Libmonster ID: U.S.-1495
Author(s) of the publication: I. N. Medvedskaya

In Herodotus ' account of the Scythian invasion of Palestine, one can find echoes of three events of the seventh century BC: the existence of a threat "from the north" to the inhabitants of Syria and Palestine, the desecration of Palestinian temples, and the expansion of Egypt into Palestine. These events, which were reported to Herodotus in various ways, were interpreted by him in accordance with his concept of the presence of the Cimmerians and Scythians in the ancient East. Its essence is in the leadership of the Scythians. According to Herodotus, the Scythians, having conquered Media and spread their rule throughout Asia, went to Egypt. On the way there, in Syria, the Scythians were met by the Pharaoh Psammetichus, who persuaded them not to go any further. On the way back, the Scythians plundered the sanctuary of Aphrodite Urania (Herodotus, I. 105).

The role of the Scythians in the political life of the ancient East and their military power was exaggerated by Herodotus, and the role of the Cimmerians was minimized. In describing the Scythians in detail, he mentions the Cimmerians only nine times, and in eight cases they are represented as outcasts, they are driven out from everywhere by the Scythians or the Lydian king Aliattes. Once Herodotus still reports that the Cimmerians reached Ionia and captured

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Sardis, but immediately makes a significant reservation: "The invasion of the Cimmerians ... it was not a prolonged conquest, but rather a simple raid to capture loot" (I. 6. 15). This one-sided interpretation of Scythian-Cimmerian history was probably the result of Herodotus ' familiarity with Scythian heroic traditions only. V. Parker, who showed that Herodotus knew much more about the Cimmerians than he had told about them in his "History", found it difficult to give the reason for Herodotus ' silence (1). It can be assumed that Herodotus kept silent about the Cimmerians because information about them turned out to be inappropriate in the light of his ideas about the mighty Scythians.

Herodotus transferred his idea of the important military and political role of the Scythians in the destinies of the countries of the ancient East to the history of the VII century BC and the VI-V centuries BC. At this time, the Scythians were powerful neighbors of the Olviopolites, but there were no Cimmerians in the Black Sea region. But here, among the Greek colonists, there may have been traditions about the Cimmerians 'former residence in this territory and their subsequent exodus to Asia (2). They could have formed the basis for Herodotus' reconstruction of the Scythian victory over the Cimmerians. The name of the Scythians became famous during the unsuccessful campaign of Darius I in Scythia at the end of the VI century BC. e. Herodotus gives the reason for this campaign:

the Persians, in his opinion, wanted to take revenge on the Scythians for the wrongs they had inflicted on the Medes (IV. 1). But only the Scythians could take revenge for an insult, because the Cimmerians were no longer here. This is why Herodotus so strongly emphasizes the leadership of the Scythians already in the seventh century BC, repeating the story of their rule in Asia and domination over the Medes. The reason for the campaign proposed by Herodotus seems illogical: first, the Medes themselves cruelly avenged themselves on the Scythians (I. 106), and secondly, the Persians, who themselves recently subjugated Media, are taking revenge.

The artificiality of Herodotus ' construction of Scythian hegemony over the countries of the ancient East is obvious and does not fit into the real history of the countries of the region. First of all, this applies to Mussels. I will note only the obvious contradictions. Herodotus does not know that the Cimmerians were in Media. According to Herodotus, " the Cimmerians were constantly moving along the coast of Pontus "(IV. 12). The Scythians, pursuing the Cimmerians, lost their way and invaded the borders of the Median kingdom, when Kiaxar had already defeated the Assyrians and begun the siege of Ninus. However, the defeat of the Medes did not occur in Assyria, but near the Caucasus Mountains, then the Scythians extended their rule, which lasted 28 years, throughout Asia (I. 103, 104, 106).

Cuneiform sources allow you to reconstruct a different picture. The Cimmerians arrived in Asia at the end of the eighth century BC, a hundred years before the fall of Assyria. Scythians are known in Iran not earlier than the 670s. Not only do they not pursue the Cimmerians, but, on the contrary, they act together with them. The Cimmerians and Scythians, being allies of the Medes and Mannaeans, plunder, for example, Assyrian detachments sent to collect tribute; they also jointly carry out military raids on the Assyrian provinces of Bit-Hamban and Parsumash (3). In the late 670s, an anti-Assyrian uprising led by Median leaders broke out in Iran. The Maniaeans and Cimmerians also participated in it (4), but there is no information about Scythian participation in the uprising. The revolt was successful: no later than the 640s, Media conquered Urartu, then Persia and became a political leader in the region. Media, in alliance with Babylonia, defeated Assyria in 612 BC. An analysis of the military operations of Media and Babylonia in 616-613 BC against Assyria suggests that the leading force in the war was Media. If on the eve of the uprising in the 670s, the Scythians did not try to conquer Media, but preferred to be its capital.

1. Parker V. What Herodotus is silent about. Notes on the transmission of information about the Cimmerians from Greek authors in addition to Herodotus / / VDI. 1998. N 4. P. 101.

2. Tokhtas'ev S. R. Istochnikovedcheskie problemy istorii kimmerijtsev: Avtoref. dis... Candidate of Historical Sciences, St. Petersburg, 1999, pp. 16-17.

3. Slarr 1. Queries to the Sungod // SAA. 1990. IV. N 65-67, 71. P. 35-40.

4. Ibid. N 43-45, 48-51.

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Now that the Medes had gone on to conquer Assyria, they would not have been able to do so. It is impossible to combine the Median expansion and Scythian domination. A significant argument against Scythian domination over the Medes is the silence of the Babylonian chronicles about the Scythians, especially the Chronicle of Gadd, which describes the events of 616-609 BC. In reality, there could have been a military incident on the northern borders of Media and even a local success of the Scythians, which later in their heroic tales was transformed into a much larger event. Moreover, it is not necessary that these events take place precisely in the reign of Kiaxar - in the epic, time shifts are possible.

Cuneiform sources differ from the data of Herodotus in assessing the political leadership of the Scythians. Starting from the eighth century BC, for at least 75 years in the territory from Iran and Transcaucasia to Asia Minor, they mainly mention Cimmerians. Scythians have been mentioned for several years and only in Iran. It is impossible to explain this only by fragmentary sources. Cuneiform sources describe contemporary events and generally do not reflect the significant role of nomads in the political life of the ancient East, with the exception of one case, which will be discussed below. Nevertheless, among the numerous enemies of Assyria, it is the Cimmerians who are named (5).

As a result of the long and widespread acquaintance of native speakers of Akkadian, mainly with Cimmerians, the ethnonym Gimiraia was apparently preserved in it after the Scythians and Cimmerians left the historical arena. In Babylonian texts of the VI-V centuries BC, this ethnonym becomes the equivalent of the new ethnonym Saki for this region, which is recorded in ancient Persian and Elamite versions of Achaemenid inscriptions [6].

Obviously, the Bible also preserved the memory of the Cimmerians ' leadership by calling Homer the father of Ashkenaz (Gen. 10:3). Usually this formula is considered by Scythologists as a confirmation of the later appearance of the Scythians in the Near East. Meanwhile, the principles of genealogical construction of the Table of Peoples are not fully understood. The Biblical author, grouping peoples by " their tribes, by their languages, in their lands, in their peoples "(Gen. 10: 5), in other words, by ethnopolitical, linguistic and geographical characteristics, does not consistently apply these principles. Experts suggested that the Table of Peoples should be considered as a principle of distinguishing economic life - urban, nomadic, and insular (i.e., seafarers), and even suggested that peoples should be distinguished according to their political sympathies and antipathies to the Kingdom of Judea (7). The chronological principle is not considered in this connection by researchers, and the "father - son" formula does not have a chronological meaning. Within each genealogical line going back to one of the three sons of Noah, the criterion of cultural and political leadership that existed at the time of the monument's creation - no earlier than the eighth century BC - was obviously used. In each of these three groups, the most significant toponyms are placed first, and less often ethnonyms - all of them are Noah's grandchildren. Among them are Egypt, Palestine, the African Kushite people, Aramaic tribes, Elam, Assyria, Media, Lydia, Phrygia, Greece. All these countries and peoples played an important political role in the ancient East in the first third of the first millennium BC, and among them Homer-Cimmerians. The sons of Homer are called Askenaz-Scythians, as well as Rifat and Togarma - two regions in Asia Minor that did not play an important role in the politics of that time. This formula, in this case, obviously reflected the military and political leadership of the Cimmerians in relation to the Scythians, as it is recorded in cuneiform sources of the VII century BC.

5. Ibid. N 139, 142, 144.

6. Against the extended use of the ethnonym gimiraya in cuneiform sources of the seventh century BC, see Medvedskaya I. N. Conclusion on the discussion / / RA. 1994. N 1. pp. 129-130.

7. Odcd В. The Table of Nation (Genesis 10) - A Socio-cultural Approach // ZAW. 1986. 98. S. 14-16.

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So, Ancient Eastern sources do not confirm Herodotus ' information on a number of key points in the history of the region and disagree with him in assessing the military and political leadership of the Scythians. The story of the Scythian invasion of Palestine is another example of the artificiality of Herodotus ' concept of Scythian hegemony. The Scythians are not named among the enemies of Palestine (8), whereas in Ezekiel's prophecy of Gog's invasion (38:6), Homer is mentioned along with Gog as her enemy. The prophecy dates back to the Lydian-Median war of the beginning of the sixth century BC, when they feared an invasion of Asia Minor in the Anterior Asia. Gog (or Gyges/Gyges) died in 644 BC, and in this prophecy his name serves as a general designation for the Lydian king, but also the Cimmerians in

VI century BC no longer appear. Hence, the combination of Gog and Homer in Ezekiel's prophecy is a reminder of the real danger to Palestine that existed in the seventh century BC. This is confirmed by cuneiform sources.

The Cimmerians were first mentioned in cuneiform sources in the reign of Sargon II (719-705 BC). At that time, they operated in a limited area south of Transcaucasia, within the northern borders of Urartu (9). Since the 670s, they are known in the lands bordering Assyria and in the east (in Iran), north (in Urartu), west (in the region of Cilicia/Hilakku). But nowhere have they been present for so long as on the western borders of Assyria. For four decades, the Cimmerians harassed Assyria and its neighbors in the area. The allies of the Cimmerians in the anti-Assyrian demonstrations here were the Phrygian flies, the rulers of Tabal and Cilicia. In 679/8 BC, the Cimmerians were defeated in Hubishna, a region in Cilicia:

The conquest of the region of Cilicia was part of the conquests of Esarhaddon on the western border of the Assyrian empire (10). Around 675, the Cimmerians allied themselves with the Phrygians and the former ruler of Melis (the area east of Tabalus in Cappadocia, in the area of modern times). Malatya) Mughalla was threatened by Melid, which apparently recently came under Assyrian control (11). Around 670 BC, the Cimmerians, along with the Urartians, threaten Assyrian rule in Shubria, west of Lake Baikal. Van (12). After that, the Cimmerians move to Asia Minor. Assyria gets a break for ten years, although it continues to be interested in the Cimmerians. Their attack on Lydia caused at least two Giga embassies to Ashurbanipal in 667 and 666/5, and Lydia's recognition of vassalage from Assyria in exchange for aid (13). What was the result of Assyria's help remains unknown, but between 665 and 660, the Assyrian annals report a victory of Giga over the Cimmerians (14). Having been rebuffed in Lydia, the Cimmerians again threaten Assyria and, apparently, even seize part of its possessions, as follows from the astrologer's letter to Accullan the Assyrian king in 657.

8. In addition to the Table of Nations, the Scythians are mentioned once more in the Bible, in the prophecy of Jeremiah (51: 27) 594 BC against Babylon. The Scythian, Urartu, and Manna kingdoms he named were already part of the Median Kingdom, which was a threat "from the north" (51: 48), but not for Palestine, but for Babylon after the collapse of Assyria, when relations between Babylon and Media deteriorated (Medvedskaya I. N. Rez.: Zawadzki S. The Fall of Assyria and Median-Babylonian Relations in Light of the Nabopolassar Chronicle // Uniwersytet im. Adama Mickiewicza w Poznaniu. Seria Historia NR 149. Poznari, Delft, 1988 / / VDI. 1992. N 1. pp. 230-231. Note 5).

9. The assumption of Cimmerian raids at this time into more southern lands, namely Manna, is based on the only text in which this toponym is restored: Lanfranchi G. B., Parpola S. The Correspondence of Sargon II. Pt II // SAA. 1990. V. N 145.

10. Ivanchik A. I. Cimmerians. Ancient Eastern civilizations and steppe nomads in the VIII-VII centuries BC Moscow, 1996, pp. 60-62. Set of texts 7A (hereinafter-abbreviation C), From 8, 9. In note 9-13 for references to the literature on the issue, see the work of A. I. Ivanchik.

11. Starr. Op. cit. No. 1. R. LVII; Ivanchik. Uk. soch. p. 68-71, 77.

12. Ivanchik. Uk. soch. p. 77-78; P. 20.

13. Editorial office of Annals E, Ivanchik. Uk. soch. 100-102; p. 44.

14. Editorial office of the Annals of NT; Ivanchik. Then the Lydians sent Ashurbanapal gifts and two Cimmerians - the leaders of the settlements. Does this mean that part of the Lydian territory passed to the Cimmerians and they could assign their administration to the Lydian cities?

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the letter describes a unique situation in Assyria, when the Cimmerians are recognized as a great power (kiSSutu), although temporary, according to the astrologer. This recognition means that the Cimmerians captured territories that the Assyrians considered their own (15). According to S. Parpola, quoted by A. I. Ivanchik, it could have been part of Syria or the province of Kue (16). But it is possible that this was the area of Melida in Cappadocia that was already subject to Cimmerian raids. It was Cappadocia that the Armenians later called Gamirk ' (17). In any case, since the Cimmerian king has, according to the astrologer's letter, a title ?ar ki?? ati ("king of the universe"), the inevitable conclusion is that he owned a certain part of the Assyrian possessions. Apparently, Assyria never returned these possessions. Sometimes you can learn about Assyria's defeats when its revenge is reported in the annals. In this case, there are no reports of this. On the contrary, in the two most recent editions of the annals I and H, compiled in 640 and 639 respectively, it is reported that the Cimmerian king Dugdammi, finding himself in a difficult situation, "went back... he returned to his own country" or "he removed his army and his camp to the city of Khartsale" (the location of the city is unknown) (18). In this case, it seems that it was from this territory that the Cimmerians again invaded Lydia and in 644 BC took revenge-they killed Giga and ravaged Lydia [19]. In 641 BC, a new confrontation between the Cimmerians and Assyria ended with the death of the Cimmerian Dugdammi [20]. After his death, the attacks of the Cimmerians on the Assyrian borders continued for some time, but they had no success. The disappearance of the Cimmerians is reported only by the ancient tradition (Herodotus, I. 16) (21).

Thus, in the 70s and 40s of the 7th century BC, the Cimmerians were active on the western borders of the Assyrian empire, which included Syria, Israel, the Philistine coast, and Phoenicia, among other countries. Judea remained independent. Since the threat of a nomadic invasion from the north into the Syro-Palestinian region periodically worsened over these decades, it was still quite real in the 620s. The 620s is the beginning of Jeremiah's prophetic activity, and it is this time that researchers usually associate the Scythian invasion of Palestine. In the words of his early prophecies, "from the north comes trouble and great destruction" or " I will bring... a people from afar, " etc. (Jer. 1:13-14; 4:6, 29; 5:15-16; 6:1, 22- 23) they find confirmation of the story of Herodotus. At this time, Babylon, which was at war with Assyria for its independence, was not yet a threat. Egypt really threatened Palestine. In the prophecies, "north" was not a literal reference to the cardinal directions, but rather meant any place from which trouble might come to Palestine (22). For example, in the days when the Jews turned away from the true faith, the Lord said to the prophet, "Go and proclaim these words to the north, and say,' Turn back apostate, 'and if this happens," in those days the house of Judah will come to the house of Israel, and they will go together out of the land of the north (i.e., the cursed one). to the land which I gave for an inheritance to your fathers" (i.e., the promised land) (Jer. 3:12, 18). "North" may also refer to Egypt: "the word of the Lord that came to Jeremiah the prophet concerning the Philistines, before Pharaoh smote Gaza. Thus saith the Lord: Behold, the waters rise up out of the north, and become a deluge" and then follows the description of the invasion of the Egyptian army (Jer. 47: 1-2). In the 620s, a new danger was already looming - the Median one. The Media became a new political reality, aggressive enough to attract the attention of the prophets. But, apparently, in this case, the experience of the past -

15. Ibid., pp. 103-107; p. 52.

16. Ibid., p. 106.

17. Dyakonov I. M. Cimmerians and Scythians in the Ancient East / / RA. 1994. N 1. P. 109.

18. Ivanchik. Uk. soch. p. 121-122; p. 48: 151-152, p. 49: 14.

19. Editorial office of annals A 643/2 BC Ivanchik. Uk. soch. p. 107-110; p. 47.

20. Ibid., pp. 121-122; pp. 48: 158-165, pp. 49: 29-38.

21. At the beginning of the VI century BC, the hiring of Cimmerians in the military units of Tyre is attested; Diakonoff I. M. Naval Power and Trade of Tyre / / Israel Exploration Journal. 1992. 42. P. 169, 181, 174. Not. 34; Ezek. 27: 11.

22. Drinkard J.T. North // ABD. 1992. 4. P. 1135-1136.

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long-standing Cimmerian danger in the region-used by the prophets for quite a long time: Homer is mentioned as early as the sixth century BC in Ezekiel. The danger could have been encoded by Jeremiah in the word "north" in the 620s. Only this was not a Scythian danger, but a Cimmerian one, and not an invasion, but only its threat.

All these evils are foretold by Jeremiah to the Jews and Israelites for apostasy from the true faith, for idolatry. The Kingdom of Judah and Israel, created by Saul, David, and Solomon, split in 928 BCE (23) into two kingdoms: the southern kingdom of Judah and the northern kingdom of Israel. Tiglath-Pileser III, Shalmaneser V and Sargon II conquered the Kingdom of Israel, turning it into two provinces-Samaria and Maggid. The Philistine coast became part of the province of Ashdod, but Judea managed to maintain its formal independence. From the end of the 630s, the Assyrian empire began to collapse, and its power in Palestine weakened. The reign of King Josiah of Judah (639-609 BC) was a period of hope for the rise of Judah and even for the annexation of the Assyrian possessions in Palestine.

It is assumed that Judea began to free itself from vassalage long before the final collapse of the Assyrian state, already in the 640s (24). The religious and political struggle for the restoration of the kingdom under Josiah seems to have begun as early as 628 BC, in the 12th year of his reign. It reached its climax in the 18th (622/1 BC) year and culminated in a reform that was destined to become a turning point in the cultural, religious and political history of Judea (25). The essence of the reform was the introduction of absolute monotheism and the complete centralization of the cult of Yahweh in the Jerusalem temple. In addition to the purely religious aspect, the reform was intended to strengthen the royal authority and authority of the Jerusalem Temple and help Josiah's foreign policy ambitions.

During the reign of Manasseh (698-642 BC), Josiah's grandfather, local Canaanite and Israeli cults were revived, and idolatry flourished, culminating in the installation of a statue of Asherah in the temple in Jerusalem (2 Kings. 21:7). Manasseh was a submissive vassal of Assyria and the first king of Judah to introduce Assyrian, Aramaic, and Phoenician cults. This provoked resistance, and by the end of his reign an anti-Assyrian party was formed in Judea, seeking to eradicate foreign influences and free itself from Assyrian dependence (26), which began to be implemented in the reign of Josiah. The favorable external situation allowed him to launch a reform that resulted in an unprecedented fight against idolatry: "And the king commanded... And he brought out of the temple of the LORD all the vessels that were made for Baal and Asherah, and for all the host of heaven; and he burned them outside Jerusalem in the valley of Kidron." "And he set aside the priests whom the kings of Judah had appointed to burn incense in the high places of Judah and around Jerusalem, and who burned incense to Baal, and to the sun, and to the moon, and to the constellations, and to all the host of heaven." "And he brought Asherah out of the house of the Lord, beyond Jerusalem, to the brook Kidron, and ground her to dust, and tore down the houses of harlots that were in the temple of the Lord, where they wove garments for Asherah" (2 Kings. 23). Ashtoreth was also reviled (2 Kings. 23: 13; Jer. 7: 18). Josiah's actions extended to Israel as well. Researchers differ in their assessment of Josiah's actions in Israel. Some believe that his activity there was limited only to religious activities, others - that it was already the annexation of the territories practically abandoned by Assyria [27]. According to 2 books

23. Cogan M. Chronology // ABD. 1992. 1. P. 1010. Ta1. 9.

24. Idem. Imperialism and Religion: Assyria, Judah and Israel in the Light and Seventh Centuries B.C.E. // Society of Biblical Literature. Montana, 1974. 19. P. 71.

25. Cogan. Chronology. P. 1010; Cogan M.. Tadmor H. II Kings // The Anchor Bible. V. 11. Garden City - New York, 1988. P.298.

26. Tadmor X., Nadel R. The Biblical period / / Essay on the history of the Jewish people / Edited by S. Ettinger. Biblioteka-Aliya, 1990, pp. 79-80.

27. Cogan. Imperialism... P. 71. Not. 35; Gogan, Tadmor. Op. cit. P. 293; Mitchell Г.С. Judah until the Fall of Jerusalem (c. 700-586 B.C.) // САН. III/2. Ch. 30. 1991. P. 383-391.

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In the case of the Kingdom of Kings (23:15, 19), Josiah's authority extended to more or less the same territory as the province of Samaria. A later chronicle states that Josiah's struggle with idols spread throughout Israel all the way to the land of Naphtali/Galilee (2 Chronicles. 34:6, 7, 33). It is considered that this statement is a late, tendentious extension of the geographical range of reforms. However, there is no reason to exclude Galilee from the scope of Josiah's reforms and to assume that the king did not attempt to seize this territory, which was part of the Assyrian province of Maggidu (28). In any case, Maggidu / Megiddo was located north of Samaria, but it was there in 609 BC. Josiah met Pharaoh Necho's army-and his own death.

The reforms carried out in one province could also be implemented in another Philistine land, Ashdod, where the cities of Gaza and Ascalon were located. A hint of Judaism is also found in the prophecies of Zephaniah, who, like Jeremiah, was a supporter of Josiah. His prophecies relate to the second half of the king's reign. Zephaniah speaks of the insufficiency of the reform and the need to further eradicate idolatry. On the Day of the Lord's wrath, only those who obey His laws will be saved. As a result, "Gaza will be forsaken, and Ascalon will be desolate,"" and the land will fall to the remnant of the house of Judah, and they will feed there, and they will rest in the houses of Ascalon in the evening " (Zephaniah. 1. 2:3-7). So, in Ascalon and throughout the Pentateuch, only those who adhere to the true faith will live. Here, obviously, Josiah's ultimate goal is expressed-the inclusion of this country in his kingdom. Indeed, Zephaniah commentators believe that Josiah's expansion into Philistia was real (29). It seems appropriate to draw a parallel with the events of the late eighth century B.C. When another Jewish king, Hezekiah (727-698 B.C.), rebelled against Assyria and began to fight idolatry, the first thing he did was "smite the Philistines as far as Gaza" (2 Kings. 18:8).

The persecution of non-believers and the destruction of temples shocked contemporaries and could not but remain in the memory of posterity, especially since the struggle against Asherah, Ashtoreth/Astarte and the other gods ended for Josiah with a tragic death at Megiddo. The victims could not help but perceive his death as a punishment for what they had done, as the revenge of the goddess. The memory of this could be preserved in the temple legends, in particular in Ascalon, whose temples were revived every time and continued to operate throughout the following centuries. Herodotus (I. 105) reports that he inquired about the sanctuary of Aphrodite Urania at Ascalon, and among other things, he could learn about the divine punishment of the villain. It is not known whether the name of this villain was given to him (or perhaps there were many), but it is noteworthy that Herodotus knows nothing about the events of Palestinian history proper (30). At the same time, as shown in, Parker, Herodotus could not have been unaware, in particular, of the destruction of the temple of Artemis at Ephesus by the Cimmerian Ligdamis / Dugdammi, but "he was not interested" in an adequate account of the Cimmerian invasion of Asia (31). Herodotus considered this information false or inappropriate due to the obvious power of the Scythians (see fig. above); but someone destroyed the temple at Ascalon - if not the Cimmerians, then, of course, the powerful Scythians.

The memory of the desecration of temples in Palestine could also be preserved and passed on to descendants by Jews who fled from persecution to Egypt and continued to worship the sky goddess there even under the pharaoh Apria in the VI century BC (Jer. 44). Herodotus was in Egypt, and the echoes of these events may have reached him, although the name of Josiah was either forgotten or forgotten.

28. Malamat A. Josiah's Bid for Armageddon. The Background of the Judean-Egyptian Encounter in 609 B.C. // JANES. 1973. 5. P. 271.

29. Kselman J.S. Zephaniah // ABD. 1992. 6. P. 1077-1080.

30. And even Herodotus ' Magdol (II. 159) was not Megiddon / Megiddo in Palestine, but Mig-dol in Egypt (Jer. 44:1; 46:14); Malamat. Op. cil. P. 275-277.

31. Parker. Uk. soch. p. 97, 101.

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A Greek historian with no knowledge of Palestinian history could not fit it into the historical context. This barbaric, from the Hellenic point of view, action - the desecration of the temple of the sky goddess - was attributed to the Scythian barbarians, which was linked to Herodotus ' ideas about the penetration of the Scythians into the countries of almost the entire Near East.

And one last thing. Perhaps the most accurate report of Herodotus about the events of the seventh century BC is the indication of the name of the Egyptian pharaoh Psammetichus and his stay in Palestinian Syria. In the time of Herodotus, this entire maritime region was part of the vast Achaemenid satrapy collectively known as Syria. The reference to the Palestinian part of it attests to Herodotus ' knowledge of the history of the reign of Psammetichus and of the whole period. Under Psammetichus, Egypt's penetration into the Philistine land intensified, which ended with the short-lived conquest of all of Palestine by Pharaoh Necho after the death of Josiah. Therefore, the presence of the Pharaoh outside of Egypt proper in the story of Herodotus reflects a historical fact. However, the inclusion of this fact in the story of the Scythian invasion of Palestine and the meeting of the Scythians with Psammetichus could not correspond to reality: the position of a humiliated petitioner was impossible for the Pharaoh. Egypt played an important role at this time, and the pharaoh was able to cope with the Scythians, if they met on his way.

Thus, the history of the Cimmerians and Scythians in Asia described by Herodotus does not agree with the data of ancient Eastern sources. The reasons for this, apparently, should be sought in the most creative method of the author of "History". Herodotus began writing his work as a logographer, and ended it by becoming the " father of history." And it is in the first part of his work, in the prehistory of the Greco-Persian wars, from which information on the history of the East is drawn, that the specifics of the logographic method, which Herodotus has not yet completely overcome, are reflected. The establishment of historical truth was not their main task, they sought not so much for reliability as for entertainment; often their own hypotheses could be presented as established fact. In addition, if logographers often limited themselves to the history of individual cities and regions of Hellas, then Herodotus, collecting information about the peoples of all Asia, not knowing the languages, often became a hostage to the incompetence of his informants. Its Scythian-Cimmerian history, perceived by researchers as a historical reality, is largely a speculative construction, the fruit of reflection on what was heard and the search for the causes and interrelationships of events. It cannot fit into the history of the countries of the ancient East, the events of which were recorded by contemporaries in their annals, chronicles, letters, reports, prophecies, etc., until each of the messages of Herodotus is subjected to "historical criticism" (32). Such an analysis is possible only on the basis of Ancient Eastern sources. Considered from this perspective, Herodotus ' account of the Scythian invasion of Palestine suggests that it combines memories of three unrelated episodes in the history of the seventh century BC. Moreover, one of them - the invasion of the Eurasian nomads-did not really exist, there was only a long-term danger of a Cimmerian invasion. There was also no conquest of Media by the Scythians. The history of the Cimmerians remained essentially unknown to Herodotus (or not fully told to him).

32. Lurie S. Ya. Herodotus (485-425 BC). Moscow-L., 1947. p. 150.

page 228


I.N. Medvedskaya

Herodotus' account of the Scythian invasion of Palestine echoes three events of the 7th с. ВС. This is, in the first place, some threat from the North to the inhabitants of Syria and Palestine, mentioned in the earlier prophecies of Jermiah (620 ies ВС). The data of cuneiform sources and the analysis of geopolitical situation in this region make it possible to assume that under the northern threat the prophet meant the threat of Cimmerian intrusion. In 670-640 ies the Cimmerians were active at the western borders of the Assyrian power. But it was only a threat, and not an invasion itself.

An important event of Palestinian life at that time was the religious reform conducted by King Josiah, a decisive attempt to strengthen monotheism and to centralize Yahweh's cult at the Temple of Jerusalem. Subsequent destruction of temples and sanctuaries, of the Canaanite gods in particular (Baal, Asherah and Ashtoreth), and persecution of heterodoxes shocked the contemporaries and were of course imprinted in the memory of the posterity. The motive of punishment for the things done as gods' vengeance to those who does not worship them and defiles their house could have been preserved in temple legends (including Ascalon). It must be emphasized that Herodotus knows Nothing about Palestinian history itself. He thought that the temple legend about the defiled temple of Aphrodite Urania in Ascalon, which he heard, referred to the Scythian barbarians, for defilement of a temple was a barbarian action from a Hellene's point of view. This account agreed well with the idea of the Scythians and Cimmerians living in "Asia". The essence of it was Scythian leadership.

The last point is that Herodotus gave a true account of Pharaoh Psamtik and his possessions being beyond Egypt. Under this pharaoh Egyptian expansion on the Philistine lands of Palestine began, which resulted in a temporary conquest of the whole of Palestine by Pharaoh Necho.

All these events, united in one story by Herodotus, were not connected with each other in reality. There was no Scythian invasion of Palestine.


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I. N. Medvedskaya, ON THE SCYTHIAN INVASION OF PALESTINE // New-York: Libmonster (LIBMONSTER.COM). Updated: 17.06.2024. URL: (date of access: 24.07.2024).

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