The eastern part of Poland and southern part of Russia in Europe.
A name first used by Mela for the part of northern Europe and Asia extending from
the Vistula (Wisla) and the Sarmatici Montes on the west, which divided it from
Germany, to the Rha (Volga) on the east, which divided it from Scythia; bounded
on the southwest and south by the rivers Ister (Danube), Tibiscus (Theiss), and
Tyras (Dniester), which divided it from Pannonia and Dacia, and, farther, by the
Euxine, and beyond it by Mount Caucasus, which divided it from Colchis, Iberia,
and Albania; and extending on the north as far as the Baltic and the unknown regions
of northern Europe. The people from whom the name of Sarmatia was derived inhabited
only a small portion of the country. The greater part of it was peopled by Scythian
tribes; but some of the inhabitants of its western part seem to have been of German
origin, as the Venedi on the Baltic, and Iazyges, Rhoxolani, and Hamaxobii in
southern Russia; the chief of the other tribes west of the Tanais were the Alauni
or Alani Scythae, a Scythian people who came out of Asia and settled in the central
part of Russia. The whole country was divided by the river Tanais (Don) into two
parts, called respectively Sarmatia Europaea and Sarmatia Asiatica; but it should
be observed that, according to the modern division of the continent, the whole
of Sarmatia belongs to Europe. It should also be noticed that the Chersonesus
Taurica (Crimea), though falling within the specified limits, was not considered
as a part of Sarmatia, but as a separate country.
In a general way the name Sarmatia is often used very indefinitely of the whole of northeastern Europe. The historical sources of our knowledge of Sarmatia in ancient times are collected and discussed by Kalina, De Fontibus, etc. (1872).
This text is cited Oct 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks
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