1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Melanchlaeni

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MELANCHLAENI (from Gr. μέλας, and χλανῖα, “Blackcloaks”), an ancient tribe to the north of Scythia, probably about the modern Ryazan and Tambov (Herodotus iv. 106). They have been identified with the Finnish tribes Merja (now extinct) and Cheremis, now driven north-east on to the middle Volga. These, till recently, wore black. There has been confusion between this tribe and another of the same name mentioned by Pliny (N. H. vi. 15), and Ptolemy in the Caucasus.  (E. H. M.)