To-day their descendants are not more subject to goitre and cretinism than those dwelling around them, and are recognized by tradition and not by features or physical degeneracy.
Yet the period was one of widespread suffering and degeneracy.
Conversely today's spiritual degeneracy is having negative effects.
Oratory is no longer an independent voice appealing to sentiments of Roman dignity, but the weapon of the "informers" (delatores), wielded for their own advancement and the destruction of that class which, even in their degeneracy, retained most sympathy with the national traditions.
The whole account suggests a Tatar clan in the last stage of degeneracy.