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  • #346403

    Anonymous

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indo-Scythians

    Indo-Scythians is a term used to refer to Scythians (Sakas), who migrated into parts of Central Asia and northern South Asia (Sogdiana, Bactria, Arachosia, Gandhara, Sindh, Kashmir, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, UP and Bihar.), from the middle of the 2nd century BC to the 4th century AD.

    The first Saka king in south Asia was Maues (Moga) (1st century BC) who established Saka power in Gandhara (Afghanistan) and gradually extended supremacy over north-western India. Indo-Scythian rule in northwestern India ended with the last Western Satrap Rudrasimha III in AD 395 who was defeated by the Indian Emperor Chandragupta II of the Gupta Empire. The power of the Saka rulers started to decline in the 2nd century AD after the Indo-Scythians were defeated by the south Indian Emperor Gautamiputra Satakarni of the Satavahana  Later the Saka kingdom was completely destroyed by Chandragupta II of the Gupta Empire in the 4th century.

    The invasion of India by Scythian tribes from Central Asia, often referred to as the Indo-Scythian invasion, played a significant part in the history of South Asia as well as nearby countries. In fact, the Indo-Scythian war is just one chapter in the events triggered by the nomadic flight of Central Asians from conflict with tribes such as the Xiongnu in the 2nd century AD, which had lasting effects on Bactria, Kabul, Parthia and India as well as far-off Rome in the west. The agrarian and artisan communities (e.g. Jats, Lohars, Tarkhans etc.) of the entire western India are derived from the Scythians, who settled north-western and western South Asia in successive waves between 500 B.C. to 500 AD.

    It has been claimed that ancient Roman historians including Arrian[citation needed] and Claudius Ptolemy have mentioned that the ancient Sakas ('Sakai') were basically nomads. However, Italo Ronca, in his detailed study of Ptolemy's chapter vi, marks the statement: "The land of the Sakai belongs to nomads, they have no towns but dwell in forests and caves" as spurious.

    Origins

    The ancestors of the Indo-Scythians are thought to be Sakas (Scythian) tribes.

    "One group of Indo-European speakers that makes an early appearance on the Xinjiang stage is the Saka (Ch. Sai). Saka is more a generic term than a name for a specific state or ethnic group; Saka tribes were part of a cultural continuum of early nomads across Siberia and the Central Eurasian steppe lands from Xinjiang to the Black Sea. Like the Scythians whom Herodotus describes in book four of his History (Saka is an Iranian word equivalent to the Greek Scythos, and many scholars refer to them together as Saka-Scythian), Sakas were Iranian-speaking horse nomads who deployed chariots in battle, sacrificed horses, and buried their dead in barrows or mound tombs called kurgans."

    Yuezhi expansion

    In the 2nd century BC, a fresh nomadic movement started among the Central Asian tribes, producing lasting effects on the history of Rome in Europe and Bactria, Kabul, Parthia and India in the east. Recorded in the annals of the Han dynasty and other Chinese records, this great tribal movement began after the Yuezhi tribe was defeated by the Xiongnu, fleeing westwards after their defeat and creating a domino effect as they displaced other central Asian tribes in their path.

    According to these ancient sources Modu Shanyu of the Xiongnu tribe of Mongolia attacked the Yuezhi and evicted them from their homeland between the Qilian Shan and Dunhuang. Leaving behind a remnant of their number, most of the population moved westwards.

    Early Indian literature records military alliances between the Sakas, Kambojas, Pahlavas and Paradas. Ancient Puranic traditions mention several joint invasions of India by Scythians. The conflict between the Bahu-Sagara of India and the Haihaya-Kamboja-Saka-Pahlava-Parada is well known as the war fought by "five hordes" (pāňca-ganha). The Sakas, Yavanas, Tusharas and Kambojas also fought the Kurukshetra war under the command of Sudakshina Kamboja. The Valmiki Ramayana also attests that the Sakas, Kambojas, Pahlavas and Yavanas fought together against the Vedic, Hindu king Vishwamitra of Kanauj.

    Around 175 BC, the Yuezhi tribes (possibly related to the Tocharians who lived in eastern Tarim Basin area), were defeated by the Xiongnu tribes, and fled west into the Ili river area. There, they displaced the Sakas, who migrated south into Ferghana and Sogdiana. According to the Chinese historical chronicles (who call the Sakas, "Sai" 塞):

    "The Yuezhi attacked the king of the Sai who moved a considerable distance to the south and the Yuezhi then occupied his lands" (Hanshu 61 4B).

    Sometime after 155 BC, the Yuezhi were again defeated by an alliance of the Wusun and the Xiongnu, and were forced to move south, again displacing the Scythians, who migrated south towards Bactria, and south-west towards Parthia and Afghanistan.

    The Sakas seem to have entered the territory of the Greco-Bactrian Kingdom around 145 BC, where they burnt to the ground the Greek city of Alexandria on the Oxus. The Yuezhi remained in Sogdiana on the northern bank of the Oxus, but they became suzerains of the Sakas in Bactrian territory, as described by the Chinese ambassador Zhang Qian who visited the region around 126 BC.

    In Parthia, between 138–124 BC, the Sakas tribes of the Massagetae and Sacaraucae came into conflict with the Parthian Empire, winning several battles, and killing successively King Phraates II and King Artabanus I.

    The Parthian king Mithridates II finally retook control of Central Asia, first by defeating the Yuezhi in Sogdiana in 115 BC, and then defeating the Scythians in Parthia and Seistan around 100 BC.[citation needed]

    After their defeat, the Yuezhi tribes migrated into Bactria, which they were to control for several centuries, and from which they later conquered northern India to found the Kushan Empire.

    Settlement in Sakastan

    The Sakas settled in areas of eastern Iran, still called after them Sistan. From there, they progressively expanded into the Indian subcontinent, where they established various kingdoms, and where they are known as "Indo-Scythians".

    The Arsacid emperor Mithridates II (c. 123–88/87 BC) had scored many successes against the Scythians and added many provinces to the Parthian empire, and apparently the Scythian hordes that came from Bactria were also conquered by him. A section of these people moved from Bactria to Lake Helmond in the wake of Yue-chi pressure and settled about Drangiana (Sigal), a region which later came to be called "Sakistana of the Skythian (Scythian) Sakai", towards the end of 1st century BC. The region is still known as Seistan.

    Sakistan or Seistan of Drangiana may not only have been the habitat of the Saka alone but may also have contained population of the Pahlavas and the Kambojas. The Rock Edicts of King Ashoka only refer to the Yavanas, Kambojas and the Gandharas in the northwest, but no mention is made of the Sakas, who immigrated in the region more than a century later. It is thus likely that the immigrant Saka populations who settled in Afghanistan did so among or near the Kambojas and nearby Greek cities. Numerous scholars believe that during centuries immediately preceding Christian era, there had occurred extensive social and cultural admixture among the Kambojas and Yavanas; the Sakas and Pahlavas; and the Kambojas, Sakas, and Pahlavas etc…. such that their cultures and social customs had become almost identical.

    The presence of the Sakas in Sakastan in the 1st century BC is mentioned by Isidore of Charax in his "Parthian stations". He explained that they were bordered at that time by Greek cities to the east (Alexandria of the Caucasus and Alexandria of the Arachosians), and the Parthian-controlled territory of Arachosia to the south:

    "Beyond is Sacastana of the Scythian Sacae, which is also Paraetacena, 63 schoeni. There are the city of Barda and the city of Min and the city of Palacenti and the city of Sigal; in that place is the royal residence of the Sacae; and nearby is the city of Alexandria (Alexandria Arachosia), and six villages." Parthian stations, 18.

    [img width=700 height=403]http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/7c/Asia_001ad.jpg”/>
    Asia in AD 1, showing the Indo-Scythians and their neighbors.

    [img width=525 height=700]http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/bd/ManWithCapProbablyScythianBamiyan3-4thCentury.jpg”/>
    Bearded man with cap, probably Scythian, Bamiyan, 3rd–4th centuries.

    #430312

    Anonymous
    Quote:

    It has been claimed that ancient Roman historians including Arrian[citation needed] and Claudius Ptolemy have mentioned that the ancient Sakas ('Sakai') were basically nomads. However, Italo Ronca, in his detailed study of Ptolemy's chapter vi, marks the statement: "The land of the Sakai belongs to nomads, they have no towns but dwell in forests and caves" as spurious.

    Most of them weren't nomads. The term is 'pastoral nomads' (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pastoralism). This is a seasonal relocation of the cattle (because of the climate).
    There is also information about agricultural scythians.
    The only true nomads were the turkic and the mongolian peoples (and some other of course).

    #430313

    Anonymous

    One thing for sure is that the Slavic word SKITA means WANDER, ROAM. It is a word common to all the Slavs. Now if Scythians were known to be nomads and wanderers, then it is possible that the Slavic word SKITA had come about by taking the word that the Scythians called their tribe of people to mean wander in Slavic. This would bring a whole light on the theory that Slavs were Scythians and rather that Slavs were not Scythians.

    #430314

    Anonymous

    http://www.azargoshnasp.net/history/Scythians/fouroldiranianethnicnames.pdf

    Oswald Szemerényi; Four old Iranian ethnic names: Scythian – Skudra – Sogdian – Saka, 1980

    #430315

    Anonymous
    Quote:
    One thing for sure is that the Slavic word SKITA means WANDER, ROAM. It is a word common to all the Slavs. Now if Scythians were known to be nomads and wanderers, then it is possible that the Slavic word SKITA had come about by taking the word that the Scythians called their tribe of people to mean wander in Slavic. This would bring a whole light on the theory that Slavs were Scythians and rather that Slavs were not Scythians.

    Don't forget the Balts and the Germanic peoples.
    image

    [size=8pt]J. P. Mallory, ‎Douglas Q. Adams: Encyclopedia of Indo-European Culture, Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers, London 1997, 509[/size]

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