), a nomad people of the N. of Europe, whom Herodotus (4.17
) places in the centre of the region which now comprises Poland and Lithuania, about the river-basin of the Bug.
They occupied the district (τὴν Νευρίδα γῆν
) which lay to the NW. of the lake out of which the Tyras rises, and which still bears the name in Slavonic of Nurskazemja,
with its chief town Nur,
and a river Nuretz.
Some time before the expedition of Dareius, they had been obliged to quit their original seats, on account of a quantity of serpents with which it was infested, and had taken refuge with the Budini in the district about the Bug,
which had till then belonged to that people. Though not of the same origin, in customs they resembled the Scythians, and bore the reputation of being enchanters (γόητες
), like the “Schamas” among the Siberian nomads of the present day. Once a year--so the Scythians and the Greeks of Olbia told Herodotus--each of them became for a few days a wolf; a legend which still lingers among the people of Volhynia
and White Russia.
Pomponius Mela (ii. 50. §§ 7, 13) repeats this story from Herodotus. (Comp. Plin. Nat. 8.34
; Creuzer, Symbolik,
vol. ii. p. 131.) The Sarmatian NAVARI
of Ptolemy (Ναύαροι,
3.5.25) are the same as the Neuri, the name appearing in a Grecized form; but there is some difficulty in harmonising his statements, as well as those of Euphorus (ap. Anon. Poet. (vulgo Scymn. Ch.
), 5.843; Anon. Peripl.
p. 2) and of Ammianus Marcellinus (31.2.14
), with the more trustworthy accounts of Herodotus. Schafarik (Slav. Alt.
vol. i. pp. 194--199) refers the Neuri to the Wendish or Servian stock.