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Scythian

SCYTHIAN (sĭth'ē-ăn, Gr. hoi Skythai). The name is used by classical writers as a general term for the barbarians of the steppes. In common parlance it was a term for the savage and uncivilized (Col.3.11). Scythia was the name given by the Greeks to an ill-defined area between the Carpathians and the Don, the western portion of which included the black earth wheatlands of the modern Ukraine. The steppe land was wide open to nomadic invasion, and the Indo-European tribes who occupied it in the seventh century b.c. are those to whom most properly the term “Scythian” is applied. There must have been a considerable “folk-wandering” about this time, because Scythians appeared in upper Mesopotamia and Syria between 650 and 620 b.c. and another force reached the middle Danube. South Russia, to speak in modern geographical terms, was firmly occupied. The nomads were formidable soldiers, swift archer cavalry versed in the tactics of desert warfare and mobile strategy. By a “scorched-earth”