- Series: Men-at-Arms (Book 175)
- Paperback: 48 pages
- Publisher: Osprey Publishing (July 24, 1986)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0850456886
- ISBN-13: 978-0850456882
- Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 0.3 x 9.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 8 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #371,789 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Rome's Enemies (3): Parthians and Sassanid Persians (Men-at-Arms) Paperback – July 24, 1986
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From the Publisher
Packed with specially commissioned artwork, maps and diagrams, the Men-at-Arms series is an unrivalled illustrated reference on the history, organisation, uniforms and equipment of the world's military forces, past and present.
About the Author
Peter Wilcox has written numerous articles on Ancient civilisations, and has also authored numerous Osprey Ancient Warfare titles.
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Top customer reviews
However the book does not do much to break from the roman-centric view of the wars with Parthia/Persia. The age old habit of downplaying Roman defeats,and glorifying Roman victories have also been used, starting with the authors description of the battle of Carrae. As i said there are some very good general history points covered in this book, but the book does leave a lot to be desired. This along with the high price of a book, was a dissapointment.
One thing the Wilcox did for which I am very grateful is his provision of a fairly detailed time line from 250 BC when Bactria province broke off from the Seleucid successor kingdom all the way up to the erasure of Persia as a polity by the Islamic Arab conquest in 649 AD. Even with 900 years of history to cover Wilcox manages to spend a half dozen pages to carefully detail the battle of Carrahe in 53 BC. Crassus had no respect for his Persian enemy and it cost the arrogant Roman his life. This campaign could easily have gone the other way if Crassus had been as clever as he thought he was.
Spending a couple of hours with Wilcox and McBride will introduce readers to a military culture that thrived for a millennium. Now 30 years old this slim volume keeps on giving us important information on the arms, organization and history of Persia in the period covered.
This Osprey volume is thin but don't let that fool you; it contains a pretty decent amount of information. Discussed are the armor, tactics (including the famous Parthian Shot), and military history of both empires. The plates by the late Angus McBride are well done and add some color (literally) to the book. The Roman defeat at Carrhae is one of the topics covered although the book makes clear that Parthian forces were far from unstoppable as the Romans DID win many of the battles they fought against their eastern rival. Sassainian Persia was more of a danger to Rome at its height and under the famous/infamous Chroses II Parviz very nearly conquered the Byzantine Empire before the Emperor Heraclius counterattacked and crushed Persia. Weak from defeat, natural disasters, and political nightmares, the Zoroastrian Persians would ultimately fall to the fanatically fierce armies pouring out of early Islamic Arabia. The ancient world was truely coming to an end.
Overall, I recommend this book about two of Rome's most skilled and powerful foes.