Rome and Persia

The Seven Hundred Year Rivalry

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By Adrian Goldsworthy

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$44.00 CAD

The epic rivalry between the ancient world’s two great superpowers 

The Roman empire was like no other. Stretching from the north of Britain to the Sahara, and from the Atlantic coast to the Euphrates, it imposed peace and prosperity on an unprecedented scale. 

Its only true rival lay in the east, where the Parthian and then Persian empires ruled over great cities and the trade routes to mysterious lands beyond. This was the region Alexander the Great had swept through, creating a dream of glory and conquest that tantalized Greeks and Romans alike. Tracing seven centuries of conflict between Rome and Persia, historian Adrian Goldsworthy shows how these two great powers evolved together. Despite their endless clashes, trade between the empires enriched them both, and a mutual respect prevented both Rome and Persia from permanently destroying the other. 

Epic in scope, Rome and Persia completely reshapes our understanding of one of the greatest rivalries of world history. 


  • “An expert account of a historical rivalry long neglected by popular historians...Goldsworthy produces yet another illuminating study... A fine historian fills in a major historical blank space.”—Kirkus
  • “Epic history as its means to be written! A splendid book that tells the story of the great imperial rivalry of the ancient world with narrative elan, scholarly authority and a cast of extraordinary characters.”—Simon Sebag-Montefiore, author of The World: A Family History of Humanity
  • Rome and Persia: The Seven Hundred Year Rivalry, is a wise and wonderful book, on a historical topic that still speaks to us today. Goldsworthy is a brilliant scholar and an excellent narrator, and here he is at the height of his powers. This book is not to be missed.”—Barry Strauss, author of The War that Made the Roman Empire
  • “A sweeping and panoramic account of the first great superpower rivalry - a definitive account.”—Tom Holland, author of Dominion: How the Christian Revolution Remade the World
  • “Renowned for his brilliant evocations of the Roman past, here Adrian Goldsworthy turns his focus towards the mighty Sasanians and explores how this long-lived Iranian dynasty challenged Rome for the title of world’s Superpower. Written with his customary flair and brio, Goldsworthy sheds much-needed light on this crucial period in east-west relations and thrillingly demonstrates what happens when two worlds collide.”—Professor Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones, author of Persians: the Age of the Great Kings

On Sale
Sep 5, 2023
Page Count
608 pages
Basic Books

Adrian Goldsworthy

About the Author

Adrian Goldsworthy is an award-winning historian of the classical world. He is the author of numerous books about ancient Rome, including Hadrian’s Wall, Caesar, How Rome Fell, Pax Romana, and Augustus. Goldsworthy lives in South Wales.

Learn more about this author