Scythian


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Scythian

1. of or relating to ancient Scythia, its inhabitants, or their language
2. a member of an ancient nomadic people of Scythia
3. the extinct language of this people, belonging to the East Iranian branch of the Indo-European family

Scythian

 

the language of the ancient Scythians; the name usually given to the related Iranian dialects that formed a separate northeastern branch of the Iranian language group.

Speakers of Scythian were known to classical writers as Scythians, Sarmatians, Alani, and Roxolani. In the second half of the first millennium B.C. Scythian dialects spread throughout the extensive area north of the Black Sea and near the Caspian Sea, from the Danube to the Jaxartes (Syr Darya). No connected texts in Scythian have survived, but a considerable number of Scythian personal names, place-names, and names of peoples have been preserved in epigraphs and in the works of classical writers. The grammatical structure and vocabulary of the Scythian-Sarmatian dialects have not been sufficiently studied, but the Iranian character of the dialects is well known, and some essential features of the lexicon, phonetics, and word-formation have been established. The Ossetic language of the Caucasus is one of the descendants of the Scythian-Sarmatian dialects.

REFERENCES

Miller, V. “Epigraficheskie sledy iranstva na iuge Rossii.” Zhurnal Ministerstva narodnogo prosveshcheniia, October 1886.
Miller, V. “K iranskomu elementu v pripontiiskikh grecheskikh nadpisiakh.” Izvestiia Imp. Arkheologicheskoi komissii, 1913, issue 47.
Abaev, V. I. “Skifskii iazyk.” Osetinskii iazyk i fol’klor, issue 1. Moscow-Leningrad, 1949.
Vasmer, M. Untersuchungen über der ältesten Wohnsitze der Slaven [vol.] 1: Die Iranier in Südrussland. Leipzig, 1923.
References in periodicals archive ?
While ancient authors (and more modern commentators) often draw attention to the apparent barbarism of the nomadic peoples, Herodotus was spot on when he noted in Book IV of the Histories that, above all else, the Scythians were consummate survivors.
Scythians from north of the Black Sea were, to first-century historian Josephus at least, even lower: "slightly better than wild beasts.
Prepositional phrases yield precise nouns ("castle," "siege," "dilapidation," "tree," "squeal," "cockcrow," "factories") and establish a transnational, fictional lineage for contemporary Lutsk and the speaker who, at the close of the poem, "can almost / hear the Scythians dancing.
Francfort is head of a French archaeological team in Central Asia that played an important part in excavating the Kurgans, or frozen tombs, of nomadic Scythian tribes in Siberia's Altai mountains.
Also, New York City's Yara Arts Group will return to Kiev, where it partially developed its musical piece Scythian Stones; the international collaboration incorporates traditional songs from Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan into the structure of an ancient Sumerian epic about the goddess Inanna's descent into the underworld.
Astana, July 20 (ANI): Archaeologists have discovered the grave of a gold-clad ancient Scythian warrior, also known as "The Sun Lord.
So, the Scythian hypothesis adumbrated the modern understanding that a number of European and Asian languages are indeed descended from a lost language which very probably was spoken in south-western Asia and was unrelated to Hebrew--the language now called Proto-Indo-European" (30607).
But the actor's ostentatiously barbaric yet frustratingly downplayed Scythian was a disappointment.
There are two cases in which Herodotus describes a language as being "halfway between" two other languages: these are the Geloni, who speak a language which is "part Scythian on the one hand, and part Greek on the other" ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII.
Rather, he, together with Niccolo Sagundino, argued that they were of Scythian origin, and thus they belonged to that race of nomadic warriors to whom Herodotus attributed a certain noblesse sauvage, but no productive role in society.