Skunkha: leader of a group of Central-Asian nomads, defeated by Darius I the Great.

Behistun Relief, Frâda (center) and Skunkha (right)
Behistun Relief, Frâda (center) and Skunkha (right)

According to the concluding section of the Behistun inscription, the Persian king Darius I the Great defeated the Scythians 'wearing pointed caps' in his third year (i.e. 520/519 BC). This tribe probably lived on the banks of the ancient lower reaches of the Amudar'ya, which used to have a mouth in the Caspian Sea south of Krasnovodsk. Darius replaced one of their leaders, Skunkha, with a man of his own choice.

King Darius says: Afterwards with an army I went off to Scythia, after the Scythians who wear the pointed cap. These Scythians went from me. When I arrived at the river, I crossed beyond it then with all my army. Afterwards, I smote the Scythians exceedingly; one of their leaders I took captive; he was led bound to me, and I killed him. Another chief of them, by name Skunkha, they seized and led to me. Then I made another man their chief, as was my desire. Then the province became mine.
King Darius says: Those Scythians were faithless and Ahuramazda was not worshipped by them. I worshipped Ahuramazda; by the grace of Ahuramazda I did unto them according to my will.

This page was created in 1999; last modified on 20 April 2020.