Ossetians were good-looking and slender, Arabian people were attracted to their beauty. Ossetian women were famed in Aravia. They were captured to make new generation beautiful.
They (Scythians) have regular features. Faces are mostly severe. Hairs are long, till shoulders. Most of them have beard and moustache.
Y. V. Domanskiy
As Makent said, similar to Alans in clothing and language. Since both similar for Alans and Scythians; but Alans don’t have such long hairs as Scythians, however, Makent, to look like them, cut his hairs as much to abolish the difference between Alan and Scythian.
Lukian, II AC
Almost all Alans are tall and handsome with gently fair hairs, they are fearful for their threatening glance; they are very nimble as a result of light armament and similar to Huns in everything, but with more gentle and more civilized way of living….
They have no idea about slavery, they were equally noble.
A. Marzellin, IV AC
Ossetians are strong, good walkers in mountains, tall, with regular thorax, have good mental faculties and talent of speaking.
K. Lyakhov. 1902
Ossetians are quite slender people, firm and strong, usually of medium height: men are 5 feet 2-4 inches. Ossetians are not fat, but sinewy and wide, especially women. They differ from their neighbors mainly by features, hairs and eyes color, which are similar to Europeans. Blue eyes, fair and chestnut hairs are frequent among ossetians; black hairs very rare. They are healthy people and have a big posterity.
U. Klaprot. 1807-1808
You will not even see men in sheepskin hat and women in kerchiefs here (in Vladikavkaz – K. Ch.). Women dress fashionable and make hairs. Men in years, with grayish hairs and serious faces remind characters from eastern movies. Ossetians have totally European look….Ossetians took the path of contemporary development earlier than other north Caucasian nations.
By their anthropological look ossetains in general similar to other Caucasians. But they rather differ from their neighbors- vaynakhs (Chechens) in the east, Kabardinians in the west, Georgians in the south. … Men are above medium height, with heavy built, massive scull, massive and expressive features. Men are mostly black-haired; among women there are a lot of brown-haired, sometimes with rust-colored tint, as with other Caucasians, but ossetian women are brighter and possess European kind of beauty.
A. F. Goldstein 1977
The face with regular features is good-looking, and even if ossetian is not interested in education he bears understanding of everything happening.
Light and chestnut hairs cover his rather round than elongate head and uncover neither big nor small forehead. Mostly women have blue and big eyes with gentle expression, and men, on the contrary, have calm expression. Ossetians don’t have that wild look, which distinguish the Circassians as well as all Caucasian people.
Such are ossetians from inner region of the country, the same are keshelt (cheshelt – K.Ch.), kudar, digorts etc. Their amiability, I’d say kindness, with which they welcome every stranger, increases their pleasant view. All their movements are easy, they walk with solid step. In Kola (village in Dzhavsky district – K.C.) I saw 16-years old girl, driving bulls in front of her, dressed in rags and, in spite of this, I was admired by her bearing, step and all her movements more than by her dazzling beauty.
An old dignified ossetian came to me asking over. I couldn’t refuse to and we went to his house situated on the opposite hill Prone in village Tormaneuli…..
I was watching with pleasure handsome tall young women, dressed in incomparable blue clothes busy making bread. If Du Bois and Shegren saw them, as I did, they wouldn’t make a mistake accepting Finnish ancestry of the ossetians. I felt badly that they left after the bread had baked…..
K. Koch. 1837-1838
Anthropology of ossetians significantly differs from anthropology of other Caucasus nations; light hairs and gray and blue eyes are frequent. Ossetians are tall and lean…. Ossetians body is healthy and strong.
Talking once with Ossetian in Tiflis I told him that in Germany among scientists it is believed that we, Germans, are the same race as Ossetians and our ancestry settled Caucasian mountains in the old days. In response the ossetian laugh at me; he was very handsome man with Circassian aquiline nose; educated Russian besides me agreed with him. Just at that moment vurtemberg peasant was passing by from Marienfield settlement. His clumsy figure, broad face with sleepy look and wiggling step totally differed from the Caucasian’s lissome fine figure. “How that can be, - exclaimed the Russian, - that you were so thoughtless and considered two totally different nations belonging to the same race? No, ancestors of these two people are from the same race as well as falcon and turkey cocks are from the same nest. Look, this Ossetian and that German make the same job; they work the land and tend the flocks. Even if you send your peasants to high mountains and dress them in Caucasian cloths, they will never look like ossetians. Even after a thousand years their great-grandsons can be distinguished a mile away”.
M. Wagner 1850
But what is really amazing in Vladikavkaz for visitor from Russia are characters of real hill-people. Some dressed shabbily and his horse is nothing special but the figure of the rider, his seat, wrapped in hook, wearing felt cloak, with rifle pickback, with saber and dagger - just a theme for a painting.
M. Vladikin. 1885
"Ossetia and Ossetians" by Kazbek Chelakhsaty
Translated by Zarina Gipaeva