Sarmatia, in classical geography, the name of a vast region of eastern Europe and western Asia (according to ancient divisions). Ptolemy the geographer distinguishes between European and Asiatic Sarmatia. He describes the former as bounded W. by the Vistula and the Sarmatian mountains (N. W. Carpathians); S. by a line running from the Sarmatian mountains to the mouth of the Borysthenes (Dnieper), and thence along the coast of the Euxine to the isthmus of the Tauric Cher-sonesus (Crimea); E. by the Maeotis (sea of Azov), the Tanais (Don), and further N. by the meridian drawn from the source of the Tanais; and N. apparently from the gulf of Finland to the mouth of the Vistula, the regions beyond being unknown at the time. The boundaries of Asiatic Sarmatia he draws from the Cimmerian Bosporus (strait of Yeni-kale) along the N. E. shore of the Euxine to the mouth of the Corax, a little above Dios-curias in Colchis; thence along Iberia and Albania to the Caspian sea, which forms the E. boundary as far as the river Rha (Volga), which completes the E. limit unto the unknown north.
The eastern part was inhabited by the Sarmatae or Sarmatians proper, probably the Sauromatae of Herodotus, according to him an Asiatic people derived from the intercourse of Scythians with the Amazons. The larger western division, corresponding to the Scythia of Herodotus, was peopled by the Venedi, Alani, Hamaxobii, Roxolani, Jazyges, and numerous other tribes of various race.