For as to the land about the Euxine Sea, which extends from Byzantium to the Lake [Sea of Azov], it would be impossible to tell everything with precision, since the barbarians beyond the Ister River, which they also call the Danube, make the shore of that sea quite impossible for the Romans to traverse.
Procopius, sixth century
They have in no place any settled city to live in, neither do they know where their next will be. They have divided all Scythia among themselves, which stretches from the river Danube to the rising of the sun. And every captain, according to the great or small number of his people, knows the bound of his pastures, and where he ought to feed his cattle, winter and summer, spring and autumn.
Friar William of Rubruck, French ambassador to the Tatars, 1253
It is in the countries around the Black Sea that one finds the residua of the peoples of Colchis and of Asiatic Scythia, the Huns, the Avars, the Alans, the Hungarian Turks, the Bulgars, the Pechenegs, and others, who came at different times to make incursions along the banks of the Danube, which had already been invaded by the Gauls, the Vandals, the Bastarnae, the Goths, the Gepids, the Slavs, the Croats, the Serbs, and all the peoples who came down from the north to the south.
Claude Charles de Peyssonnel,
French consul to the Crimean Tatars, 1765