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Rome and Persia in Late Antiquity: Neighbours and Rivals
 
 

Rome and Persia in Late Antiquity: Neighbours and Rivals [Kindle Edition]

Beate Dignas
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Review

'… this is an excellent textbook introduction to Roman-Persian relations of the Late Antique period for specialist and non-specialist readers alike. It will, undoubtedly, prove popular in introductory and survey courses. The book's main virtue is that it makes accessible a wide range of sources in translation and does so in a very readable and user-friendly manner with repeated cross-references between the two parts of the book.' Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies

Product Description

The foundation of the Sasanian Empire in Persia in AD 224 established a formidable new power on the Roman Empire's eastern frontier, and relations over the next four centuries proved turbulent. This book provides a chronological narrative of their relationship, supported by a substantial collection of translated sources illustrating structural patterns. The political goals of the two sides, their military confrontations and their diplomatic solutions are discussed, as well as the common interests between the two powers. Special attention is given to the situation of Arabia and Armenia, to economic aspects, the protection of the frontiers, the religious life in both empires and the channels of communication between East and West. Considerable attention is also paid to exploring the role played by the Sasanians in the history of the ancient Near East. The book will prove invaluable for students and non-specialists interested in late antiquity and early Byzantium.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 5891 KB
  • Print Length: 364 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Up to 4 simultaneous devices, per publisher limits
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (30 Sep 2007)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S. r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001QFY1D0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #534,396 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Overview of Romano-Persian Relations 31 May 2012
Format:Paperback
I know of no other book that covers this topic in such an accessible format. Books on the Sassanid Persians are hard to find in general, and the Roman-Persian wars generally only show up in the context of background information or specific emperors' campaigns. It's kind of embarrassing. This book covers more than just the wars though. It includes the diplomatic relationships and the way that their relations changed over time. This book covers all the basics needed for a broader understanding of this topic.

It's nice when books are so considerately laid out. The first section covers a narrative of the conflicts while the other chapters deal with the various issues involved. The second section details what the sources say. It includes large selections from these sources to describe the various conflicts. As might be expected most of these documents are Roman ones. Syrian and Armenians ones show up too, but the Persian evidence is scanty and rarely informative. The rest of the book covers topics such as diplomacy, the Arabs, and the nature of rule.

I don't have much to say about this book. That's not because it's a bad one but because it's a good one. I have no major criticisms and while I disagree with several of their interpretations I can't say that they are too far off. As I said earlier there really aren't many books on this topic. Touraj Daryaee's Sasanian Persia: The Rise and Fall of an Empire and Sasanian Iran: Portrait of a Late Antique Empire are the only books in English covering the Sassanians exclusively.
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Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Summary 22 Sep 2008
By Canberran - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Rome and Persia in Late Antiquity provides a brief summary of events in chronological order supported by quotation and references. Supplementing this are additional chapters that focus on particular aspects of the two empires. These include the military, the diplomatic and the religious.

Most of the content will be entirely familiar to readers with an interest in the period, and for English-speaking readers, many of the referenced works are in German, which makes checking footnotes and references difficult for the monolingual.

This volume is a good companion to the period, occupying a middle ground between the more detailed source books such as Dodgeon & Lieu's 'The Roman Eastern Frontier and the Persian Wars: A Documentary History' and a more generalist historical summary. One or two points did grate, for example the use of Wilcox's Osprey book as a source for the Sasanian army, and an acceptance of claims of multiple captures of Ctesiphon in the 3rd Century that have never been substantiated. The authors seem to have a very good grasp of the source material available, covering Syriac and Armenian accounts, together with the later Arab authors such as Masudi and Baladhur as well as the more widely known Western sources such as Ammianus, Procopius and the like.

I would have liked to see more critical analysis of some of the Romano-Byzantine sources, but on the whole I can recommend this book as an excellent summary for the more than casual reader.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Overview of Romano-Persian Relations 31 May 2012
By Arch Stanton - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I know of no other book that covers this topic in such an accessible format. Books on the Sassanid Persians are hard to find in general, and the Roman-Persian wars generally only show up in the context of background information or specific emperors' campaigns. It's kind of embarrassing. This book covers more than just the wars though. It includes the diplomatic relationships and the way that their relations changed over time. This book covers all the basics needed for a broader understanding of this topic.

It's nice when books are so considerately laid out. The first section covers a narrative of the conflicts while the other chapters deal with the various issues involved. The second section details what the sources say. It includes large selections from these sources to describe the various conflicts. As might be expected most of these documents are Roman ones. Syrian and Armenians ones show up too, but the Persian evidence is scanty and rarely informative. The rest of the book covers topics such as diplomacy, the Arabs, and the nature of rule.

I don't have much to say about this book. That's not because it's a bad one but because it's a good one. I have no major criticisms and while I disagree with several of their interpretations I can't say that they are too far off. As I said earlier there really aren't many books on this topic. Touraj Daryaee's Sasanian Persia: The Rise and Fall of an Empire and Sasanian Iran: Portrait of a Late Antique Empire are the only books in English covering the Sassanians exclusively. 'L'Iran sous les Sassanides' by Christensen, and 'Grundzüge der Geschichte des sasanidischen Reiches' by Schippmann are the only sources dealing with them in any language that I know of. Two volumes of the Cambridge History of Iran (Part 1, Part 2) deal with the Seleucids through the Sassanids and contain much useful information. Vital collections of primary sources are contained in The Roman Eastern Frontier and the Persian Wars Part I (AD 226-363) and Part II (AD 363-630). Apart from this most of the works dealing with the Sassanians only deal with them in the context of general Iranian history. Obviously there are a great deal more books on the Romans.
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