The Armies of Ancient Persia: The Sassanians

Kaveh Farrokh

Date Published :
October 2017
Publisher :
Pen and Sword
Illustration :
at least 8pp color photos, some tactical maps/diagrams
Format Available    QuantityPrice
ISBN : 9781848848450
Pages : 504
In stock


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-armored 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 émigré and expert in ancient Persian languages and military history, draws on the latest research and new archaeological evidence, focusing on the organization, equipment and tactics of the armies that dominated the ancient Middle East for so long.

About The Author

Dr Kaveh Farrokh, himself of Iranian parentage, 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.

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