The Barbarian Empires of the Steppes : The Great Courses: Ancient History

  • by The Great Courses
  • Narrated by Professor Kenneth W. Harl
  • Series: The Great Courses: Ancient History
  • 18 hrs and 15 mins
  • Lecture

Publisher's Summary

The word "barbarian" quickly conjures images of Attila the Hun and Genghis Khan. Yet few people realize these men belong to a succession of nomadic warriors who emerged from the Eurasian steppes to conquer civilizations. It's a part of ancient and medieval history that's often overlooked, but for an accurate view of how the world evolved, it's essential.
Covering some 6,000 miles and 6,000 years, this eye-opening course illuminates how a series of groups - from the Sacae and Sarmatians to the infamous Huns and Mongols - pushed ever westward, coming into contact with the Roman Empire, Han China, and distant cultures from Iraq to India.
Along the way, you'll learn how these nomads caused a domino effect of displacement and cultural exchange; meet fascinating figures such as Tamerlane, the "Prince of Destruction"; witness struggles to control the legendary Silk Road; trace the spread of Buddhism and Islam, and more.
By looking past the barbarian stereotype, you'll understand who these people were, the significance of their innovations - which include stirrups, saddles, and gunpowder - and the magnitude of their impact. Of course, these warriors did wage campaigns of terror, and you'll hear many accounts of violence as well.
Led by an award-winning professor, these 36 lectures provide new insights on how the world was shaped and introduce you to cultures and empires you've likely never encountered.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.


See More Like This

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Very informative

Where does The Barbarian Empires of the Steppes rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This is one of the best books I have listened to, it is great to listen to

What did you like best about this story?

I liked how he kept the chronology of the story, but was able to provide great detail about both the western and eastern steppe

What about Professor Kenneth W. Harl’s performance did you like?

I liked how he could bring the stories to life with small details about the main characters, and it seemed that he was also interested in the story

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

The book is very long, it would take a day to listen to it, but if I could I would have

Any additional comments?

I would recommend this as a fascinating listen and a part of history that is often overlooked

Read full review

- Nixon

Absolutely amazing

I always had a great fascination with the Mongol empire and I have been looking for a comprehensive background on the world that they came from. This series was that and much more, as it went through the history of the step peoples even as far back as the Indo-European expansion in the late Neolithic, to the Mogul empire in India. The narration was good, with the lectures delivered with a lot of energy and story telling ability. Strongly recommended.
Read full review

- David Jackson

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-01-2014
  • Publisher: The Great Courses