The steppe was a harsh and brutal environment that forged warriors of equal brutality. In the East, the T’ang dynasty of China is noted for its ruthless imperial expansion into the eastern steppe at all costs. Attila the Hun, who was infamously quoted as saying, “Trample the weak, hurdle the dead,” forged a massive central Eurasian empire on the back of his fierce Hun warriors, destroying any who stood in his path. The “Scourge of God” was eventually the final nail in the coffin that sealed the fate of the once illustrious Roman Imperium. Not least of all, who could forget the man who “fought gothic knights in the west and samurai in the east, neither of his foes knowing the existence of the other” – Genghis Khan? The Mongol Empire held territory from the east in China and the Korean Peninsula to the Slavic states in the west.
There was clearly no shortage of battle-hardened warriors on the Eurasian steppe, but were these men the first, or even the greatest? No. The foundations of the oft-called “barbarians” were laid by the first great pre-historic steppe people: the Scythians. The Scyth, as they were sometimes called, not only engaged in ruthless expansion, but laid the foundations for the epoch-defining Silk Road. As the Scythian Empire expanded, so did the peripheral Eurasian states – China, India, and even Western European Germanic states like the Frankish Carolingian one.
While, at first glance, the Scythians may seem like just another barbarian tribe, the nuances of their metaphysical beliefs laid the foundation for their awe-inspiring empire and could be the archaic roots the West needs to revitalize its decadent and decrepit post-modern civilization.
The Scythians were known to have created minor shrines for several of their deities, but made sacrifices to only one, the war god. He has been identified with the Zoroastrian god Verethragna and the mighty Indra of Hinduism. However, he is most known, thanks to the writing of Herodotus, as the Scythian “Ares.” He was physically manifested as a sharp sword placed on a raised wooden platform.
The Scythians sacrificed horses, sheep, and goats to the god of war, but he craved the blood of the defeated as the ultimate sacrifice. Prisoners of the Scyth would have their throats slit and drained over the sword idol before having their right arms severed and tossed in the air. The horses, blood and severed right arms used in this powerful ritual symbolized the desire of the Scythian to keep his horse swift in battle and his body strong. Additionally, the tossing of the arms was most likely meant to symbolize the war god’s supremacy over land and air, two very important aspects of the Scythian, and later Indo-European, religion.
Scythians had a clear perception of their nomadic life on the plains: a harsh, brutal, and ever-changing world in which it was necessary to cultivate strength, sacrifice, and skill, one where the weak perished and the strong thrived. Sacrifice not only of a pre-ordained ritual, but the symbolic sacrifice of mind and body to the strength of the Scythian people. Self-sacrifice was as common as equality was foreign to the steppe nomad; you were forced to be great or perish.
As with all great empires and peoples, there is much to be gained from penetrating the mysterious ethos of steppe nomads such as the Scythians. These strong, brutal, and intelligent men built empires not through acceptance or, dare I say, deification of the weak, but through the sheer force of spiritual will of great men. A will not merely connected to their physical environment but through life-giving gods that represented their true, war-like nature.
The blood of themselves and the enemies they defeated sanctified their actions and gave praise to their protector and giver of strength – Ares. Blood may in fact be the source of sanctification of the degenerate West. From the military to the agricultural sectors, the modern Western ethos has become diversity, equity, and inclusion. With this ethos has come the complete disintegration of quality, competency, and strength. A complete and decisive cultural revolution must take place in the minds of Western man if we are to fill the void after the fall.
The democratic West will indeed fall, but it is up to those great men willing to sacrifice mind, body, and soul to a higher cause that will bring about a resurgence of authority, strength, and beauty. The question thus becomes: how? What will be the catalyst of this revolution? What will ignite the fire in the hearts of men to spur them to greatness once again? This question will most definitely find its answer in the rise of great men, which has yet to be seen.
If we were to go back to the land of the Scyth and ask them what makes the steppe grass grow, the answer would invariably be, “Blood, blood, blood.” It is time that we harken back to our pre-historic ancestors and water the dry lands with that which the Scyth so highly valued.