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The horse is surely the “aristocrat” of animals domesticated by man. This book documents the origins of horse domestication on the Pontic-Caspian steppes some 6,000 years ago and the consequent migration of equestrian tribes across Eurasia to the borders of sedentary states. Horse-chariotry and cavalry in effect changed the nature of warfare in the civilizations of the Middle East, India, and China. But, beyond the battlefield, horsepower also afforded great advances in transport, agriculture, industry, and science. Rapidity of horse communications forged far-flung equestrian empires, where language, law, weights, measures, and writing systems were standardized and revolutionary technologies and ideas were disseminated across continents. Always recognizing this dual character of horsepower – both destructive and constructive – the politico-military and economic importance of the horse is discussed in the rise of Hittite, Achaemenid, Chinese, Greco-Roman, Arab, Mongol, and Turkic states. Following Columbian contact, Old and New World cultures are contrastively evaluated in terms of presence or absence of the horse. And Spanish conquest of the horseless Americas is seen as the model for subsequent European equestrian colonization of horseless territories around the planet.Read more
- Unlike most books which often address only a few aspects of the horse, this book recounts the entire history of the horse
- The book is multidisciplinary in its approach, drawing on paleozoology, archaeology, ethnology, linguistics, and history
- The book explores the symbolic dimensions of the myths and ceremonies surrounding equestrianism
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"..a general and approachable discussion of horses in human society the world over..."
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"… a fascinating study in which anthropology and history work well together."
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- Date Published: April 2009
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9780521736299
- length: 478 pages
- dimensions: 229 x 152 x 24 mm
- weight: 0.64kg
- contains: 38 b/w illus. 5 maps
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
1. Introduction to equestrian man and to Equus
2. Equus Caballus: horse domestication and Agro-Pastoralism across the Eurasian steppes
3. Nomadic horse culture of the steppes
4. Expansion from the steppes to Southwestern and Southern Asia
5. China and the steppes beyond its borders
6. Equestrian Europe - solar edifices, hippodromes, and Arthurian chivalry
7. Arabian conquest from the South
8. Turkic-invader converts to Islam and crusader opponents
9. From the steppes, the Altaic nomad conquest of Eurasia
10. From Europe, Equus returns to its continent of origin
11. Horses are us.
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