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Thread: Are the Scythians/Sarmatians Iranic?

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    Are the Scythians/Sarmatians Iranic?

    I've heard a lot of people say this, but how do we know? I've also heard some say they could be ancestors of the Slavs.

    I read an interesting article about it:
    https://www.google.com/amp/s/borisso...-language/amp/

    Any thoughts?

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    My opinion is that different groups of 'Scythians' were speaking different languages, possibly from multiple language families.

    Most Iranic etymologies are highly speculative and therefore likely wrong but there are multiple possible sources of Indo-European elements.

    I have noticed something that seems interesting (but can prove nothing). Herodotus says:

    According to the account which the Scythians themselves give, they are the youngest of all nations. Their tradition is as follows. A certain Targitaus was the first man who ever lived in their country, which before his time was a desert without inhabitants. He was a child- I do not believe the tale, but it is told nevertheless- of Jove and a daughter of the Borysthenes. Targitaus, thus descended, begat three sons, Leipoxais, Arpoxais, and Colaxais, who was the youngest born of the three. While they still ruled the land, there fell from the sky four implements, all of gold- a plough, a yoke, a battle-axe, and a drinking-cup. The eldest of the brothers perceived them first, and approached to pick them up; when lo! as he came near, the gold took fire, and blazed. He therefore went his way, and the second coming forward made the attempt, but the same thing happened again. The gold rejected both the eldest and the second brother. Last of all the youngest brother approached, and immediately the flames were extinguished; so he picked up the gold, and carried it to his home. Then the two elder agreed together, and made the whole kingdom over to the youngest born.
    You see that one person in their origin myth has a similar sounding name to a biblical person, Arpakhshad , 'son of Shem'
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arpachshad

    Also we read in the article:
    Another Arpaxad is referenced in the deuterocanonical Book of Judith as a king of the Medes, and if this supposed Median king is contemporary with the conquest of the Assyrians, he could be identified with Phraortes (c. 665 - 633 BC). If he is contemporary with Nebuchadnezzar II (named as king of the Assyrians in Judith), he might be identified with Cyaxares (r. 625–585 BC).
    Another Median with a somewhat similar sounding name is mentioned by Herodotus (Harpagos).
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harpagus
    Last edited by Kanenas; 01-09-2018 at 07:16 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brent.B View Post
    I've heard a lot of people say this, but how do we know? I've also heard some say they could be ancestors of the Slavs.

    I read an interesting article about it:
    https://www.google.com/amp/s/borisso...-language/amp/

    Any thoughts?
    Seems rather unlikely, considering the ancient DNA of the Sarmatians and Scythians published to date. For starters, they all have way too much East Asian influence to be direct ancestors of Slavs.

    Also, Slavs share a lot of drift with the Baltic_BA Trzciniec samples, much more than with the Sarmatians and Scythians, and the R1a subclades fit better too.

    At best, there might be some minor Sarmatian influence amongst Slavs, which could help to explain the R1b-Z2103 and minor East Asian signal in some Slavic groups.

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    I'm sure they spoke various languages, even if Iranic was the main one
    -------

    Quote Originally Posted by Generalissimo View Post
    Seems rather unlikely, considering the ancient DNA of the Sarmatians and Scythians published to date. For starters, they all have way too much East Asian influence to be direct ancestors of Slavs.

    Also, Slavs share a lot of drift with the Baltic_BA Trzciniec samples, much more than with the Sarmatians and Scythians, and the R1a subclades fit better too.

    At best, there might be some minor Sarmatian influence amongst Slavs, which could help to explain the R1b-Z2103 and minor East Asian signal in some Slavic groups.

    Although it would be interesting to see what Late, Western sarmatians look like

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gravetto-Danubian View Post
    I'm sure they spoke various languages, even if Iranic was the main one
    Although it would be interesting to see what Late, Western sarmatians look like
    Yes, especially those Sarmatians and Scythians from around Vistula river would be very interesting:

    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kanenas View Post
    My opinion is that different groups of 'Scythians' were speaking different languages, possibly from multiple language families.

    Most Iranic etymologies are highly speculative and therefore likely wrong but there are multiple possible sources of Indo-European elements.

    I have noticed something that seems interesting (but can prove nothing). Herodotus says:



    You see that one person in their origin myth has a similar sounding name to a biblical person, Arpakhshad , 'son of Shem'
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arpachshad

    Also we read in the article:


    Another Median with a somewhat similar sounding name is mentioned by Herodotus (Harpagos).
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harpagus
    Note that the Scythian pantheon of gods (described by Herodotus) does not derive from reconstructed pantheon of gods of united Aryan community.
    Last edited by Ral; 01-10-2018 at 02:00 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brent.B View Post
    I've heard a lot of people say this, but how do we know? I've also heard some say they could be ancestors of the Slavs.

    I read an interesting article about it:
    https://www.google.com/amp/s/borisso...-language/amp/

    Any thoughts?
    Yes, they were Iranics and quite surely not ancestors of Slavs. There are still Iranic hydronyms in Ukraine and South Russia and we know personal names of them, which are Iranic. Ossetians are descendants of historical Sarmatians and speak an East Iranic language. Also they belonged to Y-Dna R1a-Z93>Z2124, which is almost non-existing among any Slavic population. We have scythian/sarmatian autosomal dan and there dna does not resemble Slavs or other modern Europeans except of Tatars and Volga Finns. Actually Scythian influences played a very minor role in early Slavic ethnogenesis and there is very much a lack of true Scythian loanwords in Slavic languages.
    Last edited by Coldmountains; 01-09-2018 at 02:15 PM.
    Y-DNA: R1a> R-M417> R-Z645> R-Z93> R-Z94> R-Y3> R-L657> R-Y4> R-Y6> R-Y5> R-Y920*

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    Quote Originally Posted by Coldmountains View Post
    Yes, they were Iranics and quite surely not ancestors of Slavs. There are still Irani hydronyms in Ukraine and South Russia and we now personal names of them, which are Iranic. Ossetians are descendants of historical Sarmatians and speak and East Iranic language. Also they belonged to Y-Dna R1a-Z93>Z2124, which is almost non-existing among any Slavic population. We have scythian/sarmatian autosomal dan and there dna does not resemble Slavs or other modern Europeans except of Tatars and Volga Finns. Actually Scythian influences played a very minor role in early Slavic ethnogenesis and there is very much a lack of true Scythian loanwords in Slavic languages.
    Which is bizarre given that we are told Slavs developed in the middle Dnieper - forest steppe region, and were the 'Scythian ploughmen'.

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    Jasz people in Hungary:

    Jász is the Hungarian language and English language exonym for an ethnic minority, also known by the endonyms Iasi or Jassy, that has lived in Hungary since the 13th century. The Jász originated as an Ossetian people in Sarmatia.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jasz_people

    The only literary record of the Jassic language was found in the 1950s in the Hungarian National Széchényi Library. It is a short 1-page glossary containing 34 words mainly related to products of agriculture (types of grain, cattle, etc.) probably compiled for fiscal or merchant purposes. The glossary was interpreted with the help of Ossetian analogies from the Digor dialect.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jassic_dialect

    Their haplogroup composition of the area resembles the Slavic one:

    https://www.familytreedna.com/public...ction=yresults

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    I made a post outlining the confusion regarding the Scythians here recently.

    Quote Originally Posted by G-D
    Which is bizarre given that we are told Slavs developed in the middle Dnieper - forest steppe region, and were the 'Scythian ploughmen'.
    Perhaps there was something to the attribute of the early Slavs which made them comparable to the Scythians by Herodotus, even though their language didn't show much influence. Physical appearance and/or some elements of culture, perhaps? Or, the "Scythian Ploughman" label has a possessive character to it?

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