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Scythians

Scythians


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The Scythians were a nomadic people whose culture flourished between the 7th and 3rd century BCE in a territory ranging from Thrace in the west, across the steppe of Central Asia, to the Altai Mountains of Mongolia in the east. This covers an area around 2500 miles (4000 km) in length. The geography of the open plains steppe, desert steppe, and forest-steppe expanses over which they ranged was conducive to a pastoral rather than a settled way of life involving agricultural production. As a result, these Steppe nomads had few urban centers, and had a nomadic lifestyle; riding horses, tending herds, and living in covered wagons.

Origins

Scythians had a common cultural identity expressed in their warrior nomadism, their form of government, & unique art & dress.

While there is much debate about the origins of the Scythian populations, "Herodotus claims, and most modern scholars agree, they moved [west] from Asia into Europe by way of the great steppe corridor." (A. Yu Alexeyev, Scythians, 23) Yet, in the 1st century BCE, the Greek historian Diodorus Siculus, states the Scythians at first moved north from the Araxes river of Armenia. Another modern view is they moved south "in several waves from the Volga-Ural steppes into the north Black Sea" (A.I. Melyukova, Scythians and Sarmatians, 99). Writing in the 5th century BCE, Herodotus also shows the Sarmatians, splitting from the Black Sea Scythians, moving east. Then recent archaeological discoveries at Tuva in the Altai mountains, which date Scythian settlement to the late 9th century BCE, suggest early origins in the east. However, as 1st-century CE Chinese chroniclers speak of their red hair and blue eyes, their Caucasian features and Indo-European language support Bronze Age origins in the west, likely from the Celts.

Considering the fluidity of movement the steppe of Central Asia allows, it is not surprising so many declared migrations from different locations make pinpointing beginnings difficult. Ultimately, it is altogether possible, after an early far-reaching expansion from the west, there were in fact subsequent migrations from many points of origin. While their origin is debated, a general consensus identifies Scythian cultures of the Eurasian Steppes to be mostly comprised of four main groups:

  • Pontic Scythians, around the Black Sea
  • Sarmatians, from the northern Caspian Sea and Don and Volga River areas, in present-day Russia
  • Massagetae in the desert steppe of Central Asia
  • Sakā in east Central Asia

All four had a common cultural identity expressed in their warrior nomadism, their form of government, and unique art and dress.

Scythian Warfare

Scythian military equipment included a wide array of weapons. Besides shooting arrows from horseback, they also used battle axes, maces, lances, swords, shields, and for personal protection, scale armor, and helmets. Because of their collective ability to stay on the move, and with nimble cavalry, Herodotus says the Scythians were "invincible and impossible to approach" (Histories, 4.46). With such weapons and tactical ability, it is not surprising different nations often solicited Scythian military services.

In 490 BCE, Sakā mounted archers assisted the Persians against the Greeks at the Battle of Marathon and again at the Battle of Plataea in 479 BCE. Scythian warriors were similarly among the roll call joining Darius III (r. 336-330 BCE) against Alexander the Great (356-323 BCE) at the Battle of Gaugamela in 331 BCE. Appian, the Roman historian, shows "Scythian princes" from the Black Sea, instrumental in Pompey’s (106-48 BCE) defeat of Mithridates VI (r. 120-63 BCE) in 63 BCE. (Mithridatic Wars, 17.119) Moreover, as cousins and neighbors of the Parthians, the Scythians came to Parthia’s aid, when after dynastic trouble, the Parthian king Sinatruces I (r. c. 75-69 BCE) was installed to the throne with Scythian help. According to Cassius Dio, the Scythians also played a key role in helping Artabanus II (r. 12-38/41 CE), himself half Scythian, secure Armenia for Parthia. (57.26) Tacitus supports this claim showing Artabanus "collecting auxiliaries in Scythia" before joining battle. (Annals, 6.44.1)

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However, the Scythians were not just kingmakers or potent allies. Scythia’s most spectacular victory was perhaps against the Persian Achaemenid Empire. With a strategy of attrition - in leading the enemy deep into friendly territory, stretching supply lines, then with hit-and-run and ambush tactics finishing their opponent off with arrows shot from horseback - the Scythians thwarted Darius the Great's (r. 522-486 BCE) incursion into Scythian territory. That gave them the reputation of being invincible. Adding to that success, Ateas (429-339 BCE), king of the Pontic Scythians, expanded Scythian interest into Thrace, establishing Scythia’s westernmost reach from the Don to the Danube.

After Ateas’ defeat and death at the hands of Phillip II of Macedon (r. 359-336 BCE) in 339 BCE, then getting caught in a trap at the river Jaxartes by Alexander the Great, the Scythians would never again recover their reputation as unconquerable. More blows came when the Scythians tried to take over the Greeks' Black Sea trade monopoly by attacking their colonies. Coming to the Greeks' rescue at the end of the 2nd century BCE, Mithridates VI dealt the Scythians a devastating defeat, as would the Romans in 63 CE when the Scythians again attacked the Chersonese. Finally, during the 4th century CE, the Scythians would completely disappear from the historical record when they were devastated by the Huns and assimilated by the Goths.

Scythian Government

While Herodotus refers to Scythian 'kings', and some by name, like with most tribal people, Scythian government was more a confederation of tribes and chiefs. Scythia’s confederated tribal structure is disclosed in Herodotus’ account of Persia’s invasion of Scythia when Darius taunted Scythia’s high king, Idanthyrsus, to stand and fight "or come to terms with your master." Idanthyrsus answered, saying that was not Scythia’s way of war; they would fight on their own terms. But when other "Scythian kings" heard Darius’ threat, they were apoplectic. These kings immediately implemented hit-and-run tactics. They then called for the destruction of the bridge the Persians would use to make their escape. Though the Scythians were unsuccessful in destroying the bridge, the kings call for action caused Darius’ withdrawal. (Histories, 4.126-142) Ultimately Herodotus’ account reveals that while a high king or chief represented the Scythian nation in the messaging between notables, other subchiefs also voiced their opinion and had a significant say in implementing action.

Just as important as their tribal structure, the communal organization of the Scythian military would have been an unsung part of their success. A golden beaker manufactured in the 4th century BCE from the Kul’-Oba kurgan (burial mound) in Crimea shows bivouacked soldiers. While two, with spears and bows at the ready, appear to contemplate their fate in upcoming action, one demonstrates how to string a bow; one removes his comrade’s tooth, while another bandages a fellow’s hurt leg. Another artifact in gold relief from the same kurgan demonstrates a common ritual where two warriors drink together from a horn. Such depictions reveal ways of life intended to instill a shared purpose and camaraderie among soldiers where individuals fighting for friends against foe create a united, more resilient front. Nevertheless, while Scythian loyalty between soldiers was indeed robust, group loyalty was to their tribe and chief.

Nomadism & Scythian Architecture

While the Scythians are not known for their infrastructure, that does not mean they lacked architectural types to suit their needs. Though it is widely believed they were wholly nomadic, Herodotus mentions two other types of Scythians: the "royal" and the "farming" kind. More than subsistent cultivators, some farmers, in fact, sold or exported their products. Not only would these have built permanent homes but, since their efforts were likely cooperative, they also would have developed settlements. North of the Black Sea in today’s Dnieper river vicinity, Herodotus mentions farmers inhabiting a land "three days journey" wide and "eleven days voyage" long (Histories, 4.17-20). The size of this district reflects a significant demand for grain products. Architecturally, such enterprises would also require a system of warehouses for storage and roads to points of transfer.

Scythian house-wagons were pulled by teams of oxen & could have two or three rooms.

As to the Royal Scythians, while we have the architecture of their burial mounds called kurgans of carefully padded earthworks and catacombs, it appears they also resided with a degree of permanency in fortified settlements. The size of the earthworks of the Bel’sk fortification in the Dnieper river valley in Ukraine not only reflects the surmount of a significant superstructure (20 miles or 33 km in circumference) but indications are it was a center of crafts, wealth, and widespread trade. Even so, as ancient sources attest, the Scythians were mostly nomadic. More than one source mentions their houses on wheels. These covered house-wagons were pulled by teams of oxen and could have two or three rooms. Depending on the rank of the dweller, floors and walls could be opulently adorned. Moreover, when gathered, the house-wagons would have the appearance of a city.

Scythian Culture: Art, Music, & Dress

Much of what is learned about Scythian culture comes from recent kurgan finds north of the Black Sea. While ancient written sources focus on their nomadic warlike character, Scythian burial goods add another layer of understanding to their remarkable cultural sophistication and social vibrancy. Besides the level of intricate craftsmanship in glittering gold, many pieces tell a life story and so a comb is not just a comb but is crafted to show warriors in fierce combat. A pectoral or gorget, from the Tolstaya mogila kurgan, that shows in the upper register, with exquisite segmented detail, scenes from daily life: the milking of a ewe, two men sewing a shirt, calf and colts nursing. In contrast, the lower register displays dramatic prey/predator scenes of cats taking down a stag and griffins biting and clawing at horses. Then in choice places toward the neck are miniature goats, rabbits, dogs, grasshoppers, and birds.

Thus the Black Sea artifacts offer unique, sometimes dramatic, snapshots of Scythian fashion, interests, beliefs, habits, and daily life-visuals like few burial goods do. Many, like the gorget, have prey/predator themes while recumbent cats or reclining stags were also common. Scythian penchant swung between the remarkably realistic capturing of subject matter in mid-action and the abstract rendering of reality. Thus a stag or cat could be accurately portrayed or uniquely stylized.

Equal to their imaginative taste in gold, "the frozen tombs of the Altai provide an incomparable vision of the sheer exuberance of nomad dress: the love of bright, contrasting colors and intricate decorations formed by stitching, embroidery, and the attachment of leather cut-outs" (Cunliffe, 207). Dress items include intricately embellished shoes, leggings, sleeves, and a ladies cape with a fur border. Likewise, the sophistication of their garments was equally matched by an affinity for tattoos. Tattoo connoisseurs today would appreciate the shoulder-to-hand artistry displayed on the arms of one individual at Pazyrk. Indelibly tattooed are abstract images of curled cats, stags, rams, antelope, and goats.

Additionally, while the Black Sea discoveries also reveal the practical choice of trousers and tunic for horse people in a cold climate, they also show Scythia’s love of music and dance. Some items show erotic dancers (again expertly captured in mid-action) swaying to the music. At the Sachnovka kurgan, a golden headband showing a man playing the lyre was found. Pan pipes made from bird bones were found at kurgan 5 at Skatovka. In several tombs at Pazyryk, ox-horn drums were unearthed, and an amazing find of a harp-like instrument that had at least four strings comes from kurgan 2. Barry Cunliffe describes it as "made from a single hollowed-out wooden resonator, the middle part of the body was covered by a wooden sounding board, while sounding membranes were stretched over the open part of the body" (226-27). The tones issued forth from this instrument by a skilled musician must have been remarkable.

Religious Origins

One of the things the Scythian kurgan finds reveal is a belief in the afterlife. Besides objects of art, items placed within the mounds for the deceased elite included weapons, armor, parts of wagons, carpets, textiles of different sorts, household items, foodstuffs, and wine sealed in amphorae. Such care and provision for their dead reflect as Renate Rolle says, "an expectation of the hereafter" (The Scythians, 118).

Worship & symbolism of the elements would have been an integral part of the Scythian belief system.

Like all ancient cultures, worship and symbolism of the elements would have been an integral part of the Scythian belief system. With the flat expanse of the steppe over which they trod, a prominent characteristic in daily life would have been the sky as it met the earth at the horizon. Another manifest feature from which the Eurasian steppe offers little escape would have been the sun. Then there was that of fire. Providing security against wild beasts at night and everyday practical utility in cooking and metallurgy, fire in ancient times was essential and held considerable symbolic sway. It is not surprising then that the earth, sky, sun, and fire came to have particular theological value for the Scythians. And not surprising that, in his rebut to Darius, Idanthyrsus would claim Hestia (goddess of fire) and Zeus (god of the sky) were the only gods to which he would bow (Herodotus, Histories, 4.127.4.).

Herodotus relates eight deities the Scythians worshiped. Besides Hestia and Zeus, known by the Scythians as Tabitha and Papaeus, there were Api (mother earth), Goetosyrus (Apollo), and Argimpasa (Aphrodite). Though Herodotus omits their Scythian names, he also mentions Hercules, Ares, and Poseidon. These gods represented elements with which the Scythians were familiar: Ares was associated with war and Apollo with the sun. The earth-meets-sky visual expressed itself in the belief, when the sky god, Papaeus, made union with Mother Earth, all other gods were born. While little is known about her, it is believed the Scythian equivalent to Aphrodite was Argimpasa, cognate of Arti, the Iranian goddess of material abundance. Finally, concerning an essential element of their military success, the horse, Herodotus mentions Thagimasadas as equivalent to Poseidon, although not as god of the sea but as patron of the horse.

While Herodotus understood Scythian’s belief from his perspective of the Greek pantheon, he says the Scythians had no images, altars, or temples. And indeed, the kurgan finds reveal few gods, and then, only of Argimpasa, their mother-goddess. As Cunliffe mentions, "The deities of the upper ranges of the pantheon do not seem to have been anthropomorphized, or at least no certain depictions of them are known" (276).

Scythia’s Warrior-Women: The Amazon Connection

Finally, an amazing aspect in the study of Scythia is the eminent role women played in the military and political life of their people. Unprecedented until modern times, it appears some gained - as a group - social status equal to their men. While the telling of the Amazons finds its way into modern lore (Wonder Woman), the reality of their history has long been debated. Herodotus’ account tells the story of a foreign race of warrior-women coming to the shores of Scythia. As a group, they maintained their independence but eventually intermingled with a band of young Scythian men sent to them by Scythian elders. Though they spoke different languages, the two groups journeyed east to make their own tribe. Herodotus claims the Sarmatians were the result of this union and spoke a hybrid Scythian tongue. Moreover, these fierce warrior-women maintained their independence by following their ancient ways, often hunting on their own and warring alongside their men. They also forbade their daughters from marrying until they had killed a man in combat. (Histories, 4.110-117)

Appian validates the sovereign/warrior status of Scythian women. When describing Pompey’s triumph for defeating Mithridates VI, he includes among the procession of captured kings and generals, "female rulers of Scythia" (Mithridatic Wars, 17.116-17). The fact Appian mentions female rulers, plural and contemporary, indicates a broad, shared, common, and co-operative status of rulership. Additionally, Herodotus’ reference of Tomyris, the Scythian warrior-queen, defeating Cyrus the Great (c. 600-530 BCE) in battle centuries earlier, again suggests a tradition of female sovereignty (Histories, 1.205-14).

The record of archaeological sites as well indicates broad warrior, if not sovereign status, for Scythian women. In 1993, in the easternmost reaches of the Scythian confederation at Ak-Alakha on the Ukok plateau in the Altai mountains, excavators found a burial site of a rich Scythian female. That she was the central figure at the site, buried with objects of status, surrounded by six saddled horses, makes it likely she was at the least one of the principal elite of her people. Finally, according to Cunliffe, in Sarmatian territory, "one-fifth of the excavated warrior burials dating from the fifth to fourth centuries are female, while in Scythian territory more than forty female warrior burials are known" (219).


If there is confusion, it might be an overlap of language and identity, i.e an issue of geographical identity, Oxford Reference:

  • An individual or group's sense of attachment to the country, region, city, or village in which they live

If we take modern-day Iran (linguistic identity) and Turkey (geographical identity), confusion will set in. The important thing is to NOT do this. There was an earlier question regarding Turkic people and the Mongols - where I explained the linguistic and biological genealogy (with reference to the Altaic languages).

So we are looking much further back in time - 850 BCE, when neither Iran nor Turkey existed. A better approach is to look at it from a migratory perspective, i.e. where did they come from - "the formation and development of an ethnic group". The correct term here is ethnogenesis (i.e. origins).


Wusun Merge With The Saka to Become the Saxons

The mysterious origins of the Saxons before they had merged with the Angles and various other tribes to then become Anglo-Saxons, is somewhat of a mystery. A mysterious connection which I have found is in ancient Central Asia, related to a Scythian tribe called the Sacae or Saka and also another long lost tribe known in ancient times by the Chinese as the Wusun or Usun.

These two tribes would later merge to then be called the Sacae-Sun or Sako-Usuni, and more commonly known to us today as the “Saxons.” These same Saxons we find several centuries later when they would later be found in Britain, Ireland and Scotland, with many more tribes such as the Angles and Picts.

These tribes of the Saxons would later merge into one tribe that we know as the “Anglo-Saxons.”

It was during the the 7th century B.C. in ancient Central Asia, in approximately what is now modern day Turkestan and China, that here were various ancient peoples who had lived in this region that were certainly not the original inhabitants. There are various historical accounts of foreign tribes that tell us the names of the people who occupied this region. In Chinese literature you will find such names for these tribes as the Wusun (Usun), Jiankuns, Yuechis (Yuezhi or Yue-Tchi), and Se.

The Tall Ones Known as the Wu Suns Come Into Central Asia – “Barbarians who have green eyes and red hair.”

The Wusun (pronounced Oo-soon) whose home was originally in the northwest of China were described in the 7th century commentary to the Hanshu by Yan Shigu, “Among the various Rong in the Western Regions, the Wusun’s shape was the strangest and the present barbarians who have green eyes and red hair, and are like macaques, belonged to the same race as the Wusun.”

Another description of the Wu Sun can also be found in the book, “Marching Sands” by Harold Lamb, “The ancient Chinese annals,” observed Sir Lionel” observed Sir Lionel tolerantly, “state that the Wusun, the ‘Tall Ones,’ were formidable fighters. The Sacae or Scythians from whom they are descended were one of the conquering races of the world. It is this heritage of strength which has preserved the remnant of the Wusun—for us to find.”

Another account I found says, “Xinjiang, showing the site of Mongghul Kiira (near the Hi [Yili] River), the approximate Wusun territory – The Alans, Ammianus writes, were “tall and handsome [and] their hair inclines to be blond” (31.2.2 see Rolfe 1939, 3:391).

The description given to us in Wikipedia says

” The Wūsūn (Chinese: 烏孫 literally “Grandchildren of The Crow”) were either an Indo-European speaking or Turkic speaking nomadic or semi-nomadic steppe people who, the Chinese histories say originally lived in western Gansu in northwest China, near the Yuezhi people. After being defeated by the Xiongnu (circa 176 BCE) they fled to the region of the Ili river and (lake) Issyk Kul where they remained for at least five centuries and formed a powerful force.”

Some scholars have proposed that the Wusun may have been identical with the people described by Herodotus (IV.16-25) and in Ptolemy‘s Geography as Issedones. Their exact location of their country in Central Asia is unknown. The Issedones are “placed by some in Western Siberia and by others in Chinese Turkestan,” according to E. D. Phillips.

Herodotus, who allegedly got his information through both Greek and Scythian sources, describes them as living east of Scythia and north of the Massagetae, while the geographer Ptolemy (VI.16.7) appears to place the trading stations of Issedon Scythica and Issedon Serica in the Tarim Basin.

Chinese records first mention the “Ushi” in Andin and Pinlian (modern Pinlian and Guüan in the Peoples Republic of China) between the Lu-hun and Kuyan tribes. The transcription of Ushi means “raven generation”, and is semantically identical with U-sun – “raven descendants”. The presence of a raven as clan totem among the ancient Usuns is beyond doubt. In Usun legend, the ancestors of the Usuns were a raven and a wolf. This is reflected in the Usun-Ashina (Oshin) tamga with an image of raven.

The first historical records concerning the Wusun, name them as a separate and distinct tribe of the Xiongnu confederacy, living on the territory of the modern province of Gansu, in the valley of the Ushui-he (Chinese Raven river). It is not clear whether the river was named after the Usun tribe or vice versa.

Historical records also give us proof of this powerful force of the Wusuns that had went to battle with the Yuechis “The Yue-Tchi, repulsed by the Wu-Suns in 130 B. C, hurled themselves upon Bactria” (see the notes to p. 119 : 13). “The Sacx were then masters of it and their dispossession resulted in pressing them in part into India where they founded a kingdom and also in part into the Pro-Pamirian valleys, especially that of the Oxus. The Yue-Tchi ruled over central Asia until 425 A. D. They were dispossessed in their turn by the Hoas, or Epthalite Huns” (White Huns).

The Scythians and Saka of the Se Nation – “All Sakai were Scythians, but not all Scythians were Sakai.”

In addition to the Wusuns and Yuechis, there was another or multiple larger tribes that had occupied what the Chinese call the “Se nation”, and these people as whole are identified generally as Scythians, but by the Chinese as the Se. There was another group of Scythians who were different from the other Scyths and whom the Persians and the Greeks had called the Sacae or Sakas. It is said that the Saka period lasted until ca 200 BC when Wusun tribes moved into the area from the east.

The ancient Greek and Roman scholars believed, “all Sakai were Scythians, but not all Scythians were Sakai.”

The term Scythians or Scyths is used to describe various ancient Iranian nomadic people living in Scythia, the region encompassing the Pontic-Caspian steppe and parts of Central Asia throughout the Classical Antiquity. The ancient Persians called all the Scyths Σάκαι (Sacae, Herodotus 7.64). Their principal tribe, the “Royal Scyths” ruled the vast lands occupied by the nation as a whole (Herodotus 4.20), calling themselves Σκώλοτοι (Scōloti, Herodotus 4.6). The term Scythian, like Cimmerian, was used to refer to a variety of groups from the Black Sea to southern Siberia and central Asia.

“They were not a specific people”, but rather a variety of people “, referred to a variety of times in history, and in several places, none of which was their original homeland.” This is key in understanding this time in history and the facts that they were certainly not united as one peoples or tribe at the time. However, they were most likely all of the same blood or very closely related.

The confusion surrounding the Saka is partly due to the Persians, but according to Herodotus the Persians called all Scythians by the name Sakas. The English word Saxon is derived from Persic word Sacae-sun or “Sak,” which means dog. The Persians who had admired the leadership of all Scythians tribes by naming them the Sacae. The Sakai or Sakas and Sacse, Saha, Sahia, of India or the Median Straxa, are all mutations of this same word Sak.

Albinus says, “The Saxons were descended from the Ancient Sacae (the Sakas) of Asia, and that eventually they were called Saxons.” Herodotus had said that the Persians gave the name of Sacae or Sacans to all the Scythians. Pliny says that the Sakai, who settled in Armenia, were named Sacassani. Ptolemy also mentions a Scythian people sprung from the Sakai, by the name of Saxones.”

This tells us that historians back then and the Saka themselves were considered to be a separate tribe from the other Scythian tribes, and this could be due to the Saka having other tribal and/or blood alliances that would have made the Saka different based on DNA and that they were possibly related to the other Scythians, but separate by race, customs, tribal alliances and destiny.

Sakas and Wu Suns, the Saka-Suns or Saxones Form Various Tribes

The facts are that the Scythians, Saka and Wu Suns were the most formidable tribes in this area of Central Asia at the time. You will find that when you combine Sacae or Sakas with the Wu Suns you get the Sacae-Suns or Sakas-Suns. The Sacae-Suns or Saka-Suns sounds very familiar to the Saxons which I believe to be the true origins of the English name “Saxones or Saxons.” The Wu Suns were the race who the Chinese had called the “tall ones” and who had blue or green eyes with blonde or white hair and white skin.

In the book titled China’s Last Nomads: The History and Culture of China’s Kazaks Page 33 we are given an account of this merger and also the latter tribes formed from this same said union “Wusun people moved west, to the Hi River valley, around the third century B.C. Here they merged with the Saka, known in … The Wusun-Saka tribes of this area include the Jersak, Bessak, Bersak, and Kazsak, the name of the latter tribe…”

The Kazsaks were known as a great Tartar tribe who then mingled with the Kalrauk and Kirgis or are the same tribe. They are either related to who Chinese sources call the Jiankun peoples. According to the Historical Book of the Tang Dynasty, “the Jiankun people are tall and have white hair, white skin and green eyes.” Today the Jiankun are known today as the Kyrgyz (also spelled Kirgiz, Kirghiz) who are a Turkic people living primarily in Kyrgyzstan. The word “Kyrgyz” is derived from the Turkic word “forty”, with -Iz being an old plural suffix, referring to a collection of forty tribes. Kyrgyz also means “imperishable”, “inextinguishable”, “immortal”, “unconquerable” or “undefeatable”,

The Jiankun or Kyrgyz were rather strong in the third century when they were neighbors of the Wusun. As stated above, the Jiankun were said to be tall and have white hair, white skin and green eyes. They were also described in Tang Dynasty texts as having “red hair and green eyes”, while those with dark hair and eyes were said to be descendants of a Chinese general Li Ling. This description is very similar to that given to us of the Wusuns which tells me they were certainly either related or the same peoples. On Wikipedia they are described as the early Kyrgyz people, known as Yenisei Kyrgyz or Xiajiasi (黠戛斯), first appear in written records in the Chinese annals of the Sima Qian‘s Records of the Grand Historian (compiled 109 BC to 91 BC), as Gekun or Jiankun (鬲昆 or 隔昆).

In the 18th and 19th century European writers used the word “Kirghiz” (the early Anglicized form of the contemporary Russian “киргизы”) to refer not only to the people we now know as Kyrgyz, but also to their more numerous northern relatives, the Kazakhs. When distinction had to be made, more specific terms were used: Burut (буруты), Kara-Kirghiz (кара-киргизы) or “Dikokamennye Kirgizy” (дикокаменные киргизы) for the Kyrgyz proper, and Koisaks for the Kazakhs.

Before the Time of the Scythians, the Hittites Ruled This Land

If you study history before these dates and these later peoples called the Scythians or Scyths who came on the scene, you will find that this area and its kingdoms were founded by one huge tribe that had one of the largest empires that had rivaled or surpassed the Egyptians. These people were called the Hittites. The Scythians seem to be a hybrid tribe and race that had descended from the original Hittites who had originally occupied this region for thousands of years prior to when the Scythians or that name came on to the scene.

Who the Chinese call the Se, are the same people the Greeks had named the Sakas. The Sakas were of Scythian descent, and the Scythians I believe I can prove descend from the Hittites whom in turn the Sakas and Saxons would also be descendants of as well. Herodotus tells us that the Sakas had “high caps tapering to a point and stiffly upright.” Asian Saka headgear is clearly visible on the Persepolis Apadana staircase bas-relief – high pointed hat with flaps over ears and the nape of the neck. The Hittites for whom we now have a tremendous amount of archaeological evidence also had worn these exact same tall pointed caps or hats. Many depictions of Hittite men with pointed hats and shoes with curled-up toes have been found in many locations in modern day Turkey.

In addition, there are also many references to the Hittites that have been found and translated in Egyptian inscriptions that describe them as powerful neighbors, who wore boots with turned-up toes, were fond of silver, and and at times they were great enemies of the Pharaohs. This was up until a peace treaty was concluded between Egyptian Pharaoh Ramesses II and Hittite King Hattusili III, that the Egyptians and Hittites made an “eternal treaty” of “peace and brotherhood for all time.”

I would assume since we hear virtually nothing of the Hittites from the ancient Greeks, that they either did not know of the Hittites, or they simply did not know how to read Egyptian or Hittite heliographs at the time. This would make perfect sense. In any event, we do have Greek historian Herodotus describing the Sakas with “high caps tapering to a point”, and we have a tremendous amount of actual science from both the Egyptians and the actual Hittites themselves that they had also worn pointed caps.

A Possible Wusuns, Sakas, Hittite and Amorite Connection to the Bible

Most modern day stories that we have of these peoples come from the East where they appear to have had a significant impact in this region in the time of the Old Testament and also the beginning of the New Testament. However, you will not find the name of “Wusuns” in the bible today or any religious historical documents. They seem to have just disappeared off the face of the earth, leaving very little evidence behind.

The presence of a possible Nordic type race that was tall, fair skinned and had blue eyes can also be found among the biblical Amorites, that I believe also makes a possible connection to whom the Chinese depicted as the Wusuns. In addition, the Wusun appear to sound very similar to white Syrians who were said to be descendants of the Hittites and may have also been descendants of the Amorites. The white Syrians were also generally tall, with white or blonde hair and light blue or even grey eyes. This possible connection to the Wusuns places them right in the heart of biblical history, and also in the location of these stories in connection to the Amorites who were said to be as “tall as cedars.”

The historical accounts that I have given above of these mysterious peoples describe them with such terms as the “Green Eye Devils,” the tall ones, and also the blue-eyed, red-bearded people, which gives us a clue how so-called European DNA was infused into these regions of the world. The descriptions of the tribe of the Wusuns and also the historical accounts of the merger with the Sakas, gives us researchers clues to not only what race these peoples may have been, but also the origins of the tribe known as the Saxons who later went on to help shape much of Europe and the west as we know it today.

In closing, here is a bible passage to ponder until my next article under Ezekiel 16:3 – “And say, Thus said the Lord GOD to Jerusalem Your birth and your nativity is of the land of Canaan your father was an Amorite, and your mother a Hittite.”

In my next article I would like to explore this possible connections of the Wu Suns and Saxons with the biblical Hittites and Amorites.

IMAGE CREDIT

Ancient Üysin 3-1 centuries BCE Taldıqorğan region in Jetisu. Reconstruction by Shayahmetov


The Scythians Inhaled, That’s the Point

The Scythian penchant for inhaling marijuana smoke is something we still enjoy millennia later. What’s interesting is that they set up what we would call ‘saunas’ for the specific purpose of inhaling the smoke. The burning hemp seeds were covered by a small tent under which they placed their head. Herodotus believed the Scythians used the vapor baths for washing, but it was more likely a religious ritual.

It is easy to dismiss this incident as a very special ritual and not something that defined the Scythians. However, discovering a Scythian shaman’s body in a frozen, undisturbed grave in the Altai Mountains in 1993 has changed that mindset a little.

The shaman’s corpse was found with hashish and several other hemp products. Known as the ‘Siberian Ice Maiden,’ MRI scans found that she had breast cancer. She may have used cannabis to manage the pain!

Not every ancient writer approved of cannabis use. Hesychius of Alexandria opined that the Scythian incense known as hemp had “the power of stealing the youthful vigor of all who stand near.” It seems there have been Jeff Sessions-type people around since the dawn of time.


Tattooed Scythian Warriors, Descendants of the Amazons? Part One

Herodotus describes the Scythians living in the area north of the Black Sea about three thousand years ago. According to him they traced their ancestry directly from Zeus and the river nymph Borysthenis, daughter of the river god Borysthenes, the union of which produced a son named Tagitaos and he in turn had three sons with a human woman, demigods, who were the progenitors of the three Scythian tribes. It is said that in the time of the sons of Tagitaos there came down from heaven four items made of gold. These items were a plow, a yoke, a cup and a battle axe. Each brother attempted to use the items but they were met with a blazing fire or great heat but when the youngest approached the items the fire was gone and they worked only for him and from him the tribe of the Royal Scythians was formed. If one looks at such a tale with modern eyes we could imagine that the items were technology coded to only function for one individual and possibly dangerous as it was also said that anyone who slept while guarding these items in the open would die within a year

Now while Herodotus, the historian and teller of this tale doubted that the Scythians were indeed the descendants of Zeus, he nonetheless recorded their accounts. He also tells a different account where they are the descendants of another of Zeus’ sons, Heracles and the half serpent half goddess Echidna, but that story seems like a more fanciful telling of the first story and involves many of the same events. He goes on to say that he favours a third version of their origin which tells of wandering Asiatic tribes that migrated into the lands of the Cimmerians.

The longer you look, the origin of the Scythians becomes more and more cloudy and some scholars contend that the Scythians referred to by Herodotus are really only the remnants of a much earlier people who were once widespread and very advanced with great cities, ships, farming and herding. If we remember the story of the golden plow, yoke, cup and battle axe we would infer that farming must have been important to the early Scythians if their gods saw fit to gift them with a magical plow and yoke, not a very practical gift for nomadic horsemen. This possibility seems very likely since the Scythians of Herodotus’ time were known to be nomadic and the earlier Scythians are credited with developing the smelting of iron and bronze, the invention of the battle axe (actually credited to the Amazons among the Scythians), the pottery wheel, the bellows, the anchor and the science of horse breeding. One has to wonder why nomads would invent the anchor.

Fred Hamori wrote that Justinius II referred to the Scythians as one of the oldest civilizations in the world even older than the Egyptians and that they were most likely a northern Mesopotamian culture, not the later immigrant tribes who adapted many of their customs. The Scythians described by the Greeks were apparently an amalgamation of many peoples overlaying a very ancient culture that existed in the area around the Black Sea.

Whatever their origins, the Scythians were a remarkable people with a very ancient origin that remains a mystery. However, two more tales of the Scythians are even stranger. One is the story of the bald people who were once part of the royal Scythians but separated themselves and went to live isolated at the foot of a mountain. Herodotus described them thus Passing over a great extent of this rough country, you come to a people dwelling at the foot of lofty mountains, who are said to be all- both men and women- bald from their birth, to have flat noses, and very long chins. These people speak a language of their own the dress which they wear is the same as the Scythian. They live on the fruit of a certain tree, the name of which is Ponticum in size it is about equal to our fig-tree, and it bears a fruit like a bean, with a stone inside. … No one harms these people, for they are looked upon as sacred- they do not even possess any warlike weapons. When their neighbours fall out, they make up the quarrel and when one flies to them for refuge, he is safe from all hurt. They are called the Argippaeans .

Now we have a race of people who believe they were descended from the three sons of a god, they are so early that even in the time of Herodotus their origins were ancient history, they believed they had received technology directly from their gods and a small number of them, described as not normal humans lived apart and served as judges and protectors and the strange story gets even stranger…now we bring in the Amazons.

It seems that in all the histories of the Scythians one point is either marginalized or simply mentioned as if it is not important, but I contend that it is of upmost importance if we are to truly understand the psyche of the Scythians, the existence of the Amazons and in fact the history of all humanity.

In part two I discuss how the Amazons joined with the Scythians.

J. A. Salmonson, The Encyclopedia of Amazons (1991), ISBN 0385423667

F. G. Bergmann, Les Amazones dans l'histoire et dans la fable (1853)

J.Harmatta: "Scythians" in UNESCO Collection of History of Humanity – Volume III: From the Seventh Century BC to the Seventh Century AD. Routledge/ UNESCO. 1996.

The Real Scythians of Messopotamia, Fred Hamori, based on a work by Gyula Mszros

The History of Herodotus, George Rawlinson, ed. and tr., vol. 3, Book 4, Chapters 2-36, 46-82. New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1885]

Margaretmoose

Margaret Moose

Margaret F. Moose is a native North Carolinian. She graduated from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro where she studied cultural and physical anthropology and fine art. She then attended the University of Pittsburgh and did graduate. Read More


The fall of scythia

In the second half of the fourth century b.c., however, several factors precipitated a crisis. The development of a dry and warm climate, together with overexploitation of the steppe grazing lands by the great herds, again triggered migration. As a result of these changes, from the second half of the fourth century b.c., the Sauromates and the Sarmates, tribes from central Eurasian steppes, began to venture across the Don River and threaten Scythian territories. Simultaneously, a powerful force arose in southern Europe that eventually changed the world's political order—Macedonia. This period also witnessed the reign of one of the greatest Scythian rulers, King Ateas (d. 339), an excellent warrior and experienced leader who supposedly ruled over all of Scythia. He fought Philip II (r. 359–336), the king who gave rise to Macedonian power, in a battle in the Lower Danube in which the Scythians suffered a shattering defeat and the aged king (apparently more than ninety years old) was killed in battle.

More defeats followed, such as the one suffered in 313 b.c. at the hands of one of the Diadoches, the Thracian ruler Lizymachos. The Sarmates moving in from the east also were an increasing threat. As a result, during the third century b.c., Scythian territories shrank to the area of the Crimea steppes, where a new political organization appeared with their capital in the so-called Neapolis Scythica. During the second century b.c., it still played a certain political role, fighting for survival with Chersonesus, with the Sarmates, and at the end with the Pontic kingdom of Mithridates VI Eupator (r. 120–63 b.c.). Finally, the influx of Sarmatian nomads into the Crimean region led to the intermixing of both elements. Remnants of the Scythians survived here until the third to fourth centuries a.d., when the Germanic Goths appeared on the scene. In the aftermath of the Hun invasion in 375 a.d. the Scythians disappeared from history.


Top 10 Interesting Facts about the Scythians

The Scythians were a nomadic tribe that dominated the steppes for nearly five hundred years (From the 8th to approximately the 3rd Centuries BC). The Scythians spoke a tongue from the Northeastern Iranian language family. The Scythians were renowned for their ability to shoot their arrows with deadly accuracy from horseback. This talent astounded their neighbors, who referred to them as the &ldquohorse-bowmen.&rdquo The greatest amount of territory under Scythian influence extended west to east from Ukraine to an area of Siberia just above Mongolia. Scythians settled as far west as what is now modern-day Romania and Hungary and appeared in what is now modern-day Iran just as the Assyrians and Medes were battling for supremacy in the Near-East.

The Assyrians attempted to imitate the grandeur of the Babylonians, but their despotic rule was held together by the might of their army and the terror of their secret agents. The Scythians displaced and drove another steppe tribe, the Cimmerians, toward Assyrian territory. These Cimmerians created havoc for the Assyrian army, who had great difficulty reacting to the raids of these swiftly moving horsemen. The increasing encroachment of the Cimmerians weakened the Assyrians and provided their vassals with opportunity to rebel. Egypt expelled the Assyrians and regained it independence. Ashurbanipal, king of Assyria, panicked at his contracting frontiers and sacked Babylon and destroyed Susa in an attempt to terrorize his remaining peoples into submission. Meanwhile, in the wake of the Cimmerians, the Scythians were provided with increasingly tempting opportunities to raid Assyria. They surged into the Middle East, overwhelming the Assyrian infantry with their speed and firepower. The Babylonians and Medes formed an alliance, and with the mercenary aid of the Scythians, shattered the Assyrian Empire.

The full-bearded Scythians wore tall pointed caps, long coats clasped around their waists by a belt, and pants tucked into their boots. The wealthier warriors had iron scales sewn to leather as jackets, while the average Scythian relied on their round oblong wicker shields draped in leather for protection.

The primary weapon of the Scythians was their short composite bow, which could fire an arrow up to eighty yards. When they hunted birds, the Scythians used a fine arrowhead, as they aimed for the eyes. When they shot at other warriors, however, the Scythians used barbed arrowheads designed to tear a wound open on the way out. They also brewed their own poisons for their arrow tips, a mixture of snake venom, putrefied human blood, and, to hasten infection, dung. The secondary weapons of the Scythians were the sagaris, a curved battle-axe, and the akinakes, a curved short-sword.

The Scythians&rsquo culture may have disappeared long ago, but their burial mounds remain. These kurhans were built as repositories for the great Scythian chieftains and kings. Atop these strange mounds stood crudely carved stone figures, guarding the bodies and possessions of the deceased interned within. The largest of these kurhans are the height of a six-story building and are more than ninety metres across. The mounds were not just piles of dirt or refuse, but were actually layers of sod to provide grazing in the afterlife for the many horses buried along with the deceased.

As mentioned in the previous item, the burial of Scythian nobility was quite elaborate. In one kurhan uncovered in 1898, archaeologists found 400 horses arrayed in a geometric pattern around the body of the slain warrior. It was not only horses who were slaughtered, but consorts and retainers also had the dubious honor of joining their lord in the afterlife. Herodotus reported that mourners would pierce their left hands with arrows, slash their arms, and cut off portions of their ears in demonstration of their sorrow. A year following the burial, 50 horses and 50 slaves were killed, gutted, stuffed, and impaled on posts around the kurhan. The horses stood upright, mounted by the dead slaves, ghastly sentinels guarding the tomb of their slain lord.

Before the Scythians can be dismissed as blood-thirsty barbarians, one really needs to see their elaborate golden artwork. Scythian gold came from the Altai district and from frequent raids on Greek and Persian cities. Gold was sewn into their garments in the form of plates, fashioned into belts, broaches, necklaces, torques, scabbards, helmets, earrings, and ornaments, and worked into their weapons. The Scythians had an eye for design, especially depictions of griffins, lions, wolves, stags, leopards, eagles and &ndash the Scythians&rsquo favourite motif &ndash animals in deadly combat. The historian, William Montgomery McGovern, claimed, &ldquoFrom the mass of evidence now before us, it seems highly probably that this Scytho-Sarmatian animal style spread to all parts of the ancient world and had an important effect not only upon European art but upon the art of ancient China.&rdquo

After battle, Scythian warriors would drink the blood of the first enemy he had killed. With the bloody taste still in his mouth, the Scythian would decapitate the corpses of his slain enemies to use as grisly vouchers in the distribution of booty. Only warriors who presented the heads of their slain enemies would receive their share from the chieftain or king. After receiving his share, a warrior would take the scalps from his collection of heads as a lurid inventory of martial prowess. The scalps were affixed to their bridles and clothing and even sewn into cloaks. The skulls of the strongest, most respected, enemies were cut, gilded with gold, and made into wine goblets. Scythians also used the skin from their victims&rsquo limbs as covers for the quivers that hung on the right side of their belts.

The Scythians were fond of marijuana and were responsible for bringing it from Central Asia to Egypt and Eastern Europe. In one Scythian grave, archaeologists found a skull with three small holes drilled into it &ndash probably to ease swelling. Beside the skull, the archaeologists found a cache of marijuana, ostensibly to relieve the man&rsquos headache in the next life. From Herodotus comes what is, in all likelihood, the most ancient description of hotboxing: &ldquoAfter the burial . . . they set up three poles leaning together to a point and cover them with woolen mats . . . They make a pit in the centre beneath the poles and throw red-hot stones into it . . . they take the seed of the hemp and creeping under the mats they throw it on the red-hot stones, and being thrown, it smolders and sends forth so much steam that no Greek vapour-bath could surpass it. The Scythians howl in their joy at the vapour-bath.&rdquo

Herodotus relates the tale of a clash between Scythians and Amazons near the Sea of Azov. When the Scythians learned that their fierce opponents were, in fact, women, they sent their most virile warriors to woo, rather than war, these female warriors. Somehow, the Amazons were seduced by the charms of the wily Scythians. They were, however, unwilling to be the brides of their Scythian lovers, turning their nose up at the domestic role that Scythian wives were relegated to. Eventually, according to the tale, the two groups formed a joint tribe.
There is likely little truth to this tale, but archaeologists have recently found the remains of a number of well-armed Scythian women. In all likelihood, this means that Scythian society saw a place for female warriors.

In 513 BC The Scythians were attacked by Darius the Great, who raised a force of 700,000 men to put an end to their bothersome raids into his territory. Taking advantage of the vast steppe, the Scythians merely retreated when the Persians advanced and advanced when the Persians retreated. The Scythian scouts milled about, striking from a distance if any of the Persians ever had the misfortune of breaking formation or exposing a flank. Herodotus reports that, at one point, both sides had drawn up battle lines when a loud whooping arose from among the Scythian warriors. The Scythian horsemen suddenly broke their battle line and galloped impulsively after a hare. &ldquoThese fellows have a hearty contempt for us,&rdquo Darius is reported to have muttered to an aide. Running low on food and morale, Darius eventually withdrew his army.


The Hammer and Anvil

He moved his artillery to the bank of the river and began to shower the Scythians with projectiles—one of the projectiles said to have killed the Scythian chief Satraces or their champion warrior, nevertheless, it remains unknown, but the outcome seems to have not rattled the Scythians knees.

The artillery Alexander placed on the bank of river worked well for its intended use, which was to push the Scythians back, allowing the Macedonian forces to cross the river safely. Once the river was safe to cross, Alexander sent in a portion of cavalry first. However, some think that the use of cavalry was a military blunder that turned in his favor.

Battle between the Scythians and their enemies. (Public Domain)

Stephen Tanner, who wrote the popular book, “Afghanistan: A Military History from Alexander the Great to the War against the Taliban Insurgency” argues that the Macedonian element (cavalry) advanced in to quickly and was surrounded by the Scythians. However, it seems Alexander may have done this intentionally. The tactician knew better than to just send in an attack force for the slaughter. He knew he had to bait the Scythians, for if he did not, the Scythians would play a cat and mouse game of reverse attrition. In other words, the Scythians would lose few while the bigger forces would lose many!

Battle of the Jaxartes, Alexander crossing river. Battle movement images by Stephen Smith. (Creative Commons)

As the advance Macedonian cavalry came closer into contact with the Scythians, the Scythians broke themselves up into units and quickly moved into position surrounding the enemy from afar. Each unit began to form a circle and rode around like they were in a race, chasing each other’s tails. This was like how a hurricane is perceived it is a deadly circle that rotates about, spewing forth projectiles. The high winds represent the bow and whatever the winds spit out are the arrows.

With the advanced Macedonian cavalry now surrounded by many Scythian cavalry circles showering them down with arrows, Alexander began to advance with the rest of his force. Alexander knew that by sending in a small cavalry force as bait, the Scythians would quickly go after it. What the Scythians did not expect was what was coming next.

Battle of the Jaxartes, Alexander luring Scythians to battle. (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Alexander then gave the orders for his light infantry to advance towards the Scythian cavalry in front of Alexander. Now, as the light infantry advanced towards the Scythians, Alexander than gave the order for a second part of his cavalry to block any flanking attempt by the Scythian horse archers. Once the pieces were in place, half of the Scythian cavalry found themselves surrounded. Alexander then gave the order to his heavy cavalry to charge at the surrounded Scythian horse archers. The heavy cavalry shot through the gaps between his light infantry and anti-flanking cavalry and plunged right into the Scythian ranks, thus allowing the advance cavalry unit that was sent in as bait to now focus on the Scythians that found themselves surrounded. This allowed Alexander’s anti-flanking cavalry to ward off the remaining Scythian cavalry, thus allowing the light infantry men to advance in quickly in order to dislodge any enemy combatants on horseback. Overall, it was a brilliant maneuver on Alexander behalf.

The Battle of Jaxartes – Alexander traps the nomadic Scythian cavalry. (Creative Commons)

The outcome of the battle was a Macedonian victory through Alexander’s brilliance. As for deaths, the Macedonians only killed a small number, roughly around 1,000 with another 150 captured. The main part of the Scythian cavalry force escaped capture. It was a small battle that produced a new tactic for consideration when facing the Scythians.


You are here: Home Articles Religious History From Israelite to Saxon

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From Israelite to Saxon
In speaking of the United States and Britain as modern Israel, it is necessary to remember certain things in order to avoid confusion. First of all, the people of Israel were no more divided into tribes, but had, centuries before, passed into the more advanced stage of national organization. It is the natural progress of any progressive people. First, it is the family, then the tribes, then the nation embracing the tribes. We must think of Israel as a nation and a company of nations, no more called Israel, for the best of reasons, but called by the name, above all others, of sons or House of Isaac, or Saxons, with many other branch names.

Secondly, we must remember that they were not the original founders of Israel in the Isles - that is to say, in Britain - but they came in very late in British history, even a thousand years after the House of David had arrived and been established there.

We shall, therefore, approach the subject of the ten-tribed House of Israel as being the consideration of a branch of the Israel people which, late in history, arrived in Britain, and added their strength to those who had preceded them.

We begin with the separation of the House of Israel from the House of Judah. Thereafter there were two nations in Palestine of the Israel stock, and their histories are separately recorded, with their separate lines of kings, in the books of Kings and Chronicles. Read them there, and be sure to read them separately.

Thence we find Israel carried captive to Halah, Habor, and the River Gozan. Professor Odlum says of this deportation:

"The distance to which Israel was carried from their own country in about 721 B.C. was not less than seven hundred miles in a north and east direction. The Syrian desert, the River Euphrates, the Mesopotamian region, the Tigris, and three ranges of the Kurdistan mountains intervened between Samaria and the new home of Israel in captivity. In this district were the cities and regions of Halah, Habor, and the River Gozan, which flowed into the Caspian Sea, as it does today. This new home was the high tablelands of Media and Armenia . "

While settled in this district, they aided the Medes and Persians to break the power of their captors, the Assyrians. Afterwards Babylon went down before their arms.

From this time they were on their way to their new European home. They found unoccupied territory in the neighbourhood of Ar-Sareth in southeast Europe.

Here they occupied the Crimea, and spread up the waterways, passing the watershed and down the waterways to the Baltic and the North Seas.

Sharon Turner says: "The migrating Scythians crossed the Araxes, passed out of Asia, and suddenly appeared in Europe in the sixth century B.C."

Esdras in the Apocrypha tells us that the Ten Tribes left their exile and moved away across the Euphrates to a place called Arsareth (City or Hill of Sareth) (2 Esdras 13:39-45). To the northwest of the Black Sea is a river called Sareth to this day.

Herodotus, speaking of the same date as Esdras, says: "The Scythians emerged from beyond the Euphrates across the Armenian river Araxes."

Rev. W. M. H. Milner says: "The fugitive host, starting from upper Media, passed the north end of Lake Umri into the mountain valleys of the Kurds here some dropped off, and their children became in after ages the Nestorian Church. These were for thirteen centuries the missionaries of Asia."

Herodotus says the Persians called the Scythians Sakai, and Sharon Turner identifies these very people as the ancestors of the Anglo-Saxons. The old Greek writers spoke often of the valour and the undaunted spirit of these Scythians. They say "No nation on earth can match them. They are unconquerable."

Professor Odlum continues: "From Josephus, the Jewish historian of the first century, we learn that at A.D. 70 the Ten Tribes were outside the Roman Empire. By other means we learn that they were in the south of Russia in immense multitudes, and known as the Scythians of Herodotus."

The burial places of the Israel people have furnished ample inscriptions to show clearly that the Crimea was a centre of residence for this people for ages, and that from it they spread up through Europe and eastward as far as China.

Diodorus says: "The Sacae sprang from people in Media who obtained a vast and glorious empire."

Ptolemy finds the Saxons in "a race of Scythians called Saki, who came from Media."

Pliny says: "The Sakai were among the most distinguished people of Scythia who settled in Armenia, and were called Sacae-Sani. "

Albinus says: "The Saxons were descended from the ancient Sacae in Asia."

Prideaux finds that "the Cimbrians (Kumrii) came from the Black and Caspian Seas, and that with them came the Angli. "

Sharon Turner, the most painstaking Saxon historian says: 'The Saxons were a Scythian nation, and were called Saca, Sachi, Sach-sen. "

Colonel Gawler, in Our Scythian Ancestors, says: "The word Sacae is fairly and without straining or imagination translated Israelites."

The Bible (Amos, chapter seven) solemnly takes cognizance of the change of the name of the nation and people from Israel to "the House of Isaac" (Saxons).

Thus we see these people settled about the Crimea, along the rivers of Europe from the sixth century B.C.

Their migrations to the Baltic and North Seas are well told by Du Chaillu, a scholar of England with a French name.

The militant progress of the Goths, Gotti, "Men of God," is well known in the history of Europe. The divisional names of Angles, Jutes, and so on, are duplicated today by the names our race now bears as English, Welsh, Scotch, Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders, (Anzacs), Americans, and so on.

From the sixth century B.C. to the time of the landing of Hengist and Horsa, these people had been steadily progressing up through Europe, God's Battle Axe Brigade (see Jer. 51:20). Finally, they came in and occupied the place, which had been made for them in the British Isles by the Roman occupation. Since that time they have been not the least important part of the Israel peoples dwelling in the "appointed place" (the British Isles), and extending to the overseas dominions the strength and energy of their race.

It has been possible only to touch authorities and evidences of the identity of the Anglo-Saxons with ten-tribed Israel. But even so, the array of standard authors who make declarations regarding this matter is startling, and it is clear that the scholar who denies an historic basis to the claim of Saxon identity with Israel speaks rather out of his lack of knowledge of standard literature, than out of his knowledge of the subject.

Quotes

"TO SERVE THE PRESENT AGE,
MY CALLING TO FULFIL,
O MAY IT ALL MY POWERS ENGAGE,
TO DO MY MASTER'S WILL!"

MAYNARD G. JAMES
(1902-1988)
HOLINESS EVANGELIST

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Approximate extent of Scythia and the Scythian languages (orange) in the 1st century BC

A new book provides additional evidence that the Scots of Scotland came from Scythia:

Book review: The Highland Clans, by Alistair Moffat

Not many have noted, as Moffat does, that when teams of geneticists led by Professor Bryan Sykes took DNA samples in the Celtic regions of Britain they discovered ancestries in the Caucasus, which lay within ancient Scythia, and Mediterranean Europe. If those prototypical Scotti had travelled from Scythia towards the setting sun they would most likely have journeyed over decades and centuries through the Tyrrhenian Sea and the Straits of Gibraltar…

Moffat locates the origins of the Scottish clans in bloodline and land. Around a thousand years ago extended family groups, the descendants of Picts (Clan Chattan) or Vikings (MacLeod) or Gaels (MacDonald) or Anglo-Normans (Fraser), sought to maintain their line and defend their acres. They evolved into a society which combined the ability to herd animals, grow crops, steal, trade and muster war parties from among the same modest body of men.

http://news.scotsman.com/features/Book-review-The-Highland-Clans.6223804.jp

Because we in the Living Church of God have long suspected that the term Scot came from Scythia and that some of the Scythians (and probably Parthians) were descended from many of the tribes of Israel.

Notice the following from Dr. D. Winnail:

Records of History

The Bible and history record that Assyrians carried the ten tribes of Israel into captivity, into what is today northern Iraq, northwestern Iran and Armenia—the area between the Black Sea and Caspian Sea. The Black Obelisk from Nineveh in ancient Assyria (now in the British Museum) refers to the Israelites as the Khumri or the people of Omri (the name of the Israelite king who built Samaria—the capital city of the northern kingdom of Israel, as noted in 1 Kings 16:21–27). The Babylonians referred to these same people as the Gimiri. Around 500bc, the Persian king Darius carved an inscription of his conquests in three different languages on a rock face at Behistun in northwestern Iran. This inscription refers to the Gimri as the Sacae (who historians also identify with the Scythians who spread over Europe). Archeologist George Rawlinson stated, “We have reasonable grounds for regarding the Gimirri, or Cimmerians… and the Sacae of the Behistun Rock… as identical with the Beth-Khumree of Samaria, or the Ten Tribes of the House of Israel” (The Story of Celto-Saxon Israel, Bennett, p. 151).
Clear historical and biblical evidence traces the ancient Israelite tribes’ migration through the lands of Armenia as well as northern Iraq and Iran. This agrees with historical records that trace the origins of people now living in Britain. The Declaration of Abroath (the “Scottish Declaration of Independence”), written in 1320ad, states that the Scots’ ancestors came from Greater Scythia (around the Black Sea) through the Mediterranean Sea to Spain and then to Britain “twelve hundred years after the people of Israel crossed the Red Sea” (Bennett, pp. 159–161). The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, written around 800ad, traces the origins of the Saxon peoples to the region of Armenia (ibid., p. 209). In his work The Ruin of Britain, the early British writer Gildas (475–550ad) refers to the British people as Israelites. Irish legends call some of the first Irish settlers the tuatha de Danann (The Story of the Irish Race, MacManus, p. 5). Cyrus Gordon, a leading American archeologist, recognized the tuatha de Danann as the biblical tribe of Dan, and connected these Israelite peoples with Ireland and Denmark (Bennett, p. 79). These Danite peoples first arrived in Ireland around the time of the Israelites’ exodus from Egypt. It is also interesting that the Welsh refer to themselves as the Cymri or Cymru—after the Assyrian name for the people of Israel. The records of history link the national identities of England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Denmark with the Israelites of the Bible (Winnail D. Modern Nations and God’s Ancient Plan. Tomorrow’s World Magazine, Volume 8, Issue 4. July-August, 2006).

Hence, history shows some of the travels of the tribes of Israel. (Note: For more on the Scottish people, please see an article by Rod King titled Who Are the Scots?).

Notice additional information from Dr. Winnail:

Though many modern scholars have lost track of the Israelite tribes, the identity and location of the tribes of Israel have not really been lost!…Josephus, a Jew writing in the first century ad, recorded that “the ten tribes are beyond the Euphrates till now, and are an immense multitude” (Antiquities of the Jews, 11:5:2). The phrase “beyond the Euphrates” reveals that the ten tribes were in Parthia—an area south of the Caspian Sea—where the Israelites had gone into captivity centuries earlier. Oxford Professor George Rawlinson noted that the Parthians were part of the Scythians, that their name “Parthi” meant “exiles” and that they had been under the dominion of the Assyrians and the Medes (The Sixth Great Oriental Monarchy, pp. 19, 26)—a description that fits the Israelites! Parthians heard Peter speak in Jerusalem on Pentecost (Acts 2:9). The early church historian Eusebius (263–339ad) relates that Christ’s disciple Andrew went to Scythia, and that Thomas went to Parthia (The History of the Church, 3:1:1). Early traditions also link Bartholomew and Philip with these same areas—which shows that the Apostles knew the location of the Israelite tribes in their day.

Historians connect the Scythians with a people called the Sacae. In his translation of Herodotus’ The Histories, Rawlinson connected the Sacae—mentioned in inscriptions that Darius commissioned ca. 500bc on the Behistun Rock in northwestern Iran—“with the Beth-Khumree of Samaria, or the Ten Tribes of the House of Israel” (p. 378). In the Apocrypha, the book of 2 Esdras states that (after the fall of the Assyrian empire) “the ten tribes… took this counsel among themselves… [to] go forth into a further country… and they entered into the Euphrates by the narrow passages of the river” (2 Esdras 13:40–45)—they headed north through the gorges to the Crimea. Nineteenth century London historian Sharon Turner wrote, “The emigrating Scythians crossed the Araxes [a river between the Black and Caspian Sea], passed out of Asia, and invading the Kimmerians, suddenly appeared in Europe, in the seventh century before the Christian era” (The History of the Anglo-Saxons, vol. 1, p. 98). Turner also described how the Scythians and a related people, the Kimmerians (Kimbri or Kumri or Cymry), eventually reached Britain, and that “The Welsh, who are their descendants, have always called themselves Cymry” (ibid., p. 34)—indeed, that name is on their postcards today!…

Prophetic Significance

But why is it important, today, to know the identity and location of the tribes of Israel? Bible prophecies record traits of the tribes of Israel that will become obvious and recognizable “in the last days” (Genesis 49:1). Moses prophesied that the descendants of the Israelites would become utterly corrupt and face difficult times “in the latter days” (Deuteronomy 4:27–30 28:26–29). Jeremiah warns of a coming period of tribulation and chastisement for sinful Israelite nations that he calls a time of “Jacob’s trouble” (Jeremiah 30:1–15). God’s servants have the duty to warn His people of dangers that lie ahead (Isaiah 58:1 Amos 3:7). Understanding the location and identity of modern Israelite nations is a key to understanding Bible prophecies about their future, and it helps to target our message as these prophecies come alive today! (Winnail D. Finding the “Lost” Tribes of Israel. Tomorrow’s World magazine, Nov-Dec 2008, pp. 14-15)

We in the Living Church of God believe that the descendants of “lost tribes” of Israel ended up in Europe. And some further migrated to places such as the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and elsewhere.


Watch the video: Ταυρική - Έλληνες Σκύθες (February 2023).