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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
The perfect companion for all history enthusiasts is THE ROMA VICTRIX WINE BEAKERCalix Imperium, Roma Victrix Pewter wine beaker

The author has divided the book into three major sections. The first is the Achaemenids, followed by the Parthians and finally the Sassanians who were eventually defeated in 651AD and the area taken over by the Islamic caliphates.

All of this is superbly illustrated by the use of artifacts and photographs of the areas as they are today. In addition to the images and excellent maps, there are discussions of the way warfare was waged as well as the contributions of the societies in terms of arts and literature. We all owe a great deal to these ancient cultures as they have passed along much to succeeding generations. It is a book that once you start reading, will be drawn into it. It was one that I thoroughly enjoyed.
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14 of 19 people found the following review helpful
This book takes the history of Persia from its rise before Cyrus to the defeat of the Sassanids by the armies of Islam. It approaches the topic as a single theme in which the various dynasties are but chapters, and it approaches the history from the Persian point of view, not just as "noises off" to Roman history. Reordering one's confused memories into a coherent whole is an important part of Dr Farrokh's book. One also gets to see the common Iranian themes of these predominantly "knightly" cultures; rather than just seeing them as exotic bit-parts. This is especially important in a period when the Persian Wars against Greece have been taken hostage for the purposes of current geopolitics.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 10 April 2013
Don't let this book's fine presentation and authorative tone fool you. I'm afraid the author does not really know his subject and this can lead to feelings of extreme let-down if you have just paid good money for the book only to discover you know fairly basic facts that the author does not.

For example he seems to think that Darius III was present at the Battle of The Granicus. How much of an expert can he really be if he thinks that and why would you pay attention to what is in the rest of the book?

Worse, he makes things up. For example he says that the Persian success in the Centre at Marathon was achieved by Cavalry, for which there is no evidence and in fact would not make sense.

Also, he does not appear to have understood the title of his own book (or more charitably his publishers have given it the wrong title). He spends several pages discussing such things as the Darian postal system, coinage, satrapies, justice etc. and then finally comes to the organisation of the army, kicking off with the words "This is not the place for a detailed examination of Persian military organisation"!!!! In a book sub-titled "Ancient Persia at War"?
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15 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on 9 November 2008
This book finally allows me to feel as westerners do about Europe and the Greeks and Romans. Finally a book that actually cites the contributions of the Iranians, and the ties to babylon, the contributions to technology (the sections on the Parthian battery, the windmill, etc.). What surprised me however was the fact that Rome suffered many defeats in Persia and how formidable the cavalry troops of Persia actually were. I would not be suprised if certain people would not like this book, especially as it also notes how the ancient Persians supported the Jews and helped rebuild their temple in Jerusalem. The book is supported by a long list of citaitons, references and footnotes. What was also surprsing was how pleasant this was to read, not to mention the excellent photographs.
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9 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 3 January 2009
This book is simply a must for any history buff or wargamer interested in Achaemenid Persia and her later successor states of Parthia and Sassanid Persia. It also give a highly provocative insight to those of us interested in Greek, Later Roman or Byzantine history, with the view from the other side. If you are interested in this period then go ahead and order this book. You will not be disappointed.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 17 November 2010
A fasinating read from the other side,the round table,maths,ideas in art.All this flowed from Iran into the west and East.Rome never did conquer the heart of Persia,not for want of trying though.I may not go for all the transmited ideas but most ring true.From the colour prints from the 2500years event,I would go for more heavy armoured cavalry"cataphracts" in Persia armies.
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 28 March 2011
As a Persian I was always disappointed to see how unfairly dirty politics of the modern world is dominating people's view about our history. People in the west know very little about Persia and Persian. They hardly even can find it on the map, while it was for a long time a big empire and contributed immensely to the world cuture and art.
One reason for that is the propaganda that are found even in children's history books. We needed a book like this to light on one of the most splendorous cultures of the world but at the same time the most misunderstood one. Kaveh Farrokh's account of the history is fair and unbiased and successfully presented well-documented material to the western reader interested in seeing out of the box non-Greco-Roman stereotype narration of history.
I know professor Farrokh was under some personal attacks from some people who were not please to see the truth published, some of those attacvks were in Wikipedia. I hope to see Iranian people's freedom very soon and cant wait for the day they get the chance to tell more about themselves and that they I hope some feel shame of what they made about these people by making movies such as 300.
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