The Thyssagetae (Ancient Greek : Θυσσαγέται) were an ancient tribe described by Herodotus as occupying a district to the north-east of Scythia, separated from the Budini by a "desert" that took seven days to cross. The Thyssagetae therefore seem to have occupied the southern end of the Ural Mountains, north of the Caspian Sea.
According to the 19th Century archaeologist Sir Ellis Minns, the form of their name suggests that the Thyssagetae spoke an Iranian language, such as Scythian or Sarmatian, like the neighbouring Massagetae (on the north-east shores of the Caspian).
The 15th Century chronicler Giacomo Filippo Foresti (a.k.a. Jacobus Philippus Foresti da Bergamo) mentioned a river in the area named the Thisageta, and Minns suggested that the name of the Chusovaya (or Chussovaja) River in the Urals may be linked to the Thyssagetae.
While Herodotus claimed that four rivers from the land of the Thyssagetae flowed into the Maeotis (Sea of Azov), he appears to have been mistaken.He may have confused the Caspian Sea with the Maeotis, as one of the rivers, named the "Oarus", was almost certainly the Volga.
The Scythians, also known as Scyth, Saka, Sakae, Iskuzai, or Askuzai, were a nomadic people who dominated the Pontic steppe from about the 7th century BC up until the 3rd century BC. They were part of the wider Scythian cultures, stretching across the Eurasian Steppe, which included many peoples that are distinguished from the Scythians. Because of this, a broad concept referring to all early Eurasian nomads as "Scythians" has sometimes been used. Within this concept, the actual Scythians are variously referred to as Classical Scythians, European Scythians, Pontic Scythians, or Western Scythians. Use of the term "Scythians" for all early Eurasian nomads has however led to much confusion in literature, and the validity of such terminology is controversial. Other names for that concept are therefore preferable.
The Cimmerians were a nomadic Indo-European people, who appeared about 1000 BC and are mentioned later in 8th century BC in Assyrian records. While the Cimmerians were often described by contemporaries as culturally "Scythian", they evidently differed ethnically from the Scythians proper, who also displaced and replaced the Cimmerians.
The Sarmatians were a large Iranian confederation that existed in classical antiquity, flourishing from about the 5th century BC to the 4th century AD.
The Saka, Śaka, Shaka or Sacae were a group of nomadic Iranian peoples who historically inhabited the northern and eastern Eurasian Steppe and the Tarim Basin.
Agathyrsi were a people of Scythian, or mixed Dacian-Scythian origin, who in the time of Herodotus occupied the plain of the Maris (Mures), in the mountainous part of ancient Dacia now known as Transylvania in present-day Romania. Their ruling class seems to have been of Scythian origin.
The Scythian languages are a group of Eastern Iranian languages of the classical and late antique period, spoken in a vast region of Eurasia named Scythia. Except for modern Ossetian, which descends from the Alanian variety, these languages are all considered to be extinct. Modern Eastern Iranian languages such as Wakhi, however, are related to the eastern Scytho-Khotanese dialects attested from the kingdoms of Khotan and Tumshuq in the ancient Tarim Basin, in present-day southern Xinjiang, China.
The Getae or Gets were several Thracian tribes that once inhabited the regions to either side of the Lower Danube, in what is today northern Bulgaria and southern Romania. Both the singular form Get and plural Getae may be derived from a Greek exonym: the area was the hinterland of Greek colonies on the Black Sea coast, bringing the Getae into contact with the ancient Greeks from an early date. Although it is believed that the Getae were related to their westward neighbours, the Dacians, several scholars, especially in the Romanian historiography, posit that the Getae and the Dacians were the same people.
The Massagetae, or Massageteans, were an ancient Eastern Iranian nomadic tribal confederation, who inhabited the steppes of Central Asia, north-east of the Caspian Sea in modern Turkmenistan, western Uzbekistan, and southern Kazakhstan. They were part of the wider Scythian cultures.
The Issedones (Ἰσσηδόνες) were an ancient people of Central Asia at the end of the trade route leading north-east from Scythia, described in the lost Arimaspeia of Aristeas, by Herodotus in his History (IV.16-25) and by Ptolemy in his Geography. Like the Massagetae to the south, the Issedones are described by Herodotus as similar to, yet distinct from, the Scythians.
Tomyris, also called Thomyris, Tomris, Tomiride, or Queen Tomiri, reigned over the Massagetae, an Iranian people from Scythian pastoral-nomadic confederation of Central Asia east of the Caspian Sea, in parts of modern-day Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, western Uzbekistan, and southern Kazakhstan. Tomyris led her armies to defend against an attack by Cyrus the Great of the Achaemenid Empire, and, according to Herodotus, defeated and killed him in 530 BC.
The Iyrcae were an ancient nation on the north-east trade route described by Herodotus beyond the Thyssagetae.
Melanchlaeni may refer to three ancient tribes.
Tyras was an ancient Greek city on the northern coast of the Black Sea. It was founded by colonists from Miletus, probably about 600 BC. The city was situated some 10 km from the mouth of the Tyras River, which is now called the Dniester. The surrounding native tribe was called the Tyragetae. The ruins of Tyras are now located in the modern city of Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi in the Odessa Oblast of Ukraine.
The Budini was a group of people described by Herodotus and several later classical authors. Described as nomads living near settled Gelonians, Herodotus located them east of the Tanais river beyond the Sarmatians.
Scythia was a region of Central Eurasia in classical antiquity, occupied by the Eastern Iranian Scythians, encompassing Central Asia, parts of Eastern Europe east of the Vistula River with the eastern edges of the region vaguely defined by the Greeks. The Ancient Greeks gave the name Scythia to all the lands north-east of Europe and the northern coast of the Black Sea. During the Iron Age the region saw the flourishing of Scythian cultures.
The Argippaeans or Argippaei are a people mentioned by Herodotus in his The Histories. They were cited to be living north of the Scythians and much of the scholarship points to them being a tribe near the Ural Mountains. There are scholars who believe that Herodotus could be talking about the Mongolians based on their physical description as well as their culture.
An Enaree or Enarei was a Scythian shaman; described as effeminate or androgynous. Scythian shamanism involved religious ecstasy through the use of entheogens; they had no temples and worshipped the forces of nature.
This article summarizes the History of the western steppe, which is the western third of the Eurasian steppe, that is, the grasslands of Ukraine and southern Russia. It is intended as a summary and an index to the more-detailed linked articles. It is a companion to History of the central steppe and History of the eastern steppe. All dates are approximate since there are few exact starting and ending dates. This summary article does not list the uncertainties, which are many. For these, see the linked articles.
Scythian cultures, also referred to as Scythic cultures, Scytho-Siberian cultures, Early Nomadic cultures, Scythian civilization, Scythian horizon, Scythian world or Scythian continuum, were a group of similar archaeological cultures which flourished across the entire Eurasian Steppe during the Iron Age from approximately the 9th century BC to the 2nd century AD. Among Greco-Roman writers, this region was known as Scythia.