Since the dawn of civilisation the settled peoples of the world had been plagued by incursions of nomads. First they came on foot with their belongings on their backs, to steal from cities and farms. Following the invention of the wheel they rode into battle in carts and chariots instead, while desert nomads took to the camel. Waves of raiders came and went. Sometimes they were defeated by the ingenuity and resourcefulness of the settled peoples, while on other occasions the latter were overrun, after which the numerically inferior wanderers were assimilated and themselves adopted a settled lifestyle.
Then, in the middle of the 8th century BC, a new phenomenon arose, one which would plague kingdoms and empires for more than 2,000 years and would sweep across continents, annihilating everything that it could not carry or understand - the nomad horseman of the steppes. Masters of the green grass seas that stretched for unimaginable distances north and east of the civilised world, their myriad names are remembered with fear: Huns, Mongols, Turks, Cumans, Pechenegs, and Magyars. But the very first to gallop across the settled lands of the ancient world were the Cimmerians and Scythians; all the others simply followed in their footsteps.