Friday, May 13, 2016

Sauer et al., Persia's Imperial Power in Late Antiquity

Eberhard W. Sauer, Hamid Omrani Rekavandi, Tony J. Wilkinson, Jebrael Nokandeh, Persia's Imperial Power in Late Antiquity: the Great Wall of Gorgan and the Frontier Landscapes of Sasanian Iran. British Institute of Persian Studies. Archaeological monographs series, 2. Oxford; Oakville, CT: Oxbow Books, 2013. Pp. xvi, 712. ISBN 9781842175194. $150.00.

Reviewed by Josef Wiesehöfer (

The book under review here is not only a significant contribution to the study of the dating, origins, and function of the Great Wall of Gorgan in northeastern Iran. It also touches on broader themes in Sasanian history, including economic, administrative, and military matters as well as the question of the empire’s cohesiveness.

Indirectly relevant to PaleoJudaica, but interesting as background, since the Sassanian Empire had a flourishing Jewish population in late antiquity. Some past posts on ancient Iranian Judaism are here, here, here, here, here, and links.