From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

An Enaree or Enarei (Ancient Greek: ἐναρής) 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.

According to Herodotus, the Scythians who pillaged the temple of Aphrodite (see Venus Castina) at Ascelon, and all their descendants after them, were afflicted by the goddess with the “female” sickness: and so the Scythians say that they are afflicted as a consequence of this and also that those who visit Scythian territory see among them the condition of those whom the Scythians call Enarees.[1] Herodotus associates their patron goddess, Argimpasa, with Aphrodite Urania via interpretatio graeca.

Herodotus also mentions some of their religious practices:

There are many diviners among the Scythians, who divine by means of many willow wands as I will show. They bring great bundles of wands, which they lay on the ground and unfasten, and utter their divinations as they lay the rods down one by one; and while still speaking, they gather up the rods once more and place them together again; this manner of divination is hereditary among them. The Enarees, who are hermaphrodites, say that Aphrodite gave them the art of divination, which they practise by means of lime-tree bark. They cut this bark into three portions, and prophesy while they braid and unbraid these in their fingers.[2]

The Greek physician Hippocrates, who speaks about the Enarees in his work On Airs, Waters, Places, theorized that although the inhabitants of Scythia believe the cause of their effeminacy is divine, he believed the cause of their impotency was a result of continuous horseback riding, and it was for this reason they have adopted feminine roles.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Herodotus, The Histories I. 105. § 4
  2. ^ Herodotus, The Histories IV. 67
  3. ^ Hippocrates. On Airs, Waters, Places . Part XXII – via Wikisource.