crimean meditations

570_jmJacob Mikanowski at The Millions:

Who does the Crimea belong to?

First of all, to the sea that made it. Seven thousand years ago, the Black Sea was much lower than it is today. Then a waterfall tumbled over the Bosporus, and the waters began to rise. The flood cut the Crimea off from the mainland – all the way except for a narrow isthmus called the Perekop. Ever since, it has been a rocky island on the shores of a sea of grass.

The steppes belonged to the nomads. Grass meant horses, and freedom. The steppes stretched north, from the mouth of the Danube to the Siberian Altai. Across the centuries they were home to various nomadic confederations and tribes: Scythians, Sarmatians, Huns, Pechenegs, Cumans, Mongols, and Kipchak Turks. The legendary Cimmerians predate them all; the Cossacks are still there today.

At times, the nomadic tribes made their home in Crimea too.

more here.