The Scythians were a nomadic people whose culture flourished between the 7th and 3rd century BCE in a territory ranging from Thrace in the west, across the steppe of Central Asia, to the Altai Mountains of Mongolia in the east. This covers an area around 4000 kilometers (2500 mi) in length. The geography of the open plains steppe, desert steppe, and forest-steppe expanses over which they ranged was conducive to a pastoral rather than a settled way of life involving agricultural production. As a result, these Steppe nomads had few urban centers, and had a nomadic lifestyle; riding horses, tending herds, and living in covered wagons.

More about: Scythians


  • c. 1000 BCE
    Scythians migrate from Persia into the Asian steppes.
  • 700 BCE - 300 BCE
    Scythians dominate the western Asian steppes.
  • c. 676 BCE
    Scythians and Mannaens attack Assyria.
  • 612 BCE
    Nineveh is sacked and burned by combined forces of Babylonians and Medes.
  • c. 600 BCE - c. 300 BCE
    The Scythians prosper north of the Black Sea.
  • 520 BCE
    Darius I of Persia fights the Scythians (not very successfully).
  • c. 513 BCE - c. 512 BCE
    Darius I of Persia campaigns against Scythians into European Scythia, past the Danube River, Scythians refuse to fight and Darius is forced to abandon the campaign due to lack of provisions.
  • 500 BCE - 300 BCE
    Rich Scythian burials.
  • 350 BCE
    The Scythians have absorbed a lot of Greek culture; Scythian artefacts show Greek-style depictions.
  • 342 BCE
    Philip II leads a military expedition against the Scythians.
  • 339 BCE
    Philip II of Macedon fights the Scythians.
  • 329 BCE
    Alexander the Great wins a decisive battle at the Iaxartes river against the Scythians.
  • 300 BCE
    Sarmatians conquer the Scythians.
  • c. 200 BCE - c. 100 BCE
    Scythians tribes migrate into Bactria, Sogdiana and Arachosia.
  • 177 BCE
    The Yuezhi Confederation conquers the Sakas of Issyk Lake.
  • c. 145 BCE
    Eucratidia is taken by the Sakas.
  • c. 139 BCE
    Eucratidia is looted to the ground by the Yuezhei.
  • c. 80 BCE - c. 75 CE
    The combined Scytho-Parthians rule Gandhara.
  • c. 100 CE
    By the end of first century CE, Scythians (Sakas) manage to establish their sway in central and south-eastern India.
  • 350 CE
    Beginning of Sarmatian expansion into Scythians territory.