From the book “THE LOST TEN TRIBES OF ISRAEL…. FOUND”
by Steven M. Collins
ISRAELITE MIGRATIONS FROM ASIA AFTER PARTHIAS FALL
Chapter eight concluded with the fall of the Parthian empire in 226 A.D. when it was overthrown by the Sassanian Persians. After this date, the Parthians virtually disappear from history. Clearly, so numerous and widespread a people did not simply "vanish" from the earth. Their rapid disappearance from their old homeland indicates that the Parthians quickly abandoned their homeland in Asia and migrated to new areas. The purpose of this chapter is both to locate their new homelands, and to examine the history of Parthia's descendants as they migrated. However, they quickly lost the name "Parthian." It is typical of migrating populations that they lose their old identity, and assume a new one as they become identified with new homelands. To locate the migrating Parthians, we need to look for masses of people possessing similar racial and cultural traits who "appeared" soon after the Parthians "disappeared."
While Parthia's population was very large, their military-age males were severely depleted by two very costly wars. The Parthian-Roman war of 216-217 A.D. took a very heavy toll even though it ended in a Parthian victory. Within another decade the Parthians were involved in an unsuccessful war with the Persians, who rebelled against their Parthian rulers. Parthia's losses in the Parthian-Roman war likely tempted the Persians to revolt when they did. Parthian-Persian hostilities began as early as 220 A.D., but the outcome was not finalized until 226 A.D. when a series of three battles decided the issue in favor of the rebelling Persians.1
The Sassanian Persians acted quickly to expel Parthians from the region, thereby eliminating any possibility of a Parthian "comeback." The transition to Persian rule was a bloody one. In addition to the massive loss of life in the Parthian-Persian battles, the Persians executed as many of the Arsacids as they could find, and they destroyed at least one major city (Hatra) which did not want to recognize Persian rule.2 Therefore, those opposing Persian rule had every reason to fear for their lives.
With the Parthian empire collapsing and given the Persian massacres of their rivals, a speedy migration out of the region became the best survival option for the Parthians and their allies. If the Parthians could not stay where they were, where could they go? To the west was the Roman Empire, to the south lay the Arabian desert and the Arabian Sea, and to the east and northeast were the expanding oriental populations which had driven the Massagetae and other Scythians westward into Parthia centuries ago.
The only safe direction for the Parthians to flee was to the northwest. The Parthians could expect to find refuge in that direction since their kinsmen, the Scythians, lived there. Also, Parthian rulers had established good relations with the Dacians of eastern Europe at the end of the first century A.D.3 The ancient Dacians also were enemies of Rome, and they inhabited a region roughly equivalent to modern Rumania and portions of Hungary. This gave the Parthians two very good reasons to migrate toward the Black Sea and Europe. However, the greatest reason for Parthian migration to the northwest was that one Parthian province, in the northwest portion of Parthia's old empire, successfully resisted the Persians in battle, retaining both their independence and their Arsacid ruler. That province was Armenia. George Rawlinson's book, The Sixth Oriental Monarchy, describes these events:
"The Armenian monarch, who had been set on his throne by Artabanus [the Parthian king defeated by the Persians], and was uncle to the young princes [of Parthia], was especially anxious to maintain the Arsacids in power: he gave them a refuge in Armenia, collected an army on their behalf, and engaging Artaxerxes [the new Persian monarch], is even said to have defeated him in a battle."4
The Encyclopaedia Britannica adds:
"The members of the Arsacid line who fell into the hands of the victor [the Persians] were put to death; a number of the princes [of Parthia] found refuge in Armenia, where the Arsacid dynasty maintained itself till A.D. 429.’5
These records document that the immediate reaction of Parthian Arsacids seeking safety from the Persians was to migrate northwestward from their old empire (toward Armenia and the Black Sea). Parthian citizens seeking safety from the Persians also had every reason to flee in the same direction. Since Armenia resisted Persian rule, remained "Parthian" in nature, and perpetuated the Arsacid dynasty, it would become a magnet for all Parthians fleeing Persian domination. Armenia also offered a cultural haven for the Parthians. Since it had been under Parthian rule and/or influence for centuries, life in Armenia would involve minimal "culture shock" for migrating Parthians. Also, since Armenia was still ruled by the Parthian Arsacids, Parthians could retain their traditional fealty to a monarch of this dynasty. During this first phase of Parthian migration to the northwest, it is still possible to recognize the Parthians by their own identity, due to the preservation of the Arsacid dynasty in Armenia.
There is another factor in the Persian war upon the Parthians that bears discussion. In previous chapters evidence was presented that Christianity had made many converts within the Parthian Empire. The Encyclopaedia Britannica records that Semitic literature and language was expanding its influence within Parthia, and that:
"this Aramaic victory was powerfully aided by the ever-increasing progress of Christianity, which soon created, as is well-known, an Aramaic literature of which the language was the dialect of Edessa, a city in which the last king of Osroene, Abgar DC (179-214), had been converted to the faith. "6 Eusebius wrote that an earlier King Abgar of Edessa (circa 30 A.D.) had exchanged correspondence with Jesus Christ and had welcomed Christianity. Judaism, the older Semitic religion, was also common in the Parthian Empire, due to the large numbers of Jews residing in it. One regional ruler in Parthia, Izates, is said to have converted to Judaism.7 An earlier chapter documented the placement of Semitic slogans on Parthian coins during the apostolic era. Acts 2:9 shows that Parthians, Medes, Elamites, Mesopotamians and Asians (all from Parthia's domain) were present in Jerusalem worshipping the God of Israel on a biblical Holy Day. A delegation of Parthian Magi had worshipped Jesus Christ, and the writings of Josephus were widely read by the Parthians in the native Semitic language of Josephus.8 Clearly. Semitic culture, religion, and language were becoming dominant in the Parthian Empire. Since chapters six and seven demonstrated that the Parthians and their Scythian/Sacae kinsmen were the descendants of the ten tribes of Israel, it is easily understood why Semitic ways were so well received in Parthia's empire: the Parthians and their kinsmen were Semites!
However, many of the people ruled by the Parthians did not share these racial and cultural origins, and resented the surge of Semitic culture and religion washing around them. One such people were the non-Semitic Persians.
The Persians were Zoroastrians, and regarded the Parthians as heretics for slipping away from Zoroastrianism. All Parthian faiths (including Christianity and Judaism) were considered "idolatry" by the Zoroastrian Persians. Of course, to many Parthians, the Zoroastrians were the real idolaters. The Persian-Parthian conflict was also a "religious war," as one Persian historian so observes:
"The Persians took offense at the religious practices of the Parthians; this was probably one of the reasons that led them finally to revolt."9
The Persians moved quickly to reestablish Zoroastrianism as the "state religion" under their first ruler, Ardashir. Richard Frye's, The Heritage ofPersiar states:
"Later Sassanian tradition...traces the beginnings of all institutions of church and state back to Ardashir. He is the ruler who reinstated or resurrected the Old Persian empire with its various institutions as well as the religion of Zoroaster which had been in eclipse under...the Parthians."19
The Persians quickly installed Persian rulers over all the conquered provinces of the Parthian Empire, including the old Parthian homeland itself.11
Persian zeal for Zoroastrianism as a "state religion" would have made life untenable for those who practiced other religions (Christianity, Judaism, etc.). The new Persian ruler quickly:
"devoted his attention to the... strengthening of the national religion. He caused the idols of the Parthians to be destroyed and ordered a general restoration of the doctrines of Zoroaster throughout the empire."12
Gone was the old Parthian custom of religious tolerance. In its place Zoroastrianism was imposed as a state religion. Since the Persians regarded Semitic religions and culture as a threat to their rule, the logical assumption is that they sought to kill, harass or banish Semitic populations. In this regard the war of the non-Semitic Persians against the Semitic Parthians was a race war as well as a religious war, a Persian/Zoroastrian "Jihad" against Parthian/Semitic influences.
The Parthians were not the only target of the Persian zealots. It is recorded that Persia began its rebellion against Parthia, not by attacking the Parthians, but by attacking two Parthian provinces: Carmania (or "Kerman") and Media.13 The Kermans were also called the "Grermanii,"14 and were located close to Persia. Many Semitic people lived in Media as captives from the ten tribes of Israel had been settled in "the cities of the Medes" by the Assyrians in the eighth century B.C. (II hangs 17:6). In attacking Kerman and Media, the Persians were securing their flanks before directly engaging the Parthians.
Due to the racial and religious factors motivating the Persian revolt, Kerman and Media would not have been attacked unless they were regarded by Persia as natural racial and religious allies of Parthia. The Encyclopaedia Britannica also shows that Sakastan (named after Saka settlers) was also subjugated by the Persians.15 The Saka were Scythian kinsmen of the Parthians, further confirming that the Persian attacks were directed against all Semitic people, not just the Parthians. For this reason, many Semitic people throughout the old Parthian Empire had reason to seek refuge in Armenia, the surviving redoubt of the Arsacids. Armenia must have received large numbers of displaced Parthians, Kermans, Saka, Jews, etc. Since the Persians were expunging Semitic religion and culture from their new empire, Semitic people were unwelcome in the new Persian/Zoroastrian empire. These threatened Semitic populations had little choice but to flee northwestward toward the Caucasus Mountains of Armenia in a human "tidal wave."
Above, it was noted that the Arsacid ruler of Armenia was able to resist the Persians (while no other former province of Parthia was able to do so). This further indicates that the Armenian army had been reinforced by many Parthian and Semitic refugees fleeing from old Parthian homelands. Unless Armenia's army was swollen by reinforcements from immigrating Parthians, it is unlikely that this single province could have withstood the Persian attacks which overwhelmed all other former Parthian provinces.
Armenia had already been evangelized by Christianity. The previous chapter observed that five apostles (Bartholemew, Thaddaeus, Simon the Canaanite, Andrew and Matthias) had evangelized Armenia.16 It is also recorded that: "...all Christian churches accept the tradition that Christianity was preached in Armenia by the Apostles Thaddeus and Bartholemew in the first half of the first century...Armenia was among the first to respond to the call of Christ so early."17
Armenia's receptivity to Christianity offered another reason for the Christians of Parthia's empire to regard Armenia as a place of refuge from Zoroastrian Persians. However, non-Christian Parthians would still have reason to migrate to Armenia as it was the last independent portion of Parthia's empire. Non-Christian Semites were aware of Parthia's long tradition of religious freedom. Many non-Christians logically saw an Arsacid Armenia as being tolerant; whereas, the Zoroastrian Persians were a real threat to all Semitic people. Refugees coming to Armenia were motivated by a number of considerations, and their ranks included both Christians and non-Christians. Armenia became a magnet for many Semitic people seeking refuge from the Persians.
Chapters six through eight demonstrated that the Sacae/ Scythians and the Parthians were both descendants of the ten tribes of Israel. Therefore, this migration of people out of Parthia into Armenia was composed primarily of refugee Israelites. However, there were other Semitic people with them as well.
At this juncture, the term "Semite" needs clarification. After the flood in the days of Noah, the earth was repopulated via Noah's family. His three sons were named Shem, Ham and Japheth (Genesis 10:1). All modern races are descended from these three sons of Noah. Shem's sons were named Elam, Asshur, Arphaxad, Lud and Aram (Genesis 10:22). Elam and Asshur founded the nations of Elam and Assyria, both well-known in ancient history. Aram's descendants were the Aramaean people whose name was attached to the Semitic language known as Aramaic. The Israelites descended from Arphaxad through Abram (Genesis 10:22-11:26), whose name was changed to Abraham. Abraham became the patriarch of the Hebrews through Isaac and Jacob (whose name was changed to Israel). Abraham had many other descendants besides the Israelites, however.
Abraham also fathered the Ishmaelites, named after Ishmael, the eldest son of Isaac. The Ishmaelites had long been identified with the Arabian Peninsula, and they remained south of the reborn Persian Empire when other Semites fled northwest to Armenia. To this day, the Arabs have a strong tradition of being descended from Shem and Ishmael.18
The term "Semitic" properly describes all nations descended from the progeny of Shem. This included many nations living within the boundaries of the Parthian Empire when it fell. Besides the innumerable descendants of the tribes of Israelites who dominated Parthia's empire, the Assyrians, Elamites, Aramaeans, etc. were also Semitic people. In modern times, the term "Semitic" has become a synonym for the word "Jew." For example, the term "anti-Semitic" is understood to mean "anti-Jewish." However, this obscures the fact that many modern nations are descended from Shem. (Indeed, since the term "Jew" is used both in a racial and religious sense, a person can be a religious Jew without being a racial Semite). The vast majority of Semites in the world are not Jews, since the Jews are merely one small branch of the overall Semitic family of nations.
The Persians, on the other hand, were descended from Japheth. One of Japheth's sons was "Madai" (Genesis 10:2), who founded the nation of the "Medes," one of the partners in the earlier Medo-Persian empire. One Bible translation (The New Jerusalem Bible) translates "Madai" as the "Medes." The Medo-Persians (and other people descended from Japheth) had chafed under centuries of Semitic rule administered by the Parthians (the Israelites). When the Persians successfully revolted against the Parthians, centuries of pent-up resentments against the Semites were violently expressed in the pogroms of the Persians against the Parthians and other Semitic people.
History indicates that one group of Semites was less threatened by the Persian purge. Ironically (from a modern viewpoint), this group was the Jews. When Persia ruled this region prior to the Parthians, Jews were trusted members of the government and even joined the royal family. Esther became a queen of the Persian Empire (Esther 2:16-18), Mordechai apparently became a prime minister (Esther 9:4, 10:1-3), and Ezra and Nehemiah were trusted officials of Persian kings (Ezra 7:11-14, Nehemiah 2:1-9). Since Jewish-Persian amity predated the Parthian Empire, it is probable that it also survived the fall of Parthia. This is confirmed by the fact that Jewish scholars developed the Talmud in Babylonia during the period when it was ruled by the Sassanian Persians.19
Since many Parthians and Semites fleeing to Armenia were Christians, it is not surprising that Armenia developed a strong early tradition of Christianity. The Encyclopaedia Britannica states regarding King Tiridates of Armenia:
"King Tiridates (c. A.D. 238-314) had already been baptized [as a Christian] some time after 261... "20
William McBirnie adds that:
"Armenia became the first Christian nation in the world. Christianity was officially proclaimed in 301 A.D. as the national religion of Armenia. King Tiridates, together with the nobility of his country, were baptized by St. Gregory the Illuminator. "21
The name of Armenia's king ("Tiridates") was a common name among the Parthian Arsacids, and several Parthian Emperors bore this very name. This confirms that Armenia's royalty were still Arsacids. Given the fact that Arsacid princes had fled to Armenia when Parthia fell, it is quite likely that at the time Armenia adopted Christianity, many of Armenia's nobility were also Arsacids.
It is a common mistake to assume that Rome, under Constantine, was the first to formally adopt Christianity. Portions of Parthia had been heavily Christianized centuries before Constantine was born. When the Arsacid king of Armenia adopted Christianity, it was with the firm support of his nobility and people. However, when Constantine later declared for Christianity, he had to move his capital to Constantinople due to Roman resistance to Christianity. The Encyclopaedia Britannica states:
"It is probable that this step [moving the capital] was connected with Constantine's decision to make Christianity the official religion of the empire. Rome was naturally the stronghold of paganism, to which the great majority of the Senate clung with fervent devotion."22
While Constantine was attempting to impose a largely-unwanted Christianity on the Roman Empire, King Tiridates of Armenia was, in effect, simply recognizing that Armenia's people were principally Christians. However, most Romans wanted no part of Christianity when Constantine adopted it. In moving his capital to the east, Constantine was actually moving his seat of power toward the region of Christian political strength.
The Arsacids, Parthia's dynasty, ruled in Armenia until 429 A.D., two centuries after the fall of Parthia. During the majority of this time, they presided over a Christian kingdom.
In an earlier chapter it was shown that Parthia's Arsacids were descended from King David, fulfilling God's promise that David's descendants would perpetually have rulers over the House of Israel. Since the Parthian Israelites had fled to Armenia, and were still ruled by the same Parthian Arsacids, this promise of God was still being kept in spite of the fall of the Parthian Empire.
Did all of the Parthians and their Semitic allies fleeing the Persians stop in Armenia? The answer is "no." The Parthian Empire had extended from the Euphrates River on the west to modern Pakistan on the east; from the Arabian Sea on the south to southern Russia on the north. Furthermore, there were various Saka kingdoms in India. There is no way that mountainous Armenia, with limited arable soil, could have supported the great mass of Parthian refugees seeking a new homeland. As mentioned earlier, the Black Sea region northwest of Armenia had long been occupied by the Iberians and the Scythian/Sacae (both of whom were kinsmen of the Parthians). Since the Parthians were kinsmen of the Scythians and Iberians, the region around the Black Sea was a hospitable place for them to seek refuge and it offered much more "living space" than Armenia. Indeed, since the Scythians had been living in areas of Eastern Europe for many centuries, the hordes of Parthian refugees could spread out as far as eastern Europe. One historian states:
"Scythian influence first made its mark in Hungary round about the year 500 B.C. when the foremost wave of Scythians penetrated to the area. "23
A Russian history of the Scythians comments that the Scythian presence in the Ukraine dates to the "late seventh and sixth centuries B.C."24 By the fifth century B.C., the Scythians had penetrated into Europe as far as modern Bulgaria, Romania, Prussia and the Balkans.25 The territory north and west of the Black Sea could hold an immense number of refugees. That it had historically been occupied by their Scythian kinsmen made it an attractive refuge for the large numbers of Parthian refugees who could not possibly find enough room in Armenia. Parthian refugees could, therefore, resettle in friendly territory as far as eastern Europe.
Given the immense number of Parthian refugees, some likely migrated to the Black Sea - Eastern Europe area via a northward route around the Caspian Sea and north of the Caucasus mountains. The Encyclopaedia Britannica states:
"The main movement from Asia into Europe which went north of the Caucasus was in early times that of the Scythians."26
Since it is a well-established fact that the Parthians and Scythians were related tribes, the "Scythian" migration into Europe would have included masses of Parthian refugees (during the third century A.D. and afterward). While the Parthian dynasty retained its "Arsacid" identity in Armenia for two centuries after Parthia's fall, the Parthian refugees, separated from their homeland, quickly lost the name "Parthian."
Chapter six noted that large numbers of Israelites fled to the north of Armenia when the kingdom of Israel fell in 724-721 B.C., and were called the "Gauthei." The Greeks later called them "Getae" or "Scythians."
L.A. Waddell, citing Lives of the Saints, by S. Baring Gould, notes that:
"St. Andrew, the apostle..., is reported to have travelled in his mission to the Scyths or Getae, the Greco-Roman form of the name. "27
Andrew, the apostle, lived in the first century A.D. indicating that the Scythians had also been called Getae long before the fall of Parthia's empire. Since Scythians had long been called "Getae" in eastern European, Parthian refugees settling among their Scythian kinsmen in eastern Europe would also he known as "Getae."
The region north of the Black Sea had been occupied by people descended from the ten tribes of Israel for almost a millennium by the time the Parthians fled in that direction. The Parthians had also had friendly relations with the Dacians of Eastern Europe, so Parthian refugees had many options when settling in eastern Europe. The Dacians were also known as "Getae,"28 indicating that they were a Scythian tribe which had earlier settled in eastern Europe.
Since the fall of Israel and Judah, the Israelite tribes in Asia had been scattered from Eastern Europe to southern Russia and western India, and were known as Scythians, Sacae, Saka, Getae, Parthians, Massagetae, etc. The easternmost Israelites had been pushed southwestward when the Massagetae and other Sacae migrated out of central Russia into Parthia. With the fall of Parthia, and the flight of its Semitic people into Armenia, the descendants of the ten tribes of Israel were compressed into a region the shape of a crescent (from Armenia, between the Caspian and Black Seas, around the Black Sea on the north and southeastward toward modern Rumania and eastern Hungary). For the first time since the fall of the old kingdom of Israel, the ten tribes of Israel who had scattered into Asia were now mostly together again.
Was this mere coincidence, or was it the hand of God in world events to "herd" his "lost sheep" (Matthew 10:6) in the direction that he wished them to go? Genesis 49 prophesied that the tribes of Israel would eventually settle in locations with specific characteristics by the time of the "latter days" (these locations will be analyzed in chapter eleven). At some point God had to begin compelling them to migrate toward the regions that he had selected for their eventual settlement.
The migration of the Parthians and their allies, in turn, dislodged other peoples. Indeed, the migration of masses of Parthian refugees in the direction of Europe initiated a period of time (lasting for centuries) in which waves of displaced tribes (many of them racially related) began to surge into Europe seeking new homelands. One tribe would displace another tribe, who would, in turn, displace another as they jostled each other westward.
What has not been realized is that the great migrations of tribes and nations spilling violently and chaotically into Europe was triggered by one singular event: the fall of the huge Parthian Empire. Parthia's fall resulted in whole tribes and nations of Semitic people spilling westward through the Caucasus Mountains and Black Sea regions toward Europe as they fled the Persians and sought new homelands. Josephus records that, in his lifetime, the [Semitic] population of the ten tribes of Israel had expanded so greatly in the Parthian Empire that they were too numerous to count! After Josephus penned that observation, the Israelite tribes further expanded their populations for over a century before their Parthian Empire collapsed. Now this teeming mass of people were being propelled by circumstances toward Europe via the Caucasus Mountains and around the northern shores of the Black Sea.
These refugee tribes came to be known by the name of the region (the Caucasus) through which they passed. Their descendants became known as "Caucasians," or "Caucasoids." Webster's New World Dictionary of the American Language defines the term Caucasoid (or Caucasian) as:
"...loosely called the white race, although skin color varies."29
The term "Caucasian" is a traditional, historic name commonly applied to the white race. The dictionary definition indicates that it is a traditional term, not a scientific one. It is important to realize, however, that the term "Caucasian" was so closely linked to "the white race" because so many whites poured into Europe via the Caucasus mountain region. The Parthians and Scythians were members of the white race, a conclusion invariably supported by the evidence and their own self-portrayals on coins and artwork. Their forced migrations out of Parthia toward Europe was one of the greatest migrations, in terms of the sheer number of people involved, in the entirety of human history!
The term "Indo-European" has also been used to describe this Caucasian migration toward Europe, but the terms "Caucasian" and "Indo-European" have fallen out of favor as the anti-religious, evolutionary movement came to dominate academia. Those who have an enmity toward God and the Bible have "reinvented history" in a way that suppresses the history of the tribes of Israel. They have almost completely censored the history of the Parthian Empire from academic or educational awareness; no small feat because Parthia was one of the greatest and largest empires in the ancient world! To understand the depth of intellectual dishonesty now present in modern academia, consider the violence that would be done to the truth if all information on the Roman Empire was deleted from history texts! Yet that is what academia has done by ignoring the history of Parthia's empire, which was as powerful as the Roman Empire!
As a result of ignoring Parthia's history, few comprehend why an almost endless stream of white tribes and nations came spilling out of Asia into Europe as refugees, beginning in the third century A.D. The reason for this mass migration was the fall of the Parthian Empire in the third century A.D.! Yet history texts recoil from identifying the Asian source of all these migrating nations as if making such an identification were an intellectual taboo. These refugee nations and tribes did not come from Siberia or from "the mists of history." They came from Parthia and Scythia! As a result of this incredible historical omission, millions of modern Caucasians do not realize that their ancestors originated in the ancient Parthian Empire. Now back to our narrative.
The Scythians had been present in Eastern Europe for many centuries. One historian has recorded that as early as 500 B.C., "Scythian advance-guards reach[ed] E. Germany, Hungary and Bulgaria," and added that from 400-300 B.C., the "Scythians established] outposts in the Balkans."30 Parthia did not fall until 226 A.D. so the Scythians had inhabited south Russia and portions of eastern Europe for over half a millennium by the time Parthian refugees came into their territories looking for refuge. Since the Parthians had a Scythian culture, it is not surprising that refugee Parthians would blend easily with their Scythian kinsmen, losing their identity as "Parthians."
In 256 A.D., Gothic tribes "crossed the Carpathians and drove the Romans from Dacia."31 In other words, the Goths left the region north of the Black Sea, crossed the Carpathian mountains and entered Balkan Europe in formidable numbers. The Goths' homeland was also the Scythian homeland. It begs the question of whether the Goths and the Scythians were the same people. Since we have seen that the Scythians living in eastern Europe were also called "Getae," the answer is "yes" if the Getae and the Goths were the same people.
Etymologically the words are very similar with the consonants of Getae and Goth being G-T and G-TH. Henry Bradley, a historian of the Goths, notes the following about the relationship of the Getae (or Getes) and the Goths.
"In ancient times the countries north of the Danube mouths were inhabited by a people called Getes (in Latin Getae)... Now in the third century after Christ the Goths came and dwelt in the land of the Getes, and… ths and Getes were only two names for the same people, or rather two different ways of pronouncing the same word. Even the historian Jordanes, himself a Goth, actually calls his book a Getic history, and mixes up the traditions of his own people with the tales which he had read in books about the Getes."32
Most interesting! In the third century A.D. (the same century in which the Parthians fled their fallen empire), a mass of people (the Goths) "came and dwelt in the land of the Getes" (the Getae). That they "mingled" peaceably confirms that they were closely-related people with a common culture. Indeed, the Romans discerned scarcely any difference between them! Even a Gothic historian regarded the Goths and Getes (the Getae) as related tribes with a common heritage. Since the "Getae" lived in the Black Sea region prior to the arrival of the closely-related "Goths," the conclusion seems inescapable that the "Getae" were Scythians who had lived for centuries in the region and the newly-arrived "Goths" were Parthian refugees fleeing Asia in search of homelands among their Scythian kinsmen. Both Roman and Gothic sources regarded the Getes (Getae) and Goths as separate branches of a common people who united when the Goths migrated into the territory of the Getes (or Getae).
The record that the Goths peaceably settled (and mingled) with the Getae strongly supports the view that they were related tribes with a common culture and language. If the Getae had been invaded by a tribe with a different race, culture or language, common sense dictates there would have been determined warfare to resist them instead of the peaceable assimilation which occurred. Since the Getae were known to be Scythians, and since the Goths and Getae had a peaceful merger, it indicates that the Goths were predominantly Parthian refugees who were merging with their Scythian brothers. Since the Scythians assisted the Parthians on many occasions in times of warfare, it is logical that they would also offer refuge to the Parthians when they were driven out of their former homelands by the Persians.
Modern second-guessing of Roman and Gothic writers has resulted in a speculation that the Goths originated in Sweden (Gotland). However, since we know that many Israelites fleeing the Assyrians had migrated into the Black Sea region and called themselves the "Gauthei,"33 the term "Gauth" or "Goth" had been present in the Black Sea region since the seventh century B.C. Therefore, the Black Sea region is the logical homeland of the Goths. The Parthian and Scythian refugees who migrated into Europe from the environs of the Black Sea simply infused the ranks of (and came to be known as) Goths.
Col. Gawler cites classical writers such as Pliny, Stephanus, Iornandes (Jordanes) and Herodotus as regarding the terms "Dacian, Getae, Getes, Gothi and Scythian" to all denote the same people,34 whose known homeland was near the Black Sea. Indeed, it is likely that Gothic colonists from the Black Sea colonized Scandinavia, bringing the name "Gotland" to that area.
The Goths exhibited Scythian cultural traits when they migrated into Europe in great numbers. Tamara Talbot Rice's book, The Scythians, comments that "Fleeing Goths spread (the) Scytho-Sarmatian style through Central and Southern Europe" in 200-300 A.D.,35 confirming the Scythian nature of the Goths. Indeed, we have now reached the point in history where the terms "Parthian" and "Scythian" disappear, and the tribes formerly known by those names are known as "Goths" (and other names as we shall soon document) when they invade Europe.
It was known that Parthia's Arsacids fled to Armenia and sustained themselves there for two more centuries. The Parthian masses would logically have followed the Arsacid royalty to whom they had been unfailingly loyal for five centuries. The direction of this migration (when followed on a map) leads directly to the Black Sea region and eastern Europe. Their need for "living space" led to the Gothic invasions of the Roman Empire. The connection between massive Parthian migrations to the northwest toward Europe, soon followed by massive migrations of Goths into Europe is clear.
The fact that the "Goths" arrived in the area, merged with the Getae and quickly invaded a Roman province soon, after their arrival begins an interesting new chapter in Roman-Parthian confrontations. However, the Parthian refugees are now called "Goths" instead of "Parthians."
The Dacians (Getae) were unwilling subjects of the Roman Empire. Parthia's refugees, now called Goths, would have been vehemently anti-Roman as some of them lived through (and all of them knew about) the Roman treachery under Emperor Caracullus which led to such a costly war that the Persians were able to revolt and destroy the Parthian empire. The combination of the native Getae and the newly-arrived masses of Parthian refugees resulted in a very powerful force of Goths. These Goths then invaded Roman territory and wrested the province of Dacia from the Roman Empire in 256 A.D. (barely thirty years after the fall of Parthia). That the Goths specifically chose to attack Roman territory (even though Rome was the strongest military power in the area) further indicates that the newcomers were motivated by a special hostility toward Rome (a trait one would expect in Parthian refugees).
Not all of the migrating Parthians and Scythians came to be known as Goths. Many of the "Caucasian" people entering Europe in the centuries after the fall of Parthia were known as "Teutons," "Germans," 'Vandals," "Saxons," etc. The Scythian/ Parthian people had been known as the Sacae for over a millerrnium. This name was retained by some of the migrating refugees who were called "Saxons" by the Romans. Phonetically, "Saxons" is the same word as "Sac's sons" (i.e. the Sons of Isaac). While the English word "Saxon" has a Latin "x," the German word for "Saxon" is "Sachsisch" or "Sachse."36 The German words for "Saxon" preserve the name of the "Sac-ae" as they migrated into Europe from Asia. Since the Sacae were Parthians and Scythians in Asia, the Saxons (or Sachse) were none other than Scythian/Parthian refugees entering Europe. The Bible prophesied in Genesis 48:14-16 that the name of Isaac would specifically he placed on the Israelite tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh. Since the Saxons still bore the name of Isaac as they migrated into Europe, it indicates that the Saxons were primarily the Israelite tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh.
The Romans had a custom of naming leaders after the enemies they fought. Thus one Roman leader was named "Germanicus" because he fought the Germans. Another took the name "Parthicus" because he fought the Parthians. One Roman general who fought (without success) against the Parthians called himself "Decidius Saxa."37 Since the Sacae (Saka) were part of the Parthian Empire, this Roman general had apparently taken the name Sac-ae (or Sak-a), and represented it in a Latin form as "Sax-a." Since this was done before Parthia fell, the Romans apparently referred to the Parthian "Sacae" as the "Saxae" even before they migrated to Europe (the Latin plural is -ae, and "Sax-a" is a singular form). It is not surprising then that the descendants of the Sacae would be called the Saxons when they later migrated to Europe. Col. Gawler also notes that the classical writer Ptolemy is cited as:
"mentioning a Scythian people sprung from the Sakai named Saxones."38
To be continued