Massagetae an ancient nomadic people, who inhabited the broad steppes on the north- east of the Caspian Sea, to the northward of the river Araxes or Jaxartes. Herodotus says that they had a community of wives; that they sacrificed and devoured their aged people; that they worshipped the sun, and offered horses to him; that they lived on the milk and flesh of their herds, and on fish; and fought on horseback and on foot with lance, bow, and double-

edged axe. Cyrus is said to have lost his life in fighting against them, B.C. 530. Niebuhr and Böckh are of opinion that they belonged to the Mongolian,but Humboldt and others, to the IndoGermanic or Aryan family.

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