"In the history of the Turki peoples such women of marked personality have played a very important part. There is not the slightest reason to cast suspicion upon the story of Herodotus about the Queen of the Massagetae*, Tomyris, who beat the conqueror of Asia, the Persian Emperor Cyrus himself.
Historians regard the whole story as a myth, but it fits in perfectly well with everything we know about these nomad peoples of Asia. There is no doubt, as Professor Mischenko** thinks, that the Scythian tribe of Massagetae were nothing more nor less than the ancestors of the Kirghiz*** of today in the Turgai Province, where the name survives in the River Massagatka and the mountain Mussagat.
The name of Tomyris, like other Scythian names, is of Turki origin. This name, Tomyris, means “crush iron” or “bend iron”, from temir, iron; and recalls another famous warrior out of Asia Temir-leng, Temir the Lame or Tamerlane, a remote descendant of his famous compatriot Tomyris.
If one carefully reads Herodotus’s account of the Amazons and their origin, the inevitable conclusion is that these Amazons were the wives of just the same Turki nomads whose menfolk had gone off on some military expedition to some remote district. The first syllable of their very name is a Turki Word. Conveying the idea of woman. In the same way his remarkable description of the Scythians, their manners an customs, does not leave any room for doubt that he was describing the ancestors of that same people which is today called Kirghiz, and from the most remote dawn of antiquity has inhabited the steppes of Southern Russian and Western Siberia."
Hunted Through Central Asia
* Massagetae = Big Sacae-Saka
** Prof.Th.I.Mishchenko was the Russian translator of Herodotus.
*** Kyrgyz Turkish Tribe : Kyrkkyz-Fortygirl; well-known national legend in which the princess Gulaim and her forty girls bravely struggled against enemies, and descendants of Kyrk-Kyz called themselves "Kyrgyz" .
Tomris (Tomyris-Tomiris), a national heroine among Turkish people.
"Massagetae's are Turks (Huns) in most sources. But the war was in Caucauses-Azerbaycan instead in Turkmenistan. Tomyris name is actually Tomur, she was the Queen of Massagetae." Elşad Alili /Azerbaycan
In the S. Caucasus, Huns appeared as companions of Masguts (Massagatae), about 2nd c. AD, undoubtedly passing by the Aral Basin, where they joined Masguts (Massagets). In the merry-go-around of the nomadic coalitions, the Kayi Huns supplanted Massagets (Masguts, Alans), or Massagets (Masguts, Alans) supplanted Kayi Huns at the head of the Northeast Caucasian Türkic tribes. Then Savirs supplanted Kayi or Masguts, and became an umbrella term in the Byzantine-Persian confrontation, then Huns supplanted Savirs and became a dominating force in the Caucasus till in the 8th c. the Arabs decimated them, forcing them to ally with Khazars. From then on, the North Caucasian Türkic tribes appear under the umbrella term of Khazars, with Bulgar and Suvar magnates continuing running the Khazar Empire. - N.Kisamov, From the article "Kemal Aliyev- Origin of Kumyks in Soviet ideology and historiography; Who are Kumuks?"
an article from 1929
WHO WERE THE SCYTHiANS?
A MODERN SCIENTIST VINDICATES HERODOTUS.
WHERE is the necessity for studying geography in order to understand ethnological developments more evident than in reference to the Scythians, who have left such a deep mark upon the literature of the world. Herodotus (450 BC.) is the first to put on record their manners and customs, and their various tribes, evidently gaining his information from the Greek colonists who had settled round the Northern shores of the Black Sea. The Old Testament prophets refer to their invading hordes of savage horsemen, under Gog, of the land of Magog. Out of the mysterious region came at various times the hosts of Tamerlane, Atilla, "The scourge of God," with his Huns, and the Turks, whose Empire, after four centuries of dominance over the Near East, crumbled in the Great War. The Russian Slavs had to endure inundations of these Scythian swarms, and called them "Tartars," that is to say, men of Tartarus or hell, for the word has no ethnographical significance. How far they mingled with these Sarmatians is indicated by the proverb, "Scratch the Russian, and you will find the Tartar."
THE REAL SCYTHiA.
Up till near the end of the 19th century ethnologists were satisfied to "locate the depths of Asia," as they vaguely called them, somewhere in Turkestan, but the explorations of Sven Hedin and other travellers in Gobi have established the fact that ever since Tertiary times ' this vast heart of Asia has been desert, and never in human history capable of carrying more than the sparse tribes that wander in it to this day. The real home .from which vast hordes have boiled over into Europe and Asia arc the great steppes that stretch from the Carpathians across Southern /Russia and Siberia to the valleys of Northern Mongolia. Tills huge area of steppe land, nearly as great in area as Australia, in regional geography must be considered as one, with its characteristic flora and fauna. Its summers are warm and its winters are cold, and in ancient times these enormous grasslands supported, as they still do. millions of people moving nomadically with their vast herds from north to south, according to the season.
Their central area is the Kirghiz Pt- I where flourishes the hardy Kirghis horse, capable of enduring the cold of winter on the scanty grass it finds under the snow, and a rapid breeder. It is probably a descendant from the Equus tarpán, which became extinct, on the Russian steppes about the time of the Crimean War. In this Scythian horse we have the explanation of those ueriodic waves of barbarian invasion which broke upon Europe and Asia both of their extent and limitation. When the Scythians swept down upon India, leaving their wives and children at home, they were blocked by the heat of the plains of Hindustan, because their horses could not endure it. When they swept into the forests of Muscovy the wet grass of that fogev country decimated the horses of Tamerlane, and saved these forest lands from the steppe warriors. The Scythians did not leave their grasslands under the pressure of poverty, for they had abundant rattle. It was the sheer spirit of adventure that sent them forth from their featureless plains to raid the world. They became most expert horsemen, and were the first cavalry -used in war. Their women are still on the Kirghiz expert horsewomen.
The legend of the Amazons, as told us by Herodotus, has a historic root. The Turki women to this day do the stock-work when the men aro absent, often with one or two of their children up. When the men were slain in battle the women carried on, and did not hesitate to fight to protect their homes and herds. Hence the tradition of women warriors or Amazons. The word seemed to indicate In Greek that they had cut off one breast the better to wield the bow. This Is now rejected for a Turki compound, "Inlesl bash," meaning "mother-head." Among the Scythians the grey mare was often the better horse! when General Skobelofl in the '70's Invaded the Khanate of Kokand, the queen of the Kirghiz, Kurban Datkha, gave him so stiff a resistance that only his modern weapons saved his army, and there still lives in Transcaspian Turkestan another queen who with her Turkmen has defied the Bolsheviks. Scythia, therefore, still breeds Amazons.
THE SUMERiAN KiNGS.
Herodotus tells us that when Scythian kings were buried their waggons and horses were buried with them as well as the grooms, both animals and men being propped up after death by means of wooden stakes Mr. Wooley has lately unearthed similar burials at Ur. This, together with the resemblance of the Sumerian speech to the agglutinative Turkish, lends colour to a Scythian origin. It may be noted that the Turki language of the steppes has a vogue from Kazan, in Russin, to Peshawar, in India, and from The Crimea to Eastern Siberia and to Tibet. The dialects differ, but a Turkman can make himself understood over this vast area.
In the fourth book of his history Herodotus had said many things about the Scythians that were formerly put down by historians as myths, or mere gossip. Those who know the Turkmen best confirm his accuracy in many particulars. Herodotus, for example, describes the preparation of mare's milk by the Scythians without being clear about the object of the operation. It was, of course, the preparation of "kumiss," the chief article of diet among the Kirghiz to this day, and famous for Its medicinal and curative qualities. The name Scythian may well come from the goblet that every Turkman till recently carried with him-his "kise," as he called it, which in Greek became "skythoa." The Tibetan still carries it with him wherever he goes. The battle-axe of the Greek historian, a crescent-shaped weapon, has only lately been discovered on the steppes.
Herodotus records a tall tale of a tribe of Scythians, the Neurol, who turned themselves into wolves, and were turned out of their country by serpents, Wo have it, on the authority of the Russian, Nazaroff, who lived for 25 years at Taskent, in Turkestan, that these same tales are still bandied about round Kirghiz camp fires. Even the disgusting story of Herodotus, that the Scythians were "eaters of lice," is explained by their method of exterminating these vermin by nibbling the seams of their clothing with a rapid movement of the teeth. The Scythians had the terrible habit of using the flayed skins of their enemies as saddle-cloths, a barbarous custom that was still observed in the conflicts between Kirghiz and Cossack.
In the earlier part of the 19th century Herodotus, who loved the wonderful, had a tale that wild white horses crazed near the source of the Hypanis. The Sarts and Kirghiz still believe that by remote rivers and lakes white hairless wild horses live that make a snlendld cross with their ponies.
Dr.Nazaroff suggest « that this belief may be traced to the Kulan, a wild ass of pale yellowish colour, and one that has the swiftness attributed to the animal by Job- The anoient Scythian still survives in these children of the Kirghiz stennes, still remote enough from a levelling modern civilisation to confirm in many particulars the details of their manners and customs recorded by Herodotus nearly 24 centuries ago.
Saturday 21 December 1929
The Brisbane Courier (1864 -1933)
"Paul Stepanovich Nazaroff was born at Orenburg in the Urals, where his father owned some mining properties and was "head" of the town-that is, permanent mayor or burgomaster. He was educated at Moscow University, where he took the degree corresponding to that of Doctor of Philosophy on the basis of a thesis on Zoogeography. He then qualified as a mining engineer in the Mining Institute at St Petersburg, and became a Member of the Imperial Mineralogical Society, of the Imperial Geographical Society, and of the Society of Naturalist of Moscow.
A man of the widest sympathies and encyclopaedic knowledge, with a full share of dry humour and an absorbing love of nature, with an intense hatred of insincerity and humbung in all its forms, most tenacious of his opinions, yet ready, like a man of truly scientific instincts, to modify them in the face of evidence, Pavel Stepanovich is a delightfull companion. And so it is my privelege to introduce to English readers the man whom I am proud to call friend, mining engineer, geologist, mineralogist, chemist, ornoithologist and skilful taxidermist, sportsman, expert on firearms and archaelogist - Paul S.Nazaroff." (Nazaroff died in 1942-SB.)
United Universtiy Clyb, London 1932