The author, born in Athens, Greece and expert in ancient Persian languages and military history, has been researching the military history and technology of Persia for a quarter of a century. He obtained his PhD in 2001 from the University of British Columbia, where he is now a lecturer. He is also Head of the Department of Traditions and Cultural History of the Waalm School of Cultural Diplomacy. He has written three previous books on Persian military history. The second, Shadows in the Desert: Ancient Persia at War (Osprey, 2007) has been translated into Russian and Persian, received the Best History Book Award of 2008 and was cited as among the top 3 history books of 2008 by the Independent Book Publishers Association in the USA.