Achaemenid elite cavalry: From xerxes to darius III

Classical Quarterly 65 (1):14-34 (2015)

A proper understanding of any military establishment is predicated on a sound understanding of the distinctions of its various components, including the relationship of elite units to those of lesser standing. The infantry of Achaemenid Persia has been given increased attention in recent years, especially in my three recent articles on the permanent Achaemenid infantry, these being the 10,000 so-called Immortals and the 1,000 Apple Bearers, the κάρδακες, whom I identified as a kind of general-purpose infantry of indeterminate ethnicity, and the defensive equipment of Achaemenid infantry. In these articles, the Persian cavalry, orasabārain Old Persian, was mentioned in passing, yet a thorough appraisal of elite Achaemenid cavalry is still required. For example, in his overview of Xerxes' army, Barkworth pays particular attention to the elite infantry, but the cavalry is mentioned only in passing, while Shabazi, in his entry on the Achaemenid army orspāda, does not mention elite cavalry at all. In a recent important study, Tuplin looked carefully at the evidence for Achaemenid cavalry and the degree of importance attached to cavalry among the Persians, but only mentioned what might be termed elite cavalry twice – he did not offer any in-depth commentary on their relationship to other cavalry units.
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DOI 10.1017/s0009838814000627
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Alexander and the Iranians.Albert Brian Bosworth - 1980 - Journal of Hellenic Studies 100:1-21.
Xenophon's Cyropaedia and Military Reform in Sparta.Paul Christesen - 2006 - Journal of Hellenic Studies 126:47-65.

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