The author has provided a very clear review of the period that marked a significant change in the balance of power within the Ancient World. In the process, he offers fresh insights and lifts the veil that has obscured large areas of activity beyond the popular Greek and Roman histories.
NAME: Rome, Parthia & India, The Violent Emergence of a New World order, 150-140 BC
CATEGORY: Book Reviews
AUTHOR: John D Grainger
PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword
BINDING: hard back
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: Rome, Carthage, Macedonia, Seleucid Empire, Parthia, Syria, Egypt, Africa, India, Greece
DESCRIPTION: The author has provided a very clear review of the period that marked a significant change in the balance of power within the Ancient World. In the process, he offers fresh insights and lifts the veil that has obscured large areas of activity beyond the popular Greek and Roman histories.
Periodically, a period of major change redraws the balance of power and changes the direction of history. As villages grew into city states, their combination created nations and empires in a process that continues on through history.
From the Greek civilization, Alexander created a great empire, but there had been empires before in the Eastern Mediterranean and India, and a vast new empire in China that was unknown to those living around the Mediterranean.
Roman expansion coincided with Seleucid decay that even the energetic Antiochus III was unable to fully reverse. Having taken on Carthage and Macedon, the Romans turned their attention to the Eastern Mediterranean and the areas to the East.
As historical reviews have tended to focus on Ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome, the major Roman campaigns have tended to be dealt with individually and concentrated on those parts that showed relentless Roman successes. This has led to an historic patchwork that has considered only Rome critical to the period from 152BC to 200AD. The author has shown how the break up of the Seleucid Empire came at a time when Rome was achieving an unquestioned ascendancy in the Western Mediterranean and looking to expand to the East.
The secessionists from the Seleucid Empire were vulnerable to Roman attentions and weakened what was left of Seleucid power. Eventually, the Seleucid Empire would contract to Syria, with Parthia becoming the new Middle Eastern power and Rome expanding to the edges of Parthia. That set the power balance until the Arab conquests in the 7th Century.
In covering the series of wars from 150BC to 138BC that stretched from Africa to India, the author has provided a composite view of struggles that show the way in which they together created a significant change in the balance of power across the Mediterranean and Middle East that survived beyond the break up of the Roman Empire. A fascinating account that is supporting by a set of maps early in the book.