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Scythians and Sarmatians belong to Iranian branch of Indo-European peoples. The Iranian tribes long time kept cultural unity. But in the beginning 1 thousand B.D. Their world was shaken with fiery sermon Zaratustra. Those who have accepted it, having rejected pagan gods, became historical Iranian. Those who have kept old belief, (it were basically nomads), have received a nickname Turanians. Though later many gods were rehabilitated, the unity appeared lost forever.

Time of occurrence actually Scythians - not later than 8-th c. B.D. They have superseded from Black Sea coast Cimmerians and on their traces have undertaken some intrusions into Forward Asia. Scythians have destroyed an empire Urartu, have crushed Phrygia and were defeated only by Midian king Kiaksar. They have penetrated also into the Central Europe and the Volga region also. That was heroic epoch of Scythians, time so-called " the first empire ".

At the end of 6-th c. B.D. Persian king has made the big invasion in Scythian country that was finished by a full failure. After a victory, in the north coast of Black Sea a state of Scythians has appeared - " the second empire ", named time of "mellow autumn". 4-th c. B.D. - the period of board of king Atej was epoch of the best cultural rise. In 339 A. D. Atej was broken Phillip Macedonian's by armies and was lost, and his empire has broken up also.

In 3-th c. B.D. less extensive state of Scythians with the centre in Crimea was appeared - " the third empire ". Its economic was based with export of bread in Greece. This formation strongly suffered from invasions of Sarmatians, and in 3-th c. B.D. it was finally destroyed with Goths. In epoch of Great resettlement of peoples the rests of Scythians were dissolved among set of tribes.

On a way of life Scythians were divided on settled and nomad tribes. The last used the greatest prestige and referred to "imperial". Their rulers were buried in the big barrows, in support of killed animal and magnificent subjects decoratively an applied art.

In times of Herodot to the east from Don Sarmatians lived. According to a legend transferred by Herodot, they have descended from the Amazon who have married Scythian young men. This legend reflects high position of women at Sarmatian society. Despite of obvious relationship of given peoples, Sarmatians always found out hostility in relation to Scythians, and they posses a main role in route of the last.

Sarmatian tribes have created an armour cavalry; capable is successful to resist to a Macedonian phalanx and the Roman legions. With them help, Parthians revived Iran. Gradually, among Sarmatian peoples were allocated Alanians and "have pulled together all close tribes under the patrimonial name" (to 2-th A. D.). Sarmatians began to refer to Alanians. They have finished Scythians and more than once devastated boundary areas of Roman empire and Sasanid's Iran. The Alanians (their federation reached from Danube up to Aral Sea) were in the union with Goths, but at the end of 4-th A. D. Hunns have crushed also those and others. The part Alanian tribes left to the Far West and together with Vandals has created in territory of Iberia, and then Northern Africa the barbarous kingdom that has lost in 6-th A. D. under swords of Byzantian army. Another has become stronger on Northern Caucasus, having constructed set of stone castles. From time to time they fell under authority of mighty neighbours - Hunns, Ugrian, Mongols and so on, but always kept national-cultural unity. In middle 6-th A. D. the Alanians have accepted Christianity from Byzantium and since then traditionally were guided by the orthodox world. In 19-th A. D. Their descendants - Ossets were part of Russia.

Here it is necessary to tell and about last wave Iranian nomads - the Avars who have come from Syr-Darya. Avars have formed the extensive state with the centre in territory of modern Hungary. They were enemies of Byzantium and allies Iran. Their diplomats conducted skilful politics tricks. Among Avars there were remarkable smyths, creating fine works of art (for example, a ring from Strobjen). From the end 7-th A. D. the power Avarians falls because of incessant revolts of Slavs. Finally the power Turanians in heart of Europe was broken by Charles Great. The rests of Avars were part of Hungarians at the end of 9 centuries A.D.

Safety of Scytho-Sarmatian mythology in the interesting image reminds Celt and German-Scandinavian. With reference to Scythians we can speak about the richest fine arts. It has found reflection as in magnificent metal wares: elements horse harnesses, for example, phalars (round metal plates), the weapon, vessels for drink; and in stone anthropomorphic sculptures - " Scythian idols ". The Sarmato-Alanians, to be exact, their descendants Ossets, have created the remarkable epos - so-called " Legends about Narts " in which mythological characters actively appear. The Nart epos the Osset was borrowed by the majority and neighbours and written down in different variants by scientists of 19 centuries.

Alex Fantalov


The Balts history.




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