Mounted Archers: The Beginnings of Central Asian History

Durham Academic Press, 1997 - 447 sider
Way back in the second century BC, on the remote north-western frontier of China, a tribe of mounted archers overran the land of another. Though a commonplace event in those days, this incident initiated a nomad migration which threw the whole of Central Asia into turmoil and led to the fall of a remarkable Greek kingdom in distant northern Afghanistan. Dr. Torday has painstakingly pieced together the trail and identity of the warlike tribes involved, using the evidence of contemporary Chinese annals, Greek authors, scattered coins, a few surviving names and some legends which have been recorded. We learn who the Huns really were, why the wolf and the bird who fed Romulus and Remus were also known in Siberia, how the horn came to be a symbol of might all over contemporary Eurasia, why the earliest Sarmatian tribes called themselves "men of the river" and how an early Indo-European language came to be spoken at the edge of the Taklamakan desert. Mounted Archers is the first monograph to cover the history of this migration from China to the Hindu Kush, and from its antecedents to the time when the migrants came to rule all the land from the Aral Sea to the mouth of the Ganges. It is a work on a scale every bit as epic as the journey it recreates.

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