Scripts Σαυρομάτης (Late Greek)
Other Forms FormsSavromates
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Contributor Contrib.Lucille on 6/13/2013
Derived from the Roman cognomen Sauromates, itself derived from Greek Σαυρομάτης (Sauromates) meaning "a Sarmatian". The Sarmatians were an Iranian people that spoke Sarmatian, a Scythian language. It is not certain what the Sarmatians called themselves in their native language, but since foreign adaptions of their native etnonym seem very close to what it must have been in Sarmatian, the original Sarmatian form must have been Sauromata (or something along those lines). The etnonym most likely meant "black cloaks" or "black mantles", derived from Scytho-Sarmatian saw (or sau) "black" combined with roma "fur" (which means "mantle, cloak" in a figurative sense) and the plural suffix -ta. Also compare Sauromaces. Finally, this name was borne by two Roman client kings of the Bosporan Kingdom, namely Sauromates I (d. 123 AD) and Sauromates II (d. 211 AD).