“Shadows in the Desert: Ancient Persia at War”  has been translated into Russian and was published in July 2009, two years after its original publication in English.


Shadows in the Desert Ancient Persia at War: Russian translation at left and original Osprey Publication at right.  For details of this text in Russian consult the Russian EXMO Publishers website and for the English version consult OspreyPublishing or Amazon.com.

Review by the EXMO Publishersin Russian:

Подлинная история военного искусства древней Персии, новый взгляд на тех, кого римляне и греки именовали “варварами”. Автор рассказывает о могучей армии Великих царей, об истории империи, ставшей во многом образцом для подражания для тех, кто и разрушил ее, – для Александра Македонского и Рима. Подробный рассказ о становлении персидской державы, о новшествах в военном деле, привнесенных народами Востока. Доктор Фаррох, опираясь на новые данные археологии и последние исследования, воссоздает структуру персидского войска и его тактические приемы. Книга содержит богатейший и уникальный иллюстративный материал и является, по сути дела, энциклопедией военной истории империи Ахеменидов, и мы можем по-иному взглянуть на древнейшее противостояние Востока и Запада, отголоски которого живы и в наши дни.

Translation of the review into English:

This book describes the true military history of ancient Persia, a new perspective different from that narrated by the Romans and Greeks who called the the Persians “barbarians”. The author discusses the mighty armies of the Great Kings, the history of the Empire, which was largely a role model for those who destroyed her,-and to Alexander and Rome. This book provides a detailed history of the development of Persian power and its military innovations, as brought about by the peoples of the East. Relying on new archaeological data and the latest research, Dr. Farrokh recreates the structure of the Persian army and its tactics. The book contains a wealth of unique illustrative material and is essentially an encyclopedia of Persian military history, and we may otherwise look at ancient confrontation of East and West, echoes of which are alive today.

Dr. Nikoloz Kacharava  of The University of Georgia in Tbilisi, Member of Academy of Sciences in Georgia, Active Member of New York Academy of Sciences notes that:

Shadows in the Desert: Ancient Persia at War is perhaps on of the finest books that has been produced from Western publishing houses, in this case Osprey Publishing… For the first time, we see a clearly written history book that outlines the relationship between these Iranian achievements to the wars that took place between the Greco-Roman world and ancient Persia…this book draws on excellent research that has received little mention; not to mention previously un-translated Greco-Roman historical sources“.

The Farrokh text has also been evaluated by Western professors of history and archaeology (all of these reviews can be seen posted on posted on Amazon.com).


This is an excellent well-illustrated survey of an important period, useful for students and a general readership alike. It deals not only with military matters, but also more broadly with political developments in Persia. My students have consulted it with profit.” –Dr. Geoffrey Greatrex, University of Ottawa.




 ”   This beautifully illustrated book will no doubt serve as a useful companion for all those interested in the military history of the pre-Islamic Middle East… Useful maps, photography and color plates make this a handsome and desirable volume; it will be of interest to students and scholars alike.” –Dr. Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones, University of Edinburgh.




“… a book for all who have ever been curious about the ‘other’ view on Persia, not from the Western standpoint rooted in Greece, but from the traditions of the Persians themselves… Meticulously researched and documented… I have recommended it to many and am also using it here at Stanford not only for research but also in a course … There is not only no better book on Perisan warfare, it is carefully and sensitively written with great verve and love of history. I much appreciate how the research and analyses of texts showed Achaeminid, Parthian and Sassanid military accomplishments, often to the astonishment of Greeks and Romans and beyond. I notice from excellent reviews that other scholars agree.” Dr. Patrick Hunt, Stanford University

Farrokh’s text was also reviewed by the peer-reviewed Iranshensasi journal, which is one of the most highly respected Iranian Studies journals in the international arena. it’s reviews and articles are closely examined and pre-screened by a panel of iranian studies experts including Professor Jalal Matini (Chief editor) and other distinguished Iranologists such as Professor Roger Savory. For a full review of the Farrokh text in Iranshenasi consult:

Mafie, Farhad (2010). Shadows in the Desert: Ancient Persia at War, by Dr. Kaveh Farrokh. Iranshenasi, Volume XXII, No.1, Spring 2010, pp.1-5 (see document in pdf).

The foreword of the book has been written by Harvard Professor Emeritus Richard Nelson Frye who has been recognized as one the world’s premier scholar of Iranian Studies. His achievements  span well over 40 years of research, publications and textbooks.

Kaveh Farrokh greets (left) Professor Emeritus Richard Nelson Frye of Harvard University (shaking hands with Farrokh) and in the center is world-renowned Iranologist, Dr. Farhang Mehr, winner of the 2010 Merit and Scholarship award (photo from Persian American Society,March 1, 2008).  As noted by Mafie, Professor Frye of Harvard University wrote the foreword of Farrokh’s text stating that “…Dr. Kaveh Farrokh has given us the Persian side of the picture as opposed to the Greek and Roman viewpoint …it is refreshing to see the other perspective, and Dr. farrokh sheds light on many Persian institutions in this history…” (Mafie, 2010, pp.2).

The book also received the Best History Book Award in London (2008) and was also cited as being among the top three history books by the Indepedent Book Publisher’s Association in the United States (2008), The book has been cited by the BBC (2008), the Kayhan Newspaper of London (2008) (the Iranian equivalent of the New York Times) with Farrokh also being interviewed on the book by the Voice of America (2008) and the The Leonard Lopate Show (2008) of New York City.

Farrokh at the WAALM ceremonies of November 2008.