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Nomads as Agents of Cultural ChangeThe Mongols and Their Eurasian Predecessors$
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Reuven Amitai and Michal Biran

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780824839789

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824839789.001.0001

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The Scythians and Their Neighbors

The Scythians and Their Neighbors

(p.32) Three The Scythians and Their Neighbors
Nomads as Agents of Cultural Change

Anatoly M. Khazanov

University of Hawai'i Press

The socio-political organization and political culture of the Scythian kingdoms from the second half of the 7th century until the mid-3rd century BCE demonstrate principle similarity with those of many later nomadic states in the Eurasian steppes. Those states were based on subordination of and tribute extraction from sedentary countries and populations. The only peculiar characteristic of Scythian statehood was the centuries-old contacts with the Greek world and its classical civilization. These multifarious contacts were instrumental in the growing social stratification and cultural fragmentation of Scythian society. The late history of Scythia, in the last centuries BCE—the first centuries CE, was characterized by intensified processes of sedentarization, urbanization, and syncretic culture, that borrowed a great deal not only from Greeks culture, but from the Sarmatians as well. Only a few cultural traits retained the old Scythian traditions. In the third century CE, the last Scythian kingdom was destroyed and the Scythians departed forever from the historical arena.

Keywords:   Scythians, ancient nomads, the Eurasian steppes, the ancient Near East, Pontic Greeks, forest-steppe tribes, migrations, socio-political organization, political culture, animal style

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