The Roman-Persian Wars are largely considered to be the longest continuous stretch of war between two nations in history. Wars between the two peoples began soon after contact in 92 BC and continued through the Roman and Sassanid empires. Though the war lasted seven centuries, finally ending with the Arab Muslim invasions, it kept at a relatively stable tug-of-war pace. Border territories would constantly be sacked, captured, destroyed, and traded between sides as area dominance shifted. The war finally ended in 629 AD after the Persians agreed to withdraw from all occupied territories.
An interesting article hit TIME magazine in 1986, when the Netherlands and the Scilly Islands finally announced their peace after being in a technical state of war for 335 years. The British-owned islands were inhabited by pirates who had made trouble with Dutch ships, so the Dutch declared war on them in 1651. Britain immediately assured that they would mend the pirate issue, so the troops withdrew, and the Islands and the Netherlands have technically been in a state of war since. Finally, in 1986, the Dutch ambassador presented a scroll to the Islanders declaring peace. It turns out this was not only one of the longest single wars ever, but the least deadliest, without a single shot fired!
Supposedly there may be an even longer war between Rome and Carthage, which began in 264 BC. The first conflict was known as the Punic Wars, and in 146 BC Carthage was completely obliterated by Rome. The lands that belonged to Carthage were taken for Rome, and conflict has been in the hearts of those in the area for many centuries after that. Evidently a peace treaty was signed in 1985, ending hostilities with the people of that region. This time frame would put this Roman-Carthage conflict at over 2,248 years in length.
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