“Digressions” or Consequences of military history?
Lendering states that:
“… truly flabbergasted to learn what the author does include in his book on ancient warfare: there are sections devoted to linguistics, Babylonian astronomy, the Silk Road, the Baghdad Battery, as well as the Alanic origins of the King Arthur legend. It surely makes for pleasant reading, but is irrelevant to ancient Persia at war.”
It is unclear how or why Lendering views the social, economic, linguistic, political, technical, linguistic, etc. consequences of military history “irrelevant”? This is analogous to stating that the non-military consequences of Battle at the Plains of Abraham between the forces of France and England are “irrelevant” to the history of Canada. This battle has had profound consequences with respect to the evolution of language, politics, technology, society, etc. in Canada.
Perhaps Lendering is not aware of the major conference in 2003 that took place regarding the cultural consequences of the military history of Persia-Central Asia:
Arms and Armour Indicators of Cultural Transfer: The Steppes and the Ancient World from Hellenistic Times to the Early Middle Ages
Wittenberg, Germany, November 25-27, 2003 at The LEUCOREA Foundation
Universities of Halle-Wittenberg and Leipzig, Germany
Farrokh’s discussion of the consequences of military history to non-military domains is simply in line with the established research of the military history of ancient Iran. Would Lendering also dismiss the entire above Conference as “irrelevant”? It would seem that Lendering may not appreciate that military history often carries profound non-military consequences with respect to cultural, technological, artistic-architectural, etc. developments. Iran is no exception.
Lendering also engages in a double standard: he tends to exaggerate the non-military consequences of the Greek conquest of Iran, yet takes issue with respect to the non-military consequences of Iran’s indigenous military history.