Maeotian marshes

Maeotian marshes

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In the geography of Antiquity
History of geography
The history of geography includes various histories of geography which have differed over time and between different cultural and political groups. In more recent developments, geography has become a distinct academic discipline. 'Geography' derives from the from Greek - geographia,, a literal...

 the Maeotian marshes (Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 Palus Maeotis) lay where the Don River emptied into the Maeotian Lake (the Sea of Azov
Sea of Azov
The Sea of Azov , known in Classical Antiquity as Lake Maeotis, is a sea on the south of Eastern Europe. It is linked by the narrow Strait of Kerch to the Black Sea to the south and is bounded on the north by Ukraine mainland, on the east by Russia, and on the west by the Ukraine's Crimean...

) near Tanais
Tanais
Tanais is the ancient name for the River Don in Russia. Strabo regarded it as the boundary between Europe and Asia.In antiquity, Tanais was also the name of a city in the Don river delta that reaches into the northeasternmost part of the Sea of Azov, which the Greeks called Lake Maeotis...

. The marshes served as a check to the westward migration of nomad peoples from the steppe
Steppe
In physical geography, steppe is an ecoregion, in the montane grasslands and shrublands and temperate grasslands, savannas, and shrublands biomes, characterized by grassland plains without trees apart from those near rivers and lakes...

 of Central Asia
Central Asia
Central Asia is a core region of the Asian continent from the Caspian Sea in the west, China in the east, Afghanistan in the south, and Russia in the north...

.

The area was named after the Maeotae
Maeotae
Maeotae or Mæotæ or Maeotici were an ancient people dwelling along the Palus Maeotis in antiquity. It is not clear whether they spoke an Iranian language or were related to the modern-day Adyghe. The best attested tribe among them was the Sindi.The earliest reference may be the logographer...

 who lived around the Maeotian Lake. The Ixomates were a tribe of the Maeotes. To the south of the Maeotes, east of the Crimea
Crimea
Crimea , or the Autonomous Republic of Crimea , is a sub-national unit, an autonomous republic, of Ukraine. It is located on the northern coast of the Black Sea, occupying a peninsula of the same name...

 were the Sindes
Sindi (people)
The Sindi were an ancient people in the Taman Peninsula and the adjacent coast of the Pontus Euxinus , in the district called Sindica, which spread between the modern towns of Temryuk and Novorossiysk...

, their lands known as Scythia Sindica. The Iazyges
Iazyges
The Iazyges were an ancient nomadic tribe. Known also as Jaxamatae, Ixibatai, Iazygite, Jászok, Ászi, they were a branch of the Sarmatian people who, c. 200 BC, swept westward from central Asia onto the steppes of what is now Ukraine...

, a Sarmatian tribe, were first heard of on the Maeotis, where they were among the allies of Mithridates II of Parthia
Mithridates II of Parthia
Mithridates II the Great was king of Parthian Empire from 123 to 88 BC. His name invokes the protection of Mithra. He adopted the title Epiphanes, "god manifest" and introduced new designs on his extensive coinage....

.

The Roman emperor Marcus Claudius Tacitus
Marcus Claudius Tacitus
Tacitus , was Roman Emperor from 275 to 276. During his short reign he campaigned against the Goths and the Heruli, for which he received the title Gothicus Maximus.-Biography:Tacitus was born in Interamna , in Italia...

, during a brief reign (September 25, 275, to April 276) secured a victory over the Alans
Alans
The Alans, or the Alani, occasionally termed Alauni or Halani, were a group of Sarmatian tribes, nomadic pastoralists of the 1st millennium AD who spoke an Eastern Iranian language which derived from Scytho-Sarmatian and which in turn evolved into modern Ossetian.-Name:The various forms of Alan —...

near the Palus Maeotis.