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How the barbarians of the steppes shaped civilisation

The nomadic tribes of Central Asia eventually created vast empires that changed not only their own world but western history, says Kenneth W. Harl

12 August 2023

9:00 AM

12 August 2023

9:00 AM

Empires of the Steppes: The Nomadic Tribes Who Shaped Civilisation Kenneth W. Harl

Bloomsbury, pp.576, 30

It’s boom time for nomad history. It started some eight years ago, when Bloomsbury published a study of central Asia from an Oxford academic. This might have been a fringe book, but the author’s breadth of knowledge and analysis was exceptional, the narrative was gripping, the cover was beautiful and the publisher had high hopes, in spite of my quibbling review.

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