As I described in my introduction, this work contains no original research on my part. This work is purely an assemblage of hundreds of bits and pieces of information I gleaned from the original works of many others. The scholars from whose works I drew most heavily to construct this synthesis are René Grousset, David Christian, Christopher I. Beckwith, Christoph Baumer, Colin McEvedy, David Nicolle, and the numerous authors anthologized in The Cambridge History of Early Inner Asia. The works of Grousset, McEvedy, and Nicolle enabled me to construct the initial skeletal framework of this work, that is, the basic sequential listing of horse nomad tribes by their name, ethnicity, location, and chronological order. The works of Baumer, Beckwith, and most especially Christian—together with the authors of the Cambridge anthology—provided me with the fully rounded flesh of detailed information to put on the initial skeleton. My debt to all the authors I have cited is frankly enormous and my gratitude to them is bigger than the endless steppe-land sky. My gratitude to Dr. Beckwith is in full force, even considering my respectful disagreement with him that I elucidated in my introduction. The numerous works of all these authors on which I have relied so heavily are listed in my bibliography. I discuss the specifics of the debt I owe these scholars in detail in my bibliographical essay.
To restate a point I made in my bibliographical essay, I have not used footnotes for the simple reason that if I attempted to explain in footnotes how I distilled each few lines of my typology from all the sources, then the footnotes would run for three or four times as many pages as the typology itself. I have collected the myriad facts contained in this work that enumerate how “Tribe A attacked Tribe B in year xxx” from all the numerous books and articles by all the numerous authors listed in the bibliography. But—virtually all the wording I have written to convey those facts, virtually all the “word-smithing” of this work, is my own creation. In only one sentence have I used the words of another scholar verbatim and I was careful to enclose his words with quotation marks and to give him credit by name.
I need to make special mention of my gratitude to Dr. Jeannine Davis-Kimball, brilliant scholar, high-adventure archaeologist extraordinaire, and wonderful human being. Her warm encouragement and freely offered expertise ensured my neophyte self was headed down the correct path when I started this project years ago. Thanks, Jeannine!
All the maps supporting this work are the brilliant creation of Thomas Lessman. Tom makes his maps available to the public for free at his website http://www.worldhistorymaps.info/maps.html. He graciously granted me permission to crop the maps down as needed to focus on that part of the world over which the horse nomads roamed. As I’m sure readers are quick to agree, the visual component of telling the story of the Eurasian horse nomads through maps is every bit as essential as the textual component I wrote to understanding who the nomads were and what they did. Fully half of this work’s merit is therefore due to Tom and I thank him accordingly.
The humorous cartoons accompanying this work were created by Frank Cotham and David Sipress for New Yorker magazine. I thank Condé Nast Publishing for graciously granting me permission to use the cartoons. All other illustrations accompanying this work come from books published by Osprey Publishing. I likewise thank Osprey for their generosity in allowing me to use these pictures which add immeasurably to the substance of this project.
I owe gratitude as big as the Eurasian steppe itself to Erin Solaro for her editorial comments and suggestions that made this piece of work significantly stronger than it otherwise would have been.