By Peter Crawford

Warfare of the 3 Gods is an army background of the 1st 1/2 7th century, with heavy specialise in the reign of the jap Roman Emperor Heraclius (AD 610-641). This used to be a pivotal time in international heritage in addition to a dramatic one. The japanese Roman Empire was once dropped at the very verge of collapse of extinction by way of the Sassanid Persians, earlier than Heraclius controlled to inflict a crushing defeat at the Sassanids with a determined, ultimate gambit. His conquests have been short-lived, notwithstanding, for the newly switched over adherents of Islam burst upon the zone, administering the coup de grace to Sassanid energy and laying siege to Constantinople itself to herald a brand new era.

Peter Crawford skillfully narrates the three-way fight among the Christian Byzantine, Sassanid Persian and Islamic empires, a interval peopled with interesting characters, together with Heraclius, Khusro II and the Prophet Muhammad himself. the various epic battles and sieges are defined in as a lot element as attainable together with Nineveh, Yarmouk, Qadisiyyah and Nihawand, Jerusalem and Constantinople. The innovations and strategies of those very assorted armies are mentioned and analyzed, whereas maps enable the reader to put the occasions and keep on with the various fortunes of the contending empires. this is often an exhilarating and critical research of a clash that reshaped the map of the realm.

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Additional resources for The War of the Three Gods: Romans, Persians and the Rise of Islam

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There were also priestly groups charged with looking after the empire’s numerous fire temples and religious life on a more local level. However, Zoroastrianism was far more than a religion in Sassanid Persia. Its ethics provided the legal framework of the empire, meaning that the clergy were not only responsible for religious well-being, but were present at all levels to dispense justice. 40 Christian beliefs had been spreading into Persia since the second century but adherents had remained scarce in number until the carrying off of thousands of Roman prisoners by Shapur I.

Given the extended time taken for these sieges, it would be expected that the Romans could have brought together a force capable of challenging Khusro’s advances. However, if the sources are to be believed, distracted by metropolitan factional politics, Phocas did very little in response to Khusro’s aggression after the deaths of Narses and Germanus. There may be some truth to these accusations as Phocas faced at least two conspiracies in the first three years of his reign, both with involvement of the widow of Mauricius, Constantina, who had been sent to a monastery, and an influential senator called Germanus who had been a prime candidate to succeed Mauricius.

Therefore, Narses decided to extend the olive branch of peace to Phocas and travelled to Constantinople. This was an opportunity for reconciliation but instead Phocas took it as a chance to remove the rebel. After being promised safety, Narses was seized and killed, supposedly burned alive. In one ill-considered act of vengeance, Phocas removed perhaps his best hope for settling the eastern situation for not only was Narses his best general, he had an existing relationship with Khusro. With the deaths of Narses and Germanus and the defeat of the Eastern field army at Constantia, it may be expected that the Roman position in Mesopotamia would have rapidly unravelled.

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