THE ENCYCLOPÆDIA BRITANNICA

A DICTIONARY OF ARTS, SCIENCES, LITERATURE AND GENERAL INFORMATION

ELEVENTH EDITION 1911

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ARIMASPI, an ancient people in the extreme N.E. of Scythia (q.v.), probably the eastern Altai. All accounts of them go back to a poem by Aristeas of Proconnesus, from whom Herodotus (iii. 116, iv. 27) drew his information. They were supposed to be one-eyed (hence their Scythian name), and to steal gold from the griffins that guarded it. In art they are usually represented as richly dressed Asiatics, picturesquely grouped with their griffin foes; the subject is often described by poets from Aeschylus to Milton. They are so nearly mythical that it is impossible to insist on the usual identification with the ancestors of the Huns. Their gold was probably real, as gold still comes from the Altai.
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