orthographic variant) were a nomadic tribe. Known also as
Jaxamatae, Ixibatai, Iazygite, J√°szok, √Āszi. They were a branch of
people who, c. 200 BC, swept westward
from central Asia onto the steppes of what is now Ukraine.
Little is known about their language, but it was one of the
Iazyges first make their appearance along the Sea of Azov, known to the Ancient Greeks and Romans as the
For this reason they are referred to by the
as the Iazyges
. From there, the Jazyges moved west along the
shores of the Black
Sea to what is now Moldova and the
served as allies of Mithradates
VI Eupator, king of Pontus (in what is
now western Turkey), in his
wars against the Romans (c.
88-84 BC). In 78-76 BC, the Romans sent a punitive expedition
over the Danube
in an attempt to overawe the Jazyges.
The prime enemy of Rome along the lower Danube at this time were
. In 7 BC when the Dacian kingdom
built up by Burebista
began to collapse,
the Romans took advantage and encouraged the Jazyges to settle in
the Pannonian plain
, between the
Danube and the Tisza
They were divided into freemen and serfs (Sarmatae
). These serfs had a different manner of life and
were probably an older settled population, enslaved by nomadic
masters. They rose against them in 34
were repressed by foreign aid.
The Romans wanted to finish off Dacia, but the Iazyges refused to
cooperate. The Iazyges remained nomads, herding their cattle across
what is now southern Romania every summer to water them along the
Black Sea; a Roman conquest of Dacia would cut that route. The
Roman emperor Domitian
became so concerned
with the Iazyges that he interrupted a campaign against Dacia to
harass them and the Suebi
, a Germanic tribe
also dwelling along the
In early 92
, the Iazyges, in alliance with the
Sarmatians proper and the Germanic Quadi
crossed the Danube into the Roman province of Pannonia
(mod. Croatia, northern
Serbia, and western Hungary).
May, the Iazyges shattered the Roman Legio XXI Rapax
, soon afterwards disbanded
in disgrace. The fighting continued until Domitian‚Äôs death in
In 101-105, the warlike Emperor Trajan
finally conquered the Dacians, reducing their lands to a Roman
province. In 107
, Trajan sent his general,
, to force the Iazyges to submit. In
, Trajan died, and was succeeded as emperor
by Hadrian, who moved to consolidate and protect his predecessor's
gains. While the Romans kept Dacia, the Iazyges stayed independent,
accepting a client relationship with Rome.
As long as Rome remained powerful, the situation could be
maintained, but in the late second century, the Empire was becoming
increasingly overstretched. In the summer of 166
, while the Romans were tied down in a war with
, the nomadic peoples north of the
Danube, the Marcomanni
, the Naristi
, the Vandals
, the Longobardi
and the Quadi
all swept south over the Danube to invade and plunder the exposed
Roman provinces. The Iazyges joined in this general onslaught in
which they killed Calpurnius Proculus, the Roman governor of Dacia.
The Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius spent the rest of his life trying
to restore the situation (see the Marcomannic Wars
). In 170
, the Iazyges defeated and killed Claudius Fronto,
Roman governor of Lower Moesia
. Operating from
Sirmium (today Sremska Mitrovica, Vojvodina, Serbia) on the
Sava river, Marcus Aurelius moved against the
After hard fighting, the Iazyges were
pressed to their limits.
But in 175
led a revolt in the East, interrupting the campaign. At
this point, the leading king among the Iazyges, Zanticus, made
peace with Marcus Aurelius, yielding up, it is said, 100,000 Roman
captives. The Iazyges were also forced to provide the Romans with
8,000 cavalry to serve in the Roman army as auxiliaries. Some 5,500
of these were shipped off to serve in the Roman army in Britain
; it is theorized they may have played
a part in the development of the Arthurian
legend. Marcus' victory was decisive in that the Iazyges did not
again appear as a major threat to Rome.
Around 230, the Asding Vandals
in to the north of the Iazyges. The Vandals, and new Germanic
tribal coalitions like the Alamanni
now became the Roman‚Äôs primary
security concerns. But as late as 371
Romans saw fit to build a fortified trading center, Commercium
, to control the trade with the
In Late Antiquity
, records become
much more diffuse, and the Iazyges generally cease to be mentioned
as a tribe.
In the Middle Ages another Iranian people appeared in
Eastern-Europe, the Jazones
(named in Latin
diplomas also from Philistei/Filistei from the Biblical nation) who
probably came to the Kingdom of
together with the Cumans
13th century after they were defeated by the Mongols
. B√©la IV
of Hungary granted them asylum and they became a privileged
community with the right of self-government.But shortly after their
entry, the relationship worsened dramatically between the Hungarian
nobility and the Cumanian-Jassic tribes and they left the country.
After the end of the Mongol-Tatar occupation they returned and were
settled in the central part of the Hungarian Plain
.Initially, their main
occupation was animal husbandry. During the next two centuries they
were fully assimilated to the Hungarian population, their language
disappeared, but they preserved their Jassic identity and their
regional autonomy until 1876. Over a dozen settlements in Central
Hungary (eg. J√°szber√©ny, J√°sz√°roksz√°ll√°s, J√°szf√©nyszaru) still bear their name.
They remained a distinct ethnographical group until today under the
literary record of the Jassic language was found in the 1950s in
the Hungarian National Sz√©ch√©nyi
Library on the backside of a diploma from 1443.
contains a short J√°sz-Latin vocabulary for monks in the newly
founded monastery in Pilis mountains (N-W from Budapest), since the
J√°sz people were settled in the area (e.g. the village
Pilisj√°szfalu of today - a different area from the autonomous J√°sz
territory around J√°szber√©ny).
hypothesized that the name of the Romanian city IaŇüi comes from the name of the Iazyges.
The connection between the Jazones (Yazones) and the Iazyges is
disputed. Most Hungarian scholars claim that they were two
different Sarmatian groups, and the Jazones are relatives of the
and the Ossetes
think that the Iazyges either migrated back east onto the steppes
in the confusion of the Hun and Avar invasions of the 5th-7th centuries, or
the Iazones were a fresh branch of the Iazyges that had never moved
west before and remained throughout this period in what is now
based on the above diploma their languages should be very
- Christian 136.
- A New View of the Arthurian Legends
- Sarmatian - Iazyg presence in the Carpathian basin and
- Bennett, Julian: Trajan: Optimus Princeps (1997)
Indianapolis University Press, Bloomington
- Birley, Anthony: Marcus Aurelius: A Biography (1987)
Yale University Press, New Haven.
- Bunson, Matthew: Encyclopedia of the Roman
Empire (1994) Facts on File Inc., NY
- Christian, David. A History of Russia, Mongolia and Central
Asia. Vol. 1. Blackwell: 1999.
- Kerr, William George: A Chronological Study of the
Marcomannic Wars of Marcus Aurelius (1995) Princeton, NJ:
Princeton University Press, 1995, 295 p.
- Macartney, C.A.: Hungary: A Short History (1962)
Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh.
- Maenchen-Helfen, J. Otto: The World of the Huns (1973)
University of California Press, Berkeley.
- Strayer, Joseph R., Editor in Chief: A Dictionary of the
Middle Ages (1987), Charles Scribner‚Äôs Sons, NY
- Gyarfas Istvan: A jaszkunok t√∂rtenete (in Hungarian)