The Scythians – the Greeks' name for this initially nomadic people – inhabited Scythia from at least the 11th century BC to the 2nd century AD. Its location and extent varied over time but usually extended farther to the west than is indicated on the map opposite.
Scythia was a loose nomadic empire that originated as early as 8th century BC. Little is known of them and their rulers. The most detailed western description is by Herodotus, though it is uncertain he ever went to Scythia. He says the Scythians' own name for themselves was "Scoloti". The Scythians became increasingly settled and wealthy on their western frontier with Greco-Roman civilization.