My First Book is Out
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Categories: Ancient

My First Book is Out

the cover of "Armed Force in the Teispid-Achaemenid Empire" (Franz Steiner Verlag, 2021) with a background of coloured rectangles

Armed Force in the Teispid-Achaemenid Empire: Past Approaches, Future Prospects. Oriens et Occidens Band 32 (Franz Steiner Verlag: Stuttgart, 2021) 437 pp., 8 b/w ill., 4 b/w tables. ISBN 978-3-515-12775-2 EUR 74,– (softcover) (publisher’s website)

My first book is coming out from Franz Steiner Verlag this month. It is the first book on Achaemenid armies since 1992, and the first written by someone who can read any ancient Near Eastern language. I show that most of what we think we know about Achaemenid armies and warfare goes back to classical writers and to 19th and 20th century stereotypes about the east. So many books sound the same because they are repeating the ideas of early authorities in new language. By focusing on indigenous, contemporary sources and placing the Achaemenids in their Near Eastern context- the standard methods in Roman Army Studies and Achaemenid Studies since the 1980s- we can tell a different story.

It is based on my PhD thesis, but contains:

  • New material on archaeology, cuneiform and biblical sources, and artwork
  • English translations of all long quotes from languages other than English
  • Three maps covering most of the cities and archaeological sites mentioned
  • Two illustrations of period artwork
  • Indices of sources cited, words in ancient languages, and people, places, and technical terms
  • Extensively revised footnotes and bibliography

You can find more information and a 19 page sample on Franz Steiner Verlag’s website for the book.

Financial times are hard for most of us, and these books with a run of a few hundred copies are not as cheap as something from Pen & Sword. If you are interested but can’t afford 74 Euros + shipping and handling, you could request that your public or university library order it (usually they have a requests form) or get a free copy in exchange for reviewing it for a magazine or academic journal (contact their reviews section). And if they can sell out those few hundred copies, there is a chance that someone will be willing to print a few thousand copies for a lower price.

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13 thoughts on “My First Book is Out

  1. Pavel Vaverka says:

    Hi Sean, big congratulations, finally the day has come. My emotion would depict most accurately this song (even if his context is different, than Your current situation).

  2. johnr671 says:

    Congratulations Sean, book depository just got it in stock today, will give it a plug on my page, all the best, John

    1. Sean Manning says:

      Thanks! When I have brain-space I will see if I can identify that seal you found. Unfortunately, I left art for the chapter I never wrote which may become a postdoc position, so I never flipped through all the books with seals and ear-rings and bits of fresco.

      1. John says:

        No rush Sean, but thanks when you get to it, I’ll start work on some of the soldiers with the high-backed cuirass’ with sagaris early in the new year. I’ll keep you posted, cheers

  3. Jonathan Dean says:


  4. Identities Are Hard to Get At | Book and Sword says:

    […] and when they do they are often saying something which is disputed. As I wrote in chapter 4 of my first book, people in Mesopotamia rarely tell us their ethnicity. Ethnic labels are usually used in the third […]

  5. Michael Park says:

    It hasn’t been a good year Sean otherwise I’d arrange a copy for myself. Congratulations of getting to the end of the process and getting it published. Must find out whether Alexander has finished his.

  6. Prufrock says:

    Congratulations, Sean!

    1. Sean says:

      Book nr. 2 is written although the illustrations will take some time

  7. Toast Commander says:

    FYI the link to your book on the publisher’s site goes to a 404. They appear to have moved it here:

    1. Sean says:

      Thanks! Online stores seem especially bad for not having stable URLs. But they are all powered by CMSes, and can have tens of thousands of product pages, so that is understandable.

  8. Johan papadopol says:

    why “Teispid-Achaemenid”??

    1. Sean says:

      Because we do not know what connection, if any, Cyrus’ regime had to the regime of Darius and his sucessors. They might have been as different as the Kerensky government and the Bolshevik government in Russia.

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