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Armies of the Scythians and Sarmatians 700 BC to AD 450 (Hardback)

Weapons, Equipment and Tactics


By Gabriele Esposito
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Series: Armies of the Past
Pages: 160
Illustrations: 80 colour illustrations
ISBN: 9781399047357
Published: 5th March 2024


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The Scythians were a horse nomads from the central Eurasian steppes who migrated south and west into the region around the Black Sea from the seventh century BC which they dominated until replaced and absorbed by the very similar Sarmatians from the third century BC. A harsh life spent riding, herding and hunting on the steppes made them into tough warriors, and highly skilled horsemen and archers. Their armies were highly mobile, mostly comprising swift mounted archers capable of elusive hit-and-run attacks but with the wealthier warriors constituting a core of heavier cavalry, armoured and equipped for close combat. Over hundreds of years the Scythians fought, and often defeated, such notable opponents as the Assyrians, Medes, Persians, Greeks and Macedonians. Their Sarmatian successors continued the tradition, being among the Romans’ most dangerous opponents for several centuries.

Gabriele Esposito discusses these remarkable warriors of the steppes, analysing what made them such formidable opponents to their neighbours over the centuries. He describes in detail their weapons, armour, equipment and tactics as they evolved over the centuries. The fascinating text is supported by dozens of beautiful colour photographs of replica costume, arms and equipment in use.

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About Gabriele Esposito

Gabriele Esposito is an Italian researcher and a long-time student of military history, whose interests and expertise range widely over various periods. Most of his recent studies have been dedicated to the reconstruction of the organization, functioning and tactics of the armies across history; in each of his publications there is always some relevant space dedicated to the 'material culture'of the various armies taken into account and - more in particular - to the empirical science known as 'uniformology'. Gabriele is the author of numerous books on armies and uniforms and is a regular contributor to many specialized magazines in Italy, France, Netherlands and UK. His many previous works include Armies of Early Colonial North America 1607-1713Armies of the Late Roman Empire 284-476Armies of the Hellenistic States 323 BC to AD30Armies of Celtic Europe 700 BC-AD 106Armies of Ancient Greece, circa 500 BC to 338 BC; and The Macedonian Army of Philip II and Alexander the Great 359-323 BC, all published by Pen & Sword since 2018. He lives in southern Italy, near the ancient battlefield of Beneventum.

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