Sarmatians

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Fragments of unknown Middle Iranian languages or dialects

Scythians

The Sarmatians (Latin Sarmatæ or Sauromatæ, Greek Σαρμάται, Σαυρομάται) were an Indo European Iranian people of caucasian stock in Classical Antiquity, flourishing from about the 5th century BC to the 4th century AD.[1][2]

Their territory was known as Sarmatia to Greco-Roman ethnographers, corresponding to the western part of greater Scythia (modern Southern Russia, Ukraine, and the eastern Balkans). At their greatest reported extent, around 100 BC, these tribes ranged from the Vistula River to the mouth of the Danube and eastward to the Volga, bordering the shores of the Black and Caspian seas as well as the Caucasus to the south.[3]

The Sarmatians declined in the fourth century with the incursions connected to the Migration period (Huns, Goths, Turks). The descendants of the Sarmatians became known as the Alans during the Early Middle Ages, and ultimately gave rise to the modern Ossetic ethnic group.[4]

Contents

Name

Sarmatae is in origin probably just one of several tribal names of the Sarmatians which came to be applied to the entire group as an exonym in Greco-Roman ethnography. Strabo in the 1st century names as the main tribes of the Sarmatians the Iazyges, the Roxolani, the Aorsi and the Siraces.

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