Ch-ch-changes

goth

Around the year 95 e.v. Dio Chrysostom visited Olbia, where he delivered a speech to the city elites in the forecourt of the temple of Zeus on Platonic politics and Zoroastrian mythology.

Due to constant incursions from their Thrakian, Skythian and Goth neighbors the fortunes of the city had waned considerably since the days of Pharnobazos the Orpheotelest. Though they spoke barbarous Greek, grew out their hair and beards and – shock! gasp! – wore baggy trousers instead of chitons (in the fucking Ukraine, mind you; they were just trying to avoid having their balls freeze off, not Skythize!) they still cherished Homeric values, worshiped Achilles and many of them had the Iliad memorized.

You can read an account of the speech he gave after returning home here.

And for some context I recommend Alexandr Podossinov’s Barbarians and Greeks in the Northern Pontus in the Roman Period: Dio Chrysostom’s Account of Olbia, and Archaeology.