) or BASTERNAE (Βαστέρναι
), one of the most powerful tribes of Sarmatia Europaea, first became known to the Romans in the wars with Philip and Perseus, kings of Macedonia, to the latter of whom they furnished 20,000 mercenaries. Various accounts were given of their origin; but they were generally supposed to be of the German race. Their first settlements in Sarmatia seem to have been in the highlands between the Theiss
whence they pressed forward to the lower Danube, as far as its mouth, where a portion of the people, settling in the island of PEUCE
obtained the name of PEUCINI
They also extended to the S. side of the Danube, where they made predatory incursions into Thrace, and engaged in war with the governors of the Roman province of Macedonia. They were driven back across the Danube by M. Crassus, in B.C. 30.
In the later geographers we find them settled between the Tyras (Dniester
) and Borysthenes (Dnieper
), the Peucini remaining at the mouth of the Danube. Other tribes of them are mentioned under the names of Atmoni and Sidones. They were a wild people, remarkable for their stature and their courage. They lived entirely by war; and carried their women and children with them on waggons. Their main force was their cavalry, supported by a light infantry, trained to keep up, even at full speed, with the horsemen, each of whom was accompanied by one of these foot-soldiers (παραβάτης
). Their government was regal. (Plb. 26.9
; Strab. ii. pp. 93, 118, vi. pp. 291, 294, vii. p. 305, et seq.; Scymn. Fr.
50; Memnon, 29; Appian, App. Mith. 69
, de Reb. Maced.
16; D. C. 34.17
, et seq.; Plut. Aem. 12
; Liv. 40.5
, et seq., 44.26, et seq.; Tac. Ann. 2.65
46; Justin, 32.3
; Plin. Nat. 4.12. s. 25
; Ptol. 3.5.19
; and many other passages of ancient writers; Ukert, Georg. d. Griech. u. Röm.
vol. iii. pt. 2, pp. 427, 428.)