Intelligence Trends in Ancient Rome: The Rise and Fall of Roman Polygenic Scores

OpenPsych , July 21, 2023, ISSN: 2597-324X


We analysed 127 Ancient Roman genomes with a view to understanding the possible reasons for the fall of the Roman Empire. Taking the polygenic score for educational attainment (EA4) as a proxy for intelligence, we find that intelligence increased from the Neolithic Era (Z= -0.77) to the Iron Age (Z= 0.86), declines after the Republic Period and during the Imperial Period (Z= -0.27) and increases in Late Antiquity (Z= 0.25) and is approximately at the same level today (Z= 0.08). We show that this is congruent with a cyclical model of civilization based around intelligence, with the documented history of Rome, and also with patterns of immigration into Rome.    
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gwas, polygenic scores, Roman empire, Civilization Cycles, Rome, ancient Rome, Cold Winters Theory