Sasani Warrior

Photo essay: Ancient soldier brought to life

by Ardeshir Radpour
Ardeshir Radpour was born in Tehran Iran in November of 1969 and moved to the United States in 1977 as the revolution was taking hold. As a Zoroastrian Persian sharing a tradition going back to the time of Cyrus the Great, Ardeshir has strived to keep alive and promote the proud history of the Ancient Persians. As a child he was exposed to horses in Iran with Uncles and Cousins who were accomplished equestrians and a great uncle was an officer in the Reza Shah's Cavalry and a polo player. Growing up in the United States his real opportunity came while at USC when he was formally introduced to the sport of Polo and more importantly his mentors in the sport, Sue Sally Hale and Stormie Hale. His Studies in classics, his formal training in the classical arts of horsemenship and his background in the martial arts makes him one of the most qualified experts in classical military history and the cavalry arts >>>

Fathali Ghahremani

Shooting techniques

by Fathali Ghahremani on

Dear Mr. Radpour

Thank you for an excellent portrayal of the Sassani Horseman.  However, in order to make your portrayal even more accurate, I have one small comment. 

In picture 9 you show a 3 finger draw of the bow.  This is incorrect.  Sassani warriors used their thumb, which was protected with a special thumb ring (a "shasti") made of different materials such horn, ivory, metal or semi-precious stones, to draw the bowstring.

The ring allowed the bowstring to kept drawn with minimum pressure on the archer's thumb, giving him the ability to hold the drawn bowstring longer, thus improving his accuracy and aim.

The short composite bow was a virtual machine gun, allowing a horse back archer to fire an arrow almost every five seconds.  A good archer was deadly up to 100 feet and had a maximum range throw range of almost 2000 feet.

Persian archers reportedly used two different arrows, a shorter arrow called a "navak" that was for short-range armor piercing and a long arrow, a "tir" that was used for longer distances. 

To understand the devastating effect of Iranian horseback archers, take a look at the events of the battle of Carrhae (53 BC) as described by Plutarch.  (Remember Plutarch was Roman and no friend of Iran.)





Sasani Cavalry

by m3r1 on

Dear Ardeshir Your work with the Sasani cavalry is commendable, to say
the least. Your endeavors and education in our glorious history,
resulting in the bolster and glorification of our national identity,
render me proud to have such a compatriot. As
a child of Kuroshe Bozorg, I salute your patriotism and passion.


Nabarz, that's him in Deadliest Warrior

by Keyvan on

Ardeshir was one of the Persian experts who did the weapons and gave commentary.  Here's a link from his site:



excellent work,

by Nabarz on

did this appear in 'Deadliest Warrior' TV show too? in which the warriors of different times/cultures fight, very interesting.

They look at each different weapon and how effective it was. 

They did a Persian Immortal, set against Celtic chariot and won.




is it true that

by ComraidsConcubine on

 they used to use goats' heads as balls and in some parts of Afghanistan still do?

Manoucher Avaznia

برخی مفاهیم

Manoucher Avaznia

برخی مفاهیم شاهنامه در بارۀ جنگیان ایرانی را می توان در این پیکره ها یافت.  کار زیبایی است.  بیشتر کنید.



Where Were These Warriors .....

by R2-D2 on

When "Omar" attacked Persia ..... !

Where were they :) !! ?




GREAT post Mr. Radpour!

by P_J on



forgot the link

by pas-e-pardeh on


This is beautiful!

by pas-e-pardeh on

Thank you.

I had never seen this saddle design with two thigh-wraps.  Now I can see it wasn't just the invention of stirrups that made the "Parthain Shot" possible.  The saddle design was ingenious too.  

Watch Monthy Python's Terry Jones present Persians vs. Romans and mentioning the "Parthian Shot" 

Immortal Guard

Great Work! Thanks so much!

by Immortal Guard on

Beautiful work!


Hafez for Beginners

Polo in HAFEZ:

by Hafez for Beginners on

Ardeshir: Thank you for these delightful images. I thought you might enjoy this reference to Polo in HAFEZ

Hafez is speaking of a time where friendship, cooperation and love - have all disappeared from society. In this Beyt, he is on a Polo field. He speaks of how there's a ball - Gooy  on the field, the ball of benevolence and human cooperation, but no one is coming to play! The image is  an abandoned Polo field, with not a single of the riders - savaran -  coming to play. It's a metaphor for how benevolence and cooperation exist in the world, (symbolized by the ball thrown on the pitch) but something has happened in society that has caused people to withdraw, with not a single person riding into  the field - the maidan - to play


گوی توفیق و کرامت در میان افکنده اند

کس به میدان در نمی آید  سواران را چه شد؟

Gooy-eh tofigh o karamat dar mian afkandeh-and

Kass beh meidan dar nemi-ayad Savaran ra cheh shod


Michael Mahyar Hojjatie

Awesome pics!

by Michael Mahyar Hojjatie on

But alas, too bad they didn't win at Qaddisiyyah... World would have been a much better place! 


Nice picture

by jamh on


I believe they used a bone thumb ring to pull the bow string, using their left hand to hold the bow, with the ring on the right thumb holding the bow squeezed to the index. Supposedly releasing a single point of contact (bone ring) with the string increased the precision. The bow is also not quite right as it is a Kassar bow. The bow would have been more similar to a present-day Korean bow.

Anonymous Observer

I posted his video here not too long ago

by Anonymous Observer on



by IranMarzban on

great pictures thank you 


Darius Kadivar

Magnificent !

by Darius Kadivar on



Great Initiative Mr. Radpour ! 

Red Wine


by Red Wine on

کار هنری و تاریخی بسیار جالبی‌ ایشان ارائه کرده اند،تا آنجا که ما میدانیم این در نوع خود بی‌ نظیر است،خدا حفظشان کند که اینجور فرهنگ و تاریخ اصیل ایران زمینی‌ را پاس میدارند.

به دوستان سفارش می‌کنیم که این مجموعه را به دوستان و وابستگان محترم خودشان معرفی‌ کنند و همینطور به فرنگیان تا بدانند داستان سرزمین پارسیان چه بوده است،تا ایشان بیشتر با آداب و رسوم ما آشنا شوند.

خداوند کشورمان را از دست اسلامیون رها کند و شر دشمنان ایران زمین را از ریشه بخشکاند و عمری طولانی به دوستان این مملکت اعطا فرماید.