Armed Force in the Teispid-Achaemenid Empire

Past Approaches, Future Prospects

Armed Force in the Teispid-Achaemenid Empire

Past Approaches, Future Prospects

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The armies of Cyrus, Xerxes and Darius III are usually understood through the lens of classical literature and stereotypes about the orient. Sean Manning proposes a new understanding based on all kinds of evidence and the study of the ancient Near East. He examines the last century and a half of research in its historical and ideological context. Three core chapters treat Akkadian tablets, Aramaic documents, royal inscriptions, and artifacts as sources in their own right, not compliments to Herodotus. The different perspectives of Iranian philologists, Mesopotamian archaeologists and historians of ancient Greece are considered and addressed. A series of case studies show that the Greek and Latin texts can be read in unfamiliar ways which can survive stronger criticism than traditional interpretations. The king's troops were not literary foils to show the virtues of Greek hoplites or Scythian horsemen, they were agents of an early world empire which drew on long traditions and the latest innovations to gather money, soldiers, and workers and deploy them at the will of the king.

"[An] excellent introduction to the Achaemenid army."

M. Weiskopf, The Classical Review 71, 2021/2

"Manning is to be commended for making difficult research and source material on the Achaemenids more accessible to scholars, and the field will benefit greatly should his future investigations continue in this direction."

Jeffrey Rop, AHBOR 11, 2021

"Der Band wartet mit einer Fülle von interessanten wie informativen Details zur persischen Kriegsführung zu Land auf […] und zeigt zugleich auf, in welcher Weise sich die Forschung zum Perserreich allgemein weiterentwickelt hat."

Sabine Müller, H-Soz-Kult, 31.05.2021

"The informations Manning marshals and the arguments he puts forward will surely get us thinking and talking about warfare in the Achaemenid era in ways that are new and different."

William Shepherd, Ancient Warfare XIV.6
Series Oriens et Occidens
Volume 32
ISBN 978-3-515-12775-2
Media type Book - Paperback
Copyright year 2021
Length 437 pages
Illustrations 8 b/w figs., 4 b/w tables
Size 17.0 x 24.0 cm
Language English