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Summary

The last and longest war of classical antiquity was fought in the early seventh century. It was ideologically charged and fought along the full length of the Persian-Roman frontier, drawing in all the available resources and great powers of the steppe world. The conflict raged on an unprecedented scale, and its end brought the classical phase of history to a close. Despite all this, it has left a conspicuous gap in the history of warfare. This book aims to finally fill that gap.

The war opened in summer 603 when Persian armies launched coordinated attacks across the Roman frontier. Twenty-five years later the fighting stopped after the final, forlorn counteroffensive thrusts of the Emperor Heraclius into the Persians' Mesopotamian heartland. James Howard-Johnston pieces together the scattered and fragmentary evidence of this period to form a coherent story of the dramatic events, as well as an introduction to key players - Turks, Arabs, and Avars, as well as Persians and Romans - and a tour of the vast lands over which the fighting took place.

©2021 James Howard-Johnston (P)2021 Tantor
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

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A Superb History of a Monumental Conflict

The Last Great War between Rome and Persia is a huge and fascinating conflict which is so often overshadowed by the subsequent Arabic Expansion.

This book does and excellent job of putting together the many fractured sources available into a single clear narrative, and delivers the story well.

Sometimes it feels dry to a causal reader, but it never talks without purpose and is entirely accessible to a casual reader like me who only has a general picture of Late Antiquity. I greatly enjoyed listening to it!