Sunday, 13 September 2009


Checking up a little background detail on the Scythians [thank you, Wikipedia], to give me a little Ovidian background (nothing too heavy). Fierce warriors, horsemen, mound-burialers, mentioned in Herodotos, leaving us no written literature. Ah, but here's Skunkha, king of the Sakā tigraxaudā (the 'wearing-pointed-caps' Sakae, a group of Scythian tribes) in a detail from the Behistun Inscription:

That he looks like one of Santa's Little Helpers may not augment his reputation as a fierce warrior; but it endears him to me. And check out this Pazyryk Horseman (from a felt artifact, ca. 300 BC. Yes, I said felt. What of it?) Tell me he doesn't remind you of somebody wearing an outsize Mardi Gras papier-maché head?

I also like that the Scythian army was an equal opportunities employer, as with these conjoined twins:

Now all I need do is find out whether 'scythe' derives from 'Scythian'.

No comments: