Hope of Israel Ministries (Ecclesia of YEHOVAH):
Israel's Trek Westward
The rapid rise of Media and Persia to military prowess and economic power was due in large measure to the spirit of enterprise emanating from the captive Israelites. This spirit was the specific yeast that enlivened the near east into its heyday of power. By 220 A.D. there began a tremendous onrush of all the residents of Asaland under an urge to join up with their kindred who had gone on before. The march was impressive. By 240 A.D. the north-northwest section of Europe was aflame with new vigor.
by Dr. William J. Hale
The First Wave
It was about 900 B.C. that the Assyrian King Ashur-nazir-pal II directed his activities as far west as the Mediterranean. On his first visit he transplanted large numbers of the Phoenicians to Arardhu with its capital at Van at the eastern end of modern Turkey. He has left a full account of these exploits against both Tyre and Sidon -- the chief Mediterranean seaports of Phoenicia (modern Lebanon).
As may well have been anticipated, the influx of so many skilled Phoenicians, together with Sumerian and Chaldean captives into Arardhu, brought on so great a congestion that uprisings became frequent. The worst of these extended over a span of five years beginning in 710 B.C. before Sargon II eventually was able to quell it. In this period many of the Sak-Geloths availed themselves of the opportunity to move farther to the north, that is to the southern border of the Caucasus Mountain Range, or factually just across the upper reaches of the river Araxes (modern Aras) that empties into the southwestern corner of the Caspian and constitutes the northern boundary of present-day Iran. In this new locale no time was lost in strengthening their military prowess; for it was becoming ever more clear that Assyria itself was beginning to weaken.
In 652 B.C. many of those dwelling just north of the Caucasus and described generally as Scutai, yet inclusive of many Sak-Geloths, plunged south of this mountain range and ravaged the eastern section of Asia Minor, and as far east as Nineveh. This was the blow that broke the Assyrian Empire. By 625 B.C. revolt had become general. Nabopolassar, who made himself King of Babylon, gathered his forces and those of the Medes under Cyaxares and marched on Nineveh. Though already punished by the Sak-Geloths Nineveh was sacked by these Babylonians and Medes and put to the torch in 598 B.C. In the division of the spoils the Medes acquired the eastern domain leaving to Babylon the provinces of Chaldea, Mesopotamia, Syria, Phoenicia and Palestine, thus dating the rise of the second or New Babylonian Empire.
Cyaxares induced many Sak-Geloths to enter the army of the Medes. Indeed a considerable number of these Sak-Geloths took advantage of their improved status and began settling in a section of the more southern territory known as Persis. Some of these Sak-Geloths also proceeded as far east as the Hindu Kush Mountains.
In 612 B.C. Pharaoh-Necho of Egypt sought permission of King Josiah of Judaea to march through Palestine in order to attack the Hittites at Carchemish. King Josiah refused this request; in consequence a battle ensued at Megiddo and this Pharaoh was slain -- thereby opening the House of Judah to attack (2 Chron. 35:2023 and I Esdras 1:25-31). This battle so weakened the Egyptians that Nebuchadnezzar seized the opportunity to attack them. Thereupon, mustering all of his forces and those of the Medes, Nebuchadnezzar met the Egyptians at Carchemish in 608 B.C. and defeated them. This constitutes one of the decisive battles of world history. Had the victory gone to the Egyptians the potential forces building up in Western Asia would havebeen thwarted and never could have gotten underway for the long trek ahead of them in settling Europe.
In the interim words of encouragement issued directly from the Prophet Jeremiah in Jerusalem and directed the captives of the House of Israel to leave their settlements immediately (Jeremiah 46). Thereupon, these Sak-Geloths assembled their westernmost residents, chiefly of the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh, crossed the head waters of the Euphrates (600 B.C.) and marched through the pass in the Caucasus known to this day as "Gates of Israel." From this point the several tribes then generally known as Getae, advanced to the eastern shores of the Black Sea and continued on around the sea to the northwest.
However, the greater portion of these Sak-Geloths, inclusive specifically of the tribes of Naphtali, Asher, Zebulun, Issachar, Gad and Reuben (and known generally to the Medes as Massagetae ("Massa" = greater) had already migrated around the southern border of the Caspian Sea and relocated at the southeast corner thereof. Soon they extended their pasturage northward as far as the Oxus River. During their sojourn east of the Caspian the Bible states that the prophet Ezekiel, about 593 B.C. was commanded to visit these Massagetae and exort them to return to their earlier religion. His mission, however, was fruitless. In fact he was forced to travel midst thorns and briars only to be bound up when he arrived. After seven days he was released (Ezekiel 2:3 and 3:15 and 3:25).
Conditions in Van of Arardhu were steadily deteriorating; little wonder too, under such unfavorable conditions. A large number of the Sumerian population had departed early for resettlement in Phrygia in Asia Minor, situated just south of Bithynia and east of Lydia, which latter lay at the west end of Asia minor.
In the wake of the great uprising, eventually quelled by Sargon II, mention has been made of the attack upon Van by the Scutai from the north. In consequence thereof those inhabitants other than Hittites sought the company of the northern Danites in Iberia and in Colchis of the Caucasus district, and together departed for the west. Generally these people had become known as Khaldisians or Khelods, or people of Khaldis, primarily by reason of their worship of a form of the Goddess Astharte called Khaldis.
Their flight to the west was sudden; stopping briefly at Chalybes on the southern shores of the Black Sea and likewise for additional members from Phrygia in west central Asia Minor. They then crossed the Bosphorus and struck up the valley of the Danube. Their name now assumed the form Bit-Phryges (later to be contracted by the Romans to Bituriges) -- as the Phrygians of Asia Minor constituted the bulk of the migration. These Khelods, however, held ever before them the goal of meeting up with their kindred who had so long ago preceded them into Spain and who now were known to be migrating northward from Spain into present-day France.
To Livy (59 B.C. - 17 A.D.) we owe the report that near the period of 578 B.C., these newcomers into Europe were centered at Bourges (France) and that they were ruled by a King Ambigatus. There were several sects of them -- one known as Khelods and another as Galuthas or in Greek as Keltoi and Galatoi respectively, and in Latin as Celtae and Galatae respectively. To these newcomers gravitated their kinsmen of PhoenoCanaanitic ancestry advancing northward from Spain to give rise to what generally has become known as the Celts. By their inroads into Spain and melding with Iberians still resident in Spain we trace the origin of the Celtiberians. By Caesar's time the Iberians that were not Celtiberians were known as Aquitanians. The name Gaul (Greek: Galloi and Latin: Galli) probably had its origin in a Gaelic word "Gaoill," meaning "stranger."
The Sak-Geloth, or Getae, in their trek around the Black Sea had by this time come in contact with the Cimmerians (Kimmerioi to the Greeks) who dwelt in the Crimean district. Their approach to the land of the Cimmerians threw desperation in the camp of the latter. Some wished to flee; others to remain and fight. And so antagonistic became the two factions that internecine strife almost wrecked them. As a result all fled; but the fleeing Cimmerians split up into two separate groups.
The first portion, composed chiefly of Simeonites and Amorites of fair complexion, trekked directly to the northwest. Though having been known generally as Gimirri, or Khumri, or Gomeridae, they included many Danites and Amorites. Their arrival in northwest Europe in the lower Rhine valley served to separate them into three distinct groups -- the Senones (or Belgae), the Brythons and the Lloegrwys.
The second portion of the Cimmerians turned south around the western end of the Black Sea and crossed the Bosphorus. They terrorized Lydia but were eventually expelled by the Lydian king Alyattes in 569 B.C. They then entered Bithynia in the northwest corner of Asia Minor and fraternized with the Teutones (to be described later). Later they journeyed to Iberia at the east end of the Black Sea and absorbed the remnant of Iberians; whereupon they struck out around the northern shores of Black Sea under the name Khumri-Iberii or Cimbri. They journeyed on into Rumania concentrating near the mouth of the Danube and together with the Teutones terrorized Italy and Gaul till 101 B.C.
Now when once the Getae (Sak-Geloths) reached the Crimea they journeyed yet a few hundred miles northwest and came to Arsareth in 598 B.C. This region is described as a locality on the river "Sereth" which flows into the Danube near the latter's mouth; hence is in modern Rumania or what the Romans called Dacia. This migration occupied a year and a half and is described in detail by the historian Josephus; it is also set forth by the Prophet Esdras (II Esdras 13:43-45).
These same Getae had become known to Hesiod (writing in 544 B.C.) as Skuthai and also as Skolotoi, as Herodotus declares they called themselves; this latter, of course, is only a phonetic Greek spelling of their own pronunciation of Sak-Geloths. Their Latinized name was Scythae. These Getae or Skolotoi, extended over considerable territory just east of the Carpathians and west of the Dniester River. In the southernmost section (southeast corner of Rumania) the Getae were known to the Greeks as "invincible Getae." They actually constituted a protective covering or shield for the northern part of Greece. Philip of Macedon attacked them but accomplished nothing; hence he retreated. Eventually he ceded to them a portion of northern Thrace (between the rivers Isker and Jantra) just south of the Danube (ancient Ister). Following the death of Alexander the Great this western portion of his empire fell to his General Lysimachus who foolishly made another attack upon the Getae in 291 B.C. Though the Getae captured him they were kind enough to release him.
Following this attack by the Greeks the Getae decided to follow the course of many other northern kin and departed for western territory. Some settled even as far west as in the Harz mountains of Germany; others struck out for the north and gathered up near the upper Dnieper where their kindred were soon to arrive from the east. Still others proceeded in a northwesterly direction and arrived eventually in northern Denmark and Sweden and became known as Goetar.
As previously stated, the greater mass of the SakGeloths described as Massagetae by the Medes, had slowly found their way around the southern shores of the Caspian Sea into a land quite acceptable for grazing at this southeast corner of the sea. They constituted a strong factor in military prowess and by 540 B.C. were actually associated in the army of Cyrus the Great. All of which is recorded to their credit on the Darius' Rock at Behistun. On this rock the Massagetae are depicted and under three synonymous names -- "Saks" in the Persian form; "Scythia" in the Susan form; and "Gimiri" in the Babylonian form.
The Second Wave
Sometime back in the 15th Century B.C. a group of Hamitic people dwelling in the Zagros mountain region of Parsua situated just south of Lake Urmia (lying to east of Lake Van) moved southeast through Elam and Susiana to the eastern shores of the Persian Gulf into a country known as Anshan. This name the newcomers changed to Parsumash in memory of their homeland. This province was later called Persis, i.e. Persia, and was taken over by middle of the 7th Century B.C. by Fravartis of Media who, in turn, placed Akhaemenes over it as King. Cyrus II, (Cyrus the Great) followed in the fourth generation from this king and took over the whole of Persia (Iran) but the Medes, located directly to his north, shared equal rights with these Iranians. Cyrus was succeeded by Darius the son of Hystaspes. The ancient capital of Persis, Persepolis, was built by Darius.
When Nabonidos became King of Babylon in 553 B.C. he associated with himself his eldest son Belshazzar. In some way this King offended the priests but not the Medes with their nobles. The captive Judahites sided with the priesthood; whereas the Egyptian captives supported Nabonidos. In 538 B.C. the priesthood delivered the city into the hands of a general in the army of Cyrus; yet Belshazzar was able to hold out for awhile on the east bank of the Euphrates that bisected the city. Naturally the Judahites gained favor in the eyes of Cyrus who, undoubtedly, was of Sakian stock. Babylon fell to Cyrus in 538 B.C.
Immediately after taking over Babylon Cyrus issued an order directing the return of the Judahites to Jerusalem to rebuild the House of the LORD God of Israel (2 Chronicles 36:22-23 and Ezra 1). To aid these people he returned to them all of the vessels of gold and silver that had been taken from them by Nebuchadnezzar some seventy years earlier. Of those who accepted this invitation of Cyrus to return to Jerusalem only 42,360 Judahites responded; and of this number most were of the tribes of Judah and Levi -- very few if any were from the tribe of Benjamin. In truth the tribe of Benjamin, for the most part, had already entered service in the army of Cyrus, especially for the campaign against Lydia in Asia Minor. Following this expedition the Benjaminites took up residence in what came to be called Cappadocia in east central part of Asia Minor.
Odd as it may appear, the returning Judahites and Levites had lost all knowledge of their former religious rites. Even their language had changed into a Syro-Chaldee or ancient Aramaic. Hence they had need to send to some of the Israelites dwelling about the Caspian Sea for ministers. They were bidden to approach Iddo, one of the chiefs in the northern locale. Through him they secured several hundred priests of the Sons of Levi (Ezra 8:17-20).
Those Judahites who returned to Jerusalem were all too eager to intermarry with the Edomites and Hittites, then resident in Palestine, even in spite of the warning by their religious leaders to the contrary. Thus arose an entirely new type of physiognomy among their descendants. This new type was marked by its breadth of facial features so characteristic of the Hittite countenance. From this period onward the race became known as the Jews, no longer of predominantly Semitic lineage. The greater portion of Judahites and Levites who chose to remain in Babylon cast their lot with the members of the House of Israel.
Within a few years the Massagetae who had aligned themselves with the armies of Cyrus began to find themselves growing in disfavor among the Medes, no doubt by reason of their greater skill and education. Whatever the reason, they decided to move to the west and cross over the Araxes near its mouth. This region lay just south of Kir the spot to which Tiglath-pilezer in 740 B.C. had transplanted the residents of Damascus and surrounding locale of Syria. Hence many of the descendants of the early captives in Kir may have joined up with these western Massagetae. However, the greater portion of these residents of Kir (generally known as Alani) trekked west as a tribe and, to a large extent, were found later to have made up a considerable contingent among the Vandals. The Massagetae who had moved east of the Caspian had already begun amalgamating with the captives from Egypt.
Against this assemblage Cyrus and his army marched in 528 B.C. Herodotus relates that Croesus in Lydia had already advised Cyrus intentionally to abandon his forward camp before the Massagetae leaving profuse supplies of food and drink, and when the advancing foe had become satiated and drunken Cyrus was to fall upon them. The plot succeeded with the result that the son of Queen Tomyris was slain together with one third of the army of the Massagetae. In briefest time the Massagetae reformed and attacked the army of Cyrus in this same year and won a decisive victory. Herodotus further relates how Cyrus was slain and his head stuffed with gold by Queen Tomyris and sent back to Babylon as a sign of what greed will do for man.
Queen Tomyris, however, lost no time in preparing her people for withdrawal to the west, as she recognized the Medes would not fail to seek revenge. The Massagetae, with many Medes, directed their migration, to large degree, over the same route taken by the SakGeloths, some 75 years earlier. They camped for a short time on the northern shores of the Black Sea; those who chose to remain there took on the name of Thyssa-Getae.
The Mede and Persian armies were now under command of Darius son of Hystaspes. This newly formed army of 700,000 men struck out to vanquish these hated Massagetae but chose not to follow the course around the north shores of the Black Sea; rather the southern course, and then crossed the Bosphorus planning to intercept the Massagetae as they crossed the Dnieper-Dniester rivers whereby undoubtedly they would be seeking to meet up with their kindred the Sak-Geloths on the north side of the Danube River near Arsareth.
The army of Darius arrived at the Danube in 513 B.C. His attempt to attack the Massagetae failed miserably. Though some of his men advanced as far as the Crimea they could not make contact with a horde that constantly retreated farther and farther to the north. In short order Darius was forced to withdraw his army, recross the Bosphorus and return home. The only effect of this Medo-Persian onslaught was to check the westward trek of the Massagetae into the Danubian-Sereth basin and divert it more to the north i.e. up the Dnieper Valley where by the 2nd Century B.C. they established a settlement known as Gerrhos. Another point not to be discounted lay in the prevention of any alliance of the Massagetae with the Greeks whom Darius fully contemplated attacking when opportunity presented itself.
Upon the death of Cyrus the Great in 528 B.C. there was an uprising among the northernmost of the Medes -- those dwelling in the Elburz mountains bordering the southern shores of Caspian Sea. These clans were of Japhitic origin and had assimilated many Amorites from the Euphrates Valley and also many of the vanquished Assyrians. In Assyrian tongue the Medes were called "Mada" but in Greek tongue "Matai." "Sauro" stands for north. It is clearly evident that the Sarmatians (Sauro-Matai) originated in Northern Media and migrated to the neighborhood of the Don from which locale we are well aware that they drifted far to the north or into Russia proper. In the course of their trek they absorbed certain Kassi and Karduchi tribes of Hittite strain, later to be described as Cossacks. The time of Sarmatian migration was immediately upon the heels of the Massagetae migration.
Had the Sarmatians remained longer in touch with the Massagetae they would have acquired the early Phoenician alphabetical characters. As it turned out they had only the Greek characters at their hand; hence these latter came into use in Slavic language. The later Persian peoples amalgamated largely with the SakGeloths and hence adopted Phoenician characters.
Simultaneously with the advance of the Massagetae an interesting development was taking place at the far west end of Asia Minor. It was said of Ishmael, son of Isaac and Hagar (the Arabian of Musri) that his seed would be a great multitude (Genesis 16:10; 21:14-21). Now Ishmael married a Mizric woman of Arabia but their descendants have been far removed from Arabia.
Like the Abramites the Ishmaelites presented a family of twelve sons the oldest of whom was Nebaioth. The sons of Ishmael for the most part dwelt in the Sinai Peninsula to the immediate west of the Gulf of Akaba, or in a section called Arabia Petraea. The children of Nebaioth dwelt more to the northeast of the Gulf of Akaba and drifted in time into Mesopotamia to the north where they amalgamated with an ancient Chaldean group called "Nabat." The offspring of this amalgamation returned to Mount Seir just north of the Gulf of Akaba. The capital of this newly selected country of the Nabatheans was rock-hewn Petra situated close to the northern arm of the Red Sea.
Here came to the fore one of the best trade routes between Arabia and the west. Caravans moved goods between the northern arm of the Red Sea to the port of Rhinocolura (El Arish) on the Mediterranean. In short time the descendants of Jetur, Naphish and other sons of Ishmael threw in their lot with their brother's descendants then become known as the Nabatheans.
From Rhinocolura goods traveled by water to the Aegean port of Smyrna in Lydia and then by caravan to Broussa or Prusa, a great city of ancient Bithynia, on north side of Mount Olympus and 25 miles from the capital city of Nicaea. These caravans, however, had first to pass through the iron gates in Mount Teuthras in Teuthrania where the Mizric deity of Teut or Toth was worshipped. So great became this trade that Prusa became entirely Nabathean and the center of worshippers of Teut. It is generally conceded that these Nabatheans became the Teutones or Borussi or Prussi who first appeared in Europe in B.C. 113 as allies of the Cimbri in the latter's advance from northeast shores of Black Sea and on into Italy. These Cimbri had first fallen in with the Teutones in the 6th Century B.C. in Bithynia (as previously described) and were allied with them by the 3rd Century B.C. There were also certain Bedouin Arabs known as Siraceni who likewise had fallen in with the Teutones. It is known too that many of the early Bithynians and a considerable portion of the early Teutones had found their way to the neighborhood of the Estuary of the Don River (Sea of Azov).
Thus the onrush of the Massagetae into the Crimea contributed to a stir among peoples resident along the line of march, such for instance, as affected the Teutones at northern end of Sea of Azov (Don River basin) and others with them of Asiatic origin and known as Vannir (later settling in Finland). The general outcome was a movement of the latter to the north. There ensued many clashes between these northerly tribes and the Massagetae.
At one juncture in this northern trek fighting between the Vannir and Massagetae waxed most severe and to disadvantage of the latter. At this opportune moment toward close of the 2nd Century B.C. there appeared before the Massagetae a new leader by name of Odin. This Odin, himself, came originally from the Teutones. His ancestors, of the Trojan Darda line, had left the region with many Teutones from near by Bithynia and crossed the Bosphorus and traveled directly to the Sea of Azov.
Odin's presence among the Massagetae inspired them to courage and indomitable prowess, and their forward migration was no longer checked. The Teutones proceeded likewise to the north but around toward east Prussia where they established themselves, (later to be known as Prussians).
According to Herodotus these Massagetae went likewise by the name of "Sagetai." But Herodotus was entirely too loose in his characterization of all who dwelt in the land between the Baltic and Black-Caspian Sea northern shores as Skuthai (Scythians). This region held many different peoples. It is true, however, that the Massagetae spoke an Iranian tongue known as Avestan closely similar to the language of the Skolotoi (Getae) who had preceded them and had located in the Dniester Valley around Arsareth.
Almost at once Odin changed the name of Massagetae to Asar (As = god in northern tongue) and changed the name of their city Gerrhos on the upper Dnieper to Asgard (modern Kiev) ("gard" in old Median meant "city"; later in Russian it became "grad"). Odin also introduced a new religion among them propounding the Fatherhood of God and immortality of the soul. Naturally they had come in contact with their kindred the Sak-Geloths (Skolotoi or Getae) of the Arsareth region, most of which latter were already migrating to the immediate west especially in Germany.
Odin and his Asar tarried not long in Asgard but struck out for the northern tip of Germany on the Baltic and crossed over into Sweden meeting relatively with little resistance. In Sweden the Asar met up with a somewhat earlier migrated Sakian people by the name of Goetar with whom they amalgamated and together developed markedly into a most vigorous people. Historically this race became the Inland Norsemen or Northmen and developed the Scandinavian branch of the Sakian language.
Odin and many of his followers next entered Norway where dwelt the descendants of original Northern Danites whose ancestors had once dwelt in Dardania but following the fall of Troy had crossed the Bosphorus and trekked into far northwest Europe. Odin forced these people, then known as Donsk, to retreat to the south where they held up in present day Denmark and in later years became known as Danes.
By the beginning of the Christian era these "people of Guta" or Guthiod as they called themselves ("Guth" Gothic for god and "Thiod" for people), crossed the Baltic to the southeast, via the island Gotland, and settled about the mouth of the Vistula river. By this time they had become known to the Romans as "Guthones" (Goths).
In Sweden the Asar met with and vanquished a tribe known as Longo-Bardi (Lombards) driving them south into Denmark from whence they trekked into northern Italy. Another tribe called Suevi was also forced to leave by same route but they held up in Germany.
The Third Wave
Those captives from Egypt, consisting largely of Mizraim of old Amoritic stock and many from the tribes of Dan, Judah, Ephraim and Manasseh, were transported to the north of Media or in Kara-Kum territory, now known as Russian Turkestan. This territory lay only a short distance east of the Massagetae who had just arrived at the southeastern corner of the Caspian Sea from their earlier location on the Araxes river at southwest corner of this Sea, and were made up of that portion of Massagetae who chose not to join in the general westward trek of their brethren.
Close association between these two captive groups contributed more than ever to the development of learning and industry among themselves and among those with whom they came in contact. Their activities centered in Sogdiana (modern Bokhara). From this northern location they planted colonies in Bactriana to the immediate south and just north of the Hindu Kush mountains and encompassing the upper reaches of the Oxus river; and also in Media; and in Parthia to the west of Bactriana and particularly also in Susiana and its adjoining Persis on the Persian Gulf where various Hamitic tribes were resident.
The rapid rise of Media and Persia to military prowess and economic power was due in large measure to the spirit of enterprise emanating from these captive Israelites. This spirit was the specific yeast that enlivened the near east into its heyday of power. In that these Israelites with Egyptian Amoritic background practically controlled Sogdiana they acquired the name of Sughudhu or Sogdians. Historically, Herodotus referred to them as Sogdhs of Aryan (Iran). Other writers have applied to them the term "Colonial Sogdhs" or just Sogdhs.
As the Massagetae for many years had been associated with the Medes the language of the former and newly acquired customs were completely Aryanized. Their language was that of Avestan akin to Sanskrit. The religion of the earlier Massagetae and likewise that of the succeeding Israelitic captives, the Sogdhs, was Ahura, Mazdaism. In truth Zoroaster, the founder of this religion, was born among the Massagetae when located between the river Kurus (modern Kura) and the river Araxes. His first devotees were the Sogdhs of Aryan and Bactriana. Zarathustra was the name given to Zoroaster by his followers. "Zara" in old Assyrian stands for god; and "Thustra" is Avestan for "friend."
Just north of Sogdiana dwelt a group of Israelitic people who wore an ox-like headdress of two short horns -- undoubtedly hearkening back to the Ephraim and Manasseh standards of the Eglah (heifer or wild ox). These people were called Aeglai or Aengli and were definitely war-like.
In 335 B.C. Alexander the Great crossed the Danube to raid the Getae but they retired as he advanced; hence he had nought else to do but return. In 329-327 B.C. Alexander the Great crossed the Euphrates and Tigris rivers and conquered Media and Persia. Many of the more northerly located tribes, however, fled still farther to the north keeping well ahead of the advancing Greeks -- some taking refuge in the mountains of northern Media together with a race called Daki or Dahae (Hill people). Others migrated far far to the north and east even into China as far as Kan Suh. This group became known as Yuti (or Yue-Chi).
Alexander's armies pursued the retreating Sogdhs up to the river Jaxartes (modern Syr Darya) that flows into the Aral Sea. At this point his armies turned back and wintered in Bactriana. It was not long, either, till the Yuti were forced out of China; they returned to the west and by 159 B.C. were again in Sogdiana and Bactriana.
Alexander the Great died in 323 B.C. only 12 years after starting out from Greece. The Greek empire, far extended, now fell into several divisions -- one of which came under the control of Seleucus, one of Alexander's generals. This portion included all of Asia Minor and as far east as the Hindu Kush mountains inclusive of Bactriana and Parthia. In 255 B.C. Diodatus, the Greek satrap for Bactriana threw off allegiance to Seleucus and annexed Dahae and part of Sogdiana and part of Elam. Arsak took over Parthia (made up chiefly of Sogdhs and Medes) more or less coextensive with modern Khurasan in Iran. Josephus, the historian, writing in the first century A.D., made claim that among the Parthians the Sogdhs were the dominant class; he claimed they were a Syro-Chaldee, distinguished as marvelous horsemen and proficient bowmen. In fact the whole of what now is Iran was predominantly Sogdian.
This so-called Macedonian Conquest altered the entire near east. Parthia became the ruling nation by 248 B.C. Even some of the Yuti had come as far south as Parthia during the reign of Phraates II in B.C. 139126. The total effect of the Macedonian incursion stirred the near east to an entirely new wave of emigration; and naturally the western course was the preferred direction for such emigration to follow. A few Parthians left for Eastern Armenia where they called their settlement Sakasani (Sakes-ani -- "ani" signifying "country" in old Avestan).
As all of the Persians (Iranians) and what remained of the Medes were totally under influence of the Sogdhians it fell to these latter to direct the general exodus. Led, therefore, by these Sogdhians many of the various tribes and clans cast in their lot. Here are to be specifically cited the Daki (Dahae) Bactriani, Aengli, Germani (deriving from ancient Persian Karmania or modern Kerman) Yuti and many others -- a vast multitude and all underway by 115 B.C. and completed by 10 B.C.
In the course of the trek the northernmost Medes dropped out in the neighborhood of the river Don or where they contacted others of their kin -- the Sarmatians, that had preceded them by several hundred years. The Dahae dropped off in southern Rumania. Mention must here be made that when Trajan in 105 A.D. drove back the Getae from north of the Danube he forced the northernmost inhabitants above this point, i.e. the Dahae, into a hilly country bordering the Sarmatians resident between the Dniester and Dnieper. It is here that the name "Alaman" became applied to the Dahae by the Sarmatians, "ala" in this language denoting "mountaineers." In due time these Alaman migrated to western Germany where they formed a confederacy 211-17 A.D. in the Valley of the Main. The Germani proceeded into southern Germany. The Marcomanni (a Persian people from district near Persepolis called Murghab) were of later arrival but eventually came into Bohemia. The Sogdhs, however, found it opportune to divide up into two divisions -- one division proceeded west and then north -- the various groups of which took up residence roughly as follows: those calling themselves Saxones (really Parthian Sogdhs) settled between the Eyder and the Elbe rivers; the Aengli went into land about the northern tributaries of the Eyder (Schleswig-Holstein): the Cherusci inland between upper courses of Weser and those of the Elbe; whereas the Frisii chose the maritime region between Ems and eastern mouth of Rhine.
The second division proceeded northward up the Dnieper River and were received amicably among the Skolotoi then resident in Asgard together with remnants of the Massagetae. The name given to these Sogdhian newcomers here in what had become known as Asaland was Asha-an, or Asen or Aesir -- men of Asha (or Asia).
By 220 A.D. there began a tremendous onrush of all these residents of Asaland under an urge to join up with their kindred who had gone on before. The march was impressive. By 240 A.D. the north-northwest section of Europe was aflame with new vigor. The Franks had just formed a confederacy with the Cherusci and Chauci (Sogdhs of the Caucasus) and set out to protect the lower Rhine and Weser. Considerably later, about 496 A.D., the great body of Franks moved westward into France, under their leader Clovis, gradually to amalgamate with the Celts.
The Aesir went up the Valley of Pripet to arrive at bank of the Vistula, then went north to the Baltic where they collided with the Guthones (Goths) only to dispossess them of their territory and drive them southward toward the Danube. The Goths were eventually located at the mouth of the Danube by 245 A.D.
At the upper stretches of the Elbe the Aesir entered the territory of the Saxons when all joined up under the latter's name. With their numbers so increased the whole northern section of Germany fell under the influence of the two outstanding tribes -- the Saxons and the Angles. A Saxon confederation was soon organized inclusive of Saxons, Angles, Frisians, Jutes (the former Yuti) and others. The Angles spoke a dialect Aenglisc differing somewhat from the Saxon. Altogether this confederation of Anglo-Saxons developed into a powerful group.
The general effect of this assemblage of Sakhian peoples into the northwest forced the all-powerful Goths far down against the Roman Empire. What few Goths remained to the east of the Vistula, or in neighborhood of the Niemen river, constituted the core of what later was to become known as Lithuanians amalgamated somewhat with Sarmatians but speaking a Gothic language. The Goths coursing southwards became divided into an eastern division on the east bank of the Dniester and known as Ostrogoths, and a western division on the west bank known as Visigoths. The Gepids were closely related to them. They were a tall blue-eyed people of yellow hair, brave and generous and physically powerful. They worshipped what are known as Anses and had an alphabet called Runor (Runes), a corruption of Greek and Hebrew letters devised for carving with pointed knife on wooden blocks.
At the time of their arrival on the Danube the Goths were under the rule of Ostrogotha. Christianity was becoming known to the Goths through Ulfilas' translation of the scriptures into Gothic. In 269 A.D. some 300,000 of their warriors attacked a Roman army under Claudius who, though defeated, protected the Roman frontiers for yet awhile. By agreement the territory of Dacia was given over to the Goths. Their critical period arose after Ermaneric became King and in 375 A.D. invited the Huns, approaching on their eastern side, to join up with him in defeating his enemies. The Huns were a Turanian race akin to the later Ghengis Khan. This mistake led Ermaneric to a suicide's death. For about 100 years the Huns controlled the Goths. In fact the Visigoths had already deserted the Ostrogoths near the time when Ermaneric took over in 350 A.D.
In 451 A.D. the great battle of Chalons was fought. Attila and Goths versus Romans and allies such as Visigoths and Celts. Aetius, the Roman general, won. But all of this required a heavy withdrawal of Roman legions from Britain and hence a free opportunity was granted the teeming tribes of the north to cross over into Britain. Not till the death of Attila in 453 A.D. did the Goths regain independence. In that year Theodoric the Great was born.
Theodoric defeated the Romans on several occasions to become master of Italy. He died in 526 A.D. Badvila became king of the Goths in 541 A.D. His forces took Rome in 546 A.D. In 552 A.D. he lost his life in battle between his army and the Bygantians under Narses. In 553 A.D. remnants of the Gothic army were granted free passage to the north. They, with all their possessions, struck out for the northern part of Germany and thence across to Norway to join up with the Normans. Some, however, went west to join up with the Visigoths.
Now the Frisians on the sea coast suffered a raid by the Roman General Probus in the years 270-280 A.D. when his sailors in a thousand ships transported many thousands of Frankish Frisians all the way to the Black Sea and settled them in Pontus by the mouth of the Halys river. Centuries prior to this the Benjamites had become well-known and well-attached to the neighboring province of Cappadocia directly to the south of Pontus.
In short order these same transported Frisians seized the ships and together with a large group of Benjamites made their way through the Bosphorus and out into the Mediterranean. Their immediate purpose was piracy. Sicily and other islands were plundered and so also many Roman ships. Eventually they entered the North Sea when the Frisians decided to return to their home shores in Belgium. The Benjamites chose to continue on to the north and settled on a number of isles off the coast of Norway at beginning of 4th Century A.D. These Benjamites constituted what later were to become known as Vikings. They intermarried with many of the Asen inland, and generally made up the Northmen people. But it must not be overlooked that among these Northmen were the remnants of the Goths that had left Rome for the north to Magdeburg and on into Norway.
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