Achaemenid Satrapies > Saka

Saka

Background

The Saka or Saca (Persian: old Sakā, mod. ساکا; Sanskrit: Śaka; Greek: Σάκαι, Sákai; Latin: Sacae; Chinese: 塞, old *Sək, mod. Sāi) was the term used in Persian and Sanskrit sources for the Scythians, a large group of Eastern Iranian nomadic tribes on the Eurasian Steppe. Modern scholars usually use the term Saka to refer to Iranians of the Eastern Steppe and the Tarim Basin.

René Grousset wrote that they formed a particular branch of the "Scytho-Sarmatian family" originating from nomadic Iranian peoples of the northwestern steppe in Eurasia. In the Tarim Basin and Taklamakan desert region of Northwest China, they founded the settlements of Khotan and Kashgar, as well as the Kingdom of Khotan that was at various times a vassal to greater powers, such as the Han and Tang dynasties of Imperial China.

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