More of my Substack posts

Lorenzo M Warby
2 min readJul 15, 2023

In April 2023, I wrote a review of Christopher Beckwith’s The Scythian Empire. Beckwith argues that Cyrus the Great did not found an empire, but took over an existing one. That the c.650BC Scythian conquest of the Median city-states created an empire that then had a Median dynasty (which led the coalition that destroyed Assyria), an Elamite dynasty (Cyrus and his son Cambyses) and finally a Persian dynasty (the Achaemenid dynasty of Darius the Great and this successors).

What all these dynasties had in common was descent from the Scythian royal clan. The Scythians seem to have created the first polity built on vassalage (rather than having tributary states as an imperial periphery) and the first warrior fiefs.

In May 2023, I wrote a two-part analysis of Marx as neither an economist nor a social scientist. That he was a pre-Darwinian metaphysician.

The second part examined how he was student of Hegel and this is crucial, to his influence, thought and why he is neither an economist nor a social scientist.

In June 2023, I published the paper I had given to the Medieval Roundtable Seminar at Melbourne University on the medieval Roman (“Byzantine”) state and how its bureaucratic structure gave it a downward resilience. The paper examines the benefits and pathologies of bureaucracy plus the failures of bureaucratic states in the face of pastoralist pressure. With warrior-franchise (“feudal”) states doing rather better.

So far in July 2023, I have published a post on the patterns of patriarchy, examining why there are no matriarchal societies and why patriarchy is both common and varied.

Plus a discussion of a paper presenting evidence of significant discrimination within Western societies. I argue that that ascription of racism as an explanation is way overdone, with cultural distance explaining the evidence rather better. Indeed, the over-ascription of racism is a manifestation of class-cultural distance and differences within Western societies.




Lorenzo M Warby

An accidental small businessman who reads a lot and thinks about what he reads, sometimes productively. Currently writing a book on marriage.