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Karasuk culture warrior (2nd half of 2nd millenn. BC)

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Image copyright: A.I. Solovyev

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This is a rather rare representation by A.I. Solovyev, of a warrior of the Indoeuropean Karasuk culture (c. 1500–700 BC) which flourished in South Siberia and Central Asia. Its core region was located in the Minusinsk Basin, on the Yenisey River and on the upper reaches of the Ob River. This culture was probably the cradle of the northern branch of the Proto-Iranians who became the ancestors of the Sakas, Scythians, Sarmatians, Dahae, Parni (Proto-Parthians), Alans and other nomad Iranian peoples.  Karasuk culture came from local varieties of the older Andronovo culture (2nd millennium BC) that was ancestral to the Proto-Indo-Iranian group.

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Cataphractarii! (3) – The cataphract cavalry in a period of 2,500 years

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Continued from Part 2

Mongol 3

Mongol cataphract, 13th century.

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By Periklis  Deligiannis

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Cataphractarii! (2) – The cataphract cavalry in a period of 2,500 years

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Continued from Part I

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sassanid cataphract

A superb restoration of a Sassanid  cataphract (credit: Total War: Rome II, Sega).

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By Periklis  Deligiannis

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Cataphractarii! (I) – The cataphract cavalry in a period of 2,500 years

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cataphract

The onslaught of a unit of Sassanid or Central Asia Iranian  cataphracts in a marvelous artwork by Mariusz Kozik (credit: Creative Assembly Sega/Mariusz Kozik).

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By Periklis  Deligiannis

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The following text is a small part of the Introduction of my study: Kataphraktarii and Clibanarii: Late Roman full-armoured cavalry. Along with it I give a gallery of cataphracts from most of the ethnic and cultural regions in which their use was spread over a period of two and a half millennia.
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The first cataphracts or clibanarii were rather an invention of the Iranian Saka tribes of the Central Asian steppes – being the ancestors of the Sarmatians, the Scythians, the Dahae and the Massagetae among many others – or the non-Iranian but Indo-European as well Tocharians of the same steppes that is the ancestors of the Wu Sun and the Yuezhi of the Chinese chronicles. The term  cataphract is a Greek word (κατάφρακτος) meaning the ‘fully armoured’ warrior and was adopted by the Romans (catafractarius) while the other almost synonymous Latin term clibanarius is actually the Latinized and originally Iranian term grivpanvar which is possibly analyzed as grivapanabara, meaning the bearer of neck-guard plates being a feature of the early cataphracts. I prefer to use the more correct verbal type kataphraktos which is closer to the original Greek word κατάφρακτος but in this abstract I will use the Latin-originated term cataphract in order not to confuse the reader.

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ΤΗΕ BOSPORAN KINGDOM (CIMMERIAN BOSPORUS) – PART II

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By  Periklis  Deligiannis

 Scythians

King and Queen of a Scythian tribe in  a representation based on the archaeological finds from Central Asia. Since around 300 BC, the Scythians systematically attacked the Bosporan kingdom but a part of them settled in its territory becoming subject to the Bosporan king.  In the  last  centuries of  the  Bosporan  history,  the  Iranians (Scythians and Sarmatians) became the main population of the kingdom.

CONTINUED  FROM  PART  I
In this way, the city-state of Panticapaeum turned into an extensive hegemony, which later evolved into a Hellenistic kingdom. Generally speaking, Panticapaeum had the same evolution as Syracuse, the birthplace and capital of the Hellenistic kingdom which was founded in Sicily. The Greeks and the Hellenized Thracians were originally the ruling class of the Cimmerian Bosporus, but the status of the indigenous population and the Scythian/Iranian minority, was also important. The two peoples (Greeks and non-Greeks) supported each other: the natives were Hellenized and the Greeks gradually adopted the spirit and the habits of the natives. This duality is obvious in every aspect of the social life of Cimmerian Bosporus. Thus a special Bosporan Greek identity was formed in the Northern Black Sea coast, based on the Ionians.

King Paerisades I died in 310 BC. His eldest son, Satyros, was proclaimed king but soon faced the rebellion of his younger brother Eumelos who claimed the throne. Eumelos had secured the support of Aripharnes, king of the Thataeans as mentioned by Diodorus Siculus, the people who lived on the region of the river Thatis. This river was probably one of the tributaries of Hypanis (Kuban River). It is almost certain that the “Thataeans” (a name which is not national but geographical) are identified with the Siracae, a major Sarmatian tribe who had settled in the Kuban region during the reign of Paerisades I who made them his tributaries. The Sarmatians were a group of nomadic peoples of Central Asia, belonging to the Northern Iranian (Saka, Sakic) stock together with the Scythians. Since the 4th century BC, most of them began migrating towards the steppes north of the Black Sea, while some of their tribes began to move towards China. The various Sarmatian tribes (Sauromatae, Siracae, Aorsi/Alans, Aspourgi, Roxolani, ‘Royal’ Sarmatians, and later the Iazyges, the Alans, the modern Ossetians etc.) were independent and often fought each other. The Sarmatians fought primarily as horsemen and cavalrymen with a long cavalry spear called ‘kontos’. Other arms used by them were their typical medium and long swords, the daggers and a kind of compound bow, less powerful than the Scythian.

Eumelos and Aripharnes of the Siracae confronted Satyros and his Scythian allies in the great battle of the river Thatis , one of the  greatest cavalry battles in Antiquity, in which 10,000 Scythian and 20,000 Sarmatian horsemen and cavalrymen participated. It is certain that the Siracae were supported by many other Sarmatian horsemen, because the Sarmatians in  general were trying to oust the Scythians from the Black Sea steppe.

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ΤΗΕ BOSPORAN KINGDOM (CIMMERIAN BOSPORUS) – PART I

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By  Periklis  Deligiannis

 map

Map  of  the  Kingdom  of  the  Cimmerian  Bosporus,  the  other  Greek  states  in  the  region,  the  Scythian  territory  and  the  last  refuge  of  the  Scythians  after  their  defeat  by  the  Sarmatians  (Historical  Atlas  of  Ukraine:  Greek  colonies  and  the  hinterland)

Since  the  Mycenaean  Age,  the  Greek  navigators  and  colonizers  expressed  their  interest  in  the  Black  Sea  and  the  rich  countries  that  surround  it.  The  Mycenaeans  had  explored  the  region,  as  shown  by  the  tradition  of  the  Argonauts  and  other  evidence,  philological  and  archaeological.  Before  the  Mycenaeans,  Minoan  Crete  was  never  really  interested  in  the  Black  Sea  region.  Generally  speaking,  the  Black  Sea  was  inhospitable  for  the  Mediterranean  seafarer  because  sailing  in  its  waters  was  difficult  and  the  countries  surrounding  it  were  inhabited  by  savage  peoples,  who  used  to  kill  those  who  landed  on  their  shores.  For  these  reasons,  the  original  Greek  name  of  the  Black  Sea  was  the  ‘Inhospitable  Sea’  (Axeinos  Pontos).  The  chaos  of  the  12th  century  BC  in  which  the  Greek  world  sank,  with  the  devastating  raids  of  the  Sea  Peoples  in  the  entire  area  of  the  Eastern  Mediterranean,  the  destruction  of  the  ‘Mycenaean    Commonwealth’  and  the  collapse  of  the  palatial  sociopolitical  system  and  their  aftermath,  removed  the  Greek  navigators  of  the  Black  Sea.

Since  Early  Antiquity,  since  the  time  of  the  ancient  Tripolye  civilization  of  the  3rd  millennium  BC,  the  modern  Russo-Ukrainian  steppes  were  inhabited  by  sedentary  agricultural  and  stockbreeding  populations.  These  populations  were  subdued  by  the  nomadic  peoples  who  arrived  successively  from  Central  Asia,  moving  north  of  the  Caspian  Sea.  The  Indo-Aryan  or  Iranian  Cimmerians  were  the  first  known  (historical)  nomadic  people  to  arrive  there,  followed  by  the  Iranian  Scythians  and  Sarmatians,  and  then  by  the  Turko-Mongol  Huns,  Avars,  Cumans,  Pechenegs  and  others.  The  nomadic  invaders  considered  the  Russo-Ukrainian  steppe  as  a  very  suitable  environment  for  the  growth  of  their  flocks.  The  resident  population  of  modern  southwestern  Ukraine  was  rather  Thracian  in  origin,  while  that  of  southeastern  Ukraine  and  the  steppe  north  of  the  Caucasus  belonged  to  the  people  of  the  older  Shrubnaya  (Timber-grave)  culture.  The  lands  of  the  natives  were  relatively  rich  in  agricultural  production,  so  they  could  pay  without  much  difficulty  the  taxes  imposed  on  them  by  the  nomad  rulers.  Various  nomadic  tribes  retained  as  long  as  they  could  their  power  on  those  lands,  substantially  as  long  as  their  military  superiority  against  external  threats  lasted.

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KING ARTHUR, ARTHURIAN LEGEND AND THE SARMATIANS – PART II

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 Sarmatian sword ring pommelssssss

Left:  Sarmatian  sword  with  the  distinctive  ring-type  handle  ending. A  leather strap  was  probably  tied  in  the  ring  and  in  the  hand  of  the  warrior  as  well,  in  order  to  prevent  the  loss  of  the  sword  during  combat.

Right: a spangenhelm, popular to  the  Sarmatians (many  researchers consider  it to be of  Sarmatian  origin), the Later Romans, the Romano-Britons  and  many  barbarian   peoples (Goths, Huns, Saxons  etc.)

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By  Periklis  Deligiannis

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Continued  from  PART  I

Arthur’s  warriors  are  described  as  knightsSome  scholars  believe  that  this  description  is  due  only  to  the  fact  that  in  the  time  of  Geoffrey of  Monmouth,  every  hero  had  to  be  a  knight. But  this  view  is  rather  superficial  and  incorrect  because  there  is  clear  evidence  that  in  the  5th-6th  centuries, the  Romano-Britons  had  a  strong  heavy  cavalry,  which  probably  was  their  main  military  striking  force.  The  cataphract (heavy  armoured)  Sarmatian  cavalrymen  were  in  fact  the  first  knights  of  the  European  history,  the  founders  of  European  Chivalry  according  to  the  most  popular  view.

The  Sarmatian  armies  included  among  other  types  of  combatants,  many  cataphract  cavalrymen  protected (like  their  horses)  with  nearly  full-length  metal  armor  (usually  scale  armor).  They  also  included  many  horse-archers  and  horse-spearmen  without  any  cuirass.  The  cataphracts  fought  mainly  as  lancers  with  a  long  heavy  spear  (like  the  subsequent  European  knights) as  their  main  offensive  weapon.  They  were  also  carrying  a  composite  bow,  a  long  sword  and  a  dagger.  The  familiar  to  us,  figure  of  the  Late  Medieval  European  knight  was  created  when  the  East  Germanics  (Goths,  Vandals,  Burgundians),  the  Suebi  Germanics  (Marcomanni,  Longobards/Lombards,  Quadi)  and  the  Romans  adopted  the  full  Sarmatian  cavalry  equipment.  The  decimation  of  the  Roman  army  by  the  Gotho-Sarmatian  cavalry  at  the  battle  of  Adrianople  in  378  AD,  established  the  dominance  of  the  knight  (cataphract)  during  the  Middle  Ages.  The  Normans  of  Northern  France  were  the  ones  who  shaped  the  final  form  of  chivalry.

At  this  point,  Ι  have  to make  a  remark  on  the  origins  of  the Normans. The  Normans  are usually  described  by  the  modern  historians as  the  descendants  of  Danish  Vikings , but  in  reality  they had  little  to  do  with  them. Danish  ancestry  was  in  fact  very  limited  among  the  Normans. They  were  mainly  the  descendants  of  the  Latinized  Gauls (specifically Aulerci  and  Belgae/Belgians) of  the  mouth of  the  Seine  who  adopted  a  Scandinavian  national  name (Normans,  meaning  the  People  of  the  North) mainly  for  propaganda  purposes  and  also  a  few  Scandinavian  elements  of  culture and  warfare.  The  primary  historical  donation  of  the  Danes  to  the  Normans  was  the  complete  independence  of  Normandy  from  France  and  the subsequent  “making”  of  the  Norman  national  identity.  Another  racial  component  of  the  Norman  people  were  the  Sarmatian  Alans,  as  we  shall  see  below.

Returning  to  the  Arthurian  Era,  in  Britain,  the  “knights”  of  Arthur  probably  consisted  of  Latinized  and  Celtisized  descendants  of  the  Sarmatian  mercenaries,  and  of  Celtic  cavalrymen  who  fought  in  the  Sarmatian  way.  The  Iazyges (Iazygae)  of  Bremetennacum  are  mentioned  in  the  early  5th  century  as  “the  army  of  the  Sarmatian  veterans“.  They  probably  survived  until  then  as  a  national  entity,  even  speaking  Latin  instead  of  their  native  Iranian  language.  Furthermore,  almost  all  of  the  Sarmatians  of  the  Roman  Empire  were  already  Latinized  linguistically.  It  is  also  certain  that  many  Alans  (the  most  populus  Sarmatian  tribe)  settled  in  Britain  as  mercenaries.  Some  modern  scholars  have  theorized  that  the  modern  British  personal  name  Alan  and  the  French  or  generally  Neo-Latin  Alain/Alen  come  from  the  Alans.  When  members  of  this  people  settled  en  masse  in  western  Europe  and  were  assimilated  by  the  natives,  they  turned  their  national  name  to  a  personal  name:  Alanus  in  Latin (modern  Alan, Allen, Alain, Alen).  Large  groups  of  Alans  settled  as  local  aristocracies  in  Northeastern  Spain,  Northern  Africa,  Northern  Gaul  (giving  their  name  also  to  the  region  of  Alencon),  etc.

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KING ARTHUR, ARTHURIAN LEGEND AND THE SARMATIANS – PART I

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Wulfheodenas

 Reenactment  of a Saxon warlord by the Historical association Wulfheodenas.  Until  the  9th  century  AD,  the  marching  Anglo-Saxons  gradually  conquered  the  greatest  part  of  the  former  Roman  territories  in  Britain. 

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By Periklis  Deligiannis

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In  AD  175  ,  the  Roman  emperor  Marcus  Aurelius  settled  thousands  of  Sarmatian  cavalry  mercenaries  in  Britain.  Two  centuries  later,  the  Western  Roman  Empire  withdrew  her  troops  from  the  island.  It  seems  that  the  independent
”British  kingdom”  preserved  its  unity  and  coherence  but  soon  after  it  was  struck  by  the  ruthless  Anglo-Saxon  invasion.  The  Sarmatians  were  now  merged  with  the  Celtic  and  Romano-Briton  population,  taking  the  lead  in  checking  the  barbarians.  This  Sarmatian  presence  in  Britain  consists  probably  the  historical  background  of  the  legend  of  king  Arthur  and  his  Knights  of  the  Round  Table.

The  Romans  conquered  modern  England  and  Wales  during  the  1st  century  A.D.  The  tribes  of  Caledonia  (Caledonii,  Cornavii/Cornovii,  Venicones  etc.)  which  corresponds  to  the  modern  Scottish  Highlands,  remained  independent.  By  the  4th  century,  her  peoples  had  been  incorporated  into  the  tribal  union  of  the  Picts  (Picti,  Pictae).  Their  name  meant  the  “painted  ones”  in  Latin  because  of  the  ancient  Celtic  custom  of   tattooing  which  they  maintained.  In  fact,  they  called  themselves  Cruthni.  The  Romans  held  Britannia  for  more  than  three  centuries,  but  the  Christianization  and  Latinization  of  its  population  were  confined  only  to  the  cities  and  in  a  few  Southeastern  rural  regions.  The  great  majority  of  the  population  remained  Celtic  in  language  and  in  cults.  Especially  the  rural  populations  were  greatly  influenced  by  the  Christian  heresy  of  Pelagianism.  In  the  late  4th  century  AD,  the  original  Roman  province  of  Britannia  was  split  into  four  provinces:  Caesaresia  Magna,  Caesaresia  Flavia,  Britannia  I  and  Britannia  II.  The  tribes  of  Caledonia  and  Ireland  were  raiding  the  Romano-British  territory  for  centuries.

The  Irish  were  crossing  the  Irish  Sea  with  their  light  vessels,  the  Celtic  curraghs.  The  Caledonians-Picts  were  attacking  the  Romano-British  population  by  land  and  sea,  using  the  same  type  of  ships.  Caledonia  and  Britannia  were  separated  by  a  “neutral  zone” (buffer  zone  in  fact)  between  Antoninus’  and  Hadrian’s  Walls,  which  is  almost  equivalent  to  the  modern  Scottish  Lowlands. The  limits  of  Caledonia  (latter  Pictland)  followed  roughly  the  modern  ‘unofficial’  boundaries  between  the  Highlands  and  the  Lowlands  of  Scotland.  The  tribes  of  this  buffer  zone  between  Britannia  and  Caledonia  (the  Damnonii,  the  Selgovae  et. al.)  had  lived  for  two  decades  of  the  2nd  century  AD  under  direct  Roman  control  that  had  reached  Antoninus’  Wall (Vallum  Antonini).  When  they  revolted,  the  Romans  evacuated  this  region  and  restored  the  line  of  their  defense  in  Hadrian’s  Wall (Vallum  Adriani).  Eventually  the  Romans  made  allied  vassals  (foederati)  the  tribes  of   Lowland  Scotland,  using  them  as  a  buffer  zone  against  the  Caledonians/Picts.  However,  their  fidelity  was  always  questionable  and  the  gradual  weakening  of  the  Empire  led  them  to  raiding  the  Romano-British  territory.

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THE BATTLE OF THE RIVER THATIS – PART III Scythians, Sarmatians and Greeks struggling in the Cimmerian Bosporus

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scythian

A masterpiece from the land of the Scythians. A golden comb depicting a battle on its back: Scythian horseman and infantry fighting (from the royal tomb of  Solokha).

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CONTINUED FROM PART II

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By  Periklis    Deligiannis

Eumelos suggested a compromise to his brother, Prytanis, based on the division of the kingdom into two territories, which they would share. But his brother rejected his proposal. Prytanis went to Panticapaeum to ensure his control on the kingdom. The aristocrats and the citizens of the Greek cities could exploit the power vacuum which was created by the dynastic war, overthrowing the tyranny of  the Spartocids. Prytanis’ absence gave the opportunity to Eumelos and his allies to capture the small city Gargaza and other towns, which were probably in the modern Taman peninsula (May 309 BC). When Prytanis secured his authority on Panticapaeum, he returned to the Kuban region joining again his army. But his military forces were already highly stressed by Eumelos’ army, and were finally defeated in a new conflict. Eumelos clustered the enemy army in the region of Lake Maeotis (modern Sea of Azov) and thereby he forced Prytanis to resign the throne. Eumelos was proclaimed king but his brother made a last attempt to regain the throne when he returned to Panticapaeum. Prytanis failed, bringing about the wrath of his brother because of his attempt. Eumelos executed him along with his family and Satyrus’ family (June 309 BC).

The new king was murderous, ordering the killing of many friends of his dead brothers. Thus he ultimately caused the counteraction of his subjects, who were sick and tired of his atrocities. Eumelos realized that he would face a revolution and so he called the people of the capital in a popular assembly, in which he announced economic measures favorable to the merchant class, whose support he was intended for. Thereby he consolidated his authority. The kings Paerisades and Satyrus were active and capable rulers. Eumelos proved worthy of them in his five years of rule. The indigenous peoples of the northern and eastern shores of the Black Sea region, especially the Tauri (Taurians), the Heniochi (‘charioteers’) and the Achaeans (not to be confused with the Greek Achaeans) were conducting piracy against the Greek merchants of the Bosporus, damaging seriously its economy. Eumelos used the Bosporan fleet against them, which he reinforced, and managed to crush them. Thereby he strengthened the Bosporan trade and gained over consistently the strong middle class of traders. He also strengthened the military forces by recruiting more Greeks from the urban centers, who provided by then only a limited number of men in the royal army.

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THE BATTLE OF THE RIVER THATIS – PART II Scythians, Sarmatians and Greeks struggling in the Cimmerian Bosporus

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By  Periklis    Deligiannis9a

Map  of  the  three  main  phases  of  the  battle  of    river  Thatis  (copyright:  Osprey  publishing). 

Corrections  in  the  map  according  to  my  point  of  wiew:  Thataeans=  Siraces.  Eumeles=  Eumelos.  The  name  of  Meniskos,  commander  of  the  Greeks  and  Thracians,    should  be  added.  Following  Alan  Webster,  most  of  Eumelos’  troops  were  cavalrymen.  And  In  my  point  of  view,  Satyrus’  left  wing  was  comprised  overwhelmingly  of  light  infantry.

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CONTINUED FROM PART I

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Satyros’  Scythian  army  invaded  the  Thataean/Siracian  territory  supported  by  many  wagons  with  food  and  supplies,  in  order  not  to  face  supply  problems  in  the  hostile  country.  When  they  reached  river  Thatis,  they  found  the  enemy  army  waiting  for  them  on  the  opposite  river  bank.  Satyros  decided  to  cross  the  river  despite  the  threat  by  the  deployed  Siraces.  It  seems,  paradoxically,  that  the  later  did  not  prevent  the  enemy  crossing.  Aripharnes  possibly  wanted  to  fight  the  decisive  battle  at  his  own  territory  and  did  not  attack  the  Scythian  army  during  the  crossing  of  Thatis,  a  move  that  would  bring  perhaps  the  retreat  of  Satyros’  army.  Besides,  Aripharnes  did  not  wish  the  presence  of  a  numerous  enemy  army  for  a  long  time  at  his  territory  (covering  both  of  the  riverbanks  of  Thatis),  that  would  pillage  and  destroy  the  Siracian  lands.  Thus  he  was  aiming  at  a  decisive  battle  and  that  is  why  he  did  not  block  the  crossing.

The  Scythian  army  established  a  fortified  camp  with  its  wagons  near  the  riverbank  of  Thatis,  and  quickly  lined  up  for  battle  in  front  of  the  camp.  Satyros  placed  the  Greek  hoplites  under  Meniskos  (commander  of  the  mercenaries)  at  the  right  wing  of  his  army,  supported  at  the  top  of  the  wing  by  the  Thracian  peltasts.  According  to  the  ancient  sources,  in  the  left  wing  he  arrayed  Scythian  cavalry  and  infantry.  According  to  the  process  of  the  battle,  it  is  most  probable  that  he  placed  there  only  some  Scythian  horsemen  and  cavalrymen  (probably  a  few)  and  a  great  number  of  light  infantry.  In  the  center  of  his  battle  line,  Satyros  placed  Scythian  cavalry  and  infantry  as  well,  but  is  seems  that  in  this  case  the  cavalrymen  were  more  numerous  than  the  infantrymen.  He  also  took  his  place  in  the  center,  commanding  the  bulk  of  the  Scythian  armored  cavalry.

The  composition  of  the  Siracian/Thataean  order  of  battle  is  not  known,  but  the  ancient  quotations  on  the  process  of  the  battle,  provide  enough  data  on  this  composition.  Eumelos  assumed  command  of  the  left  wing,  against  the  Greeks  and  Thracians,  apparently  because  as  a  Bosporan,  he  knew  very  well  their  tactics.  As  it  will  be  discussed  below,  he  rather  commanded  numerous  Sarmatian  cavalrymen,  many  of  whom  would  have  been  elite  troops  (armored  etc.),  in  order  to  ensure  the  disruption  of  the  hoplite  phalanx  and  the  peltasts  that  supported  and  protected  it.  Eumelos  would  also  command  his  few  Bosporan  supporters  (probably  exclusively  cavalry).    Aripharnes  took  his  place  in  the  center  of  his  army,  commanding  Siracian/Sarmatian  cavalry  and  infantry.  It  is  certain  that  Aripharnes’  cavalry  in  the  center,  included  many  elite  cavalrymen  (the  king’s  bodyguard).  The  Siracian  right  wing  included  the  rest  of  the  cavalry  and  light  infantry,  but  it  seems  that  the  infantrymen  there,  were  overwhelmingly  more  numerous  than  the  cavalrymen.

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THE BATTLE OF THE RIVER THATIS – PART I Scythians, Sarmatians and Greeks struggling in the Cimmerian Bosporus

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By  Periklis    DeligiannisCimmerian  Bosporus
Map  of  the  Kingdom  of  Cimmerian  Bosporus  with  the  stages  of  its  expansion.  The  Scythians  and  the  Siraces  are  noted  in  the  map.  River  Thatis  was  a  tributary  of    the  river  Hypanis  (Kouban).

The  Kingdom  of  Cimmerian  Bosporus  was  founded  in  438  BC  when  Spartocus,  a  Hellenized  Thracian,  had  established  himself  as  a  tyrant  in  the  Greek  colony  of  Panticapaeum  (modern  Kerch  in  Crimea).  Panticapaeum  was  a  colony  of  Miletus  in  Ionia  (Asia  Minor),  and  the  most  powerful  of  the  Ionic  (Greek)  colonies  in  the  northern  shore  of  the  Black  Sea.  Most  of  these  cities  were  colonies  of  Ionic  Miletus,  and  they  were  founded  mostly  in  the  peninsulas  of  Crimea  and  Phanagoria  (modern  Taman).  Spartocus’  Hellenized  successors,  Satyrus  (his  son,  431-389  BC)  and  Leucon  (his  grandson,  389-349),  conquered  many  of  the  nearby  cities,  reducing  sharply  the  Athenian  military  and  political  influence  in  the  area.  Most  of  the  Greek  cities  of  the  Northern  shore  of  the  Black  Sea  were  Athenian  protectorates  until  then,  with  the  exceptions  of  Chersonesus  (a  Doric  colony  of  Heraclea)  and  Olbia.  Satyrus  annexed  the  cities  Nymphaeon  (an  Athenian  military  colony)  and  Kimmerikon  (Cimmerikon),  but  Leucon  was  the  one  who  made  the  Hegemony  of  Panticapeum  a  real  kingdom:  the  kingdom  of  the  Cimmerian  Bosporus.

“Cimmerian    Bosporus”  was  the  Greek  name  for  the  modern  straits  between  the  peninsulas  of  Crimea  and  Taman.  Leucon  annexed  the  Greek  cities  Theodosia  (modern  Feodosiya),  Hermonassa,  Phanagoria,  Gorgippia,  Parthenion,  Athenaeon  (an  Athenian  military  colony),  Myrmenkion  etc.  The  same  tyrant/king  subjucated  also  the  native  Sindians  and  the  native  as  well  Maeotic  tribes  (Dandarii,  Psessae,  Toretae,  Heniochi  et  al.).  Paerisades  I  (348-310  BC),  Leucon’s  successor,  extended  furthermore  the  Bosporan  rule.  During  his  reign,  the  kingdom  of  Cimmerian  Bosporus  covered  an  area  of  about  30-35,000  sq.  Km.  Athens  had  no  other  option  but  to  abandon  her  rights  in  the  area.  The  Spartocid  dynasty  recognized  only  some  commercial  rights  to  the  Athenians.

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