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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.
Dr Kaveh Farrokh was born in Athens, Greece, in 1962 and immigrated to Canada in 1983. Kaveh has collected data and primary sources on Sassanian cavalry for 18 years resulting in travels to locations such as Naghshe-Rustam (Iran). He has given lectures and seminars in the University of British Columbia and the Knowledge Network Television Program of British Columbia and has written articles for various journals. Kaveh obtained his PhD in 2001 from the University of British Columbia where he specialized on the acquisition of Persian languages. He is currently a learning and career specialist in Langara College in Vancouver, British Columbia. He acted as a historical advisor on a film film project titled ‘Cyrus the Great', and has appeared on the History Channel documentary as an expert on the Persian Empire.Professor Richard Nelson Frye is an American scholar of Iranian and Central Asian Studies, and Aga Khan Professor Emeritus of Iranian Studies at Harvard University. He has researched the history and culture of Iran for over six decades. He founded the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard, the first Iranian studies program in America, and has written many books including The Golden Age of Persia (1977) and The Heritage of Central Asia (1996).
Foreword Introduction Chronology Part I The Achaemenids - Before the Achaemenids - Cyrus the Great and the early Achaemenids - Darius the Great - Xerxes and Limits of Empire - The Achaemenid Empire from Artaxerxes I to the rise of Macedon - Darius and the fall of the Empire Part II The Parthians - The Seleucids and the rise of the Parthians - Parthia challenges Rome - Parthia from Mark Anthony to the Alan invasions - Emperor Trajan's bid to destroy Parthia - The decline and fall of Parthia Part III The Sassanians - The rise of the Sassanian dynasty - Shapur II: a new revival of Sassanian Persia - The Tumultuous Fifth Century - The Kavad era - Khosrow I, renaissance and revival - The final glory and the decline of the Empire - Downfall of the Sassanians and the Islamic conquests - The legacy of Persia after the Islamic conquests Endnotes Select bibliography Index
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