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The Persian Army
The Persian Army

The Persian Army


For almost two hundred and fifty years, from the times of Cyrus the Great to Darius iii, Achaemenid Persian army comprised warriors recruited from different parts of the vast empire, in addition to a large number of Greek mercenaries. The army itself was immense, but it was poorly organized and too heterogeneous.


The Persian army was organized into units of 10,000 soldiers, divided into groups of 1,000, 100 and finally 10. The most important combat unit was the light cavalry, which was located on the flanks with the task of surrounding and attacking the enemy army. The most important infantry units were the archers, tasked with weakening the rival’s defenses with a constant barrage of arrows, with the experienced Greek hoplite mercenaries located at the center line.

Sparabara


These Persian shield bearers used light rectangular animal wicker shields that offered them ankle to shoulder protection. The sparabara were located on the front line and used 6 ½ ft long spears.

Sagaris


Not all immortals used this double edged battleax; it was only used by natives of northern Persia.

Felt or cloth mask


Served as protection against wind and dust. The masks were always yellow, as this color was linked to the king and nobility.

Eye catching uniform


The quality and color of textiles used highlighted the noble origins of the immortals. Other soldiers wore different uniforms depending on their origin and social class.

Acinaces


Of Scythian origin, this double edged short sword, measuring around 16 in, was used for close combat.