Classical Records and German Origins

By William Finck


Part One


The nations of the Near East often made their monumental inscriptions and other records in multiple languages. This is to our benefit today since such a practice has greatly assisted our understanding of the various ancient languages of the region. With the rise of Classical Greece came Greek historical and geographical inquiry which, as is apparent from their own records, began in the late 7th century B.C. The Greek writers were first acquainted with their neighbors to the east in the form of the Assyrian empire, which had fallen by 612 B.C., and then even more so with the Persian empire, whose power was consolidated under Cyrus II by 540 B.C. While there were earlier Greek historians and writers of epics historical in nature, along with the many other poets whose works have survived, the first serious prose historian whose work has survived to us is Herodotus, who wrote about 100 years after the death of Cyrus. It may be evident, therefore, that the earliest written Greek accounts concerning the east were influenced by the Assyrians, and later by the Persians and Medes.

A people whom the Greeks called Kimmerians invaded Anatolia from the east (see, for example, the article “King Midas: From Myth to Reality” by G. Kenneth Sams, Archaeology Odyssey, Nov. - Dec. 2001), in or just before the time of Homer, as attested to by Strabo, who relates that “The writers of chronicles make it plain that Homer knew the Cimmerians, in that they fix the date of the invasion of the Cimmerians either a short time before Homer, or else in Homer’s own time” (Geography 1.2.9). Dating Homer, there is found a note in the Loeb Classical Library edition Greek Iambic Poetry, p. 35, at Archilochus, 5, where it is related that, as also discussed by Tatian in his Address to the Greeks, 31, Homer was a contemporary of Archilochus, the Iambic Poet who flourished in the 23rd Olympiad (688-685 B.C.) “... at the time of Gyges the Lydian, 500 years after the Trojan War.” Strabo relates that, having destroyed the nation of the Phrygians of which the famous Midas was king, the Kimmerians “overran the whole country from the Bosporus to Ionia” and “marched as far as Lydia and Ionia and captured Sardes” (Geography 1.1.10; 1.3.21). After withdrawing from Anatolia (where surely they had begun the fulfillment of the prophecy found at Isaiah 66:19, since the Ionians are the Javan and the Lydians the Shemitic Lud of the Old Testament), the Kimmerians are found inhabiting the regions north and west of the Black Sea, north of Thrace. The “Cimmerian Bosporus”, the modern Crimea, retains its name from them (see Strabo, 11.2.5). Homer, knowing of these people, later included a mention of them in his Odyssey, yet the events which that epic is based upon are from a much earlier period (the Trojan War ended around 1185 B.C.), and placing the Kimmerians in that era, as the Tragic poets also do, is anachronistic, and an error on Homer’s part which later writers followed.

Subsequent waves of nomadic tribes from Asia became familiar to the Greeks, and these were generally called by the name Scythians. Herodotus tells us that Sakae is the name which the Persians “give to all Scythians”, yet later the Greeks retain the name Sakae, also often written Sakans by English translators, for only some of the Scythians, and distinguish others by names such as Massagetae, Arimaspi, Däae, Asii, Tocharians, Sacarauli, et al. (cf. Herodotus, The Histories, 4:11, 48; 7:64; Diodorus Siculus, Library of History, 2.43.1-5; Strabo, Geography, 7.3.9 and 11.8.2). While Herodotus and later writers distinguished Kimmerians and Scythians (but Homer never mentioned either Scythians or Sakae), note that they all wrote long after the Greeks became acquainted with the Kimmerians, and after the Persians came to power in the east, the Assyrians and their Akkadian language having faded into obscurity.

Yet the Persians themselves did not distinguish the Kimmerians from the Scythians, for in the multi-lingual inscriptions which they left to posterity, it is evident that these peoples were one and the same. For instance, in an Akkadian inscription of the Persian king Xerxes, there are mentioned “the Amyrgian Cimmerians” and “the Cimmerians (wearing) pointed caps”. A note accompanying the translation of this inscription which appears in Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament, edited by James B. Pritchard, Princeton University Press [hereinafter ANET], p. 316, tells us that in the Persian and Elamite versions of this same text these “Cimmerians” are called “Sakans”. The Akkadian language was the lingua franca of the Near East during the earlier Assyrian and Babylonian empires (ANET, pp. 103, 198), before it was supplanted by Aramaic in the time of the Persian empire. Surely the Greeks of Homer’s time must have been familiar with it. The obvious conclusion here is that Kimmerian is from the Akkadian word for those people whom the Persians called Sakae, and whom the Greeks called Scythians, and that all of these names identify the same group of people, although they had divided into various sub-tribes. The first of these people to come into Europe, in Assyrian times, the Greeks called by the Akkadian name. Later, in Persian times, the Greeks called subsequent waves of these people (or perhaps even descendants of those first tribes) – as well as those who remained in Asia – by the Persian name Sakae, or by the name Scythian. The Greeks may have learned the name Scythian from the people themselves, since one possible etymology for the word, from the Hebrew word succoth or tent, is quite plausible and well describes the Scythian mode of life, while also being consistent with classical accounts of Scythian origins. This would also explain how the word Scythian appears in a fragment which is attributed to Hesiod, who was regarded by later Greeks to have been a contemporary of Homer. Yet whether the work in question was Hesiod’s, and the dating of Hesiod himself, are both problematical.

Again, noting the names on this particular Akkadian inscription of the Persians, “the Amyrgian Cimmerians” and “the Cimmerians (wearing) pointed caps”, to this we must compare the language used by Herodotus, who discussing certain of the nations allied with Persia in Xerxes’ invasion of Greece, wrote of the “Amyrgian Scythians” and said that “The Sacae, or Scyths, were clad in trousers, and had on their heads tall stiff caps rising to a point” (The Histories, 7.64). In a footnote at this passage in his edition of Herodotus, George Rawlinson noted that: “According to Hellanicus, the word ‘Amyrgian’ was strictly a geographical title, Amyrgium being the name of the plain in which these Scythians dwelt.” Indeed the Cimmerians were but an early migration of the Scythians, or Sakae, into Europe.

While Homer never mentioned Scythians, Strabo offers a protracted argument that he knew about them, since he used the epithets “Hippemolgi” (mare-milkers), “Galactophagi” (milk-fed) and “Abii” (those without a living or having a simple lifestyle), for which see his Geography 7.3.2, 6, 7 and 9. In places he cites the use of these epithets for Scythians by both Aeschylus and Hesiod (in an otherwise lost fragment) to make his point. Yet Strabo also admits that Homer may have been referencing Thracians, who were said by others to have also led a lifestyle which beckoned such epithets (cf. Geography 7.3.2, 3, 4), where he cites Poseidonius. While Strabo wavers in this matter, and seems to want to believe that Homer indeed knew of the Scythians, he also seems to concede that in the environment of the more rugged north such a lifestyle, where men live off of their flocks rather than from agriculture, is quite natural (Geography 7.3.8, 9; 7.4.6). Yet while Homer may surely have meant other northern tribes by his use of such epithets, such as the Thracians or other Slavs, and later poets simply transferred the epithets to the Scythians, the argument is rather irrelevant. Once it is realized that the Kimmerians were simply Scythians by their Akkadian name, something that later Greeks did not explain and probably did not realize, it is sure that Homer did know the Scythians: that first wave of Kimmerians from Asia who destroyed Phrygia, threatened all of Lydia and Ionia, and then crossed into Europe to inhabit the lands north of Thrace. Seeing then that the Kimmerians and Sakae, or Scythians, are one and the same in eastern inscriptions, and that the Greeks employed at the first the Akkadian name for these people, and only later the Persian name (names well documented in eastern inscriptions before these people were known in the west), the fact that the Scythians originated in Asia, as Diodorus Siculus relates (Library of History, 2.43.1-5), is certainly validated.

Writing of a period some time before his own, Herodotus says that the Kimmerians were dispossessed of their Eastern European lands by the Scythians, and relates a tale wherein the Kimmerians had fled into Asia (meaning Anatolia, or Asia Minor, where Phrygia, Lydia and Ionia were located) to escape them, at which point the Scythians, in pursuit, missed them and poured into Media (The Histories, 4:12). Herodotus takes this story from the earlier poet Aristeas, and like his forebear, is evidently seeking to account for the appearance of these peoples in the Greek world, Anatolia and the Near East. Strabo tells us that “Aristeas was a Proconnesian – the author of the Arimaspian Epic, as it is called – a charlatan if there ever was one” (Geography, 13.1.16), and does us a service since the account given by Herodotus is impossible. Diodorus Siculus gives us a much more credible account of Scythian origins. He relates their humble beginnings along the Araxes river in northern Media, explaining the origins of the various Scythian tribes from this common source, and their spread northward and to both the east as far as India and the west as far as the region of Europe north of Greece and Thrace (Library of History, 2.43.1-5). These migrations can be corroborated in many other sources, both historical and archaeological. Diodorus’ account is fully cohesive with accounts from the east, such as the ancient Assyrian tablets uncovered by archaeologists in the 19th century, and the testimony of Flavius Josephus in his Wars and Antiquities (for which see my earlier essay related to this subject, Classical Records of the Origins of the Scythians, Parthians & Related Tribes). Contrary to the tale of Herodotus’ cited above, from other sources (notably Strabo, Geography 1.3.21) we learn that Scythians, led by a certain king Madys, had driven the Kimmerians (none of the Greek writers realized that the Kimmerians were Scythians) out of Anatolia some time after Phrygia had been destroyed. The presence of a town named Sagalassus in northern Pisidia may well be evidence of Scythians in the region. The “saga”, or “saka”, sound occurs frequently in names associated with Scythians, such as Arsaces, Massagetae, Sacarauli, Sacasene, et al. Strabo, in his Geography mentions both Sagalassus and its people, the Sagalasseis, several times. Rather than the Scythians chasing the Kimmerians into Anatolia from the north, as Herodotus alleged, it is much more evident, and may be said with certainty, that Scythians – among them the Kimmerians – had migrated through Anatolia from the east.

Writing of his own time, Herodotus mentions Celtica, yet seeming not to know it by the exact location (i.e., from the Pyrenees to the Rhine) which later writers describe, he is somewhat inaccurate. Herodotus states: “This latter river [the Ister, or Danube] has its source in the country of the Celts near the city Pyrêné, and runs through the middle of Europe, dividing it into two portions. The Celts live beyond the pillars of Heracles, and border on the Cynesians, who dwell at the extreme west of Europe. Thus the Ister flows through the whole of Europe before it finally empties itself into the Euxine [Black Sea] at Istria, one of the colonies of the Milesians” (The Histories, 2:33). Of course, the Danube runs through most of Europe, but doesn’t have its sources nearly as far west as Iberia. Also by “the city Pyrêné” the Pyrenees mountains may instead have been meant, something being misconstrued in communication. Yet from this we see that Herodotus knew of Kelts dwelling in the west, near the sources of the Danube (which would actually be just north of modern Switzerland) and in Iberia. Later in his history (4:49) Herodotus calls the Cynesians “Cynêtes” instead, and Rawlinson notes that nothing else is known of these people.

The Germanic tribes dwelling north of the Danube were originally called by the later Greek writers by the name Galatae. Strabo, who lived circa 63 B.C. to 25 A.D., says that “... the Germans, who, though they vary slightly from the Celtic stock in that they are wilder, taller, and have yellower hair, are in all other respects similar, for build, habits, and modes of life they are such as I have said the Celti are. And I also think that it was for this reason that the Romans assigned to them the name ‘Germani,’ as though they wished to indicate thereby that they were ‘genuine’ Galatae, for in the language of the Romans ‘germani’ means ‘genuine’” (Geography 7.1.2). The Loeb Classical Library edition of Strabo, translated by H.L. Jones, offers the following footnote at this passage: “So also Julius Caesar, Tacitus, Pliny and the ancient writers in general regarded the Germans as Celts (Gauls). Dr. Richard Braungart has recently published a large work in two volumes in which he ably defends his thesis that the Boii, Vindelici, Rhaeti, Norici, Taurisci, and other tribes, as shown by their agricultural implements and contrivances, were originally, not Celts, but Germans, and in all probability, the ancestors of all Germans (Sudgermanen, Heidelberg, 1914).” And while I certainly have disagreements with Braungart, the fact that Germans were to the Greeks Galatae (Latin: Gauls) is clear. Diodorus Siculus describes the Galatae who dwell beyond (east of) the Rhine as tall and blond with very white skin, and says that they drank beer made from barley and the water in which they washed their honeycombs, which seems to describe an ancient form of mead (Library of History 5.26.2; 5.28.1). These Galatae used chariots, and wore what seems to be a type of tartan (5.29.1; 5.30.1).

Yet the name Kelt seems not to have originally belonged to the Galatae. Describing the inhabitants of what is now southern France, in the region of modern Narbonne, Strabo says of these people that “... the men of former times named [them] ‘Celtae’; and it was from the Celtae, I think, that the Galatae as a whole were by the Greeks called ‘Celti’ – on account of the fame of the Celtae, or it may also be that the Massiliotes, as well as other Greek neighbors, contributed to this result, on account of their proximity” (Geography 4.1.14). With this the earlier Diodorus Siculus, whose writing brings us to about 36 B.C. (since he describes the transition of Tauromenium in Sicily to a Roman colony) agrees, stating: “And now it will be useful to draw a distinction which is unknown to many: The peoples who dwell in the interior above Massalia, those on the slopes of the Alps, and those on this side the Pyrenees mountains are called Celts, whereas the peoples who are established above this land of Celtica in the parts which stretch to the north, both along the ocean and along the Hercynian Mountain, and all the peoples who come after these, as far as Scythia, are known as Gauls [Greek: Galatae]; the Romans, however, include all these nations together under a single name, calling them one and all Gauls [Greek: Galatae]” (Library of History, 5.32.1). So it is evident that Kelts and Galatae were at one time distinct. Herodotus knew of the Kelts, but did not use the term Galatae, yet at an early time the terms became synonymous to the Greeks and Romans. Polybius, who wrote up to about 146 B.C., over a hundred years before Diodorus Siculus, was already using the terms Kelts and Galatae synonymously, even in the same paragraph (i.e. The Histories, 2.17.3-5; 2.33.1-5). Throughout his own writings even Diodorus uses the two terms interchangeably, and also often in the same paragraphs (i.e. 14.113-117), while on other occasions he distinguishes between them (i.e. 25.13.1). Diodorus never used the term German, but called the tribes that dwelt east of the Rhine – some of which he mentioned by their individual names – Galatae also, where he tells of Julius Caesar’s conquests there (Library of History, 5.25.4).

Massalia (or often Massilia, the modern Marseilles) was an early Ionian (Phocian, Ionians from Phocis) Greek settlement in Keltica and in proximity to the Kelts. Massalia is mentioned by Herodotus (i.e. The Histories, 5:9) and was founded circa 600 B.C. It is most likely that Herodotus learned about the Kelts only from these Phocian Greeks, who had founded Massalia and other western colonies with much resistance from the rival Phoenicians and Etruscans (c.f. The Encyclopedia of World History, 6th ed. Houghton - Mifflin Co., 2001, pp. 60-62). While I cannot presently determine with confidence whether Kelts were already inhabiting the southern parts of France when the Phocians founded their colonies – and it appears that they may not have been – they certainly were there by Herodotus’ time (circa 440 B.C.), and so the Greeks and Romans surely must have been familiar with the Kelts around Marseilles well before the Galatae invaded Italy. Yet where the Galatae first appeared in northern Italy late in the 5th century B.C., Livy, the Roman historian, in his account calls them a “strange race, new settlers” (History of Rome, 5.17.6-10). A short time later, after conquering the Etruscans, these Galatae nearly destroyed Rome, circa 390 B.C. Yet, as Strabo attests that the Romans do, the Kelts about Massilia, like those who invaded Rome, are called “Gauls” by Livy as he relates the much earlier founding of that city (5.34.8). If the Romans were familiar with the Kelts around Massalia when that city was founded, and the Galatae were Kelts, how could Livy consider the Galatae who appeared in northern Italy 200 years later a “strange race”? And while Herodotus mentioned the Kelts, Kimmerians and Scythians of Europe, he never used the term Galatae, and may well have been ignorant of it. According to the 9th edition of the Liddell & Scott Greek-English Lexicon, the term Galatae does not appear until the 4th century B.C., where it is found in a fragment attributed to Aristotle. So with all of this, we see some confusion in the application of the names Kelt and Gaul, or Galatae, from the earliest times.

There is one possible solution to the paradox concerning the application of these names as described by the early historians, which I shall take liberty to propose here. The Phoenicians were of the same origins as the German tribes, for which see my earlier essays Classical And Biblical Records Identifying the Phoenicians; Herodotus, Scythians, Persians & Prophecy; and Classical Records Of The Origins Of The Scythians, Parthians & Related Tribes, along with subsequent portions of this current essay which shall endeavor to establish that German origins are found with the Kimmerians and Scythians. The Phoenicians, as described by the Greek tragic poets and others, such as the Roman Virgil, were fair and blond, and they settled the coasts and river valleys of Western Europe for several centuries before the arrival of the Greeks in that region. So it is plausible that with these people lies the origin of the original Celtae, and that these are people often identified as “proto-Celts” by modern archaeologists, at least on many of the occasions where “proto-Celts” are identified, and that once becoming known to the Greeks and Romans, the other tribes appearing to the north were also called by the same name, having been imagined to be related, as in truth they actually were. A Phoenician presence on the coasts as well as the interiors of Iberia and Britain, where they mined metals such as tin and silver, can be established as having existed long before the Greeks and Romans began writing of Celti, Galatae, and Gauls. Perhaps coincidentally, the smaller island northwest of Malta, south of Sicily, which was colonized by the Phoenicians, Diodorus Siculus calls Gaulos (the modern Gozo) in his Library of History at 5.12.4. While this hypothesis may be conjectural, it does agree with the testimonies of Strabo regarding the names Celtae and Celti, and of Diodorus regarding Celts and Galatae, cited above. What all of this has to do with the Kimmerians and the Scythians shall hopefully become evident in the parts of this essay which follow.


Part Two


In preparation for writing his histories, Herodotus had traveled widely, actually visiting many of the places which he wrote about. One of the places that he visited was Istria, a Milesian colony on the Danube river which bordered upon the Scythians (cf. Diodorus Siculus, Library of History, 19.73.2), where he undoubtedly gained much of his knowledge of the Scythians and of the Ister (which is the Danube) and the region through which the river runs. Describing the Danube, Herodotus calls it “one of the great Scythian rivers”, considering the land north of the Danube to be Scythia, and mentions that there are five notable “Scythian” rivers which empty into the Danube from the north (The Histories, 4.48,51). The historian spoke of the land north of the Danube, later known to the Romans as Germany, thusly: “As regards the region lying north of this country [Thrace] no one can say with any certainty what men inhabit it. It appears that you no sooner cross the Ister than you enter on an interminable wilderness. [Rawlinson notes here: ‘Hungary and Austria’, later political divisions of the land the Greeks came to know as Galatia, the Romans Germany.] The only people of whom I can hear as dwelling beyond the Ister are the race named Sigynnae, who wear, they say, a dress like the Medes, and have horses which are covered entirely with a coat of shaggy hair, five fingers in length. They [the horses] are a small breed, flat-nosed, and not strong enough to bear men on their backs; but when yoked to chariots, they are among the swiftest known, which is the reason why the people of that country use chariots. Their borders reach down almost to the Eneti upon the Adriatic Sea [i.e. including perhaps the modern Carinthia in western Austria], and they call themselves colonists of the Medes; but how they can be colonists of the Medes I for my part cannot imagine. Still nothing is impossible in the long lapse of ages. Sigynnae is the name which the Ligurians who dwell above Massilia give to traders, while among the Cyprians the word means spears. According to the account which the Thracians give, the country beyond the Ister is possessed by bees, on account of which it is impossible to penetrate farther. But in this they seem to me to say what has no likelihood: for it is certain that those creatures are very impatient of cold. I rather believe that it is on account of the cold that the regions which lie under the Bear [the northern regions, ‘the Bear’ referring to the constellation] are without inhabitants. Such then are the accounts given of this country, the sea-coast [of the Black sea] whereof Megabazus was now employed in subjecting to the Persians” (The Histories, 5:9-10). So it is apparent that central Europe, a few centuries later populated by so many Germans that Rome could not subdue it, was quite sparsely inhabited in the time of Herodotus, and those few who did dwell there are said to have come from Media. It has been made evident here already (in Part One of this essay) that both Kimmerians and Scythians, being one and the same people, originated in and around northern Media. Herodotus’ account of the small horses found north of the Danube is corroborated by archaeology. For instance, the horses of the Urnfield Culture (see, for example, the Internet site Wikipedia and the article “Urnfield Culture”) are found to be a mere 1.25 meters tall at the shoulders, on average.

In The New Encyclopaedia Britannica, 15th edition, in volume 3 of the Micropaedia, there is an article entitled “Cimmerian” which follows many of the mistakes which Herodotus and others also followed concerning the origin of the Kimmerians, and insisting that they should be distinguished from the Scythians the article states that “Ancient writers sometimes confused them with the Scythians”, yet it has been shown here that the Kimmerians were indeed Scythians, by their Akkadian (Assyrian) name. The article ends by stating of certain archaeological remains that “... perhaps ... the western branch of the Cimmerians, who, under fresh Scythian pressure, eventually invaded the Hungarian plain and survived there until about 500 B.C.” While it is true that, as the article also relates, the Kimmerians are no longer mentioned in contemporary historical accounts after they departed from Anatolia, this is more likely due to confusion over names rather than to their disappearance. The period from 600-500 B.C. is the era generally proposed by archaeologists for the spread of the so-called Keltic La Tene culture throughout Western Europe. 500 B.C. is also only about 100 years before the spread of the Galatae into the Ligurian and Etruscan lands of the Alps and northern Italy.

Some time after Herodotus, but by the time of Aristotle about a century later, as attested to by the lexicographers in the 9th edition of the Liddell & Scott Greek-English Lexicon, the word Galatae began to be used. It shall be fully illustrated as this essay progresses, that before the time of the historian Polybius the word Galatae began to be used of those tribes which appeared north of the Alps in the west, and north of Greece and Thrace in the east, in lands which Herodotus had earlier called Scythia. Scythia, along with Scythian were thereafter used only of the Scythian tribes of Asia, in the lands north of the Caucasus and east of the Tanaïs river. Yet the origin of the word Galatae has not, so far as I have seen, been sufficiently explained by the ancient Greeks (Diodorus Siculus only repeats a myth concerning Heracles and a supposed son named Galates, from whom they were fabled to have sprung), and it may be conjectured that the Scythians of the north, having previously been called by the Greeks “Galactophagi” (milk-fed) and “Hippemolgì” (mare-milkers), may have eventually been called Galatae from gala, the Greek word for milk. The Latin word rendered Gaul in English is actually Galli, and may have come to them from the Greek, yet perhaps coincidentally, gaulus is Latin for bucket.

After informing us of the distinction between Kelts and Galatae (quoted in Part One of this essay), Diodorus Siculus tells of the Galatae that “... some men say that it was they who in ancient times overran all Asia and were called Cimmerians, time having slightly corrupted the word into the name of Cimbrians, as they are now called ...” and goes on to relate how tribes of these Galatae once captured Rome, as Livy and others also relate had happened (about 390 B.C.), and how they later plundered the temple of Delphi in Greece (in 279 B.C.). Afterwards, certain tribes of them invading Anatolia were defeated by Attalus I of Pergamos, and negotiated to settle the land which became known as Galatia in Anatolia. These Galatians “became mixed with the Greeks” and so were called “Greco-Gauls”, and it is these Galatians for whom Paul wrote his epistle. Diodorus then adds of the Galatae: “... and who, as their last accomplishment, have destroyed many large Roman armies”, referring to the Roman wars with the Cimbri (Library of History, 5.32.4-5). In the Loeb Classical Library edition of Diodorus, translated by C. H. Oldfather, a footnote at this passage reads: “Much has been written to show that the Germanic tribe of the Cimbrians who threatened Italy shortly before 100 B.C. were belated Cimmerians who first entered Asia Minor in the seventh century B.C.” The Cimbri, after several astounding victories, were defeated by the Romans about 101 B.C. Strabo also tells us that they were the Kimmerians, and later calls them Germans, who with another kindred tribe, the Sugambri, were “best known” of the Germanic tribes (Geography, 7.2.2, 4). As the Germanic (Galatae, Kimmerian, or Scythian) tribes grew and divided, and the Greeks and Romans became more intimately knowledgeable of them, they were referred to less generally, by more specific tribal names. For instance, Strabo later enumerates the tribes of “those Galatae who settled in Phrygia” (Geography, 12.1.1) as “... the Trocmi and the Tolistobogii, [which] are named after their leaders, whereas the third, the Tectosages, is named after the tribe in Celtica.” The Tectosages (Tektosagas in Greek, and notice the presence of the -saga syllable present in so many names related to Scythian tribes, as mentioned in Part One of this essay) had also occupied a district near the Pyrenees mountains, and are said to be a division of the Volcae (Geography, 4.1.12-13; 12.5.1). Of the Trocmi, Strabo says that this tribe, settled near Pontus and Cappadocia, was “the most powerful of the parts occupied by the Galatians” (12.5.2).

Herodotus was somewhat correct in stating that the Kimmerians were pushed out of their eastern European lands by the Scythians. As he himself later explains, in his own time the inhabitants of the land north and west of the Black Sea and north of Thrace were Scythians, and he called the lands north of the Danube Scythia (The Histories, 4:48, 97). Yet this is not when the Kimmerians had destroyed Phrygia. They had already done that around 700 B.C. while they were enroute to Europe (as explained in Part One of this essay). Rather, this tradition helps to document the beginnings of a new westward push by the “Caucasian” or “Indo-European” tribes of Asia into Europe, of which those Scythians – first called Kimmerians, but later Galatae and Kelts by the Greeks – were the vanguard, and which would continue through the 5th century A.D. Of course, other “Indo-European” tribes, such as the Greeks and Romans, had long occupied southern Europe, and (as shall be discussed later) certain of the Slavic branch of the race had already occupied portions of central and northern Europe, as did colonists from the Greeks. Upon passing into Europe, the Kimmerians would not only settle the Crimea and the region north of Thrace, but would follow the Danube river into Celtica and the Alps, leaving many settlements behind along the way. Spreading along the Alps from the Adriatic to Massalia (now Marseilles) the Kimmerians then branched out into what are now Italy, France, and Iberia, diffusing the so-called La Tene culture of the archaeological record, becoming known to the Greeks of the west as Galatae, and to the Romans as Gauls. Strabo tells us that all of the Cisalpine Kelts (those on the Roman side of the Alps) had migrated from Transalpine land (Geography 4.4.1). As we have already seen, the Greeks attest that the Galatae were indeed the Kimmerians.

It should not be a wonder that the Kimmerians could destroy Phrygia, cross into Thrace, and be found in what today is France a mere 100 years later, or before 500 B.C. The entire course of the Danube is not quite 1800 miles, and from the sources of that river to the Pyrenees there are about 500 miles more. The lands west of the Rhine and south of the Alps are much more inviting to settlement than those to the north and east, and even up to the time of Julius Caesar the Germanic tribes were forcing their way into them. For instance, in The Gallic War Caesar complains that “In a few years all the natives [those who were already settled in Gaul, west of the Rhine] will have been driven forth from the borders of Gaul, and all the Germans will have crossed the Rhine; for there can be no comparison between the Gallic and German territory ...” (1:31), bearing in mind that the distinction between Gaul and German here is a late Roman one. Strabo said of the Germans and Galatae (which he distinguishes although he tells us that the Germans are Galatae, at Geography, 7.1.2), “that they migrate with ease ... they do not till the soil or even store up food, but live in small huts that are merely temporary structures; and they live for the most part off their flocks, as the Nomads do, so that, in imitation of the Nomads, they load their household belongings on their wagons and with their beasts turn whithersoever they think best”, then he proceeds to explain that other German tribes to the north are even more indigent, among them the Cherusci, Chatti, Cimbri, and others (Geography 7.1.3). This description of the Germanic tribes is much like that of Herodotus’ where he describes their Scythian forebears (The Histories, 1:216; 4:46). The distance from Boston to San Francisco by modern highway is very nearly 3000 miles, much farther than the distance from the Black Sea to the Pyrenees, and only 43 years after the west was opened to Anglo-America with the Louisiana Purchase there were already enough Americans settled in California that they could begin to wrest control of that territory from Mexico in the Bear Flag Revolt of 1846. All the lands of the American interior were also well-settled in a short time. The American pioneers of the west had at least as much resistance from the hostile Indian tribes, and no great technological advantage (with the exception of the black-powder rifle) over their Kimmerian ancestors in the settlement of northern and western Europe.

Moving through the Danube valley, the Kimmerians, or Galatae, had left many settlements along the way, where they encountered other White tribes who had long inhabited those regions. Foremost among these were the Thracians, the Illyrians, the Milesians (who had many colonies on the Danube and on the shores of the Black Sea), other Greeks; and then in the Alps the Etruscans, Ligurians, and other tribes, such as the Rhaetians, whom Livy attests were descended from the Etruscans (History of Rome, 5.33.7-11). The Phrygians in Anatolia were themselves a colony of the Thracians (Strabo Geography, 7.3.2; 7.25; 10.3.16), who are of the Slavic, or Japhethite, branch of the White Adamic race (Tiras, or Thiyrac in Strong’s Hebrew dictionary; Genesis 10: 2). The Illyrians were apparently of the stock of the Trojans, and Strabo tells us that in his time there was still a tribe of the Illyrians called Dardans (Geography, 7.5.6-7), the name by which Homer called the Trojans. The Milesians were descended from the Carian-Phoenician founders of Miletus in Anatolia (i.e. Strabo, Geography, 12.8.5), although they were Hellenized and the city considered a part of Ionia. Thales of Miletus, the city’s most famous inhabitant and one of the earliest of the famous Greek philosophers, was said by Herodotus to be “of Phoenician descent” (The Histories, 1:170). Milesians were also, along with the Danaans, among the earliest inhabitants of Ireland. The Etruscans were professed to be of the stock of the Lydians of Anatolia, and so they were Shemites (cf. Herodotus, The Histories, 1:94; Strabo, Geography 5.2.2; Genesis 10:22; Isaiah 66:19). These tribes are responsible for the earlier Tumulus, Urnfield, Hallstatt, Piliny, Lusatian, and other Bronze and early Iron Age cultures of central Europe, as identified by archaeologists. The Vistula river cultures, among them the Trzciniec, which preceeded the Lusatian in that area, and also the Piliny culture of what is now Hungry and Slovakia, along with others of the region, have been shown by archaeologists to be related to the Tumulus culture. The Phrygians of Anatolia left behind numerous such Tumulus burials.

And so along the lower Danube river there are found many tribes of the Galatae. Strabo mentions “both the Illyrian and Thracian tribes, and all the tribes of the Celtic or other peoples that are mingled with these, as far as Greece, [which] are to the south of the Ister” (Geography, 7.1.1). Among them are the “Scordisci Galatae” of the Balkans, intermingled with the Illyrian and Thracian tribes (Geography, 7.2.2; 7.5.2; Diodorus Siculus, Library of History, 34/35.30A); the Teuristae; the Taurisci and Norici (Geography, 4.6.9, 12; 7.2.2); the Trerans or Treres who are in turn identified as Kimmerian and Thracian (Geography, 1.3.21; 13.1.8; 14.1. 40), where Strabo cites Callinus, an Elegaic Poet of the mid-7th century B.C., who said the Treres were Kimmerians (cf. Greek Elegaic Poetry, Loeb Classical Library, p. 15, Callinus, I); the Iapodes who are said to be a mixture of Kelts and Illyrians (Geography, 7.5.2); and the Boii, whom Strabo also says were mingled with Thracians (7.3.2). The Kimmerians being Scythians, and as Josephus, the Biblical, and the ancient Assyrian records demonstrate, therefore being descended from those many thousands of Israelites who were deported and resettled by the Assyrian empire, here is surely evidence of the fulfillment of prophecies such as those found at Genesis 9:27 and Isaiah 66:19, along with many others concerning the Old Testament Israelites. This also fully concurs with Strabo’s assessment, quoted in Part One of this essay, that those Galatae north of the Danube and east of the Rhine were called Germani because they were the genuine Galatae (Geography, 7.1.2), as those who advanced south of the Danube and west of the Rhine had mingled with earlier settlers of those regions. It is these Thracian, Illyrian, and Milesian tribes (and especially the latter two, since they had descended from Israelite tribes who had at a very early time migrated from Palestine by sea, and were therefore closely related to the Kimmerian Scythians), who along with those Phoenicians and Danaans who had at a much earlier time colonized the coasts of northern and western Europe by sea, who are all often identified as “proto-Kelts” by archaeologists and anthropologists, and who together with the Kimmerian Scythian Galatae, and even later Scythian Sakans (Saxons), who migrated from Asia into Europe, eventually formed the White nations of Europe as we know them today. Substantiation for the above assertions concerning the Trojan Illyrians, Milesians, Phoenicians, Danaans, Scythians et al., may be found in my earlier essays on these subjects: Classical Records Of Trojan-Roman-Judah; Classical And Biblical Records Identifying The Phoenicians; Classical Records Of the Danaan & Dorian Israelite Greeks; and Classical Records Of The Scythians, Parthians & Related Tribes.

Long after the initial dispersion of the Kimmerians, Galatae are found raiding the countries to the south, from their homes in Germanic lands north of the Danube, well into the second century B.C. From 279-276 B.C. they destroyed a Macedonian army, raided Macedonia and sacked Delphi (Diodorus Siculus, Library of History, 22.3, 4, 9). From just before this time until about 210 B.C. the Galatae ruled all of Thrace. It was also during this time that tribes of the Galatae crossed back into Anatolia, and after suffering a defeat at the hands of the king of Pergamos, settled the land which became known as Galatia, already discussed above. Yet by 168 B.C., Galatae from north of the Danube were being hired by the Macedonians as mercenaries in their wars against the Romans (Library of History, 30.19; 31.12-14). The Cimbri, in their later wars against the Romans, fought with them at both Noreia (the modern Neumarkt in the duchy of Styria in Austria), and at Arausio (the modern Orange) in Gaul (cf. Strabo, Geography, 5.1.8; Diodorus Siculus, Library of History, 34/35.37.1; 36.1; and 37.1.5 where the Cimbri, “giantlike in appearance and unexcelled in feats of strength” were said to number 400,000 at one battle, although Plutarch’s account says 300,000. The footnotes to these passages in the Loeb Classical Library editions are cited here). The eventual establishment of Roman frontiers along the Rhine and the Danube checked the encroachment of the Germanic tribes upon the more fruitful lands of the south and west for several centuries. The appearance of so many Galatae in lands said to be German, without any recorded conflict among the peoples there – except where later incited by Rome – would certainly be odd, unless the Galatae were indeed German (Strabo, Geography, 7.1.2) and they were all kinsmen (4.4.2), which they certainly were.

Throughout The Germania the Roman historian Tacitus attempts to distinguish Germans from Gauls based upon language and lifestyle, yet these differences may easily be accounted for by other reasons. In the rugged north, unfriendly to agriculture, tribes would by necessity adopt a lifestyle quite different than that of the tribes which inhabit the more arable, more temperate areas in the west and south of Europe. As for language, centuries of separation during a gradual sojourn from Asia, and the differing influences of various neighboring tribes through commerce, politics, intermingling, etc., or lack thereof, surely may account for the many dialects which developed amongst the Germanic peoples. This may also account for differences in religious beliefs found among these tribes, although their most basic beliefs seem to have at least been somewhat consistent. One does not have to investigate at length to see great evidence of these same things in modern times. Tacitus goes so far as to postulate that Gauls, who he purports are a race distinct from the Germans, had once migrated east into Germany (The Germania, 28). Yet this is contrary to the testimony of the earlier historians (i.e. Strabo, Diodorus Siculus), and also to the archaeological record. The Hallstatt culture, although errantly attributed by many exclusively to the Kelts, is certainly earlier and preponderates further east than the La Tene culture. Surely the testimonies of the earlier historians are correct, and the Galatae, the people formerly known as the Kimmerians of the east and later also called Kelts, spread all through Europe as far as modern Portugal, yet were later divided into Gauls and Germans by the Romans and their conquests. The next parts of this essay shall discuss later, post-Kimmerian, waves of the Scythians into Europe, going back again to the 6th century B.C.


Part Three


Before further discussing the Scythian migration into Europe it is fitting to discuss the tribe called the Getae. The accounts concerning this people are not entirely clear. Strabo says at one point: “Now the Greeks used to suppose that the Getae were Thracians” (Geography, 7.3.2), and tells us that the Getae and the related Daci spoke the Thracian tongue (7.3. 10, 13), yet offers no other explanation of their origins. He again distinguishes them in an instance where he mentions “the country of the Thracians and of those of their number who are Getae” (7.3.4), but also says: “And see the statement of Menander about them, which, as one may reasonably suppose, was not invented by him but taken from history: ‘All the Thracians, and most of all we Getae (for I too boast that I am of this stock) are not very continent’” (7.3.4). As expected from Strabo’s statements, Herodotus believed the Getae to be Thracians, calling them “the noblest as well as the most just of all the Thracian tribes” (The Histories, 4.93).

Discussing the religion of the Getae, it certainly seems to have an Israelite origin, though Strabo repeats a tale (Geography, 7.3.5) similar to one recorded by Herodotus (The Histories, 4:94-96). Both writers gave accounts which claim that the Getae derived their religion from Pythagoras, who indeed seems to have studied and derived a good part of his own philosophy from the Hebrew scriptures. Nevertheless, such a tale may have been invented by some other writer, earlier than either Herodotus or Strabo, in order to account for similarities in the beliefs of the Getae with those of the famous Pythagoras. Herodotus states first that a certain Zalmoxis is the god of the Getae, but also gives another account, which he relates even though he rejects it, that Zalmoxis was merely a slave of Pythagoras from whom the Thracians acquired their religion, and this is close to the version of the story related by Strabo. The knowledge which this Zalmoxis (Zamolxis in Strabo) imparts to the Getae is said by Strabo to have come from Egypt. Also mentioned in these accounts are the beliefs of the Getae in the immortality of the soul, and their monotheism, along with other ideas which have parallels in the Israelite religion. In a discussion concerning lawgivers, Diodorus Siculus also mentions Zalmoxis, “among the people known as the Getae who represent themselves to be immortal” (Library of History, 1.94.2), but says nothing else of him or of the religion of the Getae. Discussing the Galatae, however, he compares their beliefs in immortality and metempsychosis to the similar philosophy of Pythagoras (5.28.6), things also related of the Kelts by both Strabo (Geography, 4.4.4) and Julius Caesar (The Gallic War, 6:14).

Thucydides, the Athenian general and historian, writing circa 420 B.C. in The History of the Peloponnesian War, describing an earlier war between Thrace and the Macedonians, lists the nations levied for this war which were under the dominion of the Thracian King Sitalces, among them “The Getes [Getae] and the people of those parts [north of Thrace, who] are borderers upon the Scythians and furnished as the Scythians are, all archers on horseback ... He [Sitalces] also drew forth many of those Scythians that inhabit the mountains and are free states ... and are called Dii, the greatest part of which are on the mountain Rhodope ...” (2:95-96). As for these Dii, Strabo, writing about 400 years later, says that the Daci of his time, who he labels a division of the Getae, “were called Daï in early times”, but refused to connect them to the “Scythians who are called ‘Daae,’ for they live far away in the neighborhood of Hyrcania” (Geography, 7.3.12). Yet Thucydides does identify the Dii, who were certainly Strabo’s Daï, as Scythians. Elsewhere, Strabo had no problem explaining the relations between remote groups of Galatae, such as those Tectosages of both Celtica and Anatolia.

So it seems that while the Getae may indeed have been a division of the Thracians, they may rather have been Scythians who fell under Thracian dominion at an early time, yet such cannot be stated with any certainty. Diodorus Siculus used the terms Thracians and Getae interchangeably, such as where he describes the defeat and capture, and subsequent release, of Lysimachus, the Macedonian King who invaded the land of the Getae about 292 B.C. (Library of History, 21.12.1-6). But Strabo, realizing that the origins of the Getae were not entirely clear, states that “as for the Getae, then, their early history must be left untold” (Geography, 7.3.11). Yet neither did Strabo consider the Getae or Daci to be German, as he distinguishes these when discussing the struggle against the Romans (7.3.13). It must be conjectured here, that if the Getae were indeed Thracians, and not Scythians, the attainment of their religion, described by the Greeks in a manner which makes it seem so much like the Hebrew, may have come from the Israelites in a different manner. For it is evident that many centuries before any of the writers cited here, the early Thracians had much intercourse with the Phoenicians and Trojans, both of whom can be shown to have been of the stock of the Israelites.

Speaking of a time much nearer his own, Strabo tells us that the land of the Getae adjoins that of the Suevi (Suebi), who are to their west (Geography,). Surely Strabo is counting the Germanic tribes of the Marcomanni and Quadi as Suebi, as Tacitus did (The Germania, 42, 43), and Strabo also mentions these tribes individually (Geography, 7.1.3; and 7.3.1 where Strabo tells us that the Quadi had a common border with the Getae). The Marcomanni had displaced the Boii, who dwelt north of the Danube in Bohemia, which retains its name from the Boii, by 8 B.C., by which time also the Quadi had come to inhabit the districts in and around Moravia to the east. The land of the Marcomanni was roughly equivalent to what is in modern times the Czech Republic and part of northern Austria, and that of the Quadi to what is now Slovakia (anciently Moravia) and part of Hungary. The land of the Getae, as described by Strabo, would occupy much of modern Romania and eastern Hungary, and was known to the Romans as Dacia. Strabo then says that the Getae “not only laid waste the country of the Celti who were intermingled with the Thracians and the Illyrians, but actually caused the complete disappearance of the Boii who were under the rule of Critasirus, and also of the Taurisci” (Geography, 7.3.1, 11; 7.5. 2). These Boii here had at this time dwelt south of the Danube, northeast of the Adriatic Sea. By the time of Tacitus, as he describes in The Germania (43), there are no Getae dwelling north of the Danube, for he makes no mention of them. Rather, he places in their lands two tribes of the Suebi, the Marsigni and Buri, a tribe which he says is Keltic, the Cotini, and a tribe which he described as Pannonian, the Osi. (Tacitus’ distinction between German and Keltic shall be discussed at length in a latter part of this essay.) Pannonia, roughly equivalent to the northern, inland part of modern Croatia (and Illyria was roughly equivalent to the coastal portion of modern Croatia), seems to have been occupied in ancient times by a mixture of Keltic, Illyrian, and Thracian tribes (Strabo, Geography, 7.5.3, 4, 10); the provinces of Noricum, Pannonia, Moesia and Rhaetia south of the Danube were created by Augustus Caesar early in the first century. The Osi may well have been Getae, since Tacitus distinguishes them and the Cotini by language alone. Yet it is evident that at least most of the Getae were forced south by the encroachment of more powerful German tribes from the north and east. Leaving the account of the Getae here, it is now expedient to return to the earliest accounts of the Scythians and their migrations into northern Europe.

Diodorus Siculus informs us that the Scythians originated along the Araxes river in northern Media, and spreading out towards the north came to occupy all the lands from the Caucasus mountains in the south to the Tanaïs river (the modern Don) and to the east as far as India. Then he relates that crossing the Tanaïs, the Scythians brought their western borders to Thrace (Library of History, 2.43.1-4; 3.55.10). The Tanaïs river was regarded as the border between Europe and Asia (i.e. Strabo, Geography, 2.5.26, 31). Elsewhere, discussing amber, Diodorus says that “Directly opposite the part of Scythia which lies above Galatia there is an island out in the open sea which is called Basilea (“king”). On this island the waves of the sea cast up great quantities of what is known as amber, which is to be seen nowhere else in the inhabited world” (Library of History, 5.23.1). By “Galatia” here Diodorus means the lands of the Galatae in Europe. A footnote in the Loeb Classical Library edition identifies this island as Heligoland, citing “... Cary in Cary and Warmington, The Ancient Explorers, 38”, which would put the western border of “Scythia” in the north at least as far west as the mouth of the Elbe. Yet Tacitus, in The Germania (45), speaking of the Germanic tribe of the Aestii, says: “They are the only people who collect amber – glaesum is their own word for it [surely the Old English glaes, our glass] – in the shallows or even on the beach.” The Aestii are described as occupying the Baltic shores, and so we see that Diodorus’ “Scythia” extended, if not as far west as the Elbe, then at least nearly as far, beyond the Vistula, and well into historically Germanic territory. Tacitus called the Baltic “the Suebian Sea”, after the Germanic tribe known by that name. Later, Diodorus Siculus describes the land of the Galatae as “lying as it does for the most part under the Bears, [it] has a wintry climate and is exceedingly cold”, and proceeds to describe deep snowfalls and frozen rivers. The phrase “under the Bears” refers to the constellations, and places this land in the extreme north of Germany, as Diodorus also describes the Rhine and the Danube in this chapter (Library of History, 5.25.1 ff.).

Writing long before Diodorus, Herodotus says of the amber trade: “I do not allow that there is any river, to which the barbarians give the name of Eridanus, emptying itself into the northern sea, whence (as the tale goes) amber is procured” (The Histories, 3:115). In his edition at this passage George Rawlinson says in a footnote: “Here Herodotus is over-cautious, and rejects as fable what we can see to be truth. The amber district upon the northern sea is the coast of the Baltic about the Gulf of Dantzig, and the mouths of the Vistula and Niemen, which is still one of the best amber regions in the world. The very name, Eridanus, lingers there in the Rhodaune, the small stream which washes the west side of the town of Dantzig. The word Eridanus (= Rhodanus) seems to have been applied by the early inhabitants of Europe, especially to great and strong-running rivers.” Part of Herodotus’ protest against the account is that “in the first place the name Eridanus is manifestly not a barbarian word at all, but a Greek name”, and such is true, for the name even appears for rivers in Greece and Italy (i.e. Strabo Geography, 5.1.9; 9.1.19; Hesiod, Theogony 337-345; Batrachomuomachia, 20). The Latin name for the Rhone river was Rhodanus, equivalent to the Greek Eridanus. The existence of such a name in Dantzig, where Rome never ruled, may reveal an early Greek hand in the Baltic amber trade. Both Milesians and Thracians had colonies upon and north of the Danube, as history and archaeology reveal, before the Scythian presence in Europe, and both must have exploited the surrounding regions for such resources. Recalling the island which Diodorus called “Basilea”, Herodotus mentions a tribe of Scythians who migrated into Europe called the “Royal Scythians” to whom other Scythian tribes were subject (The Histories, 4:6, 7, 11, 20, 56, 57, 59), and Strabo also mentions a tribe of Scythians called “Basileians”, or “Royals”, in northeast Europe (Geography, 7.3.17).

While Herodotus does not give an account of Scythian origins which corroborates Diodorus Siculus, his historic narratives concerning the Scythians surely do support Diodorus’ account. Reading Herodotus, the Persian King Cyrus fails in an attempt to conquer the Scythians after Cyrus crossed the Araxus river north of Media, and the Scythians whom Cyrus engages here are identified as Massagetae (The Histories, 1:201-216), whom Diodorus explains are a division of the Scythians (Library of History, 2.43.5). A couple of generations later, as the Persian King Darius was preparing for an invasion of Greece (conducted later by his son Xerxes), he first endeavored to conquer Macedonia and Thrace, where he succeeded, and then the Scythians to the north of Thrace, for which he crossed the Danube, and though returning safely, he failed to subject the Scythians of Europe (The Histories, 4:93; 97 ff.; 5:17 ff.). Strabo also discusses Darius’ expedition against the Scythians north of Thrace (Geography, 7.3.8), and explains that these people whom Darius had campaigned against were indeed Sakae, “of Scythian stock”, who “used to live in wheat-producing Asia”, quoting Choerilus of Samos, an epic poet who flourished towards the end of the 5th century B.C. (7.3.9). It was the “Desert of the Getae” which was said to be the place from which Darius was forced to retreat (7.3.14). Diodorus Siculus tells us of the later Greek wars against the Scythians of Europe, first under Philip of Macedon, “when he had conquered in war Illyrians, Paeonians, Thracians, Scythians, and all the peoples in the vicinity of these” (Library of History, 16.1.5), and later by Lysimachus, who ruled Macedon, being one of the successors of Philip’s son Alexander the Great (19. 73.1-5). Diodorus placed these Scythians west of the Black Sea. Polybius also mentions the passing of Darius through Thrace to attack the Scythians of Europe (The Histories, 4.43.2). Elsewhere, however, Polybius does not mention Scythians in Europe, but only Galatae, whom he still considered a threat to the Greeks in his own time, likely as he wrote, about 146 B.C. (2.35.9).

Herodotus, describing the Ister (the Danube river), says: “Counting from the west it is the first of the Scythian rivers”, and names five “genuine Scythian” rivers which empty into it from the north, beginning with the Pyretus in the east, “called by the Scythians Porata”, surely the modern Prut (The Histories, 4:48). While it cannot be ascertained exactly which five rivers Herodotus had in mind, since not all of their names are recognizable today, in the National Geographic Atlas of the World, Eighth Edition, plate 55, a “Physical Map of Europe”, there are eight named rivers shown which feed the Danube from the north, six in modern Romania (the land described by later writers as that of the Getae and Daci, discussed above) which are from east to west the Prut, Siret, Ialomita, Arges, Olt and Jiu, and two in modern Hungary, the Timas and Tisza. Yet where Herodotus counts the Danube as a Scythian river “from the west”, he must have meant that portion of the river which flows from north to south, dissecting modern Hungary today. Without doubt, this brings Herodotus’ perception of Scythia as far west as modern Austria. While it is unknown why Herodotus named only five of the lower Danube’s tributaries from the north, and not eight, surely he seems to have known the course of the Danube and the rivers which fed into it as far as Austria. He described the tributaries which feed it from the south as far west as the “country above the Umbrians”, or in northern Italy (4:49). From this region, two rivers, the Sava and the Drava (as they are now known) flow out of the Alps and into the Danube. Herodotus called the Danube itself “one of the great Scythian rivers” (4:51).

The Scythian land around the northern coast of the Black Sea was first held by those Scythians whom the Greeks called Kimmerians (as explained in Part One of this essay), hence the name Crimea, and later (as has also been demonstrated), Galatae. Pushing west, the Scythians also migrated south of the Danube at an early time, and took lands there from the Thracians which later became known as “Little Scythia”, adjacent to the Black Sea. Strabo says that the Scythians also pushed the Getae entirely south of the Danube (Geography 7.3.13; 7.4.5; and 7.65, where the Scythians are said to have “often crossed the Danube”). Herodotus distinguished the region of the Scythians south of the Danube from “Old Scythia” north of the Danube (The Histories, 4:99). Many modern commentators assume that the ancient Getae were the Goths who had much later invaded Rome (in the 5th century A.D.). However, such is not possible since the later Gothic invasions are well recorded and it is well known that the Goths did not cross the Danube until the 3rd century A.D. It is possible, however, that if the Getae were originally Kimmerians or later Scythians who had merged with the Thracians (as Strabo attests happened often), rather than being Thracians originally, that the names are indeed related, describing different divisions of the same people. However, such cannot be determined with certainty.

Seeing the descriptions of “Scythia” in Europe provided here, it is shown to extend along both the banks of the Danube and the shores of the Baltic (which Tacitus called the Suebian Sea, after the Germanic tribes of that name). There is also a quote of Ephorus, a 4th century B.C. historian who wrote a treatise, On Europe, provided by Strabo, where Ephorus said that the Kelts dwelt in “the part on the west”, and the Scythians in “the part from which the north wind blows” (Geography, 1.2.28). With Diodorus Siculus and Herodotus, we have seen that “Scythia” was perceived as extending well into Central Europe. The Scythians were a northern people at this time, and not merely an Asian people, but we have also seen the testimony that these people of the north had originated in Asia. Yet of the people north of the Danube, Diodorus and Polybius, when speaking of their own times, mention Galatae and not Scythians. So with Strabo in his own descriptions of northern Europe, and his use of the terms Galatae and German for these same people inhabiting this same land, it is evident that the geographer is straddling the earlier Greek terminology, such as that used by Diodorus, and then the Roman. For the Romans of Strabo’s time were in control of much of the inhabited world, and as Strabo was writing, the Romans were making continual failed attempts to conquer the German people north of the Danube and east of the Rhine. So Strabo quotes the most ancient writers, where the people of the north were known as Scythians, and then writing of his own time, he is calling them Galatae and Germans. One must not forget, however, that while Strabo often distinguishes between Galatae and Germans, he has fully described those Galatae south of and along the Danube as having mixed themselves with the Illyrian, Thracian, and other tribes, while he considers the Germans to be the genuine Galatae. Diodorus Siculus – even though he wrote during the time of Julius Caesar (who used the term German) and revered him greatly – did not use the term German but only Galatae, (interchangeably with Kelt) to describe these people, as Polybius did before him. The term German in Strabo should always be interpreted to mean genuine Galatae, as he himself explained of the origin of the term among the Romans (Geography, 7.1.2), and says that the Galatae and Germans, while they are distinguished, are kin (4.4.2).

Strabo tells us that the Rhine divides Celtica and Germany (Geography, 2.5.28, 30). Speaking of the Galatae of Celtica, Diodorus Siculus describes them as being “tall of body, with rippling muscles, and white of skin, and their hair is blond”, and goes on to relate how they made their hair even blonder by washing it in lime-water (Library of History, 5.28.1). Strabo says of the Germans that they are “taller, and have yellower hair” than the Galatae of Celtica (Geography, 7.1.2). Diodorus Siculus apparently places the borders of Scythia at the Elbe (Library of History, 5.23.1; 5.32.1-3), yet Strabo tells us that the Elbe (which he calls “Albis”) divides Germany into two parts (Geography, 1.2.1). Herodotus, as we have seen, calls the lands of Central Europe north of the Danube Scythia. By all of these descriptions, the eastern portion of Strabo’s Germany is clearly the European Scythia of the earlier writers: Ephorus, Herodotus, and Diodorus. As we shall see in subsequent parts of this essay, the Germany of Tacitus extends all the way to the Black Sea.

Strabo tells us of the earlier writers: “Now all the peoples towards the north were by the ancient Greek historians given the general name ‘Scythians’ or ‘Celto-scythians’; but the writers of still earlier times, making distinctions between them, called those who lived above the Euxine [Black Sea] and the Ister [Danube] and the Adriatic ‘Hyperboreans,’ ‘Sauromatians,’ and ‘Arimaspians,’ and they called those who lived across the Caspian Sea in part ‘Sacians’ [Sakae, or Sakans, all the same in Greek] and in part ‘Massagetans,’ but they were unable to give any accurate account of them, although they reported a war between Cyrus and the Massagetans” (Geography, 11.6.2), and here Strabo is being critical of Ctesias, Herodotus, and Hellanicus, among others, although his criticism is surely harsher than Herodotus deserves. Strabo himself here confuses “Hyperboreans” by listing them along with historical peoples, since he himself explains elsewhere that the name is a general description meaning “most northerly peoples”, and is not the name of any specific tribe (1.3. 22).Yet after rebuking Herodotus for doubting whether there actually were “Hyperboreans” (referring to The Histories 4:13, 32-36), Strabo himself later calls them “mythical”, revealing his own confusion on the matter (Geography, 7.3.1). Yet hopefully the links between Kelts, Galatae, Germans, Kimmerians and Scythians, through the different stages of history, are becoming quite apparent here.


Part Four


Proceeding from where we left off in Part Three of this essay, and Strabo’s discussion of the usage by earlier writers of the terms “... ‘Scythians’ or ‘Celtoscythians’ ... ‘Hyperboreans,’ ‘Sauromatians,’ and ... ‘Arimaspians,’ and ... ‘Sacians’ and ... ‘Massagetans’”, we have seen that Hyperborean was merely a descriptive term. Now it is appropriate to commence by discussing the others, the Sarmatians and Arimaspians, and then the Scythians of Asia, before returning to a discussion of Europe. The Sarmatians, as Diodorus Siculus tells us, were a people taken from the Medes, and so they are Japhethite Slavs, related to the Thracians (Madai and Tiras, Gen. 10:2). Said to have been settled along the Tanaïs river by the Scythians, Diodorus also later tells us that some writers reckoned them as Scythians (Library of History, 2.43.6-7; 4. 45.4). Strabo was among those writers who did so, where he said “On the right, as one sails into the Caspian Sea, are those Scythians, or Sarmatians, who live in the country contiguous to Europe between the Tanaïs River and this sea; the greater part of them are nomads, of whom I have already spoken” (Geography, 11.6.2), and indeed Strabo had said earlier that the Sarmatians, “these too being Scythians”, dwelt near the Caspian Sea (11.2.1). Tacitus distinguished the Sarmatians from the Germans, and specifically by physical appearance (The Germania, 46), and by his time the Sarmatians had also migrated to the west of the Tanaïs, surely contributing to the westward movement of the Scythians into Europe. The Arimaspians are mentioned by Diodorus Siculus as a branch of the Scythians (Library of History, 2.43.5), yet little else is found concerning Scythians with this name. Strabo only tells us of them that, according to Aristeas, they are a one-eyed people. Strabo later called Aristeas, who wrote an epic about the Arimaspians, “a charlatan if ever there was one” (Geography, 1.2.10; 13.1.16).

However obscure the Arimaspians are, much more is known of those Scythians of Asia: “... the eastern Scythians, also nomads, who extend as far as the Eastern Sea and India ... and they called those who lived across the Caspian Sea in part ‘Sacians’ [Sakae, or Sakans] and in part ‘Massagetans,’ but they were unable to give any accurate account of them, although they reported a war between Cyrus and the Massagetans” (Geography, 11.6.2). Here Strabo refers to accounts such as the one related by Herodotus (The Histories, 1:201-216), who tells us of Cyrus’ campaign against these Scythians, which took place north of Media and the Araxes river (the modern Aras), in modern Armenia and Azerbaijan. Early in his Geography, Strabo states: “Indeed, the spread of the empires of the Romans and of the Parthians has presented to geographers of to-day a considerable addition to our empirical knowledge of geography, just as did the campaign of Alexander to geographers of earlier times, as Eratosthenes points out ... the Parthians have increased our knowledge in regard to Hyrcania and Bactriana, and in regard to the Scythians who live north of Hyrcania and Bactriana, all of which countries were but imperfectly known to the earlier geographers” (1.2.1). Yet Strabo, writing a geography, is often much more interested in a knowledge of the land and its features and resources than he is in the people, although he was also a historian, and Herodotus’ comments concerning the people of these regions generally concur with Strabo.

While Herodotus did repeat some fantastic tales concerning the various tribes of the Scythians (i.e. The Histories, 4:100-117), much of the information he had is of historical value, once it is separated from the myths. For instance, he describes one tribe, the Budini (cf. 4:21-22), and says that they “are a large and powerful nation: they have all deep blue eyes, and bright red hair”, and live near the Borysthenes, the modern Dnieper river (4:108). Also of great value is his enumeration of men from various Scythian tribes among the Persian army of Xerxes which invaded Greece circa 480 B.C., and which is corroborated by Persian inscriptions, where it is evident that many of the Scythian tribes and nations of the east were at that time subject to the Persians (7:64-67). Discussing the army of Xerxes, Herodotus often used the term Sakae, or Sakans, in place of Scythians (i.e. 7:96, 184; 8:113; 9:113). That Scythians were subject to the Persians is also evident in the list of the satrapies of the Persian empire which Herodotus provided (3:90-94). The “Bactrian tribes” are listed as the twelfth Persian satrapy, and “Sacans and Caspians” together in the fifteenth, with “Parthians, Chorasmians, Sogdians and Arians” making up the sixteenth satrapy. By this it may be evident, the Scythians of Europe also being identified as Sakae (i.e. Strabo, Geography, 7.3.9), that these tribes didn’t simply migrate, but had multiplied and spread out.

Some of the tales which Herodotus repeated concerning various Scythian tribes are found in other Greek writers. For instance, Herodotus mentions a tribe called the Androphagi, or Man-eaters (The Histories, 4:106), and Strabo relates tales of cannibalism among certain Scythians (Geography, 7.3.6, 7, 9), repeating earlier writers. Elsewhere Herodotus says of the Tauri, the name which the Greeks gave to the Scythians of the Crimea and neighboring Black Sea coasts (Strabo Geography, 7.4.5), that they sacrifice the shipwrecked and other foreigners found in their territory (The Histories, 4:103). For this the Tauri were the subjects of a play by Euripides, in which they appear quite anachronistically at the time of the Trojan War, being parodied in his Iphigeneia Among The Taurians as sacrificers of those unfortunate enough to have fallen upon their shores. Herodotus also described other tribes of Scythians who had settled in one place and were engaged in husbandry, i.e. the “Scythian Husbandmen” who dwelt about the Borysthenes (4:17, 18, 52, 54), and those of the Budini who had mixed with certain Greeks and inhabited a city called Gelônus (4:108, 109). Yet many others of the Scythian tribes of Asia, such as the Caspians, Bactrians, Sogdians, etc., certainly also must have been settled, due to the nature of their circumstances, being under the Persian yoke. Such would require the payment of tribute to Persia, money and goods from trade and husbandry and agriculture.

Diodorus Siculus relates that the “Scythians known as the Sacae” dwell to the north of India (Library of History, 2.35.1). Very close to this region bodies of Caucasians with reddish hair and clad in tartan-like garments have recently been found. Called the “Tarim Mummies”, they date to within a few centuries before the start of the Christian era, the same time that the Classical Greek historians cited here were writing. See, for instance, “Tracking the Tarim Mummies”, Archaeology, Archaeological Institute of America, March-April 2001, p. 76. Diodorus tells us that these Scythians originated along the Araxes River, northwest of Media (2.43.1-5). Strabo informs us that the “Scythians north of Hyrcania and in Bactriana” (which corresponds roughly with present-day Tajikistan) are known to the west from the Parthians (Geography, 1.2.1), and in his eleventh book he discussed them at length. There he states: “Now the greater part of the Scythians, beginning at the Caspian Sea, are called Däae, but those who are situated more to the east than these are named Massagetae and Sacae, whereas all the rest are given the general name of Scythians” (11.8.2). Later he says that the Däae are not considered Scythians by all, and indeed Herodotus thought they were a Persian tribe (Daans in Rawlinson’s translation; The Histories, 1:125). In Part Three of this essay they are associated with the Daï (Strabo), or Dii (Thucydides) of Europe, an identification which Strabo refused to make. Strabo tells us that some of the Däae are called Aparni (Geography, 11.7.1), and has these among the number of the Scythians led by Arsaces who established themselves as the Parthians (11.9.2), who were indeed Scythians (11.8.2). Strabo also describes a tribe called the Siginni who dwelt in the mountains near the Caspian Sea, and who “imitate the Persians in all their customs, except that they use ponies that are small and shaggy, which, though unable to carry a horseman, are yoked together in a four-horse team” (11.11.8), and this description matches perfectly those Sigynnae of Herodotus, who dwelt north of the Danube and were “colonists of the Medes” (see Part Two of this essay), and therefore these two groups must have been originally from the same tribe, some having migrated westward at an early time. Note that often among the Greeks, “Mede” stood for either Persian or Mede, especially among the Tragic Poets contemporary with Herodotus.

With Alexander the Great, the Greeks had conquered all of the old Persian empire as far as Bactriana, which bordered upon India and was inhabited by Scythians, and Strabo explains that each of the Scythian tribes had a name of its own, though they were generally known as Scythians, and that “They are all for the most part nomads”, where it is evident that Scythian identifies a race, and is not merely a synonym for nomad. Of Bactria, Strabo then says “But the best known of the nomads are those who took away Bactriana from the Greeks, I mean the Asii, Pasiani, Tochari, and Sacarauli, who originally came from the country on the other side of the Iaxartes River [the modern Syr Darya] that adjoins that of the Sacae and the Sogdiani and was occupied by the Sacae” (11.8.2). The “Tarim Mummies” have been thought by many archaeologists to be of Tocharian or related stock. Even tribes east of Sogdiana, where the Tarim Basin is located, are identified as Scythian, Strabo says, “from their identity in kind” (11.11.6). Of the Sacae and Massagetae, the largest Scythian tribes of the east, “who lived across [east of] the Caspian Sea” (11.6.2), Strabo says they are one “tribe”, or nation (Greek ethnos), and he names several divisions among them (11.8.8).

Strabo errantly supposed that the Sakae of Sacasene, a district of Armenia which had its name from the Sakae, had migrated there from Asia, as if the Scythians had originated in the far east (Geography, 11.8.4). Rather, from Diodorus Siculus we see that the Scythians originated near Sacasene, which is not far from the Araxes river (Library of History, 2.43.1-5; cf. Strabo, Geography, 11.14. 3-4 for these locations). Diodorus’ version of Scythian origins is better corroborated by the general historical record, that Strabo himself helps to attest. While Herodotus tells us that the Scythians ruled all of Asia for a time following the fall of Assyria (The Histories, 1.104), Strabo rather anachronistically identifies this same period by saying that “Greater Armenia ruled the whole of Asia” (Geography, 11. 13.5), meaning the Scythians, or Sakae. This is the same area where Cyrus, not 100 years after the fall of Assyria, crossed the Araxes river into what later became known as Armenia to attack those Scythians called the Massagetae (11.8.6; Herodotus, The Histories, 1:201-216). Strabo tells us that the Parthians were a division of the Scythians (11. 9.2). The attestation of Josephus, that the Parthians and other tribes of the “Upper Barbarians” were of his own nation (in the ethnic sense), and for that reason he wrote his Wars of the Judaeans for these people, as he says in the Preface to that book, agrees with Diodorus Siculus who gives the origin of these people near northern Media, and also with the Biblical accounts of the Assyrian deportations of the Israelites and to where they had been removed centuries earlier (i.e. 2 Kings 17:6). This connection between the Scythians, Kimmerians, and the Israelites is also evident in the Assyrian inscriptions uncovered by archaeologists, such as those deciphered by D.D. Luckenbill in his Ancient Records of Assyria and Babylonia, cited by E. Raymond Capt in his much more recent and available Missing Links Discovered in Assyrian Tablets.

It is fully evident, given all that Strabo and Diodorus Siculus have to say about the Scythians, that they were a common race, and Diodorus tells us that they came from a single origin (Library of History, 2.43.1-5). Strabo supports this statement of Diodorus’, not where he agrees with their point of origin, but where he tells us that the Scythians of the east are indeed Scythians because of “their identity in kind” (Geography, 11.11.6), where he tells us the Sakae and Massagetae are “one tribe” (11.8. 8), and where he states that the Iberians above the Caucasus mountains are “both neighbors and kinsmen” of the Scythians, although here he includes also the Sarmatians, whom he supposes to be Scythians (11.3.3). With the testimony of Josephus mentioned above, we see that the Scythians were the ancient Israelites – Hebrews – of the Assyrian deportations. In Hebrew, the word Hebrew is Ibriy (Strong’s Hebrew dictionary #5680). Once it is realized that the Phoenicians, who settled the Iberian peninsula in western Europe, were Israelites (for which see my essay Classical And Biblical Records Identifying The Phoenicians) – hence the name Iberia – then it is also evident that this Iberia in the Caucasus mountains near the Black Sea received its name in like manner, because Hebrews resided there, being the Scythians, or Sakae.

Herodotus’ description of the Scythian tribe of the Budini, cited above, with their bright red hair and blue eyes, surely portrays the ideal model of Keltic appearance that is commonly perceived today. Indeed, centuries later Tacitus wrote of the Caledonians in Britain: “The reddish hair and large limbs of the Caledonians proclaim a German origin” (The Agricola, 11). Aside from the tartanclad Tarim mummies found in what is now northwestern China, there are many other archaeological finds in Asia which help to support the Classical historians cited here in their accounts of the Scythians. For instance, the so-called Pazyryk culture describes the archaeological findings of the elaborate barrow-graves of a people who once inhabited the Altay Mountains of western Mongolia. Said to be similar to the Scythian tombs of what is now the Ukraine, descriptions of these tombs are also much like Herodotus reported of the burials of Scythian chieftains (The Histories, 4:71-72), although some of Herodotus’ account is evidently exaggerated, since while horses and concubines, described as “sacrificed”, have been found in such graves, nowhere yet have as many as fifty horses, or fifty concubines, been found buried in this manner all at one time, as Herodotus reported. The Pazyryk tombs, which are dated to the 5th and 4th centuries B.C. (the very time of Herodotus), contain a race of Caucasian people, heavily tattooed and with blond hair, who would certainly not be out of place in Germany or Scandinavia today. Found among these burials are pile carpets, elaborate chariots, gold and gold-gilt objects of art, embroidered woven fabrics, carved leather goods, and many other crafts. Similar barrow burials have been found in Tuva, a Russian district north of Mongolia, in modern Kazakhstan (notably the interestingly-named Issyk barrow), and elsewhere in addition to the many Scythian barrows found in the west, such as those of the Ukraine.

Of course, there are many archaeological findings associated with “Indo-Europeans” (Caucasian, or White people) in and around the Eurasian Steppes which predate the Scythians, and many historians and archaeologists errantly assume that the Steppes, or some area to the east, west or north (anywhere but the lands of the Bible), must have been the original home of all Indo-Europeans. There sometimes seems to be as many theories of Indo-European origins as there are scholars holding advanced degrees in disciplines related to the subject. Yet all roads of our cultural and historical consciousness lead back to the world portrayed by the Bible: to Egypt, the Levant, Anatolia and Mesopotamia. Once both “political correctness” and the lies of the jews concerning the Shemetic race are swept aside, and Biblical history is examined from a racially correct perspective, the conclusion that White culture and history began in and around Mesopotamia is not difficult to reach. It can certainly be demonstrated from the Bible, apocryphal Hebrew literature, the Hebrew language itself, and many other ancient historical works, that the original Shemites (not today’s race-mixed jews and arabs) were White. They are the primary ancestors of most of today’s White Europeans. Following the more accurate (although imperfect) Septuagint chronology of the Bible, the Adamic race appeared on earth at least – but not too much more than – 7,500 years ago, yet other Caucasoid races most likely had been here before that, and modern civilization (that of the Genesis chapter 10 nations) began following a great (but localized) deluge which took place perhaps 5200 or so years ago. From that time, White Adamic civilization spread for over 2500 years up to the deportations of the Israelites by Assyria and the subsequent appearance of the Scythians in history (741-676 B.C.). Outside of the few records which we have from Egypt, Assyria and Babylonia, scarcely anything exists to tell us of those 2500 years. The ancient Greeks began writing about 700 B.C., the time of Homer. It cannot be assumed that, over 2500 years, all of the other branches of the Adamic race remained confined to the world of the Bible: the Mediterranean and the near East. As the historic records and inscriptions tell us, the lands of Asshur, Madai, Elam (Assyria, Media and Persia) and the surrounding related nations were quite often in a state of war, or ruled over by tyrants. Surely over the centuries many of the tribes of the people migrated to regions north, east and west, and not only to escape war or tyranny, but also in search of fertile land, precious minerals, or other natural resources. And so there are many archaeological discoveries in and around the Steppes which predate the Scythians, among which are the Andronovo, Catacomb, Tumulus, Timber-grave, Corded Ware, Urnfield and many other Indo-European cultures of eastern Europe and western Asia, many of which have features linking them to earlier cultures of Mesopotamia or the adjoining regions (Anatolia, Syro-Palestine, or Iran). This has been demonstrated by at least one professional archaeologist, S.A. Grigoryev of the Ural branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, in his book Ancient Indo-Europeans. An attempt of historical reconstruction.

In a separate online article, “The Sintashta Culture And Some Questions Of Indo-European Origins”, Grigoryev makes the following comments (forgiving his imperfect English): “Origins of Indo-Europeans is one of the most significant problems of history, archaeology and linguistics. This problem has already been discussed for 200 years after the kinship of Indo-European languages was demonstrated ... Linguists T.V. Gamkrelidze and V.V. Ivanov basing analyses of Indo-European languages have localised the Indo-European homeland in Near East and described migrations of separate groups ... My study of Eurasian cultures allows me to say that Indo-European homeland was really in Near East ... V.I. Sarianidi have demonstrated that the appearance of Iranians in Central Asia and Eastern Iran and forming of Bactria-Margiana archaeological complex had been caused by migration from Syro-Anatolian region ... Another important problem of Indo-European study is a migration of ancient Europeans. T.V. Gamkrelidze and V.V. Ivanov consider that their languages differentiated already in Near East. These people (Celts, Germans, Slavs, Balts) moved to Europe through Iran and Central Asia around Caspian See. As a result of combined migrations, an area of the second intimacy of these dialects formed somewhere to the North of Caspian See. This linguistic reconstruction corresponded to archaeological evidence ... The Indo-European homeland was placed on the territory of Kurdistan. The most early complexes which we can connect with Proto-Indoeuropeans are such objects as Tel Magzalia, Tel Sotto, Hassuna, dating from the VIII to the early V milleniums [B.C.]. The first Indo-Europeans migrated to the Balkan peninsula after and together with other anatolian peoples at about the end of the VI millenium. The Anatolian tribes were formed here on this base. But most part of Indo-European migrations began later – at about the early IV millenium ... At the end of the Bronze Age Kimmerians migrated westwards to Northern Pontic area. Scithian migration through Iran, Near East and the Caucasus took place at the beginning of the Iron Age. At last, various streams of Indo-Europeans (Tokharians, Europeans and Iranians) influenced forming and development of Chinese civilisation.”

I can’t entirely agree with Grigoryev, who improperly labels early migrations of Caucasians into Europe as “Celts” and “Germans” and who – perhaps in deference to all those who have followed Homer – distinguishes Kimmerians from Scythians and errantly labels earlier northern groups as “Kimmerian”, when in fact the Kimmerians were Scythians and did not reach Europe until the end of the 8th century B.C., things which have been discussed at length in Part One of this essay. Elsewhere Grigoryev further supports the historic record as it is presented in these essays, where he states that “Cultures of Scithian and Sarmatian world were not forming on the basis of Late Bronze Age cultures placed from Dnieper River to the Altai”, and further discussing early Steppe cultures adds: “The forming of these cultures [from the 18th century B.C.] reflected an Iranization of Steppe Zone. Although the appearance of Scithian and Sarmatian tribes was not connected with these cultures.” So, in support of Diodorus Siculus’ testimony concerning these peoples, Scythians and Sarmatians appear in the Steppe from Iran (ancient Media and Persia) after the Bronze Age, in the early Iron Age, which is usually said to begin with the 8th century B.C., the same century during which the Israelites were deported by Assyria.

Kurdistan is a region which includes parts of modern Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Syria and Armenia. It includes the original homeland of the patriarch Abraham in Haran, the Padan-Aram area mentioned in the book of Genesis, ancient Media, and parts of Assyria and Persia. Babylonia, which is Sumer and Akkad, lies just to the south. While Grigoryev’s conclusions were reached through studies of archaeology, linguistics, and some history, it should be evident that this one archaeological model for the spread of “Indo-Europeans” agrees very closely with the proper Biblical perspective and the testimony of the Classical historians concerning the origin of the White Adamic peoples of Europe and Asia. In the next part of this essay we shall return our attention to the Scythians of Europe.


Part Five


It has already been established here, in Part Three of this essay, that the Scythia of Diodorus Siculus extended west to the amber district of the Baltic, and perhaps even to the Elbe, as described by that historian. Likewise, Herodotus accounted the Danube and its tributaries from the north as “Scythian” rivers. Strabo also often discussed the Scythians, or Sakae, north of the Danube and west of the Black Sea. Yet Strabo wrote in much later times than Herodotus, and perhaps 30 to 50 years later than Diodorus. While Diodorus did not use the term German, he was certainly familiar with the writings of Julius Caesar, and Caesar used the term. Yet Diodorus used only the terms Kelts and Galatae, and used them interchangeably, when referring to both the people of Celtica and the lands north of the Danube, while we learn from Strabo that the Romans made a distinction between them, which certainly was an arbitrary one, calling those of Celtica Gauls and those east of the Rhine Germans. Strabo wrote in Greek, and cited many earlier Greek writers, and it is evident that most often his perspective was that of a Greek, and usually in agreement with the earlier writers whom he cites. Yet where Strabo writes of the northern Europe of his own time, it is in an era when Rome had been fighting many battles against the northern tribes, in an attempt to establish – and even expand – its northern borders and its control over the inhabited earth, or oikoumenê, and in these places Strabo’s perspective is clearly a Roman one.

Keeping this in mind, Strabo writes of northern Europe: “Now the parts that are beyond the Rhenus and Celtica are to the north of the Ister [Danube]; these are the territories of the Galatic and the Germanic [genuine Galatae, as he explains in the subsequent paragraph] tribes, extending as far as the Bastarnians and the Tyregetans and the River Borysthenes [the Dnieper]. And the territories of all the tribes between this river and the Tanaïs [the Don] and the mouth of Lake Maeotis [the Sea of Azov] extend up into the interior as far as the ocean [the Baltic] and are washed by the Pontic [Black] Sea” (Geography, 7.1.1). The Tyregetans were those Getae who lived along the Tyras river, the modern Dniester. The Bastarnians, found inhabiting the region called elsewhere “Little Scythia”, on the western shores of the Black Sea, who are said by Strabo to be a Germanic tribe (7.3.17), shall be discussed further below. What is most striking here is an absence of any mention of Scythians. Rather, we find mention of “Germanic tribes” occupying the territory where we found mention of Scythians, or Sakae, for nearly 500 years up to Strabo’s writing of his statement here. Of the Scythians in Europe the historian Thucydides, writing towards the end of the 5th century B.C., had written: “For there is no nation, not to say of Europe but neither of Asia, that are comparable to this, or that as long as they agree, are able, one nation to one, to stand against the Scythians” (History of the Peloponnesian War, 2:97). The only logical conclusion is that by Strabo’s time the Romans had created yet another distinction: the Scythians of Europe, whom the Greeks had called Galatae, were being called Germans. As Strabo had often explained that many of the Scythians were nomadic, dwelling in wagons (i.e. Geography, 11.2.1), and living off of their flocks were “eaters of cheese made of mare’s milk”, where he quotes Aeschylus (7.3. 7, and see 7.3.9), Strabo likewise related of the Germans: “It is a common characteristic of all the peoples in this part of the world [here in the Loeb Classical Library edition a footnote reminds the reader that Strabo means the Germans and Galatae] that they migrate with ease ... they do not till the soil or even store food, but live in small huts that are merely temporary structures; and they live for the most part off their flocks, as the Nomads do, so that, in imitation of the Nomads, they load their household belongings on their wagons and with their beasts turn whithersoever they think best” (7.1.3). Strabo wrote this while discussing many of the Germanic tribes, such as the Suevi (or Suebi), later described by Tacitus in The Germania. Here it is clear that Strabo has described these Germans in the exact same manner as he had described the Scythians, and they are found occupying the same lands that were said in many places elsewhere to have been occupied by Scythians. For instance, while Strabo described the displacement of those Getae north of the Danube by Scythians (7.3.13, et al.), Tacitus mentions no Getae north of the Danube, nor any Scythians, but names German tribes occupying those lands. It is quite evident, that with all of these things considered, the Germans are indeed the Scythians, and only the names have changed.

It could not have been an accident, that in his description of those inhabiting northern Europe in his seventh book, Strabo neglected to mention the Scythians. In his second book he had given a statement similar to the one repeated above: “This river [the Danube] flows from the west towards the east and the Euxine [Black] Sea; it leaves on its left the whole of Germany (which begins at the Rhine), all the country of the Getans, and the country of the Tyregetans, Bastarnians, and Sarmatians as far as the river Tanaïs [the modern Don] and Lake Maeotis [the Sea of Azov]; and it leaves on its right the whole of Thrace, Illyria, and, lastly and finally, Greece” (Geography, 2.5.30). Here again we see that there are no Scythians mentioned in Europe, although Strabo gave much testimony elsewhere, from older writers, confirming their prominence there. The only explanation is that here they are being called Germans, who are indeed the Scythians of the earlier writers, and here Strabo portrays Germany as extending from the Rhine to the Black Sea, north of the Danube, except for the region held by the Getae, since he tells us that the Bastarnians are German (7.3.17). Strabo tells us elsewhere that the Getae share a border with the Germanic Suevi (7.1.3), yet indicates that the Getae were driven south of the Danube by the Scythians (i.e. 7.3.13), and Tacitus names several tribes inhabiting that region, but no Scythians. Rather, Tacitus tells us that east of the Quadi (a division of the Suevi called Coadui, or in some mss. Coldui, by Strabo) dwell the Germanic Marsigni and Buri, not Suevi but both “exactly like the Suebi in language and mode of life”, and the Cotini and the Osi who both pay tribute to the Suebi and to the Sarmatians. Using language as his determinant, Tacitus distinguishes the Cotini and Osi from the Germans, and says that the Cotini are Kelts, which shall be further discussed below, and that  the Osi are Pannonian (The Germania, 43). It is possible, yet difficult to ascertain, that the Osi were a remnant of the Getae, whom Tacitus does not mention, who managed to remain north of the Danube. As discussed in Part Three of this essay, Pannonia was a Roman district south of the Danube, apparently inhabited by a mixture of Keltic, Illyrian and Thracian tribes.

Before continuing a discussion of Germany as it was perceived by Strabo and Tacitus, it is appropriate to discuss the Galatae and Scythians as they were mentioned by the historian Polybius. Polybius lived from about 208-126 B.C., and the main part of the history which he wrote covers the years 264-146 B.C. His is an excellent work concerning the Punic Wars between Rome and Carthage, and the exploits of Hannibal and Scipio, but he also described wars of the period among the Greek states to the east, and the causes for and the beginnings of the Roman empire, for which he was an apologist. Many who write about the Kelts cite Polybius endeavoring to show that either the Kelts had dominion throughout all of northern Europe at one time, or that they originated in the east, or both. Like the later Diodorus Siculus, Polybius also used the terms Galatae and Kelts interchangeably (i.e. The Histories, 2.30.7-9), and he never used the term German, calling all the people of the north Galatae. Concerning the origins of peoples, the founding of cities, and related things, Polybius did not write, and he explains his reasons for abstaining from such at length in his ninth book (9.1-2).

Polybius directly mentioned the Scythians in Europe only once, where of a certain point along the coast near Byzantium he writes: “It is here, they say, that Darius bridged the straits when he crossed to attack the Scythians” (4.43.2). Yet Polybius mentioned the Galatae often, both those north of Greece who had conquered Thrace and invaded Anatolia, and those further west. While Polybius’ mentions of the Galatae, or Kelts, say nothing of detriment to that which is being presented here, neither are they of great assistance. Yet in general they support one major contention made here: that those people of Europe originally said to be Scythians (for instance by Ephorus, whom Strabo quotes at length) were the same people later called Galatae by the Greeks, and then divided into Germans and Gauls by the Romans, since in the era of Herodotus and Thucydides only Scythians were known in the north – and neither Herodotus nor Thucydides knew the term Galatae – and only Kelts were known in the west. Yet later the people of the north were called Galatae, and no longer are Scythians mentioned there, unless older writers are being followed. Both Galatae and Scythians are described by Strabo in the exact same manner, where Strabo is certainly discussing the same people in two different eras, by two different names: the first from earlier writers, and the latter in his own time.

Polybius also makes statements which show that the archaeological Hallstatt culture should not be so readily associated with the Galatae. For he says of the Galatae that “their lives were very simple, and they had no knowledge whatever of any art or science”, and that their possessions were scarce so that they could “shift where they chose” (2.17.10), much as Strabo had described them. He also described at length their highly inferior arms, and how easily their swords bent after a single hard blow (2.30.7-9; 2.33.3). None of this accords with the more advanced metallurgy and the fine arts of the Hallstatt culture, which likely belonged to Thracians, Milesians, other Phoenicians, and other earlier settlers of the Danube River valley and western Europe – the “proto-Kelts”.

In the times of Strabo and Tacitus a Germanic tribe called the Bastarnae dwelt on the Danube near the Black Sea, in the same region which Strabo and others called “Little Scythia” elsewhere. Polybius mentions these people, who were the reason for a mission of the Dardanians (an Illyrian tribe) to the Roman Senate in 177-176 B.C.: “A mission from the Dardanians now arrived, telling of the Bastarnae, their numbers, the huge size and the valour of their warriors, and also pointing out that Perseus and the Galatians [of Anatolia] were in league with this tribe. They said they were much more afraid of him than of the Bastarnae, and they begged for aid. Envoys from Thessaly also arrived confirming the statement of the Dardanians, and begging for help” (The Histories, 25.6.2-4). These Bastarnae are not said by any of these writers to have migrated from anywhere, nor to have been conquerors of the Scythians or Galatae who inhabited this region, and so it seems plausible that Bastarnae is only a name for the Scythian tribe which long inhabited the area, of which the Greeks and Romans only later acquired a more intimate knowledge. Strabo was uncertain about the Bastarnae, and says “but what is beyond Germany and what beyond the countries which are next after Germany – whether one should say the Bastarnae, as most writers suspect, or say that others lie in between ... it is not easy to say ... or whether any part is uninhabitable by reason of the cold or other cause, or whether even a different race of people, succeeding the Germans, is situated between the sea and the eastern Germans [here it is absolutely evident that the word German stands for Scythian] ... for I know neither the Bastarnae, nor the Sauromatae, nor, in a word, any of the peoples who dwell above the Pontus ...” (Geography, 7.2.4). By “know” Strabo must mean that he didn’t know them first-hand, and so was not able to describe them completely, since both Diodorus Siculus some years before, and Tacitus some years after, confirm his statements concerning the Sarmatians, the Bastarnae, and the Germans – once one accepts as fact that Strabo and later writers used “German” to describe the people that Diodorus and earlier writers called Scythian, and then Galatae, which shall hopefully be further established in a discussion of the Peucetians.

Diodorus Siculus mentions the Peucetians (Peuketioi) where he says that Agathocles, king of Sicily, supplied “both the Iapygians and the Peucetians ... with pirate ships, receiving in return a share of their booty” (Library of History, 21.4.1), Sicily being at war with Carthage, Macedon, and the “barbarians of Italy” about 295 B.C. (21.2.2). Strabo tells us that certain of the Bastarnians lived on Peuce (peukê means pine in Greek), an island in the Danube, and were therefore called Peucini (Peukinoi), which must be Diodorus’ Peucetians, the name and location being identical. Strabo names other tribes of the Bastarnae, the Atmoni and Sidoni, and the Roxolani who “roam the plains between the Tanaïs and the Borysthenes [the Don and Dnieper rivers], and here is more evidence that the Germanic Bastarnae are of the European Scythians. The Roxolani, Strabo tells us, are known from their wars with Mithridates Eupator, king of Pontus, 120-63 B.C.” (Geography, 7.3.15, 17). Elsewhere where Diodorus Siculus discusses Macedonian and Thracian relations with their neighbors during this period, he mentions only Scythians in this region, and no Bastarnae (i.e. Library of History, 16.1.5; 19.73.1-5). It should be manifest here, that Bastarnae is a name for the Scythian, later called German, tribes in this same area. The people did not change, only the names did, once the perspective changed from Greek to Roman: German was a strictly Roman term.

Although in one place Strabo does seem to distinguish the Bastarnae from the Scythians, where he says that the Thracians had suffered the encroachment of “Scythians and Bastarnians and Sauromatians” from north of the Danube (Geography, 7.3.13), this does not mean that Strabo counted them as a distinct people. Rather, Strabo is referencing an extended period of time, and in the earliest migrations of the Scythians into Thrace, no particular tribe was distinguished among them, where the Bastarnae are named only much later, yet are clearly the same people as those Scythians inhabiting the same area throughout the centuries up until Strabo’s time. Strabo also distinguishes the Bastarnae for another reason, where he says that “they also being, one might say, of Germanic stock” (7.3.17), and it is learned from Tacitus, who says that “The Peucini, however, who are sometimes called Bastarnae, are like Germans in their language, manner of life, and mode of settlement and habitation [but] ... Mixed marriages are giving them something of the repulsive appearance of the Sarmatians [Sauromatae] ...” and so Tacitus says “I do not know whether to class the tribes of the Peucini [Bastarnae], Venedi [Slavic Wends], and Fenni [Finns] with the Germans or with the Sarmatians” (The Germania, 46). So it is evident that on the heels of the Germans, who were the westward-migrating Scythians, were the Slavic tribes pushing into western Europe, and intermingling with them along the way.

In The Germania, Tacitus gives an account of how the Germans came to be so called, stating that “The name Germania, however, is said to have been only recently applied to the country. The first people to cross the Rhine and appropriate Gallic territory, though they are known nowadays as Tungri, were at that time called Germani; and what was at first the name of this one tribe, not of the entire race, gradually came into general use in the wider sense. It was first applied to the whole people by the conquerors of the Gauls, to frighten them; later, all the Germans adopted it and called themselves by the new name” (§2). Yet the Germans did not use the name German of themselves, it is strictly the Roman term for them. Latin becoming the language of learning in the Middle Ages, the name prevailed. Neither Diodorus Siculus nor Strabo, who both knew more of the tribes of Celtica west of the Rhine and south of the Alps than they did of Germany, ever mentioned such a story, nor did they ever mention any individual tribe named Germani. Neither did Caesar in The Gallic War, where he used the name Germani of those tribes east of the Rhine, corroborate any part of Tacitus’ story concerning this name, and so it is certainly implausible. Therefore it must be a coincidence that there was apparently a tribe of this name, Germanians in Rawlinson’s edition, mentioned by Herodotus as being among the Persians (The Histories, 1:125), and there is nothing from the time of Herodotus to that of Caesar by which to connect the name of this tribe to the west. Diodorus Siculus and all of the other earlier writers calling all of the tribes of the north Galatae, the account of Strabo is much more credible: that the Germans were called so by the Romans because they were esteemed to be genuine Galatae, i.e. those not mixed with Thracians or Greeks or Etruscans or any of the other previous inhabitants of the European coasts, germanus being the Latin for genuine.

Like Strabo, Tacitus tells us that Germany stretched from the Rhine in the west to the east as far as the Bastarnae whom he calls Peucini, although by this time the Venedi and the Sarmatians, Slavic tribes, had also advanced into those parts of Europe west of the Dniester and north of the Danube (The Germania, 46). The Venedi are the later Wends of eastern Germany, who occupied the area around Brandenburg southwest of Berlin. As we have seen, Tacitus would not account the Sarmatians as Germans (and Diodorus Siculus tells us that they derived from the Medes, not the Scythians), yet he wasn’t as certain concerning the Venedi, Fenni (Finns) and Peucini (Bastarnae), only for rather arbitrary reasons. For instance, he spoke of the Bastarnae mingling with the Sarmatians, and he said of the Venedi that they “have adopted many Sarmatian habits; for their plundering forays take them over all the wooded and mountainous highlands that lie between the Peucini and the Fenni. Nevertheless, they are on the whole to be classed as Germans; for they have settled homes, carry shields, and are fond of travelling – and travelling fast – on foot, differing in all these respects from the Sarmatians, who live in wagons or on horseback” (The Germania, 46). Living in wagons and on horseback was the manner by which Strabo’s Germans and Scythians had lived (Geography, 7.1.3; 11.2.1), and it seems that Tacitus’ classification depends only upon whether or not these once-nomadic tribes had yet settled into a given area, quite arbitrary indeed. The Venedi may only have been later classified as Slavs because of their language, nevertheless, there were wars between the Saxons and the Wends down through the time of Otto I, who defeated and ended the menaces to Germans from both the Magyars and the Wends by 955 A.D. (The Encyclopedia of World History).

Yet Tacitus never mentioned any Scythians in Europe, although his Germany stretched, like that of Strabo, from the Rhine to the Black Sea. If the Scythians of the west are not the Germans, then in a very short time, and after so many centuries of being so well entrenched in Europe, those Scythians whom Thucydides said were so powerful had simply vanished into thin air, and the Germans – coming from nowhere – consumed the entire northern continent without any evidence of cataclysm or struggle. Rather, as demonstrated throughout all parts of this essay, the Germans are indeed the Scythians, and the Saxons (Sachsens) of the west are the Sakans (Sakae) of the east, and descended from those Sakans whom Darius the Persian could not defeat (i.e. Strabo, Geography, 7.3.9).

In The Germania, Tacitus conjectures that at one time the tribes of Gaul migrated east into Germany, because the Gauls had been more powerful than the Germans (§28). By this Tacitus attempts to account for the presence of tribes which he considered Gallic in regions east of the Rhine, such as the Boii and the Cotini (§43). Of the Cotini, Tacitus distinguishes them from the Germans by language, saying that “The Cotini and the Osi are not Germans: that is proved by their languages, Celtic in one case, Pannonian in the other ...” Yet language is no determinant of race, and there were many dialects among the tribes of both Germany and Gaul. Speaking elsewhere of language, Tacitus classified the Aestii along the Baltic shore as Germans, but tells us that their language was “more like the British” although they had “the same customs and fashions as the Suebi” (§45), and the British spoke Celtic dialects much like those of Gaul, as he himself stated elsewhere (Agricola, 11). Today’s Estonians speak a language classified as Finno-Ugric, and not even Indo-European. Tacitus does not mention the language of the Fenni (Finns), and was unsure whether to classify them as Germans, cited above. Speaking of the Treviri and Nervii, tribes of Gaul, Tacitus seems to doubt the “German descent to which they claim”, where he describes the German tribes which had migrated west of the Rhine (§28). But here Tacitus fails to address their language or any other significant reason to doubt their claim, stating only that “Such a glorious origin, they feel, should prevent their being thought to resemble the unwarlike Gauls”. Here Tacitus’ distinction between Gaul and German crumbles, being revealed as both arbitrary and prejudiced. Writing nearly 100 years earlier, Strabo tells us that “The whole race which is now called both ‘Gallic’ and ‘Galatic’ is war-mad, and both high-spirited and quick for battle, although otherwise simple and not ill-mannered”, going on to describe their strength and large physiques, among other things, while also explaining that they are with the Germans “kinsmen to one another” (Geography, 4.4.2). Strabo also attests that both the Treviri and Nervi are indeed German (4.3.4). It is clear that Tacitus’ distinction between Germans (whom Strabo considered genuine Galatae) and Gauls (Galatae) afforded him a way by which to display his contempt for those tribes who had been conquered by Rome, and who had adopted the civilization of their conquerors, a contempt which Tacitus also showed for the Britons who did likewise (The Agricola, 21). Elsewhere, Tacitus himself acknowledged that the Gauls had become unwarlike only under Roman subjection (§11). Yet among Whites the cultural or political state of a tribe or nation is certainly a less reliable determinant of race than is language, and Tacitus’ distinctions in these areas are therefore demonstrated to be wholly unreliable, made for political reasons and not for the sake of true historical or anthropological inquiry. The Greek writers tell us that the Galatae and the Germans are one and the same race, and the eastern inscriptions tell us as much concerning their ancestors: Kimmerians, Sakans and Scythians.


Part Six: Who are the English?


While it has been the purpose of this series of essays to demonstrate that the Germanic peoples indeed descended from the Scythians of Asia, who were also called Kimmerians and Sakans, and that they in turn had descended from the peoples of the Bible, notably those Israelites who had been deported by the Assyrians, here in this installment a short digression shall be made. Quite unfortunately, in the prelude to events in more recent history, certain propagandists among the English people succeeded in labeling the Germans as Huns, and in convincing the masses that the English themselves are a people of distinct origin. Of course such is not true, and here we shall digress in order to discuss the origins of the English, and Anglo-German kinship.

The pre-Roman inhabitants of Britain, while not the topic of this discussion, shall be mentioned here only briefly. In The Encyclopedia of World History, 6th edition, Houghton Mifflin Co., on page 180 we find: “The prehistoric inhabitants of Britain (called Celts on the basis of their language) were apparently a fusion of Mediterranean, Alpine and Nordic strains that included a dark Iberian and a light-haired stock. Archaeological evidence points to contacts with the Iberian Peninsula (2500 B.C.E.) and Egypt (1300 B.C.E.) ... The true Celts are represented by two stocks: Goidels (Gaels), surviving in northern Ireland and high Scotland, and Cymri and Brythons (Britons), still represented in Wales. The Brythons were close kin to the Gauls, particularly the Belgi.” First, note that from the Belgi we have the modern name Belgium, and that the Cymri – distinguished from the Britons – have a name identical to the Cimmerii (Kimmerians), which cannot be overlooked. Yet much of the information provided here appears to have come from the Roman annalist, Tacitus.

In his Agricola, written about his father-in-law who was a governor of Roman Britain, in §11 Tacitus wrote: “Who the first inhabitants of Britain were, whether natives or immigrants, is open to question: one must remember that we are dealing with barbarians. But their physical characteristics vary, and the variation is suggestive. The reddish hair and large limbs of the Caledonians proclaim a German origin; the swarthy faces of the Silures, the tendency of their hair to curl, and the fact that Spain lies opposite, all lead one to believe that Spaniards crossed in ancient times and occupied that part of the country. The peoples nearest to the Gauls likewise resemble them ...” [Penguin Classics ed.] Of course Tacitus was not properly a historian, for he was not educated in the classical histories and was apparently ignorant of, or perhaps simply ignored, the accounts of both the Phoenicians and Trojans in Britain, although it is not probable that all of the early Britons are derived from these alone. Rather Tacitus was a chronicler of his own times, and both the Agricola and his account of the tribes of Germany, the Germania, have been esteemed as works of great value for many centuries.

The Greek geographer Strabo, who lived a few generations before Tacitus, gave his own description of the German tribes as they were known to him, although he did not have nearly as much information as the Roman had almost a century later. Yet Strabo apparently described many German tribes accurately, since Tacitus’ later account is very much in agreement with the geographer, although much more detailed. While Strabo’s account of the Germans won’t be discussed here at length, one statement is important to our discussion: “Now as for the tribe of the Suevi [or Suebi], it is the largest, for it extends from the Rhenus [Rhine] to the Albis [Elbe]; and a part of them even dwell on the far side of the Albis” (Geography, 7.1.3, Loeb Classical Library ed., brackets mine). In the same paragraph, Strabo lists among the tribes of the Suebi the Coldui (or Coadui, the Quadi of Tacitus) and Marcomanni, both who inhabited Bohemia, and the Langobardi (the Lombards) who some centuries later came to inhabit northern Italy, and also several other tribes mentioned by Tacitus. The name of the Suebi existed until recent times in the name Swabia, a large duchy in southwest Germany which included parts of modern day France and Switzerland, and the modern German state of Baden-Wurttemberg.

Tacitus, throughout the Germania, refers to the Baltic ocean as the “Suebian Sea”. He begins his description of the Suebi, found at §’s 38-46, thusly: “We must now speak of the Suebi, who do not, like the Chatti or the Tencteri, constitute a single nation. They occupy more than half of Germany, and are divided into a number of separate tribes under different names, though all are called by the generic title of ‘Suebi’.” In his ensuing description of these tribes, he makes special mention of the Semnones and the Langobardi, whom he notes for their bravery, and then he says: “After them come the Reudigni, Aviones, Anglii [the Angles], Varini, Eudoses, Suarines, and Nuitones, all of them safe behind ramparts of rivers and woods. There is nothing noteworthy about these tribes individually ...”. Tacitus then goes on to list the rest of the tribes of Suebia: the Hermunduri, Naristi, Marcomanii, Quadi, the Marsigni and Buri who are both “exactly like the Suebi in language and mode of life”, the Lugii who are “divided into a number of smaller units”, the Gothones (Goths), whose “rule is somewhat more autocratic than in the other German states”, the Rugii and Lemovii, both “bordering on the [Suebian] sea”, the Suiones “right out in the sea” (from where the name Sweden may well have come), the Aestii, and finally the Sitones. Of the Aestii (where we see the name of the Estonians), Tacitus says that they “have the same customs and fashions as the Suebi, but a language more like the British”, and that they “are the only people who collect amber – glaesium is their own word for it”, where we see that these are the Scythians of the amber district along the Baltic, mentioned by Diodorus Siculus and earlier writers. Beyond these, Tacitus attests to the presence of the Peucini (also called Bastarnae), Venedi (the Slavic Wends) and the Fenni (Finns), all of whom he was not sure whether to class as Germans or Sarmatians (or Slavs). As we have seen in the first five parts of this essay, all of these Germans are the very same peoples whom the early Greek writers called Kimmerians, and later Scythians or Sakans, and then Galatae, while Romans called them all Gauls, and later divided them into Gauls and Germans. While it is absent from Tacitus, later we shall see that the term Sakans persisted, as Bede and other late writers call these same people by the general name of Saxons: certainly the same people whom Tacitus and Strabo labeled as Suebi. Here it must also be noticed that in the account of the Suebi given by Tacitus, the Anglii (or Angles), are but a minor tribe among the rest of the Germanic tribes, and certainly considered to be Germans, and being labeled as Suebi they are indeed closely related to the other tribes of the German interior.

The strength of Rome checked Germanic expansion into the lands of the empire for as long as such strength endured, and Tacitus records the various Germanic tribes who lived along the Rhine and Danube, which of those were friendly to Rome, and which had already crossed west of the Rhine by his time, as he distinguishes Germans from Gauls and doubts the Germanic origin of some of the tribes of Gaul (the lands of modern France, Belgium, the Netherlands and the portion of Germany west of the Rhine) even when they claimed such origin (i.e. Germania §28). Yet from the time that Julius Caesar conquered Gaul, for over 300 years until the 3rd century A.D., the Germanic tribes were for the most part held at the frontiers of the empire. Not that there was ever any peace, for Rome conducted campaigns in Germany many times, and many times the German tribes raided parts of the empire. From the 3rd century, however, the Germanic tribes were too strong for the empire to contain, while they themselves were also being pressured from the east. Rome had already begun an internal decline from the peak of her strength, and so the empire began to lose the more distant provinces first, and by the 5th century, was overrun by Goths, Vandals, Alans, Alamanni, Burgundians, Franks, Saxons, Suebi and Huns. The Goths are Tacitus’ Gothones (Ger. 43), whom he counted among the Suebi. The Vandals Tacitus’ Vandilii (Ger. 2), also mentioned by Strabo as Vindelici (4.3.3; 4.6.8, 9). The Alans are called by the 6th century Greek historian Procopius a Gothic nation (History of the Wars, 3.3.1, 5.1.3) and allies of those Vandals with whom they invaded Spain (3.3.1). The Alamanni and Burgundians are mentioned by Procopius along with the Suebi and other German tribes (5.12.11). The terms Frank and Saxon do not describe any single German tribe, but rather they generally describe particular groups of tribes, as Tacitus had also used the term Suebi. Procopius mentions “the Germans, who are now called Franks” (3.3.1) quite often. It is evident from Bede that many tribes which Tacitus called Suebi were Saxons, a term which Tacitus did not use, since Bede counts the Angles as Saxons, frequently using the term “Angles or Saxons” (i.e. E.H. 1.15). Many of the Goths, Alans, Vandals, and others who invaded the empire were already Christians, although of the Arian sect, as Propocius often relates, and being so they must have received their Christianity from the east, and not from the Greeks or Romans – who were adverse to Arianism. It shall be shown in a later part of this essay that the Huns did indeed descend from the same Scythian stock from which the other German tribes had come, except that they had ventured further east than most of the others, and had come into Europe relatively late.

While much more may be said concerning the movements of Germanic tribes during the final centuries of the Roman empire, here we shall focus on Britain, turning to the British church historian Bede, who wrote his Ecclesiastical History of the English Nation in the 8th century A.D. Bede wrote of the “Franks and Saxons” looting and pillaging the British sea-coast as early as the reign of the emperor Diocletian, towards the end of the 3rd century (E.H. 1.6). After Rome lost control of Britain, first by a revolt of her own soldiers, for a short time the nation was ruled by various military tyrants. Later, the British came under the constant siege of the Scots (and Bede called all of the Irish by that name) and the Picts (E.H. 1.6-15; Bede also says that the Picts had come “from Scythia”, E.H. 1.1). Rome no longer being in any position to aid the Britons, who had made numerous appeals for help, finally a British King, in the reign of the emperor Marcian (which Bede dates as beginning in “the 449th year of the incarnation of our Lord”), invited the “English or Saxons” (“Anglorum sive Saxonum gens” in Bede’s Latin) into Britain. Bede says of the Saxons that: “... being sent for of the said king into Britain, landed there in three long ships, and by the same king’s commandment is appointed to abide in the east part of the island, as to defend the country like friends, but indeed, as it proved afterward, as minded to conquer it as enemies” (E.H. 1.15, LCL ed.) Bede goes on to describe how these first Saxons in Britain, after defeating certain enemies of the Britons in a battle, and noticing the cowardice of the Britons themselves, sent word back to Germany and were soon joined by many more of their kinsmen. Bede then explains: “Now the strangers had come from three of the more mighty nations in Germany, that is, the Saxons, the Angles and the Jutes. Of the Jutes came the people of Kent and the settlers in Wight, that is the folk that hold the Isle of Wight, and they which in the province of the West Saxons are called unto this day the nation of the Jutes, right over against the Isle of Wight. Of the Saxons, that is of that region which is now called of the Old Saxons [modern Saxony], descended the East Saxons, the South Saxons and the West Saxons [of those parts of England now known as Essex, Sussex and Wessex]. Further, of the Angles, that is of that country which is called Angeln [modern Schleswig-Holstein] and from that time to this is said to stand deserted between the provinces of the Jutes [Jutland, the part of Denmark on the mainland] and the Saxons [Saxony], descendeth the East Angles, the Uplandish Angles, the Mercians and all the progeny of the Northumbrians, that is, of that people that inhabiteth the north side of the flood of Humber, and the other nations of the Angles.” Bede goes on to relate the story of the Saxon kings Hengist and Horsa, and mentions their descent from “Woden [Oden], of whose issue the royal house of many provinces had their original” (E.H. 1:15, all brackets mine).

Later in his history Bede discusses a certain English preacher, Egbert, who made missionary journeys to the continent, and Bede says that he “... by preaching of the Gospel to bring the word of God to some of those nations which had not yet heard it: and many such countries he knew to be in Germany, of whom the English [Angli] or Saxons, which now inhabit Britain, are well known to have had beginning and offspring; whereby it is that to this day they are corruptly called Garmans by the Britons that are their neighbours. Such now are the Frisons [the Frisians; Frisii in Tacitus, Ger. 34, 35],  Rugins [Rugii, Ger. 43], Danes, Huns, Old Saxons, and Boructuars [Bructeri, Ger. 33] ...” (E.H. 5.9), where it is evident that not only does Bede count the Angles themselves as Saxons, stating “English or Saxons”, but he refers to the Saxons of Germany as “Old Saxons”. Also, the Britons knew these new inhabitants of Britain as Germans, but called them “Garmans” instead. Bede’s Saxons must be those same tribes who, along with the Angli, Tacitus had described as Suebi, and while a district in Germany which was once inhabited by Angli evidently remained vacant for some time after their move to Britain, as Bede has told us, indeed not all of the Angli on the continent moved to Britain, as we shall see shortly from Procopius. That Saxon is a general name for a group of German tribes is also evident with Bede, since while he calls them by this name generally, aside from the Angli he also refers to other individual tribes among those who settled in Britain, namely the Gewissas or West Saxons (E.H. 2.5; 3.7; 4.15), the Grywas (E.H. 3.20; 4.6, 19), the Hwiccas (E.H. 2.2; 4.13, 23), and the Meanwaras (E.H. 4.13).

Procopius had mentioned little of Britain, but understandably since it was not within the scope of his intended subject. Yet being the personal secretary of Belisarius, the great Byzantine general who won many battles against the Germanic tribes during the reign of Justinian, he had the opportunity to witness and record many things, which indeed he did, in his History of the Wars (of the Byzantine Romans against the Persians, Goths of Italy and Vandals in Africa) and Anecdota (or Secret History, a scathing criticism of the emperor Justinian and his wife). On those occasions where he does mention Britain, he supports the account given by Bede. He describes how the Roman soldiers of Britain first revolted from the empire (about 407 A.D.), and how Britain was never recovered by Rome, “but it remained from that time on under tyrants” (Hist. 3.2.31, 38). At one point Belisarius, negotiating with the Goths who invaded Italy, offered to “permit the Goths to have the whole of Britain” in return for giving up Sicily (Hist. 6.6.28), even though the empire did not even possess Britain at the time. Procopius does not mention the Saxon invasions of Britain, but referring to his own time says only that it is inhabited by barbarians (Anec. 19.13).

Procopius described an “island”, Thule, “exceedingly large ... more than ten times greater than Britain. And it lies far distant from it toward the north. On this island the land is for the most part barren, but in the inhabited country thirteen very numerous nations are settled; and there are kings over each nation” (Hist. 6.15.4-5). Naming some of the tribes of Thule, Procopius relates fantastic stories about some of them, as the Greek writers always heard and recorded such tales about the peoples who lived on the fringes of their own world. Yet Procopius also spoke of the Eruli, a tribe which had apparently adopted the Arian form of Christianity (Hist. 4.14.12), from which many had fought for the Romans and whom Procopius must have been quite familiar with, and describes how a great number of this tribe (after losing a fight with the Lombards) had left Germany to settle in Thule (Hist. 6.15.1. ff.). While there is much speculation concerning Thule, from the time of Pytheas who seems to have been the first to record the name as that of a place in the northern ocean, here Procopius certainly seems to be describing Norway. Later, in the 8th through the 11th centuries, parts of Britain were invaded and settled by Norsemen and Danes.

Procopius describes another island which he calls Brittia – but which is certainly not Britain – and which is “towards the rear of Gaul, that side namely which faces the ocean, being, that is, to the north of both Spain and Britain” (Hist. 8.20.5), and he seems to be describing Denmark, which from the sea may certainly be perceived as an island. He then says: “The island of Brittia is inhabited by three very numerous nations, each one having a king over it. And the names of these nations are Angili, Frissones, and Brittones, the last being named from the island itself. And so great appears to be the population of these nations that every year they emigrate thence in large companies with their women and children and go to the land of the Franks [which at the time included large portions of both modern France and Germany]. And the Franks allow them to settle in the part of their land which appears to be more deserted, and by this means they say they are winning over the island. Thus it actually happened that not long ago the king of the Franks, in sending some of his intimates on an embassy to the Emperor Justinian in Byzantium, sent with them some of the Angili, thus seeking to establish his claim that this island was ruled by him. Such then are the facts relating to the island that is called Brittia” (Hist. 8.20.6-10, brackets mine). Now while this may seem to be a quite obfuscated account of some of the movements of the Germanic tribes which took place in the north at the time, the Frissones must be the Frisons of Bede, the Frisii of Tacitus’ Germania, (34, 35), and the Angili must be Tacitus’ and Bede’s Anglii, the Angles. While the Frisii have the country which is named for them Friesland, now a district in the north of the Netherlands, there is certainly much evidence of Angles who did not move to Britain – as we see here from Procopius – but rather remained in Germany. Indeed, the German surnames Engler, Englert and Engles, among others, are all surnames of the Angles in Germany, who also gave their name to places such as Engelberg in Switzerland, Engelsberg of which there are two such towns in Bavaria, Engelskirchen northeast of Cologne in Westphalia, Engelhartszell in Austria, Engeløy in Norway, and Ingelheim in the Rhineland, along with many other like placenames.

Bede used “Saxony” as a name for Saxon Britain (in his Lives of the Abbots, 19). Yet the “Old” Saxony which he often referred to is today found in the modern German states of Lower Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt. Yet it may be determined from this and previous portions of this essay, that the German tribes of Saxony are indeed akin to and of like origin with their neighbors, those of the German regions of Bavaria, Swabia, the Rhineland, Franconia, Hesse and Thuringia, along with the other portions of central and southern Germany, Austria and Switzerland in the south, the German regions in Italy (primarily Lombardy and the Tyrol), and also with those Germans of Pomerania, Brandenberg and the former states of Prussia to the east. Likewise, the Scandinavian peoples, the Picts of Scotland and other tribes of the original Britons, and the Germanic people of France, Belgium, and the Netherlands are all kin to both Anglo-Saxons and Germans. While the Slavic peoples pressed upon the German tribes from the east, and there are Slavs found among the Germans of today, through the practice of slavery, the mercantile trade, and by other means, people of Slavic lineage also exist among the English. And while the English in the early 1900’s slandered the Germans with the name of “Huns”, it is not at all true that the Germans are Huns, although both groups certainly descended from the Scythians. Rather, the English themselves are Germans indeed, and no amount of propaganda – which in actuality emanates from the devious minds of the internationalist financial community in order to control nations for their own purposes – can ever separate the Englishman from the German blood which shall ever flow through his veins. Those Englishmen who deny their own heritage and origin are indeed guilty of hating their own brethren! For among the Saxon Chronicles of the ancient English kings are found many of the same ancient Germanic poems, such as the Voluspa, which are known to have been sung among Norsemen, Englishmen and Germans alike in the most ancient times. Home            Articles