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Alexander the great leading his forces versus the retreating Persian army led through Darius III in ~ the battle of Issus in 333 bce, detail of a mosaic from the residence of the Faun, Pompeii; in the National historical Museum, Naples, Italy.
Conquest that the Mediterranean coast and Egypt
From Issus Alexander marched south right into Syria and also Phoenicia, his object gift to isolation the Persian fleet native its bases and so to destroy it as an efficient fighting force. The Phoenician urban Marathus and also Aradus came over quietly, and also Parmenio was sent out ahead come secure Damascus and also its well-off booty, consisting of Darius’s war chest. In answer to a letter indigenous Darius offering peace, Alexander replied arrogantly, recapitulating the historic wrongs of Greece and also demanding unconditional surrender to himself together lord the Asia. After taking Byblos (modern Jubayl) and Sidon (Arabic Ṣaydā), that met through a check at Tyre, wherein he to be refused entry into the island city. That thereupon ready to use all methods of siegecraft to take it it, but the Tyrians resisted, holding the end for seven months. In the meantime (winter 333–332) the Persians had actually counterattacked by soil in Asia Minor—where they were defeated by Antigonus, the satrap of greater Phrygia—and by sea, recapturing a number of cities and islands.
While the siege of tire was in progress, Darius sent out a brand-new offer: he would pay a vast ransom the 10,000 talents because that his family and also cede all his lands west that the Euphrates. “I would certainly accept,” Parmenio is reported to have said, “were i Alexander”; “I too,” was the famed retort, “were ns Parmenio.” The storming of tyre in July 332 was Alexander’s greatest military achievement; it was attended with an excellent carnage and the sale of the women and children right into slavery. Leave Parmenio in Syria, Alexander advanced south without opposition till he got to Gaza on its high mound; there bitter resistance halted him for 2 months, and also he continual a major shoulder wound throughout a sortie. There is no basis for the legacy that that turned aside come visit Jerusalem.
In November 332 he reached Egypt. The people welcomed him as their deliverer, and also the Persian satrap Mazaces wisely surrendered. At Memphis Alexander sacrificed to Apis, the Greek term for Hapi, the spiritual Egyptian bull, and also was crowned with the traditional twin crown the the pharaohs; the aboriginal priests to be placated and also their faith encouraged. He spent the winter organizing Egypt, wherein he work Egyptian governors, maintaining the military under a different Macedonian command. He started the city that Alexandria close to the western eight of the Nile ~ above a fine site in between the sea and Lake Mareotis, protected by the island that Pharos, and also had the laid out by the Rhodian architect Deinocrates. That is likewise said to have actually sent an exploration to uncover the reasons of the flooding of the Nile. Indigenous Alexandria he marched along the coast to Paraetonium and from over there inland come visit the celebrated oracle of the god Amon (at Sīwah); the challenging journey was later on embroidered with flattering legends. On his reaching the oracle in its oasis, the priest gave him the traditional salutation the a pharaoh, as kid of Amon; Alexander consulted the god top top the success of his expedition however revealed the answer to no one. Later the occurrence was to contribute to the story that he to be the kid of Zeus and, thus, come his “deification.” In feather 331 he returned to Tyre, appointed a Macedonian satrap for Syria, and also prepared to advance into Mesopotamia. His occupation of Egypt had actually completed his control of the entirety eastern Mediterranean coast.
In July 331 Alexander to be at Thapsacus top top the Euphrates. Rather of acquisition the direct route down the flow to Babylon, the made throughout northern Mesopotamia toward the Tigris, and Darius, discovering of this relocate from an development force sent under Mazaeus to the Euphrates crossing, marched up the Tigris to oppose him. The decisive fight of the battle was fought on October 31, ~ above the plain of Gaugamela between Nineveh and also Arbela. Alexander sought the beat Persian pressures for 35 mile to Arbela, but Darius escaped with his Bactrian cavalry and Greek mercenaries right into Media.
Alexander now occupied Babylon, city and province; Mazaeus, that surrendered it, was evidenced as satrap in conjunction with a Macedonian troop commander, and also quite exceptionally was granted the ideal to coin. As in Egypt, the neighborhood priesthood was encouraged. Susa, the capital, additionally surrendered, releasing large treasures amounting to 50,000 yellow talents; here Alexander created Darius’s family members in comfort. Crushing the hill tribe of the Ouxians, he currently pressed on over the Zagros variety into Persia appropriate and, successfully transforming the happen of the Persian Gates, hosted by the satrap Ariobarzanes, he gotten in Persepolis and also Pasargadae. At Persepolis the ceremonially shed down the royal residence of Xerxes, together a symbol the the Panhellenic war of revenge was at an end; because that such seems the probable significance of an plot that tradition later described as a drunken frolic motivated by Thaïs, an Athenian courtesan. In spring 330 Alexander marched north into Media and also occupied its capital. The Thessalians and Greek allies were sent home; henceforward he was waging a purely an individual war.
As Mazaeus’s meeting indicated, Alexander’s see on the realm were changing. That had concerned envisage a share ruling people consisting the Macedonians and also Persians, and this served to augment the misunderstanding that now occurred between him and also his people. Prior to continuing his search of Darius, who had retreated into Bactria, he assembled all the Persian treasure and entrusted it come Harpalus, that was to hold it at Ecbatana as chief treasurer. Parmenio was also left behind in Media to regulate communications; the visibility of this older man had actually perhaps end up being irksome.
In midsummer 330 Alexander collection out because that the eastern districts at a high rate via Rhagae (modern Rayy, close to Tehrān) and also the Caspian Gates, whereby he learned the Bessus, the satrap the Bactria, had deposed Darius. After ~ a skirmish near contemporary Shāhrūd, the usurper had actually Darius stabbed and left him to die. Alexander sent out his human body for burial with early honours in the imperial tombs at Persepolis.
Campaign eastward to central Asia
Darius’s death left no problem to Alexander’s claim to be an excellent King, and also a Rhodian inscription of this year (330) calls him “lord that Asia”—i.e., the the Persian empire; shortly afterward his asian coins bring the title of king. Crossing the Elburz mountains to the Caspian, that seized Zadracarta in Hyrcania and also received the submission of a group of satraps and also Persian notables, several of whom he confirmed in their offices; in a diversion westward, probably to modern Āmol, he decreased the Mardi, a mountain civilization who inhabited the Elburz Mountains. He also accepted the surrender the Darius’s Greek mercenaries. His development eastward was now rapid. In Aria he reduced Satibarzanes, who had offered submission only to revolt, and also he founded Alexandria the the Arians (modern Herāt). In ~ Phrada in Drangiana (either near modern-day Nad-e ʿAli in Seistan or farther north at Farah), that at critical took procedures to destroy Parmenio and his family. Philotas, Parmenio’s son, command of the upstream Companion cavalry, to be implicated in claimed plot versus Alexander’s life, condemned by the army, and executed; and also a an enig message was sent out to Cleander, Parmenio’s 2nd in command, that obediently assassinated him. This ruthless activity excited prevalent horror but strengthened Alexander’s position relative to his critics and also those whom he concerned as his father’s men. Every Parmenio’s adherents were now eliminated and men close come Alexander promoted. The Companion cavalry was reorganized in two sections, each containing four squadrons (now well-known as hipparchies); one group was commanded through Alexander’s oldest friend, Hephaestion, the various other by Cleitus, an larger man. Indigenous Phrada, Alexander pressed on during the winter of 330–329 up the valley of the Helmand River, through Arachosia, and also over the mountains past the site of modern-day Kābul into the country of the Paropamisadae, whereby he established Alexandria by the Caucasus.
Bessus was currently in Bactria raising a nationwide revolt in the eastern satrapies with the usurped location of an excellent King. Cross the Hindu Kush northward over the Khawak happen (11,650 feet <3,550 metres>), Alexander carried his army, despite food shortages, come Drapsaca (sometimes established with modern-day Banu
From Maracanda (modern Samarkand) Alexander progressed by way of Cyropolis come the Jaxartes (modern Syrdarya), the boundary of the Persian empire. Over there he broke the the opposite of the Scythian nomads by his usage of catapults and, after defeating them in a fight on the north bank of the river, gone after them into the interior. Top top the website of modern Leninabad (Khojent) ~ above the Jaxartes, he started a city, Alexandria Eschate, “the farthest.” Meanwhile, Spitamenes had raised every Sogdiana in rebellion behind him, bringing in the Massagetai, a people of the Shaka confederacy. It took Alexander until the autumn of 328 to crush the most identified opponent he encountered in his campaigns. Later on in the same year he attacked Oxyartes and the staying barons who hosted out in the hills that Paraetacene (modern Tajikistan); volunteer seized the crag on which Oxyartes had his stronghold, and amongst the captives to be his daughter, Roxana. In reconciliation Alexander married her, and also the rest of his enemies were either won over or crushed.
An incident that arisen at Maracanda widened the breach between Alexander and many the his Macedonians. That murdered Cleitus, one of his most-trusted commanders, in a drunken quarrel, yet his excessive display of remorse led the army to happen a decree convicting Cleitus posthumously of treason. The event marked a step in Alexander’s progress toward eastern absolutism, and also this growing attitude found its outside expression in his use of Persian imperial dress. Quickly afterward, at Bactra, the attempted come impose the Persian court ceremonial, entailing prostration (proskynesis), on the Greeks and also Macedonians too, but to them this custom, habitual for Persians start the king’s presence, implied an act of worship and was intolerable prior to a human. Also Callisthenes, historian and also nephew that Aristotle, who ostentatious flattery had perhaps urged Alexander to see himself in the role of a god, refused to abase himself. Macedonian laughter resulted in the experiment to founder, and also Alexander abandoned it. Shortly afterward, however, Callisthenes was hosted to it is in privy come a conspiracy amongst the royal pages and also was executed (or passed away in prison; account vary); resentment of this action alienated sympathy native Alexander within the Peripatetic school of philosophers, v which Callisthenes had close connections.
Invasion that India
In early summer 327 Alexander left Bactria with a reinforced military under a reorganized command. If Plutarch’s figure of 120,000 men has any kind of reality, however, the must incorporate all type of auxiliary services, together with muleteers, camel drivers, clinical corps, peddlers, entertainers, women, and also children; the fighting strength maybe stood at about 35,000. Recrossing the Hindu Kush, probably by Bamiyan and also the Ghorband Valley, Alexander separated his forces. Half the army with the package under Hephaestion and also Perdiccas, both mounties commanders, was sent through the Khyber Pass, while he self led the rest, together with his siege train, v the hills come the north. His breakthrough through Swāt and also Gandhāra was significant by the storming that the almost impregnable pinnacle of Aornos, the contemporary Pir-Sar, a few miles west that the Indus and also north that the Buner River, an superior feat the siegecraft. In feather 326, crossing the Indus close to Attock, Alexander entered Taxila, who ruler, Taxiles, furnished elephants and troops in return because that aid against his competitor Porus, who ruled the lands in between the Hydaspes (modern Jhelum) and the Acesines (modern Chenāb). In June Alexander dealt with his last good battle ~ above the left financial institution of the Hydaspes. He started two cities there, Alexandria Nicaea (to celebrate his victory) and Bucephala (named after his horse Bucephalus, which died there); and Porus ended up being his ally.
How lot Alexander knew of India past the Hyphasis (probably the modern-day Beas) is uncertain; there is no conclusive proof that he had actually heard the the Ganges. But he was anxious to push on farther, and he had progressed to the Hyphasis when his military mutinied, refusing to walk farther in the tropic rain; they to be weary in body and spirit, and Coenus, one of Alexander’s 4 chief marshals, acted together their spokesman. On recognize the army adamant, Alexander i agree to turn back.
On the Hyphasis he put up 12 altars to the 12 Olympian gods, and also on the Hydaspes he developed a fleet that 800 come 1,000 ships. Leaving Porus, he climate proceeded down the river and also into the Indus, with half his forces on shipboard and half marching in 3 columns down the two banks. The fleet to be commanded by Nearchus, and also Alexander’s own captain to be Onesicritus; both later on wrote accounts of the campaign. The march to be attended with lot fighting and also heavy, pitiless slaughter; in ~ the storming the one city of the Malli close to the Hydraotes (Ravi) River, Alexander obtained a severe wound i beg your pardon left that weakened.
On getting to Patala, located at the head the the Indus delta, he constructed a harbour and docks and also explored both eight of the Indus, which more than likely then ran right into the Rann of Kachchh. That planned to lead component of his forces back by land, when the rest in perhaps 100 to 150 pearls under the command the Nearchus, a Cretan through naval experience, make a voyage of expedition along the Persian Gulf. Regional opposition led Nearchus to set sail in September (325), and also he was hosted up for three weeks till he can pick up the northeast monsoon in late October. In September Alexander too collection out along the shore through Gedrosia (modern Baluchistan), but he was quickly compelled by mountainous country to turn inland, for this reason failing in his job to create food depots for the fleet. Craterus, a high-ranking officer, currently had been sent off through the baggage and also siege train, the elephants, and the sick and also wounded, together with three battalions that the phalanx, by means of the Mulla Pass, Quetta, and also Kandahar into the Helmand Valley; from there he to be to march v Drangiana come rejoin the main military on the Amanis (modern Minab) flow in Carmania. Alexander’s march through Gedrosia showed disastrous; waterless desert and also shortage that food and fuel caused good suffering, and many, especially women and also children, died in a sudden monsoon flood while encamped in a wadi. In ~ length, in ~ the Amanis, he to be rejoined by Nearchus and the fleet, which likewise had suffered losses.
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Consolidation of the empire
Alexander now proceeded farther with the policy of replacing senior officials and also executing defaulting governors top top which the had already embarked before leaving India. In between 326 and also 324 end a 3rd of his satraps were superseded and six were placed to death, including the Persian satraps the Persis, Susiana, Carmania, and Paraetacene; 3 generals in Media, including Cleander, the brother of Coenus (who had died a tiny earlier), to be accused of extortion and also summoned come Carmania, whereby they were arrested, tried, and also executed. How much the rigour the from currently onward Alexander displayed versus his governors represents exemplary punishment for gross maladministration throughout his absence and how much the removed of men he had involved distrust (as in the case of Philotas and also Parmenio) is debatable; yet the ancient sources generally favourable come him comment adversely top top his severity.