Ancient Warfare Vol V Issue 3: The last great enemy: Rome and the Sassanid Empire

Ancient Warfare Vol V Issue 3: The last great enemy: Rome and the Sassanid Empire

Ancient Warfare Vol V Issue 3: The last great enemy: Rome and the Sassanid Empire

The Persians, in various shapes and forms, were a major opponent for the Roman and Byzantine empires and by the time Rome fell were the only major civilisation on the Empire's borders. The Sassanid dynasty overthrew the Parthian rulers of Persia in 220-226, outlived the Western Roman Empire and inflicted a series of defeats on Byzantium, before succumbing to the Moslem Arabs in 637-651. During this period the border between the two great Empires moved back and fore repeatedly, with the Persians reaching the Mediterranean more than once.

Five articles cover this theme, ranging from an examination of Sassanid siege craft to a reconstruction of one soldier's equipment. The introduction is also rather useful, giving a brief overview of Sassanid history. The article on the Persian sources for Shapur II provides an interesting contrast between the drier Roman sources and the more poetic Persian sources.

Away from the main theme there are articles on Demetrius the Besieger, Archimedes, Roman equipment from the Persian front and a late Roman tactic. Overall this is an interesting collection of articles, and a useful introduction to the military history of Sassanid Persia.

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The Source: Puzzling Equipment
King, Knight and Pawns: Sassanid society and its army
The Soldier: Reconstructing a Sassanid horseman
Epitomy of a King: A Persian perspective on Shapur II
Belisarius Undone: The battle of Callinicum
Cataphracts and Siege Craft: Adapting to the enemy in the Sassanid wars
The Tactic: Maurice's fulcum
Like an actor on the stage: Demetrius the Besieger at Rhodes
The Debate: Achimedes' secret weapons

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