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Southern Italians and Ashkenazi Jews: What Is the Connection?

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Charles Darwin

Denis Noble

JP Rushton

Richard Lynn

L:inda Gottfredson

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700 words.

It has been noted in many studies that there is a close genetic similarity between Ashkenazi Jews and Southern Italians/Greeks. Why such close genetic similarity?

First, some history on the Mediterranean. The Greeks colonized Italy, Sicily and territory up to the Black Sea coast. This is why Southern Italians and Greeks are genetically similar.

Where do Ashkenazi Jews fit in?

The four major founders of the Ashkenazi Jew population have ancestry in prehistoric Europe, and not the Caucus or the Near East. The four minor founders share a deep European ancestry. So with genetic testing, we can see that the majority of the Ashkenazi population didn’t have its origins in the Caucus or Levant, but through assimilation of Roman women who converted to Judaism.

Overall, it seems that at least 80% of Ashkenazi maternal ancestry is due to the assimilation of mtDNAs indigenous to Europe, most likely through conversion. The phylogenetic nesting patterns suggest that the most frequent of the Ashkenazi mtDNA lineages were assimilated in Western Europe, ~2 ka or slightly earlier. Some in particular, including N1b2, M1a1b, K1a9 and perhaps even the major K1a1b1, point to a north Mediterranean source. It seems likely that the major founders were the result of the earliest and presumably most profound wave of founder effects, from the Mediterranean northwards into central Europe, and that most of the minor founders were assimilated in west/central Europe within the last 1,500 years. The sharing of rarer lineages with Eastern European populations may indicate further assimilation in some cases, but can often be explained by exchange via intermarriage in the reverse direction.

Male Jews migrated from the Levant to Rome during Greco-Roman times, which mass conversions led to 6 million Roman women who then began to practice Judaism. The genetic proximity of Ashkenazi Jews and Syrian Jews to Northern Italians, Sardinians and French populations suggest that there is non-Semitic ancestry in Ashkenazi Jews. The findings also say that any theories of Ashkenazi Jews having ancestry in Khazaria or from Slavs are incompatible with genetic studies. The close genetic similarity of Ashkenazi Jews and Southern Europeans has been noted in many studies.

So we have male Jews from the Levant who trekked to Rome around Greco-Roman times. They took beautiful Roman women as wives, who then converted to Judaism. Which brings me to another point about Ashkenazi Jews.

Again, for anyone who thinks that Ashkenazi Jews have origins in Khazaria, and thus are not the ‘True Jews’, these studies definitively put that to rest.

It’s always said that Judaism is passed down through the mother to the child. Other sects of Judaism have it passed from father to child. So why the difference with Ashkenazi Jews?

I have a simple theory.

We know that the mother’s IQ is the most important predictor of the child’s IQ. That being said, why do Ashkenazi Jews say that Judaism passes from the mother to child?

My theory is this. Because IQ is passed from the mother to child, they say that ONLY Ashkenazi women can birth an Ashkenazi Jew. We know that since IQ passes from mother to child, that the reason for Judaism being passed like that is because it’s KNOWN that mother’s are the best predictor of intelligence.

So due to Jewish males migrating to Rome and courting and mating with beautiful Roman women who then converted to Judaism, this is where the Ashkenazi Jews get their intellect from.

We can see from the average IQs of Mizrahi and Sephardic Jews that their IQs average between 85 and 95, right around the average of the Middle East.

Reading up on Italian genetics, I always wondered why they are genetically similar. I always wondered why the Aquiline nose (Roman nose) is prevalent in both Italians and Ashkenazi Jews. Though, it looks better on Italians.

I posit the Ashkenazi Jews got their current intellect from breeding with Roman women. It makes sense, especially with what we know now about mother’s and child’s IQ. This is why Ashkenazi Jews ONLY come from those women who are Ashkenazi.

I will now end with posting pictures of beautiful Southern Italian women. Enjoy.

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'The Apprentice' Italian TV Show Press Conference

MILAN, ITALY – SEPTEMBER 14: Elisabetta Gregoracci attends a press conference for Italian TV show ‘The Apprentice’ on September 14, 2012, in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Pier Marco Tacca/Getty Images)

sara-varone3

The definition of beauty is Southern Italian women.

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31 Comments

  1. […] are over-represented at the top of creative achievements in different intellectual fields because they mated with Roman women thousands of years ago. I have already noted about the mother being the best predictor for child’s intelligence. […]

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    • Marcello says:

      Throughout history descent and status came down through the father. Even the Jews. This is seen throughout the Bible. The reason it changed to maternal was during the first 200 years of the Common Era Jewish women were being raped by Roman soldiers. It was decided by Rabbincal leaders it would be easier to identify the child from matrilineal descent. We always know who the mother is. It has been that way ever since.

      Nothing to do with the IQ of Roman women.

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    • RaceRealist says:

      It was an attempt at partly explaining some of the reasons why Jews are more intelligent. What I said is also true, in a biological sense (intelligence from the mother, Jews are more intelligent than others. Jews are born from Jewish mothers—matrilenial descent). I largely subscribe to Cochran, Hardy and Harpending’s theory if Jewish intelligence—selection in the middle ages for more intelligent Jews who made more money. Those who made more money had more children, etc etc. Furthermore, they hypothesize that certain diseases like Tay Sachs and Gauchers can be linked to higher levels of intelligence—but the studies haven’t been done yet.

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    • stan says:

      I guess you can say Ashkenazim are Italians! They certainly have little connection with the ancient Jews and Hebrews.

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    • Jm8 says:

      Stan
      They’re mixed: (mostly) Middle Eastern Hebrew/Italian hybrids (see my comment at bottom—with a little very minor admixture from other groups

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    • Jm8 says:

      Cont:
      Their paternal ancestry is mostly Middle Eastern and their maternal ancestry is a mix of some Middle Eastern and Italian (with a likely large Italian component)—though common Ashkenazi maternal/mtdna K may in fact be Middle Eastern as the recent Fernandes study indicates.

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  2. Santoculto says:

    Or also Ashkenazis inherited via roman mother some psychological traits of roman elites. Just a theory.

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    • racerealist says:

      Interesting thought. Personality traits are around 50 percent heritable, as I’m sure you know. Along with IQ having a high heritability, combined with the the heritability of personality traits, this seemed to have a small effect on the psyche of Ashkenazi Jews.

      Jews also have their neurotic traits from inbreeding so much.

      I really like your thought though. It’s something to think about.

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    • Santoculto says:

      Every land where Jews are they mixed with local elites, just look for Turkey for example.

      Yes neuroticism correlates with creativity and also with capacity to think reflectively and to argue, what verbosen ones just love to do because their higher verbal intelligence. I’m like that. We generally like to use our strength as evolutionary approach.

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    • racerealist says:

      Every land where Jews are they mixed with local elites, just look for Turkey for example.

      Have an example? Haven’t read about that.

      Yes neuroticism correlates with creativity and also with capacity to think reflectively and to argue, what verbosen ones just love to do because their higher verbal intelligence. I’m like that.

      The neuroticism came from being kicked out of any and every country they inhabited. Ashkenazi Jews do have higher verbal IQ than visio-spatial IQ. This is seen with how they gravitate towards being ‘merchants’, bankers, attorneys, etc.

      We generally like to use our strength as evolutionary approach.

      Have you read the paper by Cochran, Hardy and Harpending, Natural History of Ashkenazi Intelligence? I agree, obviously as that’s what evolution is about, that we use our evolutionary strengths when dealing with things, hence the selection of those traits.

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    • Santoculto says:

      What expert people tend to say about it, jews tend to have a elite profile, i mean, they (quasi) always were richer than local populations. They virtually no have a ”normal” proportion of people in manual laboral category since a long time.

      Jews specially the richer among them tend to marry with host-elites, just look for England and USA today, specially political elite.

      I thought Kevin Mcdonald have some material that you can research about it.

      i have a pathological liar maternal uncle, and he is astonishingly clever to invent lies and to produce ways to deceive people, what Cesare Lombroso, famous jewish-italian criminologist call ”mattoid”. They like to repeat incessantly its lies to pretend the idea that what he say is the truth of facts.

      http://www.designntrend.com/articles/55045/20150622/children-with-better-verbal-working-memory-are-better-liars-study-finds.htm

      Yup, i have the pdf in my email.

      I think there are two types of situations we can study more, evolutionary traits and adaptive traits. As I and another commenter already pointed out in the blog Pumpkin Person, the term adaptation is very poorly understood and implemented. Most people do not fit or ”adapt”, we work as non-human animals that are dependent on their environments to adapt.

      Who makes the greater or the short straw.

      I think for example, the ideational creativity, which tends to result in genius, is not individually adaptive, but is an evolutionary trait of great value, which could be expanded to a larger demographic fraction.
      On the other hand, certain adaptive traits appear as contextual markers or the moment in which we are, I quote Buddha, everything is transitory, which is advantageous today may no longer be tomorrow.

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    • racerealist says:

      What expert people tend to say about it, jews tend to have a elite profile, i mean, they (quasi) always were richer than local populations. They virtually no have a ”normal” proportion of people in manual laboral category since a long time.

      They weren’t allowed other jobs so they went to other professions to get money. Cochran explains it well here:

      Because they know that wealth, more often than not, means good genes. They’re also pretty inbred as well. They also say that Judaism is passed from mother to child, so that’s why, as I’ve said in this article, that Ashkenazi Jews say that you’re only a Jew if you’re born from an Ashkenazi Jewish woman.

      They like to repeat incessantly its lies to pretend the idea that what he say is the truth of facts.

      Those people are better at lying because they do it more. It does take high IQ to think of ways to lie and get out of situations.

      Of course kids with better verbal memory are better liars. Good link. This can be seen with Ashkenazi Jews as well.

      Most people do not fit or ”adapt”, we work as non-human animals that are dependent on their environments to adapt.

      Whenever people adapt to new obstacles in their environment, that’s adapting. Which, over time, causes selection for those traits that are more advantageous, and not selecting for those traits that are not advantageous in those environments.

      I think for example, the ideational creativity, which tends to result in genius, is not individually adaptive, but is an evolutionary trait of great value, which could be expanded to a larger demographic fraction.
      On the other hand, certain adaptive traits appear as contextual markers or the moment in which we are, I quote Buddha, everything is transitory, which is advantageous today may no longer be tomorrow.

      I agree everything is transitory. But the same basic functions that allow us to live and to have sustainable lives are always applicable, and will always, more often then not, show who is more intelligent by who has a better quality of life.

      It could be expanded by sexual selection. If two high IQ people have a kid, their kid will have high IQs. The same holds for the kid. This is why those rich people who have kids want them to associate with other rich people, as it’s known through genetic similarity, that they are similar to themselves and thus gravitate more towards them.

      This same phenomenon holds true for Ashkenazi Jews as well, but on a deeper level due to them being more inbred.

      Good article.

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    • Santoculto says:

      ”Whenever people adapt to new obstacles in their environment, that’s adapting. Which, over time, causes selection for those traits that are more advantageous, and not selecting for those traits that are not advantageous in those environments.”

      Yes, but you do not understand. We believe that while the non-human animals ”adapt” to their environment, i.e., literal words, the environment or circumstances selects the non-human animals that have the most advantageous features, eliminating those with unfavorable characteristics, something tends to happen with Us , of course with greater complexity.

      Human beings have consciousness of free will or choice, but that does not translate into free will, just the awareness that there are choices, including those who are totally opposed those that we like, for example, if the Ashkenazis began trying to develop their visual-spatial weaknesses.

      The human environment selects those with the most advantageous features for this particular context. The difference is that human environments tend to have wide range of conformations, ie a lot of different professions that can cover a large number of people and make them ” adapted ” their strengths and therefore breed, maintaining the characteristic polymorphism of the human species. Human environments and especially human environments that are built and regulated by humans who more (cognitively) intelligent AND (relatively) wise, are much more welcoming than the natural environments, say by the way.

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    • Santoculto says:

      in other words, more direct or summarized, we do not we adapt (most of us), we just conform ourselves subconsciously.

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    • racerealist says:

      Yes, but you do not understand. We believe that while the non-human animals ”adapt” to their environment, i.e., literal words, the environment or circumstances selects the non-human animals that have the most advantageous features, eliminating those with unfavorable characteristics, something tends to happen with Us , of course with greater complexity.

      You just described environmental selection pressures. I get what you’re saying with the environment selecting those who have the advantageous traits, but those traits are good *for that environment*, leading to those alleles being selected over time.

      Human beings have consciousness of free will or choice, but that does not translate into free will, just the awareness that there are choices

      I much enjoy this post on free will and how it don’t exist.

      if the Ashkenazis began trying to develop their visual-spatial weaknesses.

      You can’t develop what’s innate.

      The human environment selects those with the most advantageous features for this particular context.

      Don’t you mean evolution/natural selection selects for those with advantageous alleles?

      The difference is that human environments tend to have wide range of conformations, ie a lot of different professions that can cover a large number of people and make them ” adapted ” their strengths and therefore breed, maintaining the characteristic polymorphism of the human species. Human environments and especially human environments that are built and regulated by humans who more (cognitively) intelligent AND (relatively) wise, are much more welcoming than the natural environments, say by the way.

      I actually just got done writing a post on this matter. The thought that there are differing definitions of intelligence based on where and when you are is ridiculous. There is the g factor, and it’s child abilities, as well as personality factors that influence how successful or how well you will be able to use your intellect you do or don’t have.

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    • Santoculto says:

      I think you do not understand again, I’m not just describing selective pressures but the dynamic environment versus individuals, where some individuals are favored, is different from ” they adapt. ”

      This vague and potentially misleading idea has been used to explain both humans and non-human animals. Nonhuman animals never adapt, always conform to the environment and how they are not reflective and pragmatic intelligence as some human psychological subgroups, then they will perish if the environment becomes very hostile against its biological characteristics.

      Born ” with ” a high IQ and psychological characteristics, in a society that values its features, for example. Its life cycle is already predetermined for you.

      It did not adapt, you were gradually being selected by the system.

      Just who disturbs this dynamic and favorably yourself what can be said ‘he’s adapting.’ ‘ in other words, manipulate this puzzle of circumstances.

      Conform is one thing, adaptis another, is to take for himself, to adapt the environment to their advantage.

      Jayman is not a philosopher, can not talk substantially about existence or not of free will. As I said, we have consciousness that may be possible, but it is very complicated leave our comfort zones, because we are born with individually and collectively asymmetric dispositions. That is, I, for example, have always been really bad at math, so I never had intrinsic motivation to study it and always when I was forced, played in ‘confrontation zone’ ‘, never had much success.

      Exist or survive any chance of choice, but it is difficult because we are born with a biological development, pre- developmental guidelines.

      The problem is the adjective ‘free’. Define what you mean to be ‘free’. I think for a few people, there is some potential to choose from, but it is almost always limited, but it is not totally non-existent.

      People always think in overcoming themselves while possibly more effective way would be the recombination of phenotypically expressed innate characteristics. Instead of fighting against nature, adapting it harmoniously, first to himself.

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    • Santoculto says:

      otherwise, what is innate, we can develop much more than what is recessive to us. You are not born with all mathematical formulas properly decorated, you will memorize them throughout your life and can move on to new stages of development of their mathematical knowledge, especially if you is wise and or creative.

      Human beings are not exactly natural as non-human nature is, is a novel nature because our awareness about abstract inter-relations.

      I am in favor of the theory of multiple intelligences as well the g factor theory, because both are right in their respective perspectives. There are two kinds or more kinds of g factor, g psychometric factor, which is captured by cognitive testing, the human factor g, which is captured by any type of ” correct ” behavior, i.e., any ability to recognize patterns, the recognition of reality itself, at least the immediate or simple-abstractions and the general factor, all living beings have and is related to body awareness, that all living beings have, the sense of enclosure.

      G psychometric factor does not invalidate the theory of multiple intelligences, because while the first relates to the root of human intelligence (but general), ie, pattern recognition, the second relates to the subsequent developments (metaphorically speaking , branches) of this root. Pattern recognition for

      – music
      – Interpersonal relationships
      – Intra-personal relationships
      – naturalistic
      – verbal
      – mathematical
      etc.

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    • racerealist says:

      where some individuals are favored, is different from ” they adapt. ”

      So then those individuals with the right genetic make up then become advantaged for that environment that ‘selects them’ due to the right genes to survive in that environment.

      Nonhuman animals never adapt, always conform to the environment and how they are not reflective and pragmatic intelligence as some human psychological subgroups, then they will perish if the environment becomes very hostile against its biological characteristics.

      Those non-human animals who migrate to other places, the polar bear separated from the grizzly bear between 600 kya to 6 million ya. Clearly, the brown bear had to adapt to its new surroundings, which had those traits that make polar bears differ from grizzly bears (this is also why they can interbreed creating prizzly bears, who can have offspring that are not sterile).

      Its life cycle is already predetermined for you. It did not adapt, you were gradually being selected by the system.

      Good thought. Though, that environment that had you become selected by that system is a result of the biology of the main peoples of the area. With a different majority group, that same system that selected for intelligence may select for something different due to the environments changing, but that same individual would most likely still succeed in that environment due to a higher IQ.

      because we are born with individually and collectively asymmetric dispositions. That is, I, for example, have always been really bad at math, so I never had intrinsic motivation to study it and always when I was forced, played in ‘confrontation zone’ ‘, never had much success.

      Same here. I excel at other things other than math. Math is not a strong point for me. This is why I only research/study things that interest me.

      The problem is the adjective ‘free’. Define what you mean to be ‘free’. I think for a few people, there is some potential to choose from, but it is almost always limited, but it is not totally non-existent.

      I believe that ‘true freedom’ is an impossibility. No man can ever truly be ‘free’. In my opinion, to be ‘free’ is to control any and all variables that may happen to better maximize your chance for success/whatever you want. As well as doing what you want and when you want it. Ted Kaczynski’s manifesto has good thoughts on technology and how, for instance, cars and traffic signals lead to a decrease in walking freedom.

      I am in favor of the theory of multiple intelligences as well the g factor theory, because both are right in their respective perspectives.

      Talking about Sternberg’s theory? I don’t like it. IMO he’s just describing different facets of the g factor, as well as differing personalities.

      G psychometric factor does not invalidate the theory of multiple intelligences, because while the first relates to the root of human intelligence (but general), ie, pattern recognition, the second relates to the subsequent developments (metaphorically speaking , branches) of this root. Pattern recognition for – music – Interpersonal relationships – Intra-personal relationships – naturalistic – verbal – mathematical

      So you’re saying that g relates to what is genetic and the theory of multiple intelligences relates to learned behaviors? IIRC, Murray and Hernnstein refute that notion in the beginning of The Bell Curve. I’ll check my book and get back to you on my next reply.

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    • Santoculto says:

      ”Talking about Sternberg’s theory? I don’t like it. IMO he’s just describing different facets of the g factor, as well as differing personalities.”

      I do not understand how anyone hbd is realizing this incongruity. You and I are bad at math and that is innate, that is, we are born with these difficulties and we can not improve those weaknesses. On the other hand we excel in other attributes, for example, creativity, and it is very common to find people who are very good with math but are bad in many other aspects. All this, first, reflects something that is unassailable, that we are cognitively diverse, is not *

      cognitive diversity refers to different cognitive styles which in turn can be also related to the idea of ​​multiple intelligences.

      cognitive tests superficially good measure of three cognitive perspectives that are very important for us human beings, verbal, numerical and spatial skills. No measures interpersonal, intrapersonal intelligence, creativity, emotional intelligence, musical, instinctive, etc …

      So that has been found so many relatively positive correlations between income, career success, low crime, with higher scores in IQ after all three aspects too important than our intellect can be relatively well analyzed by this tests more combo ” born in the right place with the right personality, have some luck in life, and with the right kind of intelligence ” as i talk in the other comment.

      metaphorically speaking, it is as if you caught a ball blowing, filled with water, of great size and throw on the wall of your home. It will hit in full the area that you aim and throw the ball, it will also affect other areas further away, because of its size and subsequent impact. The iq, when measuring three very important aspects of the human intellect, will eventually be correlated with all other. However, the correlations are not substantially meaningful.

      Correlation is not the final answer, the intellect needs to be fully measured or at least compared and it is there to establish ideals of intelligent behavior, even survive a great subjectivity.

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  3. […] touched on the connection between Ashkenazi Jews and Italians. This will be about evolution of Jewish nepotism as well as another part of the puzzle to the high […]

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  4. eva says:

    as a pure italic woman, with a roman ( roman faliscan ) father, a celto- roman mother ( with roman name ) and also langobards who intermarried in the bloodline, I really find very odd the ashkenazi jews, who hate us romans so much, and want the destruction of Rome, along with Christianity, share something with me and my people, which still carry the haplogroups of the Ancient Fathers. There is a genuine hostility we have towards the jews. Something we find despicable. I always had the sense they want to rob from me and my Indoeuropean ancestry and history: they pray to a Wailing Wall which is in effect a Roman Fortress. I found that thing dissacrating. No, we don’t feel to be blood brothers with them.

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    • stan says:

      Interesting the Jews have plundered assumed identities of other people. They claim to be from Palestine but most come from Eastern Europe. They call themselves Ashkenazim but then say they are not descendants of Ashkenaz the son of Gomer, grandson of Noah and ancestor of the Europeans. They claim to be Semites but genetically are Europeans. They in no way fulfill the prophecies of Deuteronomy 28 regarding what would happen to the Hebrews should they break the covenant with God.

      Since they did in fact break that covenant they should have suffered the curses found in Deuteronomy 28. One of which says they would be the tail and not the head borrowing from others but not lending to them. Deuteronomy 28.44 We can say without doubt that the Ashkenazi Jews have not suffered the curses outline in this prophecy. They are in fact the head and not the tail. They are the single most prosperous people on earth. They are the world`s bankers and brokers, newspaper publishers, politicians, scientists and doctors, merchants, movie stars and producers, academics and educators, millionaires and media magnets in the TV, music and motion picture industries…and the list goes on.

      They are in no way behind the eight ball nor were they enslaved and carried away by ships to strange countries, in fact they owned the slaves ships used in the transatlantic slave trade. Plus Jews were some of the biggest slave owners in the South prior to the Civil War. Ashkenazim are Jews but they are not the Biblical Jews or Hebrews.

      Like

  5. anon says:

    Aren’t Sephardic Jews basically genetically indistinguishable from Ashkenazi Jews though? But they have different IQ’s. Interesting about the mother-IQ thing though, because I’ve noticed that a lot of famous half Jews seem to have Jewish mothers rather than Jewish fathers.

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  6. Harry Katz says:

    My own DNA , studies, and oral family history support the idea that the Ashkenazim- such as myself- have a very strong Italian DNA component, and that we are not, in fact, Middle Eastern. It won’t be long before it is common knowledge that the foundation of the Ashkenazim is Italian, particularly on the maternal side. Tens of thousands of Italian women, up through the early middle ages, converted to Judaism, beginning in the Rome of antiquity. We are, essentially, an Italian people with a Jewish religion, and later developed an inbred Jewish European DNA pool of our own. Harry Volpe Katz

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    • RaceRealist says:

      It won’t be long before it is common knowledge that the foundation of the Ashkenazim is Italian, particularly on the maternal side. Tens of thousands of Italian women, up through the early middle ages, converted to Judaism, beginning in the Rome of antiquity

      This is what I said in my article. This is true. However, on the paternal side, it’s largely Middle Eastern.

      We are, essentially, an Italian people with a Jewish religion, and later developed an inbred Jewish European DNA pool of our own.

      Ashkenazi Jews show ancient prehistoric affinities with Europeans. They are descended from four European women from around 8kya. But the Y DNA shows the migratory patterns of Jews to Rome, which then lead to conversion of Roman women to Judaism. I also theorize that this is why they say Judaism is passed through the mother, because intelligence is as well. This is a large cause for high Ashkenazi IQ.

      Also read my article: Ashkenazi Jews Are Not Khazar.

      Like

  7. OnlyMyPOV says:

    Genesis 3:15 “seed of the woman” defeats the serpent and undoes the sin in Eden. This is a historical teaching of the Roman Catholic Church.

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  8. Harry Katz says:

    AS an “Ashkenazim” or a European Jew, my research and ancestry have long led me to believe that, yes, the foundation of the Ashkenazim is definitely DEFINATELY- Italian, not Middle Eastern. We are a relatively recent (1000 years or so) offshoot of an Italian or Italian/Jewish people- not Middle eastern. DNA studies now confirm this. So does history.

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    • RaceRealist says:

      The paternal line is middle eastern, the Maternal line is European.

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    • Jm8 says:

      The paternal side is largely (mostly but not purely) Middle Eastern and the maternal side is a mixture of Middle Eastern and European (the European part being mostly Italian). (Aquiline noses are also common among Levantines/people from th Syrio-palestine region and much of the Middle East, as well as among Italians and many Eastern Mediterranean peoples in general, if anything perhaps more common in the North Levant (Jews often resemble Northern Middle Easterners, as well as to some degree people from Mediterranean Europe not far from the near East). Levantines Jews (more men than women, but likely with a significant number—a significant minority—of women as well) migrated to Southern Europe in antiquity-ealier dark age period.

      Thus a significant number of Ashkenazim would carry Middle Eastern mtdna—and most of their paternal lineages are Mid-Eastern— (maybe, for the mtdna lineages, since K is the most common single Ashkenazic mtdna lineage at about 30%, plus the 8% recognized by Richards; about 38%), but with the rest of the mtdna, also of course, also a very significant number, (ca. 50% or bit more) being European (likely mostly Italian,), and 9% or so uncertain. Overall (in overall ancestry) their ancestry is about 55% Middle Eastern, and the rest European (mostly southern European), and similar to the Italian jews (descendants of Roman era and early medieval Italian Jews (who are also an Italian Mid Eastern mix)

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetic_studies_on_Jews#Maternal_lineages

      “. Another study by Eva Fernandez and her colleagues argues that the K lineages in Ashkenazi Jews might have an ancient Near Eastern source.[28]”

      There is definitely evidence that the ancestors of Ashkenazim lived in Italy (maybe a some also in Greece/Anatolia)where there was some (low-moderate-moderate) mixture with natives, before they migrated to Germany, and then some of those to Eastern Europe (but with many of their ancestors having mostly come to Italy from Judea in late antiquity).

      The closest genetic relatives to the Ashkenazim are the Italkic Jews (descended, mostly, from the Italian Jews that stayed in Italy in the Middle ages instead of migrating to Germany, descending from the Jews that arrived there in the late Roman period. (both Italkim and Ashkenazim are both mostly a genetic mixture of Mid.Eastern/Levantine and Italian—both are about 50-60% mid. East and 40-50% European—, with the Askhenazim having a small extra ca. 3-9% Central and/or Eastern European admixture in their European fraction, which the Italkim of course do not). (The second closest to Ashkenazim genetically are the Sephardim, who are a mix of Levantine/Middle Eastern, and different kinds of Southern European including both Greek and Spanish/Iberian).

      Genetically (in autosomal/overall genetic ancestry) Ashkenazim and Italkim mostly lie in between North Levantines (like the Lebanese, Northern Palestinians and Syrians) and North and Central Italians. Because they are mostly a mix between those two groups, they also tend to fall somewhat close to groups like Cypriots (who are closest to North Levantines, or are between North Levantines and South West Anatolians/S. Europeans) and Southern Greek Islanders like Cretans (another group that lie/cluster between S.E. Mediterranean Europeans and North Levantines)

      “The time and place of European admixture in Ashkenazi Jewish history”

      http://journals.plos.org/plosgenetics/article?id=10.1371/journal.pgen.1006644

      Some prominent early/proto-Ashkenazic families of the Middle Ages—whose genealogies were better kept—in the early mid Middle ages when the proto-Ashenazim were assembling in Southern Germany, like the Kalonymous family—who came from the Italian city of Lucca—, were recorded then as coming from North and Central Italy to the Southern German cities where the Jews were based (like Metz, Worms and Shpeyer, where much of early Central European Jewish culture formed).
      There is even evidence of remnants of late Vugar Latin/early Italian in the largely Germanic Yiddish (along with many more common vocabulary words of Hebrew/Aramaic origin—including common nouns, particles and verbs—that were likely passed down orally from the pre-diasporic period) that show evidence of centuries of phonological change from Semitic and/or Germanic influence (mostly a few verbs, like for example: bentshn, to bless, from Latin bendicare; orn, to pray from ornare, and several (traditional Yiddish) personal names—the rest of the personal names being Semitic, Germanic or Slavic in origin, often most commonly Semitic.

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