“Ethnic discourse” has frequently constituted a divisive element in the study of Late Antiquity, surpassing even the debates surrounding the “fall of Rome.” This book proves that close attention to groups of ancient people can also do the opposite: Istvánovits and Kulcsár forge connections among diverse geographic and temporal fields of research through their search for the Sarmatians.

The reader should note that the volume seeks actual Sarmatians insofar as archaeology can locate and describe them, not the Sarmatian as concept or literary phenomenon. Out of the many kinds of books about “barbarians,” the authors have crafted a kind of field guide to their subject as an elusive but important species,...

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