Eastern Slavic dialects used midnight for north? Could you explain that? I don’t really get it.
Otherwise, that Sarmatian link is interesting, as another theory for our Severi is that they were in fact the Sabirs – a Hunnic tribe, which for a time was subjugated by Old Great Bulgaria (the one in modern Ukraine), and at least a part of which later moved to Volga Bulgaria where they were known as the Suvars (ancestors of modern day Chuvashes). Of course, I’ve also seen a suggestion that they may have been Goths (which sounds as unlikely as a connection to the Severan dynasty of Rome), but that came from ol’ Bozho (Bozhidar Dimitrov, TV historian), who’s only somewhat better than our JJ here. Anyway, if they were Sarmatians, does that mean the Slavic word for north is Iranic in origin as well?