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Скифы - таинственный древний народOn horses, fast as the wind, galloping horsemen, leaving clouds of dust. It returns the nomadic tribes with loot. 700 to 300 years BC they dominated the steppes of Eurasia. Then they disappeared, making a mark in history. About them even mentioned in the Bible. These were the Scythians.

For centuries their tribes with huge herds of wild horses roamed through boundless steppes that stretch from the Carpathians to the territory now known as the South-East of Russia. The eighth century BC in the military campaign undertaken by the Chinese Emperor Xuanzong, they were driven to the West. Settling in new lands in the foothills of the Caucasus and Northern black sea coast - Scythians drove living there Cimmerians.

In search of the treasures of the Scythians captured and sacked the Assyrian capital of Nineveh. Later, together with Assyria, they attacked the media, Babylonia and other ancient States. Their raids had been even the Northern part of Egypt. The very name of the city of Scythopolis (North-East of Israel), formerly known as Beth-Shean, says that, most likely, this city was once occupied by the Scythians.

Over time, the Scythians settled in the steppes of the territory, which is now occupied by Romania, Moldova, Ukraine and southern Russia. This advantageous location has brought them considerable income: they were the mediators between the Greeks and the tribes of farmers who lived in the territory that is now the Ukraine and southern Russia. In exchange for grain, honey, fur and cattle Scythians received from the Greeks wine, cloth, weapons and jewelry. So Scythian tribes amassed a huge fortune.

All life in the saddle

A horse for the Scythian warriors was the same as camel for residents of the desert. The Scythians had a reputation for excellent horsemen. One of the first they started to use the saddle and stirrups. They eat horse meat and drink Mare's milk. It is known that the Scythians brought horses to the victim. When he died of a Scythian warrior, his horse was killed, and was buried with full honors. Together with his horse to the grave also put the harness and the blanket.

According to the historian Herodotus, the Scythians had a cruel practices, such as from the skulls of their victims they have done drinking cups. They mercilessly killed their enemies, blowing in the course of the iron swords, battle axes, spears and triangular arrow tearing the tissues of the body.

Graves for eternity

The Scythians were engaged in magic and shamanism, and worshipped fire and the goddess-mother. The grave was considered housing for the dead. Slaves and Pets are also sacrificed to the deceased owner. Jewels and servants, according to the beliefs of the Scythians, have been "go" followed by owner "another world". In the tomb of one of the Scythian king skeletons were unearthed five of his servants. Feet they were turned to his master, as if at any moment these vernopoddannye were ready to rise and to serve him.

When the king died, the Scythians was generous sacrifices, and during the mourning blew himself blood and had bobbed hair. This is what informs Herodotus: "They cut off a piece of his ear, place of all this bobbing in a circle of hair on his head, doing around a cut on the hand, restorpeat forehead and nose and pierce left hand arrows".

The Scythians left behind thousands of kurgans (burial hills). Artifacts found during these mounds, present us with the life, life and culture of this ancient people. In 1715 the Russian Tsar Peter I began to collect the Scythian treasures, and now these masterpieces of ancient art are represented in museums of Russia and Ukraine. The products made in typical Scythian animal style depicts figures of animals such as a horse, eagle, Falcon, cat, Panther, elk, deer, neck and Griffin (fantastic winged monster with lion body and the eagle's head).

The Bible and the Scythians

In the Bible just once found a direct mention of the Scythians. In Colossians 3:11 we read, "Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, neither circumcision nor uncircumcised, alien, Scythian, slave, free, but all in all - Christ". When the Apostle Paul wrote this letter, the word "Scythians" ceased to be an ethnic nature and were applied to the uncivilized people.

Some archaeologists believe that the name "Ashkenaz"mentioned in Jeremiah 51:27, is the equivalent of the Assyrian words "eskuz", which was called the Scythians. According cuneiform tablets in the VII century BC the people together to the Kingdom of Mana United against Assyria. Before I began to prophesy of Jeremiah, the path of the Scythians in Egypt passed through the Jewish land, however, the Scythians did not cause any harm to its residents. Therefore, for many Jeremiah's prophecy about the attack on Judah people from the North seemed incredible (Jeremiah 1:13-15).

Some biblical scholars believe that in Jeremiah 50:42 they say about Scythians: "Hold on bow and spear; they are cruel and unmerciful; their voice is noisy, as the sea; and they ride upon horses, lined up as one man, to fight with you, daughter of Babylon". But first of all this refers to the Medes and the Persians conquered Babylon in 539 BC

The Scythians contributed to the fulfillment of the prophecy of Nahum about the destruction of Nineveh (Nahum 1:1,14). The Chaldeans, the Scythians and the Medes ravaged Nineveh in 632 BC, which led to the collapse of the Assyrian Empire.

Mysterious disappearance

Scythian people have disappeared from the face of the earth. But why? "Frankly speaking, this question remains a mystery", says a leading Ukrainian archaeologist. Some researchers are convinced that the Scythians destroyed them irrepressible love of luxury, and between the I and II centuries B.C. they were displaced by the Sarmatians unit of nomadic tribes.

Other researchers believe that the reason for the disappearance of the Scythians were their tribal war. Still others believe that the Scythians were ancestors of the Ossetians. Anyway, this mysterious ancient people left an indelible trace in history - even the word "SKIF" has become a household word, a synonym for the word "cruel".
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