1540s, from Latin Scythia, from Greek Skythia, name anciently given to the region along the north coast of the Black Sea, from Skythes "a Scythian," said to be from an Indo-European root meaning "shepherd" [Room]. As an adjective from 1560s. Herodotus is responsible for Scythian disease or Scythian insanity.
The Scythians consisted of "all the pastoral tribes who dwelt to the north of the Black Sea and the Caspian, and were scattered far away toward the east. Of this vast country but little was anciently known. Its modern representative is Russia, which, to a great extent, includes the same territories." They were the descendants of Japheth (Gen. 9:27). It appears that in apostolic times there were some of this people that embraced Christianity (Col. 3:11).