Sarmatians

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Depiction of a Sarmatian from a Roman sarcophagus, second century AD

The Sarmatians (/sɑːrˈmʃiənz/; Ancient Greek: Σαρμάται, romanizedSarmatai; Latin: Sarmatae [ˈsarmatae̯]) were a large confederation of ancient Eastern Iranian equestrian nomadic peoples of classical antiquity who dominated the Pontic steppe from about the 3rd century BC to the 4th century AD.

Originating in the central parts of the Eurasian Steppe, the Sarmatians were part of the wider Scythian cultures.[1] They started migrating westward around the fourth and third centuries BC, coming to dominate the closely related Scythians by 200 BC. At their greatest reported extent, around 100 BC, these tribes ranged from the Vistula River to the mouth of the Danube and eastward to the Volga, bordering the shores of the Black and Caspian seas as well as the Caucasus to the south.

In the first century AD, the Sarmatians began encroaching upon the Roman Empire in alliance with Germanic tribes. In the third century AD, their dominance of the Pontic Steppe was broken by the Germanic Goths. With the Hunnic invasions of the fourth century, many Sarmatians joined the Goths and other Germanic tribes (Vandals) in the settlement of the Western Roman Empire. Since large parts of today's Russia, specifically the land between the Ural Mountains and the Don River, were controlled in the fifth century BC by the Sarmatians, the Volga–Don and Ural steppes sometimes are called "Sarmatian Motherland."[2][3]

The Sarmatians in the Bosporan Kingdom assimilated into the Greek civilization,[4] while others were absorbed by the proto-Circassian Maeotian people,[5] the Alans and the Goths.[6] Other Sarmatians were assimilated and absorbed by the Early Slavs.[7][8] A people related to the Sarmatians, known as the Alans, survived in the North Caucasus into the Early Middle Ages, ultimately giving rise to the modern Ossetic ethnic group.[9] The Polish nobility claims to stem from the Sarmatians. Genomic studies suggest that this group may have been genetically similar to the eastern Yamnaya Bronze Age group.[10]

Etymology[edit]

Map of the Roman empire under Hadrian (ruled 117–138 AD), showing the location of the Sarmatae in the Ukrainian steppe region

The Greek name Sarmatai (Σαρμαται) is derived from the Old Iranic Sarmatian endonym *Sarmata or *Sarumata, of which another variant, *Saᵘrumata, gave rise to the ancient Greek name Sauromatai (Σαυρομαται).[11] The form *Sarmata or *Sarumata was the main form of the name, and initially coexisted with the form *Saᵘrumata until the late 4th to early 3rd centuries BC, when *Sarmata/*Sarumata became the only variant of the name in use.[12]

This name meant "armed with throwing darts and arrows," and is cognate with the Indic Sanskrit term śárumant (शरुमन्त्),[13] which makes it semantically similar to the endonym of the Scythians, *Skuδatā, meaning "archers."[13]

The later, Middle Iranic, form of *Saᵘrumata was *Sōrmata or *Sōrumata, of which the later form, *Sūrmata or *Sūrumata, was recorded in ancient Greek as Syrmatai (Συρμαται; Latin: Syrmatae).[14]

Location[edit]

The territory inhabited by the Sarmatians, which was known as Sarmatia (/sɑːrˈmʃiə/) to Greco-Roman ethnographers, covered the western part of greater Scythia, and corresponded to today's Central Ukraine, South-Eastern Ukraine, Southern Russia, Russian Volga, and South-Ural regions, and to a smaller extent the northeastern Balkans and around Moldova.

History[edit]

Origin[edit]

Sarmatian collar (1st century CE, reproduction)

The ethnogenesis of the Sarmatians occurred during the 4th to 3rd centuries BC, when Iranic nomads originating from the southern Ural foothills migrated southwest into the territory of the Sauromatians, between the lower Volga and Don rivers.[15] These nomads conquered the Sauromatians, whose name eventually came to be applied to the whole of the new people formed out of these migrations, whose constituent tribes were the Aorsi, Roxolani, Alans, and the Iazyges. Despite the similarity between the names Sarmatian and Sauromatian, modern authors distinguish between the two, since Sarmatian culture did not directly develop from the Sauromatian culture and the core of the Sarmatian culture was composed of these newly arrived migrants.[16][17]

In the Pontic Steppe and Europe[edit]

During the 4th and 3rd centuries BC, the centre of Sarmatian power remained north of the Caucasus and in the 3rd century BC the most important centres were around the lower Don, Kalmykia, the Kuban area, and the Central Caucasus.[17][16]

During the end of the 4th century BC, the Scythians, the then dominant power in the Black Sea Steppe, were militarily defeated by the Macedonian kings Philip II of Macedon and Lysimachus in 339 and 313 BC respectively. They experienced another military setback after participating in the Bosporan Civil War in 309 BC and came under pressure from the Thracian Getae and the Celtic Bastarnae. At the same time, in Central Asia, following the Macedonian conquest of the Achaemenid Empire, the new Seleucid Empire started attacking the Sakā and Dahā nomads who lived to the north of its borders, who in turn put westward pressure on the Sarmatians. Pressured by the Sakā and Dahā in the east and taking advantage of the decline of Scythian power, the Sarmatians began crossing the Don river and invaded Scythia and also migrated south into the North Caucasus.[17][16]

The first wave of westward Sarmatian migration happened during the 2nd century BC, and involved the Royal Sarmatians, or Saioi (from Scytho-Sarmatian *xšaya, meaning "kings"), who moved into the Pontic Steppe, and the Iazyges, also called the Iaxamatai or Iazamatai, who initially settled between the Don and Dnieper rivers. The Roxolani, who might have been a mixed Scytho-Sarmatian tribe, followed the Iazyges and occupied the Black Sea steppes up to the Dnipro and raided the Crimean region during that century, at the end of which they were involved in a conflict with the generals of the Pontic king Mithridates VI Eupator in the Bosporan Chersonesus, while the Iazyges became his allies.[17][16][18]

Sarmatian bottle and lid (1st century CE, reproduction)

That the tribes formerly referred to by Herodotus as Scythians were now called Sarmatians by Hellenistic and Roman authors implies that the Sarmatian conquest did not involve a displacement of the Scythians from the Pontic Steppe, but rather that the Scythian tribes were absorbed by the Sarmatians.[18] After their conquest of Scythia, the Sarmatians became the dominant political power in the northern Pontic Steppe, where Sarmatian graves first started appearing in the 2nd century BC. Meanwhile, the populations which still identified as Scythians proper became reduced to Crimea and the Dobruja region, and at one point the Crimean Scythians were the vassals of the Sarmatian queen Amage. Sarmatian power in the Pontic Steppes was also directed against the Greek cities on its shores, with the city of Pontic Olbia being forced to pay repeated tribute to the Royal Sarmatians and their king Saitapharnes, who is mentioned in the Protogenes inscription along with the tribes of the Thisamatae, Scythians, and Saudaratae. Another Sarmatian king, Gatalos, was named in a peace treaty concluded by the king Pharnaces I of Pontus with his enemies.[17][16][18]

Two other Sarmatian tribes, the Siraces, who had previously originated in the Transcaspian Plains immediately to the northeast of Hyrcania before migrating to the west, and the Aorsi, moved to the west across the Volga and into the Caucasus mountains' foothills between the 2nd to 1st centuries BC. From there, the pressure from their growing power forcing the more western Sarmatian tribes to migrate further west, and the Aorsi and Siraces destroyed the power of the Royal Sarmatians and the Iazyges, with the Aorsi being able to extend their rule over a large region stretching from the Caucasus across the Terek–Kuma Lowland and Kalmykia in the west up to the Aral Sea region in the east. Yet another new Sarmatian group, the Alans, originated in Central Asia out of the merger of some old tribal groups with the Massagetae. Related to the Asii who invaded Bactria in the 2nd century BC, the Alans were pushed west by the Kangju people (known to Graeco-Roman authors as the Ιαξαρται Iaxartai in Greek, and the Iaxartae in Latin) who were living in the Syr Darya basin, from where they expanded their rule from Fergana to the Aral Sea region.[17][16]

The hegemony of the Sarmatians in the Pontic Steppe continued during the 1st century BC, when they were allied with the Scythians against Diophantus, a general of Mithradates VI Eupator, before allying with Mithradates against the Romans and fighting for him in both Europe and Asia, demonstrating the Sarmatians' complete involvement in the affairs of the Pontic and Danubian regions. During the early part of the century, the Alans had migrated to the area to the northeast of the Lake Maeotis. Meanwhile, the Iazyges moved westwards until they reached the Danube, and the Roxolani moved into the area between the Dnipro and the Danube and from there further west. These two peoples attacked the regions around Tomis and Moesia, respectively. During this period, the Iazyges and Roxolani also attacked the Roman province of Thracia, whose governor Tiberius Plautius Silvanus Aelianus had to defend the Roman border of the Danube. During the 1st century BC century, various Sarmatians reached the Pannonian Basin, with the Iazyges passing through the territories corresponding to modern-day Moldavia and Wallachia before settling in the Tisza valley, by the middle of the century.[17][16][18]

Although the Sarmatian movements stopped temporarily during the 1st century BC due to the rise of the Dacian kingdom of Burebista, they resumed after the collapse of his kingdom following his assassination and in 16 BC. Lucius Tarius Rufus had to repel a Sarmatian attack on Thracia and Macedonia, while further attacks around 10 BC and 2 BC were defeated by Gnaeus Cornelius Lentulus.[18]

Sarmatian cup with animal handle (1st century CE, reproduction)

Meanwhile, other Sarmatian tribes, possibly the Aorsi, sent ambassadors to the Roman emperor Augustus, who tried to establish a diplomatic accommodation with them. During the 1st century AD, the Siraces and Aorsi, who were mutually hostile, participated in the Roman–Bosporan War on opposite sides: the Siraces and their king Zorsines allied with Mithridates III against his half-brother Cotys I, who was allied with Rome and the Aorsi. With the defeat of Cotys, the Siraces were also routed and lost rulership over most of their lands. Between 50 and 60 CE, the Alans had appeared in the foothills of the Caucasus, from where they attacked the Caucasus and Transcaucasus areas and the Parthian Empire. During the 1st century AD, the Alans expanded across the Volga to the west, absorbing part of the Aorsi and displacing the rest, and pressure from the Alans forced the Iazyges and Roxolani to continue attacking the Roman Empire from across the Danube. During the 1st century AD, two Sarmatian rulers from the steppe named Pharzoios and Inismeōs were minting coins in Pontic Olbia.[16][17][18]

The Roxolani continued their westward migration following the conflict on the Bosporan Chersonesus, and by 69 AD they were close enough to the lower Danube that they were able to attack across the river when it was frozen in winter, and soon later they and the Alans were living on the coast of the Black Sea, and they later moved further west and were living in the areas corresponding to modern-day Moldavia and western Ukraine.[18]

The Sarmatian tribe of the Arraei, who had had close contacts with the Romans, eventually settled to the south of the Danube river, in Thrace, and another Sarmatian tribe, the Koralloi, were also living in the same area alongside a section of the Scythian Sindi.[18]

During the 1st and 2nd centuries AD, the Iazyges often bothered the Roman authorities in Pannonia; they participated in the destruction of the Quadian kingdom of Vannius, and often migrated to the east across the Transylvanian Plateau and the Carpathian Mountains during seasonal movements or for trade.[18]

By the 2nd century AD, the Alans had conquered the steppes of the north Caucasus and of the north Black Sea area and created a powerful confederation of tribes under their rule. Under the hegemony of the Alans a trade route connected the Pontic Steppe, the southern Urals, and the region presently known as Western Turkestan. One group of the Alans, the Antae, migrated north into the territory of what is presently Poland.[17][16]

Sarmatian cataphracts during Dacian Wars as depicted on Trajan's Column

Decline[edit]

The hegemony of the Sarmatians in the steppes began to decline over the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD, when the Huns conquered Sarmatian territory in the Caspian Steppe and the Ural region. The supremacy of the Sarmatians was finally destroyed when the Germanic Goths migrating from the Baltic Sea region conquered the Pontic Steppe around 200 AD. In 375 AD, the Huns conquered most of the Alans living to the east of the Don river, massacred a significant number of them, and absorbed them into their tribal polity, while the Alans to the west of the Don remained free from Hunnish domination. As part of the Hunnic state, the Alans participated in the Huns' defeat and conquest of the kingdom of the Ostrogoths on the Pontic Steppe. Some free Alans fled into the mountains of the Caucasus, where they participated in the ethnogenesis of populations including the Ossetians and the Kabardians, and other Alan groupings survived in Crimea. Others migrated into Central and then Western Europe, from where some of them went to Britannia and Hispania, and some joined the Germanic Vandals into crossing the Strait of Gibraltar and creating the Vandal Kingdom in North Africa.[16][17]

The Sarmatians in the Bosporan Kingdom assimilated into the Greek civilization.[19] Others assimilated with the proto-Circassian Meot people, and may have influenced the Circassian language.[20] Some Sarmatians were absorbed by the Alans and Goths.[21] During the Early Middle Ages, the Proto-Slavic population of Eastern Europe assimilated and absorbed Sarmatians during the political upheavals of that era.[22][23] However, a people related to the Sarmatians, known as the Alans, survived in the North Caucasus into the Early Middle Ages, ultimately giving rise to the modern Ossetic ethnic group.[24]

Archaeology[edit]

A Sarmatian-Parthian gold necklace and amulet, second century AD - Tamoikin Art Fund.

In 1947, Soviet archaeologist Boris Grakov[25] defined a culture flourishing from the 6th century BC to the 4th century AD, apparent in late kurgan graves (buried within earthwork mounds), sometimes reusing part of much older kurgans.[26] It was a nomadic steppe culture ranging from the Black Sea eastward to beyond the Volga that is especially evident at two of the major sites at Kardaielova and Chernaya in the trans-Uralic steppe. The four phases – distinguished by grave construction, burial customs, grave goods, and geographical spread – are:[27][28]

  1. Sauromatian, 6th–5th centuries BC
  2. Early Sarmatian, 4th–2nd centuries BC, also called the Prokhorovka culture
  3. Middle Sarmatian, late 2nd century BC to late 2nd century AD
  4. Late Sarmatian, late 2nd century AD to 4th century AD

While "Sarmatian" and "Sauromatian" are synonymous as ethnonyms, by convention they are given different meanings as archaeological technical terms. The term "Prokhorovka culture" derives from a complex of mounds in the Prokhorovski District, Orenburg region, excavated by S. I. Rudenko in 1916.[29]

Reportedly, during 2001 and 2006 a great Late Sarmatian pottery centre was unearthed near Budapest, Hungary in the Üllő5 archaeological site. Typical grey, granular Üllő5 ceramics form a distinct group of Sarmatian pottery is found ubiquitously in the north-central part of the Great Hungarian Plain region, indicating a lively trading activity.

A 1998 paper on the study of glass beads found in Sarmatian graves suggests wide cultural and trade links.[30]

Archaeological evidence suggests that Scythian-Sarmatian cultures may have given rise to the Greek legends of Amazons. Graves of armed women have been found in southern Ukraine and Russia. David Anthony noted that approximately 20% of Scythian-Sarmatian "warrior graves" on the lower Don and lower Volga contained women dressed for battle as warriors and he asserts that encountering that cultural phenomenon "probably inspired the Greek tales about the Amazons."[31]

Ethnology[edit]

A Sarmatian diadem, found at the Khokhlach kurgan near Novocherkassk (first century AD, Hermitage Museum)

The Sarmatians were part of the Iranian steppe peoples, among whom were also Scythians and Saka.[32] These also are grouped together as "East Iranians."[33] Archaeology has established the connection 'between the Iranian-speaking Scythians, Sarmatians, and Saka and the earlier Timber-grave and Andronovo cultures'.[34] Based on building construction, these three peoples were the likely descendants of those earlier archaeological cultures.[35] The Sarmatians and Saka used the same stone construction methods as the earlier Andronovo culture.[36] The Timber grave (Srubnaya culture) and Andronovo house building traditions were further developed by these three peoples.[37] Andronovo pottery was continued by the Saka and Sarmatians.[38] Archaeologists describe the Andronovo culture people as exhibiting pronounced Caucasoid features.[39]

Great steppe of Kazakhstan in early spring 2004

The first Sarmatians are mostly identified with the Prokhorovka culture, which moved from the southern Urals to the Lower Volga and then to the northern Pontic steppe, in the fourth–third centuries BC. During the migration, the Sarmatian population seems to have grown and they divided themselves into several groups, such as the Alans, Aorsi, Roxolani, and Iazyges. By 200 BC, the Sarmatians replaced the Scythians as the dominant people of the steppes.[40] The Sarmatians and Scythians had fought on the Pontic steppe to the north of the Black Sea.[41] The Sarmatians, described as a large confederation,[27] were to dominate these territories over the next five centuries.[42] According to Brzezinski and Mielczarek, the Sarmatians were formed between the Don River and the Ural Mountains.[42] Pliny the Elder wrote that they ranged from the Vistula River (in present-day Poland) to the Danube.

Culture[edit]

Language[edit]

Iranic peoples of Central Asia during the Iron Age, including Sarmatians

The Sarmatians spoke an Iranian language that was derived from 'Old Iranian' and was heterogenous. By the first century BC, the Iranian tribes in what is today South Russia spoke different languages or dialects, clearly distinguishable.[43] According to a group of Iranologists writing in 1968, the numerous Iranian personal names in Greek inscriptions from the Black Sea coast indicate that the Sarmatians spoke a North-Eastern Iranian dialect ancestral to Alanian-Ossetian.[44] However, Harmatta (1970) argued that "the language of the Sarmatians or that of the Alans as a whole cannot be simply regarded as being Old Ossetian."[43]

Equipment[edit]

The Roxolani, who were one of the earlier Sarmatian tribes to have migrated into Europe and therefore were among the more geographically western Sarmatians, used helmets and corselets made of raw ox hide, and wicker shields, as well as spears, bows, and swords. The Roxolani adopted these forms of armour and weaponry from the Germanic Bastarnae near whom they lived.[18] The more eastern Sarmatian tribes used scale armour and used a long lance called the contus and bows in battle.[18]

Metalwork[edit]

The early Sarmatians already possessed the technique of decorating with gold inclusions, observed in Achaemenid metalwork. It was spread by nomads in the Eurasian steppes during the 6th-5th century BC, from the Altai Mountains eastwards to central Kazakhstan and westwards to the southern Urals.[45] Peter the Great particularly cherished his Demidov Gift, a Sarmatian gold collection,[46] now exhibited in the Gold Chamber at the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg. The Novocherkassk Treasure with the famous Sarmatian Diadem[47] adorned with the Tree of Life can also be seen in the Hermitage Gold Room.[48] It is a Sarmatian hoard of gold, silver and bronze articles and jewellery discovered in the Khokhlach barrow in Novocherkassk in 1864. Chronologically it belongs to the first and second centuries AD.[49]

Genetics[edit]

Bronze Age spread of Yamnaya Steppe pastoralist ancestry

In a study conducted in 2014 by Gennady Afanasiev, et al., from the Institute of Archaeology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, DNA was extracted from bone fragments found in seven out of ten Alanic burials on the Don River. Four of them turned out to belong to Y-DNA Haplogroup G2 and six of them possessed mtDNA haplogroup I.[50]

In 2015, the Institute of Archaeology in Moscow conducted research on various Sarmato-Alan and Saltovo-Mayaki culture Kurgan burials. In these analyses, the two Alan samples from the fourth to sixth century AD turned out to belong to Y-DNA haplogroups G2a-P15 and R1a-Z94, while two of the three Sarmatian samples from the second to third century AD were found to belong to Y-DNA haplogroup J1-M267 while one belonged to R1a. Three Saltovo-Mayaki samples from the eighth to ninth century AD turned out to have Y-DNA corresponding to haplogroups G, J2a-M410 and R1a-z94.[51]

A genetic study published in Nature Communications in March 2017 examined several Sarmatian individuals buried in Pokrovka, Russia (southwest of the Ural Mountains) between the fifth century BC and the second century BC. The sample of Y-DNA extracted belonged to haplogroup R1b1a2a2. This was the dominant lineage among males of the earlier Yamnaya culture.[52] The eleven samples of mtDNA extracted belonged to the haplogroups U3, M, U1a'c, T, F1b, N1a1a1a1a, T2, U2e2, H2a1f, T1a, and U5a1d2b.[53] The Sarmatians examined were found to be closely related to peoples of the earlier Yamnaya culture and to the Poltavka culture.[54]

A genetic study published in Nature in May 2018 examined the remains of twelve Sarmatians buried between 400 BC and 400 AD.[55] The five samples of Y-DNA extracted belonged to haplogroup R1a1, I2b, R (two samples), and R1.[56] The eleven samples of mtDNA extracted belonged to C4a1a, U4a2 (two samples), C4b1, I1, A, U2e1h (two samples), U4b1a4, H28, and U5a1.[57]

A genetic study published in Science Advances in October 2018 examined the remains of five Sarmatians buried between 55 AD and 320 AD. The three samples of Y-DNA extracted belonged to haplogroup R1a1a and R1b1a2a2 (two samples), while the five samples of mtDNA extracted belonged to haplogroup H2a1, T1a1, U5b2b (two samples), and D4q.[58]

A genetic study published in Current Biology in July 2019 examined the remains of nine Sarmatians from the southern Ural Mountains between 7th–2nd century BC. The five samples of Y-DNA extracted belonged to haplogroup Q1c-L332, R1a1e-CTS1123, R1a-Z645 (two samples), and E1b1b-PF6746, while the nine samples of mtDNA extracted belonged to haplogroup W, W3a, T1a1, U5a2, U5b2a1a2, T1a1d, C1e, U5b2a1a1, U5b2c, and U5b2c.[59]

A archaeogenetic study published in Cell in 2022, analyzed 17 Late Sarmatian samples from 4-5th century AD from the Pannonian Basin in Hungary. The nine extraced Y-DNA belonged to a diverse set of haplogroups, 2x I2a1b1a2b1-CTS4348, 2x I1a2a1a1a-Z141, I1a-DF29, G2a1-FGC725, E1b1b-L142.1, R1a1a1b2a2a1-Z2123 and R1b1a1b1a1a2b-PF6570, while the mtDNA haplogroups C5, H, 2x H1, H5, H7, H40, H59, HV0 I1, J1, 2x K1a, T1a, 2x T2b, U2.[60]

A genetic study published in Current Biology in 2022 regarding the genetic origin of Huns, Avars, and conquering Hungarians. 265 ancient genomes were analized, it revelaed that the Hungarian conquerors admixed with Sarmatians and Huns. Sarmatian ancestry was also detected among several Hun samples which implies a significant Sarmatian influence on European Huns.[61]

Physical appearance[edit]

Map of Attested and Hypothetical Old Indo-Iranian Dialects

The Roman author Ovid recorded that one of the Sarmatian tribes, the Coralli, had blond hair, which is a characteristic that Ammianus Marcellinus also ascribed to the Alans. He wrote that nearly all of the Alani were "of great stature and beauty, their hair is somewhat yellow, their eyes are frighteningly fierce."

Modern historians have offered conflicting opinions about the description of the Alans as being tall and having blond hair. For instance, Roger Batty has posited that "presumably, only some of the Alans would have been blond".[62] Bernard Bachrach has likewise suggested that because the Alans assimilated so many foreigners, the majority of them are unlikely to have been blond-haired, and that there was no distinguishing physical characteristic of the Alans.[63] However, John Day has argued that Bachrach's analysis is flawed, because he mistranslated the original passage from Ammianus Marcellinus, and that the majority of the Alans were in fact blond.[64] Iver Neumann has suggested that the description of Alans as blond may mean that their Indo-Iranian ancestry was greater than it was in the Huns.[65] Charles Previté-Orton wrote that the Alans were only partly of Iranian heritage, and that the other part of their ancestry came from captive women and slaves.[66]

Sarmatism[edit]

Sarmatism (or Sarmatianism) is an ethno-cultural concept with a shade of politics designating the formation of an idea of the origin of Poland from Sarmatians within the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth.[67] It was the dominant Baroque culture and ideology of the nobility (szlachta) that existed in times of the Renaissance to the eighteenth centuries.[67] Together with another concept of "Golden Liberty," it formed a central aspect of the Commonwealth's culture and society. At its core was the unifying belief that the people of the Polish Commonwealth descended from the ancient Iranic Sarmatians, the legendary invaders of Slavic lands in antiquity.[68][69]

Tribes[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Unterländer et al. 2017, p. 2. "During the first millennium BC, nomadic people spread over the Eurasian Steppe from the Altai Mountains over the northern Black Sea area as far as the Carpathian Basin... Greek and Persian historians of the 1st millennium BC chronicle the existence of the Massagetae and Sauromatians, and later, the Sarmatians and Sacae: cultures possessing artefacts similar to those found in classical Scythian monuments, such as weapons, horse harnesses and a distinctive ‘Animal Style' artistic tradition. Accordingly, these groups are often assigned to the Scythian culture...
  2. ^ "Sarmatian | people". Encyclopedia Britannica. 25 July 2023.
  3. ^ Kozlovskaya 2017.
  4. ^ Davies, Norman (1996). Europe: A History. Oxford University Press. p. 105. ISBN 978-0-19-820171-7. (...) "the Iranic Sarmatians, whose ability to assimilate into preceding Greek civilization created a brilliant new synthesis"
  5. ^ Richmond, Walter (11 June 2008). The Northwest Caucasus: Past, Present, Future. Routledge. p. 12. ISBN 978-1-134-00249-8. "While the Sarmatians dominated the Meot lands, they were themselves assimilated and the language of the Meots, the predecessor of the modern Circassian dialects, survived."
  6. ^ Eterovich, Francis H.; Spalatin, Christopher (15 December 1964). Croatia: Land, People, Culture Volume I. University of Toronto Press. p. 112. ISBN 978-1-4875-9676-7. On the shores of the Black Sea the Alans absorbed two Sarmatian peoples, the Siraci and Aorsi (...) Also, the Goths undoubtedly absorbed both Sarmatian and Slavic groups during their two centuries of rule over the steppe land
  7. ^ Chodorow, Stanley (1989). The Mainstream of Civilization. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. p. 368. ISBN 978-0-15-551579-6. But the Slavic tribes survived the collapse of these empires, and gradually the remnants of the Avars, Sarmatians, and others were absorbed into the Slavic culture.
  8. ^ Slovene Studies. Vol. 9–11. Society for Slovene Studies. 1987. p. 36. (..) For example, the ancient Scythians, Sarmatians (amongst others), and many other attested but now extinct peoples were assimilated in the course of history by Proto-Slavs.
  9. ^ Minahan, James (2000). "Ossetians". One Europe, Many Nations: A Historical Dictionary of European National Groups. Praeger security international. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 518. ISBN 9780313309847. Retrieved 27 March 2020. The Ossetians, calling themselves Iristi and their homeland Iryston, are the most northerly of the Iranian peoples. [...] They are descended from a division of Sarmatians, the Alans, who were pushed out of the Terek River lowlands and into the Caucasus foothills by invading Huns in the fourth century A.D.
  10. ^ "Large variation génétique sur la steppe pontique-caspienne". fr.scienceaq.com. Retrieved 2023-09-01.
  11. ^ Tokhtasyev 2005, p. 299.
  12. ^ Tokhtasyev 2005, p. 300.
  13. ^ a b Tokhtasyev 2005, p. 296.
  14. ^ Tokhtasyev 2005, p. 298-299.
  15. ^ For the complexity of the interactions of these peoples see, e.g. Mordvintseva 2013 and Kozlovskaya 2017.
  16. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Olbrycht 2000.
  17. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Melyukova 1990.
  18. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Batty 2007, p. 225-236.
  19. ^ Davies, Norman (1996). Europe: A History. Oxford University Press. p. 105. ISBN 978-0-19-820171-7. (...) "the Iranic Sarmatians, whose ability to assimilate into preceding Greek civilization created a brilliant new synthesis"
  20. ^ Richmond, Walter (11 June 2008). The Northwest Caucasus: Past, Present, Future. Routledge. p. 12. ISBN 978-1-134-00249-8. ""While the Sarmatians dominated the Meot lands, they were themselves assimilated and the language of the Meots, the predecessor of the modern Circassian dialects, survived."
  21. ^ Eterovich, Francis H.; Spalatin, Christopher (15 December 1964). Croatia: Land, People, Culture Volume I. University of Toronto Press. p. 112. ISBN 978-1-4875-9676-7. On the shores of the Black Sea the Alans absorbed two Sarmatian peoples, the Siraci and Aorsi ... Also, the Goths undoubtedly absorbed both Sarmatian and Slavic groups during their two centuries of rule over the steppe land
  22. ^ Chodorow, Stanley (1989). The Mainstream of Civilization. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. p. 368. ISBN 978-0-15-551579-6. But the Slavic tribes survived the collapse of these empires, and gradually the remnants of the Avars, Sarmatians, and others were absorbed into the Slavic culture.
  23. ^ Slovene Studies. Vol. 9–11. Society for Slovene Studies. 1987. p. 36. (..) For example, the ancient Scythians, Sarmatians (amongst others), and many other attested but now extinct peoples were assimilated in the course of history by Proto-Slavs.
  24. ^ Minahan, James (2000). "Ossetians". One Europe, Many Nations: A Historical Dictionary of European National Groups. Praeger security international. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 518. ISBN 9780313309847. Retrieved 27 March 2020. The Ossetians, calling themselves Iristi and their homeland Iryston, are the most northerly of the Iranian peoples. [...] They are descended from a division of Sarmatians, the Alans, who were pushed out of the Terek River lowlands and into the Caucasus foothills by invading Huns in the fourth century A.D.
  25. ^ Schubert, Charlotte; Weiß, Alexander (22 March 2013). Amazonen zwischen Griechen und Skythen: Gegenbilder in Mythos und Geschichte (in German). Walter de Gruyter. p. 85. ISBN 978-3-11-028616-8.
  26. ^ Граков Б. Н. ГYNAIKOKPATOYMENOI (Пережитки матриархата у сарматов) Archived 2021-11-21 at the Wayback Machine//ВДИ, 1947. № 3
  27. ^ a b Sinor 1990, p. 113.
  28. ^ Genito, Bruno (1 November 2002). The Elusive Frontiers of the Eurasian Steppes. All’Insegna del Giglio. pp. 57–. ISBN 978-88-7814-283-1.
  29. ^ Yablonskii, Leonid; Balakhvantsev, Archil (1 January 2009). "A Silver Bowl from the New Excavations of the Early Sarmatian Burial-Ground Near the Village of Prokhorovka". Ancient Civilizations from Scythia to Siberia. 15 (1–2): 167–169. doi:10.1163/092907709X12474657004809.
  30. ^ "Chemical Analyses of Sarmatian Glass Beads from Pokrovka, Russia" Archived 2005-04-15 at the Library of Congress Web Archives, by Mark E. Hall and Leonid Yablonsky.
  31. ^ Anthony, David W. (2007). The Horse, the Wheel, and Language: How Bronze-Age Riders from the Eurasian Steppes Shaped the Modern World. Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0-691-05887-0.
  32. ^ Kuzmina 2007, p. 220.
  33. ^ Kuzmina 2007, p. 445.
  34. ^ Kuzmina 2007, p. xiv.
  35. ^ Kuzmina 2007, p. 50.
  36. ^ Kuzmina 2007, p. 51.
  37. ^ Kuzmina 2007, p. 64.
  38. ^ Kuzmina 2007, p. 78.
  39. ^ Keyser, Christine; Bouakaze, Caroline; Crubézy, Eric; Nikolaev, Valery G.; Montagnon, Daniel; Reis, Tatiana; Ludes, Bertrand (May 16, 2009). "Ancient DNA provides new insights into the history of south Siberian Kurgan people". Human Genetics. 126 (3): 395–410. doi:10.1007/s00439-009-0683-0. PMID 19449030. S2CID 21347353.
  40. ^ Barry W. Cunliffe (2001). The Oxford Illustrated History of Prehistoric Europe. Oxford University Press. pp. 402–. ISBN 978-0-19-285441-4.
  41. ^ Grousset, Rene (1970). The Empire of the Steppes. Rutgers University Press. pp. 15. ISBN 978-0-8135-1304-1.
  42. ^ a b Brzezinski & Mielczarek 2002.
  43. ^ a b Harmatta 1970, 3.4.
  44. ^ Handbuch der Orientalistik, Iranistik. By I. Gershevitch, O. Hansen, B. Spuler, M.J. Dresden, Prof M Boyce, M. Boyce Summary. E.J. Brill. 1968.
  45. ^ Shemakhanskaya, Marina; Treister, Mikhail; Yablonsky, Leonid (2009-12-31). "The technique of gold inlaid decoration in the 5th-4th centuries BC: silver and iron finds from the early Sarmatian barrows of Filippovka, Southern Urals". ArcheoSciences. Revue d'archéométrie (in French) (33): 211–220. doi:10.4000/archeosciences.2223. ISSN 1960-1360.
  46. ^ Haskins, John F. (1959). "Sarmatian Gold Collected by Peter the Great: - VII; The Demidov Gift and Conclusions". Artibus Asiae. 22 (1/2): 64–78. doi:10.2307/3249145. ISSN 0004-3648. JSTOR 3249145.
  47. ^ "Realms Of Gold The Novel: Treasures of the Sarmatians: Diadem". Realms Of Gold The Novel. Retrieved 2023-09-01.
  48. ^ "Hermitage Gold Room - uVisitRussia". www.uvisitrussia.com. Retrieved 2023-09-01.
  49. ^ "State Hermitage Museum: East/Central Europe (including early nomads)". depts.washington.edu. Retrieved 2023-09-01.
  50. ^ Afanasiev, Gennady E.; Dobrovolskaya, M. V.; Korobov, D. S.; Reshetova, Irina K. (2014). "О культурной, антропологической и генетической специфике донских алан [On the cultural, anthropological and genetic specifics of the Don Alans ]". In Korobov, D. S. (ed.). Е.И. Крупнов и развитие археологии Северного Кавказа [E.I. Krupnov and the development of the archeology of the North Caucasus]. XXVIII Krupnov's readings : Proceedings of the International Scientific Conference, Moscow, April 21-25, 2014. Moscow: Institute of Archaeology, Russian Academy of Sciences. pp. 312–315. ISBN 978-5-94375-162-2 – via www.academia.edu.
  51. ^ Afanasiev, Gennady E.; et al. (2015). "Хазарские конфедераты в бассейне Дона [Khazar confederates in the Don basin]". In Dobrovolskaya, M. V.; Chernykh, E. N. (eds.). Естественнонаучные методы исследования и парадигма современной археологии [Natural scientific methods of research and the paradigm of modern archaeology]. Proceedings of the All-Russian Scientific Conference, Moscow, Institute of Archeology RAS, December 8–11, 2015. Moscow: Языки славянской культуры [Languages of Slavic Culture] for Institute of Archaeology, Russian Academy of Sciences. pp. 146–153. ISBN 978-5-94457-2431 – via www.academia.edu.
  52. ^ Unterländer et al. 2017, Supplementary Information, pp. 55, 72. "Individual I0575 (Sarmatian) belonged to haplogroup R1b1a2a2, and was thus related to the dominant Ychromosome lineage of the Yamnaya (Pit Grave) males from Samara..."
  53. ^ Unterländer et al. 2017, Supplementary Information, p. 25, Supplementary Table 1.
  54. ^ Unterländer et al. 2017, pp. 3–4. "The two Early Sarmatian samples from the West... fall close to an Iron Age sample from the Samara district... and are generally close to the Early Bronze Age Yamnaya samples from Samara... and Kalmykia... and the Middle Bronze Age Poltavka samples from Samara..."
  55. ^ Damgaard et al. 2018, Supplementary Table 2, Rows 19, 21-22, 25, 90-93, 95-97, 116.
  56. ^ Damgaard et al. 2018, Supplementary Table 9, Rows 15, 18, 64, 67, 68.
  57. ^ Damgaard et al. 2018, Supplementary Table 8, Rows 57, 79-80, 84, 25-27, 31-33, 59.
  58. ^ Krzewińska et al. 2018, Supplementary Materials, Table S3 Summary, Rows 4-8.
  59. ^ Järve et al. 2019, Table S2.
  60. ^ Gnecchi-Ruscone et al. 2022, Table S1.
  61. ^ Maróti, Zoltán; Neparáczki, Endre; Schütz, Oszkár; Maár, Kitti; Varga, Gergely I.B.; Kovács, Bence; Kalmár, Tibor; Nyerki, Emil; Nagy, István; Latinovics, Dóra; Tihanyi, Balázs; Marcsik, Antónia; Pálfi, György; Bernert, Zsolt; Gallina, Zsolt; Horváth, Ciprián; Varga, Sándor; Költő, László; Raskó, István; Nagy, Péter L.; Balogh, Csilla; Zink, Albert; Maixner, Frank; Götherström, Anders; George, Robert; Szalontai, Csaba; Szenthe, Gergely; Gáll, Erwin; Kiss, Attila P.; Gulyás, Bence; Kovacsóczy, Bernadett Ny.; Gál, Sándor Szilárd; Tomka, Péter; Török, Tibor (25 May 2022). "The genetic origin of Huns, Avars, and conquering Hungarians". Current Biology. 32 (13): 2858–2870.e7. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2022.04.093. PMID 35617951. S2CID 246191357.
  62. ^ Batty 2007, p. 235 (Footnote 224) "In reality, presumably only some Alans were blond."
  63. ^ Bachrach, Bernard (1973). A history of the Alans in the West : from their first appearance in the sources of classical antiquity through the early Middle Ages. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. p. 76-77. ISBN 0-8166-0678-1.
  64. ^ Day, John V. (2001). Indo-European origins : the anthropological evidence. Institute for the Study of Man. p. 57. ISBN 0-941694-75-5. Mistranslating their hair colour as ' generally blond ', Bachrach doubts that Alans really were so fair, considering that, as Ammianus Marcellinus says, they had assimilated so many other ethnic groups (1973:19).
  65. ^ Neumann, Iver B.; Wigen, Einar (19 July 2018). The Steppe Tradition in International Relations: Russians, Turks and European State Building 4000 BC–2017 AD. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press. p. 103-104. ISBN 978-1-108-42079-2. "They saw Alans as tall and blond, whereas the Huns were seen as squat and ugly (Bachrach 1973:19), we may take this to mean that the Alans looked more like Romans, i.e. that the Iranic element was stronger in them than it was in the Huns."
  66. ^ Previté-Orton, C. W. (24 July 1975). Cambridge Medieval History, Shorter: Volume 1, The Later Roman Empire to the Twelfth Century. Cambridge University Press. p. 42. ISBN 978-0-521-20962-5. "...the blond Alans between the Don, the Volga, and Mount Caucasus were Iranian in speech and partly in blood, and remnants of other Iranian nomads, not to mention descendants of captive women and slaves..."
  67. ^ a b Kresin, O. Sarmatism Ukrainian. Ukrainian History
  68. ^ Tadeusz Sulimirski, The Sarmatians (New York: Praeger Publishers 1970) at 167.
  69. ^ P. M. Barford, The Early Slavs (Ithaca: Cornell University 2001) at 28.

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