Christian Churches of God

No. 46C




Sons of Japheth: Part III Magog


(Edition 1.0 20080207-20080207)


The descendants of Magog are the so-called Scythians and the numerous tribes, such as the Goths and part of the Swedes, that grew out of them. From both historical sources and recent genetic research, we are able to trace the movements of these people and determine where they are located today. The Magogites were long displaced by other tribes from the ancient land of Scythia. They also have a strong connection with the British Isles. A comprehensive history and genealogy of one particular group, the Irish, is given in the Appendix.





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Sons of Japheth Part III: Magog 


In Genesis 10, Magog is given as the second son of the patriarch Japheth, son of Noah.


Genesis 10:1-2 These are the generations of the sons of Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth; sons were born to them after the flood. 2 The sons of Japheth: Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshech, and Tiras. (RSV)


Apart from this text and its parallel in 1Chronicles 1:5, Magog is mentioned in only three other verses, all of which have prophetic significance, namely Ezekiel 38:2-3 and 39:6 (as those who dwell securely in the isles) and Revelation 20:8.


No sons of Magog are recorded in the Bible, although the Book of Jasher gives them as Elichanaf and Lubal (Ch. 7, 4).


The Milesian Ancestry or Genealogy records the son of Magog (who was twelfth in line from Adam), from whom the Milesians are descended as being:


Boath, one of the sons of Magog; to whom Scythia came as his lot, upon the division of the Earth by Noah amongst his sons, and by Japhet of his part thereof amongst his sons.


Phœniusa Farsaidh (or Fenius Farsa) was King of Scythia, at the time when Ninus ruled the Assyrian Empire; and, being a wise man and desirous to learn the languages that not long before confounded the builders of the Tower of Babel, employed able and learned men to go among the dispersed multitude to learn their several languages; who sometime after returning well skilled in what they went for, Phœniusa Farsaidh erected a school in the valley of Senaar, near the city of Æothena, in the forty-second year of the reign of Ninus; whereupon, having continued there with his younger son Niul for twenty years, he returned home to his kingdom, which, at his death, he left to the oldest son Nenuall; leaving to Niul no other patrimony than his learning and the benefit of the said school.


The record is from the Lineage of the Geoghegans as recorded on Abraham’s Legacy at The stem of the Milesians from Adam to Milesius of Spain is also at Appendix A, with cross-links to the Library of Ireland. From that text it is obvious that the Milesians claim the Picts to be Scythians as well who followed them to Ireland but could not remain there. However, they refer in actual fact to the Scots. The Picts arrived earlier than the Scots in Alba or what became Scotland. The histories indicate that it was in fact before the Milesians entered Ireland, as we will later examine. The Scots went to Ireland from Gaul in the 5th century CE and went onward into Scotland with the aid of the Milesian Irish. It is these that are Magogites.


We may have to face the possibility that the lineage commencing with Boath, Fenius Farsa, and Niul was of the element of the sons of Magog from Scythia. The Milesians claim descent from Niul the youngest son of Fenius Farsa, who married the Egyptian princess Scota. The Milesian Genealogies place this in the time of Moses. That was from the Ashmosid 18th Dynasty of Egypt. From that time-frame Boath may not have been born earlier than the time of Abraham at 1995 BCE. However, the account sets the time of Fenius Farsa in his old age as being in the forty-second year of Ninus, who is identified as Nimrod. Fenius is recorded as going to the plain of Shinar and establishing a school to study the linguistics that resulted from the destruction and scattering of Babel. He is recorded as remaining there for twenty years and then returned to Scythia where he died and left the kingdom to his eldest son Nenuall.



Nimrod or Ninus constructed Nineveh, which itself is sometimes called Ninus.


Nimrod was a Cushite from Cush, son of Ham, and the land there was called Khus from that fact. Nineveh as capital of Assyria had to have come after Assyrian occupation and the dispersal of the later Cushites that remained there with Nimrod. Most had already gone into Asia and along the South Asian coast from India to Vietnam.


The spread is listed in the paper Sons of Ham Part II: Cush (No. 45B) and The Genetic Origin of the Nations (No. 265).


Greek mythology says Ninus was king of Assyria and the eponymous founder of the city of Nineveh. He was said to have been the son of Belos, or Bel, and to have conquered in seventeen years all of western Asia with the help of Ariaeus, king of Arabia. During the siege of Bactra he met Semiramis, the wife of one of his officers, Onnes; he then took her from Onnes.

(cf. Encyc. Britannica article ‘Ninus’ (


Bel simply means Lord and is a way of attributing ancestor worship to Cush.


Semiramis was the legendary wife of Nimrod and the origin of the ‘Queen of Heaven’ religious mythology.


The explanation of the names can be seen from the ancient Babylonian religion and the ancestor worship that came from them.


The gods of Assyria actually came from the Babylonian system established by Nimrod and this is seen from the later Assyrian and Babylonian religious system.


Bel (or Lord) was carried throughout the Japhethite-language systems of both Gomer and Magog. The Great- or High-king of Britain before the Romans was Beli Mawr, meaning simply Great Lord. 


The line of the kings from the Trojan occupation of Britain records that the Magogites were in Britain when they arrived in the 10th century BCE and the Trojan British subjugated them. Both Geoffrey of Monmouth and Nennius are authorities on this history.


The same names appear in the religious pantheon of the Middle East.


The Assyrians had many gods and goddesses (many carried over from the times of Ancient Sumeria) which are listed below:


Form of sun god


God of medicine

Anshar (Assur, Ashur)

The national god of Assyria (god of farming); consort of Belit


God of the heavens; originally worshipped at the city of Erech before Ishtar[36].

Bel (Merodach)(Induru)(Belis by Greeks)(Indara by Hittites***)[39]

God of the visible world; Beltis was the wife of Bel; Zirat-banit his consort[37].

Ea (Hea)(Oannes by Greeks)

God of humanity and water; regarded to have come out of what we know as the Persian Gulf (half man, half fish) and imparted the Babylonians with the arts of civilized life[34]. Davkina was the consort of Hea.[36]


Associated with Samnuha

Ishtar (Nana, Ninmakh)

The goddess of love

Nabu (Nebo)

God of wisdom and writing; his consort was Tasmit[37].


Deified king who founded the Babylonian Empire (who was the great-grandson of Noah[14] (Note: Noah**, or Noah's lineage associated to Cush?))


Goddess of fish


God of war (similar to Nergal)


God of agriculture

Samnuha (shapsh)

the god's torch; also associated to Gubaba


Goddess of grain



Note that the Greek mythology has Oannes as husband of Semiramis, but the later mythology has Davkina as wife of Oannes or Hea and he is the god of civilisation. These famous ancestors became gods and were not in fact all of the one genetic structure.


This conquest of Western Asia may well explain why Fenius Farsa of the Scythians became interested in Ninus and the Tigris-Euphrates basin and Shinar itself.


Fenius Farsa, son of Boath, was the great-great-grandson of Noah and one step further removed than Ninus or Nimrod, his second cousin twice removed. Niul was his son and not as distant as Abraham was from Noah. Thus it is very unlikely that his son Goadhal was a young man at the time of Moses. The term “son” may refer to the line of Niul that was summoned to Egypt by the King of Egypt from the school in Shinar.

He was given the land of Campus Cyrunt on the Red Sea and Pharaoh’s daughter Scota in marriage.


The descendant of Magog through Niul, named Gaodhal, presented to Moses for snakebite was named after the linguist Gaodhal or Gael, son of Ethor, who served Niul and from whom the Scythian and other Celtic and Cymmery or Cimmerian languages were termed Gaodhilg or Gaelic. The Gaelic in Britain is in two specific languages, which are in fact now termed P and Q Brythonic in the UK.


The Milesians record that they were persecuted and continually attacked under the sons of Gaodhal, Asruth and his son Sruth by the Egyptians for their support of the Israelites in the Exodus. They were reduced to a small number and ultimately were forced to leave for the island of Creta (Candia), but after a year and the death of Sruth they moved to Scythia and fought with the descendents of Nenuall. The Milesians then ruled Scythia for a number of generations but ultimately were forced out to the Black Sea and into Iberia and on to the renamed Iberian Peninsula (now Spain). They moved ultimately into Ireland and to Lancashire in England (as the tribe of the Brigantes) (see Appendix A).


Nineveh fell to the Medes and Babylonians in 612 BCE. The Assyrian Sennacharib retired there as prophesied in Isaiah, and it was where he was murdered twenty years later by his sons (see the paper Commentary on Isaiah Part IV: Messianic Prophecy through Isaiah to Hezekiah (No. 157D). 


The school of Fenius was near the city of Æothena and was set up to systematise the languages that came from the tower of Babel. The ancient cuneiform in Asia Minor was both ideographic and syllabic. In the movement into Asia, the Chinese developed the monosyllabic, ideographic language whereas the Japanese language became syllabic but used some of the Chinese script, among others.


The Hittite equivalent of Bel was Indara and this went into India with the Aryans as the god Indra. The Aryan Sanskrit in India was related to the Chaldean language of the Babylonians and the Hittites. We have to examine the possibility that the Scythians that entered India were Hittites of Magogite origin or an alliance of Gomer, Magog and Madai comprising the Hittite alliance. We will see that at one stage the Hittites were comprised of Gomer, Magog, Madai and also of the Tirasians at Troy and the later Phrygians in Anatolia. They were aided by the Southern Hittites of Palestine and the Cushites of Ethiopia.


The Haplogroups of the Irish and Scots contain a significant element of Hamitic Haplogroups A, B and E as well as Phoenician Japhethite K2 found among the Welsh. The probability is that they were from Phoenician traders from the Formorian or later Feinean lines, who were Phoenicians from Carthage or Getulia. However, some may have come from later Roman influence (see Appendix A).


The Milesian understanding was that the Parthians were descended from Magog but it is more probable that the Parthians were composite, having Magogites and Tirasians combined with other elements. The Parthians and Scythians shared some common burial customs the further north from Persia they went. We will deal with these aspects later.


The Irish seem to have kept their records and are among the most ancient records.


Ancient Historians

In the ancient historians, other than the Milesians, it is from Hesiod the Greek poet in the 7th century BCE that we first hear of the possible connection between Magog and a people known as the Scythians.


Herodotus gives detailed accounts of the origins of the Scythians. The first is a fable regarding their kings’ descent from Hercules. They themselves at the time of Herodotus stated that they and their kingdom were no more than a thousand years old from the time of their origin to the time of Darius Hystaspes. Thus their kingdom in Asia was founded ca. 1500 BCE after they took it from the sons of Gomer or the Cimmerians.


Herodotus says:

[4.11] There is also another different story, now to be related, in which I am more inclined to put faith than in any other. It is that the wandering Scythians once dwelt in Asia, and there warred with the Massagetae, but with ill success; they therefore quitted their homes, crossed the Araxes, and entered the land of Cimmeria. For the land which is now inhabited by the Scyths was formerly the country of the Cimmerians. On their coming, the natives, who heard how numerous the invading army was, held a council. At this meeting opinion was divided, and both parties stiffly maintained their own view; but the counsel of the Royal tribe was the braver. For the others urged that the best thing to be done was to leave the country, and avoid a contest with so vast a host; but the Royal tribe advised remaining and fighting for the soil to the last. As neither party chose to give way, the one determined to retire without a blow and yield their lands to the invaders; but the other, remembering the good things which they had enjoyed in their homes, and picturing to themselves the evils which they had to expect if they gave them up, resolved not to flee, but rather to die and at least be buried in their fatherland. Having thus decided, they drew apart in two bodies, the one as numerous as the other, and fought together. All of the Royal tribe were slain, and the people buried them near the river Tyras, where their grave is still to be seen. Then the rest of the Cimmerians departed, and the Scythians, on their coming, took possession of a deserted land.


[4.12] Scythia still retains traces of the Cimmerians; there are Cimmerian castles, and a Cimmerian ferry, also a tract called Cimmeria, and a Cimmerian Bosphorus. It appears likewise that the Cimmerians, when they fled into Asia to escape the Scyths, made a settlement in the peninsula where the Greek city of Sinope was afterwards built. The Scyths, it is plain, pursued them, and missing their road, poured into Media. For the Cimmerians kept the line which led along the sea-shore, but the Scyths in their pursuit held the Caucasus upon their right, thus proceeding inland, and falling upon Media. This account is one which is common both to Greeks and barbarians.


Philo, the 1st century BCE writer, identified Magog with the region we know today as southern Russia/Ukraine. In the 1st century CE, Josephus wrote in his Antiquities: “Magog founded those that from him were named Magogites, but who are by the Greeks called Scythians” (I, vi, 1).


The Scythians or Scyths were among the most famous and feared of all ancient peoples. It is a source of confusion, however, that the name Scythian was often applied to many nomadic peoples, irrespective of tribal affiliations and whether or not they were actually descendants of Magog. The Elamites and the Persians called the Scyths closest to them, Sakâ or Sakka; and to the Greeks they were the Skythai of Skythia. The Assyrians referred to them as the Ashguzai or Ishguzai, although this name appears to be derived from Ashkenaz, son of Gomer, who was a brother of Magog (see the paper Sons of Japheth Part II: Gomer (No. 46B)). The Gomerites and the Magogites were often found in close proximity, hence the understandable confusion with respective identities. The confusion was compounded as the Parthian Empire and the Scythians waxed and waned, and tribes of each formed sections of the one and then the other dependent upon alliances and fortunes of war.


We see from Herodotus that the Scyths were pushed out of the north in Asia by the Massagetae or Greater Goths. They crossed the Araxes river, now called the Aras, which also happens to be the region to which the ‘Lost’ Ten Tribes of Israel went after their release from Assyrian captivity (i.e. “beyond the Araxes”).


The sons of Gomer were finally forced into Western Europe after this invasion of the Scythians. We will deal with these movements of the Celts in the text Sons of Japheth Part II: Gomer (No. 46B).


After this event the Assyrians were sometime allies of the Scythians, and perhaps as a guide to the importance and power of the latter, it is recorded that one of the Scythian kings, Bartatua/Protothyes, married the daughter of the famous Assyrian king, Asarhaddon, in ca. 674 BCE.


The Scythians were at the height of their power in Hesiod’s time, around the mid-seventh century BCE (hence the poet’s more immediate and accurate knowledge of them), although some modern authors speak of the fourth century BCE as being a Scythian golden age.

An early history of the Scythians is provided by Diodorus (I, 55; II, 43).


Land and Peoples of Scythia

The Steppe occupied by the descendants of Magog is an enormous grass belt, mostly treeless, that stretches for 4350 miles (~7000 km) from the foot of the Carpathian Mountains to Mongolia.


Their mummified bodies have been found in graves in the Uygur Autonomous Region of NW China and are dated to the first half of the second millennium BCE. Their garments closely resemble the ancient hunting tartans and plaids of the Scots.


The most easterly tribes were classed merely as the Eastern Scythians, for want of a better title. In the mid-region of the Steppe, between the Aral Sea and Lake Balkhash, were the Sakas/Sacae and Massagetae. A third major group was located in the Pontic steppes to the north of the Black Sea, and it appears that these were the ones known properly to the early historians as the Scythians. From Herodotus’ record, they apparently displaced the Cimmerians (sons of Gomer) from the South-western areas beginning as early as 1500-300 BCE and then were pushed over the Araxes by the Massagetae.


In his Geography, Strabo says that in Homeric times the Black Sea was called the Axenos Pontos, meaning inhospitable sea, “because of its wintry storms and the ferocity of the tribes that lived around it, and particularly the Scythians in that they sacrificed strangers … but later it was called Euxeinos [friendly to strangers] when the Ionians [Greeks] founded cities on the seaboard” (Bk. VII, iii, 6). Ovid called it the Scythian Sea.


Herodotus gives the location of the Scyths and the physical size of ‘Scythia’.


[W]e find the Scythians again in possession of the country above the Tauri and the parts bordering on the eastern sea, as also of the whole district lying west of the Cimmerian Bosphorus and the Palus Maeotis, as far as the river Tanais, which empties itself into that lake at its upper end. As for the inland boundaries of Scythia, if we start from the Ister, we find it enclosed by the following tribes, first the Agathyrsi, next the Neuri, then the Androphagi, and last of all, the Melanchaeni.


Scythia then, which is square in shape, and has two of its sides reaching down to the sea, extends inland to the same distance that it stretches along the coast, and is equal every way. For it is a ten days' journey from the Ister to the Borysthenes, and ten more from the Borysthenes to the Palus Maeotis, while the distance from the coast inland to the country of the Melanchaeni, who dwell above Scythia, is a journey of twenty days. I reckon the day's journey at two hundred furlongs. Thus the two sides which run straight inland are four thousand furlongs each, and the transverse sides at right angles to these are also of the same length, which gives the full size of Scythia (Bk. IV, 100-101).


In Histories IV, 17ff., Herodotus appears to separate the Scyths into at least four distinct groups in his time. The Callipidae and Alazonians were the agricultural Graeco-Scyths who lived in the lower Bug and Dnieper river regions; north of them were the ‘Scythian cultivators’, who grew corn as a commercial venture; east of them were the so-called Dnieper nomads, who “neither plough nor sow”; while farther east still were the Royal Scyths, whom Herodotus calls “the largest and bravest of the Scythian tribes, which look upon all the other tribes in the light of slaves” (IV, 20).


Asgard/Kiev became the capital of the central Scythians. The identification of the Aesar or Asens will prove to be important to this issue and will be examined with that of the sons of Tiras. Kiev is now the capital of the Ukraine.


Also in the Histories, Herodotus makes a clear distinction between the Scythians and the Sauromatae by saying they are neighbours of the Scyths, along with their allies the Tauri, Budini, Geloni et al; and that their northern neighbours were the Androphagi, Melanchlaeni and Arimaspians (IV, 102).


Polyhistor (62) said that the tribe of Assaei was “among the most distinguished of Scythia”.


The Scythian territory adjoined that of the Thracians, descendants of another son of Japheth (see the paper Sons of Japheth Part VIII: Tiras (No. 46H)), with whom they intermarried, as noted below.


The late Prof. Vasile Pârvan, a Romanian historian and archaeologist, stated that the Scyths needed at least three centuries to cover the distance from the Volga and the Caspian Sea area to the Dniester-Carpathian zone.


In his work Scythians and Greeks, Ellis Minns states: “The greater part of the information as to manners and customs given by Herodotus and the physical details in Hippocrates evidently refer to the Royal Scyths” (CUP, Cambridge, 1913, p. 36). Herodotus includes the Moesi amongst the Royal Scyths. Minns confirms that the Scythians were allied to the Assyrians against the Cimmerians, and they once attempted to lift the siege of Nineveh set by the Medes. However, to highlight the temporary nature of alliances in those days, it is also known that in 612 BCE ‘Scythian nomads’ materially assisted with the destruction of Nineveh. The Scyths are also said to have overrun Media, homeland of the sons of Madai, another son of Japheth. Thus there appeared to be no love lost between the various cousins. Minns writes:

We find the Cimmerians, Gimirrai, first North of Urartu (Ararat). Hence they are driven out by As-gu-za-ai (Asarhaddon) or Is-ku-za-ai (Sun Oracle). The Cimmerians driven south from Urartu attacked Man a kingdom under Assyrian suzerainty. The Assyrians supported their vassals and found allies in the Scythians who were already enemies of the Cimmerians.


Scyths also made their appearance further to the SW., apparently being sent by Assyria against Egypt, but bought off by Psammetichus. Thus they are referred to by the Hebrew Prophets and engaged in the sack of Ascalon where some contracted a disease ascribed by Herodotus (I. 105) to the hostility of Aphrodite. A colony of them is said to have settled at Beth-shean hence called Scythopolis [Jos. Ant. Jud. XII. viii. 5]. (ibid., p. 42)


The Cimmerians mentioned here were descendants of another son of Japheth, Gomer, with the obvious link being the name Gimmirrai. They were referred to as Gamirk in the older Armenian writings. In the Welsh, the word Cymro means a Cymry, expressed as “un sy’n perthyn i Gymru” meaning “a Welshman”. The Welsh language is Y Gymraeg, meaning in effect the Gomerite (cf. Christopher Davies, Y Geiriadur Mawr, A Gwasg Gomer, 1989).


Montgomerie of the French Norman invasion means of the Mountain of Gomer. We will deal with these aspects in the Sons of Japheth Part II: Gomer (No. 46B).


A German archaeologist, Renate Rolle, also relates certain Scyths to the modern-day Ossetes of Ossetia, while Klaproth and others state that the Ossetes are descended from Caucasian Alans. If both are correct, then the Alans may also be a Scythian tribe (see below under the heading ‘The Sarmatians’).


In European Scythia, including the Caucasus regions, we are dealing with Europids [Caucasians] in Scythian times who betray no Mongol characteristics but who do divide into long- and round-skulled types. The physical characteristics of the Scythians correspond to their cultural affiliation: their origins place them within the group of Iranian peoples. The language of the Scythians is closely related to that of the ancient Ossetes (the remainder of the Ossetes tribe today live in the Terek region of the northern Caucasus).


Further east, the Mongol characteristics of the skulls of the indigenous Sauromatian peoples become more apparent. Nevertheless we must remember that we are dealing with a period in which huge areas of Siberia far into Mongolia were still inhabited by ancient Europids. It was only gradually -- in the first millennium BC -- that Mongol characteristics became apparent in this area, characteristics which are today almost universal in that region; at the same time the fifth or fourth century must have represented a certain turning point (The World of the Scythians, Renate Rolle: orig. publ. in German, 1980: trans. G. Walls, Batsford, London, 1989, p. 56).


Herodotus claimed that the headquarters of the ruling Scythians – the Royal Scyths – was in the vicinity of Tanais and Maetis (Hist., IV, 20).


By the time Herodotus wrote, in the middle of the fifth century B.C., the Scythians of the Black Sea area were grouped into a large confederation of separate tribes. In its most precise form, the term Scythians refers to some tribes who lived on the northern shores of the Black Sea, but the Scythian culture was shared by various tribes spread over a large territory, with similar ways of life and close interrelations, promoted by nomadic cattle-breeding (From the Lands of the Scythians, ibid., p. 21).


To add to the confusion of nomenclature, the Romans (cf. Pliny and Strabo) called the Scythians Sarmatae and Germani (from germanus, Lat. genuine). Interestingly, the Anglo-Saxons were also known as Germani. Strabo further refers to a people known as the Keltoskythai or Celtic-Scythians (XI, 6, 2), again suggesting intermarriage between the different tribes as they were brought into contact through invasion or migration.


There were also the Sakai, who Herodotus said were the Amurgioi Skuthai – the Scythians from Ammyurgia, while Arrian referred to the Sakai as Skuthon, “a Scythian people” (Amb. Alex., III, 8, 3). In her book The Scythians, Tamara Talbot Rice gives one explanation as to how these people became the Sacae or Saka.


Herodotus refers to a group of rebel Scyths who had broken away from the main clan and migrated to the north-west of Lake Balkash [directly east of Aral Sea], settling in an area which he called Sacae. It seems probable that pockets of other equally independently-minded Scyths existed elsewhere in the steppe, and it may even have been dissenters similar to those who penetrated to Prussia, thus accounting for burials of what appear to be single warriors such as that of Vettersfield (Thames & Hudson, London, 1961, p. 55).


The historian Pliny claimed that Armenia’s most fertile region was called Sacasina (vi, 11), with a probable link to the Sacae. There was also a Saka kingdom located in the upper Indus valleys between Afghanistan and Kashmir. Possibly even before 500 BCE, a tribe called the Sakyas inhabited the region in which Buddha was supposedly born. Guatma or the Buddha was also known as Sakyashina or Sakyamuni, meaning Sakya sage or Sakya the teacher. He was a Kshatryan knight of the warrior class and his teachings broke the stranglehold the Brahmins had on the priesthood from the Aryan invasion of India ca. 1000 BCE. The majority of Aryan YDNA Haplogroup in India is R1a and is not the dominant R1b Haplogroup of the Western-European Magogites. These YDNA divisions into R1a and R1b therefore must have occurred just prior to 1000 BCE from the original RxR1 basic found in India and Australia and North Africa. The RxR1 YDNA is found among the Dravidians and the Northern Aryans are predominantly R1a.


It is known that the Scythian Sakas also went east from the northern Caucasus and reached the borders of China in ca. 175 BCE. They were referred to by the indigenous Chinese as the Sai-wong or Sak-wong. The name Wong in Chinese is a Hakka name. Hakka means visitor or sojourner in Chinese. Hakka YDNA is a derivative of Hg O at O3. Thus it is part of the Great Hun and Han split of N and O and would not be Magogite based on our known YDNA groups. If Sak-wong means Saka princes, as has been suggested by some, then we might assume that the name refers to the ruling clan of the Saka.


Scythians and Sarmatians were later replaced by Slavs in the European section of the Eurasian plain.


The only mention of the Scythians (SGD 4658) by name in the Bible is in Colossians 3:11, where they are juxtaposed with barbarians, i.e. those who spoke neither Greek nor Latin and therefore “babbled”.


Colossians 3:11 Here there cannot be Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free man, but Christ is all, and in all. (RSV)


In this usage Scythian is of foreign origin and means by implication a savage. The Greek Skotoo (SGD 4656) means to obscure or blind, from Skotos (SGD 4655): to be in darkness. Skotia (SGD 4653) simply means dark (from 4655).


Blinding was the principle practice of Scythians with captive slaves and they were known for that practice by the Greeks. That may explain the origin of the applications of the form of the word in Greek.


Scythian society and culture

Under the heading The Scythian Culture regarding the treasures of the Scythian burial mounds, the authors of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Museum’s lavishly illustrated publication, From the Lands of the Scythians, give details on the cultures that developed systematically in the region later known as Scythia.  


In 1902 the archaeologist V.A. Gorodtzov, on the basis of his excavations, suggested that the most ancient peoples of the northern shores of the Black Sea could be divided into three cultures, according to the strikingly different ways in which they built their tombs: the pit-grave culture, the catacomb-grave culture, and the timber-grave culture. This theory has been supported and made more precise by later archaeological work. The tombs of the catacomb culture date from the beginning and middle of the second millennium B.C.; they belonged to a Bronze Age people with a developed bronze metallurgy, whose economy was based on semi-nomadic cattle-breeding and agriculture. They had already established relations with other cultures.


In the middle of the second millennium B.C., the catacomb people were replaced on the north shore of the Black Sea by the timber-grave people, whose tombs were built like log cabins. This culture had developed to the east, in the region around the Volga river and the southern Urals, and had spread over a vast territory, remaining in existence until the mid-eighth century B.C. Again, its characteristics were a highly developed bronze metallurgy and semi-nomadic cattle-breeding, but with special emphasis on horse-breeding. Recent studies have convincingly suggested that the Cimmerians represent tribes of a late stage of the timber-grave culture; they were well-armed horsemen who could move easily over long distances.


The tribes of the Scythian culture developed on the foundation of the late timber-grave culture of the eighth century B.C. This could explain the two ancient ideas of Scythian origins, the one involving migration and the local one, since the timber-grave culture had been spread by peoples moving westward into the Black Sea region from Asia (op. cit., p. 17).


In The Scythians, Talbot Rice explains that these people, although unquestionably warlike, also had a highly-developed appreciation of the artistic.


The Scythians formed well-organized communities, responding to their chiefs with ready discipline. But they were a turbulent lot, delighting in warfare, predatory raids and the scalping of their enemies. On more than one occasion their military prowess in battle caused real concern to the infinitely more powerful kingdoms of Assyria, Media, Parthia and Greece.


In the seventh century B.C. the Scythians were feared throughout Asia Minor, but at the same time their wealth and love of finery won them the good will of the great Hellenic merchants established along the shores of the Black Sea, as well as of the Greek artists and craftsmen who had settled in the Bosphoran kingdom, and more especially at Panticapaeum. Even at this early date in their history, the Scythians already displayed an extraordinary ability to appreciate and assimilate the best in the art of their day, regardless of its origin, and they were quick to turn to the highly skilled Greek artists working in the Pontic towns which had sprung up on their southern border in the seventh century B.C., for objects of outstanding quality (op. cit., p. 22).


As with most other ancient peoples, there appeared to be a great deal of intermarriage for political and dynastic reasons among the Scyths.


Royal Scyths at times intermarried with Greeks or Thracians from neighbouring regions in the west. The union of weak and powerful tribes by marriage was often the only way of ensuring the security of the smaller clan (ibid., p. 41).


This has been borne out by relatively recent archaeological finds which suggest that the royal tombs of Brezovo, Panagyurishte (near Philippopolis), Bedniacovo and Radyuvene (all in modern-day Bulgaria) were the final resting-places of either Scythian, Thracian or mixed Thraco-Scythian princes of the 4th century BCE.


Rather surprisingly perhaps, the historian Strabo had some very positive comments to make about the Scyths.


Aeschylus, too, is clearly pleading the cause of the poet when he says about the Scythians: "But the Scythians, law-abiding, eaters of cheese made of mare's milk." And this assumption even now still persists among the Greeks; for we regard the Scythians the most straightforward of men and the least prone to mischief, as also far more frugal and independent of others than we are (Geography, VII, iii, 9).


A particularly famous Scythian was Anacharsis, a prince and philosopher of the late-sixth century BCE, who was known as one of the Seven Sages of the Greeks (see Hist., IV, 76).


Agriculture and trade

Scythia was an important grain-producing region of the ancient world, just as it is today as the Ukraine. The Scyths involved with grain growing were basically sedentary tribes, unlike the nomadic and ‘superior’ Royal Scyths.


Scythia served as one of Greeces granaries, and in southern Russia the corn grown by the settlers was transmitted by the nomadic overlords to the Greek colonists of the Pontus, who in their turn acted as middlemen in selling it to Greece. The Scythians in the Kuban, on the other hand, traded direct with the masters of vessels coming to their ports from Ionia. In addition, the Scyths as a whole supplied the Pontic Greeks with valuable consignments of salt, sturgeon and tunny-fish, with honey, meat and milk, hides and furs, and not least important, with slaves. The latter, though described by the Greeks as Scythians, were probably conquered enemies or local agriculturalists rather than nomad freemen. In return for this merchandise the Scythians received Greek jewellery, metalwork and pottery of the finest quality (The Scythians, Tamara Talbot Rice, Thames & Hudson, London, 1961, p. 51).


When Darius the Persian came against Greece, the first thing he did was to cut off her vital supplies, in particular, timber from the Balkans and consignments of grain from Scythia.


The Royal Scyths were relatively few in number, but they were such efficient rulers and such fearless fighters that they had no difficulty in governing a large territory and controlling with ease a population consisting of their own husbandmen and the indigenous agriculturalists whom they had found established in the region, and who greatly outnumbered them. Regardless of the disparity in numbers, by the sixth century B.C., and possibly even as much as a hundred years earlier, the Royal Scyths were already firmly established in the area bounded by the Don and the Dniepr, and virtually controlled the steppe as far west as the Bug [a river south of Kiev, Ukraine] and the productive lands in the neighbourhood of Poltava (ibid. pp. 52-53).


In English, the word scythe is used for a two-handed implement for reaping grain and linguistically appears to dreive from the agricultural Scyths.


Language and art

To the Greeks most non-Greeks were ‘barbarians’, not necessarily because they were considered less civilised but rather because of their unintelligible speech, as one author explains.


The term barbarian began as an onomatopoeic Greek word about foreign language: the bar-bar babble sound of an incomprehensible tongue. It occurs once in the Iliad, when the Carian army is described as barbarophonos -- barbar-speaking. But it is fairly clear that at the time of the Iliad and for long afterwards the Greeks did not lump all foreigners together under the linguistic definition barbarians. Still less did they use the term as a catalogue of inferior otherness comprising all that the Greeks were not. Victorian scholars in the age of empire misread the Iliad as an account of the triumph of civilisation over barbarous and morally inferior Trojans But there is nothing remotely like that in the text of the poem, in which the Greeks are if anything more cruel and treacherous -- epithets later heaped into the tray of barbarism -- than the Trojans. But in the fifth century BC Athens constructed a single barbarian world, squeezing peoples as distinct as Scythian nomads and Mesopotamian city-dwellers into a single new species, and opposed it to the image of a single and united Hellenic world (Black Sea, Neal Ascherson, Random House, London, 1996, pp. 60-61).


Talbot Rice is of the opinion that there was one (Iranian-based) language spoken by all the so-called Scythian peoples.


The only indubitable fact which emerges is that the tribes of the entire plain all spoke the same language, in much the same way that many present-day nomads throughout Asia all speak the Turki dialect of Turkish. The language spoken by the nomads was basically an Iranian tongue, but it may have been more closely allied to Avestic than to ancient Persian. …


[S]ince all the mounted nomads of the Scythian age spoke the same Iranian tongue, whether they came from the Dniestr or the banks of the Oxus, there seems reason to think that at any rate the majority were linked by some sort of racial tie. A definite affinity is indeed suggested by the nature of their art, which shows well-nigh identical features over so wide an area (The Scythians, op. cit., pp. 39, 42).



The Director of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art made the following comment in From the Lands of the Scythians:


Herodotus portrait of the Scyth is not particularly complimentary: the Scyth was a nomad, a fierce hunter and fighter, a tough, indomitable barbarian addicted to strong wine, hashish, and violence, wandering, always wandering, uncivilized and rootless. But one must be cautious. A Greek historian of the fifth century B.C. would look upon any people who did not speak the mother tongue as barbarians, and would judge any group of mankind without cities as beyond the pale. However, as one examines the uniquely beautiful art made by and for the Scyths, one must acknowledge that, stereotyped concepts of civilization aside, these anonymous peoples were connoisseurs of supreme taste (Thomas Hoving, The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, Vol. XXXII, New York, 1975, p. 1).


Having left no written records, the most significant legacy of the Scythians is the golden treasures recovered from their numerous burial mounds. Photographs of many of the pieces found are in the aforementioned book.


Between the fifth and third centuries B.C., the Scythians not only were in contact with the civilizations of Greece, Egypt, and the Near East, but shared a cultural unity with many other tribes living in the steppe region of eastern Europe and Asia. In art, an indication of such unity is the so-called animal style. Powerful, stylised, and decorative, this style is characteristic of a wide territory stretching from Hungary to China. It portrays animals and birds with their most important attribute exaggerated or accentuated. These images probably had religious or magic significance: (ibid., p. 21).


As Talbot Rice suggested, the Scythians were linked by common artistic designs.


The most characteristic single motif in Scythian art is provided by the stag. Originally an object of worship among Siberian tribesmen, it had probably lost much of its earlier religious significance by Scythian times, but it is more than likely that the belief that stags transported the souls of the dead to the world beyond was still generally current in Eurasia throughout the first millennium. It persisted with the Buriats until quite recently (op. cit., p. 158).


She makes another interesting observation that seems more than coincidental and could indicate where the westward migration of some of the Scyths finally ended: “A resemblance to Scythian art can often be recognized in the sculptures and illuminations of the Celtic school in Britain” (ibid., p. 192).


The epitome of Scythian art is seen in the treasures of the ubiquitous Royal Scyth burial mounds; however, the majority of objects were thought to have been created by Greek craftsmen rather than the Scythians themselves.


Gold featured very heavily in the treasures. The archaeologist Renate Rolle says that there were basically three areas from which Scythian gold came: Transylvania in the west (where the Agathyrsi, relatives of the Scyths, were found); the Caucasus, especially Colchis, the place from which the legend of the Golden Fleece originated; and Kazakhstan and the Altai mountains. A comment in From the Lands of the Scythians reads: “In Kazakhstan, as in the Altaic immediately to the east, gold was mined from Bronze Age times (c. 1500 BC) at the very latest, in both opencast and underground mines” (op. cit., p. 52). The word Altai appropriately means mountains of gold. There are no known gold deposits in the Ukraine, hence all Scythian gold must have been imported.


Religious practices and burials

Talbot Rice provides an overview of Scythian religion.


Like all primitive peoples, the Scythians were exceedingly superstitious. They believed in witchcraft, magic and the power of amulets. Their soothsayers foretold the future by means of bundles of twigs and by splitting bast fibres in much the same way as did certain groups of Germans in the Middle Ages. The most highly honoured of the Scythian magicians came from certain specific families.


The Scythians worshipped the elements. Their main devotions were paid to the Great Goddess, Tabiti-Vesta, the Goddess of Fire and perhaps also of beasts. She alone figures in their art, presiding at the taking of oaths, administering communion or anointing chieftains. Rostovtzeff found that she had been worshipped in southern Russia long before the Scythians appeared there. Pottery statuettes of her were common in the Bronze Age in the country lying between the Urals and the Dniepr, even more along the Bug and Donetz rivers. There is a marked resemblance between these little figures and those representing the same deity in Elam, Babylonia and Egypt made centuries earlier (The Scythians, op. cit., p. 85).


Among the various practices which the Slavs inherited from the Scythians, the most important consisted in the worship of their ancestors (ibid., p. 181).


This appeared to be a prevalent practice among many diverse peoples at the time, as we noted earlier with Cush and Semiramis.


The Scythian gods were listed as: Tabiti/Tabitha; Papeaus (Zeus) and his wife Api; Oetosyrus (Apollo); Argimpasa (Aphrodite); Thagimasadas (a Poseidon); Heracles, and an unnamed god of war. The sacred emblems of the Scyths were: the serpent; the ox (representing Nimrod/Taurus); Tho/Theo (Egyptian Pan); and fire (representing the sun and knowledge).



Presumably as a result of belief in the immortality of the soul, the Scythian dead were expected to ascend to another world in which they would maintain their former wealth and social position. For an understanding of the Immortal Soul doctrine see the paper The Soul (No. 92).


In general, and as an obvious means of differentiation between the tribes, the Getic and Celtic tombs were flat, whereas those of the Scythians were almost invariably raised tumuli known as kurgans. This factor alone would tend to suggest that the Scyths and Getae were distinct peoples, or had separated quite early. Also, from archaeological evidence, the remains of pigs, chickens and wild boar as food dedicated to the dead were found in Gaulish tombs, as well as in the Celtic ones in north-west Dacia. This is in direct contrast to the Scythians, who Herodotus said never ate pig. It is now known that the Gauls were in fact Gomerites. Another distinguishing feature of the Celts was that, despite their close contact with the Scythians, they did not generally use the bow as a weapon of war; they were noted swordsmen instead.


The Celts were believers in the afterlife and reincarnation. They often wrote promissory notes payable in the next or afterlife.


From the Lands of the Scythians mentions the important burial mounds that are found in specific areas of the Steppe, and which are known as kurgans or kurgany in Eastern Europe and mogily in the Ukraine.


The lower Dnieper was probably the religious center for the Scythian tribes; some of the richest kurgans are found in this area, which might explain Herodotus remark that the burials of the nomad chieftains lay far from their own territories (op. cit., p. 20).


There are at least 100,000 burial mounds in the Ukraine alone and most are concentrated along the Dnieper River in the realm of the Royal Scyths. The largest of these is about 70 ft (21m) high, with a base diameter of 328 ft (100m). It has also been noted that men of Scythian royalty were almost always buried alongside their women, whether wives or concubines, who were apparently ritually killed on the death of their husbands.


Progress of the Scythians through Eastern Europe towards the west can be tracked to some degree by their burials.


In the fourth century B.C. the Royal Scyths of southern Russia attempted to shift their headquarters from the lower Dniepr to the north and west of their earlier centre. Shortly afterwards, the eastern fringe of the Balkans became a Scythian outpost, and as a result, the region contains quite a considerable number of Scythian burials. Bessarabia, Wallachia and the Dobrudja in particular retain important traces of their sojourn


Some Scythians also penetrated into Hungary towards the year 500 B.C. They probably followed a route leading across Moldavia and Transylvania, for both districts are rich in mounds. The number of Scythian burials in Hungary is very considerable As we move back across Russia the picture becomes fuller again. To the east of the royal tombs, the tombs of the Kuban afford particularly rich and interesting examples of Scythian burials of early date (Talbot Rice, op. cit., pp. 107-108).


The earliest known Scythian tombs are contemporary in date with the Scythians military successes in the Middle East and in consequence the majority are situated in the eastern extremity of the European section of the [Eurasian] plain. Close to them in date are some of the Russian mounds. The objects found in these sites reflect Persian influence. A sword sheath from Meguro [dated to second half of 6th century BCE] shows the successful fusion of the native and Assyrian elements, for the sword itself is Persian in shape, and the decorations on the sheath also display strong Assyro-Persian trends. The main design thus consists of a row of Persian-looking winged quadrupeds, alternately human- and lion-headed, advancing with drawn bows. Their wings are, however, essentially Scythian (ibid., pp. 153-154).


It is known that the Scyths had a special reverence for fire and used flaming torches to purify graves. This veneration was also seen in their refusal to extinguish a fire, which was always allowed to die naturally. This practice stems from the worship of Tabitha Vesta, who was the goddess of the hearth fire. This worship was transferred into Rome from the fall of the Trojan system and the rise of the Roman successors of West Asian origin under the sons of Aeneas.


Arrows were also emblematic of fire, and this leads into a not insignificant part of Scythian character: their predilection for war.


Scythians at War

The two elements in combination that made the Scythians among the most feared warriors of their age were the horse and the bow. As a result, the Greeks referred to the Scyths as horse-archers. Although war was not the original reason for domestication of the horse, it soon became an intimate part of the warrior life of the Scythians, as Talbot Rice explains.


If the Scythians were not the first to domesticate the horse, they were among the earliest, if not the first of the central Asian people to learn to ride it. Both in China and in India, and possibly also in Egypt, horses had been used in the second millennium as beasts of burden for transporting loads fighting steeds had also been trained to pull light chariots in battle, and at the chase. But the Scythians success in war was largely due to the advantage which their mounted soldiers enjoyed over their foot enemies, a superiority which the latter were quick to appreciate. In consequence, almost immediately following upon the Scythian penetration into Asia, the technique of riding was suddenly mastered throughout the entire Middle Eastern area (op. cit., p. 70).


The Scyths used an assortment of weaponry, including iron swords, spears and battle-axes (sagaris), however, the weapon most closely associated with them was the bow. The bows they used were relatively short at 30-32 inches (76-81 cm), as they were designed to be used from horseback, although there are records of them being longer than 3 feet (~1m). They were initially made of laminated strips of willow and alder joined by fish glue. The arrows were a similar length and carried iron, bronze or bone arrowheads, which were triangular or trilobar in cross-section.


Kiev archaeologist E.V. Cernenko showed that since the 6th century BCE, there was at least a core of heavily-armed cavalrymen in the Scythian army, with increasing numbers in subsequent centuries; this is confirmed by the artefacts found in the princes burial mounds.


As mentioned earlier, Scythians warriors assisted with the final capture and destruction of the Assyrian capital of Nineveh.


From archaeological data, from cuneiform tablets, and from information supplied by Herodotus, we know the Cimmerians and Scythians remained in the Near East many years, and participated in the destruction of Assyria and other ancient Near Eastern centers. For instance, Babylonian chronicles of 616-609 B.C., describing the fall of Assyria, tell that nomadic tribes (referred to as Umman manda) joined the Babylonian and Median armies in the siege and capture of Nineveh in 612 B.C. Herodotus, in describing their siege, mentions that a large Scythian army appeared under the walls of Nineveh led by Madyes, son of Protothyes (the Partatua of the cuneiform sources).  (From the Lands of the Scythians, The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, Vol. XXXII, New York, 1975, p. 16)


It is said that the militaristic qualities of the Scythians were also put to good use as police troops in Athens during the 6th and 5th centuries BCE.


An unpleasant custom of these people is recorded by Rolle: “In antiquity scalping was considered so typically Scythian that the Greeks invented a special verb to denote the process. The term aposkythizein was applied to skinning the head (op. cit., p. 82).


The Scythians were finally defeated by Philip II of Macedon, father of Alexander the Great, in 339 BCE in the north Pontic area, although they continued their reign over the forest-steppe zone further to the north for another hundred years or so.


Invasions and Migrations

According to the historian Ye. I. Krupnov (The Ancient History Of The Northern Caucasus, Moscow, 1960), there were three main invasion routes from the north into the Near East (which the Scythians were said by Herodotus to control for 28 years): staying close to the Black Sea coast while heading south-east towards the Araxes river (the route used chiefly by the Cimmerians and the Scythians pursuing them); moving down the western side of the Caspian Sea through the so-called Derbent Gate in Daghestan, before heading south-west towards the Araxes and Lake Urmia (as noted by Herodotus, Hist., I, 103); and, through the middle of the Caucasus mountains via the famous Darial Pass (east of Kazbek in modern Georgia) to the Kura river and then further south. The name Darial is said to derive from Dār-e Alān, meaning Gate of the Alans in Persian.


The various ‘gates’ through the Caucasus appear to have a connection with Gog and Magog, as the Wikipedia article explains.


The Gates of Alexander were a legendary barrier supposedly built by Alexander the Great in the Caucasus to keep the uncivilized barbarians of the north (typically associated with Gog and Magog) from invading the land to the south. … In the Alexander Romance, Alexander chases his enemies to a pass between two peaks in the Caucasus known as the "Breasts of the World". He decides to imprison the "unclean nations" of the north, which include Gog and Magog, behind a huge wall of steel or adamantine. With the aid of God, Alexander and his men closed the narrow pass, keeping the uncivilized Gog and Magog from pillaging the peaceful southern lands. The nature of the pass is never very clear; some sources say it is a pass between mountains, while others say it is a pass between the peaks and the Caspian Sea.


A similar story appears in the Qur'an, Surat al-Kahf (The Cave) 83-98, where the great hero Dhul-Qarnayn ("The Two-horned One") constructs a wall to protect the innocent people at the feet of the mountains from Gog and Magog. That this story appeared in a fictional account before the Qur'an was written has caused some controversy among Islamic scholars, though some would argue that "Dhul-Qarnayn" is not supposed to be Alexander at all, but rather some earlier or later conqueror, usually Cyrus the Great.


During the Middle Ages, the Gates of Alexander story was included in travel literature such as the Travels of Marco Polo and the Travels of Sir John Mandeville. The identities of the nations trapped behind the wall are not always consistent, however; Mandeville claims Gog and Magog are really the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel, who will emerge from their prison during the End Times and unite with their fellow Jews to attack the Christians. Polo speaks of Alexander's Iron Gates, but says the Comanians are the ones trapped behind it. He does mention Gog and Magog, however, locating them north of Cathay.


In his book We, the Thracians, J.C. Dragan gives Pârvan’s idea of several of the many migration routes followed by the Scythians.


Vasile Pârvan considered that the Scyths spread beyond the Oder after crossing the Polish plains, and in three waves penetrated West of the Carpathians. After crossing Podolia and the North of Moldavia, they climbed across the Carpathians and in the Pannonian plain [in modern Hungary] The Scythians penetrated into Transylvania through the Oituz pass A third branch crossed the Danube Plain and Banat and reached the river Sava. The Scythians organized inroads South of the Danube as far as the shore of the Aegean Sea, taking along Geto-Dacian tribes with them in this direction (Vol. I, Nagard Publisher, Milan, 1976, p. 130).


Despite their hegemony over a substantial part of the ancient world, the Scythians gradually faded into obscurity, as Talbot Rice explains.


The Scythians indeed played as active a part in commerce as in war and constituted so important an element in the life of their age that Herodotus found it necessary to devote to them an entire book of his great history. Yet notwithstanding his account, the absence of written documents among the Scythians themselves has proved a strong ally of oblivion, for all memory of the Scythians rapidly faded with their passing from the political scene. By the fourth century A.D. they had been completely forgotten by the civilized world of their day, and some fifteen hundred years were to elapse before their art was rediscovered (The Scythians, op. cit., p. 23).


In his Origins and Deeds of the Goths, Jordanes says that the Goths came to settle in Scythia, presumably after the original inhabitants had left or been forced out.


We read that on their first migration the Goths dwelt in the land of Scythia near Lake Maeotis. On the second migration they went to Moesia, Thrace and Dacia, and after their third they dwelt again in Scythia, above the Sea of Pontus (V, 38).


In section IV, 29 of the same work, Jordanes says that both the Scythians and Goths were Magogites.


The Sarmatians

The archaeologist Jeannine Davis-Kimball claims that the Sarmatians were a distinct nomadic tribe possibly related to the Sauromatians, whereas the ancient historian Pliny the Elder states that they are one and the same people (Bk. IV, vii, 80). Another modern source gives their name as deriving from the Old Iranian sarumatah, meaning archer (J. Harmatta).


The Sauromatae people were the result of intermarriage between Amazonian women and Scythian men, as Herodotus records (Hist., IV, 110ff.). The Amazons were thus not a mythical tribe but were women warriors known to the Scyths as Oiorpata (meaning man-killer).


Others claim that the Sarmatians originated from Media, which would make them descendants of the patriarch Madai (see the paper Sons of Japheth Part IV: Madai (No. 46D)). Perhaps this could be seen in the name they were given, as the Scythians applied the term Sar to any great person – hence, the possibility that the Sar-Matian are the “great Madai” people.


Contemporary with the Scythians and, like them, mounted herdsmen, were the Sauromatae, who lived in the steppes around the Ural mountains and the Don and Volga rivers, and who seem to link the Scythian world with that of the Sakas of Central Asia. In the third century B.C. the Sarmatians developed from this ancient culture, and by the second and first centuries B.C. they had conquered much of Scythia as well as the towns along the north shores of the Black Sea. Later, in the third and fourth centuries A.D., the Sarmatians were driven out by the other nomadic tribes, such as the Huns (From the Lands of the Scythians, The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, Vol. XXXII, New York, 1975, p. 25).


Talbot Rice claims that the Scyths and Sarmatians “shared the same language and an almost identical way of life”, and further that: “Although the Greeks associated their stories of the Amazons with the Scythians, it is far more probable that they in fact referred to the Sarmatians” (op. cit., p. 48). Hippocrates classes them unreservedly as Scythians (De Aere 24).


Nothing remains of the Scythians but their tombs and the memory of their nomad otherness, indelibly written into European consciousness by Herodotus and his successors. The Sarmatians, by contrast, survive unrecognised. Physically, there is one place where the Sarmatians are still present; the Ossetians of the Caucasus, descendants of the Alan group of Sarmatian tribes, have kept their Indo-Iranian speech and traditions (Black Sea, Neal Ascherson, Random House, London, 1996, p. 212).


There is an mtDNA I Haplogroup in Britain which is also found among the descendants of the Medes, i.e. the Kurds in Kurdistan. If the Amazons are Medes then the Sarmatians conscripted by the Romans would explain the Haplogroup. It may, however, have come with the Trojans also.


The three main tribes of Sarmatians were the Alani, Iyazges and Roxolani. Ascherson then shows where other Sarmatians ended up.


The village of Ribchester is in Lancashire [England], not far from Preston [and] is built on the site of Bremetennacum Veteranorum, a Roman cavalry fortress on the road north to Hadrians Wall. Here, towards the end of the second century AD, a large force of Sarmatian lancers arrived. They were Iazygians, the vanguard of the slow Sarmatian migration from the Black Sea steppe towards the west, who had crossed the Transylvanian mountains and entered the north-eastern Hungarian plains. From there, they began to raid the Roman frontier on the middle Danube until the emperor Marcus Aurelius led an army across the Danube and defeated them. He had intended, it seems, to have them massacred. But problems elsewhere in the Empire required his attention, and he offered them the option of enlistment instead. The Iazygians accepted, and were drafted to northern Britain. Some 5,500 cavalrymen, presumably accompanied by their horses and families, made the journey across a continent and a sea. They may have served initially on the Wall, where some of their horse-armour has been found, but within a few decades, in the early third century, they had been transferred to Ribchester, a powerful mobile reserve of cavalry watching the Ribble gap and the passes through the Pennines.


But the Sarmatians never went home. For two hundred more years, until the final Roman evacuation of Britain in the fifth century, the descendants of Iranian-speaking nomads continued to multiply and to be found land in the lower Ribble valley By the time of the first Anglian or Saxon settlement in the region, the Sarmatians must have formed a large and deeply rooted community in western Lancashire. a DNA survey in the Preston hinterland might well reveal that the Sarmatians are in a sense still present (ibid., pp. 236-237).


Arthurian legend

As confirmation of the above, there exists a funeral stele from the Roman camp at Chester, England, which depicts a Sarmatian warrior holding aloft their distinctive dragon battle standard. The first commander of the Sarmatians in Britain was Lucius Artorius [Arthur] Castus who led his troops to Gaul in 184 CE to put down a rebellion. This has resonance with the legendary King Arthur, the war leader who was said to have conducted military campaigns in Europe and to have saved Britain from the Saxons in the late-5th and early-6th centuries CE. Places associated with King Arthur are in fact found all over Britain, from Edinburgh’s ‘King Arthur’s Seat’ to an ancient hill fort near Kelso in the Scottish Borders; from Caerleon in Wales to Cadbury Castle (a proposed site for Camelot) in Somerset, England; and from Glastonbury (perhaps the mythical Avalon), also in Somerset, to Tintagel Castle, the supposed birthplace of Arthur, in Cornwall. It is suggested that the Sarmatians turned the name Artorius/Arthur into a title, much like Caesar (which later became Kaiser and Tsar).


In an article entitled ‘Were the Sarmatians the source of Arthurian legend?’ in Archaeology magazine, C. Scott Littleton states:


There are many parallels between Arthurian legend and the folklore of the modern Ossetians, descendants of the Alans who live in the Caucasus. A search for a magical cup or cauldron in Ossetic folklore, for example, parallels the Arthurian quest for the Holy Grail, and the Alans, who invaded western Europe in the fifth century A.D., brought legends of a figure we know as Lancelot.


As with Rolle earlier, a connection has been made between the modern Ossetes and, in this case, the Sarmatians, perhaps regarded loosely as a ‘Scythian’ tribe. Even an ancient Turkish epic features a hero named Targhyn, whose name has the same root as Pendragon, Arthur’s surname.


In the book From the Lands of the Scythians previously mentioned, there are further interesting connections with the Arthurian legend.


Finally, the story of the sword Excalibur … has direct parallels in the epic of the death of Batradz, the tribal hero of the Ossetians of the Caucasus, and in the episode of the death of Krabat, included in a folk tale of the Sorbs of eastern Germany. The Ossetians are the last surviving group of Sarmatian-speaking people, and the Sorbs, though now speaking a Slavic language, are an isolated group still bearing a Sarmatian tribal name. “Excalibur,” incidentally, in its earliest form “Caliburnus,” is clearly derived from the Latin word for steel, chalybs, which comes from a Greek word derived from the name of the Sarmatian Kalybes, a tribe of smiths in the Caucasus (Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, Vol. XXXII, New York, 1975, p. 152).


Poles, Serbs and Croats

In his work Black Sea, Ascherson provides a migration route and resting-place for certain of the Sarmatians who came out of the Black Sea region, by noting the connection in distinctive tribal/individual signs and works of art.


Early in the third century, a new ruling group, heavily armed and wealthy, entered what is now southern Poland. When they buried their dead, they equipped them with wheel-turned pottery made on the northern Black Sea coasts, Sarmatian brooches and lances with iron heads inlaid in silver. They were unmistakeably a Sarmatian people, possibly the Antae, and their material culture showed that they had been in long and close contact with the Bosporan Kingdom. But the surest evidence for that contact -- and the key exhibit in the argument about the Sarmatian ancestry of the Poles -- is the tamga.


Tamgas are a family of signs. A tamga represents a graffito monogram, a simple Chinese character or even a cattle-brand Each one appears to be individual, to stand alone. What is clear is that the Sarmatians adopted the tamga from the Bosporans Almost all known tamga signs have been found on Bosporan territory, most of them in the Greek cities.


Tamgas also occur in the Sarmatian graves scattered across Poland Their spread reaches from Ukraine, including the Kiev region, westwards to what is now Silesia, and the distribution and the dating of the graves makes this look very much like the track of a Sarmatian-Alan migration.


The Polish tamgas do not show just that Sarmatians arrived there. They can be read to suggest that the Sarmatians never went away. Long before a Polish archaeologist, the late Tadeusz Sulimirski, made this case, chroniclers and genealogists had noticed that the heraldic clan symbols used by the old Polish nobility looked like tamgas. In fact, the older these crests were, the more strikingly Sarmatian, or rather Bosporan, they looked.


… Polish aristocratic mores, Sulimirski suggests, find many of their roots in Sarmatian custom. Ancient writers record the solidarity and sense of equality among Sarmatians, much like the szlachta motto that the petty squire on his plot /Is as good as the duke. And might not the special Polish attitude to women have its roots among those Indo-Iranian nomads too? Sarmatian noblewomen were powerful and respected, while the Polish system of aristocratic descent still shows traces of matriliny (Black Sea, pp. 238-240).


Ascherson then concludes that both the so-called Serbs and Croats, among many other peoples in Europe, may in fact be descended from the Sarmatian Alans.


The Sarmatians who migrated west from the Black Sea ceased to be nomads and pastoralists. Some of the first wave, like the Iazygians, were recruited by the Roman Empire and resettled in various parts of Gaul or Britain. Others moved north-westward until they came up against the strong and firmly settled Germanic peoples. Late Roman writers, trying to describe this, fell into the habit of describing all Europe east of the Germans as Sarmatia, a term which was gradually applied to all the Slav peoples of the region whether or not they had a ruling class of Sarmatian origin.


The Alans, in particular, had many strange fates. One group or war-party, setting out from the Balkans in the late fourth century, rode right across the dying Roman Empire through Austria and the Rhineland, and then, with Vandal and Suevian allies, into France, Spain and Portugal, winding up in what is now Spanish Galicia. Other expeditions moved more slowly across northern France, in some cases putting down roots and forming small Alan kingdoms of their own. Over thirty French place-names, including that of the town of Alençon, allude to their presence, and there is some evidence of a long-lasting Sarmatian settlement near Orleans (Black Sea, ibid., p. 241).


This is confirmed in the work referred to previously.


In 378 the Gothic-Alanic cavalry wiped out a Roman army at Adrianople, a victory that heralded the dominance of heavy armoured horsemen on the medieval battlefield. Groups of Alans set themselves up as local aristocracies in northern Spain (Catalonia: Goth-Alania) and northern France (Alençon). Chivalry developed into its final form when another wave of Germanic warriors, the Normans, came to northern France and took up the horsemanship of the Alanic gentry. (At the Battle of Hastings in 1066, part of the Norman cavalry was commanded by Alan the Red, Count of Brittany.) (From the Lands of the Scythians, p. 150)


Ascherson continues tracing the route of Sarmatian Alans into Eastern Europe.


Partly overrun by the Hun offensive into Europe, many Eastern Alans joined their armies and travelled west with them. Some settled for a time on the Elbe, and -- like their predecessors the Antae -- came to mobilise and dominate the larger and less warlike Slavonic populations they found there. One of these conquests had a powerful impact on later history. The words Choroatus and Chorouatos (Croat) occur on inscriptions found at Tanais, on the Don. It looks as if the term was originally the name of a group of Alan warriors who lived for a period in the Azov steppes and then migrated again towards the north-west. There they subjugated and then merged into Slavonic peoples living on the upper Vistula [river] and in northern Bohemia.


Byzantine and Arab chronicles in the tenth century describe a people called Belochrobati (White Croats) in that region, whose kings drank mares milk and whose babies were subjected to skull-binding. Migrating southwards across the Hungarian plain towards the Adriatic, this group settled in that area which was to become modern Croatia. The name Serb, too, originally belonged to another Eastern Alan band which was recorded in the Volga-Don steppe in the third century and which reappeared in the fifth century on the east bank of the Elbe. In the same way as the Sarmatian Croats, they dominated and then melted into Slav populations around them. Some remained there, ancestors of the Slav-speaking Serb minority which still lives in Lusatia in modern Saxony. Others, like the Croats, moved south across the Danube to a permanent home in the Balkans: the future land of Serbia.


Fragments of Alan population survived in Asia for many more centuries. The Crimean coast between Feodosia and Alushta was still known as Alania in the Middle Ages These last Sarmatians on the Black Sea appear to have linked up with the Crimean Goths until Gothia was overthrown by the Turks and Tatars. The final mention of the Alans, as inhabitants of Crimea in the time of the Tatar khanate, dates from the seventeenth century (Black Sea, pp. 241-242).


The Wikipedia entry on the Sarmatians has that, “the numerous Iranian personal names in the Greek inscriptions from the Black Sea Coast indicate that the Sarmatians spoke a North-Eastern Iranian dialect ancestral to Ossetic”. The entry on the Alans explains that:


Modern genetic science's disclosure of the geographical distribution of historical genetic markers has convinced certain theorists of the connection between Sarmato-Alanic deep ancestral heritage in Europe and the Y-DNA paternal Haplogroup G (Y-DNA), specifically G2.


The Croats, however, are R1a and I Haplogroups. G is Semitic Assyrian.


Other descendants of the Scythians



In the far west of Europe, the Spanish Visigoths (Western Goths) claimed descent from the patriarch Magog, according to Isidore of Seville (ca. 560-636). The Ostrogoths (Eastern Goths) were similarly descended from Magog or Gog.


The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle of 891 CE relates that the Britons came from ‘Armenia’ and the Picts (of Scotland) from ‘Scythia’. The Armenia here is not the area in the Caucasus but rather a misnomer for Amorica, which is an earlier name for modern-day Brittany in France. It is effectively saying that the Britons came overland across Europe rather than via the Mediterranean, as we see with others below.


The histories record that the Britons came from Troy via Spain to Britain and Amorica, later called Brittany (see also the Origin of the Christian Church in Britain (No. 266)). Others that came from Europe were Gomerites.


In about 551 CE, the historian Jordanes or Jornandes, who was of Gothic extraction himself, wrote perhaps the definitive history of the Goths in The Origin and Deeds of the Goths (trans. by C. Mierow, Princeton University Press, 1908), often known simply as Getica. While the Goths had converted to Arianism, Jordanes was apparently a committed Trinitarian.



One version of the Scots’ arrival in Scotland is found in the Declaration of Arbroath written in “filial reverence” to Pope John in1320, as we see here:


…we know and from the chronicles and books of the ancients we find that among other famous nations our own, the Scots, has been graced with widespread renown. They journeyed from Greater Scythia by way of the Tyrrhenian Sea and the Pillars of Hercules, and dwelt for a long course of time in Spain among the most savage tribes, but nowhere could they be subdued by any race, however barbarous. Thence they came, twelve hundred years after the people of Israel crossed the Red Sea, to their home in the west where they still live today. The Britons they first drove out, the Picts they utterly destroyed, and, even though very often assailed by the Norwegians, the Danes and the English, they took possession of that home with many victories and untold efforts;


We note several things here. Firstly, the Scots are said to have come from Greater Scythia via the Mediterranean and the ‘Straits of Gibraltar’ (or Pillars of Hercules) to the Britain, rather than from Lesser Scythia, or Scandinavia, as did some other tribes. The second point is that they found the Britons and Picts already in residence in the British Isles.


The Picts are the Caledonians in the North of Britain.


Up until the 10th century, the term Scotia applied to the island of Ireland (or Eriu/Erin) rather than Scotland, which was then known as Alba or Alban. And at that time there were four kingdoms in Alba:

·         Picts in basically the whole of the country north of the Forth estuary;

·         Scots of Dalriada, now Argyll;

·         Britons of Strathclyde; and

·         Angles of Bernicia, from the Forth in Scotland down to the Humber river in England.


By the end of the 10th century the name Scotia was applied to part of Alba, and it wasn’t until 1266 that Scotland was adopted as the name of the united kingdom under Alexander III. Note also that King Alfred in his translation of ‘Beda’ (an Anglo-Belgic poem) uses Scytise for Scottish – although perhaps a purely coincidental association with Scyth. There is still another suggestion that the name Scotti came from the Old Irish Scothaim, meaning I cut down, destroy.


Sometimes called the ‘Christian Herodotus’, Eusebius (263-339 CE) states:


… Meanwhile the holy apostles and disciples of our Saviour were scattered over the whole world. Thomas, tradition tells us, was chosen for Parthia, Andrew for Scythia, John for Asia, where he remained till his death at Ephesus. … (Bk. III, 1: The History of the Church, tr. G.A. Williamson, Penguin UK, 1965).


It is claimed that Andrew, brother of Peter, worked as an Apostle among the Scythians before they began their migrations westward to Alba or Caledonia, the land later known as Scotland (land of Skut/Scyth?). The connection exists today with Andrew being the ‘patron saint’ of Scotland, and in the name of St Andrews, once an important ecclesiastical centre in the Kingdom of Fife.


The area into Parthia and Scythia, including Armenia and Georgia, was covered by both Peter and Andrew, and not Andrew alone. This was a later fiction of Rome.


The Irish connection

The Wikipedia article on Gog and Magog gives the following:


Some legends of Hungarians and certain Celtic peoples say they are descendants of Magog. Poseidonius, for example, mentions that the Cimmerians, considered to be the original ancestors in Celtic traditions, were derived from gug and guas. In Irish tradition, Magog was supposed to have had a grandchild called Heber, who spread throughout the Mediterranean. The result is that Gog — the land of the four corners of the world – has also been identified as lands somewhere in the oceans surrounding the Old World, i.e., the New World.


Works of Irish mythology, including the Lebor Gabála Érenn (the Book of Invasions), expand on the Genesis account of Magog as the son of Japheth and make him the ancestor to the Irish. His three sons were Baath, Jobhath, and Fathochta. Magog is regarded as the father of the Irish race, and the progenitor of the Scythians, as well as of numerous other races across Europe and Central Asia. Partholon, leader of the first group to colonize Ireland after the Deluge, was a descendant of Magog. The Milesians, or people of the 5th invasion of Ireland, were also descendants of Magog.


In the paper DNA Change Rates: Modern Science vs. The Bible (No. 215), we see that: “The history of the Irish is quite clear and well documented. The Milesians did not come into Ireland until ca. 500 BCE, from Spain”. The sea journey from northern Spain would have been relatively straightforward, as it is a recognised fact that the tides will carry boats quite naturally in a few days from the Bay of Biscay directly to Ireland.


The Celts were great seaman and in fact taught the Romans international seamanship. The ships of Tarshish were the greatest commercial navy of the world.


Continuing the quote from the above paper:


The most common clan in Ireland is what is termed clan Oisin, and it is a Gaelic clan, being less common in areas where the Anglo-Norman invasion occurred. In the South-east, where most of their influence was felt, particularly in Leinster, Oisin is some 73%. In Ulster in the North-east it is 81%, while in Munster in the South-west it is 95%, and in Connacht in the West of Ireland it reaches 98% of all males (op. cit., p. 160). In contrast, for the mtDNA, all seven of the major maternal European clans and most of the minor ones were present in Ireland, and they were more or less equally distributed over the four provinces.


The YDNA clan Oisin signature can be found also among the Basques in Spain, and in Galicia and in Orkney. It is termed the Atlantic Modal Haplotype (AMH) and has repeats as follows: 11-24-13-13-12-14-12-12-10-6 on the Oxford sequence.

[The AMH is found on the European coastline from Spain to Belgium.]


It exists in Scotland and in England and indicates Celtic influence right across the Isles. Geoffrey of Monmouth records that the Trojan Celts found the Magogites there and subjugated them when they invaded Britain.


The clan is found in effect where we would expect the Irish to have travelled according to their history. These are the sons of Japheth through Magog, and perhaps also Gomer.


As longstanding residents of the Iberian Peninsula, however, the Basques will be looked at in the paper on Tubal (see Sons of Japheth Part VI: Tubal (No. 46F)), the progenitor of the Iberi tribes.


It has also been recently shown that radiation affects the mtDNA change rates and we have dealt with that in an updated paper DNA Change Rates (No. 215) on the change rates.


Natural radioactivity and human mitochondrial DNA mutations, by Lucy Forster, Peter Forster, Sabine Lutz-Bonengel, Horst Willkomm, and Bernd Brinkmann:

The team tested the effects of natural background radiations and found that radiation effects the mutational change rates of mtDNA. Thus if you were born for example in Kerala in the test area you would suffer rapid mutations in the mtDNA, which would affect the YDNA structure also. Thus the DNA comparisons in these various groups may well vary from one to the other over a much shorter period of time than expected. The team said:


“The observation that radiation accelerates point mutations at all is unexpected, at first glance, because radiation was, until recently, thought to generate primarily DNA lesions (1). A potential explanation is provided by our additional observation that these radiation-associated point mutations are also evolutionary hot spots, indicating that the radiation indirectly increases the cell's normal (evolutionary) mutation mechanism (5).”

... As demonstrated, our mtDNA results strongly support an acceleration of the evolutionary DNA mutation mechanism through radiation.


Thus the mtDNA of Magogites, like all others, may change the female lineages and, through the effects demonstrated by the Pasteur Institute teams, affect the YDNA structures over areas, and hence Magogite and other DNA mutates much faster than previously thought and can be Western R1b while others can be Slavic R1a. We will examine this elsewhere.


In Ireland, the Norseman or Northmen were known as the Finn-gaill or white strangers. The Danes, by contrast, were called Dubh-gaill or black strangers. The Scandinavians thus provide another possible line of descent from the patriarch Magog:


Another set of descendants of Magog is seen in the Swedish people. Johannes Magnus (1488-1544) stated that Magog's sons were Sven and Gethar (also named Gog), who became the ancestors of the Swedes and the Goths. Queen Christina of Sweden reckoned herself as number 249 in a list of kings going back to Magog (Wikipedia).


Gog and Magog in prophecy

Strong’s definition of Gog (SHD 1463) is rather vague: “Of uncertain derivation; Gog, the name of an Israelite, also of some northern nation”, while Thayer says that the Greek version of Gog (SGD 1136) means mountain, and Magog (3098) means overtopping or covering. Of greater significance, perhaps, the word Caucasian is said to be a corruption of Gog-hasan, meaning Gog’s Fort (Gill’s Commentary of the Old Testament, 1748).


Pliny, in Natural History (I, v, 23), claims that the city of Hierapolis in Syria was known as Magog to the Syrians. More recent Bible scholarship is of the opinion that Gog was Gyges, king of Lydia, and hence Magog refers to the land of Lydia in western Anatolia (now Turkey).


The Wikipedia article on Gog and Magog gives the following information in several key extracts:


The Muslims called the Scythian tribes of “Tartary Yajuj and Majuj” which is Gog and Magog (see Jones 1807 vol 1: 94). … Marco Polo, Venetian traveler to the Orient, in the thirteenth century AD, knew that Mungul or Mongol was part of the peoples of Magog. He further understood “Gog and Magog” to be the names of “Ung and Mungu” in China (see Polo Travels: 87). … Arab writers confirm that in the Arabic language their name for the Great Wall of China is “the wall of Al Magog.”


Gog and Magog appear in Qur'an sura Al-Kahf (The Cave), 18:83-98, as Yajuj and Majuj (Ya-juj/Ya-jewj and Ma-juj/Ma-jewj or يأجوج و مأجوج, in Arabic). Some Muslim scholars contend that the Gog in Ezekiel verse 38:2 should be read Yajuj (there is a "Y" immediately before Gog in the Hebrew version). The verses state that Dhul-Qarnayn (the one with two horns) travelled the world in three directions, until he found a tribe threatened by Gog and Magog, who were of an "evil and destructive nature" and "caused great corruption on earth" [Qur’an 18:94]. The people offered tribute in exchange for protection. Dhul-Qarnayn agreed to help them, but refused the tribute; he constructed a great wall that the hostile nations were unable to penetrate. They will be trapped there until doomsday, and their escape will be a sign of the end:


But when Gog and Magog are let loose and they rush headlong down every height (or advantage). Then will the True Promise draw near - (Qur'an 21:96-97).


The Wikipedia entry on Gog and Magog continues with yet another theory of the identity of Gog and Magog:


The 14th century Sunni Muslim scholar Ibn Kathir also identified Gog and Magog with the Khazars who lived between the Black and Caspian Seas in his work Al-Bidayah wa al-Nihayah (The Beginning and the End) [Al-Bidayah wa'l-Nihayah and "Stories of the Prophets", p. 54, Riyadh, SA Maktaba Dar-us-Salam, 2003]. A Georgian tradition, echoed in a chronicle, also identifies the Khazars with Gog and Magog, stating they are "wild men with hideous faces and the manners of wild beasts, eaters of blood" [Schultze, p. 23, 1905]. Another author who has identified this connection was the Arab traveller Ibn Fadlan. In his travelogue regarding his diplomatic mission to iltäbär (vassal-king under the Khazars), he noted the beliefs about Gog and Magog being the ancestors of the Khazars [Collection of Geographical Works by Ibn al-Faqih, Ibn Fadlan, Abu Dulaf Al-Khazraji, ed. Fuat Sezgin, Frankfurt am Main, 1987].


Ahmadiyya founder Mirza Ghulam Ahmad linked Gog and Magog to the European nations, and his son and second successor, Mirza Basheerud Deen Mahmood further expounds the connection between Europe and the accounts of Gog and Magog in the Bible, the Qur'an, and the hadith in his work Tafseer e Kabeer [32] and in his commentary on Surah Al-Kahaf (Urdu).[33] According to this interpretation, Gog and Magog were descendents of Noah who populated eastern and western Europe long ago; the Ahmadi cite the folkloric British interpretation of Gog and Magog as giants (see below) as support for their view. …


The Khazars were converted to Judaism ca. 740 CE. They were pushed into the Pale of Settlement by the Mongols ca. 1215. The Sorbians and many Eastern Europeans in the Pale as well as 53% of the Ashkenazi Levites and many other Jews, are R1a Khazars. Yiddish is a Sorbian language with German lexicography.


The YDNA of the Mongols is, however, Cushite C3, and the Chinese are Haplogroup O. They are not Magogites, hence these early writers were wrong. The Siberians to the north were R1b and R1a and some Q and it is these that were kept out by the wall.


Thus many Magogite Khazars are in Israel today.


According to the tradition, the giants Gog and Magog are guardians of the City of London, and images of them have been carried in the Lord Mayor's Show since the days of King Henry V. The Lord Mayor's procession takes place each year on the second Saturday of November.


The latter-day prophecies regarding Gog and Magog are found in Ezekiel 38 and 39.


Ezekiel 38:1-23 The word of the LORD came to me: 2 "Son of man, set your face toward Gog, of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him 3 and say, Thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I am against you, O Gog, chief prince of Meshech and Tubal; 4 and I will turn you about, and put hooks into your jaws, and I will bring you forth, and all your army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed in full armor, a great company, all of them with buckler and shield, wielding swords; 5  Persia, Cush, and Put are with them, all of them with shield and helmet; 6 Gomer and all his hordes; Beth-togar'mah from the uttermost parts of the north with all his hordes--many peoples are with you. 7 "Be ready and keep ready, you and all the hosts that are assembled about you, and be a guard for them. 8 After many days you will be ustered; in the latter years you will go against the land that is restored from war, the land where people were gathered from many nations upon the mountains of Israel, which had been a continual waste; its people were brought out from the nations and now dwell securely, all of them. 9 You will advance, coming on like a storm, you will be like a cloud covering the land you and all your hordes, and many peoples with you. 10 "Thus says the Lord GOD: On that day thoughts will come into your mind, and you will devise an evil scheme 11 and say, 'I will go up against the land of unwalled villages; I will fall upon the quiet people who dwell securely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having no bars or gates'; 12 to seize spoil and carry off plunder; to assail the waste places which are now inhabited, and the people who were gathered from the nations, who have gotten cattle and goods, who dwell at the center of the earth. 13 Sheba and Dedan and the merchants of Tarshish and all its villages will say to you, 'Have you come to seize spoil? Have you assembled your hosts to carry off plunder, to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to seize great spoil?' 14 "Therefore, son of man, prophesy, and say to Gog, Thus says the Lord GOD: On that day when my people Israel are dwelling securely, you will bestir yourself 15 and come from your place out of the uttermost parts of the north, you and many peoples with you, all of them riding on horses, a great host, a mighty army; 16 you will come up against my people Israel, like a cloud covering the land. In the latter days I will bring you against my land, that the nations may know me, when through you, O Gog, I vindicate my holiness before their eyes. 17 "Thus says the Lord GOD: Are you he of whom I spoke in former days by my servants the prophets of Israel, who in those days prophesied for years that I would bring you against them? 18 But on that day, when Gog shall come against the land of Israel, says the Lord GOD, my wrath will be roused. 19 For in my jealousy and in my blazing wrath I declare, On that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel; 20 the fish of the sea, and the birds of the air, and the beasts of the field, and all creeping things that creep on the ground, and all the men that are upon the face of the earth, shall quake at my presence, and the mountains shall be thrown down, and the cliffs shall fall, and every wall shall tumble to the ground. 21 I will summon every kind of terror against Gog, says the Lord GOD; every man's sword will be against his brother. 22 With pestilence and bloodshed I will enter into judgment with him; and I will rain upon him and his hordes and the many peoples that are with him, torrential rains and hailstone, fire and brimstone. 23 So I will show my greatness and my holiness and make myself known in the eyes of many nations. Then they will know that I am the LORD. (RSV)


In respect of Gog in Ezekiel 38:2, Bullinger says: Gog. A symbolical name for the nations north and east of Palestine, or the nations as a whole. … The name is connected with “Og” (Deut. 3.1-13), and “Agag” (Num. 24.7), where the Samaritan Pent. reads “Agog”, and the Sept. reads “Gog”. Here the Arabic reads “Agag” (Companion Bible).


Ezekiel 39:1-29 "And you, son of man, prophesy against Gog, and say, Thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I am against you, O Gog, chief prince of Meshech and Tubal; 2 and I will turn you about and drive you forward, and bring you up from the uttermost parts of the north, and lead you against the mountains of Israel; 3 then I will strike your bow from your left hand, and will make your arrows drop out of your right hand. 4 You shall fall upon the mountains of Israel, you and all your hordes and the peoples that are with you; I will give you to birds of prey of every sort and to the wild beasts to be devoured. 5 You shall fall in the open field; for I have spoken, says the Lord GOD. 6 I will send fire on Magog and on those who dwell securely in the coastlands; and they shall know that I am the LORD. 7 "And my holy name I will make known in the midst of my people Israel; and I will not let my holy name be profaned any more; and the nations shall know that I am the LORD, the Holy One in Israel. 8 Behold, it is coming and it will be brought about, says the Lord GOD. That is the day of which I have spoken. 9 "Then those who dwell in the cities of Israel will go forth and make fires of the weapons and burn them, shields and bucklers, bows and arrows, handpikes and spears, and they will make fires of them for seven years; 10 so that they will not need to take wood out of the field or cut down any out of the forests, for they will make their fires of the weapons; they will despoil those who despoiled them, and plunder those who plundered them, says the Lord GOD. 11 "On that day I will give to Gog a place for burial in Israel, the Valley of the Travelers east of the sea; it will block the travelers, for there Gog and all his multitude will be buried; it will be called the Valley of Hamon-gog. 12 For seven months the house of Israel will be burying them, in order to cleanse the land. 13 All the people of the land will bury them; and it will redound to their honor on the day that I show my glory, says the Lord GOD. 14 They will set apart men to pass through the land continually and bury those remaining upon the face of the land, so as to cleanse it; at the end of seven months they will make their search. 15 And when these pass through the land and any one sees a man's bone, then he shall set up a sign by it, till the buriers have buried it in the Valley of Hamon-gog. 16 (A city Hamo'nah is there also.) Thus shall they cleanse the land. 17 "As for you, son of man, thus says the Lord GOD: Speak to the birds of every sort and to all beasts of the field, 'Assemble and come, gather from all sides to the sacrificial feast which I am preparing for you, a great sacrificial fast upon the mountains of Israel, and you shall eat flesh and drink blood. 18 You shall eat the flesh of the mighty, and drink the blood of the princes of the earth--of rams, of lambs, and of goats, of bulls, all of them fatlings of Bashan. 19 And you shall eat fat till you are filled, and drink blood till you are drunk, at the sacrificial feast which I am preparing for you. 20 And you shall be filled at my table with horses and riders, with mighty men and all kinds of warriors,' says the Lord GOD. 21 "And I will set my glory among the nations; and all the nations shall see my judgment which I have executed, and my hand which I have laid on them. 22 The house of Israel shall know that I am the LORD their God, from that day forward. 23 And the nations shall know that the house of Israel went into captivity for their iniquity, because they dealt so treacherously with me that I hid my face from the and gave them into the hand of their adversaries, and they all fell by the sword. 24 I dealt with them according to their uncleanness and their transgressions, and hid my face from them. 25 "Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: Now I will restore the fortunes of Jacob, and have mercy upon the whole house of Israel; and I will be jealous for my holy name. 26 They shall forget their shame, and all the treachery they have practiced against me, when they dwell securely in their land with none to make them afraid, 27 when I have brought them back from the peoples and gathered them from their enemies' lands, and through them have vindicated my holiness in the sight of many nations. 28 Then they shall know that I am the LORD their God because I sent them into exile among the nations, and then gathered them into their own land. I will leave none of them remaining among the nations any more; 29 and I will not hide my face any more from them, when I pour out my Spirit upon the house of Israel, says the Lord GOD." (RSV)


Revelation 20:7-9 And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be loosed from his prison 8 and will come out to deceive the nations which are at the four corners of the earth, that is, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea. 9 And they marched up over the broad earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city; but fire came down from heaven and consumed them, (RSV).


Regarding the prophecy in Revelation 20:8, Bullinger’s note reads: “Gog and Magog. Here, apparently an inclusive term for all the Gentile nations; East (Gog) and West (Magog). The destruction of Gog and Magog, Ezek. 39, is pre-millennial” (Comp. Bible). We must assume then that the wars are fought both at the beginning and the end of the Millennium. See also the paper War of Hamon-Gog (No. 294).


The use of Gog in the Last Days refers to the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal – which are in the Russian steppe area – and so we are using this term in the Last Days as a composite term for the system opposed to God, and not one of Magog. 




Appendix A


The Stem of the Irish Nation, from Adam down to Milesius of Spain


From Irish Pedigrees; or the Origin and Stem of the Irish Nation, by John O'Hart, 5th Edition, 1892


"GOD THE FATHER, SON, AND HOLY GHOST, who was from all eternity, did, in the beginning of Time, of nothing, create Red Earth; and of Red Earth framed ADAM; and of a Rib out of the side of Adam fashioned Eve. After which Creation, Plasmation, and Formation, succeeded Generations, as follows."--Four Masters.


1. ADAM.
2. Seth.
3. Enos.
4. Cainan.
5. Mahalaleel.
6. Jared.
7. Enoch.
8. Methuselah.
9. Lamech.


10. Noah [1] divided the world amongst his three sons, begotten of his wife Titea: viz., to Shem he gave Asia, within the Euphrates, to the Indian Ocean; to Ham he gave Syria, Arabia, and Africa; and to Japhet, the rest of Asia beyond the Euphrates, together with Europe to Gades (or Cadiz).


11. Japhet was the eldest son of Noah. He had fifteen sons, amongst whom he divided Europe and the part of Asia which his father had allotted to him.


12. Magog: From whom descended the Parthians, Bactrians, Amazons, etc.; Partholan, the first planter of Ireland,[2] about three hundred years after the Flood; and also the rest of the colonies [3] that planted there, viz., the Nemedians who planted Ireland, Anno Mundi three thousand and forty six or three hundred and eighteen years after the birth of Abraham, and two thousand one hundred and fifty-three years before Christ. The Nemedians continued in Ireland for two hundred and seventeen years; within which time a colony of theirs went into the northern parts of Scotland, under the conduct of their leader Briottan Maol,[4] from whom Britain takes its name, and not from "Brutus," as some persons believed. From Magog were also descended the Belgarian, Belgian, Firbolgian or Firvolgian colony that succeeded the Nemedians, Anno Mundi, three thousand two hundred and sixty-six, and who first erected Ireland into a Monarchy.[5] [According to some writers, the Fomorians invaded Ireland next after the Nemedians.] This Belgarian or Firvolgian colony continued in Ireland for thirty-six years, under nine of their Kings; when they were supplanted by the Tuatha-de-Danans (which means, according to some authorities, "the people of the god Dan," whom they adored), who possessed Ireland for one hundred and ninety-seven years, during the reigns of nine of their kings; and who were then conquered by the Gaelic, Milesian, or Scotic Nation (the three names by which the Irish people were known), Anno Mundi three thousand five hundred. This Milesian or Scotic Irish Nation possessed and enjoyed the Kingdom of Ireland for two thousand eight hundred and eighty-five years, under one hundred and eighty-three Monarchs; until their submission to King Henry the Second of England, Anno Domini one thousand one hundred and eighty-six.[6]


13. Baoth, one of the sons of Magog; to whom Scythia came as his lot, upon the division of the Earth by Noah amongst his sons, and by Japhet of his part thereof amongst his sons.


14. Phoeniusa Farsaidh (or Fenius Farsa) was King of Scythia, at the time that Ninus ruled the Assyrian Empire; and, being a wise man and desirous to learn the languages that not long before confounded the builders of the Tower of Babel, employed able and learned men to go among the dispersed multitude to learn their several languages; who sometime after returning well skilled in what they went for, Phoeniusa Farsaidh erected a school in the valley of Senaar, near the city of Æothena, in the forty-second year of the reign of Ninus; whereupon, having continued there with his younger son Niul for twenty years, he returned home to his kingdom, which, at his death, he left to his eldest son Nenuall: leaving to Niul no other patrimony than his learning and the benefit of the said school.


15. Niul, after his father returned to Scythia, continued some time at Æothena, teaching the languages and other laudable sciences, until upon report of his great learning he was invited into Egypt by Pharaoh, the King; who gave him the land of Campus Cyrunt, near the Red Sea to inhabit, and his daughter Scota in marriage: from whom their posterity are ever since called Scots; but, according to some annalists, the name "Scots" is derived from the word Scythia.


It was this Niul that employed Gaodhal [Gael], son of Ethor, a learned and skilful man, to compose or rather refine and adorn the language, called Bearla Tobbai, which was common to all Niul's posterity, and afterwards called Gaodhilg (or Gaelic), from the said Gaodhal who composed or refined it; and for his sake also Niul called his own eldest son "Gaodhal." [The following is a translation of an extract from the derivation of this proper name, as given in Halliday's Vol. of Keating's Irish History, page 230:

"Antiquaries assert that the name of Gaodhal is from the compound word formed of 'gaoith' and 'dil,' which means a lover of learning; for, 'gaoith' is the same as wisdom or learning, and 'dil' is the same as loving or fond."]


16. Gaodhal (or Gathelus), the son of Niul, was the ancestor of the Clan-na-Gael, that is, "the children or descendants of Gaodhal. In his youth this Gaodhal was stung in the neck by a serpent, and was immediately brought to Moses, who, laying his rod upon the wounded place, instantly cured him: whence followed the word "Glas" to be added to his name, as Gaodhal Glas (glas: Irish, green; Lat. glaucus; Gr. glaukos), on account of the green scar which the word signifies and which during his life remained on his neck after the wound was healed. And Gaodhal obtained a further blessing, namely--that no venemous beast can live any time where his posterity should inhabit; which is verified in Creta or Candia, Gothia or Getulia, Ireland, etc. The Irish chroniclers affirm that from this time Gaodhal and his posterity did paint the figures of Beasts, Birds, etc., on their banners and shields,[7] to distinguish their tribes and septs, in imitation of the Israelites; and that a "Thunderbolt" was the cognizance in their chief standard for many generations after this Gaodhal.


17. Asruth, after his father's death, continued in Egypt, and governed his colony in peace during his life.


18. Sruth, soon after his father's death, was (see page 31) set upon by the Egyptians, on account of their former animosities towards their predecessors for having taken part with the Israelites against them; which animosities until then lay raked up in the embers, and now broke out in a flame to that degree, that after many battles and conflicts, wherein most of his colony lost their lives, Sruth was forced with the few remaining to depart the country; and, after many traverses at sea, arrived at the Island of Creta (now called Candia), where he paid his last tribute to nature.


19. Heber Scut (scut: Irish, a Scot), after his father's death and a year's stay in Creta, departed thence, leaving some of his people to inhabit the Island, where some of their posterity likely still remain; "because the Island breeds no venemous serpent ever since." He and his people soon after arrived in Scythia; where his cousins, the posterity of Nenuall (eldest son of Fenius Farsa, above mentioned), refusing to allot a place of habitation for him and his colony, they fought many battles wherein Heber (with the assistance of some of the natives who were ill-affected towards their king), being always victor, he at length forced the sovereignty from the other, and settled himself and his colony in Scythia, who continued there for four generations. (Hence the epithet Scut, "a Scot" or "a Scythian," was applied to this Heber, who is accordingly called Heber Scot.) Heber Scot was afterwards slain in battle by Noemus the former king's son.


20. Beouman; 21. Ogaman; and 22. Tait, were each kings of Scythia, but in constant war with the natives; so that after Tait's death his son,


23. Agnon and his followers betook themselves to sea, wandering and coasting upon the Caspian Sea for several (some say seven) years in which time he died.


24. Lamhfionn and his fleet remained at sea for some time after his father's death, resting and refreshing themselves upon such islands as they met with. It was then that Cachear, their magician or Druid, foretold that there would be no end of their peregrinations and travel until they should arrive at the Western Island of Europe, now called Ireland, which was the place destined for their future and lasting abode and settlement; and that not they but their posterity after three hundred years should arrive there. After many traverses of fortune at sea, this little fleet with their leader arrived at last and landed at Gothia or Getulia --more recently called Lybia, where Carthage was afterwards built; and, soon after, Lamhfionn died there.


25. Heber Glunfionn was born in Getulia, where he died. His posterity continued there to the eighth generation; and were kings or chief rulers there for one hundred and fifty years--some say three hundred years.


26. Agnan Fionn; 27. Febric Glas; 28. Nenuall; 29. Nuadhad; 30. Alladh; 31. Arcadh; and 32. Deag: of these nothing remarkable is mentioned, but that they lived and died kings in Gothia or Getulia.


33. Brath was born in Gothia. Remembering the Druid's prediction, and his people having considerably multiplied during their abode in Getulia, he departed thence with a numerous fleet to seek out the country destined for their final settlement, by the prophecy of Cachear, the Druid above mentioned; and, after some time, he landed upon the coast of Spain, and by strong hand settled himself and his colony in Galicia, in the north of that country.


34. Breoghan (or Brigus) was king of Galicia, Andalusia, Murcia, Castile, and Portugal--all which he conquered. He built Breoghan's Tower or Brigantia in Galicia, and the city of Brigansa or Braganza in Portugal--called after him; and the kingdom of Castile was then also called after him Brigia. It is considered that "Castile" itself was so called from the figure of a castle which Brigus bore for his Arms on his banner. Brigus sent a colony into Britain, who settled in that territory now known as the counties of York, Lancaster, Durham, Westmoreland, and Cumberland, and, after him, were called Brigantes; whose posterity gave formidable opposition to the Romans, at the time of the Roman invasion of Britain.


35. Bilé was king of those countries after his father's death; and his son Galamh [galav] or Milesius succeeded him. This Bilé had a brother named Ithe.


36. Milesius, in his youth and during his father's life-time, went into Scythia, where he was kindly received by the king of that country, who gave him his daughter in marriage, and appointed him General of his forces. In this capacity Milesius defeated the king's enemies, gained much fame, and the love of all the king's subjects. His growing greatness and popularity excited against him the jealousy of the king; who, fearing the worst, resolved on privately despatching Milesius out of the way, for, openly, he dare not attempt it. Admonished of the king's intentions in his regard, Milesius slew him; and thereupon quitted Scythia and retired into Egypt with a fleet of sixty sail. Pharaoh Nectonibus, then king of Egypt, being informed of his arrival and of his great valour, wisdom, and conduct in arms, made him General of all his forces against the king of Ethiopia then invading his country. Here as in Scythia, Milesius was victorious; he forced the enemy to submit to the conqueror's own terms of peace. By these exploits Milesius found great favour with Pharaoh, who gave him, being then a widower his daughter Scota in marriage; and kept him eight years afterwards in Egypt.


During the sojourn of Milesius in Egypt, he employed the most ingenious and able persons among his people to be instructed in the several trades, arts, and sciences used in Egypt; in order to have them taught to the rest of his people on his return to Spain.


[The original name of Milesius of Spain was, as already mentioned, "Galamh" (gall: Irish, a stranger; amh, a negative affix), which means, no stranger: meaning that he was no stranger in Egypt, where he was called "Milethea Spaine," which was afterwards contracted to "Milé Spaine" (meaning the Spanish Hero), and finally to "Milesius" (mileadh: Irish, a hero; Lat. miles, a soldier).]


At length Milesius took leave of his father-in-law, and steered towards Spain; where he arrived to the great joy and comfort of his people, who were much harasssed by the rebellion of the natives and by the intrusion of other foreign nations that forced in after his father's death, and during his own long absence from Spain. With these and those he often met; and, in fifty-four battles, victoriously fought, he routed, destroyed, and totally extirpated them out of the country, which he settled in peace and quietness.


In his reign a great dearth and famine occurred in Spain, of twenty-six years' continuance, occasioned, as well by reason of the former troubles which hindered the people from cultivating and manuring the ground, as for want of rain to moisten the earth; but Milesius superstitiously believed the famine to have fallen upon him and his people as a judgment and punishment from their gods, for their negligence in seeking out the country destined for their final abode, so long before foretold by Cachear their Druid or magician, as already mentioned--the time limited by the prophecy for the accomplishment thereof being now nearly, if not fully, expired. To expiate his fault and to comply with the will of his gods, Milesius, with the general approbation of his people, sent his uncle Ithe, with his son Lughaidh [Luy], and one hundred and fifty stout men to bring them an account of those western islands; who, accordingly, arriving at the island since then called Ireland, and landing in that part of it now called Munster, left his son with fifty of his men to guard the ship, and with the rest travelled about the island. Informed, among other things, that the three sons of Cearmad, called Mac-Cuill, MacCeacht, and MacGreine, did then and for thirty years before rule and govern the island, each for one year, in his turn; and that the country was called after the names of their three queens--Eire, Fodhla, and Banbha, respectively: one year called "Eire," the next "Fodhla," and the next "Banbha," as their husbands reigned in their regular turns; by which names the island is ever since indifferently called, but most commonly "Eire,"[8] because that MacCuill, the husband of Eire, ruled and governed the country in his turn the year that the Clan-na-Milé (or the sons of Milesius) arrived in and conquered Ireland. And being further informed that the three brothers were then at their palace at Aileach Neid,[9] in the north part of the country, engaged in the settlement of some disputes concerning their family jewels, Ithe directed his course thither; sending orders to his son to sail about with his ship and the rest of his men, and meet him there.


When Ithe arrived where the (Danan) brothers were, he was honourably received and entertained by them; and, finding him to be a man of great wisdom and knowledge, they referred their disputes to him for decision. That decision having met their entire satisfaction, Ithe exhorted them to mutual love, peace, and forbearance; adding much in praise of their delightful, pleasant, and fruitful country; and then took his leave, to return to his ship, and go back to Spain.


No sooner was he gone than the brothers began to reflect on the high commendations which Ithe gave of the Island; and, suspecting his design of bringing others to invade it, resolved to prevent them, and therefore pursued him with a strong party, overtook him, fought and routed his men and wounded himself to death (before his son or the rest of his men left on ship-board could come to his rescue) at a place called, from that fight and his name, Magh Ithe or "The plain of Ithe" (an extensive plain in the barony of Raphoe, county Donegal); whence his son, having found him in that condition, brought his dead and mangled body back into Spain, and there exposed it to public view, thereby to excite his friends and relations to avenge his murder.


And here I think it not amiss to notify what the Irish chroniclers, observe upon this matter, viz.--that all the invaders and planters of Ireland, namely, Partholan, Neimhedh, the Firbolgs, Tuatha-de-Danans, and Clan-na-Milé, where originally Scythians, of the line of Japhet, who had the language called Bearla-Tobbai or Gaoidhilg [Gaelic] common amongst them all; and consequently not to be wondered at, that Ithe and the Tuatha-de-Danans understood one another without an Interpreter--both speaking the same language, though perhaps with some difference in the accent.


The exposing of the dead body of Ithe had the desired effect; for, thereupon, Milesius made great preparations in order to invade Ireland--as well to avenge his uncle's death, as also in obedience to the will of his gods, signified by the prophecy of Cachear, aforesaid. But, before he could effect that object, he died, leaving the care and charge of that expedition upon his eight legitimate sons by his two wives before mentioned.


Milesius was a very valiant champion, a great warrior, and fortunate and prosperous in all his undertakings: witness his name of "Milesius," given him from the many battles (some say a thousand, which the word "Milé" signifies in Irish as well as in Latin) which he victoriously fought and won, as well in Spain, as in all the other countries and kingdoms he traversed in his younger days.


The eight brothers were neither forgetful nor negligent in the execution of their father's command; but, soon after his death, with a numerous fleet well manned and equipped, set forth from Breoghan's Tower or Brigantia (now Corunna) in Galicia, in Spain, and sailed prosperously to the coasts of Ireland or Inis-Fail [10] where they met many difficulties and various chances before they could land: occasioned by the diabolical arts, sorceries, and enchantments used by the Tuatha-de-Danans, to obstruct their landing; for, by their magic art, they enchanted the island so as to appear to the Milesians or Clan-na-Milé in the form of a Hog, and no way to come at it (whence the island, among the many other names it had before, was called Muc-Inis or "The Hog Island"); and withal raised so great a storm, that the Milesian fleet was thereby totally dispersed and many of them cast away, wherein five of the eight brothers, sons of Milesius, lost their lives. That part of the fleet commanded by Heber, Heremon, and Amergin (the three surviving brothers), and Heber Donn, son of Ir (one of the brothers lost in the storm), overcame all opposition, landed safe, fought and routed the three Tuatha-de Danan Kings at Slieve-Mis, and thence pursued and overtook them at Tailten, where another bloody battle was fought; wherein the three (Tuatha-de-Danan) Kings and their Queens were slain, and their army utterly routed and destroyed: so that they could never after give any opposition to the Clan-na-Milé in their new conquest; who, having thus sufficiently avenged the death of their great uncle Ithe, gained the possession of the country foretold them by Cachear, some ages past, as already mentioned.


Heber and Heremon, the chief leading men remaining of the eight brothers, sons of Milesius aforesaid, divided the kingdom between them (allotting a proportion of land to their brother Amergin, who was their Arch-priest, Druid, or magician; and to their nephew Heber Donn, and to the rest of their chief commanders), and became jointly the first of one hundred and eighty-three [11] Kings or sole Monarchs of the Gaelic, Milesian, or Scottish Race, that ruled and governed Ireland, successively, for two thousand eight hundred and eighty-five years from the first year of their reign, Anno Mundi three thousand five hundred, to their submission to the Crown of England in the person of King Henry the Second; who, being also of the Milesian Race by Maude, his mother, was lineally descended from Fergus Mor MacEarca, first King of Scotland, who was descended from the said Heremon--so that the succession may be truly said to continue in the Milesian Blood from before Christ one thousand six hundred and ninety-nine years down to the present time.


Heber and Heremon reigned jointly one year only, when, upon a difference between their ambitious wives, they quarrelled and fought a battle at Ardcath or Geshill (Geashill, near Tullamore in the King's County), where Heber was slain by Heremon; and, soon after, Amergin, who claimed an equal share in the government, was, in another battle fought between them, likewise slain by Heremon. Thus, Heremon became sole Monarch, and made a new division of the land amongst his comrades and friends, viz.: the south part, now called Munster, he gave to his brother Heber's four sons, Er, Orba, Feron, and Fergna; the north part, now Ulster, he gave to Ir's only son Heber Donn; the east part or Coigeadh Galian, now called Leinster, he gave to Criomthann-sciath-bheil, one of his commanders; and the west part, now called Connaught, Heremon gave to Un-Mac-Oigge, another of his commanders; allotting a part of Munster to Lughaidh (the son of Ithe, the first Milesian discoverer of Ireland), amongst his brother Heber's sons.


From these three brothers, Heber, Ir, and Heremon (Amergin dying without issue), are descended all the Milesian Irish of Ireland and Scotland, viz.: from Heber, the eldest brother, the provincial Kings of Munster (of whom thirty-eight were sole Monarchs of Ireland), and most of the nobility and gentry of Munster, and many noble families in Scotland, are descended.


From Ir, the second brother, all the provincial Kings of Ulster (of whom twenty-six were sole Monarchs of Ireland), and all the ancient nobility and gentry of Ulster, and many noble families in Leinster, Munster, and Connaught, derive their pedigrees; and, in Scotland, the Clan-na-Rory--the descendants of an eminent man, named Ruadhri or Roderick, who was Monarch of Ireland for seventy years (viz., from Before Christ 288 to 218).


From Heremon, the youngest of the three brothers, were descended one hundred and fourteen sole Monarchs of Ireland: the provincial Kings and Hermonian nobility and gentry of Leinster, Connaught, Meath, Orgiall, Tirowen, Tirconnell, and Clan-na-boy; the Kings of Dalriada; all the Kings of Scotland from Fergus, Mor MacEarca down to the Stuarts; and the Kings and Queens of England from Henry the Second down to the present time.


The issue of Ithe is not accounted among the Milesian Irish or Clan-na-Milé as not being descended from Milesius, but from his uncle Ithe; of whose posterity there were also some Monarchs of Ireland (see Roll of the Irish Monarchs, infra), and many provincial or half provincial Kings of Munster: that country upon its first division, being allocated to the sons of Heber and to Lughaidh, son of Ithe. whose posterity continued there accordingly.


This invasion, conquest, or plantation of Ireland by the Milesian or Scottish Nation took place in the Year of the World three thousand five hundred, or the next year after Solomon began the foundation of the Temple of Jerusalem, and one thousand six hundred and ninety-nine years before the Nativity of our Saviour Jesus Christ; which, according to the Irish computation of Time, occurred Anno Mundi five thousand one hundred and ninety-nine: therein agreeing with the Septuagint, Roman Martyrologies, Eusebius, Orosius, and other ancient authors; which computation the ancient Irish chroniclers exactly observed in their Books of the Reigns of the Monarchs of Ireland, and other Antiquities of that Kingdom; out of which the Roll of the Monarchs of Ireland, from the beginning of the Milesian Monarchy to their submission to King Henry the Second of England, a Prince of their own Blood, is exactly collected.

[As the Milesian invasion of Ireland took place the next year after the laying of the foundation of the Temple of Jerusalem by Solomon, King of Israel, we may infer that Solomon was contemporary with Milesius of Spain; and that the Pharaoh King of Egypt, who (1 Kings iii. 1,) gave his daughter in marriage to Solomon, was the Pharaoh who conferred on Milesius of Spain the hand of another daughter Scota.]


Milesius of Spain bore three Lions in his shield and standard, for the following reasons; namely, that, in his travels in his younger days into foreign countries, passing through Africa, he, by his cunning and valour, killed in one morning three Lions; and that, in memory of so noble and valiant an exploit, he always after bore three Lions on his shield, which his two surviving sons Heber and Heremon, and his grandson Heber Donn, son of Ir, after their conquest of Ireland, divided amongst them, as well as they did the country: each of them bearing a Lion in his shield and banner, but of different colours; which the Chiefs of their posterity continue to this day: some with additions and differences; others plain and entire as they had it from their ancestors.



[1] Noah: This allusion to his wife "Titea" would imply that Noah had other children besides, Shem, Ham, and Japhet. The Four Masters say that he had a son named Bith.--See Note, "The Deluge," page 7.

[2] Ireland: According to the Four Masters, "Ireland" is so called from Ir, the second son of Milesius of Spain who left any issue. It was known to the ancients by the following names: --

To the Irish as--1. Inis Ealga, or the Noble Isle. 2. Fiodh-Inis, or the Woody Island. 3. Crioch Fuinidh, the Final or most remote Country. 4. Inis-Fail, or the Island of Destiny. 5. Fodhla, learned. 6. Banba (from the Irish bandbh, a sucking pig.) 7. Eire, Eri, Eirin, and Erin, supposed by some to signify the Western Isle. 8. Muig Inis, meaning the Island of Mist or Melancholy.

To the Greeks and Romans as--9. Ierne, Ierna, Iernis, Iris, and Irin. 10. Ivernia, Ibernia, Hibernia, Juvernia, Jouvernia, Hiberia, Hiberione, and Verna. 11. Insula Sacra. 12. Ogy-gia, or the Most Ancient Land. (Plutarch, in the first century of the Christian era, calls Ireland by the name Ogy-gia; and Camden says that Ireland is justly called Ogy-gia, as the Irish, he says, can trace their history from the most remote antiquity: Hence O'Flaherty has adopted the name "Ogy-gia" for his celebrated work, in Latin, on Irish history and antiquities.) 13. Scotia. 14. Insula Sanctorum.

To the Anglo-Saxon as--15. Eire-land.

To the Danes as--16. Irlandi, and Irar.

To the Anglo-Normans as--17. Irelande.

[3] Colonies: According to some of the ancient Irish Chroniclers, the following were the nations that colonized Ireland:--

1. Partholan and his followers, called in Irish Muintir Phartholain, meaning "Partholan's People." 2. The Nemedians. 3. The Fomorians. 4. The Firbolgs or Firvolgians, who were also called Belgae or Belgians. 5. The Tuatha-de-Danans. 6. The Milesians or Gaels. 7. The Cruthneans or Picts. 8. The Danes and Norwegians (or Scandinavians). 9. The Anglo-Normans. 10. The Anglo-Saxons (or English). 11. The Scots from North Britain.

1. Partholan and his followers came from Scythia, and were located chiefly in Ulster at Inis-Saimer, in Donegal, and in Leinster at Ben Edair (now the Hill of Howth), in the county Dublin. After they had been in Ireland some thirty years, nearly the whole people perished by a plague; thousands of them were buried in a common tomb, in Tallaght, a place near Dublin: the name "Tallaght" meaning Tam-Laght or the Plague Sepulchre.

2. The Nemedians came from Scythia in Europe, and were located chiefly in Ulster at Ardmacha (or Armagh), and in Derry and Donegal; and in Leinster at the Hill of Uisneach, which is situated a few miles from Mullingar, in the county Westmeath.

3. Fomorians: According to the Annals of Clonmacnoise, the Fomorians (fogh: Irish, plundering; muir, the sea) were a "sept descended from Cham, son of Noah, who lived by pyracie and spoile of other nations, and were in those days very troublesome to the whole world;" and, according to O'Donovan's "Four Masters," the name "Fomorians" was that given by the ancient Irish to the inhabitants of Finland, Denmark, and Norway; but, according to Connellan, those people are considered to have come from the north of Africa, from a place called Lybia or Getulia, and to have been some of the Feiné or Phoenicians, whose descendants afterwards there founded the city of Carthage; and in Spain the cities of Gahdir or Gades (now Cadiz), and Kartabah (now Cordova). As Sidon in Phoenicia was a maritime city in the time of Joshua, and its people expert navigators; and as the Phoenicians, Sidonians, and Tyrians, in those early ages, were celebrated for their commercial intercourse with Greece, Italy, Gaul, Spain, and Britain, there is nothing whatever improbable in a colony of them having sailed from Africa to Ireland: whose coming from Africa may have led to the belief that they were "descended from Cham (Ham); as their commercial intercourse with other nations may have led to their being considered "pirates." Possibly, then, the Fomorians here mentioned were the Erithneans, who were Phoenicians, and a colony of whom settled in Ireland at a very early period in the world's history. The Fomorians are represented as a race of giants, and were celebrated as having been great builders in stone. They were located principally along the coasts of Ulster and Connaught, mostly in Antrim, Derry, Donegal, Leitrim, Sligo, and Mayo, and had their chief fortress (called Tor Conaing or Conang's Tower) on Tor Inis or the Island of the Tower, now known as "Tory Island," which is off the coast of Donegal; and another at the Giants' Causeway, which in Irish was called Cloghan-na-Fomoraigh or the Causeway of the Fomorians, as it was supposed to have been constructed by this people, who, from their great strength and stature, were, as above mentioned, called giants: hence the term "Giants' Causeway"--a stupendous natural curiosity of volcanic origin, situated on the sea-coast of Antrim, and consisting of a countless number of basaltic columns of immense height, which, from the regularity of their formation and arrangement, have the appearance of a vast work of art; and hence were supposed to have been constructed by giants.

After the Fomorians became masters of the country, the Nemedians (neimhedh; Irish, dirt, filth of any kind), were reduced to slavery, and compelled to pay a great annual tribute on the first day of winter--consisting of corn, cattle, milk, and other provisions; and the place where these tributes were received was named Magh Ceitne, signifying the Plain of Compulsion, and so called from these circumstances. This plain was situated between the rivers Erne and Drabhois (drabhas: Irish, dirt, nastiness), between Ballyshannon and Bundrowes, on the borders of Donegal, Leitrim, and Fermanagh, along the sea-shore.--See Connellan's "Four Masters."

Three bands of the Nemedians emigrated with their respective captains: one party wandered into the north of Europe; others made their way to Greece, where they were enslaved, and obtained the name of "Firbolgs" or bagmen, from the leathern bags which they were compelled to carry; and the third section took refuge in England, which obtained its name Britain, from their leader "Briottan Maol."--See Miss CUSACK'S "History of Ireland."

4. The Firbolgs or Firvolgians, who were also Scythians, divided Ireland amongst the five sons of their leader Dela Mac Loich: "Slainge [slane] was he by whom Teamor (or Tara) was first raised." (Four Masters). One hundred and fifty Monarchs reigned in Tara from that period until its abandonment in the reign of Diarmod, son of Fergus Cearrbheoil, who was the 133rd Monarch of Ireland, and King of Meath. The Firvolgians ruled over Connaught down to the third century, when King Cormac Mac Art, the 115th Monarch of Ireland, attacked and defeated the forces of Aodh or Hugh, son of Garadh, King of Connaught, who was the last King of the Firbolg race in Ireland; and the sovereignty of Connaught was then transferred to the Milesians of the race of Heremon--descendants of King Cormac Mac Art. The Firbolg race never after acquired any authority in Ireland, being reduced to the ranks of farmers and peasants; but they were still very numerous, and to this day a great many of the peasantry, particularly in Connaught, are considered to be of Firbolg origin.

5. The Tuatha de Danans, also of the Scythian family, invaded Ireland thirty-six years after the plantation by the Firbolgs. According to some annalists, they came originally from Persia, and to others, from Greece; and were located chiefly at Tara in Meath, at Croaghan in Connaught, and at Aileach in Donegal. The Danans being highly skilled in the arts, the Round Towers of Ireland are supposed to have been built by them. The light, gay, joyous element of the Irish character may be traced to them. They were a brave and high-spirited race, and famous for their skill in what was then termed Magic: hence, in after ages, this wonderful people were considered to have continued to live in hills or raths, as the "good people" long so commonly believed in as fairies, in Ireland. But their "magic" consisted in the exercise of the mechanical arts, of which those who had previously invaded Ireland were then ignorant. It is a remarkable fact, that weapons of warfare found in the carns or gravemounds of the Firbolgs are of an inferior kind to those found in the carns of the Tuatha-de-Danans: a proof of the superior intelligence of the latter over the former people. The inventor of the Ogham [owam] Alphabet (ogham: Irish, "an occult manner of writing used by the ancient Irish") was Ogma, father of one of the Tuatha-de-Danan Kings. In McCartin's Irish Grammar it is stated that there were no less than thirty-five different modes of writing the Ogham, which has hitherto defied the power of modern. science to unravel its mysteries. But the truth of our ancient history is strangely confirmed by the fact that the letters of this Alphabet are all denominated by the names of trees and shrubs indigenous to Ireland! According to the "Book of Leinster," it was "Cet Cuimnig, King of Munster, of the royal line of Heber, that was the first that inscribed Ozam [or Ogham] memorials in Erinn." This extract gives a clue to the period when Ogham stones were first erected, and why the most of them are to be found in the Province of Munster; for, according to the Septuagint system of chronology, that King of Munster reigned about the year 1257 before the birth of Christ!

6. The Milesians invaded Ireland one hundred and ninety-seven years later than the Tuatha de Danans; and were called Clan-na-Mile [meel], signifying the descendants of Milesius of Spain.

7. The Cruthneans or Picts were also Scythians, and, according to our ancient historians, came from Thrace soon after the arrival of the Milesians; but, not being permitted by the Milesians to remain in Ireland, they sailed to Scotland and became the possessors of that country, but tributary to the Monarchs of Ireland. In after ages colonies of them came over and settled in Ulster; they were located chiefly in the territories which now form the counties of Down, Antrim, and Derry.

8. The Danes and Norwegians (or Scandinavians), a Teutonic race of Scythian origin, came to Ireland in great numbers, in the ninth and tenth centuries, and were located chiefly in Leinster and Munster, in many places along the sea-coast: their strongholds being the towns of Dublin, Wexford, Waterford, Cork, and Limerick.

9. The Anglo-Normans came to Ireland in the twelfth century, and possessed themselves of a great part of the country, under their chief leader, Richard de Clare, who was also named Strongbow. They were a Teutonic race, descended from the Normans of France, who were a mixture of Norwegians, Danes, and French, and who conquered England in the eleventh century. The English invasion of Ireland was accomplished ostensibly through the agency of Dermod MacMorough, King of Leinster; on account of his having been driven from his country by the Irish Monarch for the abduction of the wife of Tiernan O'Ruarc, Prince of Breffni. For that act, Roderick O'Connor, the Monarch of Ireland, invaded the territory of Dermod, A.D. 1167, and put him to flight King Dermod was obliged, after many defeats, to leave Ireland, in 1167; throw himself at the feet of King Henry the Second, and crave his assistance, offering to become his liegeman. Henry, on receiving Dermod's oath of allegiance, granted by letters patent a general license to all his English subjects to aid King Dermod in the recovery of his Kingdom. Dermod then engaged in his cause Richard de Clare or Strongbow, to whom he afterwards gave his daughter Eva, in marriage; and through his influence an army was raised, headed by Robert Fitzstephen, Myler Fitzhenry, Harvey de Monte Marisco, Maurice Prendergast, Maurice Fitzgerald, and others; with which, in May 1168, he landed in Bannow-bay, near Wexford, which they reduced, together with the adjoining counties-- all in the kingdom of Leinster. In 1171, Earl Strongbow landed at Waterford with a large body of followers and took possession of that city. He then joined King Dermod's forces, marched for Dublin, entered the city, and made himself master.

King Dermod died in his castle at Ferns, county Wexford, A.D. 1175, about the 65th year of his age. Of him Holingshed says--"He was a man of tall stature and of a large and great body, a valiant and bold warrior in his nation. From his continued shouting, his voice was hoarse; he rather chose to be feared than to be loved, and was a great oppressor of his nobility. To his own people he was rough and grievous and hateful unto strangers; his hand was against all men, and all men against him."

10. The Anglo-Saxons or English, also a Tuetonic race, came from the twelfth to the eighteenth century. The Britons or Welsh came in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. These English colonies were located chiefly in Leinster, but also in great numbers in Munster and Connaught, and partly in Ulster.

11. The Scots, who were chiefly Celts of Irish descent, came in great numbers from the tenth to the sixteenth century, and settled in Ulster, mostly in Antrim, Down and Derry; but, on the Plantation of Ulster with British colonies, in the seventeenth century, the new settlers in that province were chiefly Scotch, who were a mixture of Celts and Saxons. Thus the seven first colonies that settled in Ireland were a mixture of Scythians, Gaels, and Phoenicians; but the four last were mostly Teutons though mixed with Celts; and a compound of all these races, in which Celtic blood is predominant, forms the present population of Ireland.


[4] Briottan Maol: See No. 19 on "The Pedigree of St. Patrick, Apostle of Ireland," Part I., c. vi., p. 43.


[5] Monarchy: Mac Firbis shows that Ireland was a Monarchy, before and after Christ, for a period of 4,149 (four thousand, one hundred and forty-nine) years!


[6] A.D. 1186: It was, no doubt, in that year, that, weary of the world and its troubles, Roderick O'Connor, the 183rd Monarch of Ireland, retired to a Monastery, where he died A.D. 1198. But, see No. 184 on the "Roll of the Monarchs of Ireland since the Milesian Conquest, and the Note "Brian O'Neill," in connection with that Number.


[7] Shields: This shows the great antiquity of Gaelic Heraldry.


[8] Eire: Ancient Irish historians assert that this Queen was granddaughter of Ogma, who (see ante, page 47, in Note No. 5, under "Tuatha de Danans,") invented the Ogham Alphabet; and that it is after that Queen, that Ireland is always personated by a Female figure!


[9] Aileach Neid: This name may be derived from the Irish aileach, a stone horse or stallion, or aileachta, jewels; and Neid, the Mars of the Pagan Irish. In its time it was one of the most important fortresses in Ireland.


[10] Inis-Fail: Thomas Moore, in his Irish Melodies, commemorates this circumstance in the "Song of Inisfail":


They came from a land beyond the sea

And now o'er the western main

Set sail, in their good ships, gallantly,

From the sunny land of Spain.

"Oh, where's the isle we've seen in dreams,

Our destined home or grave?"

Thus sang they, as by the morning's beams,

They swept the Atlantic wave.

And lo! where afar o'er ocean shines

A spark of radiant green,

As though in that deep lay emerald mines,

Whose light through the wave was seen.

"'Tis Innisfail -- 'tis Innisfail!"

Rings o'er the echoing sea;

While, bending to heaven, the warriors hail

That home of the brave and free.

Then turned they unto the Eastern wave,

Where now their Day-god's eye

A look of such sunny omen gave

As lighted up sea and sky.

Nor frown was seen through sky or sea,

Nor tear o'er leaf or sod,

When first on their Isle of Destiny

Our great forefathers trod.


[11] Three: We make the number to be 184: see p. 62,infra.


Contents page for Volume One of Irish Pedigrees