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Faravahar, one of the best-known symbols of ancient Iran (Persia). Relief in Persepolis.

The Plurality of the Persian Empire: Part I – The Achaemenids to the Sassanians

The land of Persia (also known as Iran) has been the center of several important empires throughout history. Between the 6th and 4th centuries BC, this was the land from which the mighty Achaemenids...
Cataphracts: Armored Warriors and their Horses of War

Cataphracts: Armored Warriors and their Horses of War

By the 7 th and 8 th centuries B.C., the role of the chariot in battle was gradually being replaced by cavalry units in the Near East. Some were armed lightly and were used to harass the enemy from...
Statue of Roman Soldier (Public Domain), and Roman Cavalry Reenactment  (CodrinB/CC BY-SA 3.0); Deriv.

Rome’s Forgotten General: Ventidius Takes Enemy Heads and Enemy Gold – Part II

With the Amanus Pass secured, Roman general Publius Ventidius Bassus, on the mission given by Antony to retake Asia-Minor, pushed south into Syria. Prince Pacorus of Parthia of was done fighting, at...
Coin of Mithridates I of Parthia (Classical Numismatic Group, Inc.and illustration depicting a sacrifice being made on behalf of a family, by the chief priest Conon and two assistants, first century AD. Graeco-Iranian style

Mithridates Clashes with Kings and Swallows up Territory: The ‘King of Kings’ of Ancient Iran — Part II

Mithridates (“The Gift of Mithra) exhibited qualities that most kings rarely have: experience and maturity. He understood that a king could retain his power only as long as the people and nobles were...
Coin of Mithridates I of Parthia (Classical Numismatic Group, Inc. and Relief of Mithridates I at Xong-e Ashdar in Izeh, Khuzestān ;Deriv.

Mithridates Stalks His Prey, and Strikes a Killing Blow: The ‘King of Kings’ of Ancient Iran

Mithridates exhibited qualities that most kings rarely have: experience and maturity. Even Phraates passed over his own sons for his qualified brother to be next in line. Mithridates I (r. 171-138...
The Battle of Carrhae: A crushing defeat of the unstoppable Roman juggernaut by the Parthian Empire

The Battle of Carrhae: A crushing defeat of the unstoppable Roman juggernaut by the Parthian Empire

Ancient Roman invasion forces were considered to be unstoppable juggernauts, but the tables were turned by a formidable Parthian Empire general and devastating tactics. This clash led to one of the...