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European Kingdoms

Eastern Europe

 

Scythians (Indo-Iranians)
Incorporating the Amaxobians, Asampatae, Aspasioi, Aspisi, Athernei, Catiaroi, Grauci, Hamaxobii, Paralatae, Scoloti, Tapurei, & Traspies

FeatureAs the successors of the Eastern European Srubna/Timber-Grave culture of southern Russia, Scythians were semi-nomadic pastoralists who occupied much of the Pontic-Caspian steppe. They herded their precious cattle from pasture to pasture throughout the year while travelling in wheeled carts or mounted on horses which had been bred on the steppe for as much as three thousand years before the Scythians themselves were first recorded in history.

In this they were no different to their ancestors, Indo-Europeans whose massive outward migrations formed the Yamnaya horizon between about 3500-2500 BC (see feature link).

FeatureWhile the western branch of the Indo-European-speaking groups - the centum-speakers - largely headed towards Central Europe and Scandinavia, the eastern branches were much less adventurous at first, generally filling the void on the steppe (see feature link). These groups, classed as Indo-Iranians, would eventually supply migratory peoples such as the Persians and Medians, and the Indo-Aryans of northern India.

FeatureThey also supplied the Sakas who dominated Central Asia by the middle of the first millennium BC. The Scythians themselves were essentially the same people as these Sakas - simply their westernmost groups spread across what is generally now southern Russia and Ukraine. They were more often recorded by Greeks rather than Persians (although certainly not exclusively), but in essence both names almost certainly come from the same original word, whether 'Saka' or 'Scythian' (which may mean 'knife' or 'sword' - see feature link, right).

Their land became known to the Greeks as Scythia, and that name easily outlasted the political and cultural unity (if such a thing existed) of the Scythians themselves. It was still being used in the fifth century AD to illustrate the advance of hybrid Indo-Iranian/Turkic tribes into the Pontic-Caspian steppe.

The Scythians would also seem to have dominated the early Slavs, prior to their outwards expansion following the collapse of the Hunnic empire. Slav origins have generally been pinned to the area between the Middle Dnieper and the Bug, both well within Scythia.

By the fifth century BC - when such domination is heavily suggested by Herodotus - the Scythian and Slavic languages may still have been mutually almost-intelligible, rather like Italian and Spanish today. Conversations may have been heavily sprinkled with 'huh?' and 'what?' of course, but the meaning would have been grasped.

The Slavs were never turned into Scythians. Instead they were always subjugated peoples who were ruled by this Indo-Iranian elite which was known as the Scythians. The Slavs would seem to have been the farmers for whichever nomad group was in command of the region, right down to the Huns when they swept in during the fourth century AD.

FeatureThe Aspasioi and Aspisi are one and the same people, recorded by separate Greek writers with variable spelling. Otherwise obscure they are noted by Strabo as being the northern neighbours of the Massagetae. As the Massagetae are most likely to be Scythian rather than Saka (ancient writers distinguish between them), it is most likely that their northern neighbours were also Scythian.

There was an Asioi tribe of the Greater Yuezhi - the name is very similar, possibly the same, but there is nothing to prove a connection. The '-oi' in Aspasioi is the Greek suffix, so it should be pronounced 'As-pas', with the ancient core name, 'As' also being linked to Germanic origins (see feature link, right).

Herodotus when writing in the mid-fifth century BC (roughly midway through the period of Scythian greatness) stated that the Scythians named themselves Scoloti, from one of their (legendary) kings, but that the Greeks termed them Scythians. He understood that the Auchatae descended from a Scythian founder named Lipoxais. The Catiaroi and Traspies (or Traspians) descended from Arpoxais, the middle brother. The chief settlement of the Catiaroi was Olbia (now Parutino, in Ukraine's Mykolaiv Oblast). The Paralatae or 'Royal Scythians' descended from the youngest brother, Colaxais.

Other units which were at least part-Scythian included the Agathyrsi, Gerrians, and Tauri, while the Budini are more often classed as potential Slavs. The nearby - and sometimes allied - Androphagi and Melanchlaeni were Finno-Ugric in origin, even though they appear to have picked up some Scythian or Greek customs. The Asampatae and Athernei are nothing more than names in the work of Pliny, with no details being recorded.

The Sigynnae are obscure, but receive two mentions in ancient records, while the Sindi seem to be part-Scythian. The Grauci are even more obscure, being mentioned only once in passing by Apollonius of Rhodes. The Tapurei were also obscure, nothing more than a tribe of Scythia as mentioned by Ptolemy. They are not to be confused with the Tapuri.

The Hamaxobii (Hamaxonians or Amaxobians) were described very briefly by Pliny as a nomadic Scythian tribe which lived in 'chariots' (carts) which had mounted leather tent coverings. They live around the Palus Maotis, the marshes which drain into the Sea of Azov. Writing well over a century later, Ptolemy has them far to the west, along the Vistula. Migration is suggested here, as part of the Scythian host.

Sakas on a frieze at Persepolis

(Information by Peter Kessler and Edward Dawson, with additional information from The Origin and Deeds of the Goths, Jordanes, from Comments on Indo-Iranians and Tokharians: a response to R Heine-Geldern, Marija Gimbutas (American Anthropologist, 1964.66:893-898), from The Histories, Herodotus (Penguin, 1996), from The Horse, the Wheel, and Language: How Bronze-Age Riders from the Eurasian Steppes Shaped the Modern World, David W Anthony, from Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities, Harry Thurston Peck (New York, Harper and Brothers, 1898), from The Scythian Domination in Western Asia: Its Record in History, Scripture, and Archaeology, E D Phillips (World Archaeology, 1972), from The Scythian: His Rise and Fall, James William Johnson (Journal of the History of Ideas, University of Pennsylvania Press, 1959), from The Scythians: Invading Hordes from the Russian Steppes, Edwin Yamauchi (The Biblical Archaeologist, 1983), and from External Links: The Balts, Marija Gimbutas (1963, previously available online thanks to Gabriella at Vaidilute, but still available as a PDF - click or tap on link to download or access it), and The Natural History, Pliny the Elder (John Bostock, Ed), and Scientists may have unearthed 'permafrost tomb' of ancient Siberian prince (MNN), and Experts Unearth 2,400-Year-Old Solid Gold Bongs (Tech Times), and Encyclopaedia of Ukrainian History (in Ukrainian), and Tomb Containing Three Generations of Warrior Women (Smithsonian Magazine), and Rites of the Scythians (Archaeology), and The Scythians, Jona Lendering (Livius).)

c.1200s BC

From an early date, quite probably before their existence is recorded (and the 1200s BC has been mentioned as a likely period), a large proportion of the early Slavs in the Middle Dnieper basin fall under the rule of the Scythians. The Finno-Ugric tribes and the eastern Balts living in the forested areas to the north remain outside the orbit of strong Scythian influence.

Map of Eastern Europe, the Balkans, and Greece 1200 BC
This map largely concentrates on the Indo-European migrations across the Balkans in this period, but the western edge of proto-Scythian lands are also shown here (whether those proto-Scythians were actual historical Scythians or the very similar Agathyrsi who were the first of the two to achieve domination), well before the occupants of the steppe came to the notice of Classical authors (click or tap on map to view full sized)

12th century BC

Iron appears in Central Europe in this century, but not until the eighth century BC does it revolutionise lives and only then does it reach Northern Europe. Between the eighth and sixth centuries BC iron is still extremely rare in territory which is controlled by the Balts, and the general cultural level continues to have almost a pure Bronze Age character.

The dividing line at about the end of the eighth century BC signifies a change in culture due not so much to technological innovation as to new historical events - the appearance of the Scythians as a recognisable collective entity (any precise dating for that appearance being, of course, debatable).

They swiftly dominate the steppe, while also culturally intruding into existing groups, such as the Tauri, or create new ones, such as the Sindi.

9th century BC

In 2018 it is reported that a 'permafrost tomb' of an ancient Siberian prince has been unearthed. The previously undisturbed tomb is located in southern Siberia (in the Russian republic of Tuva), with its contents additionally being entombed in ice. It lies underneath a typical Indo-European kurgan burial mound.

Scythian warriors
The appearance of ferocious mounted Scythian warriors in the lands to the south of the Balts must have instilled a sense of worry and fear in many groups, but the Balts always managed to remain independent of their control (although armour such as that pictured here certainly did not appear so early)

These circular structures, consisting of a stone packing with a circular arrangement of chambers, are royal tombs which belong in this period and region to the Scythians. The impressive find is declared the largest and oldest of its kind ever discovered in what is increasingly becoming known as the 'Siberian Valley of the Kings'.

c.800 - 600 BC

This is the period of Scythian expansion from the Black Sea area into Central Europe. These steppe horsemen who appear in Moravia (now eastern Czechia), and what is now Romania and Hungary (and who are almost certainly but not inarguably Scythians) are the successors of the southern Russian Srubna culture of the Bronze Age which itself had constantly been pushing towards the west.

These Scythians (which include a detachment of Sindi and quite possibly the Sigynnae too) introduce eastern types of horse gear, oriental animal art, timber graves, and inhumation rites (gaining the name of Timber-Grave culture from this). The outward edge of this advance, when it reaches the middle Danube, would appear to be responsible for forming the Mezőcsát culture there.

Before entering Central Europe, they conquer the Cimmerians on the northern shores of the Black Sea and in the northern Caucasus, driving them out - and also the Agathyrsi - to dominate the northern Black Sea region.

Map of Scythian Lands around 500 BC
This map attempts to show the Scythian lands at their greatest extent, failing to extend northwards thanks to the Balts (click or tap on map to view full sized)

The Sigynnae settle on the Hungarian plain, eventually losing contact with the main Scythian host. They are noted by Apollonius of Rhodes as living alongside the Grauci and Sindi on the 'plain of Laurion' (making the Gauci much more likely to be Scythians themselves).

Now also dominating eastern Anatolia and the Zagros Mountains they acquire much of the Caucasian and Cimmerian cultural legacy and mix this with their own Pontic-Caspian steppe cultural elements.

These oriental influences appreciably change the material culture of Central Europe. Baltic and Germanic cultures in Northern Europe remain untouched by the Scythian incursions, but the new cultural elements reached them through continuous commercial relations with Central Europe.

fl c.700s? BC

Koloksai

Legendary dynasty founder mentioned by Alcman of Sparta.

? - c.675 BC

Ishpaka / Ishkapai / Ishpakai

Scythian king. Killed in battle.

c.675 BC

The Median ruler, Xshatrita II, becomes an ally of Ishpaka's around 678 BC, but the Scythian king is killed in battle against Esarhaddon of Assyria around 675 BC. Apparently his followers are confined (by the terms of their surrender?) to the land to the south of Lake Van in eastern Anatolia, home to the proto-Armenians and several other groups. Clearly this particular group of Scythians is operating and presumably living far south of Scythia itself.

c.675 - 645 BC

Bartatua / Par-ta-tu-a

Successor. Scythian king around Lake Van.

c.674 BC

With Media's alliance of Cimmerians, Mannaeans, and Scythians having crumbled, Bartatua seals an alliance with the Assyrians around this date, presumably by marrying a daughter of the Assyrian king. It is possible that these Scythians become dominated by the powerful Tugdamme of the Cimmerians.

Zagros Mountains
The Zagros Mountain range provided the Medes with their home, but it was also the Assyrian gateway into Iran, one which was used in later attacks on the Indo-Iranian Persians and Medes

He begins to threaten the borders of the mighty Assyrian empire during the reign of Ashurbanipal, and is recorded as being 'King of the Saka and Qutium'. Sakas and Scythians largely being one and the same people, of course, while Gutium is a now-ancient region close to the Zagros Mountains.

653 BC

Xshatrita II of Media leads the league which endangers Assyrian control of the Zagros Mountains and is himself killed in battle against Assyria. He is succeeded by his young son, but the Medians are quickly subjugated by a Scythian invasion of the steppes.

One of their number - Madys - rules the Medes and associated Indo-Iranian tribes, and it takes the Medians under Huwaxshatra almost thirty years to restore their independence.

c.645 - 625 BC

Madys / Madius / Madyes / Madya

Son. Scythian king of the Medians (653-625 BC). Killed.

625 BC

Herodotus says that Huwaxshatra of Media reigns for forty years including the time of the domination of the Scythians, but virtually all historians agree that what is meant is forty years excluding the time of the domination of the Scythians.

At the beginning of his reign, Huwaxshatra is considered a vassal of the Scythians until he throws off their yoke in 625 BC and takes sovereign control of his country.

Ecbatana
Ecbatana was the capital of Media, a prized possession of the Seleucid empire and one which had to be regained upon the event of a revolt - this view shows the surviving ancient walls in modern Hamadan in Iran

Madys and his fellow leaders are massacred by the Medians while his defeated people flee back into Scythia, abandoning their former territory to the south of the Caucasus mountains. Once there they begin the reconquest and renewed domination of the 'lesser' Scythian tribes. Presumably included amongst this number are the Slavs and the Gerrians.

c.600 - 500 BC

The Lusatian culture still persists in the first centuries of the Early Iron Age. The amber trade is not cut off and the Lusatians continue to be mediators between Baltic and Germanic amber gatherers on the one hand and the Hallstatt culture in the eastern Alpine area on the other.

Beginning in the seventh century, the Etruscans in Italy are also included in this trade connection. Under great pressure due to Scythian raids, the Lusatian eventually gives way to the Pomeranian Face-Urn culture.

fl c.560s? BC

Gunurus

Scythian king.

fl c.540s? BC

Anacharsis

Son. Half-Greek Scythian king, killed by Saulius.

The Scythians reach the southern borders of the western Baltic lands, seemingly due to their becoming involved in wars against the Persians who are invading Scythia from the south. Herodotus describes these wars in Book IV of his history, these being the earliest surviving written records concerning the history of Eastern Europe, at the end of the sixth century BC.

Modern sculpture of an ancient Lithuanian deity post
The Naisiai Baltic God Park in Naisiai, Siauliai County, Lithuania, contains modern interpretations of Balt god sculptures, usually made from oak, and often depicting gods of the elements or the sun

fl c.520s? BC

Saulius

Brother and killer.

Apparently, though, the Scythians do not succeed in penetrating farther north. Only a few arrowheads of Scythian type have been found in East Prussia and southern Lithuania. A chain of western Baltic strongholds in northern Poland and in the southern part of East Prussia arise which very probably are built for resisting the invaders.

The Scythian high tide lasts only until the end of the fifth century BC. After that they no longer appear in the north, and possibly it is Baltic resistance which helps to end the Scythian threat. They also lose ground in terms of controlling the Maeotians, being replaced as overlords there by Sauromatians.

The bulk of the Sindi with their confused heritage remain there in a region known as Sindica (today's Krasnodar), although this area is soon annexed by the Bosporan kingdom.

Allusions to some tribal names may be regarded as references to Baltic and Finno-Ugric tribes, and others. Herodotus describes an expedition undertaken by the Persian King Darius against the Scythians from 515 BC.

fl 513 BC

Idanthyrsus

Son. Scythian king during the Persian expedition.

Herodotus mentions and approximately locates the seats of the Neuri, Androphagi, Melanchlaeni, and Budini, who are all living to the north of Scythia. The Agathyrsi and Tauri also receive mentions during the fighting against the Persian king.

Marija Gimbutas especially uses Herodotus to locate the Neuri by establishing the Pripet marshes to be the natural border between Scythia and the Neuri, while the 'Scythian farmers' of the lower and middle Dnieper basin are almost certainly subject Slavs.

Szybowcowa Hill in Lower Silesia
Slavs eventually migrated outwards to occupy areas of Europe which had previously been home to the Germanic Vandali and the Celtic Naharvali before them, including the rolling hills of Silesia

6th century BC

The Harii probably belong to the Hallstatt culture of Celts. They are to be found around central Germany, and in Bohemia, Moravia, Slovakia, and the edges of Poland and Ukraine. Around this time a large-scale expansion begins which sees many Hallstatt Celts migrate outwards, but generally towards the west without disturbing Scythian lands.

c.500 BC

Between about 500 to 400 BC large numbers of Iron Age La Tène Celtic peoples push eastwards, into locations in Poland, Czechia, Slovakia, Hungary, the Balkans, and even Ukraine.

Also from this period comes the 'Siberian Ice Maiden' (alternatively referred to as the Princess of Ukok or the Altai Mummy), a tattooed Scytho-Siberian mummy discovered by archaeologists in 1993.

She lives at this time on the Eurasian steppe as a member of the Pazyryk culture which is current at this time. Aged between twenty and thirty at the time of her death, her remains are entombed in a subterranean chamber beneath a kurgan mound.

A reconstruction of the Scytho-Siberian 'princess'
Scientific research has shown that the 'Siberian Ice Maiden' died of breast cancer and that she also suffered from several other ailments, with the pain and discomfort possibly being helped by using cannabis which was kept in a small pouch which lay beside her body in the grave

fl c.450s? BC

Ariapeithes

Scythian king. m daughter of Teres I of the Odrysae.

mid-400s BC

Ariapeithes' name is highly typical of Indo-Iranians. The first part, 'Aria', is a variation of 'Arya', usually shown as Aria (Latin), Areia (close to the Greek spelling), Haraiva (Persian), or Haraeuua (Avestan). The Areioi tribe of Indo-Iranians bear another variation of the same word.

The name Arya appears to be the oldest one known for Indo-Europeans. Ariapeithes himself marries the unnamed daughter of Teres I of the Odrysae but is murdered by Spargapeithes of the Agathyrsi.

fl c.430s BC

Scyles / Skyles / Scylas

Son. Promoted Greek culture. Executed by his brother.

c.430 - 425 BC

The half-Thracian Scyles is chased out of the Scythian kingdom by his own people due to his continuing promotion of Greek culture and traditions. He takes shelter with his relatives in the Odrysian kingdom but is followed by Octamasadas, his Scythian successor and full brother. After a certain amount of warfare between Odrysians and Scythians, Scyles is handed over as part of a prisoner exchange. He is subsequently executed.

Kozi Gramadi
These are the remains of the tower which guarded the fourth century BC royal residence of the Odrysian kings at Kozi Gramadi, uncovered by Bulgaria's National History Museum in 2011

fl c.420s BC

Octamasadas

Brother.

fl c.420s BC

Oricos

Brother.

c.400 BC

The Celtic La Tène culture arrives in Bohemia and southern Poland, the northern limit of Celtic expansion at this time (seemingly showing a degree of contraction since the fifth century BC), although there remains the question of where the Belgae and Venedi are located.

This La Tène expansion is led by the Boii tribe which makes Bohemia its home for the next three centuries, but the same expansion also stops the Pomeranian Face-Urn culture from expanding any further south.

Western and southern Poland have also been disrupted by Scythian raids, but these suddenly drop off around 400 BC, leaving the Face-Urn culture free to expand instead across the entire Vistula basin and to reach the upper Dniester in Ukraine, thereby bypassing the La Tène Celts.

In 2013 archaeologists discover opium and cannabis equipment and other gold items in a Scythian kurgan named Sengileevskoe-2. Located in southern Russia, the finds are dated to around 400 BC.

It is generally understood that the Scythians smoke and brew a concoction which contains cannabis and opium, with warriors doing so to place them in a certain state of mind before they head into battle.

Scythian Amazon burial remains at Devitsa
In 2019 findings were announced regarding four female Scythian burials at Devitsa in Russia (to the north-east of the border with Ukraine), all of which could be dated to the 300s BC and which contained weapons - the eldest of the four women was even buried 'in the position of a horseman', riding as one of Herodotus' warrior Amazons would have done (see reference link in the sources)

350s? - 339 BC

Ateas / Atheas / Ateia / Ataias

'Most powerful' Scythian king. Killed in battle.

339 BC

Ateas is a Scythian ruler of the fortified settlement of Kamenka. He seems to be viewed as a usurper, someone who has defeated and subjugated the traditional ruling establishment and its three cooperating rulers to unify and command a greater number of Scythians than usual. He may not even be of the traditional ruling class.

By the 340s BC he rules the territory between the River Danube and the Maeotian marshes (close to the Sea of Azov near Crimea) - essentially much of Scythia. Following increasing contact with the Macedonian kingdom to the south of Scythia, Ateas enlists Macedonian troops to help him in a battle against the city of Histria on the coastal shores of Thrace.

Histria's king dies suddenly and the Macedonian troops are summarily dismissed upon their arrival. Petty insults are traded between Ateas and Phillip II of Macedon until the two sides go to war in 339 BC.

The battle takes place on the plains of what is now Dobruja, with Ateas being killed in action, his army routed, and his kingdom collapsing. This heralds the beginning of the end for Scythian domination.

c.250 BC

Germanic settlements have spread only a little farther south-westwards from the Baltic coastline, and eastwards into the heart of modern Poland and northern Germany. One exception to this is the tribe of the Bastarnae. They have already reached the Balkans by this time thanks to which they are often mistaken for being Scythians by Greek and then Roman writers.

Belgae
The Bastarnae exhibit early Celtic influences, seemingly overlaid by Germanic cultural and language elements, but once they had relocated to the Balkans they were often mistaken by contemporary writers as Scythians

fl c.130s? BC

?

Unnamed father and Scythian king.

? - c.100 BC

Scilurus / Skilurus / Skylurus

Son, and Scythian king of the Tauri.

100s BC

Scilurus is both the father of a Scythian king and the son of one, while himself also serving as king during part of his own lifetime. His capital is Scythian Neapolis (or 'new town'), founded in the third century BC and surviving until the third century AD when it is destroyed by Goths. It is located on the Tauric Chersonesus (the land of the Tauri, now Crimea), although the surviving ruins are surrounded by the town of Simferopol.

His domains include Crimea itself over to the Dnieper which exits into the very northern tip of the Black Sea - clearly a much smaller territory than that controlled by Ateas two centuries before, thanks to the Sarmatians crossing the Don and becoming the dominant force on the steppe.

However, like before there is strong competition in the region for domination. Although initially an ally of Mithradates VI 'the Great' of Pontus, this resourceful and powerful regional authority soon becomes an enemy who is responsible for the death of Scilurus around 100 BC.

c.100 BC

Palacus / Palakus

Son and Scythian king - the last to be named in sources.

c.100 BC

Palacus continues to fight Mithradates the Great of Pontus. An attempted siege of Chersonesos (Crimea) is defeated by Pontic troops, so Palacus enlists the Roxolani under Tasius and launches an invasion of Chersonesus. This too is defeated and the Scythians are forced to accept Mithradates as their overlord. The former capital of their kingdom now becomes the capital of the Cimmerian Bosporus kingdom.

Tetradrachm of Pontus
A tetradrachm issued by Mithradates VI of Pontus and Bithynia around 86-85 BC, towards the end of his dominance in Anatolia and the beginning of true Roman dominance

1st century BC

By the late first century BC the Germanic Bastarnae are to be found in the northern Balkans, in territory which later forms parts of Moldavia, including a large part of modern Moldova, and areas of Transylvania and southern Ukraine. They must have occupied this area for some time prior to 29 BC as they show some characteristics of steppe-dwelling Indo-Iranians such as Scythians and Sarmatians and are sometimes mistaken for the former.

AD 98

By the later part of the first century BC, the Venedi of the Vistula are neighboured even farther east by a collection of Finno-Ugric tribes and to the north-east by the Aestii and eastern Balts. Noted by Tacitus, a host of Germanic tribes have occupied territory on the southern coast of the Baltic Sea in the past century or so.

Farther south, in modern southern Poland, Czechia, Slovakia, Hungary, and western Ukraine, the situation is even less clear, with elements of former Celtic tribes existing alongside encroaching Germanic tribes, including the Boii and Lugii for the former, and the Buri, Marcomanni, and Quadi for the latter.

Tacitus does not use the Vistula as a boundary, or even describe a boundary between Germania and the lands to its east. He does describe the Venedi as living along the eastern fringe of Germania, inferring some kind of borderland, but is uncertain of their ethnic identity.

He refers to them as having borrowed from Sarmatians in their habit of plundering the mountainous and wooded country which lies between the Balkans and the north.

River Tisia
The River Tisia (the modern Tisza) rises in western Ukraine and meanders south-westwards to meet the Danube, providing fertile river valley land for migrating Celts in the second and first centuries BC, depite the threat from sometimes hostile Dacians

c.150 - 200

Far from remaining settled where they are in Willenberg Poland, the Goths gradually renew their migration, now shifting slowly southwards from the Oder and Vistula, heading on a path which will eventually take them into Ukraine and the northern Black Sea coastline - Scythia.

Jordanes states that they first migrate to Lake Maeotis (the modern Sea of Azov, at the north-eastern corner of the Black Sea). Then a second migration takes them westwards along the northern Black Sea coast into Moesia (on the southern bank of the Danube), Thrace (to the south of Moesia), and Dacia (north of the Danube).

FeatureA third migration takes them back into Scythia where hybrid Indo-Iranian-Turkic tribes are beginning to settle from farther east, such as the proto-Bulgars, to subsume the Scythians. Even so, the Goths are culturally influenced by their new subjects (see feature link).

c.225 - 250

During this period the Goths continue to migrate south-eastwards, entering what is now Moldavia and western Ukraine, while the Gepids enter the mountains of northern Transylvania. Defeating the Spali, the Goths form a loose hegemony over the tribes of the region, almost certainly including the Bastarnae.

Archaeology supports the migration if not the name of its leader, showing a southwards drift for the Willenberg until it merges with the indigenous Zarubintsy culture in Ukraine to form the Chernyakhiv culture.

Ukrainian steppe
Migrating to the open steppeland of Ukraine (Scythia to the ancients, this photo being of Askania-Nova, immediately to the north of the Crimea) also marked a return by the Goths to their Indo-European homeland of at least two thousand years previously, although they wouldn't have known anything about that

Any remnant of the Scythians as a distinctive cultural or ethnic group is almost certainly erased by this migration and dominance by Germanic groups. The Germanics are eventually replaced at the top of the tree by the Huns, and then by Indo-Iranian-Turkic tribes. The region remains best known as Scythia however, for several more centuries.

 
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