Let us examine a plot depicted on a Scythian sword (Raevsky 1985: 98, figure 8). In my opinion, here a mermaid is riding a horse. I believe that this mermaid is an Amazon; the early Slavonic mermaids were indeed the wounded Amazons (Scythian/Sarmatian naked female warriors riding horses). One can distinguish the symbol of a swan on the figure of this mermaid. This symbol looks like the signs of swans which are represented on Russian embroideries (Maslova 1978: 62-3). On the other hand, swans are one of the incarnations of the Russian mermaids (Zelenin 1995: 178). There are Slavonic mermaids with iron breasts; some live at mountains (Zelenin 1995: 201, 228). I suppose that these data describe the female warriors some of whom were heavily armed; they might live at the foot-hills of the Caucasus (mountains, the Black Sea, the Sea of Azov).
"The Enarees - woman-like men - say that Aphrodite taught them to tell fortunes" (History of Herodotus: Book IV, 67). As the Scythian goddess Argimpasa is equal to Celestial Aphrodite (History of Herodotus: Book IV, 59), these Enarees are connected with the spring goddess Argimpasa indeed. I believe that this statement (perhaps a Scythian myth) informs about the Amazons/mermaids. The Scythian word Enare- (en nar-?) is associated with Greek Nereis 'Nereid', cf. Old Indian ena 'that; he', nara 'man', naraka 'hell'. I think that Scythian Enare- 'Nereid' signifies 'man-like [woman]' ('woman-like man' per Herodotus), otherwise 'Amazon'.
Maslova, G.S., 1978. Ornament russkoy narodnoy vyshivki kak istoriko-etnografichesky istochnik. Moscow: Nauka.
Raevsky, D.S., 1985. Model' mira skifskoy kul'tury. Problemy mirovozzreniya iranoyazychnykh narodov evraziyskikh stepey I tysyacheletiya do n.e. Moscow: Nauka.
Zelenin, D.K., 1995. Izbrannye trudy. Ocherki russkoy mifologii: Umershie neestestvennoyu smert'yu i rusalki. Moscow: Indrik.
Copyright © 2001 by Sergei V. Rjabchikov. All Rights Reserved.
Published 24 December 2001.
Sergei V. Rjabchikov, Krasnodar, RUSSIA.
How to cite the articles of "THE SLAVONIC ANTIQUITY" Home Page in printed articles: like articles. Maintain the link if citing in the World Wide Web. Notice italics on the homepage name:
Rjabchikov, Sergei V., 2001. Mermaids from Scythia. "THE SLAVONIC ANTIQUITY" Home Page (http://slavonicweb.chat.ru/sl42.htm).
Thanks for visiting.
E-mail me here at email@example.com
Return to Top of Home Page