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Getae. What' s in a name?  Tyragetae, Thysagetae, Massagetae.  Queen Tomyris and Cyrus the Great.


Getae aristocrat portrait, Peretu scepter 5-4 century BC


The Getian (tribe) were known as Geton (plural Getae) in Greek writings, and as Dacus (plural Daci) and also Getae in Roman documents; also as Dagae and Gaete—see the late Roman map Tabula Peutingeriana. Strabo states that the original name of the Dacians was "daoi", which could be explained with a possible Phrygian cognate "daos", meaning "wolf". This assumption may be supported by the fact that one of the Dacian standards, the Dacian Draco, had a wolf's head. Phrygii was another cognate used within the region, and in later times, some Roman auxiliaries recruited from the area were referred to as Phrygi. Their capital was Sarmizegetusa, in the Sureanu mountains, in the Romanian Western Carpathians.( From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

A tradition preserved by Hesychius informs us that daos was the Phrygian word for "wolf.' P. Kretschmer had explained daos by the root *dhäu, "to press, to squeeze, to strangle."' Among the words derived from this root we may note the Lydian Kandaules, the name of the Thracian war god, Kandaon, the Illyrian dhaunos (wolf), the god Daunus, and so on.

The city of Daous-dava, in Lower Moesia, between the Danube and Mount Haemus, literally meant "village of wolves. Formerly, then, the Dacians called themselves "wolves" or "those who are like wolves," who resemble wolves. Still according to Strabo, certain nomadic Scythians to the east of the Caspian Sea were also called daoi. The Latin authors called them Daliae, and some Greek historians daai. In all probability their ethnic name was derived from Iranian (Saka) dahae, "wolf." But similar names were not unusual among the Indo-Europeans.

South of the Caspian Sea lay Hyrcania, that is, in Eastern Iranian "Vehrkana," in Western Iranian "Varkana," literally the "country of wolves" (from the Iranian root vehrka, "wolf').




Getae Elites between Carpathians and Balkans.The History of the European Getai.

Palazzo Strozzi, Italy, Daco-Getian Exhibit 

The Dacian Stones Speak, by Paul Lachlan MacKendric 

European and Asian Getae, Quen Tomyris of the Massagetae, Death of Cyrus the Great

Stories of the East from Herodothus 

The Getes by Sundeep S. Jhutti; Da (Greater) Yuezhi; Great Getes

Hercynian Forest Stretched along the Danube to Dacia

Getic Empire Borders in Europe

Strabon about the Getai

Arkaim, cea mai misterioasa cetate ridicata de geti 

Scitii, Parti si Astracizii erau Geto-Daci?

 Gaetuli from Africa










Getae Elites between Carpathians and Balkans.The History of the European Getai.

Strabo reports that "the Getai are those who occupy the territory toward the sea and the east, while the Dakoi are those who live in the opposite part toward Germania and the source of the Donaris." Despite this they spoke the same language and belonged to the same ethnic group. The different names may reflect changing identification over time, or could signify some slight differences in ethnic identities between the regions separated by the massive Carpathians. The last phase of the first Iron Age (650 to the latter half of the fifth century BC) and the first two phases of the second Iron Age (the latter half of the fifth century BC to the beginning of the second century BC) denote a distinct historical period in the evolution of these northern Thraikes. They were still divided, passing through stages of political development that differed from region to region. They were greatly influenced by the people with whom they came in contact: most prominent among them the Hellenes, Skythai, Halstatt-era Keltoi, and even Persai.

    The Hellenes founded several colonies (apoikia) and commercial settlements (emporia) such as Histria on the shore of Lake Sinoe, Tomis (today Constanta), Argamon, Kallatis (today Mangalia), and Tyras (today Cetatea Alba), on the western and northern shores of the Pontos Euxeinos in the mid-to-late seventh century BC. These settlements, referred to as the "Hellenes beyond the seas," played a vital role in the development of the Getai and Skythai due to their multiple economic contacts, political relationships, cultural developments, and economic exchanges with the local communities.
Close relationships formed between the Getai and Hellenes that led to the gradual Hellenization of the native tribes. Hellenic ceramic goods, luxury items, and superior oils and wines spread throughout Dobrogea and beyond to Moldavia, Muntenia, and Oltenia. Rapid cultural progress took place. Some tribes, including the Getai, founded powerful political organizations led by dynasts during the sixth to the third centuries BC. Herodotos relates that during the expedition King Dareios I led against the Skythai north of the Black Sea in 513 BC, the Getai alone resisted the advance of the Persian Army. Though they fought valiantly enough for Herodotos to declare them “the manliest and most just of the tribes of the Thraikes,” they were eventually defeated and at least some of their number enslaved by the king of kings. Later, Thoukydides speaks of the same Getai fighting alongside the Odrysian King Sitalkes against the allies of Athenai in the Peloponesian War of 429 BC.

    Philippos II of Makedonia, in order to punish the Skythian king Atias for his treachery, concluded an alliance with the Getic king Kothelas. This alliance was consecrated by the marriage of Kothelas's daughter Meda to Philippos in 339 BC. The Getai and Makedones drove the Skythai from Kallatis and Kothelas became the master of the colonies on the Pontos Euxeinos. Philippos's son,  Alexander the Great, undertook an expedition against the Triballoi in the year 335 BC in preparation for his great Persian campaign. The legendary general defeated the Triballoi and made a brief expedition north of the Istros (Danube) against the Getai, who mustered an army of 4,000 horseman and 10,000 infantry to resist the young war-king. A peace was made without bloodshed, and the Getai were spared the military governorship installed over the other Thraikes. The peace was short-lived, however, as around 325 BC the military governor of Thraike was killed together with his entire army by a Getic-Skythian combined force.

    This victory, combined with the death of Alexander in 323 BC, weakened Makedonian control in the region and allowed the Getai to become the dominant political force. The tribes offered vital assistance to the Hellenic colonies on the coastline of the Pontos Euxeinos, led by Kallatis, in their struggle against the Makedonian Lysimachos, the King of Thraike.
But the most important episode, related by several ancient authors (Diodoros Sikilios, Strabo, and Trogus Pompeius) was the conflict between Lysimachos and the Getian kingdom of Dromichaites. The kingdom of Dromichaites was located in Eastern Muntenia, having its capital at Helis (Sveshtari, Bulgaria). The Makedonian king tried to make the Donaris his northern frontier, while the Getian tried to maintain his control over the colonies on the Pontos Euxeinos, as Kothelas had done a generation or two earlier. Lysimachos organized two campaigns into the north, in 300 and 292 BC. The result was a military disaster as both Lysimachos and his heir Agathokles were captured. The Makedones finally recognized Getic supremacy over the lower Istros and Pontos Euxeinos. A royal marriage concluded the alliance between the two powers. Shortly thereafter the kingdom of Dromichaites, the people of the Getai in general, faced a great blow.
The Galatai (Gauls), who laid low the king of Makedonia in 279 BC and sacked Delphoi the following year, wrought ruin among the Getai who dwelt along and south of the Donaris. Helis was abandoned, and the southern banks of the Donaris truly became the “desert” it had seemed to those who had formerly sought to invade it.

    Development for the Getai was pushed north of the Istros, or east of it into the region of Mikra Skythia. A sort of wild period followed, as tarabostes of the many regions carved out petty kingdoms of their own, and at one another's expense. Two Getic rulers (Zalmodegikos and later Rhemaxos) continued to exercise control over Histria, like the kings of the Getai before them, and may represent a continuation of the ruling traditions of Dromichaites and Kothelas, whether by birth, tribal affiliation, or propoganda. Still others ruled petty fiefdoms from fortified villages in the northeast, while unnamed rulers led their people in war and trade with the Keltoi settlers working their way into Inner Carpathia.
Around the year 200 BC King Oroles from southern Moldavia opposed the advance of the Bastarnai, and while he stopped their advance the two peoples would war against--and sometimes alongside--one another many times in years to come. Another king, Rubobostes, ended the Celtic domination in Transylvania early in the second century, even as Getai in southwestern Getia developed better and better relationships with their former enemies, the Skordiskoi. Forging alliances among the tarabostes and negotiating power relationships with hostile peoples in all directions, the rulers of the Getai acquired significant political experience during this period, which presaged the expansion of Getic power in the following century.

    By the middle of the second century BC the Geto-Dacians entered a new period of development, the most advanced in their entire history. The most interesting part of this period is the appearance of proto-urban settlements known as davas. They were organized areas, being political, commercial, religious and military centers of the Getic tribes. Some used an amalgamation of Roman, Greek, and Celtic fortification techniques, known as Murus Dacicus. The Dacian fortresses found north of the Danube, like the complex of fortifications in the Sebes mountaines, formed the strongest defensive systems in the "barbarian" world.
The Getic craftsmen had ties with the Roman and Hellenic worlds, which brought an unprecedented level of economic development. The Dacian goldsmiths even exported to far-off Scandinavia.
The society clearly stratified into two social groups: the komatai (the free people) and tarabostes (the nobility). The leaders of the state were selected from the nobility, which was distinguishable by the fur caps they wore. A powerful but smaller third social class, the priests, served as intermediaries between god and man, and oversaw the vibrant cultic centers of Getic religion, of which that at Sarmiszegethusa is most renowned. This was part of the transition to the cult of Zalmoxis, which became fully incorporated into the state structure. Like noblemen, priests wore fur caps to express their position. The high priest was an important position second only to the king. It was this cult that allowed the unification of the Getic tribes to occur.

    During the first century BC they were finally united under the rule of King Burebista (70-44 BC). As his power increased, he opposed Roman supremacy north of the Balkans. He is referred to by the people of Dionysopolis as "the first and the most powerful among the kings who ever reigned in Thraike, master of the entire region this side of the great river." His kingdom, centered at Argedava, gradually expanded in all directions. An epigraph at Dionysiopolis (Balczik, Bulgaria) indicates that by 48 B.C. he was regarded as the 'first and greatest king to rule over Thracia'.[9]9. G. Michailov, Inscriptiones Graecae in Bulgaria repartae I (2nd ed., Sofia, 1970), no.13 = Dobó, Inscriptiones... 837. The same inscription mentions that Dionysiopolis sent a delegation to the father of a Getae ruler, and that the latter met the envoys at Argedava. Due to the fragmented state of the text, it cannot be ascertained whether this ruler in Argedava was Burebista's father. It is evident that Argedava is the same place as Arcidava (Varadia), situated on the eastern fringe of the Banat. If that is the case, then the ruler who received the Greek delegation in Argedava may well have been Burebista's father. Getic armies crushed the Boioi and Tauriskoi, led by Kritosiros, in the winter campaign of 60 BC. He later (in 55 BC) conquered the Hellenic colonies on the Black Sea coast, defeating the Bastarnai and securing the shoreline from Olbia in the north to Apollonia in the south. Now Getia was a force to be reckoned with.
Previous military successes inspired the Getai to mount a campaign south of the Istros around 48 BC. The result of this was contact between the Roman and Getic worlds. Burebista could afford to interfere in the Roman civil war by supporting Pompey in his struggle against Julius Caesar. Thus, the Getai were now united against a common foe. When the threat of an invasion ended with the death of Caesar on the Ides of March in 44 BC, the sense of common purpose collapsed, and the tarabostes assassinated Burebista. His successor, the high priest Dekeneus, failed to keep the tarabostes from civil war. In the following decades four minor kingdoms emerged from the civil war and none of them was individually strong enough to halt the Roman advance in the Balkans.

Palazzo Strozzi, Italy, Daco-Getian Exhibit

Palazzo Strozzi Daco-Getian Exhibit

A major exhibition with over 800 objects (mostly on view for the first time outside Rumania) tells the story of the ancient Dacians, with the help of excellent photographs and graphics. Also known as Getae, the Dacians were an amalgamation of Thracian tribes who created a formidable state on the eastern confines of the Greco-Roman world. Their neighbors to the north-west were the Germanic tribes, to the north-east the Scythians, to the west the Celts, in Pannonia and to the south-west of the Danube the Illyrians, and to the south the Greeks.

The Dacians had relations with all these peoples, and became famous in antiquity as warriors. After a period of domination by foreigners they achieved independence in the first century B.C. under King Burebista, and flourished until King Decebalus was defeated by the Emperor Trajanin 106 A.D. Trajan's Column in Rome and the monument of Adalmclisi bear witness to the greatness and prestige of the Dacians. However, for centuries they were relegated to the backwaters of history, and only recently have they come into their own, thanks to a vast programme of excavations carried out in Rumania over the last few decades.

This is the first major European exhibition dedicated to Dacian civilisation in all its complexity. After centuries of neglect, the gold and silver necklaces, warriors' armour, vases, funerary steles, every day utensils in bronze and iron, cultic objects used for strange and disconcerting rites, are all beautifully displayed in ten rooms of Palazzo Strozzi, revealing the secrets and mysterious life of anentire people from the bronze age to the second century A.D.

The first two rooms have amazing extremely early objects (12th to 4th century B.C.) from the treasures of Radeni, Hinova and Ghidici, including beautiful vases from the tomb of Prince Cotys, and a votive carriage in bronze and iron. In the third room are the products of contacts with neighbouring peoples: a ceramic Siren, an iron and bronze helmet surmountedby a great winged bird, a bronze statuette of a wild boar. The fourth and fifth rooms have precious objects from the royal tombs of Craiova, Agighiol, Baiceni and Peretu: astonishing helmets in gold and silver; spiral bracelets; fantastical birds, serpents and bears' heads; finely worked chalices. The sixth through the eighth rooms are devoted to everyday utensils and coins, from the reign of Burebista to the reign of Decebalus. The ninth has more jewellery from the most recent Dacian treasures, and the tenth has plaster casts from Trajan's Column and the monument of Adalmclisi, which celebrate the Roman victories.

The Dacian Stones Speak, by Paul Lachlan MacKendric

The Dacian Stones Speak, by Paul Lachlan MacKendrick

    The author of The Dacian Stones Speak spent a good deal of time in Romania, talked to all leading experts in Geto-Dacian history and culture and on top of that did his own research. Speaking strictly about the info one should drawn from the stones and ancient artifacts, the book is well documented and easy to follow.


Read it online at:

European and Asian Getae, Quen Tomyris of the Massagetae, Death of Cyrus the Great



The Persian Empire map of 500BC with location of Massagetae and Dahae

  Asia 323bc at

  File:Asia 323bc.jpg



From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

 The Tyrageti, Tyragetae, or Tyrangitae (Greek: Τυραγγεῖται, τυραγγέται, or Τυρεγέται, Strabo vii.; Ptol. iii. 5. § 25), literally, the Getae of the Tyras, were a sub-tribe of the Getae Thracians, situated on the river Tyras (modern day Dniester in Moldova and Ukraine). They were regarded as an immigrant tribe of European Sarmatia dwelling E. of the river Tyras, near the Harpii and Tagri, and, according to Ptolemy, the northern neighbours of Lower Moesia. Pliny (v. 12. s. 26) calls them, with more correct orthography, Tyragetae, and represents them as dwelling on a large island in the Tyras.


In ancient times, the area was inhabited by Thracian and Scythian tribes. Pliny the Elder names the Tyragetae, a Getae tribe living on an island of the Dniester (ancient name "Tyras"), the Axiacae living along the Tiligul River[1] (ancient "Axiaces") and the Crobyzi, a Thracian tribe living beyond the Dniester.

At the mouth of the river, the Ancient Greeks of Miletus founded around 600 BC a colony named Tyras. It fell under the dominion of native kings whose names appear on its coins, and it was destroyed by the Dacians about 50 BC. In AD 56 it had been restored by the Romans and henceforth formed part of the province of Lower Moesia, which also included Dobruja (part of Romania) and northeastern






From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia;

 Thyssagetae were an ancient tribe described by Herodotus[1] as occupying a district to the north-east of Scythia (present-day Russia) separated from the Budini by a desert seven days journey broad, perhaps the Voguls. From their land four rivers flowed into the Maeotis, but as one of them, the Oarus, is almost certainly the Volga, there must be some mistake about this. They seem to have held the southern end of the Urals about TJfa and Orenburg.


  1. ^ Herodotus. Histories, 4.22. "...after the desert, if one inclines somewhat to the east, the Thyssagetae are reached, a numerous nation quite distinct from any other, and living by the chase."




From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia;

 The Massageteans[1] (Greek: Massagetai; Latin: Massagetae) or Massagetaeans[2] were an Iranian people[3][4][5][6] of antiquity known primarily from the writings of Herodotus. Their name was probably akin to Getae and Thyssagetae.....

They were similar to the Scythians in their dress and mode of living. Each man had one woman, yet their wives were held in common, this custom differentiating the Massagetae from the Scythians. Queen Tomyris succeeded her dead husband, the former king of the Massagetae. The Massagetae worshipped only one god, the sun, and sacrificed a horse in its honour....



According to Herodotus:


[1.215] In their dress and mode of living the Massagetae resemble the Scythians. They fight both on horseback and on foot, neither method is strange to them: they use bows and lances, but their favourite weapon is the battle-axe. Their arms are all either of gold or brass. For their spear-points, and arrow-heads, and for their battle-axes, they make use of brass; for head-gear, belts, and girdles, of gold. So too with the caparison of their horses, they give them breastplates of brass, but employ gold about the reins, the bit, and the cheek-plates. They use neither iron nor silver, having none in their country; but they have brass and gold in abundance.


[1.216] The following are some of their customs; - Each man has but one wife, yet all the wives are held in common; for this is a custom of the Massagetae and not of the Scythians, as the Greeks wrongly say. Human life does not come to its natural close with this people; but when a man grows very old, all his kinsfolk collect together and offer him up in sacrifice; offering at the same time some cattle also. After the sacrifice they boil the flesh and feast on it; and those who thus end their days are reckoned the happiest. If a man dies of disease they do not eat him, but bury him in the ground, bewailing his ill-fortune that he did not come to be sacrificed. They sow no grain, but live on their herds, and on fish, of which there is great plenty in the Jaxartes. Milk is what they chiefly drink. The only god they worship is the sun, and to him they offer the horse in sacrifice; under the notion of giving to the swiftest of the gods the swiftest of all mortal creatures.


A number of different versions have been transmitted concerning the death of Cyrus the Great. One version reported:


[1.201] When Cyrus had achieved the conquest of the Babylonians, he conceived the desire of bringing the Massagetae under his dominion. Now the Massagetae are said to be a great and warlike nation, dwelling eastward, toward the rising of the sun, beyond the river Araxes, and opposite the Issedonians. By many they are regarded as a Scythian race.

According to Herodotus, Cyrus the Great of Persia met his death in a battle with the Massagetae living beyond the Araxes river. They were a people from the southern deserts of Khwarezm in today's Bukhara, Uzbekistan.

The queen of the Massagetae, Tomyris, prevailed, although Cyrus had defeated Tomyris's son Spargapises. Herodotus mentions: Of all the combats in which the barbarians have engaged among themselves, I reckon this to have been the fiercest.

Note on the geography of Herodotus

The name Araxes probably means "rapid stream"[7]. In the context of the Massagetae "Araxes" refers to Jaxartes.


Ammianus Marcellinus considered the Alans to be the former Massagetae.[8] At the close of the 4th century CE, Claudian (the court poet of Emperor Honorius and Stilicho) wrote of Alans and Massagetae in the same breath: "the Massagetes who cruelly wound their horses that they may drink their blood, the Alans who break the ice and drink the waters of Maeotis' lake" (In Rufinem).

Others contact them with the Huns:

Procopius' writes in History of the Wars Book III: The Vandalic War[9]: "the Massagetae whom they now call Huns" (XI. 37.), "there was a certain man among the Massagetae, well gifted with courage and strength of body, the leader of a few men; this man had the privilege handed down from his fathers and ancestors to be the first in all the Hunnic armies to attack the enemy" (XVIII. 54.).

Evagrius Scholasticus (Ecclesiastical History. Book 3. Ch. II.): "and in Thrace, by the inroads of the Huns, formerly known by the name of Massagetae, who crossed the Ister without opposition"[10].

See also


  1. ^ Christian, David (1998). A History of Russia, Central Asia, and Mongolia. Malden, Massachusetts: Blackwell Publishing. ISBN 0-631-20814-3. 
  2. ^ Engels, Donald W. (1978). Alexander the Great and the Logistics of the Macedonian Army. California: University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-04272-7. 
  3. ^ Karasulas, Antony. Mounted Archers Of The Steppe 600 BC-AD 1300 (Elite). Osprey Publishing, 2004, ISBN 184176809, p. 7.
  4. ^ Wilcox, Peter. Rome's Enemies: Parthians and Sassanids. Osprey Publishing, 1986, ISBN 0850456886, p. 9.
  5. ^ Gershevitch, Ilya. The Cambridge History of Iran (Volume II). Cambridge University Press, 1985, ISBN 0521200911, p. 48.
  6. ^ Grousset, René. The Empire of the Steppes. Rutgers University Press, 1989, ISBN 0813513049, p. 547.
  7. ^ Wheeler James T., The Geography of Herodotus ...: Illustrated from Modern Researches and Discoveries. London, Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans, 1854, LCCN 05006215 p.192.
  8. ^ Ammianus Marcellinus: "iuxtaque Massagetae Halani et Sargetae"; "per Albanos et Massagetas, quos Alanos nunc appellamus"; "Halanos pervenit, veteres Massagetas".
  9. ^ Procopius: History of the Wars.
  10. ^ Ecclesiastical History. Book 3.

External links

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 Oxus River


The 'Amu Darya' - ''Amudarya'' ( - ''Omudaryo'' or ''daryoi Omu''; - ''Âmudaryâ''; , with ''darya'' (Pahlavi) meaning sea or a very large river), is the longest river in Central Asia.
Amu is said to have come from the city of Āmul, now known as Türkmenabat. It is formed by the junction of the Vakhsh and Panj rivers. Many local people refer to the river as ''Jayhoun'' (جيحون) which was thought to be a derivative of ''Gihon'', the biblical name for one of the four rivers of the Garden of Eden or paradise. [1] The river is also known by this name to most of the medieval Islamic writers.
The river is navigable for over 1450 km (800 miles). Its total length is 2400 km (1500 miles) and its drainage basin totals 534.739 km² in area, providing a mean discharge of around 55 cubic kilometres of water per year, all of which comes from the high mountains in the south where annual precipitation can be over 1000 mm. Even before large-scale irrigation began, high summer evaporation meant that not all of this discharge reached the Aral Sea - though there is some evidence the large Pamir glaciers provided enough meltwater for the Aral to overflow during the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries A.D.



In classical antiquity, the river was known as the 'Oxus' in Greek--a clear derivative of Vakhsh—the name of the largest tributary of the Amu. It was known as 'Jayhun' or 'Gihun' in ancient Arabic sources. 'Jayhun' was likely influenced by 'Dgihun', the traditional name given to it by the people who inhabited its surrounding region.[2]
In Vayu Purana and Matsya Purana, the Oxus is mentioned as the river Chakshu, flowing through the countries of Tusharas (Rishikas?), Lampakas, Pahlavas, Paradas and Shakas etc.

Herodotus:<br>The Defeat of the Persians under Cyrus the Great by Queen Tomyris of the Massagetai



I.201: When Cyrus had achieved the conquest of the Babylonians, he conceived the desire of bringing the Massagetai under his dominion. Now the Massagetai are said to be a great and warlike nation, dwelling eastward, toward the rising of the sun, beyond the river Araxes, and opposite the Issedonians. By many they are regarded as a Scythian race.

I.215: In their dress and mode of living the Massagetai resemble the Scythians. They fight both on horseback and on foot, neither method is strange to them: they use bows and lances, but their favorite weapon is the battle-axe. Their arms are all either of gold or brass. For their spear-points, and arrow-heads, and for their battle-axes, they make use of brass; for head-gear, belts, and girdles, of gold. So too with the caparison of their horses, they give them breastplates of brass, but employ gold about the reins, the bit, and the cheek-plates. They use neither iron nor silver, having none in their country; but they have brass and gold in abundance.

I.216: The following are some of their customs: Each man has but one wife, yet all the wives are held in common; for this is a custom of the Massagetai and not of the Scythians, as the Hellenes wrongly say. Human life does not come to its natural close with this people; but when a man grows very old, all his kinsfolk collect together and offer him up in sacrifice; offering at the same time some cattle also. After the sacrifice they boil the flesh and feast on it; and those who thus end their days are reckoned the happiest. If a man dies of disease they do not eat him, but bury him in the ground, bewailing his ill-fortune that he did not come to be sacrificed. They sow no grain, but live on their herds, and on fish, of which there is great plenty in the Araxes. Milk is what they chiefly drink. The only god they worship is the sun, and to him they offer the horse in sacrifice; under the notion of giving to the swiftest of the gods the swiftest of all mortal creatures.

I.205: At this time the Massagetai were ruled by a queen, named Tomyris, who at the death of her husband, the late king, had mounted the throne. To her Cyrus sent ambassadors, with instructions to court her on his part, pretending that he wished to take her to wife. Tomyris, however, aware that it was her kingdom, and not herself, that he courted, forbade the men to approach. Cyrus, therefore, finding that he did not advance his designs by this deceit, marched towards the Araxes, and openly displaying his hostile intentions; set to work to construct a bridge on which his army might cross the river, and began building towers upon the boats which were to be used in the passage.

I.206: While the Persian leader was occupied in these labors, Tomyris sent a herald to him, who said, "King of the Medes, cease to press this enterprise, for you cannot know if what you are doing will be of real advantage to you. Be content to rule in peace your own kingdom, and bear to see us reign over the countries that are ours to govern. As, however, I know you will not choose to hearken to this counsel, since there is nothing you less desirest than peace and quietness, come now, if you are so mightily desirous of meeting the Massagetai in arms, leave your useless toil of bridge-making; let us retire three days' march from the river bank, and do you come across with your soldiers; or, if you like better to give us battle on your side the stream, retire yourself an equal distance." Cyrus, on this offer, called together the chiefs of the Persians, and laid the matter before them, requesting them to advise him what he should do. All the votes were in favor of his letting Tomyris cross the stream, and giving battle on Persian ground.

I.207: But Croesus the Lydian, who was present at the meeting of the chiefs, disapproved of this advice; he therefore rose, and thus delivered his sentiments in opposition to it: "Oh! my king! I promised you long since, that, as Zeus had given me into your hands, I would, to the best of my power, avert impending danger from your house. Alas! my own sufferings, by their very bitterness, have taught me to be keen-sighted of dangers. If you deem yourself an immortal, and your army an army of immortals, my counsel will doubtless be thrown away upon you. But if you feel yourself to be a man, and a ruler of men, lay this first to heart, that there is a wheel on which the affairs of men revolve, and that its movement forbids the same man to be always fortunate.

"Now concerning the matter in hand, my judgment runs counter to the judgment of your other counselors. For if you agree to give the enemy entrance into your country, consider what risk is run! Lose the battle, and therewith your whole kingdom is lost. For, assuredly, the Massagetai, if they win the fight, will not return to their homes, but will push forward against the states of your empire. Or, if you win the battle, why, then you win far less than if you were across the stream, where you might follow up your victory. For against your loss, if they defeat you on your own ground, must be set theirs in like case. Rout their army on the other side of the river, and you may push at once into the heart of their country. Moreover, were it not disgrace intolerable for Cyrus the son of Cambyses to retire before and yield ground to a woman?

"My counsel, therefore, is that we cross the stream, and pushing forward as far as they shall fall back, then seek to get the better of them by stratagem. I am told they are unacquainted with the good things on which the Persians live, and have never tasted the great delights of life. Let us then prepare a feast for them in our camp; let sheep be slaughtered without stint, and the wine cups be filled full of noble liquor, and let all manner of dishes be prepared: then leaving behind us our worst troops, let us fall back towards the river. Unless I very much mistake, when they see the good fare set out, they will forget all else and fall to. Then it will remain for us to do our parts manfully."

I.208: Cyrus, when the two plans were thus placed in contrast before him, changed his mind, and preferring the advice which Croesus had given, returned for answer to Tomyris that she should retire, and that he would cross the stream. She therefore retired, as she had engaged; and Cyrus, giving Croesus into the care of his son Cambyses (whom he had appointed to succeed him on the throne), with strict charge to pay him all respect and treat him well, if the expedition failed of success; and sending them both back to Persia, crossed the river with his army.

I.209: The first night after the passage, as he slept in the enemy's country, a vision appeared to him. He seemed to see in his sleep the eldest of the sons of Hystaspes, with wings upon his shoulders, shadowing with the one wing Asia, and Europe with the other. Now Hystaspes, the son of Arsames, was of the race of the Achaimenidai, and his eldest son, Darius, was at that time scarce twenty years old; wherefore, not being of age to go to the wars, he had remained behind in Persia. When Cyrus woke from his sleep, and turned the vision over in his mind, it seemed to him no light matter. He therefore sent for Hystaspes, and taking him aside said, "Hystaspes, your son is discovered to be plotting against me and my crown. I will tell you how I know it so certainly. The gods watch over my safety, and warn me beforehand of every danger. Now last night, as I lay in my bed, I saw in a vision the eldest of your sons with wings upon his shoulders, shadowing with the one wing Asia, and Europe with the other. From this it is certain, beyond all possible doubt, that he is engaged in some plot against me. Return you then at once to Persia, and be sure, when I come back from conquering the Massagetai, to have your son ready to produce before me, that I may examine him."

I.210: Thus Cyrus spoke, in the belief that he was plotted against by Darius; but he missed the true meaning of the dream, which was sent by God to forewarn him, that he was to die then and there, and that his kingdom was to fall at last to Darius. Hystaspes made answer to Cyrus in these words: "Heaven forbid, sire, that there should be a Persian living who would plot against you! If such an one there be, may a speedy death overtake him! You found the Persians a race of slaves, you have made them free men: you found them subject to others, you have made them lords of all. If a vision has announced that my son is practicing against you, I resign him into your hands to deal with as you will." Hystaspes, when he had thus answered, recrossed the Araxes and hastened back to Persia, to keep a watch on his son Darius.

I.211: Meanwhile Cyrus, having advanced a day's march from the river, did as Croesus had advised him, and, leaving the worthless portion of his army in the camp, drew off with his good troops towards the river. Soon afterwards, a detachment of the Massagetai, one-third of their entire army, led by Spargapises, son of the queen Tomyris, coming up, fell upon the body which had been left behind by Cyrus, and on their resistance put them to the sword. Then, seeing the banquet prepared, they sat down and began to feast. When they had eaten and drunk their fill, and were now sunk in sleep, the Persians under Cyrus arrived, slaughtered a great multitude, and made even a larger number prisoners. Among these last was Spargapises himself.

I.212: When Tomyris heard what had befallen her son and her army, she sent a herald to Cyrus, who thus addressed the conqueror: "You bloodthirsty Cyrus, pride not yourself on this poor success: it was the grape-juice---which, when you drink it, makes you so mad, and as you swallow it down brings up to your lips such bold and wicked words---it was this poison by which you ensnared my child, and so overcame him, not in fair open fight. Now hear what I advise, and be sure I advise you for your good. Restore my son to me and get you from the land unharmed, triumphant over a third part of the host of the Massagetai. Refuse, and I swear by the sun, the sovereign lord of the Massagetai, bloodthirsty as you are, I will give you your fill of blood."

I.213: To the words of this message Cyrus paid no manner of regard. As for Spargapises, the son of the queen, when the wine went off, and he saw the extent of his calamity, he made request to Cyrus to release him from his bonds; then, when his prayer was granted, and the fetters were taken from his limbs, as soon as his hands were free, he destroyed himself.

I.214: Tomyris, when she found that Cyrus paid no heed to her advice, collected all the forces of her kingdom, and gave him battle. Of all the combats in which the barbarians have engaged among themselves, I reckon this to have been the fiercest. The following, as I understand, was the manner of it: First, the two armies stood apart and shot their arrows at each other; then, when their quivers were empty, they closed and fought hand-to-hand with lances and daggers; and thus they continued fighting for a length of time, neither choosing to give ground. At length the Massagetai prevailed. The greater part of the army of the Persians was destroyed and Cyrus himself fell, after reigning nine and twenty years. Search was made among the slain by order of the queen for the body of Cyrus, and when it was found she took a skin, and, filling it full of human blood, she dipped the head of Cyrus in the gore, saying, as she thus insulted the corpse, "I live and have conquered you in fight, and yet by you am I ruined, for you took my son with guile; but thus I make good my threat, and give you your fill of blood." Of the many different accounts which are given of the death of Cyrus, this which I have followed appears to me most worthy of credit.



Queen Tomyris

 Atibusque Getarum (The origin and deeds of the Goths), Tomyris was the queen of the Getae:

"Then Cyrus (Cyrus the Great), king of the Persians, after a long interval of almost exactly six hundred and thirty years (circa 5th century BC, as Pompeius Trogus relates), waged a war, fatal to himself against Tomyris, Queen of the Getae.

Elated by his victories in Asia, he strove to conquer the Getae, whose queen, as I have said, was Tomyris.

Though she could have stopped the approach of Cyrus at the river Araxes, yet she permitted him to cross, preferring to overcome him in battle rather than to thwart him by advantage of position. And so she did.

As Cyrus approached, fortune at first so favored the Parthians that they slew both the son of Tomyris and most of the army.

But when the battle was renewed, the Getae and their queen defeated, conquered and overwhelmed the Parthians and took rich plunder from them. There for the first time the race of the Goths (Getae WMN)saw silken tents.

After achieving this victory and winning so much booty from her enemies, Queen Tomyris crossed over into that part of Moesia which is now called Lesser Scythia (currently Dobrudja) --a name borrowed from Great Scythia-- and built on the Moesian shore of the Black Sea the city of Tomi, named after herself." Tomi was named Tomis by the Romans and is today the city of Constanta in Romania.


    "Tomyris, when she found that Cyrus paid no heed to her advice, collected all the forces of her kingdom, and gave him battle. Of all the combats in which the barbarians have engaged among themselves, I reckon this to have been the fiercest. The following, as I understand, was the manner of it:- First, the two armies stood apart and shot their arrows at each other; then, when their quivers were empty, they closed and fought hand-to-hand with lances and daggers; and thus they continued fighting for a length of time, neither choosing to give ground. At length the Massagetae prevailed. The greater part of the army of the Persians was destroyed and Cyrus himself fell, after reigning nine and twenty years. Search was made among the slain by order of the queen for the body of Cyrus, and when it was found she took a skin, and, filling it full of human blood, she dipped the head of Cyrus in the gore, saying, as she thus insulted the corpse, "I live and have conquered thee in fight, and yet by thee am I ruined, for thou tookest my son with guile; but thus I make good my threat, and give thee thy fill of blood." Of the many different accounts which are given of the death of Cyrus, this which I have followed appears to me most worthy of credit." Herodotus, The Histories According to Jordanes (after Cassiodorus)


Jordanes - The Origin and Deeds of the Goths


[Sidenote: Cyrus the Great B.C. 559-529]


X Then Cyrus, king of the Persians, after a long 61
interval of almost exactly six hundred and thirty years
(as Pompeius Trogus relates), waged an unsuccessful
war against Tomyris, Queen of the Getae. Elated by his
victories in Asia, he strove to conquer the Getae, whose
queen, as I have said, was Tomyris. Though she could
have stopped the approach of Cyrus at the river Araxes,
yet she permitted him to cross, preferring to overcome
him in battle rather than to thwart him by advantage of 62
position. And so she did. As Cyrus approached, fortune
at first so favored the Parthians that they slew the son
of Tomyris and most of the army. But when the battle
was renewed, the Getae and their queen defeated, conquered
and overwhelmed the Parthians and took rich
plunder from them. There for the first time the race of
the Goths saw silken tents. After achieving this victory
and winning so much booty from her enemies, Queen
Tomyris crossed over into that part of Moesia which is
now called Lesser Scythia--a name borrowed from great
Scythia,--and built on the Moesian shore of Pontus the
city of Tomi, named after herself.

[Sidenote: DARIUS B.C. 521-485]


Afterwards Darius, king of the Persians, the son of 63
Hystaspes, demanded in marriage the daughter of Antyrus,
king of the Goths, asking for her hand and at the
same time making threats in case they did not fulfil his
wish. The Goths spurned this alliance and brought his
embassy to naught. Inflamed with anger because his
offer had been rejected, he led an army of seven hundred
thousand armed men against them and sought to avenge
his wounded feelings by inflicting a public injury. Crossing
on boats covered with boards and joined like a bridge
almost the whole way from Chalcedon to Byzantium, he
started for Thrace and Moesia. Later he built a bridge
over the Danube in like manner, but he was wearied by
two brief months of effort and lost eight thousand armed
men among the Tapae. Then, fearing the bridge over the
Danube would be seized by his foes, he marched back to
Thrace in swift retreat, believing the land of Moesia
would not be safe for even a short sojourn there.

[Sidenote: Xerxes B.C. 485-465]

After his death, his son Xerxes planned to avenge his 64
father's wrongs and so proceeded to undertake a war
against the Goths with seven hundred thousand of his
own men and three hundred thousand armed auxiliaries,
twelve hundred ships of war and three thousand transports.
But he did not venture to try them in battle, being
overawed by their unyielding animosity. So he returned
with his force just as he had come, and without righting
a single battle.
"Massagets" was a great union of tribes in 7-5 ths B.C., which included in their structure a number of saki tribes proper. A basic mass of those tribes belonged to franko-kimmerian tribes. Their name "mazaget " i.e. "a great get" witnessed it . All river basin of Zarafshan was settled by sogdians speaking east-iranian language. East iranian language and sakian one were kindred languages. In the north-west they bordered upon saka- haumavark, in the west-upon dirbeks. Along the Gissarian mountain ridge a border passed between Sogdiana and Baktra, also settled by the tribes speaking iranian. We can speak about a mode of life of nomadic population of Central Asia as a result of excavations of barrows that time (in the steppe Malik in Bukhara oasis, a barrow Ak-Tam in Fergana, sakian barrow in Pamir, funereal monuments in Horezm and so on) Archaeological finds, meeting in Central Asia, writing sources, witness the different types of employment of population: mining, smelting of copper and iron , making of metalic tools and weapons, pottery, weaving, jeweller's art, building (construction of buildings, bridges, roads), building of ships and at last a trade.

The trade was gone along an ancient route Balh-Merv-Ekbatan (Hamadan) to the west and through Fergana and Issik-Kul northward Siberia and Altai.


The Getes by Sundeep S. Jhutti; Da (Greater) Yuezhi; Great Getes

Sino-Platonic Papers, 127 (October 2003)

The Getes by Sundeep S. Jhutti


Iranian-speaking nomads have caught the attention of many societies, from early Greco-Roman, Persian, Indian, and Chinese writers to modern scholars intrigued by their unique, somewhat romantic lifestyle as horse-mounted warriors constantly searching for greener pastures, military challenges, and riches. Spread throughout the vast Central Asian steppes, they were known to the Greeks, the Persians, the Indians, and the Chinese. In most early writings, be they Chinese, Persian, etc., these nomads were generally shown in negative light -- partly due to their uncouth ways, partly to their robbing and looting, but mostly due to fear and misunderstanding. As the nomads were typically the enemies of these settled societies, the negative view of them was augmented. It is, therefore, not rare to read in Indian scriptures about the Sakas, Kushans (Da Yuezhi), and even the Hunas (White Huns or Ephthalites) being considered as Mlecchas (foreigners, outcastes), Asuras (demons), etc. (Dhillon 1994, 15). Similar perspectives are alluded to in Persian or Chinese texts. Such is the fate of all unlettered societies whose history is told by outsiders. As such, they are frequently victims of bias.

Of these Iranian-speaking nomads, the best known were the Scythians, due to their contact with the west, particularly Greece. According to the Webster's Encyclopedic Dictionary the Scythians were, "a member of a nomadic Indo-European people who settled in Scythia before the seventh century b.c. and were displaced by the Sarmatians. They were specially noted in warfare for their mounted archers and in art for their rich gold ornaments. They spoke an Iranian language" (W.E.D. 1988, 900). Since these nomads had no written language their history was been gathered by settled societies, who as aforementioned often times were enemies. Therefore, the accounts we have on them were not only scanty, but also tended to be very negative as settled societies viewed their own civilizations as superior.

Fortunately for our understanding of these Iranian nomads, Herodotus, the father of history, was intrigued, even compelled, by the ways of the "barbarians," so that he dedicated a great portion of his Histories solely to the Scythians during the days when the Persian and Egyptian empires were thriving.

Beyond his mythical suggestions of the origin of the Scyths and similar nomads, he was keen in noting another important and more eastern Iranian tribe called the Massagetae, whom he considered to be like the Scythians (Rawlinson 1928, 79). Herodotus writes about the Massagetae:

Now the Massagetae are said to be a great and warlike nation.... By many they are regarded as a Scythian race.... In their dress and mode of living the Massagetae resemble the Scythians [Rawlinson 1928, 75, 79].

Although they had very similar customs and shared a common language, this does not necessarily advocate that they were one entity.

The Massagetae of Herodotus were designated by the comprehensive name "Sakas" by the Persians, and it is believed by some scholars that the Saka Tigrakhauda or Peaked-capped Sakas were the Massagetae of Herodotus. In an article in Nomads of the Eurasian Steppes in the Early Iron Age, Leonid T. Yablonsky writes, "Some scholars are inclined to identify the Saka-Tigrakhauda of the ancient Persian inscriptions with the Massagetae of Herodotus and to place them east of the Caspian Sea" (Yablonsky 1995, 250).

In addition, geographer Strabo applies the comprehensive name Scythian to the Sakas, Dahae, and Massagetae. He states:

Now the greater part of the Scythians, beginning at the Caspian Sea, are called Daae, but those who are situated more to the east are called Massagetae and Sacae, whereas all the rest are given the general name of Scythians, though each people is given a separate name. They are all for the most part nomads [Jones 1928, 5: 261].

Thus, the term "Scythian" was used by later writers sometimes to specify the Scythians proper, but also comprehensively, to address the Sakas, Massagetae, Dahae, and so on. This is especially evident in the works of the Alexandrian age writers who repeatedly called these nomads at "various times, 'Scythian,' 'Massagetae,' or 'Dakhs'" (Yablonsky 1995, 251). Interestingly, Alexander Cunningham, the former Director-General of the Archeological Survey of India, believed that the Dahae of the Greeks and the Dahyu of the Persians were the same word as the colloquial term daku used in India (Indo-English "dacoit"), which literally means "a robber or enemy" (Cunningham 1888, 32). The Scythians could have been perceived as dacoits by these sedentary societies, and these terms could have been those of reproach (Cunningham 1888, 32). The 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica also holds this view,

The predatory tribes of Turan [Turkistan] (e.g., Massagetae) seem to have belonged to the same stock [Iranian]. These tribes are distinguished by the Iranian peasants as Daha (Gr. Daai), "enemies," "robbers"; by the Persians as Sacae; and by the Greeks generally as Scythians [E.B. 1911, 21: 202].

As mentioned previously, the Massagetae were likely a sub-tribe of the Sakas, or more specifically the Saka-Tigrakhauda. The Sakas, in particular, made their way to the Indian subcontinent. In his Guide to Taxila, Marshall, the former Director-General of Archaeology of India, says the following about the Sakian invaders of India:

Known to the western world under the comprehensive name of Scythians, to the Indians as Sakas, and to the Chinese as Sai or Sai-wang, these invaders came principally from the three great tribes of Massagetae, Sacaraucae, and Dahae, whose home at the beginning of the second century b.c. was in the country between the Caspian Sea and Jaxartes river [Marshall 1960, 24].

In addition to the tribes mentioned by Marshall, there were many other lesser-known nomadic tribes not mentioned, for example, the Thyssagetae, Tyrigetae, etc., who probably were like the Sakas. Marshall, therefore, believes that the Scythian term was an all-inclusive name applied to all Iranian-speaking Central Asian nomads. Cunningham, on the other hand, referring to the Scythian invaders of India, included the non-Iranian-speaking Ephthalites or White Huns. He states:

The different races of Scythians, which have successively appeared on the border provinces of Persia and India, are the following ... Sakas or Sacae, the Su or Sai of the Chinese...Kushans, or Tochari, the Great Yue-chi of the Chinese ... Kidaritae, or Later Kushans, the Little Yue-chi of the Chinese ... Ephthalites, or White Huns, the Ye-tha-i-lito of the Chinese [Cunningham 1888, 27].

Tod also classifies the White Huns as a "Scythian" people (Tod 1829, 131). Consequently, the comprehensiveness of the term "Scythian" was caused no doubt by the lack of consistency in the use of the term by the classical writers. Some have argued that the term was used almost exclusively from geographical perspective by the classical writers to denote invaders from Central Asia (Kephart 1960, 531). Yet another view is that the classical writers were not effectively able to tell the particular tribes apart, as aforementioned, given that the Alexandrian writers used different terminology for the same people (Yablonsky 1995, 251).

Now it is difficult to believe the Scythians were ever really one ethnic entity, since they were so greatly separated along the vast Central Asian steppes. This is further attested by the non-homogeneous ethnicity even amongst particular tribes themselves (Yablonsky 1995, 241-52). What seems more reasonable is that they were groups of many independent nations with a similar language and culture. Therefore, the comprehensive name "Scythian" probably signifies a people who shared a common culture, language, and extended geographical area. Names of tribe such as Massagetae, on the other hand, were more geographically specific, referring to in this case, a tribe east of the Caspian Sea with somewhat unique customs.

Leaving tribal origins aside, the history of these Scythian tribes is impressive. They were known by the Greco-Romans to the west, by the Chinese to the east, and by the Indians and Persians to the south. One of the most interesting aspects of these tribes was their mobility as mounted nomads who left little of Eurasia unexplored. In his In Search of the Indo-Europeans, referring to a map of Eurasia, Mallory says:

Reading from west to east we can include as Iranian speakers the major Iron Age nomads of the Pontic-Caspian steppe such as the Kimmerians (?), Scythians, Sarmatians and Alans. The incredible mobility of these horse-mounted nomads becomes all the more impressive when we recall their westward expansions through Europe. Sarmatian tribes not only settled in the Danube region, but during the second century AD, were conscripted to defend the borders of Roman Britain. The Alans traveled as far as France and forced their way south through Spain, ultimately to establish a state in North Africa [Mallory 1989, 48-49].

Did the Scythians leave any place in Eurasia untouched? It cannot be overemphasized that the mobility of the Scythian tribes was often the result of their being driven on by other tribes, even kindred tribes, so that an event on one side of the steppes would cause a chain reaction of events reaching the other.

This was the case with the Hsuing-Nu (Huns), a nomadic Mongol people, who uprooted the nomadic Yuezhi near the Great Wall of China before the Christian era. The Chinese Emperor Zheng (Shi Huangdi, 246-210 b.c.) linked together the existing frontier walls into a continuous defense system, thereby creating the Great Wall of China (Haywood 2000, 26). As a result the restless Hsuing Nu tribe attacked their neighbors the Caucasian Wusun and Yuezhi, which led to a wholesale movement of these nomads (Dhillon 1994, 41). Not only were the fleeing Yuezhi uprooted, but so also were a perhaps kindred people, the Sakas, near the Aral Sea (Dhillon 1994, 41). Eventually this chain of events led to these nations appearing on the Indo-Iranian borderlands and settling in these regions (Dhillon 1994, 41). This same movement of tribes was the driving force that finally led the Alans to enter Roman territory (Dhillon 1994, Preface). Haywood provides a good summary of this large-scale movement:

The rise of the Xiongnu [Huns] had a destabilizing effect on the Iranian nomads to the west. In 170 the Xiongnu inflicted a crushing defeat on the Yue Qi [Yuezhi], who fled westward, unsettling the Sakas, before overrunning the Bactrian kingdom around 135. The Sakas headed south, first to invade the Parthian empire and, around 141, northern India, and were able to occupy much of the northwest without facing much serious opposition. On the western steppes, the Sarmatians defeated and absorbed the Scythians in the 2nd century and by 150 three distinct groups appeared: the Iazygians, the Roxolani, and the Alans [Haywood 2000, 28].

It does not seem mere coincidence that the timeline for the "barbarian" invasions of Rome corresponds very closely to that of the similar invasions of northwest India and northeastern Iran, or that Huns were associated with these assaults. For example, the Alans reached Gaul in a.d. 408 (Dhillon 1994, 91), and the Ephthalites conquered Transoxiana and Bactria around 440 and reached India around 455-460 (Grousset 1970, 67-68).

McGovern provides a bird's-eye view of the movement of these tribes:

The Sakas, like their neighbors, the Alani, were destined to play an important part in later history. But whereas the Alani spread westward into Europe, the Sakas chose the lands south of them for the seat of their later actions; and at one time they were lords of much of Eastern Iran and Northern India [McGovern 1939, 40].

And yet this does not appear to be the first such movement of Central Asian tribes. Earlier it was mentioned that the Scythians may have had similar customs and language, but it is doubtful that they were ever one ethnic entity. This statement, however, could be partially untrue. The dominance by one group in particular, the Massagetae, who in post-Alexandrian times were classified as Sarmatians, may have led to some homogeneity across most of the steppes. McGovern wrote, "The decay and eventual downfall of the Scythians was due almost entirely to invasion by their distant kinsmen, the Sarmatians" (McGovern 1939, 38). The Sarmatians were "a member of the nomadic Indo-European people who displaced the Scythians on the lower Don. First the enemies and then the allies of Rome, they were displaced by the Goths in the third century a.d." (W.E.D.1988, 887).

So the Scythians were gradually displaced and absorbed by their distant kinsmen, the Sarmatians. McGovern goes further, to list the Massagetae, Dahae, Alans, and Sacae as Sarmatian tribes (McGovern 1939, 462-64). The term "Sarmatian" gradually began to replace "Scythian" in classical accounts; this was also a Central Asian Iranian-speaking tribe (Littleton and Malcor 2000, 16). Littleton and Malcor call them "Eastern Scythians" (Littleton and Malcor 2000, 16). And for good reason, as the Sarmatians were not much different from Scythians -- they spoke an Iranian language and wore trousers, soft leather boots, and round or peaked caps, although some also went bare-headed (Sulimirski 1970).

Regarding the Sarmatians, Jeannine Davis-Kimball wrote a rather interesting paragraph in her popular book Warrior Women:

Around 400 b.c., the Sauromatians began to be displaced by people known to the ancients as Simatians or Sarmatians. No one is certain of the origins of these people; although they were also Caucasoids and spoke an Indo-Iranian language, their skeletons revealed a variety of ethnic types, with some being tall and large boned ... while others were shorter and delicate in stature. My theory, based on a number of notable comparisons between funeral offerings, is that some of these people might have been younger generations of Saka who were forced from their territories near the Tien Shan Mountains or the southern Aral Sea by the need for additional summer pasturelands. Around the third century a.d., they began migrating westward and eventually these expert horsemen equipped with sophisticated weapons and armor constituted a real threat to the Roman legions guarding the Danube frontier. The enterprising legionnaires, however, defused the situation by recruiting some of the Sarmatians to join their army. In a.d. 175, more than five thousand of the steppe tribesmen (most likely along with their families) were dispatched to the northern English border to guard Hadrian's Wall, which helped repel incursions into Roman Britain by the Picts and the Celtic Scots. Twenty years later, the Sarmatian regiment was redeployed to Gaul (the ancient designation for France and Belgium) to quell a rebellion. Later they were returned to Britain, and as they grew old, the battle-weary Sarmatians retired to a veteran's home in Lancashire. (It seems as if they had taken to the British climate, proving that almost anything is better than the weather of the steppes.) The Sarmatian presence in Gaul and Roman Britain never ceases to fascinate me -- I always wonder how many unsuspecting modern-day Frenchmen and Britons, as well as Americans of those extractions, possess the genes of the ancient steppe warriors [Davis-Kimball 2002, 32].

So what was the driving force behind the expansion of the Sarmatian tribes who gradually absorbed their kindred Scythian tribesmen? In his book The Sarmatians, T. Sulimirski offers an opinion:

The destruction by Alexander the Great of the Achaemenid (Persian) monarchy and his subsequent conquest of Bactria and Sogdiana in 330-328 BC also influenced the history and development of all the peoples of Central Asia. Neither the Chorasmians nor the Massagetae were subjugated by Alexander, but as a result of having to fight against the highly trained and organized Macedonian army, they developed new military tactics using armoured cavalry, the 'cataphracti'. Some authors think that the Massagetae owed their conquests solely to the use of this armoured cavalry against weaker adversaries [Sulimirski 1970, 81].

Sulimirski continues, "In the fourth and third centuries BC, the Massagetae subdued nearly all the nomad tribes of Central Asian north of the Macedonian frontier, eastward to the Tien-Shan Mountains, and possibly many tribes of the Kazakhstan steppes; this led to a tremendous extension of their culture which to a great extent derived from that of Achaemenid Iran" (Sulimirski 1970, 81). Therefore, the battles against Alexander in Bactria and Sogdiana led to a great improvement in Massagetan military technology, who were already essentially a cavalry nation. Moreover, this mechanism led to the expansion of their culture east to China, west to the German frontier, and perhaps even southward to India. So did the Massagetae provide at least some continuity between the vast steppes, before this nation was scattered by the Huns? Are there more precise ways to examine their legacy?

This leads us to the thesis of this article. In a rather bold paragraph in their recent book on The Tarim Mummies, James P. Mallory and Victor H. Mair suggest that there may have been more cohesion among these nomads than was previously believed. They wrote in the following paragraph regarding the Yuezhi nomads near the border of China:

Da (Greater) Yuezhi or in the earlier pronunciation d'ad-ngiwat-tieg, has been seen to equate with the Massagetae who occupied the oases and steppelands of West Central Asia in the time of Herodotus; here Massa renders an Iranian word for "Great," hence "Great Getae." ... Others have seen in this word an attempt to capture in Chinese the name of a tribe that is rendered in Greek as the Iatioi who are recorded in Ptolemy's geography. The original pronunciation has been reconstructed as gwat-ti or got-ti or gut-si, which opens up distant lexical similarities with the Goths (the German tribes of northern and eastern Europe), the Getae (the Dacian, i.e., Balkan, tribes northwest of the Black Sea), the Guti (a people on the borderlands of Mesopotamia), the Kusha (our Kushans), the Gushi (a people mentioned in Han texts and regarded as brigands along with the peoples of Kroran), or a combination of some but not all of the above (Mallory and Mair 2000, 98-99).

This comparison of like-sounding tribal names, although merely a paragraph in length, could potentially generate volumes of discussion and can help us understand more definitively the nature of the barbarian invasions in ancient Rome, the powerful Kushan Empire in India, the possible origins of the Guti people, the Guti kings of Mesopotamia, and the similarity between the Goths, Getae, and the Yuezhi. Moreover, this opens up the possibility that at least some of the people termed "Scythians" were a single tribe -- the Getae. So could there have been a nation of nomads who knew themselves as Gets, Gats, Guts, or Yuts?

This is not the first time that the suggestion has been offered that the Yuezhi could be related to Goths. In his Tableaux Historiques De L'Asia, Julius Von Klaproth (1783-1835) wrote:

Le nom des Yue ti ou Yut rappelled celui des Yuts ou Goths, qui sont venus en Europe: il serait tres possible que les Yutes, arrives en Scandinavie avec Odin, aient ete le meme peuple qui, trois siecles avant notre ere, habitair encore ... noor et a l'ouest de la province chinoise de Kan sou. Ceci supposerait l'emigration des Goths de l'Asie centrale posterieure a celle des autres peoples germaniques (Klaproth 1826, 289).

A rough translation:

The name of Yueti or Yut recalls that of Yuts or Goths, which came to Europe: it would be very possible that the Yutes who arrived in Scandinavia with Odin, are the same people who three centuries before our era, still inhabited the area ... northwest of the Chinese Kansu province. This would suppose the emigration of the Goths of Central Asia after that of the other Germanic peoples.

This identification between the Yuezhi and the Goths by Klaproth suggests that the tribes involved in the movement of nomads into Roman territory may have been greater than modern scholarship holds. Could it be that the Goths, along with the Alans, were pushed into Europe under pressure from the Huns? Moreover, could these same tribes be found in the Indian and Persian frontiers? The South Asian Jats are one such group that may lead us in the proper direction, as their settlement corresponds geographically with the Indo-Scythian settlement on the Indian subcontinent. Perhaps by examining the customs and characteristics of this living population we can better understand the role the Getae played in history.

Stories of the East from Herodothus

Stories of the East From Herodotus, by Alfred J. Church

King Darius Maketh War Upon the Scythians

King Darius, being lord of all Asia, wherein were great multitudes of men and much wealth, purposed to make war against the Scythians, desiring also to punish them for their wrong-doing in time past. Now their wrong-doing had been this. They had invaded Asia in the days of the Medes, and had ruled it for twenty and eight years, and when the years were ended had gone back to their own land. About which going back there is this to be told. When they were come to the border of the land, they found an army drawn out in battle array against them; and this army was of their own slaves. But when they had fought with the slaves many times and could not prevail, one of them said to his fellows, "Men of Scythia, we do ill, fighting against these slaves. Come, let us cast aside our spears and take each one of us his whip. For so long as they see us with arms in our hands they count themselves to be our equals, but when they shall see the whips they will remember that we are their masters." Thus the Scythians did, and it was so with the slaves, that when they saw the whips they fled.

King Darius therefore prepared to make war against the Scythians, requiring soldiers from some nations, and from some ships, and commanding others that they should make a bridge over the Thracian Bosphorus. But in the meantime Artabanus, that was brother to the King, would have persuaded him not to go against the Scythians, as being men that had no possessions; but he could not prevail. And when the King was now about to depart from Susa, which is the chief city of Persia, there came to him one Œobazus, entreating of him that he would suffer one of his sons to tarry at home, for he had three sons and all were in the army. Then the King said that because Œobazus was his friend and asked but a small thing, all his sons should tarry at home. Whereat the man was greatly rejoiced; but the King sent his executioners and slew them all. In this fashion did they tarry at home.

When the King was come to the Bosphorus he set up two pillars of white marble, whereon he inscribed the names of all the nations as many as were in his army; and indeed of all that he ruled none were absent. The writing on the one pillar was Persian and on the other Greek. Now the number of the men was seven hundred thousand, besides those that were in the ships, and of ships there were six hundred. After this he crossed by the bridge, which Mæandrius of Samos had made over the Bosphorus, commanding the Ionians that they should sail along the shore to the river Danube and should make a bridge across the river, and so tarry till he should come. Then he went on his way through the land of Thrace till he came to the river Tearus. Of this river they say that the water thereof healeth diseases both of men and beasts beyond all others. It has thirty and eight springs flowing from one and the same rock, of which some are cold and some are hot. Here the King pitched his camp, and beside the river he set up a pillar by it, whereon was written, "To the Tearus which is the best and fairest of all rivers came Darius, son of Hystaspes, King of the Persians, being the best and fairest of all men."

At this time the Getæ, that are called Immortal, submitted themselves to him. This they did without fighting, though they are counted the most valiant and righteous of all the Thracians. The cause wherefore they are called Immortal is this. They believe that they die not, but that such as seem to die go to their god Zalmoxis. And every fifth year they send a messenger to Zalmoxis with a message concerning the things which they need. They cast lots who shall be this messenger; and their manner of sending him is this. Some of them stand in order holding up three spears; and others take the messenger whom they would send to Zalmoxis by the hands and the feet, and throw him from above on to the spears. If the man die they hold that Zalmoxis is gracious to them; but if he die not, they blame the messenger, saying that he is a wicked man; and then they look for another. But the message they give him while he is yet alive. These Thracians shoot arrows into the sky when there is thunder and lightning, and threaten the Gods, holding that there is in truth no god but this Zalmoxis. As for this Zalmoxis, some say that he was a slave in Samos, and that his master was Pythagoras, and that when he had gathered much wealth he went back to his country; and that he affirmed that neither he nor they that were his disciples should die, but should come to a country full of all manner of all good things; and that while he taught these things he made for himself a dwelling under the earth; and that when this dwelling was finished he vanished out of the sight of the Thracians and dwelt therein for three years; and that afterwards he showed himself again to the Thracians, so that they believed all that he had taught them.

Getic Empire Border. Granitele Imperiului Getic.

Granițele Imperiului Getic


 Granițele Imperiului Getic


Alpii Norici (estul Austriei) până la lacul Bodense (vestul Bavariei) tot sudul Bavariei până la lacul Bodense
Râul Drava din Croația (granița dintre Croația și Ungaria)
La vest de Viena


Munții Šar din Kosovo (“Scardus Oros”; până unde se termină râul Morava și Marița, aproape de Skopje
Râurile Sava, Drava și Dunarea (unde erau scordiscii) la vest de râul Morava până la râul Bosna (lângă Saraevo)
Haem (râul Morava la vest și râul Iskar din Bulgaria la est
Munții Balcani (până lângă Sofia)


Până la Marea Neagră, la Apollonia (Sozopol), la sud de Burgas
Până la Olbia “Oceacov” (unde se varsă Bugul în Marea Neagră, în Ucraina)

Sudul Boemiei în Cehia și Moravia (cadrilaterul boem-sudul Boemiei)
Avea granița de nord-est pe râul Bug
Vestul Ucrainei de la Hust până la Lvov în Carpații Păduroși
Sudul Poloniei (până la râurile Vistula și Oder)

Articol scris de Kogaion:

Ptolemy Map

Book III, Chapter 8

Location of Dacia
(from the Ninth Map of Europe)

Thayer's Note: Stevenson's "translation" of Ptolemy, to which this page belongs, is abysmally bad. It should not be used for any serious purpose. For details and correctives, see my Ptolemy homepage. (text and map is not yet there)

Dacia is bounded on the north by that part of European Sarmatia, which extends from the Carpathian mountains to:

that terminus where, as we have shown, the Tyras river is deflected in its course in 53*00 48°30

on the west by Iazyges Metanastae along the Tibiscus river; on the south by that part of the Danube river between the mouth of the Tibiscus river and Axiopolis, from which town as far as the Pontus and the mouth of the Danube it is called the Ister; the several sections of this southern boundary are:

After the mouth of the Tibiscus river

the first turn which is west-southwest is in 47*20 44°45
then a bend near the entrance of the Rabon river which flows from Dacia in 49*00 43°30
and a bend at the entrance of the Ciabrus river which is in 49*30 43°45
a bend near the entrance of the Alutas river which comes from the north in Dacia 50*15 44°00
a bend near Oescus 51*00 44°00
a bend near Axiopolis 54*20 44°45

thence the Danube river to its mouth is called the Ister as we have said.

On the east Dacia is bounded by the Ister river near the bend close to the town

Dinogetia, the location of which is in 53*00 46°40

then by the river Hierasus, which near Dinogetia flows into the Ister from the north, and turning eastward extends as far as the indicated bend of the Tyras river.

The Anarti, the Teurisci and the Coestoboci inhabit Dacia in the northern part, beginning from the west; below these are the Praedavenses, the Rhatacenses, and the Caucoenses; below these, in this order, are the Biephi, the Burideenses, and the Cotenses, and below these are the Albocenses, the Potulatenses, and the Senses; below these, in the southern region, are the Saldenses, the Ciagisi, and the Piephigi.

The most important towns of Dacia are these:

Rucconium 46*30 48°10
Docidava 47*20 48°00
Porolissum 49*00 48°00
Arcobadara 50*40 48°00
Triphulum 52*15 48°15
Patridava 53*00 48°10
Carsidava 53*20 48°15
Petrodava 53*45 47°40
Ulpianum 47*30 47°30
Napuca 49*00 47°40
Patruissa 49*00 47°20
Salinae 49*15 47°10
Praetoria Augusta 50*30 47°00
Sandava 51*30 47°30
Angustia 52*15 47°15
Utidava 53*10 47°40
Marcodava 49*30 47°00
Ziridava 45*30 46°20
Singidava 48*00 46°20
Apulum 49*15 46°40
Zermizirga 49*30 46°15
Comidava 51*30 46°40
Ramidava 51*50 46°30
Pirum 51*15 46°00
Zusidava 52*40 46°15
Polonda 53*00 47°00
Zurobara 45*40 45°40
Lizisis 46*15 45°20
Argidava 46*30 45°15
Tibiscum 48*30 45°15
Zarmizegethusa regia 47*50 45°15
Aquae 49*30 45°20
Netindava 52*45 45°30
Tiasum 52*00 45°30
Zeugma 46*40 44°40
Tibiscum 46*40 44°50
Dierna 47*15 44°30
Acmonia 48*00 45°00
Drubetis 47*45 44°30
Frateria 49*30 44°30
Arcinna 49*00 44°45
Pinum 50*30 44°40
Amutrium 50*00 44°45
Sornum 51*30 45°00



Thayer's Note:

a BIOEA is almost certainly a modern editor's misreading for ΒΙΘΙΑ





Hercynian Forest Stretched along the Danube to Dacia

Hercynian Forest

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Pliny the Elder, in Natural History, places the eastern regions of the Hercynium jugum, the "Hercynian mountain chain", in Pannonia (present-day Hungary) and Dacia (present-day Romania. Pliny the Elder, in Natural History, places the eastern regions of the Hercynium jugum, the "Hercynian mountain chain", in Pannonia (present-day Hungary) and Dacia (present-day Romania.

Black Forest panorama, Feldberg, 2003

The Hercynian Forest was an ancient and dense forest that stretched eastward from the Rhine River across southern Germany and formed the northern boundary of that part of Europe known to writers of antiquity. The ancient sources[1] are equivocal about how far east it extended. All agree that the Black Forest, which extended east from the Rhine valley, formed the western side of the Hercynian.

Across the Rhine to the west extended the Silva Carbonaria and the forest of the Ardennes. All these old-growth forests of antiquity represented the original post-glacial temperate broadleaf forest ecosystem of Europe.

Relict tracts of this once-unbroken forest exist under many local names: the Schwarzwald ("Black Forest"), Odenwald, Spessart Rhön, Thüringerwald (Thuringian Forest), Harz, Rauhe Alb, Steigerwald, Fichtelgebirge, Erzgebirge, Riesengebirge, the Bohemian Forest, and the forested Carpathians.[2] The Mittelgebirge seem to more or less correspond to a stretch of the Hercynian mountains, with Old High German Fergunna referring to the Erzgebirge and Virgundia (cf. modern Virngrund forest) to a range between Ansbach and Ellwangen.


In fact "Hercynian" has a Proto-Celtic derivation, from perkuniā, later erkunia. Julius Pokorny[3] lists Hercynian as being derived from *perkʷu- "oak" (compare quercus). He further identifies the name as Celtic. Proto-Celtic regularly loses initial *p preceding a vowel, hence Hercynia (the H- being prothetic in Latin, the Latin y signifying a borrowing from Greek). The corresponding Germanic forms have an f- by Grimm's Law: Old English firgen "mountain", Gothic faírguni "mountain range".[4] The assimilated *kwerkwu- would be regular in Italo-Celtic, and Pokorny connects the Celtiberian ethnonym Querquerni, found in Galicia.[5]

It is possible that the name of the Harz Mountains in Germany is derived from Hercynian, as Harz is a Middle High German word meaning "mountain forest." The name of Pforzheim (Porta Hercyniae) in southwest Germany and the tiny village of Hercingen[6] are also derived from Hercynian.

Hercyne was the classical name (modern Libadia) of a small rapid stream in Boeotia that issued from two springs near Lebadea, modern Livadeia, and emptied into the Copaic lake.[7] It had no geographical connection to the Hercynian Forest, so, logically, it must have been a parallel derivation from similar etymology.

Ancient references

The name is cited dozens of times in several classical authors, but most of the references are non-definitive,[8] as the author is assuming the reader would know where the forest is. The earliest is in Aristotle (Meteorologica), who refers to the Arkýnia (or Orkýnios) mountains of Europe, but tells us only that, remarkably in his point-of-view, rivers flow north from there.[9]

During the time of Julius Caesar, this forest blocked the advance of the Roman legions into Germania. His few statements are the most definitive. In De Bello Gallico[10] he says that the forest stretches along the Danube from the territory of the Helvetii (present-day Switzerland) to Dacia (present-day Romania). Its implied northern dimension is nine days' march. Its eastern dimension is indefinitely more than sixty days' march. The concept fascinated and perhaps frightened him a little, even if the old wives' tales of unicorns[11] and of elk without joints, which leaned against trees to sleep in the endless forests of Germania, were later interpolations in his Commentaries.[12] Very likely, today's concept of an endless Black Forest descends in large part from Caesar. His name for the forest is the one most used: Hercynia Silva.

Pliny the Elder, in Natural History, places the eastern regions of the Hercynium jugum, the "Hercynian mountain chain", in Pannonia (present-day Hungary) and Dacia (present-day Romania.[13] He also gives us some dramaticised insight[14] into its composition, in which the close proximity of the forest trees causes competitive struggle among them (inter se rixantes). He mentions its gigantic oaks.[15] But even he— if the passage in question is not an interpolated marginal gloss— is subject to the mythological aura exuding from the gloomy forest. He makes mention of unusual birds, which have feathers that "shine like fires at night". Medieval bestiaries named these birds the Ercinee. The impenetrable nature of the Hercynian Silva hindered the last concerted Roman foray into the forest, by Drusus, in 12-9 BCE: Florus asserts that Drusus invisum atque inaccessum in id tempus Hercynium saltum[16] patefecit. [17]

The isolated modern remnants of the Hercynian Forest identify its flora as a mixed one; Oscar Drude[18] identified its Baltic elements associated with North Alpine flora, and North Atlantic species with circumpolar representatives. Similarly, Edward Gibbon noted the presence of reindeer— pseudo-Caesar's bos cervi figura— and elk— pseudo-Caesar's alces— in the forest.[19] The wild bull which the Romans called the urus was present also, and the European bison and the now-extinct aurochs, Bos primigenius. [20]

In the Roman sources, the Hercynian Forest was clearly part of ancient Germania. We do find an indication that this circumstance was fairly recent; that is, Posidonius states that the Boii, who were allegedly Celtic, were once there (as well as in Bohemia).

Arkaim, cea mai misterioasa cetate ridicata de geti

Arkaim, cea mai misterioasă cetate ridicata de geti
Arkaim, cea mai misterioasă aşezare antică, situată în regiunea Celiabinsk, în sudul Uralilor, a fost descoperită în 1987, în timpul lucrărilor de adâncire a văii răului din apropiere, care urma să fie inundată. Autorităţile locale doreau să construiască un rezervor imens de apă, pentru irigarea câmpurilor aride. De atunci, istorici, arheologi şi numeroşi cercetători au încercat să înţeleagă secretele acestei cetăţi circulare, mai ales pe cele legate de naţia care a locuit aici în urmă cu peste 4000 de ani, la vârsta la care a fost datată aşezarea.

Arkaim, la fel de vechi cât Babilonul

Săpăturile au scos la iveală o structură bazată pe cercuri concentrice, cu scop presupus ritualic, că cele care fac parte din cultul Soarelui, descoperit peste tot în lume, de la Sarmizegetusa până în Mexic. La prima datare, oraşul Arkaim s-a dovedit a fi de-o vârstă cu Egiptul şi Babilonul.

S-a avansat ipoteza că populaţia care a întemeiat Arkaimul aparţinea celei mai vechi civilizaţii, numită indo-europeană, deşi, dacă luăm în calcul ordinul de vechime, ar trebui redefinită ca europeano-indiană. Vadim Cernobrovi, un arheolog rus, este de părere că cei care au întemeiat acest oraş antic pe valea Arkaim ar fi arieni. Tipic pentru cultura ariană, căci şi în Arkaim se află un templu solar şi un observator astronomic de “tip Stonehenge”, dar de dimensiunile celor din Munţii Orăştiei de pe teritoriul geto-dacilor.

Vadim Cernobrovi este copleşit de înfăţişarea cetăţii solare: “Un zbor deasupra Arkaimului cu elicopterul îţi lasă o impresie incredibilă. Uriaşele cercuri concentrice din vale sunt perfect vizibile. Oraşul şi împrejurimile sunt înscrise în aceste cercuri. Încă nu ştim importanţa lor, dacă erau făcute în scop defensiv, ştiinţific, educaţional sau pur şi simplu ţineau de vreun ritual”.

O cetate abandonată

Cetatea a fost construită pe un deal, un loc virgin, fără să fi existat altă aşezare înainte, după un model care, după părerea cercetătorilor ruşi, imita secţiunea unui trunchi de copac, dar în planuri în trepte, fiecare cerc coborând o treaptă faţă de cel precedent.

Întregul ansamblu reprezintă un complex complicat, având probabil rost civil, citadin, dar şi funcţie religioasă, fiind orientat după poziţia unor constelaţii. Cetatea circulară conţine 60 de clădiri, 25 în cercul interior şi 35 în afara acestuia. Fiecare casă asigura tot confortul, cu spaţii structurate în jurul unei vetre deschise, din care cauza acoperişul era boltit, cu orificiul de evacuare a fumului protejat, ca să nu pătrundă ploaia sau ninsoarea. Fiecare casă avea o anexă, o cămară pentru păstrarea alimentelor. Apa era adusă printr-un sistem de conducte subterane, foarte ingenios şi util. Unele treceau prin apropierea vetrei, unde aveau şi rolul de a regla tirajul focului, folosit, în opinia cercetătorilor, şi la confecţionarea unor bunuri de uz comun, din cupru şi bronz. Un alt sistem de conducte trecea pe sub cămări, apă rece curgătoare având rol de răcire a încăperii.

Cetate protejată printr-un sistem anti-furtună

Piaţa centrală din Arkaim, de formă neregulată, avea pe margini, din loc în loc, altare ritualice pentru foc. Cercetătorii au observat că oraşul era echipat cu un sistem antifurtună, care îl proteja împotriva ploilor torenţiale, apa scurgându-se, prin canale, în vale. Casele erau protejate împotriva incendiilor, materialele de construcţie fiind impregnate cu o substanţă ignifugă. Cu atât mai curios este modul în care locuitorii au părăsit oraşul, incendiindu-l intenţionat, după ce şi-au strâns strictul necesar, fără să fi fost ameninţaţi. Cercetătorii au ajuns la această concluzie pentru că nu există rămăşiţe umane şi nici indicii că ar fi avut loc vreo luptă în împrejurimi. Un mod similar de părăsire a cetăţilor l-au practicat şi mayaşii.

Arkaim2În zonă apar fulgere globulare, iar oamenii sunt cuprinşi de atacuri de panică

Specialiştii de la staţiile de monitorizare a anomaliilor din Urali au semnalat o serie de fenomene curioase, care se manifestă în aria oraşului-cetate: fluctuaţii ale parametrilor magnetici şi de temperatură, care se măreşte sau scade cu 5 grade Celsius spontan, fără să fie un efect al schimbării atmosferice, precum şi fulgere globulare. Şi turiştii care se perindă prin Arkaim se plâng anual de stări nefireşti, sunt cuprinşi inexplicabil de panică, cu creşterea tensiunii şi accelerarea bătăilor inimii, dar şi de o stare de febră, toate dispărând brusc, aşa cum apar. Mulţi copaci din zona prezintă malformaţii şi trunchiuri torsionate, semne că există focare geopatogene, ceea ce ar putea explica de ce oamenii şi animalele nu se simt bine dacă stau prea mult în zonă. În plus, geologii au constatat că există şi fracturi de plăci tectonice în valea Arkaimului, munţii din jur fiind activi seismic, o altă sursă a anomaliilor fizice. Stările nefireşti semnalate de oameni pot fi provocate şi de canalele subterane de apă, concentrări de resurse minerale sau terenuri mlăştinoase, toate acestea fiind descoperite nu departe de cetatea de la Arkaim.

Geţii din actualul teritoriu al României, constructorii cetăţii

Istoricul Jean Deshayes, autorul lucrării “Civilizaţiile vechiului Orient”, atribuie genul acesta de construcţie circulară, total atipic pentru regiune, masageţilor, geţi care au emigrat în masă, în mai multe etape, ajungând până la Munţii Urali, în China şi Tibet, păstrând de-a lungul timpului religia şi simbolistica solară. Deshayes remarcă “organizarea de stup” a cetăţilor circulare, care a influenţat ulterior arta funerară a vechiului Orient.

Relieful concentric al ţării noastre, model pentru cetate

Până să mergem mai departe cu masageţii, acest popor uitat de istoria ţării de provenienţă, România, e bine de amintit o particularitate a geografiei ţării noastre: are un relief concentric, care coboară în trepte, de la Munţii Carpaţi la Subcarpaţi, la dealuri şi podişuri, apoi la câmpii. Un model circular sacru, am putea spune, pentru triburile plecate în bejenie. În ce priveşte cetatea solară Arkaim (în limba română arhaică “im” înseamnă noroi, mal), probabil că “arcă” fusese doar un popas spre destinaţia finală, de aceea au şi părăsit-o, aparent fără motiv.

Cert este că în ruinele cetăţii au fost descoperite săbii scurte cu lame curbate, ceramică ornamentată cu zig-zaguri, spirale şi cruci cu raze, aceleaşi simboluri fiind prezente şi pe cămăşile din pânză topită purtate de localnicii văii Arkaim. Toate acestea duc cu gândul la folclorul geto-dac, deşi vechimea cetăţii Arkaim este mult mai mare. În schimb, urmele arheologice descoperite în Ucraina sunt extrem de asemănătoare cu cele descoperite în România, pe malurile Dunării şi ale Prutului, şi datând din urmă cu 4-5 milenii.

Mesageţii, adoratorii Soarelui

Istoricul Burchard Brentjes, autorul vastei lucrări “Civilizaţia veche a Iranului”, îi descrie în termeni elogioşi pe aceşti masageti, “aşezaţi pe fluviul Sar Daria şi mai la est, principalii duşmani ai lui Cirus”. După cum scria şi istoricul grec Hekataios, care trăia la curtea regelui Cirus, “ei cinstesc ca zeu numai Soarele şi animalul închinat lui, calul, sunt războinici de temut, pedeştri şi călare, sunt echipaţi cu platoşe, iar armele lor sunt spade, securi de luptă, de aramă. Harnaşamentele cailor le sunt împodobite cu aur, iar ei poartă în bătălii centuri şi fruntare de aur”.

Regina mesageţilor îi înmoaie capul duşmanului său într-un burduf plin de sânge

Una dintre cetăţile masagetilor a fost descoperită de arheologul sovietic S.P. Tolstov, în 1940, la Sar – Daria. Era tot o cetate circulară, în vârf de deal, înconjurată de un zid dublu de apărare, umplut cu pământ, ca murul dacic. Nu departe de această cetate s-au înfruntat oştile lui Cirus, în 530 î.Hr., cu cele masagete, conduse de regina Tomiris. Herodot ne spune că “cea mai mare parte a oştii lui Cirus a fost nimicită, iar Cirus însuşi şi-a găsit acolo sfârşitul. Tomiris a umplut un burduf cu sânge de om, a pus să fie căutat leşul lui Cirus printre mormanele de perşi morţi şi când l-a găsit i-a înmuiat capul în burduf, ocărând mortul: “Ţi-am promis atunci când mi-ai ucis fiul prin înşelăciune că o să te înving şi o să te satur de sânge!”"

Enigma amazoanelor de pe monumentul circular de la Adamclisi

Urmaşul lui Cirus, Darius, a pătruns în 517 î.Hr. cu oştile în ţinutul masageţilor, Horezm, care a trebuit să se supună, “în afară de triburile conduse de Tomiris”, conform cronicilor. Darius a fost oprit din războaiele de cucerire dincoace de Dunăre, “unde numai podul construit de perşi (peste Dunăre) îl salva pe rege şi armata lui să împărtăşească soarta lui Cirus, fugăriţi de ostile geţilor”. Un alt mare comandant al antichităţii, Alexandru cel Mare, a poftit să-i cucerească pe masageţi, dar a dat greş. Horezmul a rămas în afară cuceririlor lui, totuşi, unul dintre prinţii locali, Faramane, a vrut să încheie cu Alexandru o alianţă împotriva sciţilor de la Marea Neagră.

Conform istoricului expediţiilor lui Alexandru, Arian, Faramane venise cu 1550 de călăreţi şi-i promitea că, dacă Alexandru va accepta alianţă, va aduce şi pe vecinii lui, colchii şi amazoanele! Conform lui Brentjes, alianţa lui Faramane a reuşit să-i alunge pe sciţii din Ucraina şi de mai departe. Poate că această mare bătălie este consemnată pe monumentul circular de la Adamclisi, unde apar şi amazoane prinse în luptă (mulţi istorici susţin că monumentul este mult mai vechi decât pătrunderea lui Traian în Dacia). Faramane a înfiinţat statul “Amu Daria”.

“Cetatea berbecului viril” a dahilor

Istoricul Burchard Brentjes scrie despre un trib al dahilor (“dahii şi dachii tot unii sunt”, ne spune Miron Costin în “Letopiseţul Ţării Moldovei”) care se aşezase la nord de lacul Aral şi care tăbărî, la 250 î.Hr., sub conducerea lui Arsache şi a lui Tiridates, în nord-estul Iranului. Cetatea lor circulară, care pare a fi construită după planul Arkaimului, se numea “Koi – Kirlan”, tradusă în mod ciudat de către istoricii uzbeci drept “Cetatea Berbecului mort”!!, deşi conform limbii române actuale, sensul ar fi mai degrabă “berbecul viu”. Fără supărare, “coi” e cuvânt străvechi, cu conotaţii de virilitate!

Urmaşii dahilor lui Arsache au întemeiat dinastia Frates şi au avut mai mulţi conducători cu numele de Mitreadates. Iar Surenas (originar probabil din munţii cu acelaşi nume, Şureanu, unde a înflorit cultul solar din timpuri străvechi), strălucită căpetenie a oştilor regelui part Orodes al II-lea, a învins şapte legiuni de romani, conduse de legendarul Crassus, în anul 60 î.Hr. După modelul răzbunării reginei masageţilor, Tomiris, lui Crassus i s-a tăiat capul şi i s-a turnat pe gură aur topit, “ca să-l sature de setea de aur care l-a mânat la război”.

Zvastici solare şi la Staraia Riazan

În urmă cu câţiva ani, arheologul Ilia Ahmedov a descoperit în Rusia, lângă Staraia Riazan, o cetate având o construcţie considerată de “tip Stonehenge”, numai că avea dimesiuni mai mici şi era din lemn, ca cea de la Sarmizegetusa, din Munţii Şureanu. Sanctuarul circular este situat pe culmea cea mai înaltă, la joncţiunea râurilor Oka şi Pronia, o arie bogată arheologic, începând cu paleoliticul. Echipa de arheologi a constatat că sanctuarul are 7 metri în diametru şi este format din coloane din lemn de jumătate de metru grosime, situate la distanţe egale una de alta. În centru se afla o altă construcţie, rectangulară, şi un pilon. Alte două găuri de piloni au fost descoperite în partea de est şi de sud a sanctuarului.

Pilonii cercului formează o poartă prin care se vede cum apune soarele vara. Pilonul din afara cercului punctează răsăritul. Bucăţi de ceramică cu simboluri identice cu cele de la Sarmizegetusa, în zig-zag, asemeni unor raze solare, şi altele şerpuite ca valurile unei ape, au fost descoperite lângă sanctuar. Vasele proveneau din epoca bronzului şi aveau un scop ritualic. În preajma sanctuarului nu a fost descoperită nicio aşezare. Nici nu era bine pentru sănătatea omului să existe o aşezare la confluenţa a două râuri, iar preoţii din vechime ştiau acest lucru.

Arkaim3Originile getice ale cetăţii Arkaim

Din moment ce numai masageţii şi dacii lui Arsache ridicau cetăţi circulare prin stepele Asiei, putem presupune că “arienii” care au construit Arkaim erau strămoşii lor. Gordon Childe, profesor la Universitatea din Oxford, publică, în anul 1993, la Barnes & Noble Books, New York, “The History of Civilization”. El situa leagănul arienilor, în timpul primei lor apariţii, în spaţiul carpato-dunarean. Astfel de construcţii circulare, “aparate ale lui Uriel”, cu rol astronomic, astrologic şi agronomic, sunt caracteristice primei civilizaţii.

Reamintim că în “Cartea aştrilor cereşti”, Enoh, patriarhul antediluvian, este învăţat de îngerul Uriel cum să construiască un “aparat ceresc”, pe care să-l lase pământenilor. Reconstruit după instrucţiunile lui Uriel, de către cercetătorii britanici Christopher Knight şi Robert Lomas, acesta a ieşit exact de forma şi dimensiunea sanctuarului rotund de la Sarmizegetusa. Şi atunci, nici nu ne mai miră de ce, oriunde se găsesc astfel de sanctuare, în jur sunt denumiri străvechi ce amintesc de uriaşul Uriel: Urali la ruşi, Uroiul, la noi, cu mituri despre uriaşi. Ca o regulă, toate aceste “aparate” sunt bazate pe anumite zile, solstiţiile de vară şi iarnă, când razele soarelui cad pe o anumită parte a sanctuarului. Toate au o cale procesională pavată cu plăci de granit care duce la un templu, din care soarele poate fi văzut, prin ferestre şi portaluri, în toate ipostazele sale. Acelaşi model sacru îl aveau şi preoţii daci, care construiau “aparatul solar” din lemn şi granit. Arkaim nu este decât o altă cetate-sanctuar închinată Soarelui, de slujitorii lor străvechi: arienii din bazinul carpato-dunarean.





Scitii, Partii Arsacizii Erau Daci (Getai)?

Scitii, partii, arsacizii si tadjicii erau daci…

RAMANIA-final Printre marile popoare tracice, cu ramificatii si dincolo de Muntii Urali, se numara si Masagetii, obiect de studiu al multor cercetatori orientalisti.

Una din operele de baza in acest domeniu este lucrarea marelui istoric german Heinrich Iulius/Henry Jules Klaproth, intitulata „Tableux historiques de l’Asie, depuis la monarchie de Cyrus jusqu’a nos jours, accompagnes de recherches et ethnograpiquies sur cette partie du monde; avec un atlas in-folio”, Paris, Londres, Stuttgart, 1826, analizata de Ana-Maria Coman in „Anale de istorie” nr 1 si 2 din 1984.

Interpret al ambasadei ruse din China, incepand cu anul 1805 si apoi profesor de limbi asiatice, numit in aceasta functie de regele Prusiei, in anul 1865, functie pe care o va detine pana la moartea sa, H.J. Klaproth are marele merit de a fi studiat in direct cronici persane, grecesti, chinezesti si de a fi cercetat la fata locului oamenii, in paralel cu obiceiurile, traditiile, tipul somatic si limba lor, pe parcursul unor lungi calatorii efectuate in Caucaz, Bukhara, Tadjigistan, Siberia etc. In final el a reusit sa realizeze un amplu studiu, care cuprinde istoria Asiei, incepand cu domnis lui Darius si terminand cu anul 1825. In paralel cu istoria, el a tratat si probleme de etnologie, antropologie si lingvistica.

Concluziile sale privind istoria popoarelor din imensul spatiu locuit de masageti si popoarele inrudite cu acestia au fost confirmate, in chiar timpul vietii lui, de catre un alt mare cercetator, francezul Saint-Martin, care a efectuat studii inedite asupra originii si istoriei Arsacizilor, rezultatele comunicandu-le la „Academie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres” din Paris. Iata si concluziile acestuia:

  1. „Numele de Tadjik, dat  azi de turci si tatari persoanelor care vorbesc persana in Persia, Afganistan, Tokharistan si Transoxiana este chiar al vechilor Dahoe, raspanditi odinioara de la Dunare pana la Bactriana si in multe alte regiuni”.
  2. Ca Partii si Arsacizii apartineau acestei ramuri de natiuni scitice, ca numele de Dahi si Tdjic sau Dadjik era denumirea lor nationala si ca ei au transmis-o supusilor lor persani”.
  3. „Ca aceasta numire, respinsa de Sasanizi si persanii aliberati de sub jugul partilor, n-a avut de atunci in Persia alt sens decat acela de Barbari”.

Se constata astfel, in mod pregnant, ca doi distinsi cercetatori, actionand independent unul fata de celalalt, au ajuns la aceleasi concluzii privind originea comuna a popoarelor ce locuiau in antichitate intinsul spatiu cuprins intre Dunare si China.

Evenimentele istorice evidentiate de Klaproth par, la prima vedere, surprinzatoare. Pentru a confirma veridicitatea lor, le vom completa si cu alte izvoare, din cele mai vechi timpuri si pana astazi.

Massagetii i-au dat pamant lui Cyrus…

Primele atestari ale existentei masagetilor le gasim la Herodot (Istorii. I 213), care a trait intre anii 484 si 425 i.e.n. Elk aminteste numele lui Spargapises, principe al masagetilor. Tot Herodot (Istorii, IV, 1)  ne mai spune: „Mai exista si o alta traditie, careia eu ii dau, de cand mi s-a aratat, intaietate. Iat-o: Scitii ratacitori ce locuiesc in Asia, fiind batuti in Razboi de Masageti, ar fi plecat de acolo, trecand raul Araxe in tara Cimerienilor… Dincolo de Budini, spre nord, se gaseste mai intai o pustietate de sapte zile de drum, iar dupa aceasta pustietate, daca se lasa calatorul spre rasarit, locuiesc Tysagetii, popor numeros si deosebit”.

Autorul traducerii, Gheorghe Popa-Lisseanu, precizeaza: Masagetii din Asia, Thysagetii si Thyragetii din Europe sunt, desigur, unul si acelasi popor al Getilor, numit deosebit dupa regiunile in care traiau. Ei sunt Sciti, cum banuieste Herodot, si nu au de a face cu Ostrogotii si Vizigotii din neamul gotilor Germani”.

Tot Herodot ne da unele detalii privind tinuturile locuite de masageti: „Asadar, Caucazul formeaza barierea partilor dinspre apusul Marii Caspie, iar pe urma spre vest si inspre rasaritul soarelui vine o campie de o intindere imensa, care se pierde in departare; din aceasta campie mare, nu cea mai mica parte o ocupau, in comun cu altii, Masagetii, in contra carorar avea Cirus pofta sa porneasca cu armata”.

Descriindu-i, Herodot ne spune ca Masagetii poarta un costum analog cu cel scitic si au aceleasi moravuri (ca si scitii). Ei sunt si calareti si pedestri,- caci au in comun si de unii si de altii,- sunt si arcasi, si sulitasi, dar obicinuiesc mai mult barda de rezbel”.

In lupta dusa de persi impotriva masagetilor, atacantii au ucis pe Spargapises, fiul reginei Tomis, drept pentru care aceasta s-a razbunat, distrugand cea mai mare parte a armatei persane. In crancena batalie care a urmat, insusi Cirus a pierit. Aceasta dovedeste ca masagetii erau un popor numeros si bine organizat, un popor razboinic capabil sa invinga si sa distruga chiar o armata condusa de vestitul imparat persan, Cirus.

Va urma

(Ramania Paradisul Regasit, Paul Lazar Tonciulescu. editura Obiectiv Craiova, Ed. Eugen Delcea)

Gaetuli in Africa





The Gaetuli was the Romanised name of a Berber tribal group inhabiting present-day southern Algeria. It is mostly desert. Parts of the Atlas Mountains occupy its northwestern tip. The Zenata are considered Gaetulian.[1]

File:East-Hem 300ad.jpg


Eastern Hemisphere in 300 AD, showing Gaetulia and neighboring regions.

[edit] Region

This was the name given to an ancient district in North Africa, which in the usage of Roman writers comprised the nomadic tribes of the southern slopes of Mount Aures and the Atlas, as far as the Atlantic, and the oases in the northern part of the Sahara. They were always distinguished from the black (Subsaharan) Africans to the south, and beyond doubt belonged to the same Berber race which formed the basis of the population of Numidia. The tribes to be found there at the present day are probably of the same race, and retain the same nomadic habits; and it is possible that they still bear in certain places the name of their Gaetulian ancestors (see Vivien-St.-Martin, Le Nerd de l'Afrique, 1863). A few only seem to have mingled with the Blacks of the Sahara, if we may thus interpret Ptolemy's allusion to Melano-Gaetuli (~. 6. 5.). They were noted for the rearing of horses, and according to Strabo had 100,000 foals in a single year. They were clad in skins, lived on meat and milk, and the only manufacture connected with their name is that of the purple dye which became famous from the time of Augustus onwards, and was made from the purple shell fish Murex brandaris found on the coast, apparently both in the Syrtes and on the Atlantic.

[edit] History

We first hear of this people in the Jugurthine War (111-106 B.C.), when, as Sallust tells us, they did not even know the name of Rome. They took part with Jugurtha against Rome; but when we next hear of them they are in alliance with Caesar against Juba I (Bell. Afr. 32). In 25 B.C. Augustus seems to have given a part of Gaetulia to Juba II, together with his kingdom of Mauretania, doubtless with the object of controlling the turbulent tribes; but the Gaetulians rose and massacred the Roman residents, and it was not till a severe defeat had been inflicted on them by Cornelius Lentulus (who thus acquired the surname Gaetulicus) in 6 A.D. that they submitted to the king. After Mauritania became a Roman province in 40 A.D., the Roman governors made frequent expeditions into the Gaetulian territory to the south, and the official view seems to be expressed by Pliny (v. 4. 30) when he says that all Gaetulia as far as the Niger River and the Ethiopian frontier was reckoned as subject to the Empire. How far this represents the fact is not clear; but inscriptions prove that Gaetulians served in the auxiliary troops of the empire, and it may be assumed that the country passed within the sphere of Roman influence, though hardly within the pale of Roman civilization.

[edit] References

  1. ^ Recueil des notices et mémoires de la Société archéologique de la province, Société archéologique


Zenata people

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for the article about the commune see Zenata, Algeria

Zenati were an ethnic group of North Africa , who were technically an Eastern Berber group and who are found in Tunisia , Algeria and Rif mountains.

According to the French historians Emile Felix Gautier and Gabriel Camps, Zenata tribes entered in Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia from the east of Northern Africa in pre-Islamic times and grouped themselves with the tribes of Maghrawa, Miknasa, and Banu Ifran, etc....

According to Ibn Khaldoun, an Arabic historian of the 14th century, there were Zenata tribes dispatched in all North Africa (current Morocco, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria), and some of them may have also lived in modern Egypt as well.

According to Ibn Khaldoun, the Zenata are one of the main divisions of the medieval Berbers, along with Senhaja and Masmuda etc...He added that these tribes, traditionally nomads, were concentrated in Middle Maghreb (part of the current Algeria); it's why he called " Middle Maghreb " home of Zenata.

The hypothesis of Ibn Khaldoun about the origin of this Berber group or ethnicity is not widely accepted by the modern historians like Emile Felix Gautier or Gabriel Camps.

About the origin of this Berber group the Arabic historian Ibn Hazm have supposed an origin from Yemen, but the hypothesis is shown by some historians like a political hypothesis.

Zenata would come from Gaetulia (Berber people group from North Africa) [1] [2]

According to some hypothesis, yet to prove, some of berber tribes called Garamantes would be also probably Zenata [3]

According to the very discussed hoypthesis of Ibn Khaldoun, Madghacen was the Patriarch of Zenata.[4]

The oldest mausoleum (between -12 at -3 B.C) in current Algeria is Madghacen mausoleum,(Madghis town near Batna). Madghacen was probably a zenata king of Numidia [5] [6]




Their varieties of Berber, collectively termed Zenati, are spread over a wide area; for this reason, several languages are termed "Zenati" or in some cases are spoken by people who call themselves Zenata.

Among these are Beni Snassen (or Ait Iznassen in Tamazight), a tribe that lives in Northern Morocco and Algeria, mostly in the mountains near Berkane called the Beni Snassen mountains; Sened (now extinct), and some Saharan oasis languages.

The Zenata are also recalled in several placenames across the Maghreb, notably Oued Zenati in Algeria. Also a GM


The Egyptians named the Berbers closest to them Libu,and those right behind them in the area where later the Zenati came from, the Meshwesh.

In the 8th century most Berber and Zenata were Kharijites and took part in the Maysara revolt against Umayyad rule. The last Kharijite rebellion was in the 10th century under Abu Yazid, and was defeated by the Fatimids.

During the 10th century some Zenata from Ifriqiya were predominantly allied with the Caliphate of Cordoba, which fought for control of a aprt of current Morocco with the Fatimids. In the process the Zenata were pushed out of Morocco by the Sanhaja tribe, allies of the Fatimids.

In the 13th century the Zenata regained political importance with the Abdalwadids (Zayyanids of Tlemcen) in western Algeria.

In the 15th century, in Morocco, the Marinids and the Wattasids ruled the country.

See also


  1. ^ Recueil des notices et mémoires de la Société archéologique de la province ... De Société archéologique
  2. ^
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ Ibn khaldun, History of berbers
  5. ^ The past of Africa's dark centuries Nordles Emile De Felix Gautier
  6. ^

External links

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Zenata".



Probably a salient fact of what has been defined as the Aqualithic by John Sutton is just how wet what is now the arid Sahara once was. The earliest signs of humankind seem shown when the Wikipedia (online) on "Prehistoric Central North Africa" tells us tools of the east African variety named by the Olduvai Gorge (Tanzania) were found at Ain el-Hanech in the Sahara. These Olduwan tools are given a guesstimated age of 2/1.5 million years ago. Early hominids occupied the Aterian (named after the site at Bir el-Ater) about c.200, 000 years ago. Between 50,000 and 30,000 B.C., a culture called the Aterian (after Bir el-Ater) is known across the region.

There is another connection with east Africa, namely the Eburran (= the Kenyan Capsian). It has been compared with the Saharan Capsian (named after el-Cafsi/Capsi, Tunisia) mainly on the basis of blade-like implements. Others dismiss any linkage between the Kenyan Capsian (11,000-9000 B.C.) and the Saharan Capsian (10,000-4000)

This probably means that the Saharan Capsian is more or less coeval with most of John Sutton (Journal of African History = JAH 1974.; Antiquity 1977) was just seen to define as the African Aqualithic (15,000-5000/4000 B. C.).

The concept has been questioned by some but the one-time large bodies of water lying behind it have been proven by aerial and satellite photographs of wadis (= now-dry riverbeds) of vast size. There are also Greek accounts plus Berber legends about Lake Tritonis (probably the much-reduced Shotts of south Tunisia) and Lake Chad as the very much larger Lake Mega-Chad.

As the early rock-art shows both buffaloes plus wild cattle, it is possible their hides were used for skin-boats but on very large bodies of water (esp. the sea) they give problems. The bowl-like coracle tends to spin and even early forms of the more boat-like currach "goes where God wills". The last is also seen in Gesta Caroli Magna (= GCM = History of Charlemagne) by (?) Notker Balbulus (9th c. German) writing Albinus plus Clement bringing Greco/Latin culture back to Post-Roman Gaul not yet become France. James Hornell (Mariner’s Mirror 1937/8) refers to the coracle-skills, as opposed to the lesser ones needed by users of currachs.

Also roughly coinciding with the early rock-art is the dugout-canoe found at Dufuna (Nigeria) found in one corner of the former Lake Mega-Chad. It was radiocarbon-14-dated (= C14-dated) to between 6000-5000 B. C. (= 5520 +/- 100; 5314 +/- 50). However, if skin-boats were ever a part of the tradition of the region, they soon were not and in this same way, it is probable that the dugout-canoe was never a major tradition of this variously called Saharan/Magrebi region.

The most important one is the reed-boat and it is certainly the form that predominates in the early pictures on the rocks of what was gradually turned from the very wet Aqualithic to the super-arid Sahara. This is alongside such as beds of reeds, men fishing from the boats built from the reeds plus pictures hippopotami, crocodiles, etc

Attempts have been made at giving this Saharan rock-art some precise dates based on perceived dominant motifs. Thus Bubaline (based on buffalo/wild cattle), Bovidian (based on domest. cattle) plus Equidian (based on horsed chariots). This is uncertain and so too is that of R.L. Smith (What Happened to the Ancient Libyans: Chasing Sources across the Sahara from Herodotus to Ibn Khaldun in Journal of World History 2003 & online). The Smith scheme runs Bovidian/Tebbu, eastern Equidian/Garamantes/Tuaregs plus western Bovidian/Gaituli/Mauri (= Moors).

Some substance for the tentative scheme of Smith (ib.) is provided by the mapping of Equidian/chariot-trails mapped by messrs. Oliver and Fage (A Short History of Africa 1962). This shows they do divide into two separate eastern plus western routes. A chariot-motif showing the "flying-gallop" could be of c. 1700-1500 B.C. on external comparisons or c.1000-500 on the Garamantian association.

The eastern trails probably connect with traders near Tripoli (Libya) but more certainly with Garama (= Djerma & the Garamantian capital) for one fork and Ghadames for another before merging into one trail that came close to the River Niger. The western one also bifurcates with one trail leading from very near the Atlas foothills and the Wadi Draa/Dra and when both join, they again come to the Niger but further west. The ends of both sets of trails are about equidistant from Timbuctoo (Mali).

A number of defence-systems start before the rise of the Sea-Peoples but whose great increase seemingly coincides with the raids of the Sea-Peoples and/or their allies west of the Sea-Peoples. They include nuraghi (Sardinia), torri (Corsica), ksour (west Magreb), etc. The west African culture building the ksour (plural of kour) is the Dar Tichitt. It seems unlikely the resources for building ksour (= stone-walled villages) on a large scale were just local and it may be appropriate to observe the comment(s) that the distribution of Tichitt-Culture remains closely resemble those of an empire (see below).

It should also be noted that following the repulse of the attempted conquest of Egypt, the Libyan interest seemingly turned west. It was shown that Brass (The similarities & differences between the rise of complex societies in West & East Africa) attached this Libyco/Berber interest in the west to this horizon. It should also be borne in mind that something attracted the unwanted Libyco/Berber attention and with this we may be back with whatever provided the resources for the ksour-building.

The suggested answer was trade-routes that along with caravanserai are only rarely proven archaeologically (esp. early phases) and are known almost entirely from writings. Thus al-Masudi (9th c.) wrote of "Nubians going left (= east) & Kushites right (= west)" and other Arabs reported west African priests from Gao (Mali), Timbuctoo (Mali) served in Pharoahonic Egypt. Herodotus (5th c. B.C. Greek) wrote of Nasamones (of Tunisia/east Libya) crossing the Sahara and Athanasius (3rd /4th cs. A. D. Greek) says Mago of Carthage did so many times. Marinus of Tyre (via Pliny) tells of Septimius Flaccus plus Julius Maternus very late B.C./very early A.D. Pliny (1st c. A.D. Roman) noted the Roman advance across the desert under Cornelius Balbus.

The Nasamones and the Garamantes may be further linked by having Garama as their mutual ancestor-god. They are discussed by such as messrs. Meek (JAH 1960) and Parker (Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute = JRAI 1923) and usually placed amongst the Berbers. Meek (ib.) thought Nasamones translated as "Negroes of Ammon" and also that Ammon/Amon/Amun was a common African part-name.

Messrs. Lhote (in Meek ib.) and Parker (ib.) noted names of the Plinian list, thus Dasibari, Barracum, Balsacum, Alasi, Galla, Tapsacum, etc. Lhote (ib.) felt Songhai Da Isa Bari (= River of the Great God = the River Niger) was Latinised as Dasibar. Parker (ib.) felt Mande Barakunda (= Boat-town) was Lat. Barracum; Mande Lasikunda (= Closed village) as Lat. Alasi; Mande Balsakunda (= Goat-town) as Lat. Balsa; Mande Gala (= Market/Assembly-place) as Lat. Galla: Mande Tabusakunda (= Market under the Tabu [= Fig] Tree) as Lat. Tapsacum.

Parker (ib.) further held that words from the vast west African linguistic family called Mande could render Garamantian in the list made up by Pliny is proof positive that the two were closely linked. The more so as Wa nGara/Wangara (= Children of Garama) is regarded as an obsolete Soudanic (not Sudanic/Sudanese) term for the [Gara]mande/Garamante.

Eastern chariot-trails were seen to coincide with the territories of the Nasamones plus Garamantes. Especially given that the eastern trails appear to begin in the Phazania/Fezzan homeland of the Garamantes, that one fork of these eastern trails clearly starts close to Garama/Jerma (the Garamantian capital); that at Wadi Zarza (Phazania/Fezzan, Libya) is of the quadriga type that Herodotus was seen to directly associate with the Garamantes. It has long been suggested the trails denote trade-routes and further tying this to the Garamantes seems proven by Robin Law (JAH 1967) with an article entitled as "The Garamantes & Trans-Saharan Enterprise in Classical Times". Emphasising this further is that Mande words rendering Garamantian ones so often mean market plus Mohammed Yakin (Almanac of African Peoples & Nations 1999) adding to Wangara as an obsolete term for the Mande by saying that Wangara also meant trader.

Pausanias (2nd c. A.D. Greek) linked these tribes to those described as Atrantes and Atlantes. Smith (ib.), Michael Skupin (The Carthaginian Columbus online), etc, are amongst those wondering why Herodotus separated the Atalantes/Atlantes and the Atarantes/Atrantes. This would indicate that they were not so separate and the Greek atlao (= endurance//bearing/suffering) occurs as part of such as Atlas, Atlantis, etc. In line with this will be that the Atlantes/Atrantes also greatly suffered.

The suffering of the Atlantes/Atrantes was because the desert sun burned their skins plus faces to relate closely to the Greek term of Aithiopes which also occurs as part Leukaithiopes referred to by Ptolemy (2nd c. A.D. Egypto/Greek). Smith (ib.) cites Ptolemy further describing the Melanogetuli and ibn Hawkal (10th c. Arab) the Banu Tanamak plus Sanhaja.

The burnt faces take us directly to the Greek term of Aithiopes (= Burnt-faces) as the most common of the many Greek term for Africans. Leukaithiopes simply translates as White/Lighter-skinned Africans. Gaituli/Getuli means "From the South" according to Smith (ib.) and Clyde Winters (Atlantis in Africa 2006) points to a parallel in the Old-Egyptian terms of nsw/n y swt as meaning the same. Even today, "From the South" in Africa tends to mean what such Afrocentric writers as Winters (ib.), Ivan Van Sertima (They Came before Columbus 1976), etc.

If the term of Leukaithiopes truly carries in it the recognition that some Africans are lighter-skinned than others and from what was said in the previous paragraph, it will be obvious that Melanogetuli merely recognises the reverse of this. The "Negroes of Ammon"/Nasamones and Mande/Mante/Garamante linkages probably belong with discussions about skin-tones. So too does the mix of Blacks plus Berbers seen to have recorded by ibn Hawkal when referring to the Sanhaja of the Sahara as consisting of 22 clans of Banu Tanamak (= Black) plus 19 of Sanhaja (= Tuareg).

In "West Africa & the Sea in Antiquity" (on, it was shown that several groups originating in Anatolia (= Asia Minor = most of modern Turkey) were rather more sea-minded than generally supposed. When it is realised included the Proto-Phoenicians, Carians, etc, this will be no great surprise. Livio Stecchini (online re. Hanno) wanted those noted sailors and friends of the Phoenicians called Carians to recognised in the name of Teichon Karikon (= ? Fort of the Carians) but which more generally is accepted as a Phoenician colony. However, Winters (ib.) shows Carian/Garian was also applied to the Garamantes itself a Greek form of the original west African term (see above) and the Garamantes were a lot closer to Teichon Karikon than any Anatolian group. Moreover, the trans-desert links anciently recognised between the Nasamones/Garamantes on the one hand and the Atlantes/Atrantes is further underlined by the hints made by Law (ib.) about the relationship of the Garamantes and the Gaituli.

Law felt that many of the towns that Pliny says were taken by the Romans from the Garamantes were in fact Gaitulian, so presumably denotes yet another instance of trans-desert relationships being closer than we suppose. Gaituli was noted as likely meaning Black(s), the more so given were another of the probable tribal confederacies already suggested with the Mauri/Moors as surely leading lights in the Gaitulian confederacy. Underlining this is that Mauri plus Moor(s) are both ancient words also translating as black and are but versions of the same word.

Skupin (ib) is among the many holding that the Phoenician cities along the coast of northwest Africa referred to by Hanno of Carthage were mainly in the nature of resettlement of something pre-existent. This would include the colony of Teichon Karikon that once again, must be taken as indicating the African traders seen under the several guises of Mande/Wangara/Garamantes and that they had a presence in the far northwest. By the northwest is, of course, meant what is known variously as Africa Minor, the Magreb/Maghreb, Soudan (again, not Sudan), northwest Africa, etc, but is otherwise north Africa west of Egypt.

Herodotus is a basic source of information in so many different regions. It is of great interest that much of what he has written was formerly regarded as fairy-tales and dismissed out of hand by historians. Of even greater interest is just how much of what was reported by Herodotus has been confirmed by archaeology. He describes the black "birds" referred to by the Greeks as famous oracles at shrines dedicated to Zeus Ammon at Siwa (Egypt) plus Dodonna (Greece). Herodotus tells us that they are actually humans with what to the Greeks was bird/bat-like speech.

If we need to seek humans with bat/bird-like speech, we need look no further than the Saharan natives chased by Garamantians in the above-noted chariots. This seemingly indicates slaving within the same community that has also been historically attested in very much later times and is hardly confined to parts of Africa. Very much to be borne in mind is that these Saharan natives were Aithiopes, therefore, were Black.

These Aethiopes appear to have had parallels in the far west Magreb in what is said by Hanno says about those of the Atlas Mountains and which inhabitants have already been said have already said to have been black on totally different grounds. Most authorities accept that the Aithiopes with bat/bird-like speech mentioned by Herodotus are the Tibu of today. To this is added the apparent lack of personal names of the Tibu/Tibbu noted by Gustav Nachtigal (19th c. German explorer) that takes us straight back to the same feature recorded by Herodotus of the inhabitants of the Atlas Mountains. In short, blacks are linked at opposite ends of the Magreb.

Herodotus very directly says the Tibesti Aithiopes/Tibu were chased by the Garamantes and Hanno of Carthage seemingly says the same of the Atlas Aithiopes/Atlantes. In the case of the Aithiopes/Tibu naming the Tibesti Mountains (sth.Lib./nth Chad), the chasers were the Garamantes in their 4-horse chariots. This cannot be taken as showing the Aithiopes and the Garamantes were separate. Indeed, if the above plus the opinion that the Garamantes are today’s Tibu hold, they cannot be so.

Moreover, Winters (ib.) cites Latin words labelling Garamantes as black and it should be recalled that words from the west African language called Mande/Manding were seen to render Garamantian ones. It has been shown that traits are to be identified desert-wide and that this was recognised anciently. This takes us from one side of the Magreb to the other and beside this belongs another trans-desert characteristic, navigation

The point about about black humans being taken to be black "birds" becomes relevant when we return to Nasamonian Tunisia. The temple/shrine to Ammon equated with Zeus at Siwa (Egypt) was on Nasamonian territory. According to Diodorus Siculus (1st c. B. C. Greek), Alexander the Great wanted to pray at Siwa but he and his group got lost and had to be found and guided by black "birds" across the desert. Having just noted that in this part of Africa, not only were blacks associated with bat/bird-like speech but were also seen as actual birds. Therefore, it follows that the black "birds" leading Alexander’s party across Saharan sands were Nasamonian Blacks.

It may have been the Greeks were a little shy of clearly saying so but it seems Arabs plainly state that Saharan Africans were capable of great feats of navigation. This comes out when Van Sertima (1976) cites the Toffut al-Alabi (12th or 13th c. Arabic) saying "Negroes led the caravanserai across the Sahara because they knew the ways of the birds & stars".

James Hornell (Antiquity 1949) wrote of "Birds as Early Navigational Aids". He shows that Gomez Zurara (15th c. Portugese) confirms use of birds on these lines in the Sahara in the way that they were on the Atlantic. Proving this at sea is Cosmas Indicopleustes (= C. of the Indian Sea/Ocean) writing about seabirds marking coasts of east Africa. These large seabirds appear to be identical with those that Jean Barbot (17th/18th c. French) says marked the coasts of west Africa.

Whether the Tale of Wenamun (11th c. B.C. Egyptian) and the watching of birds being likened to the sails of ships means the same in Egypt remains moot. Such as The Shipwrecked Sailor (c.2000 B.C. Egyptian) do suggest long sea-trips by Egyptians. Other stories other indicate points of contact that needed controlling by a series of forts leaving few remains but known from The Story of Sinuhe, The Prophecy of Neferti, etc.

Nor are there many remains of the bitter war between Troy and Greece known from the long epic poem called The Trojan War by Homer. A find in an excavation proves that Ophir was a real place but the doings of Solomon and the Phoenicians are mainly Biblical reports. The Phoenicians and/or their descendants are said to have founded 300 cities that could not be located by the sources used by Strabo (1st c. B. C. Greek). Benedict Fitzpatrick (The Foundations of Europe 1927) cites such non-Athenians as Hippias, Proclus, Protagoras, etc, founding the Academy at Athens (as Plato); such Greeks as Critolaus, Carneades, Diogenes, etc, bringing Greek thought to Rome (as Plutarch); such Irishmen as Albinus, Clement, etc, reviving Classical thoughts in Post-Roman Gaul/France as "Empires of the Mind" known only from written texts.

Instances of this kind of thing are far too numerous to even attempt to list here and those that are merely serve to illustrate the fact that all too often, quite sober writers are selective as to what is accepted from ancient times. This means there is no valid reason why "The Shipwrecked Sailor", "The Returned [Malian] Captain", etc, do not also fall into this category.The Shipwrecked Sailor and The Returned Captain are shown in "Abubakri II—Who He?" to have many things in common.

Two salient facts emerge here from "The Returned Captain". One is the ability to sail a considerable distance out to sea and to be able to navigate a return to the home port. The other is the reporting of the "undersea stream" that is frequently identified with the combination of the Canarian plus North Equatorial or "conveyor-belt" Currents that could take unwary crews on unwitting trips to the far side of the Atlantic.

Avoidance of these "conveyor-belt" currents by fishermen at some distance from the nearest west African shores would require something of the skills attributed by Homer (dated to anywhere between the 10th & 8th cs. B.C.) to Atlas. The prototype of Atlas is often seen as a native of the Atlas Mountains given to following the worldwide practice of climbing to high places/mountains for communication with the gods. It may also be relevant that Diodorus attributes astrology/astronomy to Atlas. Plato (5th c./4th c. B. C.) shows Atlas as eldest son/successor of Poseidon (founder of the island-empire of Atlantis). Atlas was also described "as a great magician knowing the depths of the sea".

Atlas seen as a native of the Atlas region probably means he relates to the locals. We recall words from Mande/Mante relate to to those of the Garamantes; Gaituli meant "From the South" (= African) but the keyword here is surely atlao (Greek for bearing, suffering & endurance) and Herodotus was noted as citing that the Atlantes/Atrantes also suffered. The reason for their suffering was seen to be that the sun burnt their skins plus faces and that this closely relates to the Greek term of Aithiopes itself the most frequently used of all the ancient Greek words for African Blacks.

This all adds up to Proto-Atlas being African and his being ruler of a vast empire is also a west African norm. Tichitt Culture sites have been touched on and Natalya Marquand (Megaliths & Stone Circles of Morocco & their relationship to those of Mediterranan & Europe online) says Saharan megaliths also display an empire-like spread. The Tichitt/Proto-Wakar/Wakar (= Old Ghana) sequence takes us to the even larger empires of Mali and Songhai. A hallmark of development is orderly succession of rule from generation to generation. This rarely happens in Pre-15th c. Europe but was normal for the great west African empires and is referred to in what was written by al-Umari about the Malian Empire.

It is worth noting that the great west African empires also had several ethnicities under one ruler with all that this could lead to in terms of instability. Yet they usually went through the worldwide norm of imperial cycles of two/two-&-half centuries without splitting asunder. Procopius (6th c. A.D. Greek) shows Africans adding parts of Iberia to their empire(s) millennia before his day and this too falls into a west African pattern. This is demonstrated by the west African basis of two of the four "Arabic"conquests of Iberia

These later west African empires were certainly Islamic but hardly Arabic. The first was by the al-Murabitun (= Men of God/the Monastery) or Almoravids and the second by the al-Muwwaddi (= Men of the Faith) or Almohades. If an analogy for Proto-Atlas as a mystical ascetic searching for a mountain retreat is needed, this is precisely answered by Abdallah ibn Yasin (founder of the al-Murabitun/Almoravids).

Another sequence was given of western Equidian/Gaituli/Mauri. Of them, Gaituli had an Old-Egyptian parallel and it has been said more than once they translate as "From the South" and that generally this means from Sub-Saharan/Black Africa. Mauri occurs in the names of Mauritania (= ancient Morocco), Mauretania (c. 400 miles to the south & spelt slightly differently), Morocco (via the spelling of Marrakesh), Moors, etc. All derive from words meaning Black and this is emphasised when we find west Magreb/Morocco anciently described as Mauretania (= Land of Blacks). Moreover, the Morocccan troops conquering Medieval Iberia plus those used by Franco to achieve success in the Spanish Civil War were still being called Moros (= Blacks).

In west Africa, the Almoravid Empire stretched from Algeirs (Algeria) to Auogadast (Mauritania) and provides another parallel facet of Atlas. It seems Proto-Atlas was an ascetic mystic seeking a high-place retreat no less than did Abdallah ibn Yasin. Ibn Yasin also retreated to the High Atlas, built a murabit (= hermitage/small monastery) and started to attract followers. From them came the nucleus of the western Islamic reformist movement called the al-Murabitun/Almoravids.

Another west African pattern was/will be seen to be star-based way-finding. That pertaining to Saharan Blacks has been touched on and for west Africa see the references in "West Africa…in Ant". Gerald Hawkins (Stonehenge Decoded 1968) plus Sean McGrail (Boats of the World 2002) have attached the respective ancient mathematics and/or astronomy of the Stonehenge-builders plus the Celtic priests called the Druids to maritime way-finding. Priests from Timbuctoo (Mali) crossed the Sahara to officiate at Pharaohonic cremonies in Egypt according to Arabic writers, Those of Islamic date noted at the Sankore or University at Timbuctoo by Chancellor Williams (Destruction of Black Civilisation 2001) had their considerable abilities harnessed to the ocean-going efforts Abubakri II of Mali according to Ivan Van Sertima (They Came before Columbus 1976).

Mainly internal waterways in Senegambia appear marked by Barakunda (in Senegal)/Barokunda (in Gambia) placenames meaning Boat-town(s). Senegal from sunugal (= place of boats) probably has more to do with the sea. Senegal as Djahi in the Wolof language of mainly Senegal with the meaning of Place of Navigation definitely has, as here there is yet another Egyptian parallel. This is because Old-Egyptian also has Djahi translating as Djahi but this time applied to Phoenicia and with whom there is absolutely no difficulty as to a connection with the sea.

The method(s) of way-finding across the sea of sand that is the Sahara was seen to have been compared with those used for way-finding across the sea of salt that is the Atlantic. An early navigational device was that labelled as the wheeled-cross/cross-in-ring plus its variants. They were in use as early as the Bronze Age on Atlantic-facing coasts from that the Bulge of Africa to the British Isles and Nordic Europe.

This more or less maches the 1st millennium B.C. date shown above for such as the Iliad (about war between Troy & Greece) plus the Odyssey (about the post-war exploits of Odysseus/Ulysses) written by the Hellenic Homer. These Homeric tales nicely illustrate how modern historians treat material from such as the Bible plus the Classics and fom outside these categories (see end of next section).

There are many stories from Hellenic Greece to Nordic Europe in the opposite corners of the continent that are as sea-based as those about Atlas. It is true that Atlas is best known as the moronic giant of the type called Titans who led the Titan revolt against the gods of Olympus and was punished by Zeus/Jove by having to hold up the world forever on his shoulders.

However, there is entire body of myth/legend outside this about Atlas. Homer describes him as knowing the depths of the sea and confirming this in west Africa is the knowledge of the undersea stream or combined Canarian/North Equatorial currents by the Returned Captain. The Homeric description of Atlas as a "magician knowing the depths of the sea" seemingly suggests that his navigational skills were such that they were deemed to be magical. To this is added that if the Returned Captain truly did know of the effects of the combined Canarian/North Equatorial or conveyor-belt Currents occurring some distance out to sea on the open Atlantic, he too had considerable skills demonstrated by his getting back to his home port.

An online article discussing Atlas refers to more than one Atlas in differing parts of Europe. There is also the matter of his realm of Atlantis being regarded as being of various locations. Nor is it of much help when Plato (5th/4th c. B.C. Greek) tells us that Atlantis was just beyond the Pillars of Hercules, as their location is also disputed.

Attempts at rectifying the "errors" of ancient Greek geographers by situating Atlantis in the Mediterranean tend to fail on the very real distinction made between what in Latin was Mare Noster (= Our Sea = the Mediterranean) and what the Greeks called Okeanos (= the Ocean = the World-stream = the seas beyond the Pillars/Straits). Moreover, depite mainly modern efforts at wanting not to regard the Pillars of Hercules as marking what are now the Straits of Gibraltar, it is the case that easily the bulk of ancient writers were of the opinion that the Pillars are today’s Straits. In any case, there are other signs of the western links of Atlas that further illustrate where Atlantis was.

The mountains also called Atlas are on the northern edge of Africa. The "Daughters" of Atlas include the Hesperides (= Western Isles), Atlantides (= Atlantic Isles), Atlantis (= Daughter of A.), etc. This very surely indicates where the Atlas family (inc. Atlantis) were regarded as being located, namely to the west of the Pillars/Straits in the ocean sharing its name with Atlas, Atlantes, Atlantis, Atlantides, etc.

Yet another set of "Daughters" are the Pleaides best known as a star-system. As they appear on the horizon, they are taken to indicate the start of the ploughing season for farmers, the start of the sailing season for sailors, the start of the fishing season for fishermen, etc. Pleaides coming from Greek pleien (= Sailing-stars) is to be put alongside the consistently western linkage given to the Atlas "family" seen to include the Pleaides. Underlining all this, is the actual location of Mount Atlas.

The several traits seen right across north Africa from Egypt to Morocco/Mauritania are added to by forms of boat/ship. There is a type of reed-boat that is referred to by Eratosthenes (3rd c. Egypto/Greek) as ocean-going in the Indian Ocean. He also informs us that this was the standard Nile-River type and it is usually as having barely changed from the days of the Egypt-to-Punt trade. It probably attaches to what Winters (The Proto Sahara online; The Proto Saharan Religion online) describes as a desert-wide half-man/half-fish deity called Maa. There is also the resemblance that many writers compare with that of the earliest images of the Ark of the Covenant. In reduced size, it is likely to be represented by west Magrebi reed-boats called almady itself later applied to almadias (= canoes) by the Portuguese. It is also the form that went across the Atlantic on "The Ra Voyages" with Thor Heyerdahl (1971).

West Africans on the Atlantic Ocean are further demonstrated by the term of Mare Ethiopium. This derives from those perceived as the dominant users of a particular body of sea by whoever was doing the recording of the name. Its significance comes to the fore when it is realised that till about 1700, it was a synonym for the Atlantic. After about c. 1700, it increasingly stopped appearing in records. Even more to the point is that it means Ocean/Sea of the Blacks or Negroes.

Ethiopium was seen to come from the Greek Aithiopes/Aethiopes for all Africans and it is known that it is not the only team used in this way. That of the Persians and Arabs for east Africans was Zanj and was but one of many Persio/Arab terms for Black Africans. It also occurs in works of Piri Reis (15th/16th c. Turk). The maps of Piri Reis usually figure in discussions about movement on the Atlantic but he also touches on the Indian Ocean that he calls the Bahr-e-Zanj/Zanj-e-Bahr (= Ocean/Sea of the Negroes) according to sources cited in both "East Africa & the Sea in Antiquity" and "Abubakri II—Who He?". Zanj-e-Bahr was used of east Africa from Sudan to Mozambique till the 1920s and is still with us in the name of Zanzibar according to a website dealing with the history of the island of Zanzibar.

Underlying this, are the Indian (?) koland plus Chinese k’un-l’un that may possibly mean Africans. In turn, they form part of such words as kolandophunta and kunlun-po (= ships of the Blacks) that indicate sea-going vessels on the Indian Ocean. Way-finding on the Indian Ocean for such non-powered craft was very much based on utilisation of the monsoon-system. This differs from what happened on the Atlantic but if messrs. Ben-Jochanan (Black Man of the Nile 1989) and Chami (The Unity of African Ancient History 2006) are confirmed, the methods on the two oceans may not be so separate after all.

Chami (ib.) on the Phoenicians plus Ben-Jochanan on the Portuguese point to both need African navigators. Chami (ib.) felt that rounding Cape Agulhas (the southern tip of Africa) happened rather more frequently than generally imagined. Cabo Agulhas means Cape of Eagles in Portuguese but perhaps more relevant birds are the large seabirds seen to attest the east and west coasts of Africa. Birds were also used as navigational aids in pre-instrumental days by the Africans seen to have crossed the hundreds of miles of the sand-sea called the Sahara using methods also said to have been identical to those used to cross the hundreds of miles of the salt-sea called the Atlantic


What have been variously described as Out-of-Africa/Garden-of-Eden/African Eve theories probably began affecting Europe in the Palaeolithic (Old Stone Age), Middle Stone Age (= Middle Stone Age), Neolithic (= New Stone Age) then Metals (i.e. Copper/Bronze/Iron) Ages. Some of the earliest cultural stages were recognised by French archaeologists as the Abbevillian followed by the Acheulian. They are from French type-sites and these labels have stuck.

So much so have they stuck, that even when Bednarik (ib) plus colleagues found sites as far away as Indonesia, the designation of Acheulian was given. From them came dates too early for carbon-14 dates (C14-dates), so other methods had to be used. They indicate an early hominid form that has become known as Homo floriensis (from being found on the island of Flores) had developed the ability to cross short stretches of sea. This was deduced from similar sets of tools on islands a little distance from each other. Even allowing that sea-levels differ now from those of several hundred thousands of years ago and no actual boats were found, this assumption was made and seems supported by finds of cordage that were the remains of presumed fishing-nets.

More comparisons of tools separated by short stretches of sea were those of Abbevillian type noted by Sean McGrail (Mariner’s Mirror = MM 1991) in north Magreb/ Morocco opposite south Iberia/Spain. Bednarik placed great emphasis on the intellectual development of early hominids arising from the going to sea and having seen that Abbevillian precedes Aechulian, it may have significance that Morocco-to-Iberia seemingly antedates that just seen in part of Indonesia. Indeed, Africa-to-Iberia may even be not just earlier but the earliest datable such sea-trips, as from Bednarik, we learn that Homo florensis seems to be an offshoot of Homo sapiens (= Thinking man = Modern man). In this respect, it may worth noting the Stillbay sites at the opposite end of Africa. They are not discussed here but are mentioned in East Africa & the Sea in Antiquity, as they are just the IOR side of Cape Agulhas and involve fishing and possible use of some kind of craft.

Of roughly the same dates as the Stillbay Culture would be Perfuga (Sardinia) at c. 300,000 B.C. with more sea-going occurring on Sardinia held to be shown by Corbeddu at c. 20,000 B.C. This may also have involved the Riviera (sth. France) and/or Liguria (= n/east Italy). As to via Sardinia and/or the Riviera to Liguria, in Liguria are the Grimaldi Caves. Here the population had skulls that are variously described as Australoid/Africaoid/Negroid or even African (? dare we use the term) plus more of the cordage that as seen, may indicate fishing-nets.

What should not be overlooked here is the long-held recognition that as Anatolia acts on the Balkans (= s/east Europe) so the Magreb (= nth. Africa west of Egypt) acts on Iberia and not for nothing is there the phrase "That Africa ends at the Pyrenees" (separating Iberia/Spain from France). This is frequently attributed to Napoleon but is probably considerably older than Bonaparte. Nor should it be forgotten what is implied by the Grimaldi finds, that no matter what is said about light-skinned Berbers in the Magreb/Sahara, there were blacks in the Magreb at that date. This is confirmed by the content of some of the Saharan rock-art, the first phases of which may be of this date.

Some of the oldest African Mesolithic material is that called Capsian. The earliest finds that have labelled Capsian are from Kenya but the type-site is at el-Gafsi/el-Capsi (Tunisia). Many regard it as likely there is no connection but if there is, it will be obvious the chronological priority is with east Africa and the Kenyan material. There is some reason to connect the Capsian of Magreb and Iberia. This would be reinforced by what is sometimes seen as a coastal form of the Magrebi Capsian called either the Oranian (after Oran, Algeria) or the Maurusian (after Maurusia = an ancient name for Morocco). It became the IberoMaurusian, in short, the Iberian form of the Maurusian.

Various studies of other ancient sea-borne Africans, especially of trade exist. A pioneering attempt was The Geography of Herodotus but pertaining especially to the Periplus of "Necho" by J.T. Wheeler (1854). Then there are the translations of PME by messrs Huntingford (1980) and Casson (1989) that differ radically on some details, particularly about the African version of Ausan/Awsan that may or may not be tied to Azania. Both refer to Punt and Azania as trade-networks in east Africa. The many crop-types apparently originating in west Africa that led on to the earliest west African urban centres had inland plus coastal markets handling large amounts of these crops. Those on the west coast presumably offer parallels for those of the "Punt" and "Azania" networks of east Africa and again mean that Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Greeks, Islam, Colonial Europeans, need to be harked to for the rise of the earliest west African urbanism. These coastal depots were the basis for what has been called here the WAAC.

Part of this lies in the period called the Chalcolithic (= Copper/Stone Age), as shown by messrs Harrison & Gilman (in Atlantic Eur. & the Mediterranean ed. V. Markotic 1977). They demonstrate trading between that part of west Africa that is west Magreb/Morocco and the Iberian Peninsula. Articles bearing titles like "Looking for a Lost City" and "Looking for the Lost City of Tartessos" are by Stephen Arts. They again indicate trade between west Africa and Iberia and take this into what for Iberia would be the Late Bronze Age (= LBA)/Early Iron Age (= EIA). Arts connected that of west Africa with that of Tartessos as the Biblical Tarshish plus the Israel of Solomon. In doing so, he is identifying the Tartessos (an ancient kingdom in the s/west of Ib.) of Classical writers with the Tarshish of Biblical writers. He also identifies Tartessos/Tarshish with Atlantis.

Of German attempts at identifying where Atlantis was, that of Frobenius (as above) put it in Yorubaland (Nigeria), that of Borchardt (as Stecchini ib.) put it in Algeria/Tunisia and that of Schulten (as Arts ib.) put it in west Iberia. The views of Schulten plus Arts would at one bold attempt, settle once and for all, problems of where Tarshish and Atlantis were. As said above, if we have to believe in Atlantis, it might as well be regarded as any one of these. They are after all, close to where Plato placed it.

African conquests in Europe have been claimed from at least the time of Taharquo of Kush ruling also as Pharoah of Egypt but more on this in "East Af. …" . The relevance of this is that such diverse and ancient writers as Josephus (1st c. A.D. Jew), Strabo (1st. c. B. C. Greek), Procopius (6th c. Greek), al-Makary (10th c. A.D. Arab), etc, trace African conquests in Europe south of the Pyrenees (= the Iberian Peninsula). Given just how frequently matters earlier are repeated at a later date in west Africa, it must have great interest that of the four Islamic (note not "Arabic") dynasties that combined Morocco with Iberia, at least two appear to have been west African and black.

Further confirmation of this comes with a map from the writings of Rufus Avienus (ib.) reconstructed by Antonio Arribas. He shows Africans in "Libyphoenician" form in just the African-facing areas that the quoted ancient writers say were the African-ruled parts of south Iberia. This particularly means Mons Silurus (= Mountain or Mountains of Silura). From the Maurusian/IberoMaurusian onwards, what has been variously called Gaetulia/Maurusia/Mauritania by Classical writers and Goethluigne by Celtic writers (cited by Roderick O’Flaherty [17th c. Irish]) had close links with Andalusia. Iberia was further connected with the Irish Clann Mil (= Milesians = Sons of Mil = ProtoGaels) by O’Reilly (ib).

Some measure of can be taken of African involvement in early Iberian commerce. The African Maa was seen in Iberian form. The Iberian Maa was killed at Gadir (= Gades in Latin = Cadiz in Spanish) by Melkarth (the chief deity of the Phoenicians settled at Gadir. Melkart was also important as the chief god of commerce for these Gaditanian Phoenicians. In like manner, the tunny-fishing seen to have probably begun as a maritime aspect of the African Aqualithic, also came into Gaditanian hands. This shows the political and/or commercial realities and probably the context of what messrs. Cary and Warmington (The Ancient Explorers 1963) described as an ostentatious welcome. That welcome was by King Arganthonios of Tartessos (= s/west Iberia). Arganthonios showered gifts on Kolaios/Colaeus (? 7th c. B. C. Greek) according to Herodotus.

In short, exit one set of rivals for the Phoenicians in the form of Africans and enter another in the form of the newly arrived Greeks. However, the Greeks as the rivals of the Phoenicians from either Carthage or Gadir did not survive long, as the Phoenicians and/or Carthaginians froze them out of most of M/M/M-facing east Iberia and almost all of Atlantic-facing west Iberia.

Africa as a place that exported metals technology may not be as difficult as might appear at first sight. Felix Chami (The Unity of African Ancient History 2006) points to parts of east Africa producing ironwork qualifying as steel because it was so high-gade and of Indian interest showing that some of it came back in the form of manufactured goods. That this continued for another 1000/1200 years is shown by Idrissi (12th c. Arab) commenting on almost the same thing plus that the east African metal seems to have underlain what was known as Uccu/Wootz steel in India plus Damascene steel in Syria.

A recent study of the west African Iron Age (= WAIA) is by Stanley Alpern (History in Africa 2005). Sources cited in West Africa & the Sea in Antiquity showed dates tied to the WAIA apparently north-going from Gabon. Alpern (ib.) cites Nicole Lambert (ib.) tying that of Mauretania and of Iberia that if too early on Lambert’s notes can be reversed to further show west African influence on Iberia. This would be reinforced by the Tylecote (West African Journal of Archaeology 1975) comparison of furnaces in west Africa (esp. Nigeria) and Nordic Europe (esp. Ger.).

As the dugout-canoe of west Africa plus skin-boats of currach-type in Celtic-west Europe are very simple types having a riverine origin, there should be a logical internal sequence owing little to outside influences. Yet despite this, expert opinions regard both forms as highly international. Currachs are recorded at opposite ends of the Irish Sea as trading British tin from Cornwall to foreign ships at one end and as plying between Ulster (nth. Ireland.) to Scotland (nth. Britain.) at the northern end (see Abubakri II—Who He?). Commerce based on the dugout-canoe was seen to be proven as the basis of commerce the length of the Atlantic coasts of Meso-America, of the Atlantic coast of Africa and Guinea-to-Iberia seems to be the same.

Arribas shows not only the aforementioned map but also mentions that metals-rich areas of Iberia inland from Cordoba were linked to the River Guadalquivir and the Atlantic Ocean by dugout-canoe. It will also be recalled the dugout-canoe is suggested to have led to massive physiques, as recorded by Cadamosto (see West Africa & the Sea in Antiquity online at Also to be borne in mind are tales of Africans as giant soldiers in Iberia according to messrs Brunson and Rashidi (in Golden Age of the Moor ed. Ivan Van Sertima 1992).

The theme of giants is widespread in Africa. Umlindi of South Africa, the Korobo of Kenya, statues plus Osiris in Egypt, the Sao of Chad, the Mijin-masa of Nigeria, Atlas of Morocco, etc, are good instances of this. The Sao plus the Mijin-masa were deemed to be capable of bringing slain elephants home, other African giants were seen as capable of bearing stones of many tons (including those of Stonehenge) and indeed, Atlas carried the world on his shoulders.

This may be what lies behind the body-length face-masks so important for African shamans/witch-doctors; body-length statue-menhirs in Senegal that translated into human-height terms would mean 15/20 feet; the giant heads of captives from many lands carved in relief at Tanis (Egypt); the monumental statuary of Pharaonic Egypt, Osiris as the Giant Black, etc. More African "giants" are those recorded are the Moors recorded as synonyms for Saracens in Iberia by Brunson & Rashidi (ib.).

More body-length face-masks belonging to what elsewhere has been called the "Great Heads" tradition are those actually called Cabezuelos (= Big-heads) belonging with the Gigantes (= Giants) in Iberian parades. Another giant in Iberia was king Geryon. He was killed by Hercules and his head placed under the first Pharos (= lighthouse) built at Brigantion (near Corunna, in Galicia in northwest Iberia/Spain). This is a point of the Atlantic-west coast of Iberia/France facing the Bay of Biscay that was/is so dangerous for ships that 18th c. Flemish, Dutch and British Governments offered to defray the Spanish coasts of maintaining a lighthouse there. Biscay or Vizcaya marks Basque lands and folklore here refers to giants as Mauriaks (= Africans or Mauri/Moors) or Gentiliaks (= Gentiles in the sense of Pre-Christian outsiders).

What was Armorica/is now Brittany in northwestern parts of Gaul (now mainly France& Belgium) was where a giant was killed by Arthur. It may be significant that Arthur’s victim was called the "Spanish" Giant by Geoffrey of Monmouth (a 12th c. British writer) and that that he was slain by aso-called "king" from Britain but who was really a successful warlord. Armorica/Brittany abounds in megaliths (from Greek megas = large & lithos = stone, hence megalith = large-stoned) in the form of Passage-graves, Gallery-graves, menhirs (= standing-stones), stone-rows, etc. The largest known of ancient menhirs may have been Le Grande-Menhir. It has prompted comparison with the Pharos at Brigantion/Corunna. Megaliths in general have long been associated with astronomy and this in turn connects with maritime navigation.

Beler/Boler was a British giant made famous in the poem called Lycidas by John Milton (17th c. Eng.). Belerion/Bolerion was his home. Belerion can mean all southwest Britain/England; the part of southwest Britain that is Cornwall; the part of Cornwall that is Penwith; the part of Penwith that is Land’s End. Finisterre (= Land’s End) at the tip of the Galician Peninsula; Finisterre (= Land’s End) at the tip of the Breton Peninsula join with the Land’s End at the tip of the Cornish Peninsula. Charles Thomas (National Trust Studies 1989) demonstrates that another name for Land’s End is Vestaeum and that this implies signal-beacons warning ships from straying too near dangerous rocks. Yet more names include Belerion (= in Greek), Belerium (in Latin); Pen-van-lan (in the P-Celtic ancestor of British, Breton, Cornish & Welsh).

That west Africa knew of "going home" (= into the sea/? on to the sea) takes us to the Irish giants called the Fomoire and their king named Balar. The more so given that Fomoire may translate as "From the Sea" and are described as Fomoire Afraicc (= Fomoire from Africa). Net/Neit was an Iberian war-god and grandfather of Balar. After Balar was killed, his massive head with its single eye that needed four ordinary mortals to open it was buried at Carn Ui Neit (= Cairn of the Grandson of Neit). Carn Ui Neit is now called Mizen Head and is at the tip of the peninsular region of Kerry/west Cork or Bantry-to-Shannon parts of west Munster or the deep southwest of Ireland. Iberia (= Spain and Portugal) was Mag Mell (= Plain of Death) or Mag Mor (= Great Plain) and it was ruled by another Fomoire king named Tethba.

The "Cult of the Severed Head" is shown across Celtic/Celtic-speaking Europe by Anne Ross (Pagan Celtic Britain 1968; The Everyday Life of the Celts 1970). However, those of Atlantic coasts may ultimately relate but is otherwise a separate phenomenon. At opposite ends of Africa, the notion of humans turned into stone is clearly proven. Being giants, their heads would be related to the "Great Heads" traditions. The links of the peninsular regions of Galicia, Brittany, Cornwall plus Bantry/Shannon are particularly noticeable here too. Thus messrs McClelland (Chambers Ency. 1973) and Mitchell (The Irish Landscape 1976) respectively wrote of Galicia as "a wetter Brittany" and of the shared geomorphology, archaeology, history plus land-use uniting Brittany, Cornwall and Bantry/Shannon.

Also all four areas produce copper and the first three tin as well. All appear to have had ancient landmarks visible from the sea to warn of dangerous waters; three (Galicia, Brittany &? Bantry/Shannon) had figures with their heads cut off; two (Galicia &? Bantry/Shannon) involved the burial of the head; Alexei Kondratiev (Lugus: The Many-Gifted Lord online) shows just closely are comparable are the tales about Lugh (= the Irish form of Lugus & grandson plus slayer of Balar the Fomoir) and Jack the Tinkard in Cornwall and goes on to describe the Cornish giants as Fomoire but does not say anything about beheaded Cornish giants.

There are also good literary plus archaeological links between Galicia and Bantry/Shannon but they lie outside my brief. However, to the point is Dathi O-hOgain (Myth, Legend & Romance: An Ency. of the Irish Folk Tradition 1990) saying the southern (= Ibero/Atlantic) traditions given to this by Diodorus Siculus (1st c. B. C. Greek) are much older than the northern (= Nordic/Scandinavian) given in the Irish text that is the first Cath Magh Tuiredh (= Battle of MoyturaMoytirra = 1st Moytura). Thomas O’Rahilly (Early Irish History & Mythology 1946) was of the opinion that the so-called 2nd Moytura was in the older of the two versions of Moytura. This is in line with what is said by Diodorus plus that 2nd Moytura is that having most to with the Ibero/southern link and the Fomoire there. There is also O-hOgain (ib.) pointing to Beler/Balar-names marking the most south-westerly points of Britain and Ireland at Land’s End and Mizen Head respectively.

Africans were seen as being capable of hefting great weights (elephants, massive stones, the world, etc.) and legend has it that large stones were brought from Africa to Ireland. Geoffrey says they were set up at "Killarus" (=? The Curragh, Kildare, Ire.) and at Arthur’s behest, they were taken from Killarus/Killare and set up as the Giant’s Dance on Salisbury Plain (Wilts., Eng.) but is now called Stonehenge. Nor is this the only British stone ring that in British tradition this kind of linkage attaches to. There were also the Africans wearing feathered cloaks building Callanish on the Scottish island in the Hebridean group called Lewis. Callanish is sometimes called the Scottish Stonehenge.

Another Africo/Black linkage comes with Crom Dubh (= Black Crom). His name occurs in that of the largest stone circle in Ireland at Rannadh Crom (= Wheel/Ring of Crom, nr. Lough Derg, Limerick) and Crom Cruach (=? The Circle/Ring on the Mound =? Killycluggin Circle, Cavan). To the last came "the King, Queen & People of Ire". A further sign of the status of Crom is the need by the Early Church to invoke the name of Patrick in the destruction of Crom Cruach. His being the god of the people of Ireland resembles An Dagda (the principal god of Irish Druidism) as the god of all the tribes of Ireland. The Wheel/Ring attribute brings him into line with Mogh Ruith (= Slave/Devotee of the Wheel & chief god of Druidism in sth. Ire. [= Munster]) and both had one eye. Here we further note Crom/Mogh as Black and as wearing feathered cloaks.

Nor is an African connection confined to stone rings that it should be said antedate the Druids by 2500/2000 years. Messrs Mac Ritchie (Britons Ancient & Modern 1884 & 1991) and Spence (The Mysteries of Britain 1928 & 1995; The Origins & Hist. of Druidism 1949; Druids: Their Origins 1995) both look for African-type rites in Britain. This included Ashanti-like blood-rites; the sources of Morris plus wedding dances; first Egyptian corn with a sickle like Druids cutting mistletoe with a sickle, etc.

West Africa was seen to have sent priests to participate in the Egyptian Mystery System (= EMS) of the Pharaohs according to Arabic writers. The Pharaohonic cutting of the first Egyptian corn with a sickle was compared by Lewis Spence (ib.) with the cutting of the sacred mistletoe by the Chief Druid using a golden sickle but sought an origin in an African Cult of the Dead for what in Celtic Europe was called Druidism. Julius Pokorny (Annual Report of the Smithsonian Institute 1908) looked for the sources of Druidism in what others (cited by Mac Ritchie ib.) have called An Dubh Eirionach (= Black Irish).

Classical writers do not list Iberia plus Ireland as places where existed but Celtic literature mainly in the form of that in Irish comes to our rescue. After that of Greek plus Latin, Old-Irish literature is the oldest in Europe and is the oldest vernacular corpus in western Europe and it refers to Druids time and time again. Joyce Salisbury (Iberian Popular Religion 1985) refers to Iberian holy-men that sound very Druid-like and Anne Ross (The Druids 1995 but not in 2004) put the southern boundary of Continental Druidism on a line across Iberia based on the River Tagus. This can be expected to have been strongest in the most Celtic parts of Iberia, notably among the Lusitani (naming Lusitania = Portugal), Gallaeci/Callaeci (naming Galicia), Astures (naming Asturia), etc. The Old-Irish text that is Lebor Gabala (= LG = Book of Invasions) tells of several Iberian groups coming to Ireland complete with Druids.

Inasmuch that Africa is still thought by many to be the "savage"continent, it might equally be held to be appropriate that Africa/Africans may have had a hand in what emerged as what is felt by some to be the savage religion of Druidism. "Savage" Africa is dealt with in these pages plus others far more able than to do so myself. As to "savage" Druids, this was alleged (esp. relating to divination) in antiquity but there were also a considerable number of contrary Classical opinions.

These contrary Greco/Roman or Classical historians compared such intellectuals as the Brahmins of India, Magi of Persia, EMS-priests of Egypt, Pythagoreans of southeast Europe with the Druids of west Europe. Druids taught the young of Celtic-west Europe and Ellis (ib.) notes this was also the case in Britain when showing a British-derived word came into its Welsh descendant as athronieth (= teacher). That this also applies to the Druids of the Irish Celts seems proven by Irish Druids as instructor/teachers in Irish tale-cycles of both Leinster (from Lagin & ster [= province]) and Ulster versions.

The feathered cloaks that are seen to be important to the African shamans/witch-doctors/medicine-men have also been shown to connect with supposed builders of British stone rings (esp. the circles at Stonehenge & Callanish) according to the oldest known British tradition. Mogh Ruith was seen as the principal god of Druidism in the part of Ireland that is otherwise the ancient kingdom/province of Munster. Anne Ross (Everyday Life of the Celts 1970) shows him wearing either a feathered cloak or a bull-hide during divination. The feathered cloaks have been noted several times on the island of Lewis here but Thomas O’Rahilly (Early Irish Hist. & Mythology 1946) shows that bull-hides were also known on Lewis. This was again during divination.

Claimed African influences on European religion appear to have left little for archaeologists to have and to hold and lovingly classify into neat and tidy categories. This then is placed with what above with what were seen to have been called "Empires of the Mind" again usually leaving little in the way of archaeology.

Very clearly, this kind of thing leaves at most a literary path that will often be considered as not precise enough. Even more so when based on folk-life/folklore not buttressed by archaeology and/or various forms of genetic evidence, so will be dismissed accordingly. This of itself tends to overlook the imperfections of both archaeological and genetic research that all too often has subjectivity paraded as objectivity. Just where this leaves tracing such as the pet-names of livestock from Erythraic tongues of east Africa to those of Celtic Europe is anyone’s guess but this was done to track the movement of their owners by the writers followed in East Africa & the Sea in Antiquity

It seems "tropically-adapted" humans were the first ones in the Iberian Peninsula. Sean McGrail (The International Journal of Nautical Archaeological = IJNA 1991) points to "Abbevillian" artefacts on both sides of the Straits of Gibraltar. This suggests Africans were capable of crossing narrow seas either earlier or at dates akin to those for somewhat further east (see "East Africa & the Sea in Antiquity). The Capsian Culture of (? Kenya) and the Magreb had Oranian plus Maurusian/Mauritanian offshoots.

The Capsian and the Maurusian appear to be the parents of the Iberian Capsian and the Ibero-Maurusian respectively. D’arbois de Jubainville (19th/20th c. French linguist) held the (?) Ethiopian Atrantes/Atlantes were ancestral to the Basques. Classical and Arabic authors wrote of Africans under Kushite leadership reach (see East Africa & the Sea in Antiquity). Andrew Fear (Rome & Baetica 1996) cites Strabo (1st c. B.C. Greek), Appian (1st/2nd c. A. D. Greek), etc, as saying several thousand Africans were settled in Iberia during the time of Carthaginian domination of south Iberia.

From the extensive list of comparisons that was a prime factor in making some previous sections as long as they are, there emerged what lies behind the Arbuthnot/Faught article of "Iberia not Siberia" (online). This especially means the first arrivals in the Americas. The various main theories about this can be summed up as the Beringia Land-bridge/Crossing (from Siberia-to-Alaska & then overland to east & south); Pacific Crossing (straight from Australia-to-west coast Americas); Pacific Coast (arrival in west Americas & moves via refugia [= ice-free pockets in the Holocene ice]); Middle Atlantic Crossing (see next section); North Atlantic Crossing (Holocene ice-floes used as refugia to cross the north Atlantic), etc.

It is the North Atlantic Crossing(s) that particularly lies behind the surely telling title of "Iberia not Siberia" for at least some of the first arrivals in North America. This gives an interesting context for long sea-trips out of ancient Iberia for both considerable date and length. This also makes it much easier to accept earlier Iberian voyages in other directions that includes those from the most Africanised parts of Iberia, the more so given that this is where we find Mons Silurus (= Mountain[s] of Silura) was located.

Silura/Silurus is also one of the versions of the British place-name now standardised as Scilly (with an intrusive 18th c. "c"). Silura/Scilly was known as an island till the 4th c. A. D. but some time afterwards, sea-floods turned it into what are now known as the Isles of Scilly. As islands off Cornwall they appear to have been ruled by a sub-clan/sept of the Dumnoni ruling Cornwall/Devon (= s/west Brit./Eng.) in the way that the Arans off west Munster were ruled by a sept of the Eoganachta ruling Munster (= one of the four ancient kingdoms/provinces of Ireland).

The root of Dumnoni incorporates dubh already seen to mean black/very dark so matches what has been written of the Cornish many times. Silura may also apply to one the small islands off the Welsh coast but easily the famous example in Wales has to be Silures (centred mainly on Gwent in s/east Wales). Here we come to something of a contrast of the genetic and the written records. Tacitus (1st c. A. D. Roman) records a tribe of British Celts in what is now Scotland as the Caledoni as Germanic and another tribe of British Celts in what is now Wales as the Silures as Iberian.

If the Caledoni as Germanic stands, there seems no reason to doubt the Silures were Iberic. There is at least some blood-group evidence to support this. Moreover, the Tacitean description of the Silures as very dark, curly-haired and Iberian-looking might almost take us to that given by Pliny (1st c. A.D. Roman) of more British Celts but this time of the north of what is now England as "Ethiopian" (one of the Greco/Roman words for Africans) and/or Mauros/Maurus (one of the many Greco/Roman words meaning black, as seen in Mauri/Moors too).

At the opposite end of Wales from the Silures is north Wales. Here legend has it that Cardigan Bay results from a flood caused by a lock-keeper getting drunk and neglecting his duties. That lock-keeper was called Sethennin and this has been related to the names of Setantae and Setanta (= the pre-warrior-name Cu Chulann & the major hero of the Irish story called the Tain bo Cualgne). The Setantae were a tribe of British Celts placed by Ptolemy (2nd c. A.D. Roman) in what is now northwest England. The name relates to Setanta (the pre-warrior name of Cu Chulann & seen as the major hero of the main story in the tales named after Ulster [= the northernmost ancient Irish kingdom]). It may be relevant to note that Setanta/Cu Chulann was also "the small dark man"

Just a little north of the Setantae into what is now southwest Scotland was where Ptolemy put the British Celts called the Damnoni. This is but a slight difference of spelling from Dumnoni placed by Ptolemy in Cornwall/Devon and the Domnann placed by the Tain bo Cualgne (= Cattle-raid of Cooley = the Tain) in Leinster (the easternmost of the ancient Irish kingdoms). The basic root of what lies behind the names of the Dumnoni/Damnoni/Domnann was seen to be dubh. This was also seen to mean black or very dark and this relates to yet more "small dark men" populating the Gaelic legends of west Scotland garbled as the Poems of Ossian by James MacPherson (18th/19th c. Scot.) and more authentically by John Campbell in Tales of the West Highlands (1865).

It should be said the builders of the Scottish stone circle at Callanish can be seen as small Africans, giant Africans or a possible mix of both. The figure seen as the main warrior of the Irish tale-cycle of the Ulster type under the name of Cu Chullan was also described as small and very dark. Otherwise, the Dubh Eirionach (= Black Irish) are mentioned by messrs Armstrong and Huxley (as the Alis ib.). Huxley put them mainly west of the River Shannon in west Munster.

By now it will be obvious there is ample testimony for Africo/Iberian sea-routes to west France and/or the British Isles. For that part of those islands that is Ireland, such as the writings of messrs. Raftery (The Iron Age in the Irish Sea Province ed. Charles Thomas 1972) plus the several papers by Sean O’Nuallain indicate the strong Iberian links of Munster plus Connacht (the westernmost kingdom of Ire.). This lies with the everyday things and accords with the accounts of Old-Irish literature showing the Iberian ancestry of the Milesians/Sons of Mil/Clann Milid (= the Proto-Gaels/Goidels of Ire.).

In the light of Raftery showing both the separate connections of Iberia and Cornwall and of Cornwall and west Munster, it is surely appropriate to allude to comments of Dathi O-hOgain (Myth, Legend & Romance: An Encycopedia of the Irish Folklore Tradition 1990). He notes that Land’s End plus Mizen Head as the most south-westerly points of Britain and Ireland respectively are marked by the Celtic Beler/Balar-names that very plainly head us back to the Atlantic coasts of west Africa and Iberia.


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