History of Iranian peoples in Europe

تاریخ مردمان ایرانی در اروپا

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به روز شده:Monday 13th October 2014

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Indo-European topics
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Map of the Roman empire under Hadrian (ruled 117-138 AD), Iranian peoples color-coded orange

The history of Iranian peoples in Europe stretches back as early as 300 BC, during the arrival of Barbarian tribes during the Roman Era. Iranian peoples are a collective term composing of several ethnic groups whose common origin stems from Proto-Iranians, thus has little to do with the State Iran, in concept that Germanic is not literally affiliated with Germany the state.

  • 1 Scythians
    • 1.1 Sarmatians
    • 1.2 List of historical Scythian tribes
    • 1.3 Alans
    • 1.4 Bulgars
    • 1.5 Claims of descent
  • 2 Ancient Persians
  • 3 Possible ancient peoples
    • 3.1 Illyrians
    • 3.2 Cimmerians
  • 4 Middle Ages
  • 5 Modern Era
  • 6 See also


Scythians were an old nation, believed to be Iranian speaking, as they spoke an Iranian language.


Sarmatians were a nation branched from the Scythians, who lived on the eastern fringes of through Ukraine.

List of historical Scythian tribes
  • Iazyges
  • Roxolani
  • Siraces
  • Alans

Alans have a long history of campaigns in Europe, extending to as far as Spain. Their homeland is Alania and are ancestors of the Ossetians present in Caucasuss Europe today. In Hungary an ethnic group called the Jassic people exist, as descendants of Ossetian refugees. Many now forgot the Jassic dialect.


A disputed historical ethnicity, believed to be Oghur Turkic or Iranian. Ancestors of Chuvash and Volga Tatars, and founding name of the Slavic Bulgarians and Macedonians.

Claims of descent

There are various ethnic groups in Europe that claim to be of Scythian descent. Among the most notable are Croats, believed to be partially descendant of Slavitized Sarmatians. Hungarians had also claim Scythians as their pretegious ancestors, as they claim this view of Magyars coming from what was then Scythia, although this claim has had little affiliation with Iranian identity (as their language is not Indo-European). An ideology of Scythian descent was known as Sarmatianism, a once popular belief in the past.

Ancient Persians

Persians have existed in Europe for some time, as the Aechamenid Empire had claimed territorial claims on the fringes of Thrace. Although attempts to include Athens into the Empire were performed, it soon turned into a conflict, eventually causing the Greco-Persian wars. The influence of Zoroastrianism has been absorbed by western philosophy during this era, and Zoroaster was called Zarathustra in Greek.

Possible ancient peoples

There are however other ancient peoples, other than Bulgars believed to be of Iranian origin.


Illyrian has been thought of as a cognate to Aryan. Illyrians could be an alternative explanation to Iranian identity among the Balkans, in contrast to the Sarmatian theory.


Cimmerians are a heavily disputed Indo-European people who have not yet been classified. Many have suggested that they were Proto-Celtic or Proto-Germanic. One theory has suggested that their language was a transition between Thracian and Proto-Iranian. Oddly enough, the native name for the Welsh is Cimbri, believed by some historians to be a cognate to Cimmerians, thus a possibility of relationship of descent from Cimmerians.

Middle Ages

During the Middle Ages, the movement of Iranian peoples largely ceased after the coming of the Jassic people in Hungary. However during the Ottoman Era, many people carrying Azeri traditions migrated largely into Europe during the Ottoman Era. Many could have been Quizlibash and/or even ethnic Azeris. Although a Turkic-speaking ethnicity, Azeris carry many traditions that derive from Iranian culture. Due to such a movement, there are communities from middle-aged Balkans who are Bekhtashis and Alevis, where the Iranian holiday "Nowruz" is celebrated.

Modern Era

Today, there are many Iranian peoples who have migrated into Europe during the modern day.

Out of many indigenous people in Europe, Ossetians are so far the only remaining Iranian Ethnic group indigenous to Europe (of the Northern Caucasus)who still speak the evolved Scythian dialect today, which is Ossetic, in Iron or Digor dialect. However there are another indigenous group called Tats, who reside on the fringes of the Caucasus, some into Dagestan, Russia, respectively divided between Muslim tats of around 10,000 to Mountain Jews, around 100,000–250,000 also indigenous to the region.

Tags:Anatolia, Anatolian, Archaeology, Armenian, Athens, Avesta, Azeri, Balkan, Bible, Bronze Age, Caucasus, Cimmerian, Europe, Gandhara, Germany, Greco, Greek, Hadrian, Hittite, Hungary, India, Iran, Iranian, Medes, Middle Ages, Muslim, Nowruz, Ottoman, Persia, Persian, Proto-Indo-Iranian, Proto-Iranian, Roman, Romance, Russia, Samara, Scythia, Scythians, Spain, Thrace, Ukraine, Vedic, Volga, Wikipedia, Zarathustra, Zoroaster

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