Гумелёв Василий Юрьевич1, Юдин Тимофей Михайлович2, Постников Александр Александрович3
1Рязанское высшее воздушно-десантное командное училище имени генерала армии В.Ф. Маргелова, канд. техн. наук
2Рязанское высшее воздушно-десантное командное училище имени генерала армии В.Ф. Маргелова, доцент
3Рязанское высшее воздушно-десантное командное училище имени генерала армии В.Ф. Маргелова, адъюнкт

В данной статье кратко рассмотрены вопросы этногенеза киммерийцев и скифов-сколотов, проживавших в I тысячелетии до Р.Х. в степях северного Причерноморья. В том числе рассмотрена гипотеза о славянском происхождении значительного большинства скифов-сколотов.

Ключевые слова: ассимиляция, кельты, киммерийцы, лучник, облик, реконструкция, скифы, славяне, сокол


Gumelev Vasiliy Yuryevich1, Yudin Timothy Mikhailovich2, Postnikov Alexander Alexandrovich3
1Ryazan High Airborne Command School named after of the General of the Army V.F. Margelov, candidate of technical sciences
2Ryazan High Airborne Command School named after of the General of the Army V.F. Margelov, associate professor
3Ryazan High Airborne Command School named after of the General of the Army V.F. Margelov, adjunct

This article briefly considers the issues of ethnogenesis of the Cimmerians and Scythians-Skolots, who lived in the first Millennium BC in the steppes of the Northern coast of the Black sea. Including considered the hypothesis that the Slavic origin of a large majority of the European Scythians.

Keywords: archer, assimilation, Celts, Cimmerians, kurgan, reconstruction, Scythians, the face, the falcon, the Slavs

Рубрика: 07.00.00 ИСТОРИЧЕСКИЕ НАУКИ

Библиографическая ссылка на статью:
Гумелёв В.Ю., Юдин Т.М., Постников А.А. The Cimmerians and the Scythians-Skolots // Современные научные исследования и инновации. 2017. № 3 [Электронный ресурс]. URL: https://web.snauka.ru/issues/2017/03/78918 (дата обращения: 01.12.2023).

According to Herodotus [1, IV, 11], around 700 BC as a result of the defeat of Massagetae (the same people belonged to the Scythian superethnos [2]), the Scythians were forced to throw in the modern West Turkestan, and, advancing along the southern and western coast of the Caspian Sea, entered the northern Black Sea region. From the South-Russian steppes Scythians drove the nomadic Cimmerians. Were Scythians and Cimmerians related and how much – is unknown [3, 4]. According to Herodotus [1, IV, 12], the Cimmerians escaped from pursuing their Scythians to the Near East.

M.I. Artamonov, based on the data of archaeological research, justified doubts about the particulars of Herodotus in Scythian invasion of the land of the Cimmerians [5, с.13].

One way or another, in the VIII century BC Cimmerians penetrated the Near East, and behind them there also rushed Scythians. According to Assyrian sources [6, p. 23-26], in the period before 714 BC, the Cimmerians were able to defeat the army of Rusa I, king of Urartu. The Assyrians called them (Cimmerian), “gimirru” people. The Cimmerians used mainly large masses of light cavalry in the wars. Each man was a natural cavalryman and perfectly mastered the bow (Figures 1, 2). It provided Cimmerians victory in battle.

Figure 1 – Horseback archers Cimmerian. Drawing on the Etruscan vase.

Figure 2 – The Cimmerian, VII BC. Reconstruction. Artist E. Kraj.

“Gimirru” people created their own state in Asia Minor (Figure 3), which lasted for most of the VII century BC.

Figure 3 – The Assyrian Empire about 654 years BC, the Cimmerians and Scythians (On the map the location of these peoples’ areas are marked with red arrows)

But much and apparently the most part of the Cimmerians, once became under military pressure Scythians, rushed to Western Europe, where defeated,  conquered and then colonized and assimilated a number of tribes and peoples of the European natives. So completely the Cimmerians have not disappeared, and many of their distant descendants live in the modern world.

According to [7] the following European languages: “Welsh, Gaelic, Irish, Cornish, Armorican and the ancient Manx Gaelic are related languages, leading the beginning of the single Cimmerian or Celtic source”.

In this way S. Turner (1768 – 1847), highly erudite English history scientist, according to a huge number of sources when writing his papers, puts a sign of equality between the Celts and the Cimmerians.

Then Sharon Turner reports that according to the information of the ancient historians the Cimmerian reached the coast of the Baltic Sea and the Atlantic Ocean and entered in Italy, where settled near Naples (Figure 4).

Figure 4 – The settlement of the Celtic tribes in the VI – III centuries BC.

The Galatians (Gauls), descendants of the Cimmerians, following the tradition of their ancestors, invaded Asia Minor again at the beginning of the III century BC and almost fifty years plundered and ravaged the neighboring regions. They were assimilated in the end. But in modern Turkey is still a historical region called Galatia.

The Cimbri, one of the people, whose ancestors were the Cimmerians, invaded the Roman Republic in alliance with other “barbarian” peoples of the South Baltic in 113 – 101 years BC [7]. They defeated the Roman’ forces for several times. The Cimbri were defeated by the Roman general Marius in 101 BC already directly in Italy at the Vertsell Battle (nowadays this city in northern Italy is called Vercelli) (Figure 5), and practically physically exterminated, including women and children.

Figure 5 – The Vertsell Battle. Artist J.B. Tiepolo (1725 – 1729), Italy.

The Romans took captive from 60 to 80 thousand people, mostly women and children. All of them were sold into slavery. The Cimbrians had disappeared from history forever [8, 9]. The allies of the Cimbri, the Teutons (people of German origin), were also defeated by the same Marius in Italy and almost completely cut the year before. The Teutons, as well as the Cimbri, were deleted from the history of mankind forever.

Let’s go back to the Scythians.

The map of the Scythia and neighboring peoples and tribes from VII to II century BC is shown in Figure 6.

Figure 6 – Scythia and its neighboring nations and tribes from VII to II century BC [10, p. 14].

According to Herodotus [1, IV, 6] the endonym of the Scythians of the Northern Black Sea was in following: “All the tribes are collectively called Scolots. The Greeks also call them Scythians”.

What were the Scythians-Scolots? What the appearance did they have?

The answers are in numerous finds made during the excavation of the Scythian burial mounds.

The remains of buried people were founded during the excavation of the Scythian burial mounds of the North Black Sea Coast. The appearance of the Scythians-Scolots has been restored by modern scientists (Figure 7).

                  a                                                                                                                             b                                                                        c

a – Skilur, the king of the Scythians (II century BC); b – a Scythian, Dnieper (V century BC); c – a Scythian woman (IV century BC).

Figure 7 – The external appearance of the Scythians-Scolots. Sculptural reconstruction by M.M. Gerasimov’s workshop

The results of hundreds of reconstructions of the external appearance of the European Scythians (Scolots, Sarmatian) and their Asian cousins ​​(Saks and other peoples) by the method of M.M. Gerasimov have shown that seemingly modern Russian people and the ancient Scythians are remarkably similar to each other and mainly relate to sufficiently close anthropological types although the Scythian peoples of the southern Russian steppes have a distinct anthropological differences between the steppe and forest steppe Scythian groups. This is fully consistent with the numerous images of Scythians, made by themselves.

What does science think about it?

According to the views of M.V. Lomonosov (1711 – 1765) [11, p.10] “… The Slavs and Wendy are all ancient Sarmatians.” Sarmatians (Sauromats) is akin to the Scythians-Scolots people [1, VI, 110-117]. The quote from the V.N. Tatishchev’ labor is presented in Figure 8 (1686 – 1750) [12, c. 398].


Figure 8 – Detail of the page 398 of V.N. Tatishchev’ labor [12].

D.I. Ilovajskij (1832 – 1920 years) concluded [13, VIII]: «In our opinion, there can be no doubt that Ros or Rus and Roksolans are the same name and the same people. The otherwise reprimand of Roksolans is Rossalans”.

According to [14], Roksolans was an alliance of pastoral Sarmatian tribes, lived in the North coast of the Azov Sea. Roksolans fought either in an alliance with the Scythians against the kingdom of Pontus nor against the Scythians themselves in II – I century BC. In any case, Roksolans were one of the Scythian peoples. So look ancient Sarmatians (Figure 9).

Figure 9 – The appearance of the Sarmatians. Sculptural reconstruction by T.S. Balueva. Southern Urals, Filippovsky mounds, V – IV century BC.

URL: http://organizmica.ru/archive/703/atrk.shtml

L. Niederle (1865 – 1944), an outstanding Czech slavicist, thought [214] that Herodotus’ Boudins [1, VI, 21, 102, 108] were probably Slavs. Boudins lived somewhere on the Desna river and in the middle reaches of the Don. Also L. Nederle applied Scythian farmers to the  Slavs [1, VI, 17, 18, 53, 54] (Figure 6).

V.G. Vernadsky (1887 – 1973 years) came to the following conclusion [215, II]:

“The ruling Scythian horde was probably of Iranian origin; some minor hordes could consist of Ugric peoples and the Mongols; and in the same way it is possible that other groups, known under the name of Scythians, – such as the Scythian-plowmen, –  were Proto-Slavic origin”.

Then he makes the assumption that the name of the people “Rus” is derived from the name of Sarmatian tribes Roksolana and Aorses (translated from the Iranian “light” and “white”, respectively) [16, III].

The leading Soviet and Russian slavicist, archaeologist academician B.A. Rybakov (1908 – n2001) [17] (Chapter “Scolots-Ancient Slavs”) makes the following conclusions:

- Scolots’ tribal alliance in the VII century BC entered the great federation of peoples, conventionally called Scythians;

- Scolots-ancient Slavs had a certain autonomy and their fortresses system protected them from nomads from the south;

- Ancient Slavs traded grain with the Greeks through the port of Olbia outside the Royal Scythians’ lands;

- an Ancient Slavs’ (Scolots’) culture eventually became much coalesce with Scythian;

- Slavs accepted the main elements of Scythian culture (weapons, harness, animal style in art, partially language).

Figure 10 shows the Scythians-Scolots (Ancient Slavs according to B.A. Rybakov).

1 – noble Scolot; 2 – Scolot warrior; 3 – Scolot-woman

Figure 10 – The Scythians-Scolots (Ancient Slavs). Reconstruction, V century BC. Artist Agnus McBride


Prominent Soviet skifologist B.N. Grakov in [18, p. 172] (Figure 11) concluded the full unity of language and culture of the Royal Scythians, nomadic Scythians and Scythian farmers. This finding is consistent with the information of Herodotus [1, IV, 5, 6].

Figure 11 – Detail of the page 172 of B.N. Grakov [18].

The pits and catacombs in the above quotation from the work [18] (Figure 11) are a kind of inhumation (burials), which were used by the ancient inhabitants of the Scythian Elizabethan settlement (located four kilometers from the city of Rostov-on-Don in the Don River Delta) at the burial of dead. At the steppes of Northern Black Sea the culture of pits preceded the catacomb, the heyday of which 2000 – 1500 years before AD. Archaeological cultures were identified by the method of burying the dead. Carcass culture had replaced the Catacomb culture (Scythian epoch). But there are pitchers of carcass culture in the catacomb tombs [19]. Availability of pits and catacomb burials in the same period of time may indicate that a significant part of the Scythian population was autochthonous, local, indigenous origin.

Professor A.A. Klesov, one of today’s leading Russian experts in the field of genetic genealogy (science, also called the DNA-genealogy, which allows men to see if they had common ancestor in the male line thanks to a special DNA test) says [20]:

“And if we in all fairness assume languages ​​in this context as a secondary factors, the picture will be quite clear: the Aryans, Scythians and Eastern Slavs are the same people in its natural chronological dynamics”.

What’s about the self-name of the Scythians, which are the Scolots? European Scythians, as well as their Asian counterparts are considered to be Iranian-Turkic people [21, p.7; 22, IV; 23]. But is it true?

The Scythians, as the Slavs, worshiped the solar disk. Circle, including the solar disk, in many ancient Slavic languages was called “kolo”.

The Russian language has a lot of different words that are derived from the word “kolo”: околоток, около, колокол, колодец, коловорот, коловращение, колесо, колено, кольцо, кол (support with a cross-section in the form of a circle), falcon (a bird, flying close to the sun, called as “so kolo”) and others. So, according to [23] the self-name of Scythian people “Scolots” probably means соколята (falcon chicks). A falcon was probably a totem bird of the ancient Slavs and the Rus. The questions of the totems and the falcons we will consider later, in the following publications.

From the sources [11, 12, 13, 15, 16, 17, 18, 20] it is clear that a significant part of the European Scythians (Scolots and Sarmatians) could be the Slavs (ancient Slavs) and Russ. The Slavs and the Rus are different people. Differences between the Slavs and the Rus we also consider later, but among these nations they were quite clearly stated by L.N. Gumilyov [24, Part 2, VII, 37]. The second parts of the Scythians were the Saks came from the steppes. Persians called European Scythians as Saks-overseas. A Slavic language became common to the peoples of Scythia – Slavs, Rus and Saks – as a result of ethnogenesis, or the Scolots were a bilingual people.

N.D. Burlankov’ version [23] is quite logical and much more reliable, for example, then the German version of the famous slavicist M. Vasmer about the origin of the Russian word “изба” after the German “Stuba” [25].

The conclusions about the ethnogenesis of the Scolots you can do yourself.

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