"The Greek historian Herodotus,..." Kiev Local Custom Tip by Tolik

Kiev Local Customs: 85 reviews and 116 photos


The Greek historian Herodotus, 'the Father of History', devoted more than half a volume to them. He wrote that Hercules himself had founded this land. In 514 BC. a very important event took place in the steppe. Herodotus described this account in full details. 'Darius, the third of the Persian great Kings, decided to invade Scythia. With Darius himself in command, the Persian army of 700,000 soldiers marched across the Danube to the Russian steppes. The Scythians steadily retreated while the Persians pursuit. Darius failed the attempt to force the Scythians to confront the Persians with head-on battle. The Scythians did not abandon their tactic of withdrawal and replied to Darius when he demanded an battle action:

'There is nothing new or strange in what we do. We follow our mode of life in peaceful times. We have neither towns nor cultivated lands in these parts which might induce us, through fear of their being ravaged, to be in any hurry to fight you. But if you must needs come to blows with us speedily, look about you, and behold our fathers' tombs. Attempt to meddle with them and you shall see whether or not we will fight with you.'

It was indeed very strange war to Darius. There was nothing to be captured and held - no cities, no buildings, no plunder, nothing but the rimless steppe. He was fighting air. Darius had no alternative but to turn back. All the way to the Danube the Scythians harassed his retreat'.
He never campaigned northward through Europe again and the Scythians prevailed on the south Russian steppe and kept expanding westward for the next century.

Review Helpfulness: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Nov 19, 2002
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