Nietzsche's flawed sourceNietzsche's source for the law of Manu was the book Les législateurs religieux. Manou, Moïse, Mahomet (1876) by French writer Louis Jacolliot. According to Annemarie Etter, this translation of the Manusmriti is not reliable and differs widely from other sources. For example, the high respect it gives to women, which Nietzsche quotes in opposition to "Christian misogyny", is in fact not contained in any of the usual texts.
In his description and interpretation of the "Tschandala", Nietzsche may have followed a long footnote by Jacolliot, which gives an "unbelievable, abstruse and scientifically completely untenable" (Etter) theory. According to Jacolliot, all Semitic peoples, especially the Hebrews, are descendants of emigrated Tschandalas. Although Nietzsche never directly says this, it seems plausible that he believed in Jacolliot's theory at least to some extent, even though, as Etter points out, Nietzsche would have easily been able to falsify several of Jacolliot's pseudo-scientific claims. In so doing, he may have increased the impact of Jacolliot's "effusive admiration for ancient Eastern wisdom and civilization with a more or less open and pronounced antisemitism and antichristianism" (Etter).