Seventh-century history

The war that changed the world in the early seventh century

It was not a war to end all wars, writes James Howard-Johnston at the start of this illuminating and thought-provoking book about the confrontation between the empires of Rome and Persia that began at the start of the 7th century and lasted the best part of three decades; it was not even a war with ambitious goals. The ‘last great war of antiquity’ started when the Shah of Persia, Khusro II, decided that the assassination of an unpopular emperor in a palace coup in Constantinople gave him the excuse and the window he needed to try to put right a punitive settlement that had been imposed on Persia a decade