Essay, Research Paper: Alexander The Great

European History

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Alexander III, more commonly known as Alexander the Great, was one of the
greatest military leaders in world history. He was born in Pella, Macedonia,
then a Greek nation. The exact date of his birth is uncertain, but was probably
either July 20 or 26, 356 B.C. Alexander was considered a child from his birth
until 341 B.C. His princehood lasted from 340 to 336 B.C. In 336 B.C. Philip II,
his father, was assassinated, thus making Alexander king. Alexander became a
military leader in 335, and remained one until his death in 323 B.C. He reigned
from 336 B.C. until 323 B.C., when he died. His military campaign in Persia
lasted from 334 to 329, and in 328 he began his campaign in India and Bactria,
which lasted until 326. Alexander was only 20 years old when his father died in
early 336 B.C. and he took over, ruling for 12 years and eight months. Alexander
was fair skinned and fair haired. He was not very tall, but had outstanding
speed and stamina. He was a dedicated soldier, but didn’t care for sports. The
only sport he really liked was hunting. Alexander was the eldest son of Philip
II and Olympias. Like Alexander, Philip II was a great general. Olympias and
Philip, when Philip was not away on a campaign, constantly fought. His father
was away often, and so much of his childhood influences came from his mother,
although his father taught him many useful things about war. Because of his
mother’s heritage, Alexander could truthfully claim relation to two Trojan War
heroes, Achilles and, indirectly, Hector. Philip II taught him he was descended
from Hercules, which was not true. The historian Callisthenes started an untrue
rumor that Alexander was the son of Zeus. Alexander had seven wives and a male
lover. In 327 B.C. he married Roxanne, his main wife, so to speak. Roxanne was a
Persian, and by the time he married her, Alexander had total control of Persia
and was doing his campaigns in India and Bactria. Roxanne later became pregnant
with a child, but when Alexander died it had not yet been born.
*center*Alexander’s Childhood When Alexander was either 13 or 14(different
sources gave different ages), Alexander became the pupil of the great
philosopher Aristotle. Aristotle taught Alexander grammar, literature,
especially Homer, politics, the natural sciences, and rhetoric(the art of using
words well and effectively). Aristotle inspired Alexander with a love for
literature. He came to know and like the Greek styles of living. Greece’s
ideals of civilization impressed him, and took part in sports and daily
exercises to develop a strong body. Alexander had another teacher, Leonidas,
whom was hired by Philip II to train and discipline Alexander’s body. Leonidas
sent Alexander on frequent all night marches and rationed his food.
Alexander’s schooling with his two teachers continued until he was 16 years
old. When Alexander was 16, his father went away to a military campaign. He left
Alexander temporarily in charge of his kingdom. While Philip II was away, the
people of Thrace started a rebellion. Alexander found out about this rebellion,
and crushed it. This rather impressed Philip II, and he let Alexander settle his
first town, Alexandropolis. This city, as is probably quite self-evident, was
named for Alexander. In Greek, “polis” means city, so this means
“Alexander city”. At this age, Alexander also had an interest in medicine.
He even prescribed medicine to some of his friends. The Story of Bucephales When
Alexander was either 11 or 12 or 14(there are differing accounts), he went with
his father and his father’s company while they went to buy a horse. After a
while, Philip saw a horse that he wanted. He soon saw that it was very mean and
wild, so he decided against buying it. When Alexander learned of this decision,
he said to his father,"What a horse they are losing, and all because they
do not know how to handle it, or dare not try." To this Philip II
responded,"Are you finding fault with your elders because you think you
know more than they do, or can manage a horse better?" "At least I can
manage this one better,"Alexander replied. Alexander then decided to show
the company he could calm this horse. He approached the horse and calmed it.
Once the horse seemed to be calm enough, Alexander mounted it and galloped
around the field. The company applauds, and Philip II weeps for joy. When
Alexander dismounted, Philip II kissed him. He told his son,"My boy, you
must find a kingdom big enough for your ambitions. Macedonia is too small for
you." Alexander named this horse Bucephales, meaning"ox head" in
Greek. He rode Bucephales throughout his youth and later in his campaigns in
Persia. Finally, in the Battle of Jhelum, Bucephales suffered a wound. He later
died from it. Alexander's Rise to Power In early 336 B.C., Philip II was
assassinated at his daughter's wedding feast. The assassin was an aggrieved
Macedonian nobleman, who was slain as he tried to escape. The official verdict
on Philip's assassination claimed the assassin had been bribed by Darius, the
king of the Persian empire. However, Alexander and his mother were suspected by
many because they had recently fallen from royal favor. This was not mentioned
in the verdict, and it is still unknown which suspicion is correct. When Philip
II died, Alexander found his new empire in disorder. He had enemies all over, in
home and abroad. Many people were dissatisfied and so they threatened rebellion.
To solve this problem, Alexander killed everyone posing a threat. This included
his younger half-brother, but not his older one. Much was fixed, although
perhaps not in a satisfactory way. In late summer that year, Alexander was
confirmed as the Captain-General of the campaign in Persia as well as becoming
the Captain-General of the League of Corinth. These two positions were good for
Alexander because they provided him with many more soldiers for his campaign in
Persia. General Information on Alexander's Army and Conquests Athens versus
Philip II in Elatea Late one September evening, before the Battle of Chaeronea,
an Athenian assembly heard that Philip II had occupied Elatea. They were rather
nervous, and not without reason. Elatea was a key point on the road to Thebes
and Attica, two of Athen's allies. Because of this information, the Athenian
army marched into Boeotia, which neighbored Elatea. Athen's and Boeotia, two new
allies, fortified the north-west passage into central Greece. 10,000 mercenaries
were dispatched to cover the road to Amphissia. Despite its efforts, Athens was
still defeated. Basic Information on Alexander's Army Alexander had army men
from every province under his control or allied with him. One of his generals
was Ptolemy, who was one of the best generals in Alexander's campaigns in Asia
and India. He was believed to have been related to the royal family. Alexander
was an expert at organizing his units for complex battle maneuvers, hiding his
true numbers and true make-up of his army, and managing his army. Alexander's
position as a military leader changed throughout his conquests. He started out
as a crusader, trying to have revenge for the destruction of Greece's precious
buildings. He ended up with the goal of expanding his empire and the knowledge
and practice of Hellenic culture throughout it. Alexander's army started out
with army men from Macedonians, Thessalians, Thracians, Athenians, and those
from just about every other Greek city-states. He already had these provinces in
his realm, and this was what he brought into Persia. Unlike most rulers,
Alexander joined his men in battle and led in attacks. Since he was the
Captain-General of the League of Corinth he had many more soldiers than he would
have had otherwise. Some of Alexander's Conquests in Short In Autumn 337 B.C.
there was a meeting of the League of Corinth. There Alexander's crusade against
Persia was ratified. This made Alexander's campaign in Persia much easier than
if the League had chosen otherwise. When Alexander was 21 he marched into
Thebes. He made the journey of about 240 miles in 13 days. There he defeated the
Thracians in his first major battle. During this battle, 6,000 Thracians
defending Thebes died. The remaining 30,000 were sold into slavery. In early
spring 335 B.C. Alexander went north to deal with political problems in Thrace
and Illyria. That year he also crushed the revolt of Thebes. The next year, 334
B.C., he put under siege and later captured Miletus. He then put Halicarnassus
under siege, which is put in more detail later. Next, Alexander got through
Lycia and Pamphylia. That year he also attacked and conquered the Greek occupied
In 333 B.C., first he and his army, marching in columns, went north to Celaenae
and then marched to Ancyra. He then moved south to the Cilician Gates. While he
was doing this, Darius went westward from Babylon. Then Alexander reaches
Taurus, where there is a halt because he then fell ill. Once his ailment was
cured, Alexander advanced with his army southward through Phoenicia. In this
year, Memnon died, the Persian forces in Babylon were mustered, and Alexander
reached Gordium where he sliced the Gordian Knot. This is put in more detail
later. In January 332 B.C., Byblos and Sidon submitted themselves to Alexander's
rule. In September or October that same year, he reached Thapsacus on the
Euphrates. During this, Darius moved his main forces from Babylon. On September
18, 331 B.C., he crossed the Tigris. In early June 330 B.C. Alexander set out
for Ecbatana. Darius then renewed his march toward Bactria that had been halted
temporarily. Soon after Darius did this, Alexander reached Ecbatana and
dismissed the Greek allies and left Parmenio behind. He made Harpalus Treasurer
of Ecbatana. Then he began his march to Hyrcania, and marched through Arachosia
to Parpamisidae. In 330 B.C., Alexander also renewed his pursuit of Darius via
the Caspian Gates. In July, he found Darius murdered near Hecatomplyus, where he
was apparently murdered by his own men. When he found out about this, Bessus
declared himself king of the Persian Empire, or "Great King". In 329
B.C., Alexander crossed the Hindu Kush via the Khawak Pass. During April and May
that year, he advanced to Bactria. That year, Bessus retreated across the Oxus.
He then reached and crossed it in June, and from there he advanced to Maracande.
This was also the year in which Alexander finished conquering Persia. When he
had accomplished this, Alexander has been reported to have said,"So this is
what it is like to be an emperor." In 328 B.C., Alexander had his campaign
against Spitamenes. Then Cletus the Black was murdered. Later that year, he
defeated and killed Spitamenes. The following year, he reached Nysa and captured
the Soghdian rock. This year Alexander's conquests of India ended. The year
after that, 326 B.C., Alexander was badly wounded during his campaign against
the Brahman cities(high-caste Indian cities). That year he also conquered most
of the remaining part of Pakistan, India, and Iran. The end of his conquests
were coming near. In 325 B.C. Alexander's army suffered the loss of 3,000
mercenaries. In Bactria, the people revolted against him and it was necessary
for Alexander to intervene unless he wanted to loose Bactria. After that,
Alexander returned to Persepolis and then moved to Susa, where there was a long
halt. He renewed his march in September, going through the Gedrostan Desert. In
January 324 B.C., Nearchus and his fleet went to Susa. They then moved to
Ecbatana. Alexander conquered many countries. Some of the cities he had to
conquer (they did not submit themselves to Alexander's rule peacefully and/or
were not acquired by Alexander because another city was) in the Asia Minor
were(in order):Halicarnassus, Syria, Tyre, Gaza, Egypt, Guagamela, Babylon, Susa,
Persepolis, Media, Arachosia, Bactria, and Sogdiana. Alexander had a huge
empire. In the Mediterranean, Alexander had parts if not all of Bulgaria,
Greece, and Macedonia. In the Middle East, he had parts or all of Iraq, Iran,
Egypt, Israel, and Lebanon. In Asia Minor, Alexander held parts or all of
Turkey, Afghanistan, and Armenia. In Asia, he ruled parts or all of India and
Pakistan. He also ruled small parts of Albania, Libya, and Russia. Darius made
three peace deals with Alexander throughout Alexander's campaign in Persia. The
first was in 333 B.C., the second in June 332 B.C., and the third in 331 B.C.
The third was offered shortly after Alexander had conquered Tyre. In this offer,
Darius offered Alexander a daughter in marriage, 10,000 talents worth of gold,
and all of his territory west of the Euphrates. Today, 10,000 talents of gold is
worth about three-hundred million dollars. The amount of territory Alexander was
offered was about one-third of Darius' empire. It required, however, that
Alexander leave Persia at peace and ally with Darius. Alexander's general
Paremonian advised Alexander to agree to this. Alexander, however, was in no
mood to cancel his campaign in Persia. To Paremonian's suggestion he
replied,"I would accept them, but only if I were Paremonian." The
Battle of Chaeronea Background on the Battle The battle of Chaeronea was the
first major battle Alexander fought in. It took place on August 4, 338 B.C.,
during Philip II's rule. Philip and his army was fighting against the allied
Thebes, Athens, Megara, Corinth, and Achaia, in the city of Piraeus. The most
important of the five Allies were Athens and Thebes. The Allies made sure that
their mercenaries and part of the regular army blocked both possible lines of
attack. The allied right flank was comprised of mainly Thebans. They were 12,000
strong. They were led by the Sacred Band, the Theban king's best soldiers, at
300 strong. The left side was made up of mostly Athenians, who were, at that
time, 10,000 strong. Everyone else was in the center. Philip II commanded the
Macedonian right flank. The right flank slightly outflanked the Allies'
right.Their left flank, which had heavy cavalry, was commanded by Alexander, at
this time only 18 years old. This was an extraordinary responsibility for
someone his age because he was the one that had to deliver the knock-out blow
that would determine whether the Macedonians won this battle or lost it.
Philip's center and left were back at an angle from the Allied line. What
Happened in the Battle At the beginning of the battle, Philip and his guards
brigade engaged the Athenians, while the rest of the Macedonian army advanced.
At this time, the Athenians launched a wildly enthusiastic charge. Their general
lost his head, not literally yet, and said,"Come on, let's drive them back
to Macedonia!" Such amount of enthusiasm usually makes the warriors
reckless, and it is difficult to win the battle with it. The Greek center soon
began to spread out perilously, and there became many gaps between the army men.
Upon seeing this, the Macedonians backed up onto the bank of a small stream,
which made a gap between the center and right open. Then Alexander, at the head
of Macedonia's best cavalry, drove a wedge into the heart of the Theban ranks.
While he did this, a second brigade attacked the Sacred Band. The attack did its
job, and soon the Thebans were surrounded. During this, Philip remained on the
right. He halted his retreat up the river bank and launched a down-hill
counter-charge. His phalanx finished what Alexander's cavalry had started by
pouring through the broken lines, and engaged the allied Greek center at the
front and flank simultaneously. The two sides had a severe struggle, after which
the entire army of the Allies broke and fled except for the Sacred Band, who
planned to and did fight until the end. But Philip II came out of the battle
victorious. After the Battle After Philip's victory, 46 members of the 300
strong Sacred Band were taken alive. The other 254 died. The dead were buried
around where they had died, in seven soldierly rows, near where Zion of
Chaeronea was soon to be put. When he had won the battle, Philip called off the
cavalry pursuit of the Allies. He then raised a victory trophy and made
sacrifices to the gods. A number of men were decorated for conspicuous
gallantry. Even after Philip II's victory, the Athenian armed slaves and
residents were ready to defend their city to their death. Philip remained
victorious, though. The Athenian naval fleet remained intact, but offered little
resistance after learning of Philip's victory. Philip gained things other than
territory from his victory in Piraeus. He controlled the Athenian naval fleet if
the need for it ever arose. He also got the harbor and arsenals of Piraeus. To
some in his newly acquired territory, Philip II was reasonably kind to. He let
Piraeus' inhabitants maintain supplies and communication by sea indefinitely if
they decided to. He also let the Thebans raise a great monument near where the
Sacred Band's soldiers were buried in memory of them called the Zion of
Chaeronea. Philip let them do this because, being a soldier himself, he
appreciated truly valorous opponents. He refrained from imposing garrisons on
most of the leading Greek cities. Philip would give up the Athenian dead. He had
2,000 Athenian prisoners, who would all be released without ransom. He
guaranteed not to send troops into Attica or warships to Piraeus. Athens would
remain the governmental nucleus of the Aegan islands, included Delos and Samos.
However, Philip could be harsh at times, too. He gave told the Athenians that
they had to do two things for Macedonia. One of these was to help Macedonia with
all other territorial claims. The other was it must dissolve the Athenian
Maritime League. Athens' government accepted these conditions en bloc(meaning
altogether). They were not in a position to object to these;any privilege Philip
II gave him then were just an arbitrary favor, which was reversible if Philip
wanted to. Philip was cruel to others, too. He abolished the Boeotian League.
This was the embryo of the Theban empire. Philip was kind to these cities,
however, when he gave all the cities belonging to the Boeotian League their
independance back, which was shrewd diplomacy for him. He also forced the
Thebans to recall all political exiles, and then set up a puppet government,
with Macedonians watching over it from the Cadnea. Unlike their Athenian
counterparts, the Theban prisoners had to be ransomed at a good price. If they
were not, they would be sold as slaves. The Battle of Granicus Background
Information on the Battle Granicus was the first major battle during Alexander's
rule. It was also the first battle in Persia. It took place in May 334 B.C.
Alexander lead his troops while the Persians were lead by Arsites, one of
Darius' generals. Darius was the king of the Persian empire. Alexander only
slightly outnumbered the Persians at the time of this battle. His ground forces
overwhelmingly outnumbered the Persians';the Persians had 30,000 overall ground
force while Alexander had 43,000 infantry alone. However, the Persians had
15,000-16,000 cavalry, where as Alexander only had 6,000-7,000. It also must be
taken into account that Darius' navy, which was Phoenician, was nearly three
times larger than Alexander's and much more efficient. Before the Battle During
a site-seeing trip on the way to Granicus, Alexander was asked if he would like
to inspect Paris' lyre. Alexander refused curtly. He said that all Paris played
on the instrument were,"adulterous ditties to captivate and bewitch the
hearts of women". He then added,"But I would gladly see that of
Achilles, to which he used to sing the glorious deeds of brave men." In
this battle, Alexander's position had similarities to that of two other military
men. He was in a way like Achilles, sailing again for battle. But he also was
like the Captain-General of the Hellenes, trying to get vegenance on Xerxe's
invasion of Greece(he was mad at the Persians for burning many of Greece's great
cities a long time ago). An important thing on the way to the site of this
battle was to cross the Narrows. He crossed them at the same point as the
Athenians had in the Trojan War. The Persians offered no opposition when he did
this. He then made the 300 mile march to Sestos in 20 days, a remarkably short
time for an entire army. Next, with 6,000 men, he went over land to Elaeum,
which is at the southern tip of the Galipoli Peninsula. There he sacrificed
before the tomb of Protesilaus. Protesilaus was the first Greek in Agememnon's
army to step ashore at Troy. In the tomb he prayed that his landing on Asiatic
soil would be better than Protesilaus'. This prayer was not without
reason;Protesilaus had been killed almost immediately, and like Protesilaus,
Alexander planned to be the first on shore. After making this prayer, he built
an altar at the tomb and invoked the gods for victory. Once this was done,
Alexander crossed the Darndelles in the 60 vessels Parmenio had sent down from
Sestos. Alexander steered the Admiral's flagship. When the ships were halfway
across the river the squadrons sacrificed a bull to Poseidon and made libation
with a golden vessel, just as Xerxes had done when he crossed it. He landed on
the "Achen Harbor". This is possibly present-day Rhoeteum. There he
set up an alter to Athena, Hercules, and Zeus, in thanks for a safe landing.
Here he prayed that"these territories might accept me as king of their own
free will, without constraint". Once he had done this, Alexander set off
for Ilium. Once at Ilium, he was welcomed by a committee of local Greeks who
presented him with a ceremonial gold wreath. He then offered a sacrifice at the
tomb of Ajax and Achilles. Next he made an offering at the sacred hearth of Zeus
of Enclosures. Legend has it that it was here that Alexander's ancestor
Neoptolemus had slain Priam. From Ilium Alexander moved north again and rejoined
his army at Arisbe, a little out of the city of Abyos. From there he and his
army marched north-east, following the road to Dascylium, where the Phyrgian
satrap(sort of a Persian governor)had his seat of government. The first city
Alexander and his army reached was Pericte, a city in Macedonia's control. But
they soon reached Lampsacus. This was controlled by Memnon like a lot of other
cities in Asia Minor. There the philosopher Anaxenes, who was acting as
Lampsacus' official envoy, persuaded Alexander to bypass Lampsacus. Alexander
had an extreme shortage of money, with only enough pay to last a fortnight and
food to last a month. Considering these conditions, it is most likely that
Anaxenes bribed Alexander with a large sum of money. Because of these
conditions, Alexander's only hope was to tempt the Persians into a set battle
and inflict a crushing defeat. Arsites, the governor of Hellespontine Phyrga,
sent out an appeal for help from his fellow governors. He wanted to meet with
Arsamenes of Cilician and Spithridates of Lydia and Ionia. The three governors
set up their base camp at Zeleia, east of the River Granicus. Here they summoned
their commanders to a council of war to decide what strategy to use against
Alexander. Memnon of Rhodes, a mercenary, put forth the best suggestion. He
proposed a scorched-earth policy--destroy all crops, strip the countryside, if
they had to, burn down towns and villages. When he proposed this plan, Memnon
made it clear that it would force the Macedonians to withdraw for lack of
provisions. While this was happening, the Persians would assemble a large fleet
and carry the war into Macedonia while the Macedonian army was still divided
over what to do. This was great advise, but since it came from a mercenary,
whose brilliance and plain speaking was not respected by his Persian colleagues,
it was not paid due attention. However, a little more tact still might have
gotten Memnon all he wanted. But he went on to say that they should avoid
fighting a pitched battle because the Macedonian infantry was very superior to
Persia's. This hurt the Persians' dignity, and so they rejected Memnon's plan.
Since Memnon's plan was rejected, the Persians had to choose a new strategy.
They decided to take a defensive strategy. This was probably second only to
Memnon's plan because if the Macedonians could be lured into attacking a
strongly held position over dangerous ground where the cavalry would have
trouble charging and the phalanx couldn't hold formation, the invasion would end
quickly. The Persians' rejection of Memnon's plan was good for Alexander, but
the Persians still had an advantage over Alexander. This was that the Persians
had a choice of terrain. Once the Persians realized how badly needed battle they
realized they could bring him to battle wherever and whenever they pleased. The
Persians collected all available reinforcements to prepare for the coming
battle. Then they advanced to the River Granicus on the eastern bank, which had
the best conditions for the Persian strategy. This spot on the river was good
for the Persians because the Macedonian army would have to cross it to get to
Dascylium(a spot on the river Alexander would need to get to to continue his
conquests). It would be hard for him to cross the River because of its speed and
depth. The Macedonians would have to cross in columns, and while the Macedonians
were struggling on the bank in general disorder, they'd be highly vulnerable,
and the Persians could force an engagement. Once they were at the River Granicus,
the Persians drew up forces and waited. You might remember that the Persians had
far less ground forces than Alexander. Because of this, Arsites had to avoid
exposing his interior infantry to open ground. For Arsites to win, he had to
have a skillful use of cavalry and mercenaries. When he they reached the River
Granicus, Alexander wanted to fight. But Parmenio knew the Persians had set up a
death trap. Parmenio did his best to reason with Alexander, and Alexander had to
agree. So, under the cover of darkness, he and his army marched downstream until
they found a suitable place to ford. Here they bivouacked, and began crossing at
dawn. What Happened in the Battle When they found out that the Macedonians were
fording, Arsites' scouts sounded the alarm. Several regiments of cavalry
galloped down, trying to catch the Macedonians at a disadvantage. But by the
time they got to the place Alexander had chosen to ford, there were not many
Macedonians left on the western bank. When they saw Arsites' scouts, the
Macedonian phalanx formed to cover their comrades still in the river. Meanwhile,
Alexander led his cavalry in a swift, outflanking charge. The Persians wisely
retreated. Once they had, Alexander got the rest of his columns across, and then
deployed them in battle formation. The terrain was rich, rolling land, which was
perfect for cavalry. This was good for the Persians because they had so much
more cavalry than Alexander. Arsites put all of his cavalry regiments into front
line, on as wide a front as possible. His entire infantry was held in reserve.
He then advanced to Alexander's position. Alexander was clad in magnificent
armor he had taken from the Temple of Athena at Ilium. His shield was blazoned
splendidly, and wore an extraordinary helmet with two great wings or plumes. A
crowd of pages and staff officers thronged around him. Alexander took the battle
on the right flank. When they saw this, the Persians transferred some of their
best troops to the center. This was just what Alexander wanted. With trumpets
blowing and echoes of the "Alalalalai"battle cry, Alexander charged,
leading his cavalry in wedge formation. He feinted at the enemy's left, where
Memnon and Arsames were waiting. Then he suddenly swung his wedge inwards,
diving at the new weakened Persian center. On the first onslaught, Alexander's
spear broke, so the old Demaratus of Corinth gave him his. While this was
happening, Parmenio always was on the Persian left. He was fighting a holding
action against the Medes and Bactrians on Alexander's right. Alexander made a
classic "pivot"attack, using his left flank as his axis. So what he
did was, keeping his left flank stationary, he swung his right and center around
it, so that now the center remained the center, but the left was the right and
the right was the left. Mathrilas, Darius' son-in-law, counter-charged at the
head of his own Iranian cavalry division with 40 high ranking Persian nobles. He
began to drive a similar wedge into the Macedonian center. After this, the
Persian general Mithridates hurled a javelin at Alexander. He threw it with such
force that it didn't just blow through Alexander's shield but hit the cuiraso
behind it. Alexander then plucked it out and sent spurs to his horse. He then
drove his own spear far into Mithridates' breastplate. But Mithridates'
breastplate did not break, and Alexander's spear broke of short. Mithridates
then drew out his sword for hand-to-hand fighting. Alexander, however, was not
about to do that. Alexander retrieved his broken spear and jabbed it into
Mithridates' face, hurling him to the ground. As this happened, Rhosaces(a
Persian) came at him from behind. He rode at Alexander from a flank with his
saber with such force that it went through Alexander's helmet to the bone of his
scalp. Alexander, swaying and dizzy, managed to kill Rhosaces. Meanwhile,
Spithridates, the governor of Lydia and Ionia, moved in behind Alexander. He was
about to kill him when Cletus, Alexander's nurse's brother, severed Spithridates'
arm at his shoulder. After this, Alexander, probably from his scalp injury,
half-fainted. While Alexander was in the half-faint, his phalanx poured through
a gap in the Persian center, and had started to get rid of Arsites' native
infantry. Alexander managed to struggle back onto his horse, and his companions
rallied around him. During this, the enemy center began to cave in, leaving
their flanks exposed. Then Parmenio's Thessalian cavalry charged on the left. In
a moment, the entire Persian line broke and fled. Their infantry, except the
mercenaries, offered little resistance. The only part of the Persian army that
was left was Memnon and his men. The Macedonians focused on destroying them.
While the Macedonian phalanx delivered a frontal assault, his cavalry hemmed
them from all sides to prevent a massive breakout. Somehow, however, Memnon
managed to escape. This ended the battle. The Persians suffered far greater
casualties than the Macedonians. The Persians lost 2,500 men total, some 1,000
of them Iranians. There were different amounts of casualties reported for
Alexander. The maximum for the infantry was 30, and the minimum nine. For the
cavalry, the maximum was 120 and the minimum 60. After the Battle 25 Macedonians
fell"in the first charge. Alexander had a statue made of each of them. He
then erected each statue somewhere near Granicus. He also erected a statue of
himself, although he did not even die, let alone in first charge. This was a
strange gesture that would never be repeated again. 2,000 of Memnon's
mercenaries survived. After the battle they were chained like lions and sent
back to forced labor, probably in the mines. This was not a very placatory
gesture by Alexander. The reason he gave for it was that "they had violated
Greek public opinion by fighting with the Orientals against the Greeks."
After his victory, Alexander went across the rocky, volcanic islands of
Cappadocia. His victory was the start of a long campaign in Persia. It opened
Asia-Minor to Alexander. The Battle of Issus Background Information The Battle
of Issus was, like Granicus, a battle against Persia. It took place in September
or October 333 B.C. Alexander, as in about all of his major battles, led his
troops. I am not sure who led the Persians, although Darius was there. This
battle was important because it was the only way for Alexander to get to the
coastal plain of Asia. The numbers for both sides at this time are uncertain.
Before the Battle Alexander was separated from the coastal plain of Asia by the
Tarsus Mountains, and the only pass through these mountains was a deep twisting
canyon. There were gates to this canyon, and Alexander anticipated trouble
there, but there was no other feasible route. Arsames, who was the Persian
governor of Cilicia, unintentionally saved Alexander a lot of trouble. Arsames
was bent on immitating Memnon's scorched earth policy-strategy and avoiding a
head-on collision. Because of this, he only left a small force at the Gates and
spent much time and energy destroying the Cilician plain. Because of this, the
entire Macedonian army could and did go through the defile, four abreast, and
down into the plains. Alexander crossed into the plain, and then learned that
Arsames, in accordance to his plan, intended to loot the city of Tarsus of its
treasure and then burn it. Because of this information, he sent Parmenio ahead
with cavalry and lightly armed troops. When Arsames learned Alexander's troops
were coming, they fled in haste. The city and its treasures were left intact.
Alexander entered Tarsus on September 3, 333 B.C. He was sweating, hot, and
exhausted after the rapid forced march from the foothills of Tarsus. The River
Cydnus ran through Tarsus, and Alexander plunged into it almost immediately
after getting there. He almost immediately had an attack of such a severe cramp
that those watching took it as a convulsion. When his aids saw what had
happened, they rushed into the water and pulled Alexander out. Alexander was
ashy white and chilled to the bones. Before he had gone into the water it seemed
he had some kind of bronchial infection, which, because of the water, quickly
turned into acute pneumonia. For days Alexander lay helpless with a raging
fever. His physicians were so pessimistic about his recovery they withheld their
services for fear that they would be accused of neglegance or, even worse,
murder if Alexander died under their care. The only physician willing to treat
Alexander was Philip of Acarmenia, Alexander's confidential physician. Philip
told Alexander that there were certain quick-acting drugs but they involved an
element of risk. Alexander had no objection to these drugs because he was
worried about Darius' advancements. These drugs worked, but they had side
effects. Alexander lost his voice, began to have a difficulty breathing, and
soon lapsed into a semi-coma. When the semi-coma began, Philip massaged
Alexander and put hot substances on him. Finally, Alexander got out of his
semi-coma. Three days after his recovery Alexander was well enough to show
himself to his anxious troops. Once he had seen his troops, Alexander sent
Parmenio, his allied infantry, Greek mercenaries, and Thracian and Thessalian
cavalry to report on Darius' movements and to block passes that Darius could go
through. While they were doing this, Alexander took over a major mint. He used
it to strike his own coins, which was a very significant innovation. When
Parmenio came back, he brought encouraging news. Because of this, Alexander
visited Anchilles, one day's march west of Tarsus. He then visited the nearby
city of Soli, and then returned to Tarsus. The reason he made this visits were
probably to gain the favor of the inhabitants of these cities. Alexander then
sent his General Philotas and some cavalry as far as to the Pyramus River, on
the west side of the Gulf of Alexandretta. Alexander, his Royal Squadron, and
infantry followed. Less than two days after he sends Philotas away Alexander
arrived in Castabala. Parmenio was in Castabala at that time, and gives
Alexander the latest news on Darius and his army. He told Alexander that Darius
had pitched camp at Sochi, somewhere east of the Syrian Gates. Parmenio wanted
Alexander to marshal his forces at Issus and wait there for Darius. Issus was a
good place for Alexander because there was a narrow space and thus less danger
of being outflanked. Alexander could also anticipate Darius from any place.
Alexander, however, paid little heed to this advice. He was convinced that if
Darius moved at all it would be through the Syrian Gates. So instead of waiting
at Issus, Alexander took the rest of his army southwest through the Pillar of
Jonah to Myriandus. He pitched camp opposite the pass and waited for an enemy
that never came. While the Macedonians were there, going to the Myrian Irus and
held up by violent thunderstorms, Darius set out north on a dash for the Amanic
gates. He got through them unopposed, and then went down from Castabala on the
River Issus. Here he captured nearly all of the Macedonian hospital cases.
Darius cut of the hospital cases' hands and seared them with a pitch. He then
took them on a tour of the Persian army. Then he turned them loose and told them
to report what they had seen to Alexander. This was probably to terrorize the
Macedonian army and make them reluctant to face the Persians in battle. Once he
had done this, Darius advanced to the Pinarus River and took a defensive
position on the northern bank, thus in Alexander's rear and squarely across
Alexander's lines of communication. His position forced the Macedonians to fight
a reversed-front engagement and make a frontal assault. They also had to fight
in highly unfavorable circumstances. At dawn the Macedonian army began their
descent toward Issus. It took three miles to get clear of the Jonah pass, and
nine more to get to the Pinarus River. They began the march in column of route,
and as the ground opened out they deployed battalion after battalion of infantry
into a line, keeping the left flank close to shore and pushing the right flank
up to the foothills. Once all the infantry regiments had been brought up
Alexander began to feed in the cavalry squadrons. Most of them, including the
Thessalians, went into the right flank, which Alexander commanded. Parmenio
commanded the Greek Allies. What Happened in the Battle In the center of the
Persian center Darius put his Royal Bodyguard, a crack of Iranian corps 2,000
strong whose spear butts were decorated with golden quinces. He stationed
himself directly behind the Royal Bodyguard in his great ornamental chariot.
Flanking his Royal Bodyguard on either side were Darius' Greek mercenaries,
about 30,000 strong. Darius' Asiatic levies were worse than useless so they were
put in the rear. On both wings were two divisions of lightly armed infantry,
called Cardaces. "Cardaces" appeared to be Iranian youth who were or
had just finished their training. By the time Darius had moved all of his
infantry into this formation, the Macedonians were getting uncomfortably close.
Alexander led his troops to Issus at a leisurely pace. They stopped frequently
to check their dressing and observe enemy movements. At first while Alexander
and his troops were marching, Darius' intentions were not clear. But then the
Persian cavalry squadrons that had been acting as the screen were signaled back
across the river and dispatched to the final battle stations, and it became
clear to Alexander. He realized that instead of massing the Iranian cavalry
opposite the Macedonian right, where Alexander had expected it, Darius was going
to move all of his best squadrons down to shore, against Parmenio. When this
realization was made, Alexander reorganized his troops. He put the Thessalians
across to their left as reinforcements, and ordered them to ride behind the
phalanx so that the phalanx's movements would remain unobserved. Then reports
came in that the Persians up on the ridge of the mountain had occupied a
projecting spur of it, and were now actually behind the Macedonian right flank.
When he heard this, Alexander sent mixed force of lightly armed troops to deal
with them. He then pushed forward his cavalry, and brought two squadrons across
from the center to strengthen the right flank. He then left 300 cavalry to watch
the Persians' movements. Then the Macedonian army, deployed on a three mile
front, continued to advance. Once they were just beyond the Persian bow range
they halted, hoping the Persians would charge. Unfortunately for Alexander, they
didn't. After a final check on his troops, Alexander led them until they came
into the range of the Persian archers. It was late afternoon. The Persian
archers immediately sent a volley of arrows. There were so many of them that
some collided in flight. Then a trumpet rang out, and the Macedonian army, led
by Alexander, charged across the river. They scattered Darius' archers and drove
them back among the light infantry. This strategy worked very well. The battle
on the right flank was won in the first few moments. It did not go so well,
however, in the center and left flank. In the center, the Macedonian phalanx had
great difficulty in getting across the river. For a while, neither the
Macedonians nor the Persians could advance more then a few feet. Then a
dangerous gap formed in the right flank of the Macedonian phalanx, and the
Persian mercenaries tried to fill it. While this was happening, Alexander, who
had rolled up the Persian left flank, swung his wedge of cavalry inward against
the rear files of the mercenaries and the Royal Bodyguard. From this moment on
he and his men strained every nerve to kill Darius, because if he died the
Persian cause would be crippled. The moment Alexander sighted Darius' chariot he
charged for it. Orxathres, Darius' brother, who led the Royal Household Cavalry,
tried to protect his brother. Alexander was wounded in his thigh. Then a new
chariot, lighter than Darius' original one, was somehow found and Darius jumped
into it and fled. His rout of escape, it seems, was through the mountains to
Dortyol and Hassa. By this time Alexander's center and left were both seriously
threatened. Because of this, Alexander had to postpone his pursuit of Darius.
Instead, he swung his entire right flank around in a wedge against the
mercenaries' flanks, and got them out of the river, killing many of them. This
was basically the end of the battle. After the Battle When the Macedonian
Nabarzanes' heavy cavalry saw the Persian center being cut up, and heard of
Darius' fleeing, they wheeled their horses around. They followed Darius' rout,
trying to capture him, but they had a half-mile start ahead of them. They went
on 25 miles. Alexander only turned back when it was completely dark. While he
was trying to capture Darius, Alexander found several things. He found Darius'
royal mantel, some insignia by which he might be recognized, Darius' shield and
bow, and his chariot. Alexander kept these as trophies. Just after Alexander
returned from his attempt to capture Darius, at about midnight, there came a
sound of wailing from a nearby tent. Alexander realized it came from Darius'
mother, wife, and children. Upon seeing Darius' things that Alexander found they
thought Darius was dead. To comfort and reassure Darius' family, Alexander told
them that Darius was alive. He also told them that Alexander had not fought
against Darius out of personal enemy but"had made legitimate battle for the
sovereign of Asia". He granted them to keep all titles, ceremonial and
insignia befitting their status as a royal family, and that they would receive
any allowances granted by Darius. Despite this placatory gesture, Alexander took
Darius' family hostage, including his mother, wife, two daughters, and six year
old son. Alexander's victory in Issus brought good and bad. A good thing about
it was that it enabled Alexander to get out of a very dangerous position and
brought welcome spoils. It also could be good propaganda. However, 1,000 Greek
mercenaries from the Persian army got away, in good order, to form the heart of
another Persian army. Another problem was that Eastern provinces such as Bactria
were left intact, and as long as Darius was around and in power there was no
question that the war would go on. The Battle of Guagamela Background
Information Like the previous two battles, this battle was in Persia. It was the
last major battle in Persia, although there may have been a few minor skirmishes
in Persia after it. The exact location of this battle was the Persian village of
Guagamela. It was perhaps the most famous and important of Alexander's battles.
It took place on September 30, 331 B.C. Part of it may have happened on October
1, 331 B.C. Alexander led the Macedonians. The Persians were led by Mazaeus.
The Persians outnumbered the Macedonians overwhelmingly. Alexander's army was
quite large, at 47,000 troops, with 1,100 of them cavalry. The Persians,
however, had an even larger army, somewhere around 235,000 troops total. They
outnumbered the Macedonians five to one. Because of these numbers, it would be
hard for the Macedonians to achieve victory. Before the Battle In early summer
331 B.C., Alexander took his entire army north-east through Syria, reaching the
Thapsacus on the Euphrates no early than July 10. His objective was to take
Babylon, and Darius knew it. He could tell because Babylon was the economic
center of the Persian empire and it had a strategic bastion protecting Susa,
Persepolis, and the eastern provinces. Darius was pretty sure about how
Alexander was planning to take Babylon, too. He thought that Alexander would go
straight down the eastern bank of the Euphrates, just as Cyrus did. Darius hoped
to defeat him at Cunaxa, a city near the bank of the Euphrates. He thought that
Alexander would go this way because he knew Alexander stuck hard, fast, and with
maximum economy. Darius planned to repeat the battle of Cunaxa in detail.
Alexander's troops, he assumed, would reach Cunaxa hot and exhausted. Darius
would order the general Mazaeus advancing force simply retreat before the
invader, and burn all of the crops and fodder as he went. Between this scorched
earth policy and the blazing Mesepotamian sun, the Macedonians would be easily
defeated, just like what happened to Cyrus and Cunaxa. But instead of marching
downstream like Darius had expected, Alexander went in a north-east direction
across the Mesepotamian plain. Mazaeus watched, horror struck. He then rode the
440 miles back to Babylon with the news. All hope of a second Cunaxa was
shattered. When Darius heard this news he decided to try to hold Alexander at
the Tigris. This was a very bold and risky plan because no one could be sure
where Alexander might turn up. The entire plan depended on perfect coordination
between Mazaeus, his scouts, and the command headquarters. After he had made
this plan, Darius got his forces to Arbela and prepared to go to Mosul. While
the Persians prepared for this new strategy, Alexander captured a few of Darius'
men. Under interrogation they told the entire Persian plan and the size and
composition of Persia's army. When he found out this information, Alexander
turned into the direction of Abu Wajnam, 40 miles to the north. The Macedonians
reached Abu Wajnam on September 18 without opposition. A few scouts fled to tell
Darius, who was across the Greater Zab and approaching Mosul. When Darius
learned that the Tigris was no longer separated his army and Alexander's he once
again changed his plans. He decided to have the battle at the village of
Guagamela between the Khazir River and the ruins of Nineveh. It was a good place
for cavalry and chariot maneuvers, Darius' strongest unit. The cavalry sector
outflanked Alexander's left flank. Darius brought his troops to Guagamela and
sent sappers to clear the plain. He did not, however, occupy the low hills some
three miles to the north-west. This was a big mistake on Darius' part because
from these hills Alexander's scouts could observe everything the Persians did.
After he had crossed the Tigris, Alexander made contact with a regiment of
Mazaeus' camp. Mounted soldiers under the command of Paeoniar were sent to deal
with the Persian fleet. The Persian Ariston speared a Macedonian colonels head
and presented it to Darius. Four days after this, Ariston's cavalry was spotted
again. Alexander made a quick cavalry raid on the Persians, getting a few
prisoners. Alexander interrogated them and received the information he needed.
After this, he gave his troops another four days to rest because he wanted them
to be fresh for the coming battle. There camp was guarded by sentries, ditches,
and a palisade(a fence of pickets). While the troops were resting, Darius'
agents tried to sneak in notes telling the troops that they would do well to
kill Alexander. These notes were intercepted and destroyed. Alexander spent most
of the daytime in September 29 331 B.C. around Darius' lines with a huge cavalry
escort examining Darius' forces. The Persian's let him do this unopposed. That
night, while his men ate and slept, Alexander stayed in his tent drawing up
tactic after tactic. He finally drew up a master plan and went to bed. The next
morning, Alexander kept on sleeping. He slept through breakfast. Finally, after
breakfast, someone woke him. When this man inquired why Alexander had slept so
late, Alexander merely said that he had been tired. What Happened in the Battle
Because of Guagamela's geographic conditions and the numeric difference between
his army and Darius', Alexander made sure to protect his rear and flanks and
make his cavalry look weaker than it really was. Alexander stationed a powerful
force of mercenaries on the right flank and masked them with cavalry squadrons.
He pushed his left flank 45° from his main battle line. His lead infantry and
remaining Greek mercenaries were stationed to cover the rear. To reduce the odds
against him and make an opening for his charge, Alexander planned to get as much
of Darius' cavalry away from the center and into his flank guards. When the
flanks were committed he would strike the center. This was an excellent plan and
would be used centuries later by another great conqueror, Napoleon. The
Persians' left outflanked Alexander's so much that the Persian cavalry was
almost opposite the Persian headquarters post. Because of the Persians'
numerical superiority, this would be a hard battle. Neither side wanted to act
first, but Darius finally did. Trying to halt the drift of his left to dangerous
ground he ordered an attack on Alexander's right flank. The Macedonians advanced
with their left flank back, trying to get the Persian right into a premature
flank engagement. Soon after the Persians had attacked, Alexander added some
rangers to the battle. Just then, he saw a gap in Darius' center. Because of
this, he gathered his forces in a wedge formation and charged. In two or three
minutes, the whole course of the battle was changed. While this was happening,
Bessus, still completely engaged with Alexander's right, found his flank
dangerously exposed by Alexander's charge. By then Bessus had completely lost
contact with Darius and was afraid that at any moment Alexander's wedge could
come to his right side and take his rear guard. Because of this fear, he sounded
retreat and began to withdraw. To stop this increasing pressure, Darius' cavalry
commander brought up more men to roll up Alexander's right flank. He was
probably still unaware of the 6,000 Macedonian mercenaries behind the cavalry.
This was just the move Alexander was waiting for, and once the Persian cavalry
was engaged Alexander fed in further units from his flank guard. Around this
time, Alexander's cavalry, which, as was stated earlier, was about 1,100 strong,
held nearly ten times its own strength. While this was happening, Darius
launched his chariots. They were highly ineffective. Alexander's screen of
lightly armored troops in front of the main line slaughtered the horses with
javelins and stabbed the drivers as they rode past. The well drilled ranks of
Alexander's rear phalanx opened, and the survivors of the chariot slaughter were
rounded up. By the time this slaughter was done, almost all of the Persian army
was engaged in the battle. Parmenio was fighting a defensive against Mazaeus on
the left while on the right Alexander had just added more rangers to hold Bessus.
Then Bessus and the rest of the army began to withdraw. Darius, as he often did,
fled. He was barely able to before he was sucked further into the battle, and
rushed toward Arbela, dust clouds swirling behind his chariot. Mazaeus, on the
Persian right, saw him and broke off. Bessus was already withdrawing, and the
entire Persian line was chopped to bits. After the Battle After his defeat in
this battle, Darius made a few attempts to reorganize and rearm his troops. He
also sent a few nervous notes to his governors and generals in Bactria urging
them to remain loyal. After Guagamela, though, Darius lost his nerve and never
recovered it. While Parmenio rounded the Persian luggage up with its animals and
supplies, Alexander rode on, hoping to overtake Darius' party. He rested an hour
or two, and resumed the chase at midnight. When he reached Arbela at dawn he
found Darius gone after they had gone some 75 miles during the night's chase.
Alexander managed to figure out how Darius had managed to escape from Guagamela.
He and his followers fled headlong into Arbela, not even bothering to break
river bridges as they went. At Arbela they were joined by Bessus, a few
survivors from the Royal Guard, the Bactrian cavalry, and 2,000 Greek
mercenaries. Soon after midnight he set out, taking the eastern road through the
Armenian mountains. They eventually hit Ecbatana from the north. They stopped
here for a while. After fleeing from the battle, Darius left behind his chariot,
bow, and about 4,000 talents in coined money. This was a substantial amount of
money, equal to about 7.5 million dollars today. After Alexander's victory, the
entire Persian empire was split in two. The ruler's authority was ripped to
shreds. The people of the empire were no longer united behind the Persian cause.
Because of this, Alexander could proclaim himself the king of the empire in
place of Darius, and no one could stop him. From Arbela, Alexander went to
Babylon, which was acquired because of his victory in the battle of Guagamela.
The Battle of Jhelum Background on the Battle The battle of Jhelum was one of
the major battles in Alexander's campaign in India and Bactria. It took place at
the River Jhelum. It took place in 326 B.C. Alexander, as usual, led his troops.
The Indians were led by Porus, the monarch in Paurava who's domain stretched as
far as beyond the Hydaspes River and a great military leader. India, the site of
this battle, was not well known about by foreigners in this time. All the
foreigners were ignorant about it and had misconceptions. To the Greeks, the
land across the Indus was a shallow peninsula, bound on the north by the Hindu
Kush and on the east by a great world. There was a stream, which was actually
the ocean, that ran at no great distance beyond the Sind Desert. They knew
nothing about the India sub-continent. In general, Alexander stayed pretty
ignorant about India. His entire strategy was based on false assumptions, and
when enlightenment came it was to late. The Great Ganges Plain, about which
Alexander made one of the most lethal assumptions of all, shattered Alexander's
dream more effectively than any army every would or could. It was almost
impossible to even estimate the size of Alexander's army at the time of this
battle. He had no more than 15,000 Macedonians in his army, of which 2,000 were
cavalry. The total amount of cavalry has been estimated to be anywhere between
6,500 and 15,000. The total amount of infantry is even more uncertain, with
estimates varying from 20,000 to 120,000. Intelligence reports gave more certain
amounts of men for Porus' army. They said that Porus had 3,000-4,000 cavalry, up
to 50,000 infantry, 200 elephants, and 300 war chariots. They also expected
reinforcements from Abisares in this battle. Before the Battle The passage to
Jhelum was very rough. Most of the walled towns attacked by Alexander gave
violent resistance. For retaliation, when the cities fell Alexander butchered
the inhabitants wholesale. One example of this slaughter was at Masaga. Here he
massacred 7,000 Indian mercenaries along with their wives and children. In March
325 B.C., Alexander gave his troops one month to rest. He ended this break with
athletic contests. Then Alexander gave sacrifices, crossed the Indus, and went
toward Taxila. Alexander, jumpy after his campaign, thought there was a
dangerous plot in Taxila. On his way to Taxila, he passed through Clitorial.
Here he ordered his patrols to interrogate the natives and get information about
elephants, of which Alexander had none. Most of the elephants, he found out, had
fled across the river. Alexander rounded up 13 abandoned elephants and attached
them to the column. He built a raft and they all went downstream. When Alexander
was near Taxila the rajah's army was five miles away. Alexander, with only a
small cavalry, went to Taxila. The rajah there guessed Alexander's cause and
surrendered. Alexander became Taxila's new rajah for a while until he found a
suitable person to govern it. In Taxila Alexander and his army spent two or
three months resting. This was a fatal mistake for Alexander because when they
resumed their march it was June, the beginning of the monsoon season. During the
monsoons, Alexander wanted to negotiate accommodations with Porus and Abisares,
the rajahs of Kashmir. Once the ambassadors from Abisares returned Alexander
sent his own envoy to Porus. By doing this, Alexander lost no time. The
Macedonians then went over the Kushan Pass to Alexandria-of-the- Caucasus in ten
days. While he was still in Bactria, Alexander was joined by an Indian rajah,
Sasigupta, who warned Alexander about dangers in the Khyber pass. After hearing
about this, Alexander sent envoys to see Alexander's Persian rajah at Taxila,
the Indian Ambhi, and some Indians west of the Indus river. He asked them to
meet with him, at their convenience, in the Kabul Valley. Finally Ambhi and
other Indian princes arrived bearing gifts of welcome and 25 elephants.
Alexander's eyes caught the elephants, and eventually Ambhi made a gift of them.
Ambhi had good reason to side with the Macedonians. The reason was that Ambhi
wanted the Macedonian army's support in defeating his arch-enemy, Porus, who you
might remember ruled past the Hydaspes River. Some days after the meeting, Porus
requested to see Alexander at the River Jhelum and to pay tribute in a token of
vesselage. Alexander knew Porus would go there with a full military force, ready
to use it. Alexander, at the River Jhelum, desperately needed a transport
flotilla. Unfortunately, it would take to long to build the ships and Taxila was
miles from the nearest navigable river. Because of this problem, Alexander sent
Coenus back to Inudes with orders to dismantle Alexander's pontoon bridge, cut
up boats, and load them onto carts. Then they would be carried over land for
reassembling at the Jhelum. About at the beginning of June in 336 B.C. a monsoon
broke and a few days later Alexander lead his army southward to meet Porus
through streaming, torrential rains that continued for two months. He got to the
place he was to meet Porus at by going through Chakaval and Ava, both in the
Salt Range, went through the Madana Pass, turned south-west and reached Jhelum
Haranpur, having marched 110 miles since Taxila. He went to Haranpur because he
knew it was one of the few places he could ford. But when he reached Haranpur he
found the opposite bank held by a large force with archers, chariots, and 85
elephants. The elephants kept guard, stamping and trumpeting to and fro. The
river itself was swollen by the monsoons, a good one-third of a mile wide. It
would not be an easy crossing. At Jhelum, with the two opposing forces at
opposite sides of the river bank, it looked like a stalemate. Alexander
encouraged this impression by having endless wagon loads of corn and other stuff
brought to his camp in full site of Porus and his army. The reason for this was
to convince Porus that the Macedonians would wait until the river was fordable.
At the same time Macedonian troop activities continued, to signal the
possibility of an immediate attack. But as time passed, Porus became less and
less distracted by the possibility of an attack by Alexander. This was just what
Alexander wanted. When Porus was paying little attention, the Macedonian cavalry
was discreetly exploring higher reaches of the Jhelum and going as far as to the
city of Jalapur. Here they found just what Alexander wanted:A large wooded
island, now called Admana, with only a narrow channel going between it and the
sides of it. It also had a nullah, or a deep gully, where Alexander's army could
hide. Alexander decided to ford the Jhelum by night. He spent most of his time
and ingenuity trying to confuse Porus. Every night fires were lit, with lots of
noise and bustle. Porus took these seriously at first, but soon they were looked
upon with disregard. For his assault at Jhelum, Alexander planned to have a
larger part of his army stay at the base camps near the place in Haranpur where
he was planning to ford. The king's pavilion would be pitched in a conspicuous
position near the bank of the Jhelum. A certain officer would wear Alexander's
cloak in order to, to quote Alexander,"give an impression that the King
himself was encamped on that part of the bank". But Alexander would really
already be on his way to Jalapur. His force in Taxila, numbering 5,000 horse and
at least 10,000 foot, would cross the river before dawn and advance to the
southern bank on Porus' position. Alexander had divided his army into two
groups. Hephadestion, Demetrius, and Perdiccas, with more than half of the
cavalry and three battalions of the phalanx, were to go down the Khyber to the
Indus. They were ordered to take over all the places in their way be force or
agreement. This group would also make the conditions right for crossing once
they were at the Indus. The second group consisted of three battalions of
phalanx and some mercenary cavalry and infantry. It was to have the position
between Haranpur and the Admana Island opposite the main ford, and only would
cross when the Porus had attacked Alexander's army, and only then if no
elephants were left behind. If he did not cross then, he could wait until he was
sure that Porus was in retreat and Alexander victorious. Alexander would lead
this group, and Cratereus would be second in command. While the first group was
doing what it was supposed to do, the second group planned to take a mobile
column up the Chouskes River, to march through the hill country of Bajur and
swat to reduce any enemy stronghold en route. It would also give cover to the
left flank. The two forces would rendezvous and the Indus. What Happened in the
Battle In this battle, Alexander made sure that whichever way he moved, Porus
would be open for attack from the rear from either Alexander or Cratereus. His
only possible defense would be to detach a strong but limited force that could
destroy Alexander's assault group before it established a bridgehead. This would
leave Porus in charge of Haranpur, making it nearly impossible for the
Macedonians to ford there. Alexander built up a turning force from the units of
the Royal Squadron of the Companions and the cavalry divisions under Hephestion,
Perdiccas, and Demetrius, the Guards Brigade, two phalanx battalions, who were
commanded by Coenus and Cletus the White, archers, cavalry from Bactria and
Turkestan, and a special force of Scythan horse archers. This force was
15,000-16,000 strong. Alexander brought this turning force to the crossing point
and went on the boats and rafts by about 3:00 a.m. on the assault morning. When
dawn broke and the wind and rain was less violent, the turning force's flotilla
was already sailing down the northern channel, still hidden by the woods of
Admana. But when they passed beyond the western tip of Admana, Porus' scouts saw
them and sounded the alarm. Messengers rode away at full speed to tell Porus.
When the messenger was away, Alexander came into shore and disembarked all of
his forces, with his cavalry leading, and got clear of Admana. But then he
realized that what he'd thought to be a river bank was really another long,
narrow island. Alexander finally managed to find a fording spot, but it took
several hours, and by then Porus knew all about it. When Alexander finally got
ashore Porus detached a force of 2,000 cavalry and 120 chariots, under the
command of his own son, with orders to ride east with all possible speed and, if
possible, to destroy the assault group before it was clear of the river. This
attempt failed because it was too late. Porus was heavily outnumbered, and his
son was no match for Alexander. After a brief skirmish, the Indians fled. They
suffered 400 casualties, including Porus' son. Finally, after the skirmish,
Alexander's army engaged in a real battle with Porus. Porus sent the rest of his
army, consisting of about 20,000 infantry, 2,000 horse cavalry, 130 elephant
cavalry, and 180 chariots. For this battle, Porus chose a level, sandy plain,
with no mud, where elephants and cavalry would have plenty of room. Porus drew
up his infantry in a wide central front, stationing an elephant every 100 feet
to strengthen them. He then placed a flanking body of infantry on each wing, and
then his cavalry with a full squadron of chariots masking them. The overall
Indian battle line must have been nearer to four miles than three, and infantry
made up at least two-thirds of it. Alexander's plan for this battle was to if he
launched his cavalry, Porus might well shift his right flank across to the left,
thus weakening the right. For this part of the plan to work, two full cavalry
divisions had to be hidden from the Indians until they committed themselves
irrevocably to left flank usage. Then Coenus, who was in charge of these two
divisions, was to circle Porus' right flank, out of sight, and wait for the
battle to be joined on the opposite flank. If Porus transferred right flank
cavalry to feed the engagement, Alexander planned to have Coenus charge across
behind enemy lines and take them in the rear or just engage them in ordinary
fashion. In the actual battle, Porus, from the howdah at the top of his war
elephant, brought across his own right wing squadrons to deliver the knock out
blow. This was just what Alexander wanted. Alexander gave his phalanx battalion
and the Guard Brigade instructions "not to engage until it was evident that
the Indians, both horse and foot, had been thrown into confusion by the
Macedonian cavalry". Once he had asserted his plan, Alexander attacked at
once. Mounted archers, numbering 1,000, launched against the Indian left,
knocking out almost all Porus' chariots. This was a very useful softening
process. Then Alexander charged at the head of his cavalry. Porus soon brought
out his right wing. After he had done this, Coenus, with two once-hidden cavalry
divisions, at once broke cover and rode in pursuit. The Indians that were
engaged against Alexander abruptly found that they had to fight a rear guard
against Coenus, too. The Macedonians' main trouble was the row of maddening,
trumpeting elephants. Alexander dealt with them by encircling them. He let his
archers pick of their mahouts, and then discharged a volley of javelins and
spears into the most vulnerable parts of the elephants. But the elephants
sometimes smashed the Macedonians, armor and all, and others found themselves
impaled on an elephant's tusk. But the elephants also began to trample their own
side, so there were especially heavy losses for Porus. Porus led one last
elephant charge himself. It was not a success. By then the Macedonians were
learning how to deal with the elephants;they dodged them and relentlessly
slashed and shot at them and their mahouts. Then the elephants decided that they
had had enough and slowly began to back away. When this happened, Alexander drew
his ring of cavalry tighter round Porus' battered divisions, and signaled his
Guards Brigade and phalanx to lock their shields and move up in solid mass. The
final part of this battle was total butchery, but the Macedonians would not give
quarter. The Indian casualties were variously estimated at 12,000 and 23,000.
Porus fought to the end, but when he saw that any more resistance would be
futile he rode slowly off the battle field, weak from blood loss. After the
Battle Alexander was anxious to save the great general(Porus)even though he was
the enemy. He sent a diplomat after Porus to offer peace terms. Porus eventually
dismounted from his elephant, and was brought to Alexander, weak and thirsty. At
Jhelum Alexander showed flexible resourcefulness never equaled by himself or
another. This was shown in his brilliant disposition and his great strategy, but
especially with how he coped with the terrible monsoon weather and the Indian
war elephants. Alexander's men were well trained and disciplined, so they could
deal with the elephants in relative calmness and did not question Alexander's
orders. But the Macedonians' nerves were shaken, and nothing Alexander ever said
or did could make them want to face elephants in battle again. Later 326
B.C.(the year of Jhelum), Alexander returned to Jhelum. He sent reinforcements
downstream. The actual invasion of India began in 327 B.C., but this was the
most important battle of them all. The Siege of Tyre A Background on Tyre Tyre
is an island. When it was under siege by Alexander, it was protected by high,
heavy walls of stone. These walls were 2 miles in circumference and a half a
mile off shore. The height of these walls were 150 feet facing the shore, and
they were stronger and thicker than any Alexander had ever attacked before. It
had a strong navy. Alexander soon realized its importance and thus decided to
attack it. Alexander's was not the first siege Tyre had seen. It had survived
two sieges from the Assyrians. The first one lasted four years, from 701 to 679
B.C. The other lasted nine years, this time from 671 to 662 B.C. Tyre survived
both of these. They also survived a 12 year siege, from the Babylonians. It was
from 585 to 573 B.C. It was not easy to defeat Tyre. What Happened in the Siege
The siege of Tyre began in early 332 B.C. and ended that year on July 29. It
took between seven and eight months. The main cause of Tyre's anger toward the
Macedonians was that Alexander wanted to sacrifice at the Temple of Melkart.
This was a problem because it would make Alexander the new ruler of Tyre. The
reason for this was that only kings or priests were allowed to sacrifice at this
temple. When Alexander's emissary came to ask if Alexander could make this
sacrifice, the Tyrians killed him. They did this despite the fact that it was
against the Laws of the Nations. The Laws of the Nations was sort of like the
international law for the known world then. Alexander began this siege without
any navy. Because of this, he decided to make a land bridge or"mole"to
the city. To control the sea while this was being built, Alexander took
hypasists into Sidon to collect some triremes. He was able to get 120 from
there. Stones from an old part of Tyre on the shore of the island were quarried
to use in the building of the mole. Quarries in the Tyrian hills furnished more
stone for the same purpose. For a while, the water was shallow. This was good
for two reasons. For one thing, it was easier to build in shallow water so the
building of the mole went quickly. Another good thing was that it was too
shallow for the Tyrian ships to impede the progress on the mole and harass the
workers. But as the mole workers got closer to the city walls the water
deepened. Not only was it harder to build the mole quickly, but the Tyrian ships
could come by the end of the mole and harass the workers. Sometimes they took a
Macedonian prisoner. When they had a Macedonian prisoner, the Tyrians would hang
him on the city wall for all to see and then have him thrown into the sea.
Because of this problem, Alexander made two movable towers with housed archers
and battering engines to protect the mole workers. (In this instance,
"engine" means an instrument of torture.) Hide was used to protect the
towers from missiles from both the Tyrian ships and the city walls. A hide
screen was stretched out between the two towers to further protect the workers.
When these towers were built, the Tyrians made a plan to destroy the towers,
stop the building of the mole, and hopefully for them, stop the siege. They
would fill up a boat with combustible items and arm it with flammable liquids.
Then the boat would be towed up to the mole, forced upon it, and set afire as
the crew swam away. The liquid would spill on the arms already on the towers and
they would catch fire. War ships would keep the Macedonians from trying to save
their towers. The Tyrians set forth this plan, and it was successful. Alexander
realized that the mole would not work without a navy. He also decided he would
need to have a wider mole protected by larger towers. His first mole was 200
feet wide, but he would need one larger than this. Alexander finally made a
successful mole, but different moles were destroyed several times before that
success. This mole still exists today but has been widened by time. Because of
the successful destruction of Alexander's moles and towers, Alexander sent out
for a navy. He returned to Sidon to recruit a navy from the Phoenician cities
that had submitted to his rule. He left two commanders, Perdiccas and Creatures,
to attend to the construction work in Tyre. Cyprus had been delaying acceptance
of Alexander's rule, but after finding out that the Phoenicians had given ships,
they capitulated and gave its 120 ships. To ally with Alexander, Cyprus had to
revolt against its Persian rulers. This was the turning point in the siege.
Alexander now had about 224 ships total. The Tyrian king had only 80 ships, 144
less than Alexander. When he saw the size of Alexander's new navy, the Tyrian
king decided not to go out into the open sea to do battle. He decided to stay on
defense and leave it to the Macedonians to try to attack the city walls.
Alexander's ships were lashed together to hold huge, powerful engines, towers,
battering engines, and catapults. He had the help of Phoenician and Cypriot
engineers. This was important because they had much older and more sophisticated
knowledge of siege craft. When these ships had been employed with their engines,
the Tyrians threw rocks from the city walls into the water. This made it nearly
impossible for the engines to be effective. Because of this attack, Alexander's
engineers rigged merchant ships to pull the rocks away from the city walls. But
then the Tyrian ships came out of the harbor to try to cut the anchor cables
tied around the rocks. After seeing this, Alexander sent warships to keep the
Tyrian ships from leaving the harbor. In response to this, the Tyrians sent out
divers that could get past these ships. Finally, Alexander's ships used chains
instead of cables to remove the rocks. This made it impossible for the Tyrians
to hinder this operation. After Alexander began to use chains the Tyrians got a
little desperate. They spied on the Macedonians and found out that after lunch
they took a long break and napped. So while the Macedonians were napping, the
Tyrians draped a sail cloth across their camp and prepared for an attack on
Alexander's fleet. They chose three five level ships, three four level ships,
and 37 triremes with hand-picked rowers. When Alexander's Cypriot fleet was
deserted the Tyrians silently started toward the Macedonian fleet. About half a
mile away from their target, the Tyrians began to race toward the ships. But
Alexander was only in his tent for a short while. He returned to the Phoenician
ships in time to see the beginning of the Tyrian attack. When he saw it, he sent
orders for a blockade to be put across the harbor mouth to keep the Tyrians from
going back to their cities. Alexander was able to make the three mile journey to
the Cypriot ships from his position at the south end of Tyre in 20 minutes,
where he engaged in battle with the Tyrians. He also brought Phoenician ships to
reinforce their Cypriot counterparts. The Tyrians sank the Cypriot flagship and
two other ships, and they swarmed aboard other Cypriot ships to cause as much
damage as possible. Alexander sunk many Tyrian ships. They were driven into the
rocks, or their own city's wall, or they had been rammed. Two big ships tried to
get back to the harbor, but Alexander captured them. That pretty much secured
his victory in this part of the siege. That ended this first and last major
naval battle for Alexander in Tyre. But Alexander still had one more battle;he
had yet to attack the city walls to get into the city. This would be hard,
especially since when the Macedonians tried to attack a wall the Tyrians would
pour hot liquids on them, burning them. The first wall attacked was the one
facing the mainland. None of the engines could create a breach. Tyrians attacked
the men employing the engines with hot sand. Not even a dent was made in this
wall. They next attacked the northern wall and the western wall, both without
success. Finally Alexander attacked the south wall, the weakest. Soon a small
breach was made and the men charged in with the support from nearby ships
keeping the defenders off the wall with missile fire. But the breach was not big
enough, and the invaders were driven back. A couple of days later, the sea was
full of ships. This was to be Tyre's last day. Tyre's Last Day Tyre's last day
would be July 29, 332 B.C. On this day, Alexander and his men finally got
through the city wall and went over to the main part of the city. Once they got
there, the Macedonians conducted a thorough and brutal slaughter. At this point,
Alexander's casualties were 400, and Tyre's was twice that. On this day, ships
mounted with battering rams moved closer to the walls and slammed giant holes in
the wall. There were also two big Macedonian ships armed two their teeth with
men, including Alexander, waiting for battle. It landed and quickly clear the
entire south wall. At the same time, Alexander's ships took both the north and
the south harbors. After this, Alexander fought his way to the Tyrian palace and
set up his base in Tyre there. Soon after this, all of the city walls had been
overrun. Tyrians barricaded the streets, but they could not hold back the angry
attackers. Many Tyrians, including one of the Tyrian princes, took refuge in the
Temple of Melkart. The Macedonians soon overwhelmed the Tyrians. They
slaughtered every Tyrian they came across. The accompanying Phoenicians, on the
other hand, were more reluctant to joint this slaughter. They tried to save as
many Tyrians as possible. After all, the Tyrians were fellow Phoenicians.
Meanwhile, in the city, the Macedonians found timbers. They could use these to
make piles to support siege engines, or as siege engines. A double line of piles
driven up with 22 stones, rubble from old Tyre, and defiling space between the
piles. These new or improved engines was all it took to make Tyre surrender
itself to Alexander After the Siege After his victory, Alexander took 2,000
Tyrians and crucified them. This brought the total of Tyrian casualties up to
its final total, 8,000 slain. According to Arian, Alexander only lost 400 men.
Alexander also had taken about 30,000 Tyrians prisoner. These Tyrians were sold
into slavery. Those who had taken refuge in the Temple of Melkart were set free
in respect to the temple. When the city belonged to himself, Alexander made his
sacrifice at the Temple of Melkart. He sacrificed the ram that had made the
final breech in the city walls. He also sacrificed the Tyrian sacred ship, one
of the ships Alexander had captured. After making these sacrifices, Alexander
held a festival with his men. They had games, gymnastics, and a torch parade in
celebration of Alexander's victory in Tyre. The Siege of Halicarnassus A
Background on Halicarnassus Halicarnassus was an important place in this time,
and it was important to Alexander that he conquered it. One reason was that it
was the capital of the Persian territory. There were also several important
people there. One of these people was Ephialtes, the commander of a large Greek
garrison in Halicarnassus. Even more important was Memnon, the supreme commander
of Darius' forces on the Mediterranean. Orontobates, Darius' son-in-law, was
there, too. If Alexander could capture and kill these three men, in would be a
substantial victory for Alexander. But the siege would not be easy, because
Halicarnassus was well defended. It was adorned by many towers. It also had
engines of war to defend the city with. There was a large ditch encircling
Halicarnassus. Halicarnassus was well prepared for an attack. The Beginning of
the Siege Alexander's forces had to make paths for the siege towers. The ditch
encircling Halicarnassus, however, interfered with this. Because of this
problem, some of Alexander's men filled the ditch at different points, where
they later rolled the towers across. The workers were protected by small
house-like coverings nick-named tortoises. On the first day of the fighting,
Memnon sent his forces led by Ephialtes. When they saw who was leading Memnon's
forces, Alexander's men were surprised. But after some fierce fighting,
Ephialtes and his Greek mercenaries were driven back. Alexander wanted to give
Halicarnassus as much chance as possible to surrender. Because of this, he did
not order an all-out attack. Alexander also only planned to have the walls
taken, also to serve this purpose. Alexander tried to conserve as much life and
property as he could. This was a campaign of acquisition, not devastation.
Myndus' Role in the Siege A short time after he attacked Halicarnassus,
Alexander entered secret negotiations. These negotiations were initiated by
Greek sympathizers in Myndus. The purpose of these talks was to get Myndus to be
surrendered to Alexander. Alexander did not want Myndus merely because it would
be an addition to his empire. The main reason Alexander wanted Myndus was that
its surrender would weaken the resolve of the people in Halicarnassus, thus
making it easier for Alexander to capture it. The Greek sympathizers and
Alexander and his men devised a plan for the surrender of Myndus. It would
happen at night, under the cover of darkness. The Greek sympathizers would open
the gates, and let the Macedonians in. The Macedonians would engage in a few
brief skirmishes, and then Myndus would be Alexander's. Unfortunately, all did
not go as planned. When Alexander and his forces arrived at Myndus, they found
that the gates were not open. They did not have the necessary engines or ladders
to storm the city. Even so, Alexander ordered his sappers to start undermining
the walls. Without the support of the engines or "Tortoises", they
proceeded with difficulty. Soon after the attack, the Persian navy reinforced
the protection of Myndus. Crews of the ships around Myndus left their posts to
defend their city. After some fierce hand-to-hand fighting, Alexander's men were
driven out. It would not be until they won the siege and acquired Halicarnassus
that Alexander would get Myndus. The Ending of the Siege Alexander and his
forces returned to Halicarnassus. After some clashes with the Persian army in
Halicarnassus, a breach in the city wall was made. Even after this, Alexander
kept his men in check. He still wanted the city to surrender with the best
possible conservation of lives and property. Even after a few more breaches were
made, Alexander continued to keep his forces in check. Alexander did this
because a city was no good to a ruler if it was completely destroyed. Soon after
these breaches were made, two of the General Perdiccas' men were drinking
heavily and began to brag about their abilities. They decided to attack the city
gate. As the two men attacked, soldiers from both sides joined the battle. The
defenders were driven back to Halicarnassus. Soon a third tower was overthrown.
If there had been some preparation for this battle, Alexander might have been
able to take Halicarnassus amidst the confusion. Unfortunately, although
Alexander had not lost because of this battle, the siege was not over with
Alexander victorious, either. Halicarnassus' people knew that they could not
hold out much longer if the siege engines continued to work. Because of this,
Ephialtes convinced Memnon to let him take some men out to try to destroy the
engines. To destroy the engines, Ephialtes chose 2,000 handpicked men. At dawn
they charged out of the gates, half to fight and half to destroy the engines.
The besieged sallied out against the siege engines. They attempted to set the
engines on fire. Some engines were burned, and the defenders were driven back
only when Alexander brought reinforcements. While some engines were being
torched, there was fierce hand-to-hand fighting. This fighting led to Ephialtes'
death and heavy losses for Ephialtes' men. They got driven back to their city.
After burying his dead, Alexander decided to personally supervise the next
attack on Halicarnassus. After this attack, Alexander requested to bury his
dead. Memnon granted him this because he thought that Alexander was declaring
his inability to take Halicarnassus and declaring defeat, as was the tradition
of the time. Ephialtes was strongly opposed to what Memnon had just done. He
thought, and was correct, that Alexander was going to also repair his siege
engines in the few days he had requested to use to bury his men. As the days
went by, the people of Halicarnassus grew more and more nervous. They realized
that Alexander was not about to quit fighting. There were several minor battles.
Alexander decided to supervise the one immediately following when he buried his
dead. This one was more successful than another, in which only one tower was
toppled and the walls were not weakened enough for collapse. There were no naval
forces in this siege. After a few battles after burying his dead, Halicarnassus
was Alexander. This made Myndus Alexander's, too. The reason for this was that
the Persian army was deprived of places to land near Myndus. Another reason was
that many in the service became dissatisfied and returned home. Because of this,
Alexander acquired Myndus as well as Halicarnassus because of his victory. This
was by far the most costly and hard won for Alexander up to this point. Many men
from both sides were lost. For this siege, Alexander used engines, towers,
ladders, sappers, and fighters. These were similar to those used by Philip II in
Perinthus. After the Battle After his victory, Alexander ordered that anyone
found in the streets setting the city on fire would be killed. He his men,
however, to spare those who stayed at home. After he won the siege, Alexander
left some men to hold the city. The reason for this was that he wanted to compel
the surrender of the inner citadels. Somehow, however Memnon, hiding in one of
these, escaped. Most of the others in these citadels did, too. Alexander gave
the rule of the city to Ada. Ada was an exile from Halicarnassus and an
acquaintance of Alexander. She was also, surprisingly, a woman. This had little
protest because she had a legitimate claim to rule it and the area around it in
the eyes of both the Persians and Alexander. The Revolt of Agis The Revolt of
Agis was, as its name would imply, lead by someone named Agis. It took place in
331 B.C., against the Persians that ruled the place. Agis was leading the people
of Peloponnesus. When Alexander heard about the revolt, he sent Amphoterus to
help Agis and his men. He also gave them 100 ships. Because of it, Alexander
built up his force in Peloponnesus. The main battle in this revolt was the
Battle of Megalopolis. It did not go very well for Agis' side at first. His men
began to flee. When Agis saw the flight of his men, he hurled spears at the
enemy until he was killed by a lance. Despite how hard it was, with some of
Alexander's mens' help, Agis' men managed to win the revolt against their
Persian rulers. In this battle, however, many died. 5,300 of Agis' men died, of
which 1,000 were Macedonians. Alexander's Army Their Weaponry Alexander divided
his army into the different units by their weapons. Each unit was sent out to do
specific parts of battle or types of battles. They had javelins, bow and arrows,
swords, and some, the cavalry, fought on horse. They also had spear, chariots,
and light and heavy armor. Alexander had long spears that were very useful. The
average spear was four to six meters, or 12 to 18 feet, although some spanned in
length up to 20 feet. When these spears were held vertically, the wall of spears
helped hide what was happening behind them. When they were held horizontally, it
was easier to kill the enemy in a safe range. These spears were useful. How
Alexander Treated them and Their Families Alexander treated his generals well,
and in turn demanded their respect. Unlike today, his army only had one uniform.
Alexander had his men drill constantly. Their morale and discipline was always
very high. He had mercenaries come and drill with his ordinary officers. Each
man did not have a lot of jobs, but were well drilled in the few he did have.
The knew what they were doing. Alexander was reasonably kind to his troops in
between battles. When there was a delay in between battles, he sometimes held
sporting events with his soldiers. He gave the winner prizes which he provided.
After each battle, Alexander gave his men entertainment in the form of plays and
concerts. After each battle, Alexander would personally go around the hospital
tents. He talked with the injured men and let them boast about their bravery.
When they weren't fighting, Alexander let the recently married go home to see
their families. When a man died in battle, his family was granted relief from
land tax and personal service. However, if he caught someone in his army doing
something wrong, Alexander was ruthless. He once caught a traitorous lieutenant
and cut off his nose and ears before killing him. Alexander's Cities and Empire
Basic Information Alexander conquered more than half of the known world. At the
height of his power, his empire stretched from the Ionian sea to Northern India,
or from the Adriatic Sea to the Indus River. Alexander adopted Greek as the
official language of this huge empire. This was a good thing because before he
did this there were confusing mistakes when financial and business transactions
were made using interpreters. It also simplified the exchange of ideas. When he
conquered some cities, Alexander was quite harsh. After he conquered it,
Alexander burned Persepolis in revenge of the 480 B.C. burning of Athens.
Alexander had conquered this city in January 330 B.C., and burned it in May that
year. Accounts say that Alexander also destroyed every structure in Thebes
except for the poet Pindar's house when he captured Thebes. The reason he spared
Pindar's house was that Pindar had once praised Macedonia beautifully in a poem.
He also did not always pay cities due attention. Just before the Battle of
Granicus, he had a money shortage, an so if a city did not surrender on his
approach it was left severely alone. Alexander's capital was Babylon. He planned
to make Europe and Asia one country, bringing together the best of both
continents. In Persia, there were many cultures. Persia had many races,
religions, and traditions within itself. Gandhara, in India, was an especially
hard part of his empire because Alexander encountered fierce resistance from the
natives there. Alexander educated the people in his empire about Hellenic
culture. By doing this nations that had had followed separate thoughts,
traditions, cultures, and customs became a member of a common civilization. In
325, Alexander reached Patala. Here he built harbors and dockyards. Patala was
on the coast of Asia. In most cities, many of the Greek principles were
instituted. In the cities he conquered he restored democracy and remitted taxes.
He instituted the Greek democracy, the duty of the individual in the government,
and liberty to think and speak as the people pleased, wherever he conquered. The
Founded Cities Some records say that Alexander founded 70 cities, but only
historians are certain of only 16. The reason why they do not know if their were
the other 54 cities is that those hastily built with mud walls soon crumbled and
turned to dust. Six of these founded cities remain. There are two cities
remaining in Afghanistan. In what was then Aria and now Afghanistan is Herat,
and in the Arachosia and now Afghanistan is Ghanzni. There is one city in what
was then Margiane, called Merv. I do not know what Margiane is today. On the
Amudarja River, which was then called the Oxus River, in what is now Uzbekistan,
is Termez. On the Jaxartes is Chodjend. There is also Alexandria, in what was
then and still is Egypt. Seven of these founded cities remained standing for
quite a while. Some of these are Susiana, Prophthasia, Alexandria-ad-Caucasm,
and Buchephela. These cities and three others remained standing long enough for
much research to be done on them. Alexander built his founded cities at the
junction of important roads. They were in positions chosen to assist the transit
of merchandise and to command the valleys. This was necessary for adequate
military supervision. The new colonists in these cities introduced the Greek
methods of agriculture. The founded cities were planned in the Greek pattern.
They had a market square, school, offices, shops, temples, a theater, a
gymnasium, and often a fountain. The colonists were old or wounded soldiers.
This spread the Greek influence. His founded cities were placed in strategic
locations. They were placed close enough to the old villages that the
inhabitants could have association with the native population but far enough
away that the Macedonians and Greeks could maintain their customs. Alexander
often had to force the semi-savage mountainous tribes in Persia to surrender.
These tribes had been a persistent menace to life on the plains for centuries.
Once they had surrendered, Alexander founded new towns there and improved
communications. A vast territory of what had been useless desert became cities.
The nomad tribes there were taught civilized ways of life, and harbors were
created there, with ships and other aids of travel. Probably the most famous of
all the cities Alexander founded was Alexandria in Egypt. It was founded on
April 7 and 8, 331 B.C. Alexander named it for himself. It was founded on a
strip of land between the lank Mareotis and the Mediterranean Sea. This city
became the center of commerce and learning in Alexander's empire. There were
many scholars in Alexandria. For a time, the famous scholar Eratosthenes was in
Alexandria. He was so highly thought of that students came to Alexandria not
only from places all over Alexander's empire but from places outside of it, too.
But soon most of the writers, musicians, artists, and philosophers left because
of the hustle-bustle in Alexandria. Because of the peace and tranquility in
Athens, all the philosophers there went back to Alexandria sooner or later.
Alexander's Treatment of his People Alexander knew that a lasting empire had to
have toleration and multi- national participation. He began to build a world in
which all races cooperated on equal terms. He did not abide by the Greek
principle that all foreigners were barbarians. Different people were allowed to
retain their native religion and special customs. Alexander did not separate the
Greeks, Macedonians, and natives. Many, including Alexander, married Oriental
women. This began the fusing of nations that Alexander had wanted since the
winter in Egypt in 332 to 331 B.C. In his founded cities, the young were given
instruction in Hellenic culture. Among other things, they learned about the
culture's with its ideals of gallant courage. Alexander made some provinces
worship him as a god. Alexander was very cruel to those who wronged him. In
September 330 B.C., he learned that Parmenio's son, Philotas had been involved
in an unsuccessful attempt on his life. He executed Parmenio and other potential
conspirators along with Philotas. He also did not always control his temper very
well. In Sogdiana, in South-East Persia, he lost his temper and killed a close
friend, Clitus, in a drunken quarrel. This cost him the sympathy of Alexander's
Macedonian troops. There were plots against his life, and Alexander executed
several prominent Greeks and Macedonians. Other friends were killed in drunken
quarrels. Alexander's Government When he was a prince, he talked with
ambassadors from foreign countries and other noted people from his father's
court. When he was 18, Alexander was Philip's ambassador to Athens. This helped
him with politics in the years to come. Alexander pioneered methods for ruling.
Just as he was swift to altar plans in battle, Alexander did so with political
methods for different regions. In conquered cities, Alexander at first had the
ruler be a Macedonian. He then changed it so that the ruler was Persian and the
Greeks and Macedonians were in charge of the financial and military affairs.
Politically, Alexander was considered differently in different regions. In
Macedonia he was a quasi-constitutional king. Under him, people had certain
customary rights. In Greece he was a god but not an autocrat. To the Iranian
landowners, he was a feudal superior. In Asia he was considered an autocrat but
not a god. In Egypt he was both a god and an autocrat. He was considered a god
there because he was Pharaoh. He became the Pharaoh on November 14 332 B.C. in
Memphis. Alexander's Empire's Economy and Finance In Alexander's empire there
were financial and economic reforms. He created a new coinage. His empire had a
uniform currency which promoted trade and commerce. His coins were silver, and
some were made of Persian silver treasures. The coins had Alexander's head on
one side and Hercules, Alexander's fake ancestor, on the other. Alexander found
a sea route that encouraged trade from India to Babylon. The ocean was the main
path between the Indus and the Persian Gulf. Alexandria and the rest of Egypt
imported spices, wines, wool, marble, and horses. The exported wool, textile,
wheat, linen, luxury creams, and perfumes. The main trade route to Alexandria
was a circuit of the southern coast of Arabia, whence camels and caravans
convoyed their cargo via the Red Sea and the Nile to Alexandria. With both
Alexander and Ptolemy, produce from Ethiopia, Africa, and Arabia was carried
through the Alexandrian harbor to the Mediterranean. At one time there was much
poverty in Greece. Jobs in the new cities provided some solution for the
unemployment. In Asia Minor superintendents of finance collected taxes directly
from peasants and transmitted it into the treasury. In large cities like
Babylon, Susa, Memphis, and Persepolis a commandant was appointed for the
collection of taxes. He was directly responsible to Alexander. Alexander's Death
On May 20 or 30 Alexander became ill after a party. He died June 10, 11, or 13.
This happened in 323 B.C. He was 32 when he died. His death was caused by either
malaria, fever, or a combination of the two. Two things hastened Alexander's
death. One thing was that in the Battle of Malloi, perhaps in modern day Multan,
Pakistan, an arrow hit him in the lung. His heavy drinking also may have
hastened Alexander's death. When Alexander died, he had many plans. He had plans
for the construction and completion of dockyards, harbors, and lighthouses.
There were temples to be restored and new cities to be created. He had planned
to open rivers for safe navigation and bring an efficient irrigation system to
derelict lands like Babylon. He had neglected his kingdom by not having an heir
to the throne. Roxanne was still pregnant when he died. Alexander was buried in
Alexandria, Egypt. His body was placed in a gold coffin in a beautiful tomb.
What Happened to Alexander's Empire Basic Information Alexander's empire quickly
fell apart after his death. There arose several Greco-Macedonian kingdoms across
the East. There was the Ptolematic East, the Seludic Empire, and the Greek
Bactria. Alexander's officers and the ordinary soldiers were in dispute over
what to do for the heir of Alexander's empire. Alexander's officers thought they
should wait for Roxanne's baby. If it was a boy, he would rule when he was old
enough. The ordinary soldiers, on the other hand, wanted to give the throne to
Alexander's half-brother. They finally agreed to let Roxanne's child and
Alexander's half-brother have a joint rule. This negotiation was of no avail.
The son of Antipater, one of Alexander's generals, had both heirs murdered along
with Olympias. Alexander's generals, who were about to become kings, tried to
copy Alexander's example in war and peace. Ptolemy and Egypt Ptolemy took the
Egyptian part of Alexander's empire. He wanted Egypt because it was a fertile
country and hard to attack because of its deserts. Ptolemy enriched the treasury
and the soil became more fertile. But the people were stricken by poverty, and
there was less of the Greek freedom and initiative of democracy. Ptolemy owned
all of Egypt, and Egypt was farmed for his use. The fellahin(agricultural
laborers)couldn't leave their villages without a special pass. They were obliged
to cultivate the territory and farm. They couldn't cut a tree without a special
license and were often inspected. Since Ptolemy had to have a definite amount of
produce, when there was a bad harvest it was the peasants' loss. Wheat and oil,
Egypt's main products, were a virtual monopoly of Ptolemy. There was no escape
from heavy taxation, and Ptolemy had a huge army of inspectors and officials for
taxing the people. Ptolemy changed the Alexandrian library into a museum.
Alexandria became a famous educational center. It taught everything like modern
universities do. Two instructors there were imminent, Euclid and Archinides.
Ptolemy built only one city, Ptolemis, in Upper Egypt. He encouraged Greeks and
Macedonians to settle there. Greeks especially did this for wealth. Seleucus and
Syria Seleucus got most of Syria after Alexander's death. He restored Babylon's
ancient culture even though Antigonus had almost ruined it once. He rebuilt the
temple of E-Sagila, which was finished by his son. This had been promised by
Alexander. Seleucus made Seleucia on the Tigris his capital. It was a good
location for trade on the route that Nearchus found. Seleucus got only 10% of
the harvest, so when there was a bad harvest the loss did not only fall on the
peasants. Like Alexander, Seleucus allowed freedom of religion. Chandragupta and
India After Alexander died, the Indian Chandragupta took the power. He drove out
the Macedonian garrisons at Punjab. Chandragupta overran India from the Bay of
Bengal to the Arabian Sea. He founded an empire that lasted from 321 to 296 B.C.
After Alexander had been dead for seven years, the two founded cities in the
Indus were gone. Conclusion Alexander was an amazing conqueror. He had great
influences on later cultures. The Romans and Napoleon both did a lot like
Alexander in battle and studied his strategies. He had great educational
influences, too. Oriental knowledge was made possible to western Europe. Rapid
progress was made possible when the Greek and Babylonian scholars joined
together. The Babylonians had studied astronomy way before the Greeks. They had
calculated the distance between the sun and earth almost exactly, knew the Earth
turned on its axis, and that certain planets revolved around the sun. They also
knew that the sun was much bigger than the earth. Rapid progress in astronomy
was made. Alexander even influenced art. Because he conquered India, Hellenic
architecture was adapted to Indian Buildings and statues. Early Christian art
also had a Hellenic style. Even in Turkestan and China, where Alexander had not
conquered, the statues of Buddha were modified by the gracious style of Greek
art. Alexander was a remarkable and influential ruler.

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