Having mentioned in a previous post that the followers of Nemed were the third group of colonisers – according to The Book of Invasions, the semi-mythical origins of Ireland,  – who came from Scythia, followed, at a later date by the last of the so-called colonisers, the Milesians, once again from Scythia, I thought I had better establish who or what Scythia was.  Here goes:

Scythia was the name given by the ancient Greeks after about 800 BC to the homeland of the nomascythiadic tribes in the southeast part of Europe, eastward from the Carpathian Mountains to the Don River and in Central Asia, from the Danube River, an important route between Western Europe and the Black Sea, to the mountains of Turkistan.

They were a nomadic people who raised horses, cattle, and sheep. According to ancient Greek historians, Scythians travelled in tent-covered wagons and fought with short bows and arrows from horseback and spoke a form of Persian.

The most detailed western description is by Herodotus, The Father of Lies, or, more kindly, The Father of History, according to the blurb on my Penguin Classic, though it is uncertain if he ever went to Scythia.

Their empire stretched north of the Black Sea to parts of present-day Ukraine, Russia, and Moldova from the 7th century BC to the 4th century BC.

This region was seized by the Sarmatians in the 4th century BC and became known as Sarmatia. By the 3rd century the Danube formed the northern boundary of the Roman Empire in southeast Europe.




Author: serkeen

I am Irish, currently living in West Australia. I have a degree in Old & Middle English, Lang & Lit and, despite having worked in Kuwait, Italy, Malaysia, USA, Brunei, Australia and Hong Kong over the last 40 years, I have a strong interest in Ireland’s ancient pre-history and the heroes of its Celtic past as recorded in the 12th and late 14th century collection of manuscripts, collectively known as The Ulster Cycle. I enjoy writing historical novels, firmly grounded in a well-researched background, providing a fresh and exciting look into times long gone. I have an empathy with the historical period and I draw upon my experiences of that area and the original documents. I hope, by providing enough historical “realia” to hook you into a hitherto unknown – or barely glimpsed - historical period.

3 thoughts on “Scythia”

  1. Agus míse anois. Fair play for all the treasures you have put here, SERKEEN. A great interesting mix of things new and not so new (but always good to see again.)

    Scythians indeed! Would some itinerant Eurasian have thought our fair isle would indeed look better carpeted in green fields of lush grass and proud horses?
    More like home than the dark dense woodland they would have met on their visit to these shamrock shore all those years fadó fadó. Sometimes the grass gets greener, they might have thought.

    I’m happy to have bumped into you here today (if not in Malaysia in the 1990s, perhaps).

    Go raibh maith agat, a chara.

    Slán go fóill,


  2. Hi Mark
    Thanks for the kind words. Sorry I have not replied before but today is the first time I’ve logged on to my site in ages. Guess I had nothing to say! Are you implying we met in Malaysia? I live there from 1981 – 1984 but in 1992 I moved to Australia.No doubt I turned up in Malaysia and Thailand again during the 90’s but only very briefly when I went back to my ‘kampong’ for a brief visit. I don’t think I have been there in the last 25 years or so. Jog my memory if you will.
    Anyway, delighted that you are enjoying the site. Thanks
    Best wishes


  3. Hi Serkeen,

    How’s the form? Malaysia was just an off-chance. I lived near Slim River 95-96 before moving to KL 96-97.
    Fair play for all the research you’ve done. Eclectic.

    Hope all is well,


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