The most unusual rites of the Scythians

Militant Iranian-speaking tribes that settled in the VII century in the steppes between the Danube and the Don, called themselves chipped.

 In world history of how they came the Scythians, and most of the information we learn about them from the records of the first historian Herodotus. Rich material on history, culture, life and traditions of the Scythians provides archaeological science. Please refer to written and material sources, and tell you about the most unusual rites of the Scythians.

The most unusual rites of the Scythians : 

Friendly blood oath

The Scythians valued the friendship, and for other were willing to sacrifice their lives. In the twin cities was selected the most courageous and daring warriors.

The rite of fraternization was a special ritual. The Scythians, who decided to become brothers, verbal swore to each other in fidelity. Then cut the hand with the sword, and the blood was poured into a Cup of wine. Drinking this drink, the Scythians for life became sister cities.
In the ritual of the oath also included the exchange of weapons. To the more ancient custom belongs the oath over fire. In Ossetic preserved remnants of ancient ritual, as in Ossetian sister is "æрдхорд", which literally translates as "eating fire."

Military customs

In battle, the Scythians were ruthless to their enemies. SKIF, the first time I killed the enemy, had to drink his blood.

After the battle, the soldiers gave the king the heads of slain enemies, thereby proving his prowess. The number of enemies killed divided the spoils. Those warriors who failed to kill the enemy — did not participate in the spoils and did not participate in the victory feast.
The dead were scalped and hung on a horse's bridle. From the skin of slain enemies were made raincoats. Quivers covered with leather right hand of the enemy, and from the skull of the hated enemy did bowl.

Scythian sanctuary

Were the Scythians its Pantheon of gods. But the steppe people did not build cities and temples. The Supreme deity was considered to be Tabiti, the Keeper of the hearth because fire was worshipped like a deity. Her name Scythians talked of "Flaming". Ares was the God of war, and in honor of him in any County was erected altars.
On flat ground it was erected a high mountain of firewood, the top is arranged a flat platform on which was placed the ancient sword. Akinak, the so-called Scythian short sword, and was the incarnation of Ares, worshipped and sacrificed.


The Supreme veneration of the deity was considered a sacrifice. As sacrifices to the gods were brought horses and bulls.

The bull or horse was tied up the front legs, and standing behind the man pulling the rope so that the animal fell down and bowed his head. The priest thus offered praises to the deity, and strangled the victim. For this he used a special rope loop on the end of the stick.
The animal was skinned and the meat was cooked in a cauldron. After that, all proceeded to the feast, and the first pieces of meat and entrails scattered on the ground in honor of the gods.

The Worship Area

Separately bring sacrifices to the God of war Ares. Every year, the sanctuary of the mound of firewood with the sword of the Scythians sacrificed to the deity of horses, goats, sheep. As a victim to Ares never took the bulls.
Only this deity sacrificed human victims. Of the hundreds of prisoners chose one and led him to the altar. The prisoner was killed and the blood was lowered in a special vessel. The blood of captured enemies doused the place in front of the sword.
Then the victim had his right hand cut off, tossing it upwards. She remained lying where she had fallen. Also the body were still in that position when he was stabbed.

The call for help

The Scythians were a kind of tradition to ask for help. When the skiff was in need of assistants in any case, he killed a beef.
He was removed from dead animal's skin, and the meat was cooked a large pot. After that, spread out the hide and sat on it, and before you put the pot with the meat. All who agreed to help, took the skin and ate cooked food.
After eating meat all those involved in the ritual were sent to perform a difficult case under the leadership of skiff, stabbed to death by a bull. Some Iranian-speaking peoples even kept saying "sit on the skin", which means "look for the helpers."

The king's illness

When Scythian king falls sick, he invites you to his tent and soothsayers. They begin to conjure the hearth, to see who was the cause of the disease ruler. Divination was performed with the help of shifting rods in front of a burning hearth. After the ritual diviners called the name of the person who swore by the health of the king, and vows not kept.
The guilty person is brought to the king, and invite another group of soothsayers. Those re-conduct the ceremony, and if guilt is confirmed, he will be executed. If the fault is not confirmed, then kill the first group of soothsayers.
Be sure to look also at hotshot.eu.org fascinating material about five unusual pagan rituals of Slavs.

The funeral of king

The funeral of the ruler was fitted with a special ritual. The body of the dead king covered with wax, and the inside was filled with saffron and other fragrant herbs.
He was then placed on a cart and were taken to different villages, who answered to the deceased ruler. Relatives as well as friends of the king in mourning cut the hair, put on the face of the wound, and the soldiers pierced his left hand with an arrow. When meeting a funeral procession, the villagers staged cry, were treated to dishes of the family and friends of the king.
On the fortieth day the king was buried in a rectangular grave. He killed his wife, cupbearer, servants to serve the ruler in the afterlife. In the grave were placed the guns, jewelry, precious tableware. Over the grave poured a large mound.
About the most unusual ancient tombs in the world read on hotshot.eu.org an interesting article.

The rite of initiation

Since the birth of the boys prepared future soldiers for what in the cradle put the arrow. Growing up, the young man himself had to pull the string on the bow, and in the first fight to drink the blood of the slain enemy.
But there was a special rite of passage in which boys become men. The ritual was made a special construction of wooden stakes, which were covered with bull's hides. In the middle of such a tent was put the heated stone.
Posvyashena went inside and the priest was thrown on the hot stones cannabis seeds. Young men under the influence of the vapour were in a trance and, thus, the transformation of the Scythian young men in a predatory, merciless beast.

The conclusion of peace

Interesting Scythian tribes and the ritual of concluding a peace Treaty. Writing the Scythians were not, because the world, like the friendship was sealed with blood.
In a Cup of wine decant blood, and dipped in this liquid sword, spear, arrows, and axe. After that, the Cup of wine and blood is consumed. While offering praise of the main deity when Popeye and the female goddess named Tabiti.
When Popeye prayer that would grant the victory. Tabiti goddess of women's hearth and home symbolises the transition to civilian life. The Arabs also used the blood to make peace, pouring her seven stones.

Pictographic letter

The Scythians had no written language, and therefore with the people, and especially enemies, they communicated through images.
Herodotus tells how the Scythians responded to the call of the Persian king Darius to come with him to battle. Scythian king Darius sent Identiers unusual gifts, inviting the conqueror to unravel the meaning of the message. Darius was wrong and nearly all his warriors were killed, and the Persian king fled disgracefully from Scythia.
The Scythians sent a frog, a bird, a mouse, and the sharp arrows. This meant that if you, the Persians, did not disappear in the sky like birds, do not hide in the marshes like frogs and run off like a mouse, will die from our arrows.

Lunch at rest

At rest it was necessary to warm and to cook food. In the desert there is no wood, and therefore, to build a fire, the Scythians killed the bull.
Separated the meat from the bones, and removed the stomach. Bones used as firewood, pre-spraying with grease. Bovine stomach was filled with water, and the water put meat.
In this way cooked food, and keep warm in the night steppe around the campfire, laid out the bones of the slain animal. The animal's blood was poured around the campfire, giving praise to Tabiti for giving food. After the meal the remaining food was taken along, stacking the pieces of meat under the saddle.


Of course, many of the customs and rituals of Scythian tribes smite the inhabitant of modernity with their uniqueness and sometimes cruelty. Summing up, we note that the Scythians left behind a rich culture. In the Middle ages the Scythians in a number of other Eastern peoples called Eastern Slavs, which gave ground to the hypothesis — the part of the Scythian tribes is the direct ancestors of the Slavs. After all, the Slavic tribes also existed the cult of the God of war, and in the Russian language many words borrowed from Iranian languages.
Author: Valery Skiba