Tuesday, May 24, 2011

List: Books and Articles

 *This post is being updated. Formatting and will be fixed and all my currently cited references added.*
 This is a list of books, articles, and the like which have information relevant to someone with a Sarmatian persona. 

  I use a color-coded system to indicate the reliability of the source. 

  • Blue means the source is good and information it contains is up-to-date.  
  • Yellow means the source, while useful, needs context. It may contain some inaccurate information, but be historically important. It could also be written in such a way that it could easily be misinterpreted by someone looking to recreate a Sarmatian persona.  
  • Red means the source is not to be trusted. It could be largely out-of-date, not widely accepted, or pure conjecture.  
  • White is reserved for those sources written before the modern age. Keep in mind that just because something is "written by the ancients" does not mean it's informed. Consider reading a scholarly discourse which gives it context as well.  
  • Purple means I haven't read it through yet and can't comment on it.


Alemany, A.,  2000, Sources on the Alans: A Critical Compilation, Brill Academic Publishers
Bachrach, B., 1973, A History of the Alans in the West: From their First Appearance in the Sources of Classical Antiquity Through the Early Middle Ages, University of Minnesota Press, pp. 161.
Brzezinski, R., and Mielczarek, M., 2002, Men-at-Arms: The Sarmatians 600BC-450AD, Osprey publishing.
Bury, J.B. 1923, History of the Later Roman Empire. Macmillan & Co. Ltd.

Colarusa, J., 2002, Nart Sagas From the Caucasus, Princeton University Press, pp. 552.

Davis-Kimball, J., and Behan, M., 2002, Warrior Women: An Archaeologist's Search for History's Hidden Heroines, Warner Books, pp. 268. 

Kohler, K., Die Trachten der VölKer in Bild und Schnitt:

Harmatta, J, 1970, Studies in the History and Language of the Sarmatians, Acta antique et archaeologica Tomus XIII.
McEvedy, C., 2002, The New Penguin Atlas of Ancient History, the Penguin Group, pp. 128.

From The Land of the Scythians: Ancient Treasures from the Museums of the U.S.S.R., 3000 B.C. - 100 B.C. (Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, Volume XXXII, Number 5, 1975)
Sulimirski, T., 1970,  The Sarmatians, vol. 73 of Ancient Peoples and Places, Praeger Publishers, Inc.
Zgusta, L, Die Personennamen griechischer Städte der nördlichen Schwarzmeerküste: Die ethnischen Verhältnisse, namentlich das Verhältnis der Skythen und Sarmaten, im Lichte der Namenforschung (Československá akademie ved. Monografie orientálního ústavu 16 ). Praha : Nakladatelstvi československé Akademie Ved, 1955.

Ancient texts:
Chronica Galla of 452
Herodian, The History of the Roman Empire from the Death of Marcus Aurelius to the Ascension of  Gordian III
Jordanes, The Origins and Deeds of the Goths.
Polyaenus, Stratagems of War.
Websites with artifact catalogues:



  1. Hi, like your site, just adding to your above books there is a book called "Iranians and Greeks in Southern Russia" by Michael Rostovtzeff which was printed in 1922 and although old it is a good readable book which has a lot of information about Scythians and Sarmatians. It can be read online or downloaded as a PDF (legal) I shall post link below
    Michael Kerr

    1. Thanks! I hadn't heard of that one. This book looks fantastic. :)

  2. Hi, might I suggest another book by Chinese Historian Sima Qian who wrote about the early history of China, Han Dynasty in his book "Records of the Historian" where he talks about the Wusun who the Alans were probably part of.
    They made a treaty with Han China where the leaders received Chinese wives in exchange for their horses "Heavenly Horses" and they originally lived in the Ile valley near the Tien Shan mountains. These horses were not to be confused with "The Blood Sweating Horses" of the Ferghana Valley.
    Michael Kerr

  3. If you're looking for more information on the Sarmatians and Scythians, you might try the following. Some of the earlier ones are painfully obviously applying their current cultural prejudices over the actual data, so as to see what they want... but you do mention in another posting that you like reading the oldest works first, then "forward" through time. I'm currently off for summer, so feel free to ask if you have any questions, since I'll actually have time to answer! :) Hope this is helpful, and enjoy!

    Davis-Kimball, Jeannine. "Amazons, Priestesses, and Other Women of Status: Females in Eurasian Nomadic Societies." Silk Road Art and Archaeology 5. Kamakura, Japan: Journal of the Institute of Silk Road Studies, 1997/98.

    ---. "Chieftain or Warrior Priestess? New evidence suggests that an ancient Saka nomad buried in a suit of gold may have been a woman." Archaeology Magazine. September/October 1997: n.pg.

    ---. "Enarees and Women of High Status: Evidence of Ritual at Tillya Tepe." Kurgans, Ritual Sites, and Settlements: Eurasian Bronze and Iron Age. Ed. Jeannine Davis-Kimball, Eileen M. Murphy, Ludmila Koryakova, and Leonid T. Yablonksy. EBook: BAR International Series, 2000. 223-239.

    ---. "Nomads and Patriarchy." The Rule of Mars: Readings on the Origins, History, and Impact of Patriarchy. Ed. Cristina Biaggi. Manchester, CT: Knowledge, Ideas, & Trends, 2005. 127-142.

    ---, Vladimir A. Bashilov, and Leonid T. Yablonksy, eds. Nomads of the Eurasian Steppes in the Early Iron Age. Berkeley: Zinat Press, 1995.

    ---, Leon Yablonsky, L. T. Iablonskii, and V. A. Demkin. Kurgans on the Left Bank of the Ilek: Excavations at Pokrovka 1990-1992. Berkeley, CA: Zinat Publications, 1995.

    From The Land of the Scythians: Ancient Treasures from the Museums of the U.S.S.R., 3000 B.C.-100 B.C. Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin Volume XXXII, Number 5 (1975).

    Jacobson, Esther. The Deer Goddess of Ancient Siberia: A Study in the Ecology of Belief. New York: E. J. Brill, 1993.

    Jettmar, Karl. Art of the Steppes. Trans. Ann E. Kemp. New York: Crown Publishers, Inc., 1967.

    Rice, Tamara Talbot. The Scythians. 3rd ed. Worcester, UK: Ebenezer Baylis and Son Ltd., 1961.

    Rolle, Renate. The World of the Scythians. Trans. F. G. Walls. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1989.

    Rudenko, Sergei I. Frozen Tombs of Siberia: The Pazyryk Burials of Iron Age Horsemen. Trans. M. W. Thompson. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1970.

    Scythian Gold. Ed. Ellen D. Reeder. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1999.

    1. I actually have and have used some of these books. This post is just woefully out-of-date... >_< There's quite a few there that I haven't heard of though, so I'll be looking them up. Thanks!