Why did the Scythians invade the ancient Near East?

Jul 2019
27
Australia
#1
I know that they migrated/got forced West into the lands of the cimmerians (AKA modern day Ukraine), but after defeating them and making them flee, why did the scythians give Chase over the Caucasian mountains and into the Assyrian empire? I read somewhere that some of them did indeed stay behind to settle in the Pontic-caspian steppe but others continued hunting down the cimmerians, why?
 
#2
I know that they migrated/got forced West into the lands of the cimmerians (AKA modern day Ukraine), but after defeating them and making them flee, why did the scythians give Chase over the Caucasian mountains and into the Assyrian empire? I read somewhere that some of them did indeed stay behind to settle in the Pontic-caspian steppe but others continued hunting down the cimmerians, why?
I'm not sure it was ever all to do with the Cimmerians?

What attracted the Scythian's south is the same thing that attracted the Saka West into Persia, good raiding grounds and rich pickings.

The Scythian's were becoming a greater player on the Middle Eastern scene, eventually allying with other Kingdoms to bring down Empires.
 
Jul 2019
27
Australia
#3
How would they have known what was there and what was going on there. I just don't know why they would go over the Caucasian mountains after living on the steppes for centuries, when there was plenty of fairly rich lands in the pontic-caspian steppe? And I mean they eventually disappeared from the Near East like less than a century later right? didn't work out that well there I guess.
 
#4
How would they have known what was there and what was going on there. I just don't know why they would go over the Caucasian mountains after living on the steppes for centuries, when there was plenty of fairly rich lands in the pontic-caspian steppe? And I mean they eventually disappeared from the Near East like less than a century later right? didn't work out that well there I guess.
Because over years word travels, even in the steppes, trade, nomads coming into contact with others, this is not a unique phenomenon.

Also what rich lands were there in the Pontiac-Caspian Steppes? what civilizations? etc.

They disappeared from the Near East because their cousins the Sarmatian's went to war with them after being under their yoke for hundreds of years and won essentially replacing the Scythians as the power on the steppes, Sarmatian and Saka tribes like the Roxolani and Alans took over all the spaces the Scythians used to rule over ........ until the waves of Turks pressing from the Mongol steppes put pressure on them also even more so and drove them further West.

The Scythians didn't fall due to interfering in the Assyrian and Babylonian Empires, they fell because they were eventually usurped by fellow Indo-European nomad tribes, just like all long standing powers do especially in the steppes.
 
Jul 2019
27
Australia
#5
I meant to say that the kingdom and presence they had established on the near east dissapeared quite quick, and they went to live out the rest of their fairly long reign over the pontic-caspian steppe.

There were no civilizations in the steppes after they drove out the Cimmerians, precisely my point. The Western Scythians lived and flourished in modern day Ukraine for a long period of time, it seems that that place worked out much better for them than the Near East did.
 
#6
I meant to say that the kingdom and presence they had established on the near east dissapeared quite quick, and they went to live out the rest of their fairly long reign over the pontic-caspian steppe.

There were no civilizations in the steppes after they drove out the Cimmerians, precisely my point. The Western Scythians lived and flourished in modern day Ukraine for a long period of time, it seems that that place worked out much better for them than the Near East did.
Well that's easily explainable.

By moving West you have lack of competition.

Firstly just to nit pick, the Scythian's didn't have a Kingdom, they dominated territory, they had tents and were nomads, they didn't build permanent settlements.

Secondly as far as them moving West, the more West you go the lesser amount of fellow nomadic tribes you have to compete with.

In the Scythians original territory in Central Asia you have Turco-Mongols to the East, Massagetae and Saka to the South and your surrounded by Thysagetae, Sarmatians, Aorsi, Siraces, Roxolani tribes of fellow Indo-Iranian nomads.

All competing for territory and resources, when the Scythian's moved West all they had to compete with were really the Budini who they could out muscle easily and tbf the Budini pretty much kept themselves to themselves, all the other tribes I mentioned were residing to their East, their West was clear of enemies and they could raid into Mesopotamia and Anatolia via the Caucaus whenever they wanted.

........... it could be said this ideal location is what led to them becoming more passive and why the Sarmatians who they previously dominated, defeated them.

A fact of life on the Steppes, East is where the danger is, its the wild west (East), its why hordes develop from the East and migrate West, its never the other way around.

An Eastern tribe dominates its neighbours, then with their new found strength and search for plunder to feed their new subjects they head West, as they head West a domino effect occurs, they swallow up more and more nomad tribes until they become a confederation.
This confederation then lords it out West until they become fat off the land and then they are eventually replaced by a new fiercer and more aggressive new wave horde.

That's the Steppe life, and that's what really happened to the once great Scythians.

Scythians > Sarmatians > Huns > Avars > Gokturks > Khazars >Magyars > Bulgars > Kipchak-Cumins > Khitan > Mongols > Timurids > Gun powder era.

That is the history of the Steppe, the Scythians may of been the first nomad power to be replaced but they were certainly not the last, its not really some big mystery.
 
Mar 2019
40
Europe
#7
Well that's easily explainable.

By moving West you have lack of competition.

A fact of life on the Steppes, East is where the danger is, its the wild west (East), its why hordes develop from the East and migrate West, its never the other way around.
Didn't the Goths move eastwards? They were originally inhabiting what is now France and Germany. And then they have expanded as far Eastwards as East Ukraine.
So it's not always the case.
 
Jul 2019
27
Australia
#8
Well, firstly. I'm fairly certain the Scythians did indeed establish a kingdom in the Near east around the 7th century B.C that lasted around 30 years iirc. They also would establish one later on, around 200BC I think with the Scythian king Skilurus.

Also, you talk about them moving west since there was no competition, yep, that's what I'm asking, why did they move south and into the Near east first instead of west into the Pontic-Caspian steppe.

Anyway, thinking about it now. The Scythians probably drove the cimmerians out, settled in modern day Ukraine for a bit, before hearing of the riches south and the crumbling empire of the Assyrians, which, in turn, made many of them invade down south.
 
#9
Well, firstly. I'm fairly certain the Scythians did indeed establish a kingdom in the Near east around the 7th century B.C that lasted around 30 years iirc. They also would establish one later on, around 200BC I think with the Scythian king Skilurus.

Also, you talk about them moving west since there was no competition, yep, that's what I'm asking, why did they move south and into the Near east first instead of west into the Pontic-Caspian steppe.

Anyway, thinking about it now. The Scythians probably drove the cimmerians out, settled in modern day Ukraine for a bit, before hearing of the riches south and the crumbling empire of the Assyrians, which, in turn, made many of them invade down south.
They only raided South, they didn't migrate, after they raided Mesopotamia they went back north.

Reason ........ civilizations have the wealth, its like robbing a bank, that's where the gold is.
 
#10
Didn't the Goths move eastwards? They were originally inhabiting what is now France and Germany. And then they have expanded as far Eastwards as East Ukraine.
So it's not always the case.
The Goths did move Eastward ....... as far as the Ukraine, a break away tribe of Goths even settled in Cimmeria called the Greuthungi.

Two things, they moved into the space the Sarmatians had left open, the Sarmatians were busy migrating West and had allied with the Goths and other Germanic tribes previously against Rome, they were on good terms in general.

......... but what was the result of that Eastward movement?

A road block of Alan's on their East coast that prevented them from going any further and then a face full of Hun invasion, death and destruction ....... they were in fact the first large group of Western Germanics to feel the full fury of the Huns Westward push.

So in summary, this was a one off or i.e temporary reprieve.

If you look at the list of Westward moving hordes I listed in the other post you'll note it is a terrible idea to move East along the steppe and one short term Gothic kingdom (considering what happened to them) only proves my point.

Also a band of Goths getting as far as the Ukraine for a few years is hardly an example of deep Eastern incursion is it?
 

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