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    Posted: 30-Sep-2005 at 11:00

Scythians are the forebears of most Indo- European nations today, and yet we know so little about them. A list of nations :

In Europe

Celtic - lived in Scythia, as per ancient Irish annals; the Tuatha de Danann even brought back a contingent of Scythians with them

Germanic tribes - descended from Scythian tribes that wandered over into Europe from little Scythia, which was near the Black Sea; prior to that these Scythians had lived in what is today Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, but after fighting the Scythian tribe of Massagetae (i.e. 'great getae'), they migrated west. They were chasing another mysterious people,the Cimmerians, from whom the Welsh(Cymru) claim,  and certain Germanic tribes (Sugambri) trace, their descent.

Scandinavia - most of the pantheon worshipped by the Svearna (ancestors of the Swedes) were people called the Aesir. They came from the East and fought with the extant Vanir. Odin (Wotan) and Thor were from this family. Additionally the Gotarna of Southern Sweden were Goths and related to the Getae of Thrace, the Visigoth and Ostrogoths and the Massagetae of Asia.

Saxons - a tribe not mentioned by name in ancient history of tribes but evident that Sakson could be another spelling ie sons of Saka (the ancient and proper spelling of Scythian). Even Saxon historians described the men sent back to mainland Europe to get more men for the invasion and settlement of Briton as returning to Scythia

Sarmatians - the lands of the Poles and Russians was ancient Sarmatia; Sarmatians were the product of Scythian men and Amazon women, hence the cultural and language differences between Germanics and Slavs

In Asia

Parthians - originally united around the Pars tribe, Iran was also ruled by a Scythian dynasty in the form of the Parthians, who were a clan from the Dahae tribe. The Dahae are linked to the Goths, as per a strange paragraph in the the Annals and Deeds of the Goths. 

Jat & Rajput tribes - of northern India, especially the Punjab have been linked by British ethnographers to Scythian origins, although heavily mixed with the pre-Indo European Dravidian population; probably have Kushan, Chionite, & Massagetae blood.

Afghans - still settled in the area where the Sakas (i.e. Scythian) migrated; probably more likely to be descended from the Massagetae, Scythians and especially the Hephthalites (another Scythic nation), a brutal, warlike people that savaged both the Persians and the Turks till the two united and destroyed their kingdom.

 In essence, the nation of Scyths (Sakas) spread from the western coast of Ireland to the bay of Bengal.

Misconception - central asia was exclusively turco-mongol in ancient times

Reality - the nascent Turks (Gok Turk back then) and the Mongols were living near the Tien Shan and Altai range. This is not to say that populations did not mix. The finding of red-haired mummies in the Gobi proves this, but it is clear that central Asia, especially between the Oxus and Jaxartes river and most of Afghanistan was Ancient Scythia, and that the Scythians were nomadic caucosoids.

 

 

 

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Oct-2005 at 04:33
Good scholarship, Alexander.  Thanks a lot for your presentation!

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Oct-2005 at 17:44
Anyone else have info on the scythians? When did they leave central asia?

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Oct-2005 at 18:16
well, he calls (proto-)Indo-Europeans as Scythians, his post is not really accurate.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Oct-2005 at 23:31
Originally posted by Alexander

Scythians are the forebears of most Indo- European nations today, and yet we know so little about them. A list of nations :

Afghans - still settled in the area where the Sakas (i.e. Scythian) migrated; probably more likely to be descended from the Massagetae, Scythians and especially the Hephthalites (another Scythic nation), a brutal, warlike people that savaged both the Persians and the Turks till the two united and destroyed their kingdom.

 

There really isnt any proof that they are descendants of the Massagatae more than say the Saka.  The Homavargan Saka migrated from their lands North of the Oxus into what is today Afghanistan around the 2nd century BC.  Prior to them, the Greeks mentioned the "Paktyes."  In Greek, the "Y" usually means the letter "U" and we come to the "Paktues"  In Avestan the word "Apaxtara" was used to describe "Northern" , similar to the word, "A-paktra". Apaxtara can also mean "Behind" Or people 'behind' the mountains.  I think these people were originally Scythians pushed farther into the mountains by migrations of the Aryans and other Scythians after them.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Oct-2005 at 10:59

Alexander you made a very good interpretation!

But you forgot one thing: The Saka father of all scythians/ Alans/ samatians tribes... were Iranian speaking thus scythians came from iranian tribes.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Oct-2005 at 11:09
Jai Badri Vishal
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Oct-2005 at 11:31

http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/encyclopedia/s/sa/saka.htm

No doubt Sakas and scythians were Iranian Tribes

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Oct-2005 at 13:24

I have read somewhere that Scythian and Askenazian/Ashkenazi are ethimologically the same words. Scythians are Indo-european. Kurds are also Indo-Europeans and come from Meds. New genetical research results show that Ashkenazi Jewish male genes have similarities with Kurdish genes in the Middle East. Can we say that Hazarian population was a mixture of Jewish Turkish and Scythian populations?

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Oct-2005 at 13:40
Ashkenazi are largely descended from Khazars and Khazars had a big Scythian admixture because of the geographic location, so your Kurdish theory holds some water.  But I can't personally see the etymological link between Scythian and Ashkenazi.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Oct-2005 at 14:07

From the link:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ashkenazi

"The word "Ashkenaz" first appears in the genealogy in the Tanakh (Genesis 10) as a son of Gomer and grandson of Japheth. It is thought that the name originally applied to the Scythians (Ishkuz), who were called Ashkuza in Assyrian inscriptions, and lake Ascanius and the region Ascania in Anatolia derive their names from this group"

I have also a book in Turkish telling that they were called as Scythe in Greek and Akuzai/Akuza in Assyrian. (Krzolu, F.,1992)

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Oct-2005 at 14:23
Ah ok, thanks.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Oct-2005 at 01:40

Well lets be realisitic about Scythian, this is the greek name, more appropriate name is Saka, Chinese called them Sia (Xia). They are central Asia, Germans can trace back to them due to mixing of nrothmen tribes and Saka, ie Visa Goths and Goths, Saka's are an Iranian tribe, there is exactly 80 Iranian tribes, Persians, Medes being like Saka one out of 80. Their linguistic ties is in Ancient Iranian. there is no such thing as a European tribe because europe did not exist nor are they from this part of the world originally. More appropriate name is Iranian, sicne even though being a central Asian tribe does nto share a commonality with Chinese or Mongolian tribes.

I can provide more info for those who wish to know more or give a link to some websites with reliable information. Work done by Archaeologists.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Oct-2005 at 01:59

ohh Alexander sorry but i do not know where you get your information from. An actaully fact in the last few years there has been alot of work done and it is now know that Celts did not migrate the the British islands or the UK, instead there was an adoptation of Celtic culture and langauge.

No Archaeological eveidence of mass migration of Celts but we can find Saxons etc..... As for red hair this can only be the result of people with Blonde hair and brown hair mixing. Vikings Started wearing pants, which is an Iranian tradition, only Iranian tribes would wear pants, thus it indicated interaction the the fact Vikings started riding horses, adaptation of the Lance, chain mail armour, boats indicated mixing with Iranian tribes.

Afghaniastan is technically Iran, so is Central Asia and Caucas.

The first to describe the life style of these tribes was a Greek researcher, Herodotus, who lived in the fifth century BCE. Although he concentrates on the tribes living in modern Ukraine, which he calls Scythians, we may extrapolate his description to people in Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and possibly Mongolia, even though Herodotus usually calls these eastern nomads 'Sacae'. In fact, just as the Scythians and the Sacae shared the same life style, they had the same name: in their own language, which belonged to the Indo-iranian family, they called themselves Skudat ('archers'?). The Persians rendered this name as Sak and the Greeks as Skythai. The Chinese called them, at a later stage in history, Sai.

Tribes are, almost by definition, very loose organizations. Every now and then, new tribal coalitions came into being, and sometimes, new languages became prominent among the nomads from the Central-Asian steppe.

The oldest group we know of, is usually called Indo-Iranian. (The old name 'Aryan' is no longer used.) There are no contemporary reports about their migration, but it can be reconstructed from their language. It is reasonably certain that at the beginning of the second millennium BCE, the speakers of the Proto-Indo-Iranian language moved from Ukraine to the southeast. From an archaeological point of view, their migration is attested in the change from the Yamnaya culture into the Andronovo culture.

They invaded the country that was later called Afghanistan, where they separated in an Iranian and an Indian branch. The first group settled in Aria, a name that lives on in our word 'Iran', where they settled after 1000 BCE; the second group reached the Punjab c.1500 BCE. From the second millennium on, three groups of languages can be discerned: the Indian group (Vedic, Sanskrit...), the Scythian group (in the homeland on the steppe), and the Iranian group (Gathic, Persian...). Even when, in the sixth century, the Achaemenid Empire was at its most powerful and the Persians lived in comfortable towns, they still remembered their earlier, nomadic life style:

The Persian nation contains a number of tribes, and the ones which Cyrus assembled and persuaded to revolt were the Pasargadae, Maraphii, and Maspii, upon which all the other tribes are dependent. Of these, the Pasargadae are the most distinguished; they contain the clan of the Achaemenids from which spring the Perseid kings. Other tribes are the Panthialaei, Derusiaei, Germanii, all of which are attached to the soil, the remainder -the Dahae, Mardi, Dropici, Sagarti, being nomadic.

[Herodotus, Histories 1.125 tr. Aubrey de Selincourt

 



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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Oct-2005 at 02:05

The second group of nomads known to have gone south, is the tribe of the Cimmerians. Their name Gimirru -given to them by the Assyrians- means 'people traveling back and forth'; this name still exists in our word 'Crimea'. The Cimmerians destroyed the kingdoms of Urartu (an old name for Armenia) and Phrygia (in Turkey) in the first quarter of the seventh century BCE; other Scythians reached Ascalon in Palestine. According to Herodotus, they ruled the northwest of Iran (which Herodotus calls Media) for twenty-eight years.

In the sixth, fifth and fourth centuries BCE, the Persians discerned several nomad tribes on the Central-Asian steppe. As we have seem, they called them Sak. We know the names of these tribes from Persian royal inscriptions and can add information from Herodotus and other Greek authors.

  • The Sak haumavarg ('haoma-drinking Sacae') were subjected by Cyrus the Great. Herodotus calls them Amyrgian Scythians. Haoma was a trance inducing drink, made from fly agaric. This mushroom does not occur south of the river Amudar'ya (Oxus). Consequently, we may assume that these nomads lived in Uzbekistan. Herodotus informs us that they wore trousers and pointed caps; they fought as archers. He also mentions their use of the battle ax (which they called sagaris).

  • The Sak tigrakhaud ('Sacae with pointed hats') were defeated in 520/519 BCE by the Persian king Darius I the Great, who gave this tribe a new leader. One of the earlier leaders was killed, the other, named Skunkha, was taken captive and is visible on the relief at Behistun. (It is possible that Darius created a new tribe from several earlier tribes.) Herodotus calls the Sak tigrakhaud the Orthocorybantians ('pointed hat men'), and informs us that they lived in the same tax district as the Medes. This suggests that the Sak tigrakhaud lived on the banks of the ancient lower reaches of the Amudar'ya, which used to have a mouth in the Caspian Sea south of Krasnovodsk. The pointed hat is a kind of turban.

 

  • The Ap Sak ('Water Sacae') are also known as the Pausikoi, as Herodotus prefers to call them. Later authors, like Arrian of Nicomedia (in his Anabasis) and Ammianus Marcellinus (in his Roman history) call them the Abian Scythians; still later, we encounter them as the Apasiaki, first east and later southwest of Lake Aral. They must be situated along the ancient lower reaches of the Amudar'ya.

  • The tribe that Herodotus calls 'Massagetes' must have been called something like Mh-Sak in Persian, which means 'Moon Sacae', but this is confusing. Ma-Sak means Moon Sacae, and it is known that the Massagetes venerated only one god, the Sun. The Massagetes were responsible for the death of the Persian king Cyrus the Great (in December 530). From Herodotus' description, it is clear that they lived along the Syrdar'ya (Jaxartes).

  • The nomad tribe known as Dah, which means 'robbers', is mentioned for the first time in the Daiva inscription of Xerxes; he must have subjected them. Herodotus calls the Dai a Persian nomad tribe (above), but they can not have lived in Persia proper, because they are mentioned in the Anabasis of Arrian as living along the lower reaches of the Syrdar'ya. In the days of the Macedonian king Alexander the Great, they were famous for their mounted archers. It is possible that this tribe desintegrated after the fall of the Achaemenid empire; one of the tribes that came into being, was that of the Parni, who went south in the third century BCE and founded the Parthian empire.

  • The Sak paradray ('Sacae across the sea') were living in Ukraine. These are the nomads that the Greeks called Scythians. In (514 or) 513 BCE, king Darius launched a disastrous campaign against the Sak paradray. Herodotus gives a long description of their way of life and discerns many tribes in the neighborhood

The steppe nomads frequently attacked the urbanized regions to the east, south or west. Usually, this created great havoc, but after some time, they went back to their homeland. However, it was necessary for the attacked states to defend themselves. The Indians thought that they did not need walls because they were was protected by the Himalayas; c.110 BCE, the valley of the Indus was run over. The Chinese built the 'Wall of ten thousand miles' to protect themselves. The rulers of the Achaemenid empire, from Cyrus the Great to Alexander the Great, may have built walls as well. These walls are mentioned in the eighteenth sura of the Quran and in medieval legend, but cannot be identified with known archaeological remains. It is certain, however, that both Cyrus and Alexander built garrison towns along the river Syrdar'ya or Jaxartes; our sources call them Cyreschata and Alexandria Eschat.

Nomadism continued to exist into the first and second millennium CE. Several tribes may be mentioned. The Alani -whose language lives on in modern Ossetian- are known from the first century CE; they lived in modern Kazakhstan. Later, they moved to the west, being pushed forward by the Huns, which are known from Chinese texts as the Xiung-nu. Later tribal formations were the Avars, the Chasars, the Bulgars, the Turks, the Magyars, the Cumans, the Tatars, the Mongols and the Cossacks.

Literature:

  • J. Harmatta, 'Herodotus, historian of the Cimmerians and the Scythians' in: Hrodote et les peuples non Grecs. Neuf exposs suivis de discussions (Entretiens sur l' Antiquit classique, tome XXV) (1990 Genve), pages 115-130.
  • Renate Rolle, Die Welt der Skythen. Stutenmelker und Pferdebogner: ein antikes Reitervolk in neuer Sicht, 1980 Lucerne.
  • T. Sulimivski, 'The Scyths' in: Ilya Gershevitch (ed.): The Cambridge History of Iran, vol. II: The Median and Achaemenian Periods, 1985 Cambridge, pages 149-199.
  • Stephanie West, "Scythians" in: Egbert Bakker, Irene de Jong and Hans van Wees (eds.), Brill's Companion to Herodotus (2002 Leiden), pages 437-456.

Taken from an article by By: Jona Lendering

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Oct-2005 at 07:58

Good articles. IMO red hair (not ginger) is a variation of brown.



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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Oct-2005 at 11:54
It makes sense that  the Saka/Scythians are Iranic. The Sakas seem to have fostered many nationalities. It seems that the Sarmatians would be related to them too. Nice articles.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Oct-2005 at 19:24
"diverse nationalities" don't make sense. They were nomads, with tribal traditions.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Oct-2005 at 20:35
Yes, and they also spawned groups of 'nomads' that moved to different parts of eastern Europe and the Caucasus.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Nov-2005 at 16:02
Originally posted by Alexander

Scythians are the forebears of most Indo- European nations today, and yet we know so little about them. A list of nations :

In Europe

Celtic - lived in Scythia, as per ancient Irish annals; the Tuatha de Danann even brought back a contingent of Scythians with them

Germanic tribes - descended from Scythian tribes that wandered over into Europe from little Scythia, which was near the Black Sea; prior to that these Scythians had lived in what is today Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, but after fighting the Scythian tribe of Massagetae (i.e. 'great getae'), they migrated west. They were chasing another mysterious people,the Cimmerians, from whom the Welsh(Cymru) claim,  and certain Germanic tribes (Sugambri) trace, their descent.

Scandinavia - most of the pantheon worshipped by the Svearna (ancestors of the Swedes) were people called the Aesir. They came from the East and fought with the extant Vanir. Odin (Wotan) and Thor were from this family. Additionally the Gotarna of Southern Sweden were Goths and related to the Getae of Thrace, the Visigoth and Ostrogoths and the Massagetae of Asia.

Saxons - a tribe not mentioned by name in ancient history of tribes but evident that Sakson could be another spelling ie sons of Saka (the ancient and proper spelling of Scythian). Even Saxon historians described the men sent back to mainland Europe to get more men for the invasion and settlement of Briton as returning to Scythia

Sarmatians - the lands of the Poles and Russians was ancient Sarmatia; Sarmatians were the product of Scythian men and Amazon women, hence the cultural and language differences between Germanics and Slavs

In Asia

Parthians - originally united around the Pars tribe, Iran was also ruled by a Scythian dynasty in the form of the Parthians, who were a clan from the Dahae tribe. The Dahae are linked to the Goths, as per a strange paragraph in the the Annals and Deeds of the Goths. 

Jat & Rajput tribes - of northern India, especially the Punjab have been linked by British ethnographers to Scythian origins, although heavily mixed with the pre-Indo European Dravidian population; probably have Kushan, Chionite, & Massagetae blood.

Afghans - still settled in the area where the Sakas (i.e. Scythian) migrated; probably more likely to be descended from the Massagetae, Scythians and especially the Hephthalites (another Scythic nation), a brutal, warlike people that savaged both the Persians and the Turks till the two united and destroyed their kingdom.

 In essence, the nation of Scyths (Sakas) spread from the western coast of Ireland to the bay of Bengal.

Misconception - central asia was exclusively turco-mongol in ancient times

Reality - the nascent Turks (Gok Turk back then) and the Mongols were living near the Tien Shan and Altai range. This is not to say that populations did not mix. The finding of red-haired mummies in the Gobi proves this, but it is clear that central Asia, especially between the Oxus and Jaxartes river and most of Afghanistan was Ancient Scythia, and that the Scythians were nomadic caucosoids.

 

 

 

I think most of those are misconceptions.

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