I happened upon a positive friend’s review at the same time this went on sale, and picked it up. I’m glad I did, it is a good book.

The name “Galatians” doesn’t mean much to anyone who has not spent a fair amount of time reading about the ancient world. They’re best loosely thought of as ‘eastern Gauls’. Which is to say they’re a Celtic people who went east and encountered Greeks instead of Romans. They had a short-lived kingdom in the middle of Asia Minor early in the Successors period, which is part of why they don’t get talked about as much, the Macedonian Soap Opera was going on around them.

Also, that’s not the best period for general knowledge, which tends to skip from Alexander straight to Rome. And the previous is also about the limit of what I knew. So, a lot of this book was new to me, going into what is known about their initial emergence into Greek knowledge around the Banat region of Serbia, some serious raids into Greece, and then the eventual settling into Asia Minor.

That last is the bulk of the book, because there’s a bit more known, and they were active for a good chunk of time before becoming a Roman province. A lot is still uncertain here, as there’s little in the way of records from them, causing everything to be from the viewpoint of looking into something of a blind spot in history.

So, even at its best, there’s not a lot of detail or certainty to be had here. So Grainger has done a fine job with the materials to hand, making everything as coherent as possible, and presenting everything quite clearly. It’s a bit of a niche subject, but it’s handled well, and adds a bit of perspective to things that get hinted at in other books.