Ancient Iranians in Europe
By Dr. Kaveh Farrokh
Greetings to All,
An excellent book has recently been published about a group of Iranian tribes who lived in Europe between 600 BC - 450 AD:
TITLE: The Saramtians 600 BC - 450 AD
AUTHORS: Richard Brzezinski & Mariuscz Mielczarek
PUBLISHER: England: Osprey Publishing
ISBN: 1 84176 485 X
Very few individuals are even aware of the existence of these forgotten northern Iranians. In the west, the Saramatians are incorrectly assumed to be another group of "Eastern Germans" (Ostrogoths). Some western authors have recently attempted to avoid referring to the Saramatians Iranian origins. Nevertheless History cannot be changed and the descendents of the Saramatians now live in a region called Ossetia (between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Georgia). The Ossetians speak an Iranian language related to the Farsi of Iran. This book is of interest in the following areas:
(1) The role of women in ancient Iranian society. There are two color plates that show women in positions of authority. Plate A (p.25) shows an "Amazon" (Greek term for northern Iranian warrior women) capturing an enemy with a lasso. Plate C (p.27) illustrates a matriarch receiving prisoners.
(2) The influence of the Sarmatians on the British legend of King Arthur.
(3) Saramatian influences on Roman cavalry. Note that the Romans were already heavily influenced by the technology of the Iranians of Persia (especially the Parthians and the Sassanians).
This book mainly covers military affairs. It outlines the Iranian origins of the Saramatians and discusses each of the tribes (Iazyges, Alans, Roxolan, Siraces and Aorsi). It is important to note that the Saramatians also bought many facets of the culture and architecture of Persia into Europe. One example is the "Dutch" windmill which actually originated in Khorassan in the Sassanian era. The Saramatians also combined Persian and Greek architecture and helped form the basis of Gothic, Merovingian and Rennaissance architecture. Despite the scope of Iranian influence on European culture, their legacy is passed over in silence. Books such as these will help us remember the exploits of these forgotten Iranians.
Dr. Kaveh Farrokh (Ph.D.)