1st Millenium BC to 1st Millenium
Crimean Peninsula, Central EurasiaThe Scythians Saka, Sakae, Iskuzai, or Askuzai, were an ancient nomadic people of Eurasia, inhabiting the region Scythia. Classical Scythians dominated the Pontic steppe from approximately the 7th century BC until the 3rd century BC.
Herodotus provides the first detailed description of the Scythians. He classifies the Cimmerians as a distinct autochthonous tribe, expelled by the Scythians from the northern Black Sea coast. Herodotus also states that they consisted of the Auchatae, Catiaroi, Traspians, and Paralatae or "Royal Scythians".
Bartatua was succeeded by his son Madius ca. 645 BC, after which they launched a great raid on Palestine and Egypt. Madius subsequently subjugated the Median Empire. During this time, Herodotus notes that the Scythians raided and exacted tribute from "the whole of Asia".
The Battle of Nineveh is conventionally dated between 613 and 611 BC, with 612 BC being the most supported date. Rebelling against the Assyrians, an allied army which combined the forces of Medes and the Babylonians, besieged Nineveh and sacked 750 hectares of what was, at that time, one of the greatest cities in the world.
The Scythian state reached its greatest extent in the 4th century BC during the reign of Ateas. Isocrates believed that Scythians, and also Thracians and Persians, were "The ablest to power, and are the peoples with the greatest might".
Scyles was a Scythian king who lived in the 5th century BC. He is mentioned in the history of Herodotus as having been an admirer of Greek culture and traditions, which led to his falling out of favor with his people and being executed by his brother.
Recent excavations at Ak-Kaya/Vishennoe imply that this site was the political center of the Scythians in the 3rd century BC and the early part of the 2nd century BC. It was a well-protected fortress constructed in accordance with Greek principles.
Scythian Neapolis was largely constructed in accordance with Greek principles. Its royal palace was destroyed by Diophantus, a general of the Pontic king Mithridates VI, at the end of the 2nd century BC, and was not rebuilt. The city nevertheless continued to exist as a major urban center.
The most important site of the Late Crimean culture is Scythian Neaoplis, which was located in Crimea and served as the capital of the Late Scythian kingdom from the early 2nd century BC to the beginning of the 3rd century AD.