According to Herodotus
were a tribe living beyond the Scythian
cultivators, one of the nations along the course of the river Hypanis
), west of the Borysthenes
). (Roughly the area of modern Belarus
and Eastern Poland
). He stated that they were driven from their land "one generation before the attack of Darius
)" by an invasion of serpents. He also reported a Scythian tale they changed once a year into wolves
, although giving no credence to it. This is perhaps a reference to a shamanistic
The 18th century Swedish historian Olof von Dalin wrote that the Neuri were a mixture of Scythians, Greeks and Hebrews who accompanied another race, the Budiner or "Shepherd Scythians", to the Swedish islands around 400 BC, because of pressure from the Macedonians. He adds that these Neuri were the ancestors of Finns, Sami, and Estonians.
- Concerning the Neuri, it should be noted that they seem to be remnants of the Ten Tribes of Israel which Shalmaneser, king of Assyria, brought as captives out of Canaan... [When one realises that] the language of the ancient Finns, Lapps and Estonians is similar to the Hebrew and even that this people in ancient times reckoned their year's beginning from the first of March, and Saturday as their Sabbath, then one sees that the Neuri in all probability had this origin. (pages 54-55, Svearikes Historia, Volume 1, 1747).
This theory is seen as quaint by modern linguistics, which has found no connections between the Uralic language family and the Semitic language, Hebrew.
Bruce Gordon's Regnal Chronologies associates the Neuri with the "Milograd culture" and notes they may have been Balts (ie. possible ancestors of Lithuanians and kindred peoples). Others believe the Neuri to have been ancestral to the Slavic peoples.
- , p. 97-102