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Cimmerian – Scythian – Sakian Kingdom

At the beginning of the 7th century BC, there began wide settlement of Cimmerian, Scythian, Sakian tribes in the territory of Azerbaijan. Cimmerians were settled in the North Caucasus even in 8th century BC. Although their first settled motherland was western regions of North Caucasus, they extended in the territory of the north shores of Black Sea from Kerch to Crimea.

Since the beginning of the 8th century Cimmerians, because of several reasons began to leave their motherland and settled in Front – Asia and Anatolia; during the determined time they were active participants of military-political life in Anatolia and Mesopotamia.

Main reason of Cimmerians moving from their native lands was coming of scythian-sakian tribes to the North Caucasus and to the shores of Black Sea in the second half of the 8th century BC. Exactly after the overwhelm by scythian, Cimmerians had to leave North Caucasus. Scythian, pursuing Cimmerians that were withdrawn from Europe entered to Asia. They arrived in the lands of Manna and Media.

At the result of these events Cimmerian-scythian-sakian tribes intervened to Azerbaijan at the last quarter of the 7th century. So, approximately in the 70s of the 7th century BC they established powerful realm in the North-West side from the Urmia Lake, along to Aras River, between Manna and Urartu. This kingdom was the most powerful military-political entity of Front Asia about 30 years.

Discussions about ethnolinquistic character of scythian continued for a long time. In the last decades, there formed such idea that, this powerful ethnic union was consisted of various Turkish tribes and were called as ishguz, ashguz, skit, skif, sak in different sources.
Such prominent scientists as M.A.Ismailov, Y.B.Yusifov agree with this idea.

Part of scythians was called sakians in the sources, since the end of the 8th century and till the beginning of 7th centuries BC. The name of sakians put great trace in the toponomy of the South-Eastern Caucasus and the South Azerbaijan. So, the names of Sakasena, Zagatala, Balasakan and etc. were in coincidence with sakians.

The thoughts of Y.B.Yusifov about the ethnonym of scythian- skitian are more interesting. Based on the information of famous author, Prokopy referred Cimmerians to the tribes of Turkish origin and guessed that, their ethnic contents were vague: “There were ethnos from Turkish and Iranian origin among them”. Scientist also considered that, among the tribes, coming to Azerbaijan from the North at the end of the 8th century and at the beginning of 7th centuries BC, there were many ethnic unions from Turkish origin too.

We also support such idea that, although Cimmerian-scythian tribes were multi-coloured in ethnic contents, there were many tribes, related to Turks and which compiled the majority population of Azerbaijan at that time.

As it was mentioned above, although Cimmerian-scythian-sakian kingdom lived very short life they put deep trace in the political-military history of Front Asia.

Probably, in the eve of above mentioned tribes’ movement to Front Asia, this region was divided into 2 fronts-Assyrian and anti Assyrian. Cimmerians that joined to the alliance against invader (Assyria) became the leading power of the struggle against Assyria.

One branch of scythian, extended in various parts during the moving to Front Asia, occupied in the South of Urartu under the leadership of Partatua (According to Herodotus, Prototy). But scythians under the leadership of Ishpakay settled in the North-Western and Western lands of Manna.

Soon there occurred fought between Assyrian tsar-Assarkhaddon and scythians. In one of such fought Assarkhaddon destroyed the troops of Ishpakay with the help of Mannian population. Assarkhaddon married his daughter to Partatua and at the result of it could destruct the united powers of scythians.   Scythians, settled the regions near Khubushkia and which did their best to unit anti Assyrian powers of Manna and Media refused to fight against Assyria. Mady, the son of Partatua was the only of Assyria and “began military campaigns in Minor Asia in order to prevent Median intervene to Assyria”.

In the mid of the 7th century BC united Cimmerian-Scythian- Sakian realm was ruled by Tugdamme. Tugdamme that used the title of “ruler of states of sak and Kutium” entered to the alliance with the Assyrian king – Assurbanipal in 60-50 s of the 7th century BC and conducted expansive wars in Minor Asia. He died during one of his campaigns to Minor Asia.

Cimmerian-scythian-sakian kingdom that was established in the West side of South Azerbaijan and included some parts of North Azerbaijan in itself. According to Y.B.Yusifov’s thoughts, the dynasty united major parts of both regions of Azerbaijan.

Neverthless, military-political circumstances in both Front Asia and Azerbaijan rapidly changed in examining period. Cimmerian- scythian-sakian kingdom couldn’t resist to the king of Media-the tsar of the country, which was shaped at the same time with above mentioned kingdom in the area of modern Iran and that was subordinated to sakians for 28 years (653-625 BC) – Kiaksar (625-585 BC) and collapsed at the beginning of the 6th century BC.



for 28 years (653-625 BC) – Kiaksar (625-585 BC) and collapsed at the beginning of the 6th century BC.

About Ismayil bey Zardabli

Author of t extbook for the higher educational institutions "THE HISTORY OF AZERBAIJAN, from ancient times to the present day"