Sunday, June 20, 2010

The origins of some European peoples in Asia, and their links to the Royalties of Europe.

Pictures: Scythian necklace and crowns.

This may come as a surprise to most readers, the origins of some European peoples come from very ancient tribes and nations in Asia, notably Central Asia, particularly the region surrounding the northern reaches of the Caspian Sea. Here is a case of the Alans, who dwelt in this vast region, and along with the Visigoths, a Germanic tribe of Central Europe, invaded the Roman Empire in the later part of it's decline and fall. In the early Middle Ages, descendants of these Alans settled in Gaul, and still later in the Hispanic peninsula that presently form the countries of Spain and Portugal.

The Alans can be traced back to ancient Iranian peoples -(Iranian people) who, in pre-historic times, roamed large portions of Asia, and were, in turn, part of the larger family of Indo-European peoples. Alans, or Alani, were one group of tribes from a larger group of Iranian peoples, known as the Sarmatians, whose territories, roughly, comprised the eastern borders of the Roman Empire. Their lands formed the western half of Scythian territories which encompassed a huge region with it's eastern portions in Russia and present Khazakstan.

Scythians are well known in the Iranian Zoroastrian literature, the Avesta, as Turanians, the natural foes of Iran! But overwhelming evidence, especially provided by contemporary or later Greek and Roman historians, identified Scythians (including Sarmatians and Alans) as Iranian speaking peoples!

The Wikipedia links I have provided have detailed accounts of their history, a reading of which is necessary to understand how huge an impact they had on the early formative history of Europe.

Note this very astonishing passage in the Scythians link:

Quote: "A number of groups have claimed possible descent from the Scythians, including the Ossetians, Pashtuns, the Turkic Kazakhs and Yakuts (whose endoethnonym is "Sakha"), and Parthians (whose homelands laid to the east of the Caspian Sea and thought to have come there from north of the Caspian). Some legends of the Picts; the Gaels; the Hungarians;Serbs and Croats (among others) also include mention of Scythian origins. In the second paragraph of the 1320 Declaration of Arbroath the élite of Scotland claim Scythia as a former homeland of the Scots. Some writers claim that Scythians figured in the formation of the empire of the Medes and likewise of Caucasian Albania.

The Carolingian kings of the Franks traced Merovingian ancestry to the Germanic tribe of the Sicambri. Gregory of Tours documents in his History of the Franks that when Clovis was baptised, he was referred to as a Sicamber with the words "Mitis depone colla, Sicamber, adora quod incendisti, incendi quod adorasti."'. The Chronicle of Fredegar in turn reveals that the Franks believed the Sicambri to be a tribe of Scythian or Cimmerian descent, who had changed their name to Franks in honour of their chieftain Franco in 11 BC. The Scythians also feature in some post-Medieval national origin-legends of the Celts.

Based on such accounts of Scythian founders of certain Germanic as well as Celtic tribes, British historiography in the British Empire period such as Sharon Turner in his History of the Anglo-Saxons, made them the ancestors of the Anglo-Saxons.(Utilizing his access to rare materials, he (Sharon Turner) was the first serious scholar to examine the migrations of the Anglo-Saxon peoples. The results of his researches were published in his History of the Anglo-Saxons (1799-1805), appearing in several subsequent editions. Thereafter he continued the narrative in History of England (1814-29), concluding with the end of the reign of Elizabeth I. Against the emergence of the French Consulate, he promoted the notion of Anglo-Saxon liberty as opposed to Norman tyranny (strong since the 17th century).

These histories, especially the former, though somewhat marred by an attempt to emulate the grandiose style of Gibbon, were works of real research opening up and to a considerable extent developing a new field of inquiry in the area of Anglo-Saxon history. For example, Herodotus reported the Persians called the Scythians “Sakai,” and Sharon Turner identified these very people as the ancestors of the Anglo-Saxons. In carefully determining their origins in the Caucusus, Turner wrote: “The migrating Scythians crossed the Araxes, passed out of Asia, and suddenly appeared in Europe in the sixth century B.C… The names Saxon, Scythian and Goth are used interchangeably.” The idea was taken up in the British Israelism of John Wilson, who adopted and promoted the "idea that the "European 'race', in particular the Anglo-Saxons, were descended from certain Scythian tribes, and these Scythian tribes (as many had previously stated from the Middle Ages onward) were in turn descended from the ten Lost Tribes of Israel."[56] Tudor Parfitt, author of The Lost Tribes of Israel, points out that the proof cited by adherents of British Israelism is "of a feeble composition even by the low standards of the genre."[57]

Whatever the claims of various modern ethnic groups, the peoples once known as the Scythians of Antiquity were amalgamated into the various Slavic groups of eastern and southeastern Europe.[58]

The 15th-century Polish chronicler Jan Długosz was the first to connect the prehistory of Poland with Sarmatians, and the connection was taken up by other historians and chroniclers, such as Marcin Bielski, Marcin Kromer and Maciej Miechowita. Other Europeans depended for their view of Polish Sarmatism on Miechowita's Tractatus de Duabus Sarmatiis, a work which provided a substantial source of information about the territories and peoples of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in a language of international currency.

The fifteenth-century Polish chronicler Jan Długosz was the first to link the prehistory of Poland with the Sarmatians, and the connection was reaffirmed by other historians and chroniclers, such as Marcin Bielski, Marcin Kromer and Maciej Miechowita. Other Europeans depended for their view of Polish Sarmatism on Miechowita's Tractatus de Duabus Sarmatiis, a work which provided Western European readers with a substantial source of information about the territories and peoples of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in a language of international currency. The name came from alleged ancestors of the szlachta, the Sarmatians, in reality a confederacy of mostly Iranian tribes north of the Black Sea, described by Herodotus in the fifth century BC as descendants of Scythians andAmazons, and displaced by the Goths in the second century AD.[2] After many permutations, this produced the legend that Poles were the descendants of the ancient Sauromates, a warlike tribe originating in Asia who later resettled in northeastern Europe.[2] Tradition specified that the Sarmatians themselves were descended from Japheth, son of Noah.[3]

In his 1970 publication The Sarmatians (in the series Ancient peoples and places) Tadeusz Sulimirski (1898–1983), a Polish-British historian, archaeologist, and researcher on the ancient Sarmatian tribes, listed a number of ethnological traits that szlachta shared with Sarmatians, including traditions, weaponry and military practices, tamgas, and relict burial costumes, giving more information on how the legend may have originated.

The Scythians or Scyths[1] (Greek: Σκύθης, Σκύθοι) were an Ancient Iranian people of horse-riding nomadic pastoralists[2][3] who throughout Classical Antiquity dominated the Pontic-Caspian steppe, known at the time as Scythia. By Late Antiquity the closely-related Sarmatians came to dominate the Scythians in this area. Much of the surviving information about the Scythians comes from the Greek historian Herodotus (c. 440 BC) in his Histories and Ovid in his poem of exile Epistulae ex Ponto, and archaeologically from the exquisite goldwork found in Scythian burial mounds in Ukraine and Southern Russia."

(Philologists and historians are routinely familiar with Indo- European languages tree, with it's Centum branch comprising most languages of Europe and the Satem branch the languages of India, Iran and Central Asia.)

Now, to the Alans who have played, unfortunately very little known, a considerably major role in early European history:

Excerpts from the Wikipedia link on Alans, revealing how much of pre-medieval European history is colored by these Asian Iranian people:

"The Alans or Alani (occasionally termed Alauni or Halani) were a group of Sarmatian tribes, nomadic pastoralistsof the 1st millennium AD who spoke an Eastern Iranian language which derived from Scytho-Sarmatian and which in turn evolved into modern Ossetian."

The Jewish historian Josephus:

" Now there was a nation of the Alans, which we have formerly mentioned somewhere as being Scythians, and inhabiting at the Lake Meotis. This nation about this time laid a design of falling upon Media, and the parts beyond it, in order to plunder them; with which intention they treated with the king of Hyrcania; for he was master of thatpassage which king Alexander shut up with iron gates. This king gave them leave to come through them; so they came in great multitudes, and fell upon the Medesunexpectedly, and plundered their country, which they found full of people, and replenished with abundance of cattle, while nobody durst make any resistance against them; for Pacorus, the king of the country, had fled away for fear into places where they could not easily come at him, and had yielded up everything he had to them, and had only saved his wife and his concubines from them, and that with difficulty also, after they had been made captives, by giving them a hundred talents for their ransom. These Alans therefore plundered the country without opposition, and with great ease, and proceeded as far as Armenia, laying all waste before them. Now, Tiridates was king of that country, who met them and fought them but had luck to not have been taken alive in the battle; for a certain man threw a net over him from a great distance and had soon drawn him to him, unless he had immediately cut the cord with his sword and ran away and so, prevented it. So the Alans, being still more provoked by this sight, laid waste the country, and drove a great multitude of the men, and a great quantity of the other prey they had gotten out of both kingdoms, along with them, and then retreated back to their own country."

Now excerpts of their presence in Europe:

Around 370, the Alans were overwhelmed by the Huns. They were divided into several groups, some of whom fled westward. A portion of these western Alans joined the Vandals and the Sueves in their invasion of Roman Gaul. Gregory of Tours mentions in his Liber historiae Francorum ("Book of Frankish History") that the Alan king Respendial saved the day for the Vandals in an armed encounter with the Franks at the crossing of the Rhine on December 31, 406). According to Gregory, another group of Alans, led by Goar, crossed the Rhine at the same time, but immediately joined the Romans and settled in Gaul.
In Gaul, the Alans originally led by Goar were settled by Aetius in several areas, notably around Orléans and Valentia.[18] Under Goar, they allied with the Burgundians led by Gundaharius, with whom they installed the usurping Emperor Jovinus. Under Goar's successorSangiban, the Alans of Orléans played a critical role in repelling the invasion of Attila the Hun at the Battle of Châlons. After the 5th century, however, the Alans of Gaul were subsumed in the territorial struggles between the Franks and the Visigoths, and ceased to have an independent existence. Flavius Aëtius settled large numbers of Alans in and around Armorica in order to quell unrest. TheBreton language name Alan (rather than the French Alain) and several towns with names related to 'Alan', such as Allainville, Yvelines, Alainville-en Beauce, Loiret, Allaines andAllainville, Eure-et-Loir, and Les Allains, Eure, are taken as evidence that a contingent settled in Armorica, Brittany, which retained a reputation for outstanding horsemanship withGregory of Tours and into the Middle Ages, preferring to remain mounted to fight in contrast with all their neighbors, who dismounted in battle."

Following the fortunes of the Vandals and Suevi into the Iberian peninsula (Hispania, comprising modern Portugal and Spain) in 409, the Alans led by Respendial settled in the provinces of Lusitania and Carthaginiensis: "Alani Lusitaniam et Carthaginiensem provincias, et Wandali cognomine Silingi Baeticam sortiuntur" (Hydatius). The Siling Vandals settled in Baetica, the Suevi in coastal Gallaecia, and the Asding Vandals in the rest of Gallaecia.

In 418 (or 426 according to some authors, cf. e.g. Castritius, 2007), the Alan king, Attaces, was killed in battle against the Visigoths, and this branch of the Alans subsequently appealed to the Asding Vandal king Gunderic to accept the Alan crown. The separate ethnic identity of Respendial's Alans dissolved.[20] Although some of these Alans are thought to have remained in Iberia, most went to North Africa with the Vandals in 429. Later Vandal kings in North Africa styled themselves Rex Wandalorum et Alanorum ("King of the Vandals and Alans").

There are some vestiges of the Alans in Portugal[21], namely in Alenquer (whose name may be Germanic for the Temple of the Alans, from "Alen Ker", and whose castle may have been established by them; the Alaunt is still represented in that city's coat of arms), in the construction of the castles of Torres Vedras and Almourol, and in the city walls of Lisbon, where vestigies of their presence may be found under the foundations of the Church of Santa Luzia.

In the Iberian peninsula the Alans settled in Lusitania (cf. Alentejo) and the Cartaginense provinces. They became known in retrospect for their massive hunting and fighting dog ofMolosser type, the Alaunt, which they apparently introduced to Europe. The breed is extinct, but its name is carried by a giant breed of dog still called Alano that survives in the Basque Country. The dogs are traditionally used in boar hunting and cattle herding.


At the time of Attila the Hun a portion of Alans living in the "Sarmatia of the Cimmerian Bosporus" moved northwest into the land of Venedes (according to M.A. Sabellico, J.A. de Thouand some others historians[22]), possibly merging with Western Balts there to become the precursors of historic Slav nations.

Third-century inscriptions from the Greek colony of Tanais at the mouth of the Don River mention a nearby Alan tribe called the Choroatos or Chorouatos. The historian Ptolemy identifies the Serboi as a Sarmatian tribe who lived north of the Caucasus, and other sources identify the Serboi as an Alan tribe in the Volga-Don steppe in the 3rd century. In the 7th century the Serboi and Choroatos migrated into the western Balkans, supposedly at the invitation of the Eastern Roman Emperor Heraclius, and settled there among earlier Slavic migrants to become ancestors of the modern Serbs and Croats. Some Serboi settled on the Elbe, and their descendants are the modern Sorbs. Tenth-century Byzantine and Arab accounts describe a people called the Belochrobati (White Croats) living on the upper Vistula, an area later called Chrobatia."

Geve Narielwalla


  1. The Trans Celts were in Galatia and the Carpathian Mts hence related to the Scyths.

  2. thanks for the info, Superb Jon.