|Also Known As:||"Baath", "Baoth", "Bath", "Boaz"|
|Death:||Died in Scythia|
|Occupation:||legendary progenitor of SCYTHIA, aka Boath or Baath|
|Managed by:||Jason Scott Wills|
According to the Bible, one of Noah's grandsons was Magog / מגוג (Genesis 10:2; Chronicles 1:5). Biblical scholars generally believe that Magog was intended to be the ancestor of the Scythians, north of the Black Sea. Two of Magog's sons were named in the 16th century Book of Jasher: Elichanaf / אליחורף and Lubal / לובב (Book of Jasher 7:4; ספר הישר - פרשת נח).
Irish legend gives Magog another four sons: Bathath, Faithechta, Jobbath, and Emoth. According to the 11th century Lebor Gabála Érenn (Book of the Invasions of Ireland) and the 17th century Annals of the Four Masters, these sons were the ancestors of the Irish kings.
These lines from the Irish kings back to Adam and Eve entered the genealogical mainstream in the works of John O'Hart (1824-1902). They now appear in thousands of Internet genealogies, but cannot be considered an authentic tradition.
"Boath, one of the sons of Magog; to whom Scythia came as his lot, upon the division of the Earth by Noah amongst his sons, and by Japhet of his part thereof amongst his sons."
Part II of Irish Pedigrees, or The origin and stem of the Irish nation, by John O'Hart, published 1892, pages 44-55
Origins and pre-history (to 700 BC)
Map of the Roman empire under Hadrian (ruled 117-38 AD), showing the location of the Scythae Basilaei ("Royal Scyths") along the north shore of the Black sea
Scholars generally classify the Scythian language as a member of the Eastern Iranian languages. The Scythians are thought to have originated from the Central Asian region of Greater Iran (Persia), as a branch of the ancient Iranian peoples expanding north into the steppe regions from around 1000 BC. The Histories of Herodotus provide the most important literary sources relating to ancient Scyths. According to Sulimirski, Herodotus provides a broadly correct depiction but apparently knew little of the eastern part of Scythia. According to Herodotus the ancient Persians called all the Scyths "Saca" (Herodotus .VII 64). Their principal tribe, the Royal Scyths, ruled the vast lands occupied by the nation as a whole (Herodotus .IV 20); and they called themselves Skolotoi. Oswald Szemerényi devotes a thorough discussion to the etymology of the word Scyth in his work "Four old Iranian ethnic names: Scythian - Skudra - Sogdian - Saka". The related words derive from *skuza, an ancient Indo-European word for archer (cf. English shoot), hence Iranian Ishkuzi = archers.
The Scythians first appeared in the historical record in the 8th century BC. Herodotus reported three versions as to the origins of the Scythians, but placed greatest faith in this version:
There is also another different story, now to be related, in which I am more inclined to put faith than in any other. It is that the wandering Scythians once dwelt in Asia, and there warred with the Massagetae, but with ill success; they therefore quitted their homes, crossed the Araxes, and entered the land of Cimmeria.
Around 676 BC, the Scythians (led by Ishpaki — Old Iranian *Spakaaya) in alliance with the Mannaens attacked Assyria. The group first appears in Assyrian annals under the name Ishkuzai. According to the brief assertion of Esarhaddon's inscription, the Assyrian empire defeated the alliance. Subsequent mention of Scythians in Babylonian and Assyrian texts occurs in connection with Media. Both Old Persian and Greek sources mention them during the period of the Achaemenid empires, with Greek sources locating them in the steppe between the Dnieper and Don rivers.
Josephus claimed that the Scythians were descended from Magog, the grandson of Noah.
Interpreting literary and archaeological evidence, contemporary scholars posit two major theories. The first major theory follows Herodotus' (third) account, stating that the Scythians were an Iranic group who arrived from Inner Asia. A second school of thought suggests a development autochthonous to the Pontic steppe/ trans-Caucasian region. They argue that the Scythians emerged from local groups of the Timber Grave culture (broadly associated with the "Cimmerians"), who rose as the new leaders of the region. This second theory is supported by antrhopological evidence which found that Scythian skulls are similar to preceding findings from the Timber Grave culture, and distinct from those of the Central Asian Sacae.