Forgotten Peoples of the Ancient World
What do we know of the Bactrians, apart from their two-humped camels? Or of the Samaritans, other than that one of them was good? We call an uncultured lout a Philistine, but were the Philistines really ‘philistines’, and come to that, were the Vandals ‘vandals’? This book is about such peoples who, though largely forgotten, have directly or indirectly affected us today. Philip Matyszak brings these lost peoples out of the shadows to highlight their influence and achievements, and to explore the ways in which they helped to lay the foundations of our modern world.
Forty-five entries span the birth of civilization in Mesopotamia to the fall of the Roman Empire in the West, offering an alternative history focusing on the names we aren’t familiar with, from the Hurrians to the Hephthalites, as well as the peoples whose names we know, such as the King Midas and the Goths. Each entry charts their rise and fall, and how their culture echoes through history into the present. Important ancient artefacts are illustrated throughout and fifty specially drawn maps help orientate the reader within this tumultuous period of history. Philip Matyszak brings to life the rich diversity of the peoples founding cities, inventing alphabets and battling each other in the ancient world, and explores how and why they came to be forgotten.