Rome and Persia in Late Antiquity: Neighbours and Rivals

Rome and Persia in Late Antiquity: Neighbours and Rivals


By (author) Engelbert Winter, By (author) Beate Dignas

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  • Format: Paperback | 364 pages
  • Dimensions: 152mm x 226mm x 22mm | 599g
  • Publication date: 31 October 2007
  • Publication City/Country: Cambridge
  • ISBN 10: 0521614074
  • ISBN 13: 9780521614078
  • Illustrations note: 18 b/w illus. 14 maps
  • Sales rank: 566,785

Product description

Founded in AD 224 the Sasanian Dynasty ruling Persia proved considerably more powerful and ambitious than its predecessors, and caused Rome and the Eastern Empire correspondingly greater problems. This study is an excellent resource for relations between the two great powers during the entire period of the Sasanians, down to their eclipse by the Islamic Arabs in the seventh century. In particular the book places more emphasis on Sasanian perspectives and motivations, eschewing the usual Roman notions of their policy being guided by simple aggression. The first part of the book provides a narrative overview of the period, analysing periods of war and peace. The second much longer section is a compendium of source materials, arranged thematically and covering such issues as warfare, diplomacy, trade and cultural contacts, religion and ideology. The sources are all analysed and fully introduced.

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Author information

Beate Dignas is Fellow and Tutor in Ancient History at Somerville College, Oxford. Engelbert Winter is Professor of Ancient History at the University of Munster.

Review quote

'... 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

Table of contents

Part I. Narrative: 1. Rome and Iran to the beginning of the third century AD; 2. Rome and the Sasanian Empire - a chronological survey; Part II. Sources and Contexts: 3. Political goals; 4. Warfare; 5. Military confrontations; 6. The diplomatic solutions; 7. Arabia between the great powers; 8. Shared interests - continuing conflicts; 9. Religion - Christianity and Zoroastrianism; 10. Emperor and King of Kings; 11. Exchange of information between West and East; Part III. Appendices.