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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