The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Cimmerians

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Edition of 1920. See also Cimmerians on Wikipedia, and the disclaimer.

CIMMERIANS, a tribe half-mythical, half-historical, described first in the Odyssey as dwelling beyond the ocean-stream, in thickest gloom, unvisited by Helios. Hence the term, “Cimmerian gloom.” From Herodotus we learn that they originally inhabited the country between the Borysthenes and the Tanais, but expelled by the Scythians, they traveled along the shores of the Euxine, passed through Colchis and over the Halys, and entered Asia to the west of that river. Against this it is urged that the route by the Euxine would be impassable for a nomadic people, the Caucasus running down to the very shores of that sea. The sum of our certain knowledge respecting this people is, that they seem to have been the chief occupants of the Tauric Chersonesus (the Crimea), where they had a large city, near which were fortifications enclosing the isthmus by an earthen wall.