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DAHAE

DAHAE (Eth. Δάαι, Steph. B. sub voce Eth. Δάοι, Hdt. 1.52; Dahae, Plin. Nat. 6.19), a numerous nomad tribe who wandered over the steppes to the E. of the Caspian. Strabo (xi. p.511) has grouped them with the SACAE and MASSAGETAE as the great Scythian tribes of Inner Asia to the N. of Bactriana. These Dahae were subdivided into PARNI (Πάρνοι, p. 508) or APARNI (Ἄπαρνοι, p. 511), who were found near Hyrcania; XANTHII (Ξάνθιοι), and PISSURI (Πίσσουροι). Alexander met them on the banks of the river Oxus, and subdued them. (Curt. 8.3; Just. 12.6.18.)

As might be expected, they occupied no definite position, but moved as necessity might require; they appear in Arrian (Arr. Anab. 3.28) on the Jaxartes, and were in later times found in this neighbourhood. They were hardy warriors ( “indomiti Dahae,” Verg. A. 8.728), who served Dareius as cavalry (Arrian, 3.11), Alexander (Arrian, 5.12) and Antiochus (Plb. 5.79; Liv. 35.48, 37.38, 40) as mounted archers. They were also useful as foot-troops. (Amm. Marc. 22.8.21; Suid. s. v. Ἀγαθός.

It is most questionable whether any connection between the Dahae and the Thracian Daci can be traced (comp. Strab. vii. p.304); but Ritter (Erdkunde, vol. vii. pp. 668, foll.) has noticed the curious coincidence of the successive arrival of Daci, Getae, and Scythian tribes to the W. of the Caspian, upon the banks of the Ister; while in a previous age the Jaxartes and Oxus were occupied by Dahae, Yueti (Getae), and Massagetae to the E. of the Caspian. The writers of Greece and Rome know nothing of the Dahae but their name, position, and warlike virtues. It would appear that the annals of the Chinese give more special information upon the interesting subject of these and other Germanic or red and fair-haired races in Central Asia--one of the most important discoveries of modern times. (Ritter, l.c.; comp. Humboldt, Asie Centrale, vol. ii. p. 63.)

[E.B.J]

hide References (10 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (10):
    • Herodotus, Histories, 1.52
    • Polybius, Histories, 5.79
    • Vergil, Aeneid, 8.728
    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 6.19
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 37, 40
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 35, 48
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 37, 38
    • Ammianus Marcellinus, Rerum Gestarum, 22.8.21
    • Arrian, Anabasis, 3.28
    • Curtius, Historiarum Alexandri Magni, 8.3
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