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Thread: Were the Sarmatians "one faction" in real history?

  1. #1
    Member Member Calypze's Avatar
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    Default Were the Sarmatians "one faction" in real history?

    I was thinking about the Sauromatae, were they historically a confederation or federation of some sort, or is it just in the game that they're lumped together as one faction?

    Just curious. Maybe there's not enough known about the Sarmatians to divide them into the historical factions?

  2. #2
    Marzbān-ī Jundīshāpūr Member The Persian Cataphract's Avatar
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    Default Re: Were the Sarmatians "one faction" in real history?

    Yes and no.

    There were several confederacies, but these were limited to so-called "super-tribes", not unlike the Sacaeraucae, and the Tocharii in the eastern reaches between the Issyk-Kul and the Ferghana. There were the Iazyges, Roxolani, Aorsi, Siracae and so forth. The "Sauromatae" as a Graeco-Roman colloquialism has a similar bearing to that of the Graeco-Achaemenid "Saka/Skythai"-entity, which in its own term was divided accordingly per tribe or per geographical distribution, such as the "Saka Paradraya" (The Scythians of Ukraine, the "Royal Scythians"), "Saka Tighrakhauda" (The Scythians with pointed caps; Central Asia) and so forth.

    The problem was actually more basic; we simply had no idea which of these entities to choose, because a good deal of them had an equal shot. The favouring of a tribe, in exchange of dismantling an entire steppe, relegating them to obtuse AI-handling, with incorrigible hard-coded enmity between tribes would in its own respect become a gross simplification of historicity. Historically, this fragmentary Pontic Steppe, saw invasions from these Sarmatian tribes, all from the Roxolani beyond the Danube and pouring into the Crimean peninsula, while Alannic tribes (Possibly the tribe which the Chinese chronicles describe as the Yancai or the Alanliao) poured into the Caucasus.

    There is also an extraordinary event which we must take into account that would forever change the steppen climate; 186 CE Mount Taupo volcano in New Zealand erupted, by many believed to have been the worst in recorded history. Global cooling would have been devastating to the steppen peoples with bitter, staggering cold, with very little sun-light. It ultimately comes down to two choices, the Roxolani who campaigned actively in the western reaches, or the super-tribe considered to have been descended from the Massagetae, the Alans.

    In any case, the situation will hopefully drastically differ in EB2 in order to reflect greater accuracy and thus historicity of the nomadic cultures. I believe their current representation albeit flawed was the best of alternatives and presents a viable challenge in the steppes.


    "Fortunate is every man who in purity and truth recognizes valiance and prevents it from becoming bravado" - Āriōbarzanes of the Sūrźn-Pahlavān

  3. #3

    Default Re: Were the Sarmatians "one faction" in real history?

    Well, that certainly answers the question quite succinctly.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Were the Sarmatians "one faction" in real history?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Persian Cataphract

    There is also an extraordinary event which we must take into account that would forever change the steppen climate; 186 CE Mount Taupo volcano in New Zealand erupted, by many believed to have been the worst in recorded history. Global cooling would have been devastating to the steppen peoples with bitter, staggering cold, with very little sun-light. It ultimately comes down to two choices, the Roxolani who campaigned actively in the western reaches, or the super-tribe considered to have been descended from the Massagetae, the Alans.
    This certainly puts things into perspective. Especially considering what happened to the Yuezhi, and their own confederation, when the HsiongNu or XiongNu (which are considered to be the forefathers of Attila's Huns) united under Modu and drove Yuehzi away from the Taklamakan plateau and their other residence. HsiongNu tribes were famously divided and always fighting each other when not pestering then Northern borders of the Han. Lack of food for their cattle is a great reason to unite if there is one, and then, united drive away all their potential enemies and create the first Khaganate.

    Otherwise known as error. I mistakenly took the 186 CE date to be 186 BCE.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wikipedia
    Around 177 BCE, led by one of Modu's tribal chiefs, the Xiongnu invaded Yuezhi territory in the Gansu region and achieved a crushing victory. Modu boasted in a letter to the Han emperor that due to "the excellence of his fighting men, and the strength of his horses, he has succeeded in wiping out the Yuezhi, slaughtering or forcing to submission every number of the tribe". The son of Modu, Jizhu, subsequently killed the king of the Yuezhi and, in accordance with nomadic traditions, "made a drinking cup out of his skull."(Shiji 123. Watson1961:231).
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yuezhi

    Then in a domino effect, Yuehzi invaded and conquered Saka land (the Sai as the Chinese call them), the Sakas then fell upon Baktria. They mustn't have fared that well initially, or they could have headed into India via a different path (that circumvented Baktrian territory). Then in approx. 155 BCE, the neighburing Wusun and a few Sakas that remained in their ancestral lands allied with the HsiongNu and drove the Yuehzi away into Baktria. This time, facing 200.000 twice refugees and absolutely desperate HA's Baktria fell, as documented by the destruction of one of its greatest cities and possible Eastern capital, Alexandreia Oxeiane (now known as Ai Khanoum) approximately at 145 BCE.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexandria_on_the_Oxus

    Then they became known as Kushana Shahanshahs or "BasileisBasileon" in the greek coins they minted, creating an empire which lasted for 3 centuries and is famous to this day for its Buddhist monuments, and Buddhist missionaries who helped spread Buddhism in present day China.
    http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=Gandhara


    It goes without saying that we will never know for certain what exactly did happen. The reason why the HsiongNu united was always intruiging though. That volcano is a factor that has to be included in the debate why HsiongNu united, setting in motion all the events that followed. Another reason seemed to be the valiant defense of China that the Han organised. No longer facing small kingdoms which could be subdued with the help of their neighbours, HsiongNu had to unite to be able to claim some spoils from Han China. Once they did unite, besides Han China, weaker tribes around them were the obvious target, with the Yuezhi (Greek name Tokharoi) being on the top of that list .
    Last edited by keravnos; 12-28-2008 at 09:48.


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  5. #5

    Default Re: Were the Sarmatians "one faction" in real history?

    Quote Originally Posted by keravnos View Post
    This certainly puts things into perspective. Especially considering what happened to the Yuezhi, and their own confederation, when the HsiongNu or XiongNu (which are considered to be the forefathers of Attila's Huns) united under Modu and drove Yuehzi away from the Taklamakan plateau and their other residence. HsiongNu tribes were famously divided and always fighting each other when not pestering then Northern borders of the Han. Lack of food for their cattle is a great reason to unite if there is one, and then, united drive away all their potential enemies and create the first Khaganate.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yuezhi

    Then in a domino effect, Yuehzi invaded and conquered Saka land (the Sai as the Chinese call them), the Sakas then fell upon Baktria. They mustn't have fared that well initially, or they could have headed into India via a different path (that circumvented Baktrian territory). Then in approx. 155 BCE, the neighburing Wusun and a few Sakas that remained in their ancestral lands allied with the HsiongNu and drove the Yuehzi away into Baktria. This time, facing 200.000 twice refugees and absolutely desperate HA's Baktria fell, as documented by the destruction of one of its greatest cities and possible Eastern capital, Alexandreia Oxeiane (now known as Ai Khanoum) approximately at 145 BCE.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexandria_on_the_Oxus

    Then they became known as Kushana Shahanshahs or "BasileisBasileon" in the greek coins they minted, creating an empire which lasted for 3 centuries and is famous to this day for its Buddhist monuments, and Buddhist missionaries who helped spread Buddhism in present day China.
    http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=Gandhara

    It goes without saying that we will never know for certain what exactly did happen. The reason why the HsiongNu united was always intruiging though. That volcano is a factor that has to be included in the debate why HsiongNu united, setting in motion all the events that followed. Another reason seemed to be the valiant defense of China that the Han organised. No longer facing small kingdoms which could be subdued with the help of their neighbours, HsiongNu had to unite to be able to claim some spoils from Han China. Once they did unite, besides Han China, weaker tribes around them were the obvious target, with the Yuezhi (Greek name Tokharoi) being on the top of that list .
    The eruption occurred 186 CE, not BCE.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Were the Sarmatians "one faction" in real history?

    Darn...
    Thanks, MP.
    What can I say. Monumental fail.
    Last edited by keravnos; 12-28-2008 at 09:46.


    You like EB? Buy CA games.

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