Ehsan Khonsari Nejad; Seyed Mehdi Mousavi Kouhpar; Sorur Khorashadi
It is difficult to debate about the planning, correct implementation, and effectiveness of a government's strategies, such as defining the concept of the strategy. Having a strong military ...
It is difficult to debate about the planning, correct implementation, and effectiveness of a government's strategies, such as defining the concept of the strategy. Having a strong military force and utilizing a variety of efficient and modern armament has always been one of the ideals of governments throughout history. The Iranian states have not been exempted from this rule and have used their financial and human resources to achieve these goals. Although the Sasanians were more advanced in many aspects of administration and military than the previous Iranian governments, they could not have been so successful in military affairs without careful strategic planning. The question is, what military strategy did the Sasanians adopt for the maintenance and the continuity of their empire? The answer to this question can be summarized in a variety of grand, long-term and short-term strategies. The very hostile strategy of the Sasanian government is not very much in line with modern theories, but it was fruitful and effective in the tumultuous late antiquity. Without their grand strategy, the Sasanian kings would not have been able to achieve numerous lasting and dramatic victories. Through the application of this strategy, they maintained and strengthened the position of the royal family among the traditional aristocracy (feudal clans), clergy, warlords, high nobility, and so on. In this paper, in order to find answers for our question, we attempt to explain the various types of strategies and tactics of the Sasanians through a descriptive-comparative-analytical approach and examine their role in the power, weakness, durability, or decline of their empire. The result generally shows the efficacy of the various Sasanian strategies and tactics in the early and middle periods, but the strategic errors of certain kings in the late period and several centuries of persistence and repetition of some aspects of their grand strategy resulted in undermining of their government