The Armies of Ancient Persia: The Sassanians (Hardback)
Throughout most of the classical period, Persia was one of the great superpowers, placing a limit on the expansion of Western powers. It was the most formidable rival to the Roman empire for centuries, until Persia, by then under the Sassanians, was overwhelmed by the Islamic conquests in the seventh century AD. Yet, the armies of ancient Persia have received relatively little detailed attention, certainly in comparison to those of Rome. This work is the first of three volumes (though chronologically the last) that will form the most comprehensive study of ancient Persian armies available.
The Sassanians, the native Iranian dynasty that ousted their Parthian overlords in AD 226, developed a highly sophisticated army that was able for centuries to hold off all comers. They continued the Parthian's famous winning combination of swift horse archers with heavily-armoured cataphract cavalry, also making much use of war elephants, but Kaveh Farrokh interestingly demonstrates that their oft-maligned infantry has been much underestimated.
The author, himself an Iranian emigré and expert in ancient Persian languages and military history, draws on the latest research and new archaeological evidence, focussing on the organization, equipment and tactics of the armies that dominated the ancient Middle East for so long.
While conquering Greece and Macedonia the Romans defeated an intervention by the Seleucid Empire, the most powerful of the Hellenistic states founded by Alexander the Great's successors. Soon Roman armies crossed to Asia for the first time to carry the war to the Seleucids. Here they faced one of the most sophisticated armies of the ancient world, evolved from Alexander's all-conquering war machine with the exotic additions of elephants, scythed chariots and heavily armoured cataphract cavalry. The Seleucids also possessed a formidable navy. The Roman army defeated the Seleucids at the epic battle…By Richard Evans
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