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"Pokrovka" is surely not Scythian city name

Discussion in 'Civ6 - General Discussions' started by lex_kravetski, Sep 13, 2016.

  1. lex_kravetski

    lex_kravetski Chieftain

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    "ka" or "ovka" is a suffix for village and street names on Russian language (feminine form). So, if you have name "Petr" then the village name in honor of him is "Petrovka". "Ivan"—"Ivanovka". Etc. Scythians speak on some Iranian language, not Russian or old Slavic. They couldn't have such a suffix on their cities' names.

    Things are getting worse, when we look at root of this word. "Pokrov" is a religion word in Russian language. It belongs to Christian faith and means "shroud" or "cover".
    Surely, Scythians didn't use this name. It is, surely, Russian and couldn't exist before Christian religion spread to Russian lands (late IX century).

    So, we have Russian root and Russian suffix. And after all many villages and streets in Russia have this name.

    Developers probably took this name from village near which Scythians ruins were found, but it sounds like "Silicon Valley" as name of capital of some Native American civilization. Or "Queen Victoria Castle" as name of ancient Chinese city.

    They need to change their capital name. It is not only ahistorical, it is just absurd.
     
  2. Ebrim

    Ebrim Chieftain

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    These are all good points but even if we agree that Scythians spoke an Iranian family language we don't know what it it was. So the devs are left with a bunch of non-ideal options (particularly for a largely nomadic people). One of them may have been to use city names in the Black Sea area where we know the Scythians conquered and maintained cities but then you'd just be trading Russian names for Pontic ones. Clearly the devs chose another path but I'm not sure it's much worse than other alternatives they faced.
     
  3. InkyK

    InkyK Chieftain

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    The Scythians were also nomadic, so they wouldn't have founded many if any cities of their own. The Pokrovka site is in Kazakhstan, so at least it's not a "random Russian city" but rather a major Scythian archaeological site. I mean, the devs don't have many options from what I see?
     
  4. Guandao

    Guandao Rajah of Minyue and Langkasuka

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    Apparently, Pokrovka is where some kurgans are located.
     
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  5. shaglio

    shaglio The Prince of Dorkness

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    They could always ask LastSword if they could borrow the city list he used in his mod.
     
  6. lex_kravetski

    lex_kravetski Chieftain

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    Now they chose a way that is worse than even random letters combination. Just because this name has meaning. Like Native Americans can't have capital city of "New York", Scythians can't have capital city of "Pokrovka". They can live in "Barbatur" or in "Tarbigarian" (these names I randomly fabricate at this moment), but not in "Pokrovka" or "Washington".

    Just because of "Washington" is American president, not a random word. And "Pokrovka" means "in this place—village or street—we have church named in honor of Intercession of the Theotokos (that is protection of Virgin Mary, who are spreading her veil)".
     
  7. Ebrim

    Ebrim Chieftain

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    You clearly feel very strongly about this and I suppose I see why that may be. The devs clearly had a reason for choosing this approach (see posts by others above). I suppose they could have done something like they did for the Huns in V but honestly I'd prefer this approach which at least considers the areas where the Sythians lived. That all said, it really doesn't bother me one way or the other.
     
  8. Boris Gudenuf

    Boris Gudenuf Chieftain

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    When making nomadic cultures/civilizations form cities, you run out of city names instantly. With the Scythians, you run into the additional problem that their language did not survive intact, and even place-names attributed to them show Greek, Turkic, Slavic, or other later influence. That said, their language WAS 'Eastern Iranian' or early Indo-European, so they could at least have used place names in the language group, rather than later Slavic or Russian. Same mistake they made with the Iroquois in Civ V, when they made most of their 'city names' the later English placenames instead of the surviving native-language-based place names.
    As far as I know, the only surviving 'Scythian' city or town names from the original written sources (Herodotus, Strabo) are Gelonos and Karkinites, and they are 'ify'. Gelonos was in the Ukraine near modern Poltava, but shows lots of Greek influence (pottery, etc) and is described by Herodotus as founded by Greeks coming north from the Black Sea coast colonies - not Scythian. Karkinites is north of the steppe, near modern Kaluga (southwest of Moscow) and so may have been either 'fringe' Scythian or another culture entirely.

    Pretty slim pickings for 'real' city names for Scythia.

    The other course is to find the oldest Iranian/Indo-European word for 'Camp', like 'Sarai', and use it coupled with a leader's name: Tomyris' Sarai, Ateas' Sarai, etc. That's probably what they called their largest concentrations of people, anyway, since the model: Batu Sarai near the location of modern Volgograd, was used for a 'permanent' capital of the Golden Horde 1500 years or so after the Scythians, but by a culture (Mongolian) with many similar attributes.

    Bottom line: there are no 'good' choices, but I agree they could have done better than use modern place-names that are from an entirely different language and culture...
     
  9. Krajzen

    Krajzen Warlord

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    That's similar to the nonsense firaxis did with Celtic names (yeah English modern city names of Wales, Scotland and Ireland, great idea), Iroquis (English geographic names), Polynesia (island names instead of city names) and most of all Huns (no names at all - some guy quickly created awesome atmospheric mod giving their cities names of tribes iirc - three aforementioned covs also got very good city list mods)
     
  10. Alphons Rodulfo

    Alphons Rodulfo weakling

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    It does seem that more attention could be given to Scythian city names, even if the absurdity is not apparent in English.

    Could this overview be a better source of Scythian city names?

    Some examples: Roxanaki, Portmei, Amadok

    Those names may be Greek renditions of local names, but even that seems much better suited than the modern Russian name of a town that happens to be near a Scythian archaeological site.

    Perhaps there are ideas of the name of the settlement at Kamianka-Dniprovska? I read it used to be a Scythian capital.
     
  11. isau

    isau Warlord

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    I realize to some people this is kind of like the capital of the Aztec civ being Mexico City, but personally it doesn't bother me. This is a very silly game. The capital gets founded in 4000 BC, which is completely ridiculous. Just not worth fretting over for me. Besides look at some of these other cities:

    - New Orleans - In most games, there is no "old" Orleans. Originally a French city, then Spanish, then French again, and only then American.

    - San Francisco, Los Angeles - Spain.

    - San Antonio - Spain and then the Republic of Texas.

    - Las Vegas - Spain named the region. Little more than a fort until 1905.
     
  12. Zaarin

    Zaarin My Dearest Doctor

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    This is not a simple problem to solve. Of all possible solutions, making up names is the worst (would it be acceptable if the capital of Russia was Ishlovskagrad? How about Germany and Trachtsberg? No? Then why is "Barbatur" acceptable for the Scythians?). From there the options become taking names from modern Ossetia and Central Asia (the route they seem to have chosen) or picking up names from Classical and Medieval Central Asian Iranian states like Sogdia, which they would run out of very quickly (and incidentally Sogdia would be a great candidate for a city-state). The Scythian language is extremely poorly attested, and the Scythians didn't have many cities. Their options are pretty slim.
     
  13. VicRatlhead5199

    VicRatlhead5199 Chieftain

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    Don't get me wrong I like somewhat obscure civs like Scythia when they're in game but this is exactly why I get a little cranky every time someone suggests a Civ with very little written history or just secondhand oral history.

    Other good examples that get suggested about once a week are the Anasazi and Great Zimbabwe. Those aren't even the actual names of the civs, one is Navajo for "ancient enemy" and the other is the name locals gave to some abandoned medieval ruins. That's how little is known about some suggested civs.

    They need to flesh these civs out somehow if they're going to add them. City names won't be accurate, languages won't be accurate, leaders may be mythical, etc. I think we just have to accept that or just not have the civs at all.

    With Scythia they could have gone the Hun route, made up some Iranian sounding gobbledygook or use modern locations. At least with the modern names you can get google results and see why they were chosen.
     
  14. isau

    isau Warlord

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    I think if they used made up city names the forum outrage would melt the servers.
     
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  15. VicRatlhead5199

    VicRatlhead5199 Chieftain

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    :lol: you're probably right.
     
  16. Krik_IDDQD

    Krik_IDDQD Chieftain

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    Everything is fine. It's all according to the covenants by Aleksandr Blok: Scythians are Russians (and vice versa). :lol::lol::lol:

    "Pan-mongolism! Although the name is savage,
    Its sound is sweet to me.

    Millions are you. We are hosts and hosts and hosts.
    Come on, let's try to fight with us!
    Yes, we are Scythians! Yes, we are Asians
    with slanting greedy eyes!"

    (c) Aleksandr Blok, "The Scythians"
     
  17. lex_kravetski

    lex_kravetski Chieftain

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    "Better" doesn't mean "good". "Better" is "better". If I have to chose between "Ishlovskagrad" and "Mao Zedung", as capital of Russia, I will surely prefer "Ishlovskagrad". Despite it is pseudo-Slavic word, but it is not Chinese XX century leader name, at least. So, it is not "acceptable", but "more acceptable than".
     
  18. Chiyo

    Chiyo Chieftain

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    That is what I wondered about when I heard that the Scythians would appear. Despite the positive reactions on this forum I thought it was a bad choice for a civilization as we simply do not know enough about them. I fear they will feel as artificial as the Huns did in Civ 5 as it does not feel like building up "the real thing" as I can with most other civs.
     
  19. Thormodr

    Thormodr Servant of Civ Supporter

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    While it would be nice for them to get these things right, at least this is the most easily modded thing. Anyone can do it, in game, if they had a list.

    Plus, I am sure within a week, someone will have a mod. :)

    Not that Firaxis shouldn't do things right in the first place but at least the solution is at hand.
     
  20. Boris Gudenuf

    Boris Gudenuf Chieftain

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    This is a great source of potential Scythian 'cities' but, alas, does not have many precise Scythian city place names.

    The entire list has just six:
    Portmei
    Roxanaki
    Gilea - a sacred site
    Napit
    Palakion
    Habei
    ...the last three being Fortresses built by the Scythians in the Crimea area

    BUT there are also a lot of clan/tribe names which could be applied to settlements in Scythia:
    Avhatai
    Agaroi
    Alizons
    Amador
    Amurgion
    Arimoi
    Assaioi
    Katiars
    Palos
    Paralates
    Skithins
    Skolots
    Tiragets

    AND there is an even longer list of Scythian names for rivers in their territory which could be adapted to city names:
    Arar, Arax
    Herr
    Hypanis
    Hipakiris
    Daix
    Borysthenes
    Lik
    Oap
    Naparis
    Ordess
    Pantikapeum
    Porata
    Silis
    Sirgis
    Tanais
    Tiarant
    Tiras

    And finally, don't forget the mythical founder of the Scythians, whose name could certainly be applied to a city: Targitai

    Out of all those, even Firaxis should be able to come up with a set of city names that are actually derived from Scythian words, titles, tribes, clans, and places ...
     
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