Celt and Scythians


A Scythian camp scene by Eugene Delacroix

Is there a common root for the large sighthounds, the Borzoi, the Irish wolfhound and the Scottish Deerhound?

We know that the Celts moved from the Eurasian steppes gradually further and further west ending in Ireland and Scotland. We also know that the celts were skilled horse breeders and craftsmen. From our point of view the celts are known for their hounds, the Irish wolfhound and the Scottish Deerhound. The hounds could have been developed on the British isles after the celts arrival but it is much more tempting to believe that the dogs came along on the journey from central Europe had relation to dogs from the step. What was this related to the step?

Scythian migration

Perhaps can the following quote give us some clues, note where it says, “Like the Scythians, they also brought with them an improved breed of horses”. 

Knowing that the Celts and the Scythians were master breeders of horses it is not difficult to think that they also where master breeders of hounds, it is therefore quite easy to believe that they brought with them horses and also hounds the two nations had developed.

Is there any evidence of this? A very ancient picture on a Greek vase shows a group of Cimmerians at war. Note the long legged hounds. The Cimmerians were a tribe of Iranian origin moving in to the lands northeast of the Mediterranean. They were replaced by the Scythians to who they were supposedly related.

4000 years old skeleton

The Scythians were another Iranian tribe who during a rather long period dominated the Eurasian steppe lands. They were known for their excellent horses, leatherwork and goldsmith work and we also believe as breeders of large hounds used for hunting and protection.

Also the myths of Amazone worriers goes back to the scythians

In a grave from the Scythian period was this, long legged hound found. If you look close you will see that the hound i buried on top of a person, it doesn’t say if it’s the body of a female or a male. With the myths of the Amazones in mind it could just as well have been a woman.



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Arvid Andersen