h1

Review – Forgotten Peoples of the Ancient World

9 February, 2022

FPotAWIn Forgotten Peoples of the Ancient World, Philip Matyszak looks at forty ancient civilizations that are mostly forgotten in the modern world. While ranging from Northern Europe to India, most of them were in the Middle and Near East, the cradle of civilizations.

This book is popular history and there is nothing wrong with that, each culture receives just a brief overview usually with some of the interesting events or important historical contributions highlighted. Each section ends with a “future echoes” piece showing how something from that civilization is still with us today, though some of them seem quite a stretch. But an enjoyable, if light, read.

Looking at the book as a resource for world builders, both in fiction and games, it is an excellent source, giving you just enough information about a group to know if you want to delve more deeply into their culture for your purposes. It also teaches an important lesson, cultures are not static monoliths, unchanging over time but are in constant flux as they interact with their environment and, more importantly, their neighboring cultures. As much as a culture might think it remains the same (and promote that idea), people, ideas and technologies arrive and cause changes all the time. It may not be the constant flurry of new ideas and technology that swirl around us today, but things were continually changing even in the most apparently static cultures of the past and this is good to keep in mind when trying to build cultures for fiction and games.

Notes: The link is an Amazon Affiliate link and if you purchase through it, this site will get a small sliver of money.

Please share your thoughts

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: