A Review of the Scythian Empire: Central Eurasia and the Birth of the Classical Age from Persia to China

Document Type : Book Review


Department of History, Faculty of Literature and Human Science, University of Tehran


The Scythian Empire is a controversial book with a charming title that can attract the attention of any scholar. Christopher I. Beckwith presents claims in this book that accepting each one of them leads us to rethink many previous customary historical beliefs. Some of his theories are novel but most of them are rehabilitation of older obsolete ideas. The book wraps a wide range of specialized topics in the fields of history, archeology, and linguistics; but deals with most of them on a superficial level. Since the Scythians were an Iranian ethnic group, this work is especially recommended for scholars of Iranian history, as unfortunately, the significance of the Scythians in shaping Iranian history has not been recognized as other ancient Iranians such as the Persians. In a broader sense, this work can be also useful for scholars interested in the Iranian world and its relations with neighboring civilizations, Eurasia, Central Asia, and China.   


Main Subjects

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