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Scythians 700-300 B.C. (Men at Arms Series, 137) Paperback – March 24, 1983


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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Packed with specially commissioned artwork, maps and diagrams, the Men-at-Arms series is an unrivalled illustrated reference on the history, organisation, uniforms and equipment of the world's military forces, past and present.
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Product Details

  • Series: Men-at-Arms (Book 137)
  • Paperback: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing; First Edition edition (March 24, 1983)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0850454786
  • ISBN-13: 978-0850454789
  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 0.2 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #321,439 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

A fast read and very interesting fighting people.
Mr. Bubles
Yes, Virginia, there really were Amazons, and they kicked some serious butt.
Cat's Meow
The illustrations in this book are great, truly bringing them to life.
Richard Brzostek

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Richard Brzostek VINE VOICE on May 22, 2005
Format: Paperback
"The Scythians 700-300 BC" by Dr. E. V. Cernenko is a fantastic introductory book on the Scythians. The Scythians lived about the same time as the ancient Greeks, migrating out of the Iran area into Eastern Europe, leaving burial mounds as far apart as Mongolia and the Ukraine. Although there are many questions about these people that may never be answered, they have left a fair amount of surviving artifacts. Most impressive are the fine detailed gold objects.

Albeit there are many unanswered questions on the Scythains, this volume provides an outline of their history, weapons, clothing, and battles. The illustrations in this book are great, truly bringing them to life. Their scale-mail armors and splendid weapons are an impressive sight.

I found this to be among the fastest reading books in the Men-at-Arms series. It left me wondering and wanting to learn more about these ancient people and their history. I would highly recommend this volume to anyone interested in ancient armies.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Cat's Meow on January 3, 2003
Format: Paperback
I own this book, and have found it useful in designing loose-fit
ting, comfortable nomadic, Scythian-style garments. If one takes the time to carefully examine the pictures, reconstuction
pictures, etc., one could use them to reconstruct either arms or
clothing, as a living history study. Keep in mind, they traded
actively with the Greeks, and from the other end of the Silk Ro-
ad, China, and artisans fashioned jewelry and armor to reflect
those tastes. Most famously, the golden helmets, greaves, and
pectoral jewelry.
Excellent layout on the compound bow a real plus, as are draw-
ings of grave goods, used by both male and female warriors. Yes, Virginia, there really were Amazons, and they kicked some
serious butt.
Excellent intro to making your own Scythian-style armaments and
clothing. Cover picture alone is worth the price of the book.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 7, 1999
Format: Paperback
As with all the Osprey Men-at-Arms books, "The Scythians" focusses on the armor and weapons of these Steppe peoples. The information is accurate, being based on extensive archaeology.
Best of all are the color plates which reconstruct what these people looked like, dressed in their elaborate clothing, fine lamellar armor, and wearing the distinctive Scythian gold jewelry that has become famous. The color plates breathe life into what would otherwise be a dry archaeological review.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By K. Murphy on April 2, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Most are under the impression that the Scythian army consisted exclusively of lightly clad horsemen (or women) shooting arrows in the typical 'Parthian Shot', but this book reveals their true versitality in war-they used all weapons, swords, axes, spears, daggers, shields, and so on in addition to the bows that would later be characteristic of the Parthians, Turks, and Mongols. The plates are good, and depict the Scytho-Sarmatian warrior-women, the inspiration for the myth of the 'Amazons', in addition to Scythian warriors triumphing over Thracian and Macedonian foes. As always, this men-at-arms book is an excellent introduction to the weapons, tactics, and general history of its subject.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 22, 2002
Format: Paperback
Angus McBride must be the most prolific artist working for Osprey. His illustrations cover almost every other period on every continent that you can think of. His drawings range from the sublime to the atrocious due I suspect to his prolific output.
I am not a McBride fan but rate this particular book highly because I think that his scythian drawings are truly McBride at his best, even surpassing his work on the zulus and vikings.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 25, 1997
Format: Paperback
A generous rating for what must be one of the best MAA book ever. The text is by two very competent historians and the illustrations by A. McBride are definitely his best. It helps also that the Scythians are dressed in magnificent finery
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By JPS TOP 500 REVIEWER on November 21, 2013
Format: Paperback
This is an old Osprey Men-at-Arms title, first published in 1983, that I have therefore had for about thirty years, and which I still go back to from time to time, although given its format, it cannot (and does not!) pretend to be anything more than an introduction.

It is, however, a good one, although, as another reviewer noted, it is not quite complete. The term "Scythians is interpreted rather narrowly to only include those living to the North of the Back Sea and the Massagetae are entirely omitted.

One of this book's strongpoints is that it is well-written, and written in a way that is much more engaging than many much more recent titles. This needs to be emphasised because the author (E.V. Cernenko) was clearly not writing in his native language. A related quality also worth noting, if only because all titles do not share it nowadays, is the quality of the editing: there are almost no typos, or, perhaps more accurately, I have only found one.

A third strongpoint of this book is the plates from the late Angus McBride. These are, in my opinion, among his very best and they vividly show both the military evolutions of the Scythians throughout the period associated with their persistent ferocity. One of the first plates shows a warrior collecting the scalp of the Thracian warrior he has just killed whereas the last one shows a young warrior bringing the head and the arms and armour of a Macedonian officer to his king who rewards him for his first kill with a ritual cup of wine.
The other plates, which, together with the ones already mentioned, are all based on careful reconstruction from another historian on the basis of tomb findings, also show the mix of equipment and influences of the Scythians.
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