Some (pseudo-Orpheus) supposed that the Argonauts had sailed up the river Tanais, passed into another river, and by it reached the North Sea, returning to the Mediterranean by the Pillars of Hercules.
These tribes raised wheat, presumably in the river valleys, and sold it for export; in the eastern half from west to east were Georgi (perhaps the same as Aroteres) between the Ingul and the Borysthenes (Dnieper), nomad Scyths and Royal Scyths between the Borysthenes and the Tanais (Don).
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.
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.
The application of the name Tanais to the Syr seems to indicate a real confusion with Colchian Caucasus.
The ancient Tanais lay some f m.
From 1911 to 1914 Kerch (Panticapaion), Old and New Chersonesos, Tanais, Olbia, a town on the Is.
Those bordering on the ocean) as far as the Tanais (Strabo, bk.
The statement that he proceeded along the coasts of Europe "from Gades to the Tanais" is evidently based upon the supposition that this would be a simple and direct course along the northern shores of Germany and Scythia - Polybius himself, in common with the other Greek geographers till a much later period, being ignorant of the projection of the Danish or Cimbric peninsula, and the circumnavigation that it involved - of all which no trace is found in the extant notices of Pytheas.
21.117) puts on the eastern boundary of Scythia beyond the Tanais (Don).
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.
Their kingdom covered the eastern half of the Crimea and the Taman peninsula, and extended along the east coast of the Sea of Azov to Tanais at the mouth of the Don, a great mart for trade with the interior.
In later times a Jewish element was added to the population, and under its influence were developed in all the cities of the kingdom, especially Tanais, societies of "worshippers of the highest God," apparently professing a monotheism which without being distinctively Jewish or Christian was purer than any found among the inhabitants of the Empire.