SCY´THIASCY´THIA (ἡ Σκυθία, ἡ Σκυθική: Eth. Σκύθης, Eth. Scytha), the country of the Scythae, a vast area in the eastern half of Northern Europe, and in Western and Central Asia. Its limits varied with the differences of date, place, and opportunities of information on the part of its geographers. Indeed, to a great extent, the history of Scythia is the history of a Name.--It is obvious that the term came from the Greeks to the Romans; in this respect unlike Sarmatia, Dacia, and others, which, in form at least, are Roman rather than Greek. But whence did the Greeks get it? for it is by no means either significant in their tongue, or a Greek word at all. They took it from one or more of the populations interjacent between themselves and the Scythae; these being Thracians, Sarmatians, and Getae. Probably all three used it; at any rate, it seems to have been used by the neighbours of the Greeks of Olbiopolis, and by the Thracians on the frontiers of the Greeks of Macedonia. This is in favour of its having been a term common to all the forms of speech between Macedonia and the Borysthenes. Scyth-, then, is a Sarmatian, Thracian, and Getic term in respect to its introduction into the Greek language. Was it so in its origin? The presumption as well as the evidence is in favour of its having been so. There is the express evidence of Herodotus (4.6) that the population which the Greeks called Scythae called themselves Scoloti. There is the fact that the Persian equivalent to Scythae was Sakae. Thirdly, there is the fact that in the most genuine-looking of the Scythic myths there is no such eponymus as Scytha or Scythes, which would scarcely have been the case had the name been native. Scyth-, then, was a word like German or Allemand, as applied to the Deutsche, a word strange to the language of the population designated by it, but not strange to the language of the neighbouring countries. To whom was it applied? To the tribes who called themselves Scoloti. What was the extent of the term? Did it apply not only to the Scoloti, but to the whole of the class to which the Scoloti belonged? It is safe to say that, at first, at least, there were many congeners of the Scoloti whom no one called Scythae. The number, however, increased as the term became general. Did the name denote any populations of a different family from the Scoloti? Rarely, at first; afterwards, frequently. If the populations designated by their neighbours as Scythae called themselves by some other name, what was that name? Scoloti applied only to a part of them. Had the word Scyth- a meaning in any language? if so, what was it, and in what tongues? Both these points will be noticed in the sequel, the questions involved in them being at present premature, though by no means unimportant. The knowledge of the Scythian family dates from the beginning of Greek literature.
SCYTHIANS OF HESIOD, ETC.Populations belonging to the Scythian family are noticed by Homer under the names of Abii, Glactophagi, and Hippemolgi, the habit of milking their mares being as definite a characteristic of a Scythian as anything in the way of manners and customs can be. Hesiod gives us Scythae under that name, noting them also as Hippemolgi. The Scythians of Homer and Hesiod are poetical rather than historical nations. They are associated with the Mysi of Bulgaria (not of Asia), [p. 2.937]a point upon which Strabo enlarges (7.3. § § 7, 8). They are Hamaxobii (ἐν ἀπήναις οἴκἰ ἔχοντες), and ἀγαῦοι. Aeschylus mentions them as εὔνομοι. The apparent simplicity of their milk-drinking habits got them the credit of being men of mild and innocent appetites with Ephorus (Strab. vii. p.302), who contrasts them with the cannibal Sarmatae. There was also an apparent confusion arising out of the likeness of Νόμαδες to Νόμιοι (from νόμος = law). The Prometheus of Aeschylus is bound to one of the rocks of Caucasus, on the distant border of the earth, and the inaccessible desert of the Scythians. Such are the Scythae of Aeschylus and Hesiod. The writers of the interval, who knew them as the invaders of Asia, and as historical agents, must have had a very different notion of them. Fragmentary allusions to the evils inflicted during their inroads are to found in Callinus, Archilochus, &c. The notice of them, however, belongs to the criticism of the historical portion of the account of
TRANS-DANUBIAN SCYTHIANS OF HERODOTUS: SCOLOTI: SCYTHIANS OF HIPPOCRATES.Much of the Herodotean history is simple legend. The strange story of an intermarriage of the females who, whilst their husbands were in Asia, were left behind with the slaves, and of the rebellion therein originating having been put down by the exhibition, on the part of the returning masters, of the whips with which the backs of the rebels had been previously but too familiar, belongs to the Herodotean Scythians (4.1--6). So do the myths concerning the origin of the nation, four in number, which may be designated as follows:--
- 1. The Account of the Scythians themselves. This is to the effect that Targitaus, the son of Zeus by a daughter of the river Borysthenes, was the father of Leipoxais, Arpoxais, and Colaxais. In their reign, there fell from heaven a yoke, an axe (σάγαρις), a plough-share, and a cup, all of gold. The two elder failed in taking them up; for they burnt when they approached them. But the younger did not fail; and ruled accordingly. From Leipoxais descended the Auchaetae (γένος; from Arpoxais the Catiari and Traspies; from Colaxais the Paralatai. The general name for all is “Scoloti, whom the Greeks call Scythae.” This was exactly 1000 years before the invasion of Darius. The gold was sacred; the country large. It extended so far north that the continual fall of feathers (snow) prevented things from being seen. The number of the kingdoms was three, the greatest of which had charge of the gold. Of this legend, the elements seem partly Scythian, and partly due to the country in which the Scythians settled. The descent from the Borysthenes belongs to this latter class. The story of the sons of Targitaus is found, in its main features, amongst the present Tartars. In Targitaus more than one commentator has found the root Turk. The threefold division reminds us to the Great, Middle, and Little Hordes of the Kirghiz; and it must be observed that the words greatest and middle (μεγίστη and μέση) are found in the Herodotean account They may be more technical and definite than is generally imagined. In the account there is no Eponymus, no Scytha, or even Scolotos. There is also the statement that the Scythians are the youngest of all nations. This they might be, as immigrants.
- 2. The Account of the Pontic Greeks. This is to the effect that Agathyrsus, Gelonus, and Scythes (the youngest) were the sons of Hercules and Echidna, the place where they met being the Hylaea. The son that could draw the bow was to rule. This was Scythes, owing to manoeuvres of his mother. He stayed in the land: the others went out. The cup appears here as an emblem of authority.
- 3. The Second Greek Account. This is historical rather than mythological. The Massagetae press the Scythians upon the Cimmerii, the latter flying before them into Asia. This connects the history of the parts about the Bosporus with Media. The inference from the distribution of the signs of Cimmerian occupancy confirms this account. There were the burial-places of the Cimmerii on the Tyras; there was the Cimmerian Bosporus, and between them, with Cimmerian walls, Scythia (ἡ Σκυθική). This is strong evidence in favour of Scythian extension and Cimmerian preoccupancy.
- 4. The Account of Aristeas of Proconnesus. This is a speculation rather than either a legend or a piece of history. Aristeas (Mure, History of Greek Literature, vol. 2.469, seq.) visited the country of the Issedones. North of these lay the Arimaspi; north of the Arimaspi the Monophthalmi; north of the Monophthalmi the Gold-guarding Griffins (Γρύπες χρυσοφαλάκοι); and north of these, the Hyperborei. The Hyperborei made no movements; but the Griffins drove the Monophthalmi, the Monophthalmi the Arimaspi, the Arimaspi the Issedones, the Issedones the Scythians, the Scythians the Cimmerians, the Cimmerians having to leave their land; but they, as we learn elsewhere, attack the Medes. (Hdt. 4.5-16). No one had ever been further north than Aristeas, an unsafe authority. The information of Herodotus himself is chiefly that of the Greeks of the Borysthenes. He mentions, however, conversations with the steward of one of the Scythian kings.
- RIVERS--The chief river of the Herodotean Scythia was the Ister [DANUBIUS], with its five mouths; and then the Tyras (Dniester), the Hypanis (Bog), the Borysthenes (Dnieper), the Panticapes [see s. v.], the Hypacyris [see CARCINA], the Gerrhus [see s. v.], and the Tanais (Don); the feeders of the Ister (i. e. the rivers of the present Danubian Principalities) being the Porata (Scythic, in Greek Puretus), the Tiarantos, the Araros, the Naparis, and the Ordessus (cc. 47, 48). To these add, from the country of the Agathyrsi, the Maris (100.49), or modern Maros of Transylvania. The difference between the ancient and modern names of rivers is nowhere greater than here,--the Maros being the only name now in use which represents the original one; unless we choose to hold that, word for word, Aluta == Araros. Word for word, indeed, Naparis is Dnieper; but then the rivers are different. This creates a grave difficulty in the determination of the language to which the names of the Scythian rivers should be referred. Yet the question is important, inasmuch as, in the names, as they come down to us, we have so many glosses of some language or other. Upon the whole, however, the circumstances under which they reached Herodotus suggest the notion that they are Scythian: e. g. the express statement that Porata is a Scythian form. Again; Hypanis is, word for word, Kuban,--a word of which the appearance in both Asia and Europe is best explained by supposing it to be Scythian. On the other hand, they are as little significant in the language which, amongst those at present existing, best explains the undoubted Scythian glosses, as they are in the Slavonic, Latin, or Greek. The physical geography of Herodotean Scythia was a steppe, with occasional districts (chiefly along [p. 2.939]the courses of the rivers and at their head-waters) of a more practicable character.
- MOUNTAINS.--These were the eastern continuation of the Carpathians, and the hills of the Crimea or Tauris. These were but imperfectly known to Herodotus.
- LAKES. [See EXAMPAEUS and BUCE.]
- TOWNS, exclusively Greek colonies. [See OLBIOPOLIS; PANTICAPAEUM.]
PHYSIOGNOMY AND MANNERS.The physical conformation of the Scythians is not only mentioned incidentally by Herodotus, but in a more special manner by Hippocrates: “The Scythian γένος is widely different from the rest of mankind, and is like to nothing but itself, even as is the Aegyptian. Their bodies are thick and fleshy, and their limbs loose, without tone, and their bellies the smoothest (?), softest (?), moistest (?) (κοίλιαι ὑγρόταται) of all bellies as to their lower parts (πασέων κοιλέων αἱ κάτω); for it is not possible for the belly to be dried in such a country, both from the soil and climate, but on account of the fat and the smoothness of their flesh, they are all like each other, the men like the men, the women like the women.” (Hippocr. de Aere, &c. pp. 291, 292.) Coming as this notice does from a physician, it has commanded considerable attention; it has, however, no pretensions to be called a description, though this has often been done. In the hands of later writers its leading features become exaggerated, until at length the description of a Scythian becomes an absolute caricature. We may see this by reference to Ammianus Marcellinus and Jornandes, in their accounts of the Huns. The real fact inferred from the text of Hippocrates is, that the Scythians had a peculiar physiognomy, a physiognomy which the modern ethnologist finds in the population of Northern and Central Asia, as opposed to those of Persia, Caucasus, Western and Southern Europe. Their general habits were essentially nomadic, pastoral, and migratory; the commonest epithets or descriptive appellations being Ἁμαξόβιοι, Φερέοικοι, Ἱπποτόξοται, and the like.
RELIGION.Concerning their RELIGION, we have something more than a mere cursory notice (4.59). (i.) Tabiti (Ταβίτι): This was the Scythian name for the nearest equivalent to the Greek Histia (Vesta), the divinity whom they most especially worshipped. (ii.) Papaeus: “Most properly, in my mind, is Zeus thus called.” So writes Herodotus, thinking of the ideas engendered by such exclamations as Παπᾶς. (iii.) Apia: This is the name for earth; as (iv.) Oetosyrus (Οἰτόσυρος) is for Apollo, and (v.) Artimpasa for Aphrodite, and (vi.) Thamimasada for Poseidon, the God of the Royal Scythians most especially. To Oestosyrus we have the following remarkable inscription (Gud. Inscrip. Antiq. p. 56. 2; see Zeuss, s. v. Skythen): ΘΕΛ. ΣΕΛΟΙΤΟΣΚΥΡΑ (? ΣΕΛηνη ΚΑΙ ΑΡΟΛΛΩΝΩ. ΟΙΤΟΣΚΥΡΩ. ΜΙΘΡΑ. Μ. ΟΥΛΠΙΟΣ. ΠΛΟΚΑΜΟΣ. ΝΕΩΚΟΡΟΣ. ΑΝΕΘ (ἀνέθηκε) Here the connection is with the Persian god Mithras. The Scoloti sacrificed to all their gods, but to Mars the most especially; for, besides the deities which have been mentioned under their several Scythian names, Mars and Heracles were objects of particular adoration. The Scythian Venus, too, was the Ἀφροδίτη οὐρανίη. To Ares, however, they sacrificed most especially and most generally; for there was a place of worship to him in every νόμος (mark the use of this word, which is applied to the divisions of the Persian empire as well), where horses, sheep, and captives were sacrificed, and where the emblem of the god was an iron sword,--even as it was with the Alani of Ammianus and the Huns of Priscus. Human beings were sacrificed, but no swine. Neither were swine eaten, nor were they tolerated in the country. This is noticed, because in many of the nations of Northern Asia, e. g. the Wotiaks and others, the hog, even now, is held in abomination, and that by Pagan tribes untinctured with Mahometanism. Notwithstanding the praises of the earlier poets, the wars of the “just and illustrious” Scythians were of a piece with the worship of their war-god. They scalped their enemies, and they used their skulls as drinking cups (cc. 64--65). Once a year the monarch of each nome filled a vast vat with wine and apportioned it to the warriors who had killed most enemies during the year. Those whose hands were unstained got none, and were disgraced; those who had killed many took a double allowance (100.66). Their soothsayers, amongst other superstitions, practised rhabdomancy, amongst whom the Enarees [p. 2.940]（ἀνδρόγονοι) are the most famous. They got their art from Aphrodite, as they got their ailment. During the Scythian invasion of Asia, a portion of the conquerors plundered the temple of the Aphrodite Urania in Ascalon, for which sacrilege they and their children were afflicted with θήλεια νοῦδος, the names of the sufferers being Ἐνάρεες (1.105, 106). The nature of this θήλεια νοῦδος has yet to be satisfactorily explained. The sacerdotal and regal relations are curious. When the king ails he calls his priests, who tell him that his ailment comes from some one having foresworn himself in the greatest oath a Scythian can take. This is “by the hearth of the king.” Take it falsely, and the king will sicken. Upon sickening, however, he sends for the offender, whom the priests have indicated. The charge is denied. Other priests are sent for. If their vaticinations confirm the earlier ones, death and confiscation are the fate of the perjurer. Otherwise, a third set is called. If these agree in the condemnation of the first, a load of faggots, drawn by bullocks, is brought in, the lying priests have their hands bound behind them, the faggots are set a-light to, the beasts are goaded into a gallop, the flames catch the wind, the men are burnt to death, and the bullocks scorched, singed, or burnt to death also. The sons of the offending perjurer are killed, his daughters left unhurt. Their oaths were made over a mixture of wine and blood. The swearers to them punctured themselves, let their blood fall into a vat of wine, drank the mixture, and dipped in it their daggers, arrows, javelin, and σάγαρις. The ferocity exhibited in their burials was of the same kind. The tombs of the kings were on the Gerrhus. Thither they were brought to be buried, wherever they might die. They were entombed with sacrifices both of beasts and men, Hippothusia, Anthropothysia, and Suttee--all these characterised the funeral rites of the Scythians δικαιότατοι ἀνθρώπων.
LANGUAGE.The specimens of this fall into two divisions, the Proper and, the Common Names. The former are the names of geographical localities and individuals. In one way or the other, they are numerous; at least they appear so at first. But we rarely are sure that the fact itself coincides with the first presumptions. The names of the rivers have been noticed. Of those of the gods, none have been definitely traced to any known language in respect to their meaning. Neither have they been traced to any known mythology as Proper Names. Next come the names of certain kings and other historical individuals, none of which have given any very satisfactory place for the old Scythian. With the Common Names (and under the class of Common Names we may place such Proper Names as are capable of being translated) the results improve, though only slightly. Of these terms the chief are the following:-- (i.) Ἐξαμπαῖος==Sacred Ways==Ἵραι Ὅδοι, the name of a well-head. [See s. v.] (ii.) Οἰόρπατα== ἀνδροκτόνοι== Men-killers, a name applied by the Scythians to the Amazons. Here οἰὸρ == man, πατὰ==kill (4.110). (iii.) Temerinda==Mater Marks, applied to the Euxine. This is not from Herodotus, but from Pliny (6.7). (iv.) Arimaspi==Μωνόφθαλμοι,==one-eyed==ἄριμα==one, σπου==eye. (Hdt. 4.27.) These will be considered under the head of Ethnology.
HISTORY.The Herodotean view of the Scythians is incomplete without a notice of the historical portion of his account; not that the two parts are, by any means, on the same level in the way of trustworthy information. The geography and descriptions are from contemporary sources. The history is more or less traditional. Taking it, however, as we find it, it falls into two divisions:--1, The Invasion of Asia by the Scythians; and 2, The Invasion of Scythia by Darius.
1. Invasion of Asia by the Scythians.In the reigns of Cyaxares king of Media and of Sadyattes king of Lydia, the Scythians invade Asia, bodily and directly. They had previously invaded the country of the Cimmerians, whom they had driven from their own districts on the Maeotis, and who were thus thrown southwards. The Scythians pressed the Cimmerians, the Massagetae the Scythians. Chains of cause and effect of this kind are much loved by historians. It is only, however, in the obscure portions of history that they can pass unchallenged. The Cimmerians take Saidis during the last years of the reign of Ardys (B.C. 629.) They are expelled by Alyattes, his son. (Hdt. 1.15, 16.) It seems that the Cimmerians were followed up by their ejectors; inasmuch as five years afterwards (B.C. 624) the Scythians themselves are in Media; Cyaxares, who was engaged upon the siege of Nineveh (Ninus), being called back to oppose them. He is defeated; and the Scythians occupy Asia for 28 years, Cyaxares surviving their departure. From Media they direct their course towards Egypt; from the invasion of which they are diverted by Psammitichus. Their attack upon the temple of the Venus Urania, in Ascalon, during their passage through Palestine, along with its mysterious sequelae, has been already noticed. The king who led them was named Madyes. (Hdt. 1.103, seqq.) They were ejected B.C. 596. There was a band of Scythians, however, in Media, in the reign of Croesus, B.C. 585, the account of which is as follows. Cyaxares, still reigning, receives a company (εἴλη) of Scythians, as suppliants, who escape (ὑπεξήλθε) from Lydia into Media. He treats them well, and sends his son to them to learn the use of the bow, along with the Scythian language, until he finds that their habits of hunting and robbing are intolerable. This, along with a particular act of atrocity, determines Cyaxares to eject them. They fly back to Alyattes, who refuses to give them up. But Alyattes dies, and the quarrel is entailed upon his son, Croesus. The battle that it led to was fought May 28, B.C. 585, when the eclipse predicted by Thales interrupted it. The Scythian invasion might easily be known in its general features to both the Greeks of Asia and the Jews; and, accordingly, we find sufficient allusions to an invasion of northern barbarians, both in the Scriptures and in the fragments of the early Greek poets, to justify us in treating it as a real fact, however destitute of confirmation some of the Herodotean details may have been. (See Mure's Critical History, &c. vol. iii. p. 133, seq.) Though further removed from his time than
2. Invasion of Scythia by Darius.It is, probably, a more accurate piece of history. Darius invades Scythia for the sake of inflicting a chastisement for the previous invasion of Asia. This had been followed, not by any settlement of the Scythians elsewhere, but by a return home. The strange [p. 2.941]story of the Servile War of Whips belongs to this period. When the approach of Darius becomes threatening, the Geloni, Budini, and Sauromatae join with the Scythians in resisting it; the Agathyrsi, Neuri, Androphagi, Melanchlaeni, and Tauri reserving themselves for the defence of their own territory if attacked (4.119). To the three constituents of the confederacy there are three kings, Scopasis, Ianthyrsus, and Taxacis, each with an allotted district to defend. This was done by destroying the grass and tillage, driving off the flocks and herds, and corrupting (we can scarcely translate συγχοῦ by poisoning) the wells. The points whereon attack was anticipated were the frontiers of the Danube and the Don. These they laid waste, having sent their own wives and children northwards. The first brunt of the war fell upon the Budini, whose Wooden City was burnt. Darius then moved southward and westward, pressing the other two divisions upon the countries of the Melanchlaeni, Neuri, and Agathyrsi. The latter warn the Medes against encroaching on the frontier. Idanthyrsus answers enigmatically to a defiance of Darius. Scopasis tampers with the Ionians who have the custody of the bridge over the Danube. The Medes suffer from dearth, and determine to retreat across the Danube. The Scythians reach the passage before them, and require the Ionians to give it up. And now appears, for the first time, the great name of Miltiades, who is one of the commanders of the guard of the bridge. He advises that the Scythians should be conciliated, Darius weakened. A half-measure is adopted, by which the Scythians are taught to distrust the Ionians, and the Medes escape into Thrace--so ending the Scythian invasion of Darius. (Hdt. 4.120-142.)
Criticism of the Herodotean Accounts.The notices of Herodotus upon the Scythae, though full, are excursive rather than systematic. Part of their history appears as Lydian, part as Scythian Proper. There is much legend in his accounts; but the chief obscurities are in the geography. Even here the details are irregular. One notice arises out of the name Scythae, another out of the geography of their rivers, a third out of the sketch of Tauris. [See TAURIS and TAUROSCYTHAE] In this we hear that Scythia is bounded first by the Agathyrsi, next by the Neuri, then by the Androphagi, and lastly by the Melanchlaeni. The area is fourcornered; the longest sides being the prolongations along the coast and towards the interior. From the Ister to the Borysthenes is 10 days; 10 days more to the Maeotis; from the coast to the Melanchlaeni, 20 days;--200 stadia to each day's journey. If this measurement be exact, it would bring Tula, Tambov, Riazan, &c., within the Scythian area,--which is going too far. The days' journeys inland were probably shorter than those along the coast. The Agathyrsi were in Transylvania, on the Maros. The evidence, or want of evidence, as far as the text of Herodotus goes, is the same as it is with the Neuri. Their frontagers were known as Scythae Aroteres, i. e., the generic name was with them specific. Hence any Scythians whatever with a specific name must have been contrasted with them; and this seems to have been the case with the Agathyrsi. [HUNNI p. 1097.] Assuming, however, the Agathyrsi to have been Scythian, and to have lain on the Maros, we carry the Herodotean Scythae as far west as the Theiss; nor can we exclude them from any part of Wallachia and Moldavia. Yet these are only known to Herodotus as the country of the SIGYNNES The frontier, then, between the Scythae and Getae is difficult to draw. Herodotus has no Getae, eo nomine, north of the Danube: yet such there must have been. Upon the whole, we may look upon the Danubian Principalities as a tract scarcely known to Herodotus, and make it Scythian, or Getic, or mixed, according to the evidence of other writers, as applicable at the time under consideration. It was probably Getic in the, East, Sarmatian in the West, and Scythian in respect to certain districts occupied by intrusive populations.
Thucydides' evidence.Thucydides mentions the Getae and Scythians but once (2.96), and that together. The great alliance that Sitalces, king of Thrace, effects against Perdiccas of Macedon includes the Getae beyond Mount Haemus, and, in the direction of the Euxine sea, the Getae who were conterminous (ὅμοροι) with the Scythians, and whose armour was Scythian (ὁμόσκευοι). They were each archers and horsemen (ἱπποτοξόται); whereas the Dii and the mountaineers of Rhodope wore daggers. According to Ovid (Ov. Tr. 5.7. 19), the occupants of the level country do so too:-- “Dextera non segnis fixo dare vulnera cultro,
Quem vinctum lateri barbara omnis habet.
THE SCYTHIANS OF THE MACEDONIAN PERIOD.Passing over the notices of Xenophon, which apply to Thrace Proper rather than to the parts north of Mount Haemus, and which tell us nothing concerning the countries beyond the Danube,--passing, also, over the notices of a war in which Philip king of Macedon was engaged against Atheas, and in which he crossed Mount Haemus into the country of the Triballi, where he received a wound,--we come to the passage of the Danube by Alexander. In the face of an enemy, and without a bridge, did the future conqueror of Persia cross the river, defeat the Getae on its northern bank, destroy a town, and return. (Arrian, Arr. Anab. 1.2-7.) This was an invasion of Scythia in a geographical sense only; still it was a passage of the Danube. The Getae of Alexander may have been descendants of the Sigynnes of Herodotus. They were not, eo nomine, Scythians. When Alexander was on the Danube the famous embassy of the Galatae reached him. They had heard of his fame, and came to visit him. They were men of enormous stature, and feared only that the heavens should fall. This disappointed Alexander, who expected that they would fear him. Much has been written concerning the embassy as if it came from Gaul. Yet this is by no means necessary. Wherever there is a Halicz or Galacz in modern geography, there may have been a Galat-ian locality in ancient; just as, wherever there is a Kerman or Carman-ia, there may have been a German one, and that without any connection with the Galli or Germani of the West. The roots G-l-t and K-ron-n, are simply significant geographical terms in the Sarmatian and Turk tongues--tongues to which the Getic and Scythian may most probably be referred. Such is the present writer's opinion respecting the origin of the statements that carry certain Galatae as far as the Lower Danube, and make the Basternae, and even the occupants of the Tanais, Germans--not to mention the Caramanians of Asia Minor and Carmanians of Persia. In the present [p. 2.942]instance, however, the statement of Strabo is very specific. It is to the effect that the ambassadors to Alexander were Κέλτοι περὶ τὸν Ἀδρίαν (vii. p. 301), and that Ptolemy was the authority. Nevertheless, Ptolemy may have written Γαλάται, and such Galatae may have been the Galatae of the Olbian Inscription. [See infra and SCIRI] The next Macedonian who crossed the Danube was Lysimachus, who crossed it only to re-cross it in his retreat, and who owed his life to the generosity of a Getic prince Dromichaetes. This was about B.C. 312. Our next authorities (fragmentary and insufficient) for the descendants of the Herodotean Scythians are the occupants of the Greek towns of the Euxine. Even those to the south of the Danube, Callatis, Apollonia, &c., had some Scythians in the neighhood, sometimes as enemies, sometimes as protectors,--sometimes as protectors against other barbarians, sometimes as protectors of Greeks against Greeks, as was the case during the Scythian and Thracian wars of Lysimachus. The chief frontagers, however, were Getae. Between Olbia, to the north of the Danube (==Olbiopolis of Herodotus), and the native tribes of its neighbourhood, the relations are illustrated by the inscription already noticed. (Böckh, Inscr. Graec. no. 2058.) It records a vote of public gratitude to Protogenes, and indicates the troubles in which he helped his fellow-citizens. The chief of those arose from the pressure of the barbarians around, by name Saudaratae, Thisametae, Sciri [see SCIRI], Galatae, and Scythae. The date of this inscription is uncertain; but we may see the import of the observations on the word Galatae when we find the assumption that they were Gauls of Gallia used as an instrument of criticism:--“The date of the above inscription is not specified; the terror inspired by the Gauls, even to other barbarians, seems to suit the second century B.C. better than it suits a later period.” (Grote, Hist. of Greece, vol. xii. p. 644, note.) What, however, if the Galatae of Wallachia were as little Galli as the Cermanians of Persia are Germans, or as Galacz is the same as Calais? The present writer wholly disconnects them, and ignores the whole system of hypothetical migrations by which the identity is supported. A second Olbia in respect to its Helleno-Scythic relations, was Bosporus, or Panticapaeum, a Greek settlement which lasted from B.C. 480 till the reign of Mithridates. [PANTICAPAEUM] From Bosporus there was a great trade with Athens in corn, hides, and Scythian slaves,--Scythes, as the name of a slave, occurring as early as the time of Theognis, and earlier in the Athenian drama than those of Davus and Geta (Dacian and Getic) which belong to the New Comedy,--Scythes and Scythaena being found in the Old. The political relations were those of independent municipalities; sometimes sovereign, sometimes protected. The archons of Bosporus paid tribute to the Scythian princes of their neighbourhood, when they were powerful and united; took it, when the Scythians were weak and disunited. Under this latter category came the details of the division of the Maeotae, viz., Sindi, Toraeti, Dandarii, Thetes, &c. Of these, Parysades I. (a Scythic rather than a Greek name) was king, being only archon of his native town. In the civil wars, too, of Bosporus, the Scythians took a part; nor were there wanting examples of Scythian manners even in the case of the Panticapaean potentates. Eumelus lost his life by being thrown out of a four-wheeled wagon-and-four with a tent on it.
SCYTHIANS OF THE MITHRIDATIC PERIOD, ETC.The Scythians pressed on Parysades IV., who called in Mithridates, who was conquered by Rome. The name now becomes of rare occurrence, subordinate to that of the Sarmatae, Daci, Thracians, &c. In fact, instead of being the nearest neighbours to Greece, the Scythae were now the most distant enemies of Rome. In the confederacy of the Dacian Boerebistes, in the reign of Augustus, there were Scythian elements. So there were in the wars against the Thracian Rhescuporis and the Roxolani. So there were in the war conducted by J. Plautius in the reign of Vespasian, as shown by the following inscription: REGIBUS BASTERNARUM ET RHOXOLANORUM FILIOS DACORUM . . . EREPTOS REMISIT . . . SCYTHARUM QUOQUE REGE A CHERSONESI QUÆ EST ULTRA BORYSTHENEM OBSIDIONE SUMMOTO. (Grut. p. 453; Böckh, vol. ii. pt. 1. p. 82; Zeuss, s. v. Skythen). Though the history of the Scythians, eo nomine, be fragmentary, the history of more than one Scythian population under a change of name is both prominent and important. In the article HUNNI reasons are given for believing that the descendants of the Herodotean Agathyrsi, of Scythian blood, wore no unimportant element in the Dacian nationality. After the foundation of Constantinople the Scythian nations appear with specific histories and names, Hun, Avar, &c. The continuity of the history of the name of the Herodotean Scythians within the Herodotean area is of great importance; as is the explanation of names like Galatae and Germani; as also is the consideration of the sources whence the nomenclature and information of the different authorities is derived. It is important, because, when we find one name disappearing from history, and another appearing, there is (according to, at least, the current criticism) a presumption in favour of a change of population. Sometimes this presumption is heightened into what is called a proof; yet the presumption itself is unreal. For one real change of name referrible to an actual change of population there are ten where the change has been merely one in respect to the sources whence the information was derived, and the channels through which it came. This is what occurs when the same country of Deutschland is called Germany by an Englishman, Allemagne in France, Lamagna in Italy. This we know to be nominal. We ought at least to ask whether it may not be so in ancient history--and that not once or twice, but always--before we assume hypothetical movements and migrations. Now in the case of Scythia we can see our way to great nominal and but slight real changes. We see the sources of information changed from Greek to Latin, and the channels from Getic and Macedonian to Dacian. If so, the occupants of Hungary, the Principalities, and South-western Russia under the Caesars may be the descendants of the occupants of the same districts in the time of Herodotus. That there are some differences is not only likely but admitted,--differences in the way of admixture of blood, modification of nationality, changes of frontier, differences of the kind that time always effects, even in a stationary condition of nations. It is only denied that [p. 2.943]any wholesale change can be proved, or even reasonably supposed. Who can be shown to have eliminated any definite Scythian population from any definite Scythian occupancy? With the Greeks and Romans the negative evidence is nearly conclusive to the fact that no such elimination ever took place. That the Barbarians might have displaced each other is admitted; but there is no trustworthy evidence to their having done so in any single instance. All opinions in favour of such changes rest upon either the loose statements of insufficiently-informed writers, or the supposed necessity of accounting for the appearance and change of certain names by means of certain appearance and changes of population. The bearings of this will appear in the notice of the Ethnology of Scythia. They appear also under HUNNI Of the SACAE eo nomine, the history is obscure. In one sense, indeed, it is a nonentity. There is no classical historian of the Sacae. How far the ethnologist can infer them is a question which will be treated in the sequel. Of the history of the populations akin to the Sacae, the details are important; but then it is a history of the Massagetae, Parthi, &c., a history full of critical preliminaries and points of inference rather than testimony. The Scythia of all the authors between Herodotus and Ptolemy means merely the country of the Scythae, the Scythae being such northern nations as, without being, eo nomine, Sarmatian, were Hamaxobii and Hippemolgi; their habits of milking their mares and travelling in tented wagons being their most genuine characteristic. These it was which determined the views of even Strabo, whose extension of Germania and Galatia (already noticed) left him no room for a Scythia or even a Sarmatia; Sarmatia, which is to Ptolemy as Germania was to Strabo: for the Sarmatia of Ptolemy leaves no room in Europe for a Scythia; indeed, it cuts deeply into Asiatic Scythia, the only
SCYTHIA OF PTOLEMY.The Scythia of Ptolemy is exclusively Asiatic, falling into, 1. The Scythia within the Imaus. 2. The Scythia beyond the Imaus. This is a geographical division, not an ethnological one. Scythae Alauni are especially recognised as a population of European Sarmatia. As Ptolemy's Sarmatia seems to have been formed out of an extension of the area of the Herodotean Sauromatae, his Scythia seems to have grown out of the eastern Scythae of the Herodotean Scythia, i. e. the Scythae of Orenburg. It did not grow out of the country of the Sacae, inasmuch as they are mentioned separately; even as the Jazyges of the Theiss were separated from the Sarmatians. The continuator, however, of the Herodotean account must make the Sacae Scythians. They may be disposed of first.
THE SACAE OF PTOLEMYThe Sacae of Ptolemy were bounded by the Sogdians on the west, the Scythians on the north, and the Seres on the east. They were nomads, without towns, and resident in woods and caves. The mountain-range of the Comedi (ἡ Κωμηδῶν ὀρεινὴ) was in their country; so was the Stone Tower (Λίθινος Πύργος). The populations were: 1, 2. The Caratae and Comari along the Jaxartes. 3. The Comedae, on the Comedian mountain. 4. The Massagetae along the range of the Ascatancas (Ἀσκατάγκας). 5. In the interjacent country, the Grynaei Scythae; and, 6, the Toornae; south of whom, along the Imaus, 7, the Byltae. (Ptol. 6.13.)
Rivers.The Rhymmus, the Daix, the Jaxartes, the Iastus, and the Polytimetus.
Mountains.The eastern part of the Montes Hyperborei, the Montes Alani (observe the reappearance of this name), the Montes Rhymmici, the Mons Norossus, the MM. Aspisii, Tapyri, Syebi, Anarei,--all W. of the Imaus.
Populations.The Alani Scythae (on the confines of the terra incognita), the Suabeni, the Alanorsi, S. of whom the Saetiani, and Massaei, and Syebi; and (along the Imaus) the Tectosaces and (on the eastern head-waters of the Rha) the Rhobosci, S. of whom the Asmani; and then the Paniardi, S. of whom, along the river, the district called Canodipsas, S. of which the Coraxi; then the Orgasi, after whom, as far as the sea (i. e. the Caspian, in this chapter called Hyrcanian), the Erymmi, with the Asiotae on the E. of them, succeeded by the Aorsi; after whom the Jaxartae, a great nation along the river of the same name; then S. of the Saetiani, the Mologeni and Samnitae, as far as the MM. Rhymmici. Then, S. of the Massaei and MM. Alani, the Zaratae and Sasones; and further W. and as far as the MM. Rhymmici, the Tybiacae, succeeded by the Tabieni, S. of the Zaratae, and the Iastae and Machaetegi along the Mons Norossus; S. of whom the Norosbes and Norossi, and the Cachagae Scythae along the Jaxartae. On the W. of the MM. Aspisii, the Aspisii Scythae; on the E. the Galactophagi Scythae; E. of the MM. Tapuri and the Suebi, the Tapurei; and above the MM. Anarei and the Mons Ascatancas, the Scythae Anarei, and the Ascatancae and Ariacae along the Jaxartes, S. of whom the Namastae; then the Sagaraucae, and, along the Oxus, the Rhibii, with their town Davaba.
Ptol. 6.15.) Its Populations were the Abii Scythae, the Hippophagi Scythae, the Chatae Scythae, the Charaunaei Scythae; the designation Scythae being applied to each. Districts.--The Auxacitis, the Casia (ἡ Κασία χώρα), the Achasa (ἡ Ἀχάσα χώρα). Towns.--Auxacia, Issedon, Scythica, Chaurana, Soeta. The remarks that applied to the Sarmatia Asiatica of Ptolemy apply here. Few names can be safely identified. Neither is it safe to say through what languages the information came. Some words suggest a Persian, some a Turk source, some are Mongol. Then the geography is obscure. That the range of Pamer was unduly prolonged northwards is evident [IMAUS]; this being an error of the geographer. The courses, however. of the Oxus and Jaxartes may themselves have changed. The prolongation of the Pamer range being carried in a northern and north-eastern direction, so as to include not only the drainages of the Oxus and Jaxartes, but that of the Balkash Lake as well, gives us the line of the Imaus; the terra incognita to the [p. 2.944]N, being supposed to begin with the watershed of the Irtish, Obi, and other rivers falling into the Arctic Ocean. Within the limits thus described we may place the Nor-osbi and Nor-ossi, on the eastern edge, i. e. in the parts where at the present moment the lakes distinguished by the name Nor occur. It should be added, however, that the syllable is generally final, as in Koko-nor, &c. Still it is a prominent element in compound names, and indicates Mongol occupancy. The Byltae may be placed in Bulti-stan, i. e. the country of the Bulti == Little Tibet, the gloss being Persian. In Ascatancas (the Greek spelling is the more convenient Ἀσκα-τάγκ-ας), we have the Turkish-tagh == mountain just as it actually occurs in numberless compounds. Karait is a name of common application, chiefly to members of the Mongol family. Mass-agetae is a term full of difficulty. Can it have arisen out of the common name Mus-tag? In Scythia extra Imaum, the Casia and Achassa (χῶραι) may be made one and identified with the Cesii of Pliny. The most reasonable explanations of these names is to be found in the suggestion of Major Cunningham's valuable work on Ladak (p. 4), where the Achassa Regio == Ladakh, and the Chatae, and Chauronae Scythae == Chang-thang and Khor respectively. Roughly speaking, we may say that the country of the Sacae was formed by an irregular tract of land on the head-waters of the Oxus and the watershed between it and the Jaxartes, a tract which included a portion of the drainage of the Indus. It is only a portion of this that could give the recognised conditions of Scythian life, viz. steppes and pasturages. These might be founded on the great table land of Pamer, but not in the mountain districts. These, however, were necessary for “residences in woods and caves” ; at the same time, the population that occupied them might be pastoral rather than agricultural. Still they would not be of the Scythian type. Nor is it likely that the Sacae of Ptolemy were so. They were not, indeed, the Sacae of Herodotus, except in part, i. e. on the desert of the Persian frontier. They were rather the mountaineers of Kaferistan, Wakhan, Shugnan, Roshan, Astor, Hunz-Nagor, and Little Tibet, partly Persian, partly Bhot (or Tibetan), in respect to their ethnology. The Scythians beyond the Imaus.--These must be divided between Ladakh, Tibet, Chinese Tartary, and Mongolia in respect to their geography. Physically they come within the conditions of a Scythian occupancy; except where they are true mountaineers. Ethnologically they may be distributed between the Mongol, Bhot, and Turk families--the Turks being those of Chinese Tartary. The Turcoman districts of the Oxus, Khiva, the Kirghiz country, Ferghana, Tashkend, with the parts about the Balkash, give us the Scythia within the Imaus. It coincides chiefly with Independent Tartary, with the addition of a small portion of Mongolia and southern Siberia. Its conditions are generally Scythian. In the upper part, however, of the Jaxartes, the districts are agricultural at present; nine-tenths of this area is Turk, part of the population being Nomades, part industrial and agricultural.