The book by the outstanding scholar Tadeusz Sulimirsky
became a de-facto textbook on Sarmats and their constituents. The Sarmatian Chronology table, assembled by T.Sulimirsky
in his '70es book, gives "At a glance"
picture of the spatial and chronological history of the Alanian peoples. Even with the
later finds and developments, it remains an invaluable contribution to the study of the Alanian history.
The table is clearly incomplete because it does not
reflect the extant conditions which the Alans encountered when they were
changing their aerial. In the historical development, this missing part of the table constitutes a significant component.
The Wu-sun, whom T. Sulimirsky lists as Tocharians, are now identified with
Huns, leaving Ases-Tocharians to join the Hunnish and Türkic Kaganates,
conquer Bactria, and join the Alans. The Sarmats and Alans were also classified as
Iranian-speaking, in line with the popular at the time Indo-European theory. In
the T. Sulimirsky concept, in the course of their history the
Iranian Sarmatians were surrounded by the Türkic-speaking peoples,
instead of the multi-ethnic, including Türkic-speaking
Sarmatians, living in the surrounding of the Türkic-speaking
T. Sulimirsky also did not note that the Chinese
Yancai 奄蔡, "Steppe", is a literal translation of the Türkic
Alani, "Field, Open Space", while the Chinese A-lan-iao
is a phonetic rendition. Neither was given the transparent Türkic
etymology of the Greek renditions for the Sarmatian tribes, Iazygs - As-yg,
"As-tribe", Roxolani - Uraxy-Alani, "Farming Alans", Siraces - Sary-Ases,
"Yellow Ases", and Sarmats - Sarma-ty, "Carrying Saddlebag". The consistency of
the names throughout the centuries and rendition in the languages as differing
as the Greek and Chinese indicate the endoethnonymic nature of the names. The
emphasis of the secondary dialectal differences was richly exploited for the
distorted demographic picture, when the whole population was presented as
vanishing and replaced by a different population, like Sauromatae replaced by
the later Sarmats, replacing the advances in the development and changes in the
social organization with a notion of perpetual extinction and replacement.
By 415 BC, the Sarmatians are inhabiting the Russian steppes north of the Caspian Sea.
By 192 BC, the Sarmatians are pushing the Scythians westward.
By 145 BC, Sarmatians can be divided into three sub-groups (Jazyges, Roxolani, and Alan), each
group's area is delineated east-west by major rivers.
By 79 AD, the Sarmatians are being pushed westward to the point that the Roxolani cause the Jazyges
to be displaced to the Hungarian steppes.
By 230, the Jazyges have been further restricted by Vandals moving in from the north, while the
Roxolani are actually pushed back toward the Alans by the Goths moving in from the west.
By 305, the Roxolani and Jazyges are no longer on the map. Their areas have been taken over by
Asding Vandals and Ostrogoths.
By 362, the Alans are feeling the heat from three sides- the Ostrogothic Empire to the West, the
Finns to the north, and the Huns to the east. They live in a small area between the Black and
Caspian seas north of the Caucasus Mountains. They then expand south into the mountains.
Throughout all this, approximately 250,000 people live on the steppes between those two seas at a
By 406, the Huns have taken over the steppes, pushing Germanic tribes west- along with a clan of
Alans. The Vandals, Suevi, and the Alan clan invade Gaul at the end of the year.
By 420, the aforementioned barbarian pillagers have moved into the Iberian peninsula. As part of a
bargain with Rome, the Visigoths pushed most of them into the northwest corner before returning to
In 429, the Asding Vandals leave their corner of the Iberian peninsula, pick up the Siling Vandals
and Alans left in the south, and 80,000 men, women, and children cross the Straight of Gibraltar
into Africa. Rome has to cede the western provinces (the northernmost parts of modern Morocco and
Algeria) to them in 435. In 442, they trade them for modern Tunisia. The Alan king had died in
battle before this and the clan was absorbed by the Vandals they traveled with.
By 476, the Alans who stayed behind during the Huns' rule have regained ground in and around the
By 600, the Khazar Turks have pushed the Alans out of their northern reaches. The Alans are able to
push the Huns back slightly to the west.
By 661, the Khazars have expanded and now rule the Alans.
By 1030, the Alans are back on the map in the east Caucasus. (It's a long stretch of time, but stuff
happened in between which was not intimated in the book.)
By 1071, the Alans now hold almost all of the steppes between the Black and Caspian seas and north
of the Caucasus. The Kingdom of Georgia is to their southwest.
By 1092, the Alans have lost some of their northern lands and gained some in the eastern Caucasus.
From 1221-1222, a group of Mongols originally sent to pursuethe Shah out of his empire to the south
fights their way through several groups' lands, including the Alans, and deep into Russia. The
Mongol attacks are damaging, but Genghis Khan dies before he can take advantage of them.
In 1236, the Mongols return to the Russian steppes. No one has bolstered their defenses and the
Alans fall under Mongol subjugation along with other groups.