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Shadows in the Desert Ancient Persia at War. Add to Wishlist. About this Product. The empires of ancient Persia remain as mysterious today as they were to contemporary Western scholars. Although Alexander the Great's conquest of Persia is legendary, the military successes of the Achaemenid, Parthian, and Sassanian empires, along with their revolutionary military technology, tactics, and culture have been almost forgotten in the sands of the East. Containing information never before published in English, Shadows in the Desert offers a comprehensive history of Persia's wars with East and West which spanned over a millennium, and offers an insight into the exchange of ideas and culture that occurred during these clashes between East and West, not only military technology, but influences in the arts, medicine, religion and science.
This beautifully illustrated book delves into the rich heritage of the Persians, which was spread around the world through war and conquest, and which, after the fall of the Sassanians, continued to impact upon civilizations around the world. Biographical Note.
Dr Kaveh Farrokh has been researching the military history and technology of Persia for two decades. He obtained his PhD in from the University of British Columbia, where he specialized on the acquisition of Persian languages. He has given lectures and seminars in the University of British Columbia and has written articles for various journals.
The Persian translation has been very well-received in Iran as indicated by the November newspaper clip below:.
Shadows in the Desert: Ancient Persia at War
The Wall Street Journal has noted that:. This beautifully illustrated book delves into the rich heritage of the Persians, which was spread through war and conquest, and which, after the fall of the Sassanians, continued to impact upon civilization around the world. He also delves into the forgotten cultural heritage of the Persians, spread across the world through war and conquest, which, even after the fall of the Sassanians, continued to impact upon the Western world.
In this book Dr. Kaveh Farrokh has also shown the Persian side of the picture as opposed to the Greek and roman viewpoint which has long dominated our understanding of these wars. It is refreshing to see the other perspective. The first charter of human rights which was composed during the glorious Achaemenid Empire by its founder, Cyrus the Great, and the cylinder on which the words are inscribed and is being kept at the British Museum, is another live witness to Persian glory during ancient times.
Iran Review has noted that:. The empires of ancient Persia remain as mysterious today as they were to contemporary Western scholars.
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The Midwest Book Review Society has noted that:. It is unique in that it comes not from a Western perspective but from an academic of Iranian descent who has produced a nonpolitical, complete history of pre-Islamic Iran. I have long been a fan of neglected central Asian ancient history, beginning with my boyhood fascination with Alexander the Great and the previous conflicts with the Persian Empire.
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However, I had become aware that there is a lot more to it than that. A great deal more, actually… The book tells the story of three great empires, often quite neglected. The reality was that Rome was a constant opponent of Persia, and never really defeated it. No Persian monarch was ever marched behind an imperial Roman chariot, and no Persian capital was ever sacked by the Romans. For five centuries Rome tried to crush Persia and failed. No Persian army ever surrendered to Rome… The part of the book that made it all worth my time on the porch in Mexico was the last section, which dealt with the many contributions that these three Persian empires has made to global culture that have been largely ignored.
Certainly, the above two factors Alexander and Rome can explain part of this, but there was been a huge realignment of western study of Persian history and influence since the change of events in and the rise of the current Iranian state. Departments have been changed, some phased out, and new works suddenly silent about a rich history of contributions. Farrokh does an excellent job of trying to document and recover from these events without becoming unscholarly.
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Farrokh also engaged in a book signing event on the night of October 31 st , after having received the Persian Golden Lioness Award. The book has also been selected as being among the top three History books of by the Independent Book Publishers Association of the United States. Please see the interview in Persian in two parts:.
Part Quarderni Asiatici 95, n. Kaveh Farrokh has done extensive research on Ancient Iran consulting not only international sources but also Iranian sources and, in this book, has combined a general history together with the product of his extensive research on the military history of the Ancient Iran.
As far as the military history of the Achemenian, Parthian and Sassanian periods is concerned, without any doubt, this book is and will remain a very important source and an extremely valuable one. In addition, the book has a beautiful design and contains many interesting pictures. I will explain these points one by one in this review.
Shadows in the Desert
But just in the beginning I would like to stress that Shadows in the Desert: Ancient Persia at War is unique as it describes the battle formations and tactics and strategies employed by Iranian warriors on the battlefield. Many history books lack precisely this description of military tactics. They pay only cursory attention to the warfare and instead expend much space on describing the court politics, politics, economics, dating of the events, religion, philosophy, art and social relationships. For military historians, ancient weapons analysts, and people interested in swordsmanship and ancient warfare, this book represents a unique gem.
It also gives a thorough analysis of the history of different dynasties of ancient Iran providing a meticulous research and cross-referencing.
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Iran has a very good level of scholarship and Shadows in the Desert: Ancient Persia at War makes extensive use of Iranian sources. This factor gives the book additional weight. About Dr.