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Headword: Skuthai
Adler number: sigma,703
Translated headword: Scythians
Vetting Status: high
In the time of the Roman Emperor Claudius [II Gothicus],[1] the survivors of the Scythians, being roused as a result of their previous attacks in the time of Gallienus the small,[2] having taken as allies (H)eruli and Peuci and Goths and gathering together around the River Tyras,[3] entered the Black Sea.[4] After they had built 900 ships and had put 32,000 men on them, they sailed across the Black Sea, attacked the city of Tomi[5] and were repelled. [They fared] likewise against Marcianopolis.[6] Moreover, when they arrived at the straits of Propontis, the ships dashed against one another because of the current, and their hulls were carried in disarray when the pilots lost hold of the rudders. The result was that some sank with their crews and others without men ran aground, and the majority [of the men] perished. The survivors, on the other hand, sailed against Cyzicus and, after they had been carried as far as [Mount] Athos and had taken care of the ships, besieged Cassandria and Thessalonica. After they were repelled, they went inland, plundered the entire country, and were destroyed throughout several countries. But as many as survived were enlisted by the Byzantines and turned to farming.
Greek Original:
Skuthai: hoti epi Klaudiou basileôs Rhômaiôn Skuthôn hoi perileiphthentes ek tôn prolabousôn eparthentes ephodôn epi Galliênou tou mikrou, Eroulous kai Peukestas kai Gotthous paralabontes kai peri ton Turannon potamon athroisthentes eisebalon eis ton Ponton. naupêgêsamenoi de ploia ennakosia kai toutois embibasantes b# kai l# muriadas, arantes dia tou Pontou, polei Tomei prosbalontes apekrousthêsan. hôsautôs kai Markianoupolei. epei de ta stena tês Propontidos katelabon, ek tou rheumatos ta ploia allêlois prosêratte, kai ephereto ta skaphê sun oudeni kosmôi, tôn kubernêtôn methientôn tous oiakas: hôste tas men katadunai autandrous tinas de kai andrôn erêmous okeilai: kai pleistoi apôlonto. hoi de perileiphthentes tên epi Kuzikon epleon kai achri tou Athô parenechthentes kai tôn ploiôn epimeleian poiêsamenoi Kassandreian kai Thessalonikên epoliorkoun. apokrousthentes de eis tên mesogeion anabantes pasan chôran elêïzonto kai kata diaphorous chôras diephtheironto. hosoi de diesôthêsan, Rhômaiois sunêrithmêthêsan kai pros geôrgian etraponto.
Zosimus, Historia nova 1.42, 43, 46.
[1] M. Aurelius Claudius Gothicus, reigned 268-270 CE (in succession to Gallienus, about to be mentioned). See De Imperatoribus Romanis entry by Richard Weigel at web address 1.
[2] This phrase is not in Zosimus, and makes no sense anyway. Perhaps (TP) emend tou= mikrou= to pro\ mikrou=, 'a little before in the time of Gallienus,' most probably referring to the Heruli's sacking of Greek cities in 267 CE.
[3] Tyrannos here, by a scribal slip. This is the present-day R. Dniester ('Niester' in Gibbon) in the Ukraine.
[4] 269 CE.
[5] See generally tau 754.
[6] Present-day Reka Devniya, in Bulgaria.
Edward Gibbon, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (available on-line at Project Gutenberg, etc.)
Associated internet address:
Web address 1
Keywords: agriculture; biography; chronology; ethics; geography; historiography; history; military affairs; trade and manufacture
Translated by: Timothy Pepper on 25 April 2001@07:19:37.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (added notes and keywords; cosmetics) on 25 September 2002@06:26:12.
David Whitehead (another keyword) on 2 October 2005@11:25:39.
David Whitehead (additions to notes; tweaks and cosmetics) on 27 August 2010@10:06:33.
David Whitehead (my typo) on 27 August 2010@13:30:22.
David Whitehead on 30 December 2013@04:11:25.
David Whitehead (removed defunct link) on 12 August 2014@09:24:58.
Catharine Roth (added a different link) on 12 August 2014@11:09:11.
Catharine Roth (expanded note) on 28 November 2014@10:53:32.
Catharine Roth (typo) on 15 June 2020@01:16:14.


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