Contents: Preface. Transliteration chart. Introduction. I. The Indo-Europeans of the Euro-Asian Steppes: 1. The scenario. 2. The problem and the very ancient past. 3. Proto-history and pre-history. 4. Evolution of cultures and ancient historical times. II. Gods: 1. The indelible link between Man and God. 2. Dionysos -- The forces and vitality of all nature. 3. Demeter -- the domestication of nature. 4. Gods of the Indo-Europeans of the East. III. Heroes: 1. Heroes and epic poetry. 2. Iliad, Odyssey, Aeneis. 3. The Thrust, Bagao and Balletys. 4. Herakles and other ancient Greek Heroes. 5. Heroes and epics of the Indo-Aryans. 6. Ancient Indo-European Heroic traits. IV. Summary and Conclusions: 1. People and environments. 2. Myths, legends, history and geography. 3. Destiny and fate. 4. Philosophies and religions. 5. Gods and Heroes. Epilogue. Notes. Bibliography. Index.
"This book is a study of the people of nomadic groups or clans of Central Asia from about 6000 BCE to the last millennium BCE to explore why cultures and history developed the way they did in Central Asia by taking up the Indo-European and other settlements --notably, the Greeks, the Ancient Iranians and Indo-Aryans of the Indian subcontinent -- for in-depth study. It deals with the quest for knowledge which led to evolution of cultures from simple primitive life to a society complex in structure, from philosophy to religion. The study of Gods and Heroes examines stories relating to migration and settlements and the geography of ancient civilizations. It is in this setting that their unique philosophies and religious beliefs flourished, giving rise to belief in numerous Gods and Heroes. It discusses the myths and legends of the ancient cultures, highlighting names, deeds and events relating to honoured Gods and much-praised heroes.
Dr. Marta Vannucci significantly concludes that both Indo-Aryan and Indo-Iranian people had been able to maintain their traditional customs and habits backed by technical developments up to the last centuries BCE. Throughout, she bases her observations on reliable information provided by archaeology substantiated by oral and written traditions of Central Asia, Greece and Rome.
The volume will be invaluable to scholars of history, anthropology and archaeology who are keen to systematically unravel the obscure origins of the great human civilizational march." (jacket)