Roman Warfare with Sasanian Persia

A. D. Lee

in The Oxford Handbook of Warfare in the Classical World

Published in print January 2013 | ISBN: 9780195304657
Published online January 2013 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Roman Warfare with Sasanian Persia

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  • Classical Studies
  • Middle Eastern Languages
  • Ancient Roman History


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This chapter explains the warfare between the Roman Empire and Sasanian Persia, specifically presenting an historical review of Roman–Persian warfare. The Roman Empire presented many new military challenges, one of the most serious and certainly the most consistent of which was that introduced by Sasanian Persia to the east. The Sasanian regime was able to pose a more serious military threat to the Roman Empire compared with its predecessor. Sasanian siege capability led to increased Roman investment in the fortification of cities and towns on and near the frontier. A recent re-examination of the evidence has prompted a revised interpretation involving Persian tunnellers deliberately collapsing their tunnel on top of Roman pursuers after a grisly underground fight in the dark.

Keywords: Roman-Persian warfare; Roman Empire; Sasanian Persia; military threat; Sasanian siege; Roman investment

Article.  8390 words. 

Subjects: Classical Studies ; Middle Eastern Languages ; Ancient Roman History

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