The New Student's Reference Work/Scythians

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See also Scythians on Wikipedia, and the disclaimer.

Scythians (sĭth′ĭ-ans), an ancient race of Asia. The name is given either to the Scythians proper, the Scolots, or to all the wandering tribes who lived on the steppes from Hungary to Turkestan. The Scythians proper were a wandering people, living in the treeless plains between the Danube and the Volga. They lived in tent-covered wagons, kept herds of horses, cattle and sheep, fought with bows and arrows on horseback, made drinking-cups of the skulls of their enemies, and worshipped (without images) gods like those of the Aryan Greeks. They seem to have learned some of the arts of civilized life from the Greek colonies, and a Scythian king went to Athens to study under Solon. In the 7th century they invaded Media occupying it ten years, until Cyaxares made all their chiefs drunk at a banquet and slew them. The Scythians of Europe were nearly exterminated by the Sarmatians (q. v.) in the 4th century. The Scythians of Asia overran Parthia (northeastern Persia) about 128 B. C., and founded a kingdom in the eastern part of the empire, so that that part of Asia was called Indo-Scythia In the century before and the century after Christ they invaded northern India, where they held possession for four or five centuries. Consult Mahaffy's The Greek World under Roman Sway.