The Ballad of East and West : Part 1 Greco-Roman world against Persia

This article is the part of series about the conflicts between Europe and Asia since antiquity

  • Part 1 Greco-Roman world against Persia
  • Part 2 Arab Invasion of Europe ;  Al Andalus
  • Part 3 Christendom Strikes Back ; Reconquista
  • Part 4 The Holy wars ; Crusades
  • Part 5 The Mongol Horde
  • Part 6 Ottoman Intrusion
  • Part 7 Colonialism

(all the portraits used in the article are under public domain)

As Rudyard Kipling writes in his poem The Ballad of East and West;

Oh, East is East and West is West, and never the twain shall meet,Till Earth and Sky stand presently at God’s great Judgment Seat;But there is neither East nor West, Border, nor Breed, nor Birth,When two strong men stand face to face, though they come from the ends of the earth!

Since the beginning of the time human beings have waged wars against their fellow men.The to great continents of Asia and Europe have always been in conflict since the antiquity. The real question is not what happened in the past but where to go from here.

In the truest sense of conquest Persia was the first inter continental empire.Since the very beginning Persian empire was in conflict with West (Greek world). Which was maybe the main reason behind the Alexander the Great’s conquest of Persia, Ancient Egypt and Northwest Ancient India

1 Greco-Persian Wars

Date 499-449 BC

Persian Invasion

1 greeko persian wars

2 Alexander the Great Invasion of Asia Minor ,Ancient Egypt , Persian Empire and Northwest Ancient India

Date 332-323BC

Battle of Issus marked the end of Achaemeind Empire

Alexander's Battle_of_Issus

New world order carved by Macedonian King Alexander the Great which influenced the culture of Asia in a significant way after the establishment subsequent Hellenistic empires.


3 After the Macedonian wars Roman Republic emerged as major power in Mediterranean basin.

for the next few centuries Rome was in a state of intermittent warfare with Persia

(A) Roman Republic Vs Parthia

Date 53 BC

Marcus Licinius Crassus invaded Parthia empire in which he was captured and killed suring battle of Carrhae


B) Roman empire vs Sassanid empire

date Second ,Third and Fourth century 

Ardashir 1 overthrew the Achaemeind dynasty and in struggled to regain Syrian territories which made him in direct contact with Roman empire.A roman statesman and general Alexander Severus was able to push back Persian empire’s advance.This inspired roman emperor Gordian iii to finally put an end to its western rival but the success was ephemeral as at the battle of Misiche he was killed.After this Roman Emperor Philip the Arab made peace settlement with his Persian counterpart handing over Armenia and Mesopotamia to Sassanids  . These long drawn battles were futile in securing any permanent gain for either Roman and Persian empires.

After the Germanic invasions of in 250s Rome was in a weakened state which prompted the Persian ruler Shahpur 1 to launch a successful campaign against Rome in which he was able to capture Emperor Valerian at the battle of Edessa.Shortly after Emperor Carus was able to capture the Persian capital Ctesiphon in a counter offense.


Julian’ campaign

Emperor Julian launched an ambitious campaign against Persia in 363 but after the initial success he exhausted his armies by advancing further into enemy territories and was later killed an ambush by Persian cavalry units.


Later on a peace agreement was signed by the two empires by effectively creating a buffer zone of Armenia and by ensuring the well marked borders in the reign .In 384 or 387, a definitive peace treaty was signed by Shapur III and Theodosius I.


One thought on “The Ballad of East and West : Part 1 Greco-Roman world against Persia

  1. And in 395 the Roman Empire was divided into the East and West:) When looking the world history it can be said “this is the date of separating the east and west”. But it would be a mistake. Because, East Roman Empire, so Byzantine had secured it’s position, making agreements with the east and west empires, in the middle of the east and west. However, in Byzantine, racial and class divisions starts to arise. I think, the world history lives real first dividing with the Nika riots in 532. Until that time, the wars were made; it’s true. However, all reasons of them were political between the empires. The occurrence of this event in the same country borders does not change anything. Matter of fact is that there was the class distinction between public and management. As results, about 30,000, thirty thousand people were killed by suppressing the riot. I want to say this actually, “whether you live in west or live in east, there are only two classes.” Management class and labour class, which is exploited by the management. Management class sometimes kills 30,000 people, sometimes initiates that people kill each other, with propaganda and other ways. This is the real separating in the mankind. Besides, Orwell says that “Kipling is a prophet of British imperialism.”. I agree with George Orwell.


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