The Ancient World Cup

The draw for the Group Stage of the Ancient World Cup has now been made. Listen to the latest episode of the podcast for further updates.

The Ancient World Cup sponsored by the History of the World podcast will see 64 ancient nations compete for the ultimate prize of becoming the Ancient World Champions. You decide the winner in a series of weekly polls where only the winner advances and the loser gets knocked out. Round One will see the 64 teams drawn into groups of four teams, the top two advance to the second stage of the tournament which will be a straight knock-out. The draw for Round One will take place on Saturday 6th November 2021. Let us take a look at the 64 teams who have been entered.

Achaemenid PersiansThe first Persian Empire, founded by Cyrus the Great, and conquered lands from the Indus Valley to Anatolia and Egypt, and Thrace.
AkkadiansFormed by Sargon the Great and described as the first great empire, uniting Akkadian and Sumerian speakers under one rule.
AksumitesAncient kingdom from the African lands of the Red Sea coast that built its wealth on trade and brought Christianity to Ethiopia.
AlansPostoral nomadic Iranians from the Caucasus who were known from China to Europe who acquired lands in Iberia in the 5th Century.
Ancient EgyptiansExpert irrigators of the Nile River who built pyramids. temples and obelisks still awesome to the modern day.
Anglo SaxonsGermanic speakers who created the kingdom of England after the departure of the Romans from Britannia.
ArmeniansImperial monarchy who held their own while sandwiched between the forces of Classical Europeans and Persians.
AssyriansPre-classical world and iron age pioneers who built the earliest paved roads and controlled the entire Middle East including Egypt.
AtheniansThe most influential of all Classical Greek city-states who turned to a democratic style of governance.
BabyloniansHighly academically advanced ancient society who progressed mathematics, astrology and jurisprudence.
BerbersIndigenous north Africans who commanded the respect of Egyptians, Phoenicians and Romans.
BritonsPre Anglo-Saxon residents of Great Britain who successfully defended their island from Julius Caesar.
CarthaginiansNorth African seafarers who dominated the western Mediterranean and fought brutal wars against the Romans.
CeltiberiansResident Iberians who continually revolted against their Roman overlords and defended their territory from barbarian tribes.
ChavinSpiritual land of pilgrimage for many ancient Peruvians, rich in religious rituals.
ElamitesPersian Gulf culture who protected their culture and language from the mighty empires who came and went from their lands.
EpirotsAncient state while under the leadership of king Pyrrhus fearlessly took on the Romans and the Carthaginians.
FranksWestern Germanic tribes who consolidated power in the aftermath of the fall of Western Rome, to lay the foundations of modern France.
GaulsThe most legendary Celtic peoples who terrorised the Classical cultures of Europe and fiercely battled Julius Caesar.
GuptasFormed the greatest empire of ancient India and responsible for a Golden Age for Indian culture.
Han ChinaLong serving dynasty of China that made great cultural and scientific advances.  Invented paper and established the eastern Silk Road.
HarappansRemote Indus Valley Civilisation that created very modern towns before Classical times embracing spiritual practices.
HephthalitesSemi nomadic steppe culture descendants who stood their ground against the Sasanians and the Guptas.
HittitesThe first master of large scale iron working and the main counterbalance to the Ancient Egyptians.
HunsCruised into eastern Europe and turned established politics on its head despite their semi-nomadic way of life.
IsraelitesIron age tribes of the Holy Lands in the Levant, honoured by Biblical texts and united by their plights against more powerful enemies.
JudaeansHome of Jerusalem and the original Jews who defended their minor Levantine realm with great spiritual vigour.
KassitesTribal confederation who moved into the vacated Babylonian Empire and ruled competantly for over four centuries.
KushansNomadic peoples who controlled trade between Persia and China, building their own wealth and ushering Buddhism along the SIlk Road.
KushitesUpper Nile peoples who not only resisted the expansions of the Egyptians but also took control of Egypt in later years.
LydiansControlled the whole of western Anatolia before the expansion of the Achaemenid Persians.
MacedoniansSmall realm north of the Balkan peninsula who rapidly expanded to control all Near East lands up to the Indus Valley.
MauryansThe first dynasty that unified most of India rapidly modernising the politics of the subcontinent.
MedesPowerful Iranian dynasty who played a part in the destruction of the Assyrian Empire.
MinoansEurope’s first complex urban civilisation from the island of Crete, exploiting Mediterranean trade opportunities.
MitanniIndo-Iranians who briefly exploited the trade routes of the Near East to control lands between the great empires of the Hittites and Assyrians.
MocheAncient Peruvian culture rich in artisanry and monumental architecture.
MycenaeansThe first great culture of mainland Greece, whose kings lived in ancient palaces and were immortalised through the Trojan Wars.
NazcaPeruvian culture responsible for advances in textile production and for the huge geoglyphic designs called the Nazca Lines.
Neo-SumeriansThe Third Dynasty of Ur who reunited Sumer following Akkadian collapse.
OlmecsEarliest known Mesoamerican cultures responsible for rubber production, the earliest Mesoamerican ball games and large stone head sculptures.
OstrogothsGothic peoples who survived Hunnic invasions and went on to form an empire that included the Italian peninsula after the fall of Western Rome.
ParthiansBactrian tribe who rose to take control of Persian lands from Turkey to Pakistan and fought frequently against the Romans.
PhilistinesBiblical rivals to the Israelites possible formed by a tribe of Sea People.
PhoeniciansShip building trade and artisanry experts who ruled the mercantile waves of the Mediterranean during their time.
PictsWild painted populations of northern Britannia fabled by the Romans and likely ancestors to many modern day Scots.
Ptolemaic EgyptAcademically advanced ruling dynasty of Egypt from the construction of the Great Library of Alexandria to the death of Cleopatra.
Qin ChinaConsidered the first true imperial dynasty of China, whose emperor created the Terracota Army at his pyramid tomb.
RomansControlled land from England and Portugal to Egypt and Iraq.  Promoted Christianity and inspired future renaissance.
SasaniansLast pre-Muslim Persian imperial dynasty.  Great architectural advances and land held from Mesopotamia to the Indus Valley.
ScythiansNomadic steppe culture who commanded the respect of the Assyrians through to the Ancient Greeks.
SeleucidsPost Macedonian state that stretched from Thrace to India, promoting Hellenistic culture as far east as Bactria and the Indus Valley.
Shang ChinaFirst confirmed large dynasty of China who invented Chinese script and utilised chariot warfare.
SpartansHighly military Ancient Greek state who fed their population by exploiting the weakness of their immediate neighbours.
SumeriansEarliest known civilisation of Mesopotamia who advanced irrigation, cuneiform script and use of the wheel.
SyracusansCorinthian colony who became a powerful democracy, grew to become a powerful Sicilian rival to the Carthaginians.
TeotihuacanosMonumental pyramid building population who influenced all of Mesoamerica in their prime.
ThebansThe Greek city state that emerged from the Peloponessian and Corinthian Wars more powerful than Athens and Sparta.
VandalsGermanic tribe who controlled Roman grain supply by creating a vast North African kingdom as well as many Mediterranean islands.
VisigothsIntegral in the weakening of Roman domination sacking Rome and creating an Iberian kingdom in the remnants of Western Roman collapse.
XianbeiNomadic peoples who influenced the politics of northern China and took advantage of Xiongnu misfortunes.
XiongnuSteppe nomads who locked horns with Han China over control of the earliest eastern mainstream Silk Road trade opportunities.
ZapotecsWealthy palace building Mesoamericans who dominated their region after the decline of the Olmecs.
Zhou ChinaTraditional and longest running dynasty of China who overthrew the Shang dynasty and oversaw the origins of Confucianism and Taoism.