Alexander The Great
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Alexander The Great
( Originally Published Early 1900's )
B. C. 356-323
HE NEVER KNEW DEFEAT
That the true history of a man so remarkable and a career so brilliant as that of Alexander the Great should have become surrounded and obscured by a confusing mass of tradition and legend, which, even to the present day leaves in doubt and uncertainty, much of importance regarding his real character and the motives which dominated him, is but natural when contemporary conditions are taken into consideration. He occupied the center of the world's arena in an era of superstition and idolatry and his scenes of action were distributed over so great a territory and among so many nations, differing widely in religion, thought and manners, that both the written and unwritten accounts handed down to us, partake of the prejudices and peculiarities of time and locality. In the mass of Greek narrative, Oriental hyperbole, Barbaric tradition, Arabic lore, and Egyptian story he has been lauded and defamed, both to an exaggerated degree. He has been charged with the most infamous crimes and the justice of his course as a King and conqueror has been questioned, but his prowess as a warrior in every acceptance of the word, neither friend or foe has attempted to deny. His achievements on the field of battle stand unsurpassed in the world's history. With his victorious armies he marched to the confines of the then known earth and never suffered defeat. During his brief reign he proceeded from one conquest to another, encountering and surmounting the greatest difficulties. His personal bravery and skill was often brought to the test and never failed him. Arrian says of him: "In body he was handsome, most indefatigable, most active; in mind, most manly, most ambitious of glory, most enterprising and most religious. In sensual pleasures he was most temperate and of mental excitements, insatiable of praise alone. In arraying, arming and marshaling armies, most skillful. In raising the soldiers' courage, filling them with hopes of victory and dispelling their fears by his own undaunted bearing, most chivalrous. In doubtful enterprises most daring. In wresting advantages from enemies and anticipating even their suspicions of his measures most successful. In fulfilling his own engagements most faithful, in guarding against being overreached by others, most cautious. In his own personal expenses most frugal, but in munificence to others most unsparing." Alexander became King of Macedonia at the age of twenty years, and died before he reached the age of thirty-three. During those twelve years he demonstrated the supremacy of the Macedonian arms over the most powerful kingdoms of the world. The complex character of the conqueror is shown in many instances of his life. In some cases he exhibited the greatest forbearance and mercy, and in others appeared to delight in cruelty. Thousands of barbarians were unnecessarily put to the sword, and cities were destroyed for revenge. Alexander wept when he parted with his veterans, yet with his own hand in a drunken rage he slew the friend who had saved his life in battle. By some he has been designated a tyrant, by others a deliverer. He died at the height of his success, "and perhaps," says Arrian, "it was better thus to depart, to the extreme regret of all men, while his glory was unstained and before he was overtaken by those calamities to which mortals are exposed and on account of which Solon advised Croesus to consider the end of life and to pronounce no man happy on this side of the grave."
Alexander's death resulted from fever, although in this as in almost every event of his career the chroniclers of ancient times invented a story to the' effect that he was poisoned by a glass of wine. Alexander was also credited with divine origin and some have gone so far as to credit him with miraculous powers. Another instance of exaggeration appears in the stories about the horse Bucephalus, which none but Alexander was said to be able to ride. The animal was also credited with mysterious origin. Arrian says the horse was presented to Alexander early in life by Demaratus, a Corinthian.
Alexander was the third King of Macedonia of that name. He was born at Pella in the year 356 B. C. His father, Philip, was renowned as a monarch of great courage and sound judgment who had made his name feared and respected among the nations and tribes which surrounded his kingdom. His court was one of splendor and he had surrounded himself with many of the ablest minds of that period. It was but natural therefore that Alexander should receive the benefit of the best education that could be procured. While little is known regarding his infancy and the training received by him during early boyhood, it is evident that no time had been lost, for it is recorded that when eleven years of age he was proudly exhibited by King Philip before Demosthenes, AEschines, and eight other leading Athenians who were visiting the court as Ambassadors. The boy then gave specimens of his skill on the harp and in declamations. In his fifteenth year he was placed under the immediate tuition of the great philosopher, Aristotle, who continued to teach and advise his pupil until the invasion of Asia. The scope of his education, according to Plutarch, included moral philosophy, logic, rhetoric, the art of poetry, the theory of practical government and even metaphysics. Among all his studies, Homer delighted him most. Meanwhile it must not be supposed that Aristotle's well-known system of education had permitted the neglect of the physical as well as mental training of his pupil. His studies were diversified at the early age of sixteen by his initiation into the duties of the high station of Regent of Macedonia, to which position he was appointed by his father while the latter was detained at the siege of Byzantium. Two years later he received his first practical experience on the field of battle. It was at the celebrated battle of Chaeronea, where he commanded the left wing of the army and defeated the Thebans before his father, who commanded the right wing, had succeeded in gaining the victory over the Athenians, against whom he was pitted.
In the year following, Philip married Cleopatra, the daughter of one of his Generals, and this led to discord in the royal family. He had previously married several wives, daughters or sisters of Thracian, Illyrian, and Thessalian chiefs, but when he accepted as wife the daughter of a Macedonian General and went so far as to change her name to that of his mother, Eurydice, it became apparent to Olympias, the mother of Alexander, that she herself was no longer to be regarded as the legitimate Queen. Alexander also viewed this action with suspicion and the result was that he retired with his mother to Epirus, her native country. Soon afterward a reconciliation was. effected and mother and son returned to Macedonia. The re-union was celebrated by the marriage of Alexander, King of Epirus, and brother of Olympias to Philip's daughter, Cleopatra. During the festivities, Philip was assassinated at the door of the temple by Pausanias, an officer of the King's bodyguard. Although various reasons were assigned by the historians of the period as the cause for the crime, there is. little doubt but that it was a conspiracy originated in Persia, as Demosthenes, the principal agent of Persia in Greece, announced the death of Philip to the Athenian Assembly, long before the news reached Athens from any other source.
In the tumult following the assassination, the Macedonian Assembly was hastily called together and Alexander was proclaimed King. At the time of his death, Philip was preparing to invade Asia. Alexander announced that the plans of his father would be carried out, that the Government of Macedonia, would continue as before, only under another name. Thus, having just passed his twentieth year, Alexander began a reign, the fame of which spread to the ends of the earth. The first step taken by the young King was to avenge the. death of his father. He caused the execution of three of the alleged conspirators, so Justin tells us, and one of the Princes supposed to be involved fled to Persia, where he was received with joy by Darius, who later placed him in command of his Greek mercenaries.
Immediately following the death of Philip, Macedonia became beset on all sides with dangers. The Barbarian tribes on the north, east, and west were preparing to renounce their subjection. There was disaffection in some of the states of the Grecian Confederacy. Sparta was ripe for revolt and Athens, as a result of the harangues of Demosthenes and other anti-Macedonian leaders, was ready to renounce her allegiance to the Confederacy. Even Thessaly, which had profited greatly under Macedonian rule, contain d a faction which stood out for violent opposition to the new King. But they did not yet know Alexander. Within two months after his father's death, the youth had entered Thessaly with an army of unconquered Macedonians at his back. The Thessalians in the face of this resolute move did not hesitate, but promptly decided that their relations should remain the same with him as they had with his father. He proceeded to Thermopylae, where the Council duly recognized him as his father's successor, and then he hastened to Corinth, where a Pan-Hellenic Council met. He was appointed Captain-General of the Greek Confederacy and empowered to make war upon their common enemy, the Persians. In these negotiations, Plutarch asserts, Alexander wisely consulted the two great Ministers and Generals of his father, Antipater and Parmenio, both of whom he had retained in their previous positions. Having successfully concluded his affairs in Southern Greece, Alexander re-turned to Macedonia to spend the winter in preparation for the moves against the Northern and Western barbarians, which he considered necessary before leaving his dominion to carry out his project against Persia.
Early in the spring, he set out with his army and made for the southern foot of Mount Haemus, the modern Balkans. Here his passage through the mountain defiles was disputed by the fierce mountaineer tribes of Thracians. They could not long withstand the Macedonian phalanx, however, and the expedition pushed forward into the vast plains between the Balkans and the Danube, occupied by the warlike Triballi, who had only recently become masters of the country, having driven the Get m to the northern side of the Danube. Syrmus, the Triballian chief, retired before the advance of Alexander to a large island in the Danube, close to the sea. While in rapid pursuit, the Macedonians received information that a large body of the Triballi had made a circuit and were posted on a stream which Arrian calls, Lyginus, so as to intercept any communication between Alexander and Macedonia. He marched his army back, found the enemy. as indicated, and after a desperate battle, in which 3,000 of the Triballi were slain, resumed his march upon the island, which he reached after three days. A fleet which he had dispatched from Byzantium was already there. He embarked his troops on the ships and attempted to effect a landing, but the failure of the ships to strike the island at the proper points, together with the desperate resistance made by the besieged, made the attempt a failure and the effort was abandoned.
On the opposite bank of the Danube, during this time, had gathered great crowds of the clans of Getae, making warlike demonstrations. Alexander decided to attack them and during the night, with the aid of his few ships, all the canoes that he could collect and large numbers of hastily constructed rafts, he threw across the river 1,000 cavalry and 4,000 infantry. At dawn, when the surprised Getae beheld this array of Macedonians, they fled to their city, pursued by Alexander's army. The city was plundered and the booty was considerable, for even at this early day, according to ancient historians, these Scythians were a commercial and agricultural people. For his success Alexander offered up sacrifices to Jupiter, the Preserver, to Hercules, the supposed ancestor of the Scythians and to the river god who had permitted him to cross the mighty river in safety. This practice, here begun by Alexander, of worshiping the gods of every nation, according to the customs of the people among whom he happened to be, was persistently followed by him throughout al of his succeeding campaigns. Invariably his first care after a battle was to repair to the- temple and there, under the directions of the priests, offer sacrifices for the victory, The brilliancy of Alexander's exploit against the Geta made so strong an impression upon the Triballi chief that he renewed without further ado the treaties previously made with Philip, and his action was followed by all the rebellious tribes in the vicinity.
As Alexander was returning from the Danube and had reached Paeonia, situated between the Nestus and Strygmon rivers, intelligence reached him that two Illyrian chiefs, Glaucius and Cleitus had taken up arms and declared their independence. Paeonia had formerly been independent and the race was once, we are informed by Hippocrates, more civilized than the Macedonians. But the Nation had been subdued by Philip and annexed to Macedonia. The Nation was divided into a number of tribes and one of these, the Agrian, was ruled by Langarus, a youthful companion and fast friend of Alexander. He now came to his Sovereign with the information that the tribe called Autariatae had been persuaded by the rebellious chiefs to invade Macedonia. Langarus offered to invade the territory of this tribe and keep them engaged at home while Alexander dealt with Glaucius and Cleitus, who proposed to invade Macedonia from the West. Alexander marched his troops into Illyricum, where he found Cleitus advantageously situated on the hills above the City of Pellium. Alexander at once prepared to attack the town. With the determination to save the town, the army of Cleitus came down from the hills. Alexander attacked and routed the enemy, of which the majority took refuge in Pellium. The arrival of Glaucius, with a numerous army, compelled Alexander to desist from his efforts against the town and he found himself, moreover, in a perilous position, from which he extricated his army only by the most skillful movements. Having safely crossed the river which flowed at the foot of the hills he found comparative security for his troops and encamped there for two days to rest his army. The Illyrians regarded his retreat as a great victory for them, and instead of attempting to pursue their advantage or preparing defenses, they gave themselves up to feasting and celebration. The opportunity was not allowed to escape by Alexander. During the third night, he suddenly re-crossed the river,' attacked the enemy in their camp and put them to complete rout. The blow was so severe that Cleitus, despairing of holding the town against his adversary, set it on fire and retired. Never again during the reign of Alexander did the Illyrians take up arms against him, so wholesome was the defeat administered.
Just at this time events of importance were transpiring in the South, which, when reported to Alexander, made it necessary for him to exercise all haste in conducting his army thither. After the battle of Chaeronea, in which Alexander had himself participated nearly three years previous, Philip had placed a Macedonian garrison in the Cadmeia, the citadel of Thebes, after banishing the Theban leaders and appointing Macedonians as Governors of Thebes. But the exiles of Thebes secretly returned, surprised the Macedonian Governors and killed them and by asserting that Alexander had been slain in the Illyrian campaign, caused the Thebans to revolt. The garrison in the citadel held out against the Theban armies, while Anti-pater, at the head of a Macedonian column, was vainly seeking to relieve it. The news of the revolt of Thebes spread over Greece like wildfire, under the zealous agitation of Demosthenes and other Persian agents in Greece. Athens was on the point of following the example of Thebes, but the Assembly prudently concluded to await further confirmation of the report of Alexander's death.
The Lacedaemonians as usual were ready to aid in the proposed anti-Macedonian move.
In the brief space of thirteen days he marched his army from the mountains of Illyria and reached Thermopylae. Within a few days later he was encamped on the hills to the north of Thebes. The Thebans were loath to believe that Alexander was approaching. The leaders of the revolt maintained that the troops was but a reinforcement for the column of Antipater. They were soon undeceived, for on the following day Alexander joined forces with Antipater and moved upon the city. He hoped to gain possession by peaceable means, but the leaders in the rebellion knew that no mercy would be shown them and assiduously impressed upon the Thebans that the only chance of safety lay in armed resistence. Alexander had scarcely encamped to the south of the city with the double purpose of cutting off communication with Athens and of being as near as possible to the citadel, when he was attacked by the Thebans and a number of his men slain. The real attack on Thebes, according to Ptolemy, began by accident and not design. Perdiccas, one of Alexander's commanders, had been placed with a brigade close to the circumvallation constructed by the Thebans between the foot of the citadel and Alexander's camp. He saw a favorable opportunity, and, without waiting for orders, furiously attacked and destroyed a part of the defences, gaining entrance to the enclosed space. Other brigades followed him, and Alexander, seeing the advantage gained, brought up a fresh phalanx. In the meantime, the brigade of Perdiccas had surmounted the second line of circumvallation and was fighting in the space between it and the citadel. The Thebans were driven as far as the temple of Hercules, but here they made a stand, charged their pursuers, and drove them back to the breach. Now Alexander, with the flower of the phalanx, set upon the Thebans and carried all before him and reached the gates of the city simultaneously with the Thebans. Before the gates could be closed the Macedonians had made their ground good within the walls. At the same time others of his troops, joined by the garrison from the citadel, entered the city by way of the Temple of Amphion. The Thebans in despair gave up the contest. In Alexander's army of confederates were several tribes which in the past had suffered great injuries at the hands of the Thebans. These proceeded to take a terrible revenge. "No mercy was shown to age or infancy," says Williams in his narrative, "the distinction of sex was disregarded. The virgin at the foot of the altar met with the same fate as the warrior who refused quarter, and nothing but the active interference of the Macedonians stayed the butchery and saved a part of the inhabitants."
The fate of Thebes was decided by an assembly of the confederacy. The city was leveled to the ground and the captured Thebans with their wives and children were sold into slavery. Priests and priestesses and all friends of Macedonia were excepted. The only house left standing among the ruins was that which had been occupied by the lyric poet Pindarus, and Alexander himself interfered to save the descendants of the poet from injury and loss. Plutarch asserts that Alexander, later in life, regretted his severity against Thebes, but there is no definite evidence that such was the case. Viewed in the light of those times, Thebes suffered a just retribution for the merciless atrocities she had previously perpetrated upon the peoples of Greece.
The fate of Thebes caused Athens, which had shared in a large degree in the conspiracy, to tremble. Demosthenes and his associates, who had openly rejoiced at the murder of Philip and had mocked Alexander, had cause to dread his vengeance. To avert the expected blow, the assembly met and sent a delegation to congratulate the young conqueror on his successes in Thrace and Illyricum and on the suppression of the Theban revolt. In return, Alexander demanded the surrender of Demosthenes and nine other common disturbers of Grecian tranquillity. The Athenians besought him not to insist upon his demand, and it was magnanimously withdrawn.
Alexander then returned to Macedonia, having in one spring, summer and autumn carried to a successful conclusion a campaign unrivaled in Grecian history. He had invaded Thrace, passed Mount Haemus, defeated the Triballi, crossed the Danube, subjugated the Getae, marched against and defeated the Illyrians, reduced Thebes, and satisfactorily settled all dissensions in South-ern Greece. "This campaign alone, says Williams, "was sufficient to prove that no equal military genius had yet appeared among men."
Alexander spent the winter at AEgae, the primitive capital of Macedonia, and in the spring of the year 334 B. C. set out on his first campaign in Asia, to satisfy his cherished design of conquering Persia. He marched to Sestus, where his fleet, consisting of 160 triremes, had been assembled. With his army he crossed the Hellespont, and, according to Arrian, was himself the first to set foot on Asiatic ground. Following his usual custom, Alexander made it his first duty to offer sacrifices to the gods. He ascended to the city of Priam and worshipped in the temple of the Ilian Minerva. The army of invasion consisted, says Williams, who closely follows Arrian and Strabo in all of the more important events of Alexander's career, of 30,000 infantry and 4,500 cavalry. The infantry included 12,000 Macedonians, 7,000 confederates, 5,000 mercenary Greeks, 5,000 Thracians, Triballians and Illyrians and 1,000 Agrians. In the cavalry there were 1,500 Macedonians, a similar number of Thessalians, 900 Thracians and Paenians, and 600 confederates. With this force Alexander had been able to enter Asia unopposed. Whether his rapid movements had taken the Persian satraps by surprise, or whether they were willing that he should enter their domain, hoping to annihilate his force, history does not record. At any rate, no attempt was made to bar his progress until the army had been led to Arisba by Parmenio, while Alexander lingered to explore the ruins of Troy. Information then reached him that the Persians were collecting at Zeleia, and he at once advanced in that direction. At the River Granicus the enemy was found drawn up on the opposite bank. On a narrow strip of level ground, between the river and the foot of a long line of low hills, was the Persian cavalry, numbering 20,000.- The hills in the rear were occupied by a similar number of Greek mercenaries under the Persian leader, Ornares. The hostile armies faced each other on opposite banks of the river, and Alexander, after briefly exhorting his followers to prove themselves good warriors, plunged into the stream at the head of the right wing and person-ally led the attack. It was a contest between the Persian javelins and scimetars and the Macedonian lance, between the fierce but wild fighting of the Persians and the discipline and skill of the Macedonians. The conflict began in the water itself, but gradually the Persians were driven back from the bank and the Macedonians gained the level ground between the river and the mountains. Alexander was easily recognized by the white plume in his helmet, his gorgeous shield and the magnificent equipment of his retinue. Thus marked, he was instantly attacked by Mithridates, the son-in-law of Darius, at the head of a troop of horse. Alexander did not wait for the attack, but spurred his horse forward, and with one thrust of his lance slew Mithridates. While disengaging his weapon he was assailed by Rhoesaces, another Persian nobleman, who with his sword struck off a part of Alexander's plume and helmet. Alexander pierced the Persian's breast through his corslet and slew him, also. It was here that Cleitus, captain of the royal troop of cavalry, known as Companions, saved the life of his sovereign. While engaged in the combat with Rhoesaces, Alexander was attacked from behind by Spithridates, the Ionian satrap, whose scimetar was raised to strike, when Cleitus, with a tremendous stroke, severed the Persian's arm at the shoulder. No doubt the battle abounded with incidents of a similar character, but the above, as affecting the personal bravery and prowess of the young sovereign, have been thought worthy of record by nearly all of his historians, from the earliest to the more modern. During this desperate conflict against the left wing of the Persian cavalry, the left wing of the Macedonians had put to rout the right wing of the Persians, and when the left gave way before Alexander, it became general and the Persian cavalry fled, leaving the Greek mercenaries to their fate. The defeat of the Persian cavalry had been accomplished by employing only the Macedonian cavalry and the light troops, the Macedonian phalanx having as yet not been engaged in the battle. As the Greek mercenaries of the Persian army still held their ground on the hills, however, the phalanx was brought up to attack them in front, while the two wings of cavalry under Alexander and Parmenio assailed them on the flanks. The fate of these professional warriors who fought under a foreign banner against their own countrymen for hire, was terrible. Ornares, their leader, fell at his post, and all but 2,000 of the 20,000 were slain. The living were sent as prisoners to Macedonia and made slaves. The record of losses on the Macedonian side is given as but twenty-five of the Companion cavalry, sixty other horsemen, and thirty foot soldiers. Williams and other modern historians agree that many more were slain, but that the ancient records of the campaign mentioned the loss of only native born Macedonians. This battle gave Alexander control of the Hellespontian Phrygia. The chief city of the satrapy was Dascylium, and Parmenio was sent there and took possession without resistance. Alexander appointed Calas, a Macedonian, as Governor, and instructed him to exact no greater revenue from the provincials than had previously been payable to Darius.
Alexander's way was now for a time made easy by the fame and terror of his name. As he took up the march into Southern Asia, the cities capitulated without resistance, and when within eight miles of Sardes, the Lydian capital, he was met by a deputation from Mithrenes, the Governor, who surrendered the citadel with all its treasure. This not only furnished Alexander with funds, but gave him possession of the most important fortress in Western Asia. The Lydians had once been a powerful nation, but for 200 years, following their subjugation by Cyrus the Elder, had been tributaries to Persia. Alexander issued a decree, restoring to them all rights and laws as they existed before the Persian conquest, and also proclaimed their nominal independence. From Sardes he marched upon Ephesus. There were two factions in Ephesus, the democratic and the aristocratic, and the latter had recently acquired control of the government through the patronage of Persia. The approach of Alexander was therefore hailed by the democracy, while the Persian garrison, overawed by the news of the victory at Granicus, abandoned the city and retired to Miletus. This restored the supremacy of the democratic faction, and they proceeded to revenge themselves upon the aristocracy. Several of the aristocratic leaders were stoned to death, and only the arrival of Alexander prevented a general massacre. Arrian writes that this act of mercy on Alexander's part gave him more favorable renown than any other of his deeds in Asia Minor. He also gained favor with the Ephesians by showing due honor to their great idol, Diana, in whose worship he caused a grand procession to be given by his troops. Alexander now hastened to Miletus, the Ionian capital. The Governor promised to give up the city without resistance, but the arrival of the Persian fleet caused him to change his mind. Alexander immediately stormed the city and captured it. Previous to the arrival of the Persian fleet, the Macedonian fleet had arrived and occupied the narrow entrance to the Milesian harbor, and while not strong enough to attack the Persian fleet in the open sea, was so situated as to prevent the entrance of the Persians to aid in the defense of the city. Halicarnassus, the capital of Caria, was the next point to which Alexander turned his attention, and here he met with stubborn resistance. Darius, on receiving news of the rapid strides being made by the invader, had given Memnon, who escaped death at the battle of the Granicus by flight, unlimited power in the defense of Lower Asia. The rapidity of Alexander's movements through Ionia had made it impossible to withstand him there, but Memnon had collected at Halicarnassus a fleet of 400 triremes and large bodies of troops, and had carefully fortified and provisioned the city. Two strong citadels guarded the town, and the land side was protected by a ditch thirty cubits in width and fifteen deep. This had to be filled by the Macedonians before they could bring their battering engines to bear upon the walls. Ephialtes, the Athenian, with a chosen body of troops, and supported by Memnon, made a savage attack upon Alexander's troops in an effort to destroy his works and engines, and were prevented only by the implacable bravery of the Macedonians. Finding that they would be unable to withstand further assault by the besiegers, the Persians set fire to the city and retired to the citadels. These appeared impregnable, and a body of troops was left to blockade them, while Parmenio, with the Thessalians, the Greeks of the confederacy, and the more cumbersome baggage, was sent to Sardes to go into quarters for the approaching winter. Alexander also granted permission at this time to all officers and men who had recently been married, to return to Macedonia to spend the winter with their brides. This act, whether from political motives or from pure kindness, redounded greatly to Alexander's fame, for every returned warrior helped to spread among all classes of Greece, accounts of the valor and generosity of the Macedonian sovereign.
Winter did not, however, put a check on the triumphal progress of Alexander. With that part of the army which he had retained, he continued his advance into the enemy's possessions, and city after city through Lycia and Pamphylia opened its gates to the conqueror. The important city of Phaselis sent to him a deputation with a golden crown and offers of submission. On his way thither he took by storm the mountain town of Termissus, and thus conferred a favor upon the dwellers of the lowland towns, who were subject to periodical raids from the bandit tribes which occupied Termissus. It was mid-winter when Alexander reached Phaselis, and in this city of luxury and wealth he remained for a brief period of repose. While here he received a message from Parmenio, informing him that Alexander, the son of AEropus, who had been suspected in connection with the assassination of Philip, but who had later so far ingratiated himself with that monarch's son, that he had been appointed commander of the Thessalian cavalry, was engaged in a traitorous correspondence with the Persian court. On orders immediately returned by Alexander, the conspirator was taken into custody, before he could accomplish his designs against the King. Alexander now took up the march to Perga, and this march was attended by a rash and dangerous adventure, which is worth relating. He had a choice between two routes, either to cross the precipitous Mount Climax, or go by way of the treacherous road along the sea. Strabo gives a clear idea of the incident in the following words : "Mount Climax overhangs the Pamphylian Sea, but leaves a narrow road upon the beach. This, in calm weather, is dry, and passable by travelers; but when the sea flows, the road, to a great extent, is covered by the waves. The passage over the hills is circuitous and difficult; consequently, in fine weather, the shore road is used. But Alexander, although the weather was boisterous, trusting principally to chance, set out before the swell had ceased, and the soldiers had to march during the whole day up to their middle in water." Inasmuch as it was regarded as miraculous that a south wind did not arise and dash the army to death against the rocks, it gave the royal sycophants opportunity to proclaim that even the sea had retired before the victorious Alexander. He himself made no miracle of the event, and in his letters, quoted by Plutarch, he simply says : "I marched from Phaselis by the way called Climax." After visiting Perga and several other cities, none of which offered any opposition, Alexander proceeded to cross Mount Taurus with the intention of entering Phrygia. His progress was hampered by conflicts with the powerful Pisidian tribes occupying the mountain passes and cities, and it was only after a decisive battle had been fought before Sagalassus, which was taken, that his sovereignty over the whole of Pisidia was acknowledged. Although but meager accounts are given of this mid-winter campaign among the mountain wilds and against the most savage adversaries, it must be recorded as one of the great achievements of Alexander. He now continued to Celaenae, capital of the Greater Phrygia, which surrendered after holding out for a brief season. With the object of concentrating his army for the campaign of the approaching spring, Alexander marched to Gordium, where he was joined by the troops under Parmenio and the bridegrooms who had been allowed to spend the winter in Macedonia. Gordium was the ancient capital of Phrygia during the period of its independence and power, and here was preserved the famous cart of Gordius with the knot which fastened the yoke to the pole, and the tradition which maintained that whoever should succeed in untying the knot was to be the future sovereign of Asia. Alexander ascended to the citadel to examine the knot, and the accounts of the manner in which he solved the difficulty vary. The general acceptation is that he cut the knot with his sword, and this, it is conceded would be most in keeping with his character, but Aristobulus, who is supposed to have been present, writes that Alexander removed the pin which traversed the pole, and was thus enabled to detect the manner in which the mysterious knot could be untied. At any rate, it was agreed by the Phrygians that he had fulfilled the tradition, and he was recognized by them as lord of Asia.
In the spring of the year 333 B. C. Alexander, with his reorganized army, marched from Gordium with the purpose of conquering the two powerful provinces of Paphlagonia and Cappadocia. On reaching Ancyra, the modern Angora, he was met by deputies from the Paphlagonian chiefs, with professions of submission. He granted their prayer not to invade the province with an armed, force and proceeded to Cappadocia. After subduing the whole of this province, he turned southward into Cilicia, though not without some opposition in the mountain defiles. He had scarcely led his army down upon the plains of Cilicia, when information reached him that Arsames, the satrap of Tarsus, was about to burn the town. With his cavalry, Alexander hastened to the threatened city and saved it from destruction. Here Alexander for the first time gave way to the strain and hard-ships which he had undergone since the beginning of his reign, and was stricken with a fever that nearly proved fatal. But youth and his vigorous constitution conquered, and he was soon again at the head of his victorious army. In the meantime, Memnon, with his Persian fleet, had been active. Chios had been betrayed into his hands, and he had induced four of the five cities on the island of Lesbos to renounce the Macedonian alliance. Mitylene, the chief city, held out against him, and as he was besieging it, he fell ill and died. This, Arrian says, was the most severe blow that could have befallen Darius. The hopes of the anti-Macedonians in Greece had also been raised, as all the information they received from Persia was partisan, and matters had advanced so far that Agis, the King of Sparta, was conferring with Pharnabazus, the successor of Memnon, relative to forming an anti-Macedonian confederacy in Greece; when the news of the defeat of the Persians at Issus put an end to the negotiations.
Darius had during this time been encamped with his army on the plains between the Syrian Gates and the modern Aleppo, awaiting the advance of the enemy. But the illness of Alexander and the expedition into Cilicia had caused such delay that the Persian monarch began to be persuaded that Alexander did not mean to attack him. He therefore marched with his army into Cilicia. At this time Alexander, having heard of the advance of the Persian army, was moving toward Castabala, whither also, Parmenio with his force was moving to meet him. Parmenio had forced his way over the western ridge of Mount Amanus, through the pass known as the lower Amanian Gates, captured Issus and occupied the more eastern passes into Syria. Two days after Parmenio joined Alexander, the combined army encamped at Myriandrus. That night a heavy storm confined the Macedonians within their camp and the following day Alexander learned to his astonishment that Darius was in his rear. The Persian army had passed through the upper Amanian Gates into the plain of Issus, recaptured the city and slain the Macedonian invalids they found there, then passed on to the Pinarus River.
Having satisfied himself during the day that his information was correct, Alexander exhorted his men and consulted with his officers, and in the darkness of the ensuing night the entire army marched to the gates, and at mid-night occupied the defile leading down to the plain of Issus, which was fairly ablaze with the camp-fires of the Persian hosts. At dawn the Macedonians moved down through the narrow pass, deploying into line as it opened, with the mountain on the right and the sea on the left. The troops of Darius were of such vast numbers that in order not to embarrass the movements of the main formation, he ordered his 30,000 cavalry and 20,000 light troops to cross the Pinarus. In forming his line, he placed in the center the heavy armed Greek mercenaries, numbering 30,000. On either side of these he placed a similar number of equally well armed Cardaces, all Persians, and trained in arms from their youth. To the extreme left, on the side of a hill, so situated as to threaten Alexander's right wing, were placed 20,000 light troops. On the Macedonian side, Alexander, as usual, commanded the right wing and Parmenio the left. His formation was practically as usual, with the Macedonian phalanx facing the Greek mercenaries of the Persians and the cavalry and confederates equally divided between himself and Parmenio. The Agrians, supported by a body of archers and a small body of cavalry, was posted facing the 20,000 light troops on the hill. Alexander determined to test the stability of this portion of the enemy's troops, and ordered the Agrians, archers and cavalry to charge. The Persians precipitately retired from the side to the summit of the hill. Satisfied that there was little danger from that quarter, Alexander added the Agrians and archers to the right wing and left only 300 cavalry to keep the 20,000 in check. As the Macedonians moved forward to the attack, Darius recalled his cavalry and posted it opposite Parmenio's wing. Alexander at once dispatched his Thessalian cavalry to the support of Parmenio. Slowly and majestically the Macedonians advanced while their King rode down the lines, addressing his warriors and inspiring them to heroic action. As soon as the advancing line came within range of the Persian missiles, Alexander led his wing into a furious charge against the Cardaces, who fled at the first onslaught, leaving the 15,000 troops known as Kinsmen and the 10,000 Immortals, posted back of the Cardaces, to battle against Alexander, and although these made a desperate resistance, they were ultimately cut to pieces and scattered. At this time the Macedonian phalanx was being hard pressed by the Greek mercenaries, who as stated, numbered 30,000, while the phalanx in this instance consisted of but five brigades. Having vanquished the foe in his immediate front, Alexander turned to the relief of his phalanx, attacking the mercenaries in the flank and instantly turning the tide of battle. Still the fate of Parmenio's command hung in the balance. The Persian cavalry attacked desperately, and it required all the skill and bravery of Parmenio and his Thessalian horse to maintain their ground. What the result would have been is doubtful, had not the tidings reached the Persians that the rest of the army had been routed and that their king had fled. This filled them with despair and they too fled from the field. Darius in his royal chariot, had taken to flight at the first sign of defeat. When he reached uneven ground he abandoned his chariot, shield, arms and royal robe and continued his fight on horseback and did not stop until he had reached a point beyond the Euphrates. He had made no effort to take with him his wife, son and daughters, who were left in the royal tent to the mercy of the victors. The number slain in battle is given as 10,000 Persian horsemen and 100,000 infantry. The losses of the Macedonians were also large, though not proportionately. The facts in regard to the battle are as recorded by Aristobulus and Ptolemy; who are also followed by Arrian, and, according to their account, the battle lasted from daybreak until dark. From the figures given it is shown that Darius liad as formidable an army as ever engaged in battle, and it is inferred by historians generally that he had besides the five great divisions named, multitudes of other troops who took no part in the battle, either through cowardice or lack of proper leadership. The result can be attributed only to the superior skill and valor of the Macedonian troops, so ably exemplified by their leader, who although he had himself received a sword wound in the thigh, on the following day visited the wounded and delivered a funeral oration over the dead. The wife and daughters of Darius were afforded every protection by Alexander, who announced that he had no animosity against Darius and was only engaged in a legitimate struggle for the Empire of Asia.
Before advancing to battle Darius had transferred the court and treasures of Persia to Damascus, where were also the families of the principal Persians and the foreign ambassadors. Parmenio and the Thessalian cavalry was sent to take possession, and although the whole body had left Damascus in an effort to escape, they were overtaken and captured, together with all the rich booty of the Persian treasury. Among the prisoners were envoys from the treacherous Athenians, but Alexander mercifully liberated them.
Alexander himself marched southward along the coast, and the first Phoenician state to submit was the island Aradus with its dependencies. While at Marathus, one of these dependencies, ambassadors from Darius came to Alexander with a message in which the Persian sovereign demanded the restoration to him of his family and possessions, and offered to make a treaty with Alexander, claiming that he had battled only to retain his rightly inherited kingdom. Alexander replied briefly that Darius need have no fear for his personal safety and might freely come to claim his family, but that any further communications to Alexander must be addressed to him as King of Asia. He also accused Darius of plotting for the murder of Philip and inciting the Greeks against Macedonia, and concluded that if Darius desired to dispute the sovereignty of Asia, to stand his ground and he would attack him wherever he might be.
Alexander then continued his march to the center of Phoenicia, receiving the submission of many cities. Tyre was among the number who sent him the usual crown of gold, but they refused to permit him to enter the city, although he announced it as his purpose to worship in their Temple of Hercules, which Arrian says was not the Grecian Hercules, but another, worshiped many centuries before. Alexander then determined to lay siege to Tyre. His desire was to gain possession of all Phoenicia, in order to receive the support of the great Phoenician fleet, the most numerous and efficient of the Persian navy. With this addition to the Macedonian fleet, he argued, he could acquire Cyprus and its fleet, and with the three combined he would be enabled to sweep the sea of Persia's maritime armaments. Finally, he hoped to invade and conquer Egypt and thus set at rest all fears for the safety of Greece and Macedonia. Thus, toward the end of the year 333 B. C., began the siege of Tyre. The old town had not been rebuilt, but the new town which had sprung from its ashes occupied an island, according to Pliny, two miles and a half in circumference, and separated from the main-land by an arm of the sea, half a mile in width. The city was extremely populous and its buildings were many-storied. It was surrounded by walls and fortifications of great strength, and would scarcely have been regarded as pregnable even if located in such a position that it could be approached by land. Alexander proposed to capture this stronghold without a single ship, and in the face of a formidable navy. He began to construct a mound through the sea from the shore to the walls of the city, and there, with the aid of battering rams and engines to effect a breach and storm the city. There was plenty of material for the undertaking to be had from the ruins of old Tyre, but as the work progressed it became more and more difficult. His troops while at work were exposed to the missiles thrown from engines planted on the walls of the city and also from attacks on both flanks by armed triremes. Finally the Tyrians made a successful attack, and in a few hours destroyed all that had been accomplished. Nothing daunted, he at once began the construction of a second mound on a larger scale. Winter was now setting in and the fleets of many of the Phoenician cities which had joined him were returning home. Soon he had mustered over 100 of these, and a little later secured the services of an even larger number from the Kings of Cyprus. Various plans of attack were attempted and proved failures, but finally, after seven months, with the aid of rafts carrying battering engines, a breach was made and the city was simultaneously attacked from all sides. In the long siege the Macedonians had lost many men and beside harbored revenge against the Tyrians for one especial act of cruelty practiced by the Tyrians against a number of Macedonians captured by them. The prisoners were murdered in cold blood and thrown into the sea in view of their comrades. When, therefore, the city fell into the hands of the besiegers, 8,000 Tyrians were put to the sword and 30,000 were sold into slavery. But for this blot upon the victory, the capture of Tyre might have been counted as the greatest of Alexander's military exploits. During all the months of the siege no effort had been made, apparently, to relieve the beleaguered city. It is related by Arrian and other historians that shortly before the fall of Tyre, a second deputation came to Alexander from Darius, and with an offer of 10,000 talents, the hand of one of his daughters in marriage, and all that portion of Asia west of the Euphrates. Like all other propositions it was submitted to the Macedonian council, and Parmenio is reported to have said : "Were I Alexander, I should conclude the war on these terms and run no further risk." To this Alexander replied : "So would I, were I Parmenio, but as I am Alexander, I cannot." Following this he sent a curt message to Darius, announcing that if he felt inclined to marry Darius' daughter, he would do so without asking consent, and also notified Darius that if he desired any favors, he must come personally and ask for them. Darius realized that further negotiations would be fruitless, and began his preparations for the final struggle to retain his kingdom.
Alexander now turned, as he had intended, to Egypt. Palestine and other districts willingly submitted to the conqueror. Gaza, governed by a eunuch, alone dared to resist. The city was built on a mound near the edge of the desert that separated Syria from Egypt, and was well fortified. For two months he besieged the city, finally forced his way in, and, as the garrison refused quarter, all its defenders were slain. The city was of considerable importance as a mart for Arabian goods, and had a fine harbor. A rich booty of aromatics and frankincense fell into the hands of the victor. Josephus asserts that Alexander marched from Gaza to Jerusalem with hostile intentions, and that he was received by the priests of that city, and, as was his wont, made acknowledgments to their God. Flaying crossed the dangerous desert to Pelusium in seven days, Alexander was received without resistance, and his sovereignty accepted with apparent joy. He then advanced with his army along the eastern branch of the Nile, he visited Heliopolis and later, Memphis, the capital of lower Egypt. Here he embarked on the Nile, sailed down the Canopic branch and into Mareotic Lake, where he viewed the site upon which Alexandria was afterward built. Here Hegelochus, his admiral in the AEgean, brought information of the dissolution of the Persian fleet and the recovery of Tenedos, Lesbos and Chios. This resulted from the acquiring of the Phoenician fleet, and made Macedonia master of the seas. Alexander having concluded to visit and consult the oracle at the shrine of Jupiter Ammon in the Libyan desert, he set out with a small detachment, and, after stopping at Paraetonium on the sea shore, plunged southward into the desert and in eleven days reached the Ammonian Oasis. Some historians have ventured to narrate the questions asked by Alexander and the answers given by the oracle, but historians of the period assert that Alexander, who alone was admitted to the innermost shrine, simply stated on coming forth, that the answers had been satisfactory to him. The reported and widely accepted announcement of the oracle was to the effect that Alexander was the son of the god, Zeus.
On his return he joined his army at Memphis, and marching through Phoenicia, he crossed the Euphrates, turned northward and reached the Tigris in the vicinity of Nineveh or Old Mosul. The entrance of the army into Assyria was marked by a total eclipse of the moon. Ac-cording to the calculations of astronomers, this was on a night in September. Historians fail to record where or how Alexander and his army spent the time from the crossing of the Euphrates in July until the entrance into Assyria in the end of September. For three days the army marched along the bank of the Tigris without any sign of an enemy, but on the morning of the fourth a body of Persian cavalry was discovered on the plain. They attempted to escape by flight, but were pursued, and several captured. From these prisoners, Alexander learned that Darius with his army was encampd near Gaugamela, where he had selected his battle-field and even smoothed down hillocks and removed obstacles that might interfere with the movements of his cavalry. The Macedonians went into camp and remained for four days resting from the fatigues of the march. On the morning of the fifth day the advance was taken up, the troops carrying nothing but their weapons. The day was already far advanced when Alexander came within sight of the Persian hosts. A council was held over the question whether it was advisable to attack at once or wait until the following morning. The majority of the Generals were for immediate action, but Parmenio expressed the opinion that various parts of the field had been trenched and that it would be prudent to first make an examination. This advice was adopted and the army encamped under arms and in line of battle, while Alexander, with a strong detachment, made as close an examination of the field as circumstances would permit. He returned to encourage his officers and men and they in turn told him to be of good cheer. While the Macedonians were catching a few hours of sleep and rest the army of Darius was kept under arms, as they had been all of the previous day. Darius, having chosen his ground, could not change it without throwing his whole line into confusion. His preparations had been extensive, his army was composed of warriors of nearly all the nations of the then known earth, and his order of battle was as follows : The center, commanded by Darius him-self, included the Royal Kinsmen, the Immortals, the Indians, Carians, and Mardian Archers. On the left were the Bactrians, Dahae, Persians, Susians, and Cadusians. The right was composed of Syrians, Mesopotamians, Medes, Parthians, Sacae Tapeiri, Hycanians, Albanians, and Sacasenae. Behind, a second line was formed of Uxians, Babylonians, Sitacenians, and Carmanians. In front of the left wing was drawn up all the Scythian cavalry and 1,000 Bactrians, as well as 100 scythe-armed chariots. Fifteen elephants and 50 war chariots were placed in front of Darius and facing Alexander and his Companion cavalry. In front of the right wing were posted the Armenian and Cappadocian cavalry, and 50 war chariots. The Greek mercenaries were drawn up on either side of Darius to withstand the charge of the Macedonian phalanx. Arrian computed the total number of infantry under Darius at 1,000,000 and the cavalry at 40,000. Alexander's army consisted of 40,000 infantry and 7,000 horse. His formation of the main body was in a general way similar to that at Issus, except that the flanks were better protected by large bodies of confederates and mercenary cavalry and a second line of infantry was drawn up behind the phalanx with orders to face about in the event of attack from that quarter. These precautions were taken as it was certain that the myriads of the enemy must encircle the Macedonians and attack was expected. from every quarter. When the battle opened, Alexander charged obliquely, either to avoid the elephants and the chariots or else to turn the right of the enemy's center. The chariots did little execution, the drivers and horses being easily picked off by the javelin men. None of the historians relate what became of the fifteen elephants and the presumption is that they also failed in their mission. Alexander at the head of the Companion cavalry pierced the Persian line and attacked the left center of Darius in flank, with the object of forcing his way through the Kinsmen and Immortals and reaching Darius. The Persian cavalry soon began to give way and the infantry at various points were unable to withstand the pikes of the phalanx. As on the plain of Issus, Parmenio was sore beset by the Albanians and the multitudes of Parthians and Sacaes, so that Parmenio was forced to send a message for aid. Just before the message reached Alexander, Darius had ingloriously fled from the rout which was gradually surrounding him and Alexander was setting out in pursuit, but the demand from Parmenio caused him to lead his Companions to the relief. However, the tide had already turned in Parmenio's favor and Alexander met the Persian and Parthian cavalry in full retreat. In the conflict which ensued the fugitives fought for life and liberty, not to gain a battle, and in this encounter sixty of the Companion cavalry were slain. The victory was now decisive in all parts of the field and Alexander resumed his pursuit of Darius as far as Arbela, forty miles from the field of battle. But Darius had been too fleet and the troops had to be content with capturing the royal treasure which had been left there and another chariot and spear which the escaping monarch had left behind. Arrian places the number of lives lost in the battle at 300,000, and more than that number of prisoners were taken. From Arbela, Alexander marched in four days through a submissive country to Babylon, where his appearance called forth demonstrations of joy from the crowds that poured forth to greet him as their new master. Having arranged the affairs of Assyria, he proceeded to Susa.
Abulites, the satrap of the Susians, readily surrendered the city and citadel to Alexander. The place had been a favorite seat for Persian monarchs and was used as a treasury. Alexander came into possession here of fifty thousand talents of silver, besides other valuables. He left a Macedonian Governor and garrison in the citadel, but reappointed Abulites to the satrapy. He now set out for Persia proper, or, according to its Greek name, Persis. He entered the territory of the Uxians, and started for Persepolis, the ancient capital of Cyrus. The royal road between Susa and Persepolis ran through a defile in the mountains which was held by a warlike tribe of Uxians, so powerful that they had been in the habit of collecting tribute from the King every time he passed through the territory. They sent a message to Alexander informing him that he could not pass unless he consented to paying a similar tribute. He at once took 8,000 chosen infantry, and, entering the mountain gorges, reached the chief Uxian villages by night under the guidance of friendly Uxians and surprised the inhabitants. Many were slain and their herds and valuables were seized. He then hastened to the pass, where the mountaineers had assembled to contest his passage. They were caught between Alexander's force, which came up from. the rear, and the main body in front, and completely scattered. In entering Persis, Alexander was met at the strong position known as the Persian Gates, by Ariobarzanes and a strong army, numbering 40,000, and was for a time compelled to retreat, but later carried the pass and moved upon Persepolis. According to Diodorus and Curtius, Alexander gave over the whole city to his soldiers for plunder,. and they made the destruction complete. The great palace of Darius, according to Arrian, was deliberately burned. This unusual course on Alexander's part, the historian holds was to revenge the destruction of Athens by Xerxes. The ruins of the once magnificent palace are still to be seen near Istakar. The winter of the year 331 B. C. was now setting in, but Alexander, with picked bodies of troops, attacked and subdued the mountain tribes of the vicinity, and Pasargada, built by the elder Cyrus, surrendered with-out a struggle. Here also he secured rich treasures and an immense train was made up to carry the spoils of Persepolis and Pasargada with the army, as Alexander did not dare leave this treasure in the province. After remaining four months in Persis, he once more set out in pursuit of Darius. This fugitive monarch had taken refuge at Ecbatana, the modern Ispahan, then the capital of Media. It was reported that Darius was preparing to once more give battle to the invader, and Alexander hurried forward with his effective force only to learn after entering Media that Darius was on his way to the Upper Provinces. The conqueror entered Ecbatana, which is described by ancient writers as one of the wealthiest and most magnificent capitals in Asia. Six thousand Macedonians and a strong body of cavalry was left to garrison the city and guard the treasures which had been taken, and were now deposited in the citadel of the Median capital. Parmenio was sent by a circuitous route through the territory of the Cadusians into Hyrcania, while Alexander, with the Companion cavalry, the greater portion of the phalanx, the Agrians, and the archers went in pursuit of Darius. His hopes of overtaking Darius were baffled and after having passed the Caspian Gates he received information that several of the satraps who accompanied Darius with their troops in his flight had seized the King and made him a prisoner. Alexander now set out with the utmost haste, accompanied by only the Companion cavalry, with the purpose of rescuing the unhappy monarch from the hands of traitors. The leaders in the treachery against Darius were the satraps, Bessus of Bactria, Barsaentes of the Drangae, Brazas of the Arachosians, and Satibarzanes of Areia. Nabarzanes, the commander of the royal guards, also aided in the treachery. After several days' pursuit, during which Alexander learned that Darius was being conveyed in a covered wagon, he came within sight of the barbarians and their royal prisoner. For a short time they pressed on, carrying Darius with them, but seeing that they would be overtaken, inflicted a fatal wound on the King and left him dying in the road. By the time Alexander reached him, Darius was dead. This took place, according to Arrian, in July, 330 B. C. After resting his troops at Hecatompylos, Alexander prepared to invade Hyrcania, situated between Mount Taurus and the Caspian Sea. He met with practically no opposition from any of the satraps throughout all this territory. At this time a conspiracy against Alexander was discovered, which resulted in the execution of two of the most powerful men in his army. Alexander had long previously been warned against Philotas, the son of Parmenio, but the suspicion seemed to him incredible, as the closest friendship had always existed between them, and Alexander had shown great honors both to father and son. There are various accounts of this conspiracy, the confession of Philotas and the execution of both Philotas and his father, the great Parmenio, who had aided Alexander to win so many of his battles. The version of the Greek historians, who seized this incident to blacken the name of Alexander, is that Philotas was compelled by torture to confess and implicate his father and that Parmenio was assassinated by the orders of Alexander. Ptolemy, the son of Lagus, writes that Philotas was brought before the assembled Macedonians and convicted on the testimony of witnesses in addition to his own confession that he was aware of a plot against the King, yet had failed to reveal it. It is certain that if Alexander had been slain, the command of the army would naturally have fallen to Philotas, who commanded the Companion cavalry, and with his father, Parmenio, who was at this time in charge of the troops at Ecbatana, they could with little difficulty have claimed and held the Empire. In addition to Parmenio and Philotas, several others of lesser rank were convicted of complicity and also executed. Alexander now marched eastward, receiving as he advanced the submission of the Drangae, the Drangogae, and the Arachosians. While he was thus engaged, Satibarzanes, one of the murderers of Darius, led a revolt in Areia. Troops were sent against him, but he stood his ground and was slain in battle. Alexander's main army continued to the eastern part of the Taurus range of mountains and remained during the two worst months of the winter. Early in the spring of 329 B. C. the army crossed the main ridge into Bactria, where the satrap Bessus had prepared to dispute Alexander's advance. He did not remain to give battle, however, but retired across the Oxus into Sogdiana. The Macedonians captured the two chief cities of Bactria, Aornus, and Bactra. The pursuit of Bessus was then taken up. The river Oxus presented a formidable barrier to Alexander's progress northward. Efforts to bridge it proved failures, and finally floats were formed of hides, either inflated or stuffed with hay, and with these he managed to get the army across in five days. Bessus was betrayed by the satrap of Sogdiana, and Alexander sent him in chains to Bactria. All Transoxiana now admitted the authority of Alexander and garrisons were placed in the principal cities. Meanwhile, with the main army, he advanced to the Jaxartes and there learned that the Sogdians had revolted, massacred most of the Macedonian garrisons, and taken up arms. Alexander sent Craterus with a detachment to march against Cyropolis, the chief city, and himself proceeded to Gaza, which, though walled and well defended, was carried by storm the first day. The men of the town were ruthlessly put to the sword. During the two following days, two other towns were similarly treated. The inhabitants of still two other towns abandoned their homes and attempted to escape, but were overtaken and cut to pieces by the cavalry. Alexander then moved against the capital, which was well fortified and garrisoned by 1,800 barbarians. Access to the city was gained by the discovery of an aperture under the wall, where a small stream had run. Alexander himself, with a few others, crept in, and, rushing to the nearest gate, succeeded in opening it for the entrance of the Macedonians before the garrison could prevent them. Many were slain and thousands of prisoners were exiled. He then proceeded again to the Jaxartes, and founded another Alexandria. During the progress of this work he crossed the river and engaged the Scythians in battle, defeating and putting them to flight. In the meantime Spitamenes had besieged the Macedonian garrison at Maracanda and Alexander sent 1,500 infantry, 800 cavalry, and 60 Companions to their relief. Spitamenes retired and was pursued by the Macedonians until the edge of the desert was reached, when battle was given and the Macedonians retreated in disorder. A massacre followed and but forty of the cavalry and 300 of the infantry re-turned to Maracanda. This was revenged by Alexander, who turned his wrath against the inhabitants of the vicinity and laid the country waste. He retired to Bactra and spent the winter there. It was during his stay at Bactra that Alexander in a fit of rage killed Cleitus, who had saved his sovereign's life at the battle of Granicus. The festival of Bacchus was being observed and Alexander as well as his commanders had been drinking heavily. Alexander was boasting of his great deeds and comparing them to those of his father, when Cleitus took issue with him. The enraged King, who had been disarmed by his friends, who feared his violence, snatched a weapon from one of the guards and slew Cleitus. For some time he appeared to suffer the greatest remorse, refusing to eat or drink for three days. Before Alexander's departure from Bactra, he had Bessus, the prisoner, brought before a general council, which ordered that the nose and ears of the traitor be cut off. After thus being mutilated, he was sent to Ecbatana to be executed by his own countrymen. As soon as the winter was over, Alexander again entered Sogdiana, divided his army into five sections under separate leaders, and subdued the insurrection, except for a few points, among which was the Sogdian rock, which was held by Oxyartes, a Bactrian chief, who had refused to surrender, but had taken refuge with his family and followers upon this precipitous rock, abundantly well supplied for a long siege. Alexander made overtures for the surrender of the place, but the garrison felt secure. Liberal rewards were then offered to those of his men who would first scale the rock. Of the many that volunteered, 300 were selected, and these, with the aid of iron hooks, used for fastening down tents, and strong cords, spent the night in scaling the cliff and at daybreak all but thirty, who had missed their holds and fell to death, reached the summit. Oxyartes' surrender followed and among the captives was Roxana, his eldest daughter. Her beauty completely captivated Alexander, who at once married her. This was about a year after he entered Sogdiana for the second time, and neither Arrian nor Strabo are very clear in regard to these campaigns. It is agreed, however, that he entered Margiana and there founded a city. As usual, it was named after himself. It soon fell into decay, was later restored by Antiochus, and still exists under the name of Meru Shah-Ian. During this time, it is related Alexander gave considerable of his time to hunting wild beasts in the great parks of the chiefs he had conquered. On one of these occasions a page was punished for an offense and entered into a conspiracy, together with other pages and some of the subdued satraps, to murder Alexander. The conspiracy was revealed and confessions obtained under torture which implicated, among others, Callisthenes, a Grecian philosopher who had attached himself to Alexander's retinue and who had on several occasions shown insolence to the King. Ptolemy and Aristobulus both record that the pages admitted that Callisthenes had incited and encouraged them in their plot. Aristobulus says that Callisthenes died while in custody, but Ptolemy asserts that he was first put to the torture and then hanged. Among his own class in Greece he was regarded as a martyr and the enemies of Alexander made the incident one of the many tales of tyranny and cruelty which they circulated about him.
Alexander was now preparing to invade India, and in the middle of the summer, 327 B. C., he set out from Bacteria. His progress into India and along the Indus River met with little real resistence until he came upon a great body of Indians, who had retreated before his advance, but were now encamped and ready to fight. After a desperate battle he gained the victory, took 40,000 prisoners, and 230,000 head of various kind of cattle. Next he advanced upon Massaga, a large and wealthy capital. He succeeded in reducing it by means of a tower and movable bridge similar to that used in the capture of Tyre. The inhabitants of Bezira and Ora being unable to withstand Alexander took refuge on the celebrated rock of Aornos, reputed to have thrice held out against the fabulous Hercules. Arrian describes the rock as about twelve miles in circuit, with its lowest point three quarters of a mile above the plain and its summit a cultivated plateau. The rock was cut by great ravines, and abounded with detached summits. It was by gaining one of these, located higher than the position held by the Indians, and thus attacking them from above and below simultaneously, that gained the first strong foothold on the rock. Alexander began the work of building a mound across the ravine, which separated his army from the enemy, and soon his engines began to play havoc with the Indians and after the garrison in the outworks had deserted under cover of night, the fortress itself was assailed and captured. Alexander found plenty of timber along the Indus and set about constructing a fleet, visiting, in the meantime, the City of Nysa, where the inhabitants received him as their protector and claimed to be the descendants of a part of the victorious host of Dionysus. The whole summer and winter had passed during his march from Bactria, and now with the commencement of the spring of 326 B. C. he crossed the Indus over a bridge constructed by Hephaestion and Perdiccas. The army marched first to Taxila, the capital of a great territory between the Indus and the Hydaspes. Taxiles, the ruler, sent presents to Alexander and welcomed him. Alexander, in turn, is reported to have given Taxiles one thousand talents, but on resuming his march left a garrison at Taxila. When the Hydaspes was reached, the, opposite shore was lined with the infantry and cavalry, war chariots and elephants of Porus, chief of the territory east of the Hydaspes, who was prepared to defend his dominion. At this season of the year the river was a mile wide, turbulent and deep. This was not a great obstacle, for Alexander had brought with him his ships, in sections from the Indus. His main concern was that he would on reaching the opposite side of the river be unable to form his cavalry owing to the elephants which lined the banks. He made camp and gave it all the appearance of permanency, as if he intended to wait until later in the season, when the river would fall. At night he marched his cavalry up and down the river and made an uproar which caused Porus to keep his army constantly on the alert and moving. As nothing seemed to come of this, however, Porus was gradually lulled into a feeling of security. Meanwhile Alexander had selected a spot ten miles up stream, where there was a bend in the river and a wooded island in the middle of the channel, as the place for crossing. In the night during a storm he crossed the river at this point and at dawn was on the shore occupied by Portz. Alexander's troops numbered 11,000. The army which Porus brought up to attack him consisted of 30,000 infantry, 4,000 cavalry, 300 war chariots, and 200 elephants. The battle ended in a decisive victory for the Macedonians. According to Arrian, 20,000 of the Indian infantry and 3,000 of their cavalry fell and all the chariots and the surviving elephants were captured. In this battle, Alexander's horse, the famed Bucephalus, which had borne him in all of his great battles, died, not of wounds, but of age, heat, and over-exertion. Porus, who had shown great valor in the battle, won the regard of Alexander, who restored him to his kingdom and added to it. The whole country between the Hydaspes and the Acesines was reduced and placed under Porus. Alexander then crossed the Hydraotes, the modern Ravee, where a warlike nation, the Cathaians and two other independent tribes, were in arms and waiting for the invader at the strong city of Sangala. Alexander carried the city by storm, losing only 100 men, while the enemy had 17,000 slain and 70,000 were taken prisoners. The Cathaians were armed principally with arrows and hand missiles, which proved of little effect against the heavy armor of the Macedonians. Alexander marched southeast to the banks of the Hyphasis, the modern Sutlej, and was preparing to cross it in search of further conquest. But the Macedonians, fatigued with the rains and sickened by the climate, besides being disappointed in having found so little booty; demurred against going further. He tried in vain to induce them to follow him and finally sacrificed to the gods and found that the signs were ominous, whereupon he decided to return. He erected twelve great altars to mark the limit of his advance and then with his army retraced his steps to the Hydaspes, where the battle with Ponts was fought, and where the cities of Nicaea and Bucephala had been founded, and a force of men had been at work building ships for Alexander. The army was now divided into three divisions, one proceeding down the left bank, another down the right, while Alexander, with the third, embarked aboard the 2,000 river craft and started down stream. In eight days the confluence of the Hydaspes and the Acesines was reached. Alexander received information that two Indian tribes, the Malli and the Oxydracae, would dispute his passage through their territories. The army was again reformed into three divisions, not including that part which continued down the Acesines. Alexander himself took charge of one division and by making a forced march through twenty-five miles of desert surprised and captured a Mallian city after the inhabitants had made a brave but vain resistance. The next day he marched to the Hydraotes, came up with the rear guard of the fugitive Malli and. cut it to pieces, crossed the river and attacked a Brachman (Brahmin) town and slew 5,000 Indians. As Alexander advanced the Malli fled before him, but finally to the number of 50,000, made a stand on the left bank of the Hydraotes. When Alexander crossed the river and attacked with only his cavalry, a severe conflict was carried on until the arrival of the Agrians. Then the Malli retired to a neighboring fortress, which was at once besieged by the Macedonians. Alexander was the first to scale the wall and as the ladders broke under the crowding of his followers, he was left alone to face the missiles of the barbarians inside. Without hesitation he leaped down among them and began a combat single handed against thousands. He was soon joined by a few of his own warriors, but sank from an arrow wound in the breast.
Within a brief space, the Macedonians swarmed into the fortress and in the frenzy of seeing their King, as they supposed dead, put every man, woman, and child within the walls to death, Alexander slowly recovered from his wound, while additions were being made to his fleet. On recovering sufficiently, he sailed down the Acesines to the Indus and proceeded down to the royal palace at Sogdi. Continuing to Pattala, at the head of the delta of the Indus, he ordered a harbor and docks constructed and began building a citadel. Then he followed the Indus to its mouth, and returning to Pattala, made ready for the homeward march. Separate routes were taken by the divisions, Alexander with his troops entering the desert of Gedrosia, the modern Makran. After sixty days of terrible suffering, during which many men died of thirst or fatigue, he arrived at Pura, the capital of Gedrosia. He then proceeded to Kirman and was there joined by the division of his army under Craterus, while the satraps of neighboring provinces came forward with horses, mules, and camels for the use of the army, well knowing what must have been the result of the march through the desert. With the exception of the Bactrian and Sogdian insurrections, none of the many satraps which had submitted to him had rebelled in all that territory from the Hellespont to the banks of the Indus, and from the borders of Scythia to the desert of AEthiopia. On his way to Persis, Alexander gratified his desire to visit the tomb of Cyrus. He found it broken open and despoiled of most of its valuable belongings, even the lid of the golden coffin having been carried away. Alexander ordered the tomb restored to its former magnificence. On arriving at Susa, he decided to draw closer the union he had effected between Persia and Macedonia, and was married amid the greatest pomp and ceremony to Stateira, the daughter of Darius. Eighty of his chief officers followed his example and married women of the Persian nobility. In addition, ten thousand of his soldiers took Persian wives. During his campaign in the upper provinces, Alexander had selected 30,000 boys to be taught the Greek language and armed and equipped like the Macedonian phalanx. This army, composed of the flower of the youth of Persia, was now reviewed by the King. This, however, greatly displeased the Macedonian veterans, and when he proposed to send home the aged and wounded, there were cries of disapprobation and mutinous taunts. Alexander became enraged, and calling upon the guards, he rushed among his warriors and with his own hand seized or pointed out the most mutinous, thirteen in number, and ordered their instant execution. After this he shut himself up in the palace for two days and on the third, when he was preparing to replace his veterans with Persians, the Macedonians implored his mercy and a reconciliation took place, which was celebrated with a great feast. It was now the autumn of the year 324 B. C., and Alexander visited and examined some of the more important cities through Media. It was during this tour that he acted as peacemaker between Hephaestion and Eumenes, who had for some time been at variance. Hephaestion died only a short time after, and apparently Alexander was deeply affected. He is credited by the various writers with having shown his grief in the most extravagant deeds. That he sincerely lamented the loss of his friend is evident. On his way to Babylon from Ecbatana, he found some diversion from his mournful feelings in the effort of a powerful mountain tribe, the Cossaei, to collect tribute as they had done from previous Kings who passed through their domain. With his soldiers, Alexander, although the winter was well advanced, pursued the bold barbarians into their mountain fastnesses and defeated them. As he advanced toward Babylon, he was waited upon by deputations from every known nation who sought either alliance or protection. After he had crossed the Tigris, on his way to Babylon, he was met by a delegation of Chaldaean priests, who came to inform him that their god had communicated to them that it would be to Alexander's disadvantage to visit the city at that time. Nevertheless, Alexander entered Babylon and held court with great magnificence, but his mind was busy with further conquest. He was at this time planning the conquest of Arabia. The naval preparations were going forward rapidly, and large additions were made to the army. Be-fore setting out on the expedition, Alexander, as usual, offered sacrifices and feasted and drank with his officers. He was taken with a fever, but continued his preparations for the expedition, giving orders in regard to it and continuing to offer sacrifices for its success even after his illness had assumed such a stage that he had to be carried to the place of worship. News of his illness threw the army into consternation, and among the troops his death was reported and believed several days before it really happened. On the ninth day, according to Arrian, who furnished a copy of the royal bulletins, issued for the benefit of the soldiers, Alexander sent for the great Generals, evidently with the intention of giving them his last orders, but when they arrived, nature had given way and the King was unable to make known his wishes. It was midsummer of the year 323 B. C. when Alexander died, at the age, according to Aristobulus, of thirty-two years and eight months, and after having reigned less than thirteen years.