Ancient World /
Other spelling: kimmerians
Ancient 1st millennium BCE nomadic people of Anatolia, central in several wars over important territories in the 7th century. Their homeland were the regions neighbouring to Urartu and Lydia.
The first historical accounts date to 714 BCE, and they rose to a regional force around 700 before being defeated to neglect in the 630's or 620's. The strong period of the Cimmerians lasted slightly less than a century.
Their land is often referred to as Gamir, the capital as Gomara, and the people were in ancient texts called Gimirri. The people spoke an Indo-European language, related to Iranian languages.
Our sources are predominantly indirect, there are no Cimmerian texts, and no archaeological finds. The main sources are the account of Herodotus, the 5th century BCE Greek historian, as well as contemporary royal archives of the Assyrians.
Among their more noteworthy kings were Tugdamme, Sandakhshatra and Teushpa.
Due to limited sources, there have been speculations about where the Cimmerians came from, what became of them, but no final conclusions have been reached. It is often suggested that they originated from lands corresponding to Caucasus, eventually relocating to Cappadocia.
714: The Cimmerians attack Urartu, leaving the powerful country heavily weakened.
8th century: Cimmerians, as well as the Scythians and Medes bring the kingdom of Van to an end following individual attacks.
709: Facing the threat of the Cimmerians, Phrygian king Midas submits to Assyria.
705: Assyrian king Sargon 2 dies during a campaign against the Cimmerians.
Early 7th century: The strong city state of Ephesus is conquered by the Cimmerians.
Cimmerian invasion into Phrygian lands, destroying many of the small kingdoms.
696: The Cimmerians conquer and destroy Gordium, one of Phrygia's main cities. By this, Lydia could take control over much of the old Phrygian territories.
Around 690 BCE: Sinope on the Black Sea is destroyed by the Cimmerians.
679: Cimmerian king, Teushpa, launches attacks on Cilicia and Tabal, but Assyrian king Esarhaddon defeats them near Hubushna. Still, Cimmerians keep control over these two provinces.
676: Phrygia is destroyed by the Cimmerians, leaving Lydia the strongest nation to control western Anatolia.
652: The Cimmerians attacks Lydia, killing king Gyges and causing great destruction to Sardis.
620's: Final battle between Lydia and the Cimmerians, resulting in victory for Lydia, and great weakening of the Cimmerians.
590: Lydia resists an invasion by the Cimmerians. From this time on, the Cimmerians disappears from history.