The Budini (Ancient Greek: Βουδίνοι; Boudínoi) was a group of people (a tribe) described by Herodotus and several later classical authors. Described as nomads living near settled Gelonians, Herodotus located them east of the Tanais river (which is usually assumed to correspond with modern Don River) beyond the Sarmatians.
|Geographical range||Eastern Europe|
|Period||European Iron Age|
|Major sites||Bel'skoe site (link to Budini is not definitive)|
Pliny the Elder mentions the Budini together with the Geloni and other peoples living around the rivers which drain into the Black Sea from the north. During the European Scythian campaign of Darius I, in which the Persian king invaded the Scythian lands of Eastern Europe, the Budini were allies of the Scythians. During the campaign, he captured and burnt down one of the Budini's large fortified cities.
The Budini are also mentioned by Classical authors in connection with reindeer. Both Aristotle and Theophrastus have short accounts – probably based on the same source – of an ox-sized deer species, named tarandos, living in the land of the Budines in Scythia, which was able to change the colour of its fur to obtain camouflage. The latter is probably a misunderstanding of the seasonal change in reindeer fur colour.
Pliny the Elder gives the following account of Herodotus' description of Budini:
|“||Herodotus describes the Budini people, east of the Ister (Danube) River, thusly: [4.108] The Budini are a large and powerful nation: They all have deep blue eyes, and bright red hair. There is a town in their country called Gelonus which is made out of wood. Each side of its high outer wall is thirty stades long, made entirely of wood, and wood has been used for all its houses and shrines too. They have sanctuaries there which are dedicated to the Greek gods and equipped in the Greek manner with statues, altars and buildings of wood; and every third year they celebrate a festival of Dionysus and become possessed by the god. The Budini, however, differ from the Gelonians in both language and lifestyle. The Budinians, who are nomadic, are the indigenous inhabitants of the country, and they are the only race there to eat lice, whereas the Gelonians are farmers, grain-eaters and gardeners; moreover, the two sets of people are altogether dissimilar in appearance and colouring.... The land is entirely covered with forests of every conceivable species of tree. In the largest forest there is a large, wide lake, surrounded by a reedy marsh. They capture otters and beavers in this lake, and also a square-faced creature whose skin they sew as a trimming on to their jackets, and whose testicles are good for healing diseases of the womb.||”|
Historicity, origin and locationEdit
The definitive origin or the ethnic composition of Budini - if they indeed existed as a singular entity Herodotus and later authors had described - remains unknown. The general consensus is that the Budini correspond to Yukhnovo culture.
Boris Rybakov was the first to suggest that Budini correspond to Yukhnovo culture. A view now held by the majority of historians. He considered the latter to be ethnically proto-Slavic, and, together with Boris Grakov, further theorised that, considering the probable, relatively large, population numbers of the Budini, which he inferred from the archeological evidence, the Budini must have inhabbited a relatively large territory, likely stretching from Voronezh forest steppe to Poltava forest steppe. However, he also did not rule out a possible relation with proto-Balts. He also suggested the Budini had cults dedicated to Lada, a goddess of Balto-Slavic mythology.
On the other hand, Nikolai Derzhavin, who also argued that they were of proto-slavic, determined their location at the time of Herodotus to be between the middle Dnepr and the upper reaches of Don river stretching further up to the limits of the Volga river basin.
Zbigniew Gołąb argued that they were a confederation of people who spoke Proto-Slavic language, from which Greeks inferred their name which was an exonym meaning "tribesmen" in their native language.
Several historians and scholars such as Lubor Niederle and Pavel Jozef Šafárik believe that the Budini were a Slavic people, and that the etymology stems from the Slavic word for 'water' "Voda". Same as Votic, in Finnish Vatja or Russian Voga. 
|Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article Budini.|
- Herodotus, The Histories, iv. 21.
- Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, book 4, XII, 88; Pliny the Elder, The Natural History, trans. John Bostock, book 4, chapter 26
- Boardman 1982, pp. 239-243.
- Georg Sarauw, "Das Rentier in Europa zu den Zeiten Alexanders und Cæsars" [The reindeer in Europe to the times of Alexander the Great and Julius Caesar], In Jungersen, H. F. E. and Warming, E.. Mindeskrift i Anledning af Hundredeaaret for Japetus Steenstrups Fødsel (Copenhagen 1914), pp. 1–33.
- Herodotus, The Histories, trans. Robin Waterfield (1998), iv. 108, 109.
- Граков, Борис Николаевич (1971). Скифы. Moscow. pp. 131—132, 160.
- Gorbanenko, Sergey. "Каравайко Д.В., Горбаненко С.А. Господарство носіїв юхнівської культури. — К.: Наук. думка, 2012. — 304 с."
- Patrushev, V. (1995): Uralic Nations of Russia: Historic Development and Present Condition. pp. 97–116.
- Борис Александрович Рыбаков (Borys Aleksandrowicz Rybakow), Геродотова Скифия. Историко-географический анализ (tł. Herodotowa Scytia. Analiza historyczno-geograficzna), Wydawnictwo «Наука», 1979, (ros.)
- Rybakov, Boris (1987). Язычество Древней Руси [Paganism in Ancient Rus'] (in Russian). Moscow: Nauka.
- Александр, Свободин. "БУДИНЫ - Происхождение восточного славянства (история и современное состояние вопроса)". www.e-reading.club. Retrieved 2018-06-03.
- Zbigniew., Gołąb, (1992). The origins of the Slavs : a linguist's view. Columbus, Ohio: Slavica Publishers, Inc. p. 166. ISBN 0893572314. OCLC 26994940.
- James Hastings, "Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics" (1921), p. 588.
- Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Budini". Encyclopædia Britannica. 4 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 751.
- Edgar V. Saks, Eesti viikingid (Tallinn 2005), p. 16.
- Sutrop, Urmas (2004). Erelt, M, ed. "Liivimaa kroonika Ykescola ~ Ykescole ja Üksküla. Tõnu Karma 80. sünnipäevaks" (PDF). Emakeele Seltsi aastaraamat (in Estonian). Tallinn: Emakeele Selts: 89.
- Henryk Łowmiański, Studies on the History of Slavdom, Poland and Rus in Middle Ages , Poznań 1986, p. 25
- Péter Hajdú, Finno-Ugrian Languages and Peoples, London 1970, s. 70