In 53 BC, Roman and Parthian forces collided in a confrontation that would reshape the geopolitical map and establish a frontier between East and West that would endure for the next 700 years. From the initial clash at Carrhae through to the battle of Nisibis more than 250 years later, Roman and Parthian forces fought a series of bloody campaigns for mastery of the Fertile Crescent.
As Roman forces thrust ever deeper into the East, they encountered a civilization unlike any they had crossed swords with before. Originating in the steppes of Central Asia, the Parthians ruled a federated state stretching from the Euphrates to the Indus. Although Rome's legions were masters of the battlefield in the Mediterranean, the Parthians refused to fight by the rules as Rome understood them. Harnessing the power of the composite bow and their superior manoeuvrability, the Parthians' mode of warfare focused exclusively on the horse. They inflicted a bloody defeat on the legions at Carrhae and launched their own invasion of Roman territory, countered only with great difficulty by Rome's surviving forces. The Parthians were eventually thrown out, but neither side could sustain a permanent ascendancy over the other and the conflict continued.
Packed with stunning artwork, including battlescenes, maps and photographs, this title examines the conflict through the lens of three key battles, revealing a clash between two armies alien to each other not only in culture but also in their radical approaches to warfare.