Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The Scythians

The approximate extent of East Iranian languages and people in Middle Iranian times in the 1st century BC is shown in orange

Who were the Scythians?  According to Wikipedia:

The Scythians (/ˈsɪθi.ən/ or /ˈsɪði.ən/; from Greek Σκύθης, Σκύθοι) were Iranian equestrian tribes who were mentioned as inhabiting large areas in the central Eurasian steppes starting with the 7th century BC up until the 4th century AD.[1][2][3] Their territories during the Iron Age were known to classical Greek sources as "Scythia". Their historical appearance coincided with the rise of equestrian semi-nomadism from the Carpathian Mountains of Europe to Mongolia in the Far East during the 1st millennium BC.[4][5] The "classical Scythians" known to ancient Greek historians were located in the northern Black Sea and fore-Caucasus region. However, other Scythian groups encountered in Near Eastern and Achaemenid sources existed in Central Asia.[6] Moreover, the term "Scythian" is also used by modern scholars in an archaeological context, i.e. any region perceived to display attributes of the "Scytho-Siberian" culture.[5]

Early physical analyses have unanimously concluded that the Scythians, even those in the east (e.g. the Pazyryk region), possessed predominantly "Europioid" features, although mixed 'Euro-mongoloid" phenotypes also occur, depending on site and period.
Numerous ancient mitochondrial DNA samples have now been recovered from Bronze and Iron Age communities in the Eurasian steppe and Siberian forest zone, the putative 'ancestors' of the historical Scythians. Compared to Y-DNA, mtDNA is easier to extract and amplify from ancient specimens due to numerous copies of mtDNA per cell.

In 512 BC, when King Darius the Great of Persia attacked the Scythians, he allegedly penetrated into their land after crossing the Danube. Herodotus relates that the nomadic Scythians frustrated the Persian army by letting it march through the entire country without an engagement. According to Herodotus, Darius in this manner came as far as the Volga River.
During the 5th to 3rd centuries BC, the Scythians evidently prospered. When Herodotus wrote his Histories in the 5th century BC, Greeks distinguished Scythia Minor, in present-day Romania and Bulgaria, from a Greater Scythia that extended eastwards for a 20-day ride from the Danube River, across the steppes of today's East Ukraine to the lower Don basin. The Don, then known as Tanaïs, has served as a major trading route ever since. The Scythians apparently obtained their wealth from their control over the slave trade from the north to Greece through the Greek Black Sea colonial ports of Olbia, Chersonesos, Cimmerian Bosporus, and Gorgippia. They also grew grain, and shipped wheat, flocks, and cheese to Greece.

 Thus, Priscus, a Byzantine emissary to Attila, repeatedly referred to the latter's followers as "Scythians". But Eunapius, Claudius Cladianus and Olympiodorus usually mean "Goths" when they write "Scythians".
 The religious beliefs of the Scythians was a type of Pre-Zoroastrian Iranian religion and differed from the post-Zoroastrian Iranian thoughts.[50] Foremost in the Scythian pantheon stood Tabiti, who was later replaced by Atar, the fire-pantheon of Iranian tribes, and Agni, the fire deity of Indo-Aryans.[50] The Scythian belief was a more archaic stage than the Zoroastrian and Hindu systems. The use of cannabis to induce trance and divination by soothsayers was a characteristic of the Scythian belief system.[50]

A number of groups have claimed possible descent from the Scythians, including the Ossetians, Pashtuns (in particular, the Sakzai tribe) and the Parthians (whose homelands lay to the east of the Caspian Sea and who were thought to have come there from north of the Caspian). Some legends of the Poles,[61] the Picts, the Gaels, the Hungarians (in particular, the Jassics), the Serbs, Bosniaks and the Croats, among others, also include mention of Scythian origins. Some writers claim that Scythians figured in the formation of the empire of the Medes and likewise of Caucasian Albania.
The Scythians also feature in some national origin-legends of the Celts. In the second paragraph of the 1320 Declaration of Arbroath, the élite of Scotland claim Scythia as a former homeland of the Scots. According to the 11th-century Lebor Gabála Érenn (The Book of the Taking of Ireland), the 14th-century Auraicept na n-Éces and other Irish folklore, the Irish originated in Scythia and were descendants of Fénius Farsaid, a Scythian prince who created the Ogham alphabet and who was one of the principal architects of the Gaelic language.
The Carolingian kings of the Franks traced Merovingian ancestry to the Germanic tribe of the Sicambri. Gregory of Tours documents in his History of the Franks that when Clovis was baptised, he was referred to as a Sicamber with the words "Mitis depone colla, Sicamber, adora quod incendisti, incendi quod adorasti."'. The Chronicle of Fredegar in turn reveals that the Franks believed the Sicambri to be a tribe of Scythian or Cimmerian descent, who had changed their name to Franks in honour of their chieftain Franco in 11 BC.

Based on such accounts of Scythian founders of certain Germanic as well as Celtic tribes, British historiography in the British Empire period such as Sharon Turner in his History of the Anglo-Saxons, made them the ancestors of the Anglo-Saxons.

Now according to Diodorus Siculus' Library of History, the Scythians came from a son born to Zeus and a woman who was said to be partly shaped like a snake:

At a later time, as the Scythians recount the myth, there was born among them a maiden sprung from the earth; the upper parts of her body as far as her waist were those of a snake.  With her Zeus lay and begat a son whose name was Scythes.  This son became more famous than any who had preceded him and called the folk Scythians after his own name.  Now among the descendants of this king there were tow brothers who were distinguished for their valour, the one named Palus and the other Napes. (Diodorus Siculus, Library of History Volume 2, page 27).

Diodorus continues on about how the Amazons eventually came from this tribe after their kings conquered many tribes and the women fought with them.  After a defeat of some of the Scythians there was a revolt and the Amazon Queens took over for awhile.

Now this tribe of Scythians appears to have been the ancient Aryans of Iran and they made their way into Germany and France.  How does this relate to the Ashkenazi Jew?  According to Wikipedia:

The name Ashkenazi derives from the biblical figure of Ashkenaz, the first son of Gomer, and a Japhetic patriarch in the Table of Nations (Genesis 10). Gomer has been identified with the Cimmerians, while the biblical term Ashkenaz here may be an error for 'Ashkuz', from Assyrian Aškūza (A/Is-k/gu-zu-ai/Asguzi in cuneiform inscriptions)[26] a people who expelled the Cimmerians from the Armenian area of the Upper Euphrates.[27] This ethnonym perhaps denoted the Scythians, though the identification is problematic.[27][28] The theory presupposes a scribal confusion between נ/ו(waw/nun), creating A-shkenaz from a-Shkuz.[29] In Jeremiah 51:27, Ashkenaz figures as one of three kingdoms in the far north, the others being Minni and Ararat, perhaps corresponding to Urartu, called on by God to resist Babylon.[29
Why is it then that Jews seem to be separate of the rest of the Germanic tribes?

Jews from Worms (Germany) wear the mandatory yellow badge.
How related were the Ashkenazi to the  Carolingian kings of the Franks?  Were they just average Scythians who settled in Germania?  I believe they were Scythians, because the original Germanic tribes appear to be Celtic-Iberian and not Anglo-Saxon.

 All of our presently available studies including my own, should thoroughly debunk one of the most questionable, but still tenacious, hypotheses: that most Ashkenazi Jews can trace their roots to the mysterious Khazar Kingdom that flourished during the ninth century in the region between the Byzantine Empire and the Persian Empire."[102] The 2013 study estimated that 80 percent of Ashkenazi maternal ancestry comes from women indigenous to Europe, and only 8 percent from the Near East, while the origin of the remainder is undetermined.[107] According to the study these findings 'point to a significant role for the conversion of women in the formation of Ashkenazi communities.'[10][11][108][109][110][111] 

Khazar warrior with his captive from the Treasure of Nagyszentmiklós. Experts cannot agree if this warrior represents a Khazar, Avar, or Bulgar. (public domain)


The conversion of Khazars to Judaism is reported overwhelmingly by external sources and in the Khazar Correspondence, Hebrew documents whose authenticity was long doubted and challenged,[86] but specialists now widely accept them either as authentic or as reflecting internal Khazar traditions.[87][88][89][90] Archaeological evidence for conversion, on the other hand, remains elusive,[91] and may reflect either the incompleteness of excavations, or that the stratum of actual adherents was thin.[92] Conversion of steppe or peripheral tribes to a universal religion is fairly well attested phenomenon,[93] and the Khazar conversion to Judaism, though unusual, was not unique.[94][95

Beginning in the 8th century, Khazar royalty and notable segments of the aristocracy converted to Judaism; the populace appears to have been multi-confessional—a mosaic of pagan, Tengrist, Jewish, Christian and Muslim worshippers—and polyethnic.[15] A modern theory, that the core of Ashkenazi Jewry emerged from a hypothetical Khazarian Jewish diaspora, is now viewed with scepticism by most scholars[who?], but occasionally supported by others. This Khazarian hypothesis is sometimes associated with antisemitism and anti-Zionism

As far as the anti-Semitism part, you can't claim that since Askhenazis are not semites, so the argument above is ridiculous.  I believe the Askhenazis came from tribe of the Khazars who came from the Scythians who came from Zeus and a mysterious maiden of their tribe described as "snake-like".  Was she Asian?  We don't know for sure, but the snake and dragon imagery are prominent in Asian culture.


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