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Publisher Description

This might have happened. The Cimbri are still remembered by the old district name Himmerland. Plutarch describes the battle at Vercellae, which took place 101 B.C., and its immediate aftermath. Other classical writers, such as Tacitus and Strabo, and a treasure of archeological material enable us to guess at the Cimbri themselves. Apparently they were a Germanic tribe from Jutland, with some elements of Celtic culture; by the time they reached Italy they had grown into a formidable confederation.

King Mithradates the Great (more commonly but less correctly spelled Mithridates) is, of course, also historical. His expedition into Galatia in 100 B.C. is not mentioned by the scanty surviving records; but it is known that he had already fought with that strange kingdom and annexed some of its territory, so border trouble followed by a punitive sweep down past Ancyra is quite plausible.

At that time the area now called southern Russia was dominated by the Alanic tribes, among whom the Rukh-Ansa were prominent. They are presumably identical with the "Rhoxolani" whom Mithradates' general Diophantus defeated at the Crimea about 100 B.C.

The tradition described in the epilogue may be found in the thirteenth-century Heimskringlaand, in a different form, in the chronicle of Saxo Grammaticus.

Otherwise my sources are the usual ancient and modern ones. I have tried to keep the framework of verifiable historical fact accurate. For whatever brutality, licentiousness and unreasonable prejudice is shown by the people concerned, I apologize, adding only that by the standards of the modern free world the era was a good deal worse than I care to describe explicitly.

For the sake of connotation, cities and other political units are generally referred to by their classical rather than contemporary names. It should be obvious from context where any particular spot lies on the map. However, the following list of geographical equivalents may be found interesting.

Ancyra: Ankara, Turkey

Aquitania: West central France

Arausio: Orange, France

Asia: In ordinary Roman usage, the modern Asia Minor plus India

Byzantium: Istanbul, Turkey

Cimberland: Himmerland, northern Jutland, Denmark

Cimmerian Bosporus: A Greek kingdom in the Crimea

Colchis: Mingrelian Georgia, U.S.S.R.

Dacia: Rumania

Galatia: Central Turkey

Gaul: France

Halys River: Kizil River, Turkey

Hellas: Greece

Hellespont: Dardanelles

Helvetia: Switzerland

Macedonia: Northern Greece

Massilia: Marseilles

Narbonensis: Provence, i.e., southern France

Noreia: Near Vienna, Austria

Parthian Empire: Iran and Iraq

Persia: Iran

Pontus: Eastern half of northern Turkish coast, and southward

Sinope: Sinop, Turkey

Tauric Chersonese: The Crimea

Trapezus: Trabzon, Turkey (medieval Trebizond)

Vercellae: Vercelli, Italy, between Turin and Milan

Fiction & Literature
April 25
Rectory Print
Babafemi Titilayo Olowe

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