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Re: Scythians and Sarmations - GOLD OF THE NOMADS
I remember back several months, when there was a brief mention of the
Scythians and it caused me to look up something I remembered in "Genghis
Khan" by Harold Lamb says that Genghis was tall, with whitish tan skin.
His eyes were either green or blue-gray in the iris with black pupils eyes
that did not slant. He had long reddish brown hair that fell in braids to
his back." (I wonder how the author knew this???) Then the foot note says,
"It must be remembered that the Mongols were not of the same race as the
Chinese proper. They were descended from the Tungusi of aboriginal stock,
with a strong mixture of Iranian and Turkish blood--a race that is now
called Ural-Altaic. These were the nomads of high Asia that the Greeks
( I have wondered whether that reddish hair could have been traced back to
some poor woman captured in a Viking raid and traded eastward.) I have read
somewhere that there were no Moslem women in the harems only women
brought/bought from elsewhere. And we know that elsewhere often meant from
the Viking raids.
" When the snows melted in March 1241, the Mongol headquarters was north of
the Carpathians between modern Lemberg and Kiev. Subotai (Genghis general),
the directing genius of the campaign, was confronted by the following
In front of him Boleslas the Chaste, overlord of Poland, had assembled
his host. Beyond, to the north, in Silesia, Henry the Pious was gathering
an army 30,000 strong of Poles, Bavarians, Teutonic Knights and Templars out
of France, who had volunteered to repel this invasion of barbarians. A
hundred miles or so behind Boleslas, the king of Bohemia was mobilizing a
still stronger army, receiving contingents from Austria, Saxony and
On the left front of the Mongols, Micelles of Galica and other lords were
preparing to defend their lands in the Carpathians. On the Mongol left,
farther away, the Magyar host of Hungary, a hundred thousand strong, was
mustering under the banner of Bela IV, the King, beyond the Carpathian
Subotai seemed to have been perfectly well aware of the preparations of
the Christian hosts. Their scouting expeditions of the previous year had
brought him valuable information about the country and the monarchs opposed
to them. On the other hand the Christian kings had little knowledge of the
movements of the Mongols.
The Mongols divided the their forces into 4 armies. The Poles, and then
Henry the Pious at Liegnitz, April 9 were defeated. His army was almost
exterminated including Henry and his barons as did the Hospitalers, to a
man. It is said that the grand master of the Teutonic Knights perished on
the field, with nine Templars and 500 men-at-arms. The next day, Kaidu and
Baibars (Genghis grandsons) quickly moving troops devastated King Wenceslas'
Silesia and Monrovia. His slow moving army could not keep up with the
Ponce d'Aubon, Master of the Templars ( was Ponce d'Aubon, indeed, a
Grand Master?) wrote to St. Louis of France "that all the barons of Germany
and the King, and all the clergy and those in Hungary have taken the Cross
to go against the Tatars....."
"But when the Master of the Templars wrote this, the Hungarian host was
already vanquished. Subotai and Batu threaded through the Carpathians in
there divisions, the right flank entering Hungary from Galacia and all the
armies in their path were wiped out and so went all the battles.
European armies were only capable of moving in slow masses, led by
monarchs as incompetent as Bela or St. Louis of France and could not out
maneuver the Mongols with such veteran generals. But the final battle for
Europe never came.
A courier from Karakorum brought the Mongols the tidings of Ogotai's
death and a summons to return to the Gobi. The Mongols withdrew
immediately and that was the end of that."
It seems hardly possible that our St. Clair ancestors would have passed
up a chance to go to the aid of the European armies. In 1241 Henry 5th
Baron of Roslyn was pretty busy in Scotland at times. His son William might
have been born about 1240. But there could have been cousins that lost
their lives against the Tatars
118 years later we know that our William St. Clair, father of Prince Henry,
did go to eastern Europe to fight with the Teutonic Knights:
We go back now to 1358. England has captured King David II and has demanded
200,000 pounds for his return. Europe is reeling from the effects of the
plague and Scotland is left with just 200,000 people. Every nobleman is
feeling the pinch. The first installment of the ransom is due June 25,
1358. Prince Henry Sinclair is about 12 years old.
Seven weeks before that date, on May 6th, Henry's father, Baron William
St. Clair of Rosslyn, procures a safe conduct to go into England on his way
abroad to Prussia to aid the Teutonic Knights who were launching a great
crusading expedition against the infidels of Lithuania. He was fighting
along with his vassals as a mercenary for England to raise his share of the
ransom payment for the king. He was accompanied by Sir William Keith,
Marshal of Scotland and by Sirs Alexander Lindsay, Robert Clifford,
Alexander Montgomery, each with 60 horsemen and a strong body of footmen.
Soon word came that Sir William St. Clair was dead and 13 year old Henry was
(when people list the languages that Henry spoke, I don't know why they
don't list the language of his mother, Norwegian. This would have made him
a useful ambassador at the wedding of the Danish king, and in his dealings
with Orkney, etc.. It would be natural for him to have learned this
language since his mother spoke it.)
See--wasn't that interesting--You will find ever so much more good
information in Frederick Pohl's book.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Friday, December 03, 1999 7:09 PM
Subject: Scythians and Sarmations - GOLD OF THE NOMADS
> Greetings to the list members !
> As many of you may already know , one of the early ancestors of those
> Scottish / British descent were Scythians / Sarmatians .*
> I have been researching these two groups extensively for the past year and
> wished to share with the list , the traveling exhibit which is now at the
> Antonio Museum of Art ( Texas , USA ) which will travel to other USA
> before reaching Paris and then returning to the Ukraine .
> Excerpts from the Museum web site :::
> ""The Scythians originated in the Central Asian steppes sometime in the
> first millennium, B.C. After migrating into what is present-day Ukraine,
> they flourished, from the seventh to the third centuries B.C., over a vast
> expanse of the steppe that stretched from the Danube, east across what is
> modern Ukraine and east of the
> Black Sea into Russia. Invincible for nearly four centuries, the Scythians
> were a people of great military skill and unrelenting ferocity. They were
> also extremely influential patrons of the arts, and left behind an
> extraordinary legacy of both ruthless conquest and lavish artifacts. Gold
> the Nomads offers visitors a rare glimpse into the lives of these great
> warriors, whose brutality was matched only by their passion for exquisite
> ornament. ""
> ""Dr. Ellen Reeder noted "Many of the recently excavated objects in the
> exhibition constitute a new chapter, even a new book, on the
> interrelationships of the ancient Aegean world, the ancient Near East, and
> the steppes that extend from north of the Black Sea as far as the Altai
> Republic near Mongolia. This exhibition and the
> accompanying catalogue provide visitors and scholars alike a special
> opportunity to explore what is essentially a new frontier in the
> of archaeology." ""
> I would encourage all of our list members to see the exhibit and to also
> explore the history of these wonderful two peoples/ tribes /clans .
> *Citations : (partial )
> The Declaration of Arbroath
> Art Of the Steppes ( Karl Jettmar ) English and German translations
> Old Testament - Book Of Genesis
> I also hope you will find significant , the Museum citation that , from
> timeline point of view , transitions us from "" the early first
> B.C. "" to the close of the second millenium A.D. !!
> Best regards to all ,
> Joe Greigg ( William B. Sinclair - England/Wales 1835 )
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