He defeated the Chatti, annexed the district of the Taunus, and established the Limes as a line of defence; but he suffered defeats at the hands of the Quadi, Sarmatae and ' Marcomanni; in Dacia he received a severe check, and was obliged to purchase peace (90) from Decebalus by the payment of a large sum of money and by guaranteeing a yearly tribute - the first instance in Roman history.
We know that in the 2nd century A.D., when the steppes were dominated by the Sarmatae, the majority of the barbarian names in the inscriptions of Olbia, Tanais, and Panticapaeum were Iranian, and can infer that the Sarmatae spoke an Iranian language.
The women were kept in subjection, and were far from enjoying the liberty granted them among the Sarmatae, among whom they rode on horseback and engaged in war.
Henceforward the Scyths appear as a declining power: by the middle of the 4th century their eastern neighbours the Sarmatae have crossed the Tanais (Don) and the pressure of the Scyths is felt on the Danube.
Meanwhile Scythia had become the land of the Sarmatae (q.v.).
It is probable that the Iranian element was stronger among the Sarmatae, whose power extended as the ruling clan of the Scyths became extinct; but it is quite likely that they in their turn were officered by some new horde from upper Asia.
Here, under the general name of Sarmatae, they were a perpetual trouble to the Roman province of Dacia.
They were divided into freemen and serfs (Sarmatae Limigantes), the latter of whom had a different manner of life and were probably an older settled population enslaved by nomad masters.
Nothing is heard of Iazyges or Sarmatae after the Hunnish invasions.
SARMATAE, or SAUROMATAE (the second form is mostly used by the earlier Greek writers, the other by the later Greeks and the Romans), a people whom Herodotus (iv.
From this we may infer that they spoke a language cognate with the Scythic. The greater part of the barbarian names occurring in the inscriptions of Olbia, Tanais and Panticapaeum are supposed to be Sarmatian, and as they have been well explained from the Iranian language now spoken by the Ossetes of the Caucasus, these are supposed to be the representatives of the Sarmatae and can be shown to have a direct connexion with the Alani, one of their tribes.
By the 3rd century B.C. the Sarmatae appear to have supplanted the Scyths proper in the plains of south Russia, where they remained dominant until the Gothic and Hunnish invasions.