High History / Part XV / Scythians & Marijuana Sauna - Herodotus

9 months ago


Father of History

One of my favorite ancient historians is the old Greek Herodotus (484 BC- 425 BC) who was born in Halicarnassus (Bodrum, Turkey) in the Persian Empire and was called the "Father of History". He is best-known for having written the book "The Histories". Herodotus was renowned for reporting what he heard, which was often fantastic and described Scythian Culture and rituals in his Histories.


The Scythians

The Scythians were a barbaric group who formed Nomadic Tribes, traveling across Eastern Europe and Central Asia from about 600 BC to AD 600. Scythians were expert horsemen and fierce warriors on the battlefield, and were one of the earliest peoples to master the art of riding and using horse-drawn covered wagons. Scythians were known to behead their enemies and drink their blood.


The Scythians & Cannabis

The Scythians were fond of #Marijuana and were responsible for bringing it from Central Asia to Egypt & Eastern Europe. They traveled bringing their knowledge of the spiritual and practical uses for Cannabis with them. Thier early high mobility is perhaps, why most people credit them with the unfold of Cannabis throughout the ancient world.

Cannabis was a part of the Scythian Cult of the dead, wherein homage was paid to the memory of their departed leaders. After the death and burial of one of their leaders, the Scythians would purify themselves by setting up small tepee-like structures which they would enter to inhale the fumes of hemp seeds thrown onto red-hot stones.

Herodotus wrote in The Histories about the Scythians’ use of the plant to urge high in Macedonia. He noted,

They take some seed, creep into the tent, and throw the seed on to the hot stones. At once it begins to smoke, giving off a vapor unsurpassed by any vapor-bath one could find in Greece. The Scythians enjoy it so much that they howl with pleasure.

It is presumably the seeds represented by Herodotus were seeded buds, which the burn seeds found by archeologists ar what was left over from the burnt buds.



Archeologists recently discovered at a preserved Scythian Ritual Site, a skull with three small holes drilled into it – probably to ease swelling and beside the skull, and they found a Cache of Cannabis, ostensibly to relieve the man’s headache in the next life.

This supports Herodotus' claim that the Scythians would throw hemp seeds on hot stones in order to produce steam "That no Grecian vapour-bath can surpass." According to Herodotus, the Scythians would perform this ritual after a burial.

Marijuana Sauna

Scythians may have sown some destruction—drinking an enemy's blood is taking things a bit too far.

But they Shared Their Stash with the people they were raiding, which was decent of them, and if you have to wash off a lot of blood and gore, A Marijuana Sauna looks like the way to do it.

As we see, the reference to cannabis appears in relation to a Mortuary Ritual, and that is Curiously Unbloody given the habits of the Scythians, and is remarkable is the Purification Ceremony.

After the burial, those engaged in it have to purify themselves, which they do in the following way. First they well soap and wash their heads; then, in order to cleanse their bodies, they act as follows: they make a booth by fixing in the ground three sticks inclined towards one another, and stretching around them woollen felts, which they arrange so as to fit as close as possible: inside the booth a dish is placed upon the ground, into which they put a number of red-hot stones, and then add some hemp-seed.

So in brief the Scythians strip naked, build a sauna and fill it with smoke from cannabis seeds! / Herodotus continues:

The Scythians, as I said, take some of this hemp-seed, and, creeping under the felt coverings, throw it upon the red-hot stones; immediately it smokes, and gives out such a vapour as no Grecian vapour-bath can exceed; the Scythians, delighted, shout for joy, and this vapour serves them instead of a water-bath; for they never by any chance wash their bodies with water. Their women make a mixture of cypress, cedar, and frankincense wood, which they pound into a paste upon a rough piece of stone, adding a little water to it. With this substance, which is of a thick consistency, they plaster their faces all over, and indeed their whole bodies. A sweet odour is thereby imparted to them, and when they take off the plaster on the day following, their skin is clean and glossy.


So, you've got some significant knowledge again, to throw around at your 4/20 gathering, while everybody's chilling and indulging in what we now know is a habit that's lasted thousands of years!

References & Photos / Prohbtd / Herb Museum / Strange History /

Before Prohibition, when #Cannabis plants grew freely, many of Notable People throughout #History, created necessary contributions to the event of common Cannabis Usage, throughout the ages, from ancient civilizations, to queens, to presidents, to emperors. So, if missed out one celebrity of High History Series,
feel free to check :

Ramesses The Great / William Shakespeare / James Monroe / Queen Victoria / Marijuana Inside The Tomb / Hua Tuo / William Brooke O'Shaughnessy / Herodotus, Democritus & Dioscorides / Ottoman Empire / Cannabis Club / Henry VIII & Elizabeth I / St.Hildegard Von Bingen / Louisa May Alcott / Queen Hatshepsut /

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It is great to know that what we are doing is basically trying to give life to the legacy of some of the greatest nations that have roamed this planet. Cannabis was a lifeline of those nations and we are just trying to revive that.

I want to visit the sauna!!! What an amazing idea!

Hard to imagine.. Those were the days

We call it chamber, today...in a car or toilet when you close all windows..in a tent in festivals as well.