdom of Prussia, Poesche became a student of philosophy at
University of Halle
University of Halle and later a revolutionary. Following the
disappointments of 1848, in 1850, he emigrated to the United States.
In 1853, he published with Charles Goepp The New Rome, or The United
States of the World, a book in which they compare the United States to
the Roman Empire.
In 1878, he published The Aryans: A contribution to historical
anthropology. Based on the physical characteristics attributed to
Indo-Europeans (fair hair, blue or light eyes, tallness, slim hips,
fine lips, a prominent chin) by the philologist Ludwig Geiger, Poesche
placed the origin of the Aryans in the vast Rokitno Marshes, then in
the Russian Empire, now covering much of the southern part of Belarus
and the north-west of the Ukraine, where albinism was common.
Similarly, he argued that the
Lithuanian language is as near to the
parent language of Indo-European as Sanskrit. Adding linguistic and
Karl Penka later expanded the area of origin
to include northern Germany and Scandinavia.
Poesche died in Washington on 27 December 1899.
The New Rome, or The United States of the World (with Charles Goepp),
New York, 1853
Die Arier, ein Beitrag zur historischen Anthropologie, Jena, 1878
Anton Bettelheim, Biographisches Jahrbuch und deutscher Nekrolog (G.
Reimer, 1900, p. 206) *Frank Spencer, History of Physical
Anthropology, 1997, p. 110 (ISBN 0815304900)
Bruce Lincoln, Theorizing Myth: Narrative, Ideology, and Scholarship,
University of Chicago Press, 1999, p. 253, note 18
Edwin Bryant, The Quest for the Origins of Vedic Culture: The
Indo-Aryan Migration Debate, Oxford University Press, 2001, p. 32
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