But I do agree with Carleton Coon that the "facial type [of the early Roman rulers] is not native to the Mediterranean basin, but is more at home in the north." According to Coon, the Roman patricians were predominantly "Keltic" Nordic:
movements from the north introduced Nordics of two varieties; the classic Hallstatt type, and the Keltic Iron Age type which was later to form the basic racial element among the Roman patricians.
The "Keltic Nordic" look, in turn, is largely synonymous today with northwestern Europe.
To an American, Englishman, or Belgian, the Keltic Nordic phenotype represents a "normal" or "average" appearance. Likewise, in the minds of those who are neither American, English, nor Belgian, nor belonging to any other predominantly Keltic population, the Keltic look will usually stand synonymous with the descriptive tags "American" or "English". This is the most numerous of the two Nordic types - a type which gains in variability with the constant infusion of non-Nordic blood, particularly in North America and Australia. Thanks to one of the most popular phenomena of the 20th Century, the Silver Screen, the Keltic Nordic is quite possibly the most recognized and familiar of all Nordish phenotypes throughout the world. [Above description from an older version of SNPA's race gallery.]
Some relevant words from John V. Day:
In a journal about the West and its future, it is fitting to end this article by briefly recounting the fate of the Roman upper class. Among Indo-European peoples, the Romans offer an especially useful example because they left masses of records, enabling later historians to determine what became of them. The evidence found in ancient texts implies that this class descended largely from Indo-Europeans who had a decidedly northern European physical type, although that isn't something one reads in modern books about Roman history. In Rome, though, the upper class was always a tiny minority. Instead of protecting its interests, it allowed itself to wither away. Consider a bleak statistic. We know of about fifty patrician clans in the fifth century B.C., but by the time of Caesar, in the later first century B.C., only fourteen of these had survived. The decay continued in imperial times. We know of the families of nearly four hundred Roman senators in A.D. sixty-five, but, just one generation later, all trace of half of these families had vanished.
If we in the West want to avoid a similar fate, we must learn from Indo-European history.