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The Amyrgians were the Scythian tribe in closest proximity to Bactria and Sogdiana. They were named for their king Amorges (not to be confused with Amorges, son of Pissunthnes, leader of a Carian rebellion in 413 BC).
The Amyrgians were called Śaka haumavarga ("Haoma-drinking Scythians") in Old Persian, which is a reinterpretation of the personal names Amorges and (H)omarges. The Greek form of their name was Amyrgioi.
According to Ctesias, the Amyrgians were conquered by Cyrus the Great, who took Amorges prisoner. The wife of Amorges, Sparethra, collected an army of 300,000 men and 200,000 women, made war upon Cyrus, taking as prisoners Parmises, the brother of Amytis, and his three sons, who were subsequently released in exchange for Amorges. Cyrus's good treatment of Amorges prompted the Saka to submit to the Persians. Amorges or Thambradas went with Cyrus to Lydia. The Amyrgians fought under Cyrus in the Battle of Thymbra of 547 BC. Sparethra’s forces later helped Cyrus conquer yet another opponent: Croesus, whom Cyrus ordered to be set on fire. He eventually changed his mind, and Croesus fell in line behind Cyrus, going on to give him terrible advice that would bring about his demise.
A gold coin of Diodotus of Bactria, ca. 250 BCE.
- Zend-Avesta, compiled and translated by Ignacy Pietraszewski, 1858 (Avestan, Polish, German, French, Persian)
- I. P’iankov. Iranian Chamber Society. The Ethnic of Sakas (Scythians): The Amyrgians
- The Geography of Herodotus (Paperback) by James Talboys Wheeler