The Horse, the Wheel, and Language: How Bronze-Age Riders from the Eurasian Steppes Shaped the Modern World by David W. Anthony

I’d like to start my review of the book with part of the last sentence of the last chapter of the book:”…in the invisible and fleeting sound of our speech we preserve for a future generation of linguists many details of our present world.” (p.466)

The main ideas of this book are a reconstruction of a dead language and how that is possible (in this case Proto-Indo-European) and dating it. The reconstruction of the lives and migrations of the Proto-Indo-Europeans including their possible homeland.

The author takes you on a ride through so many different cultures related to the Proto-Indo-Europeans and the branches related to them, and it was a surprise to me how man there are. The author uses words from the reconstructed languages, adds them to the archeology to give you a look into the lives of these cultures. He also explains the way language tends to follow and explores the reasons that people might replace one language with another.

Most people who think of the discovery of the Horse, and wheel will automatically think of war, but the author gives us a history of both and how they effected the lives of the Proto-Indo-Europeans, and the last thing that it effected was war.

All in all the book is full of surprises. It can and will give you ideas on other places in the world where you can apply the theories that the author presents to make a case of why this country is the way it is, linguistically.


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