Second Edition. — New York: Frederick A. Praeger, 1957. — 255 p. — (Ancient Peoples and Places, vol. 2).
The Scythians interested Herodotus—so much that he made a special journey to Olbia, on the Black Sea, to study their customs; we still depend largely upon his descriptions. But in recent years much work has been done in South Russia and the Altai and a very much fuller picture can be obtained of this vigorous nomad people, with their unique animal art, and love of the horse.
Mrs. Talbot Rice has brought together a vast amount of information from sources that are not available in the English language and her original conclusions are most provocative. Having travelled extensively in the Near and Middle East she can enter with sympathy into the whole spirit of the nomad way of life. Her suggested link in art styles between East and West is convincingly shown by the comparative illustration material, and may there not indeed be some truth in her suggestion that the English love of horses and ‘turnout’ stems from the nomads who introduced the art of riding to Western Europe? Her book is a blend of humour, shrewd observation and carefully recorded fact, at once a source book for archaeologists and a fascinating record of a most unusual people.
Many of the 62 photographs have been obtained specially from Russia and there are also line drawings and three maps. The full bibliography of books in many languages will be particularly welcome.
Rice Tamara Talbot. The Scythians
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