Recent events have drawn the attention upon Russia, a country of which but little is known here, because the intercourse between it and the United States has been limited. In my frequent journeys to the Far East, I found it often difficult to comprehend events because, while I could not help perceiving that the impulse leading to them came from Russia, it was impossible to discover what prompted the government of the czar. I felt the necessity to study the history of Russia, and found it so fascinating, that I resolved to place it in a condensed form before the students in our schools. They must be the judges of how I have succeeded.
. The agricultural Scythians dwelt in the black earth belt, near the Dnieper; the nomad Scythians lived at some distance to the east of them, and the royal Scythians occupied the land around the Sea of Azof.
Learned men of Russia have made many excavations on the spots where the Greek settlements once stood, during the past century. They have been rewarded by finding many works of art, illustrating the mode of living of the Scythians. They have been placed, and may be seen (p. 024) in the Hermitage museum of St. Petersburg. Among these relics of the past are two beautifully engraved vases, one of gold, the other of silver. The Scythians on the silver vase wear long hair and beards, and are dressed in gowns or tunics, and bear a close resemblance to the Russians of our time. These vases and other ancient objects confirm what is said about these people by Herodotus, a Greek historian who lived in the fourth century before Christ.
We learn from him that the Scythians worshiped a sword stuck in
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