The Anabasis of Alexander/2a

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The Anabasis of Alexander

Or, The History of Wars and Conquests of Alexander the Great

Literally translated, with a commentary, from the Greek of Arrian the Nicomedian,

by E. J. Chinnock, M.A., LL.B., London, Rector of Dumfries Academy. 1883.


Ch.1 Capture of Mitylene by the Persians. — Death of Memnon

Soon after this, Memnon, whom King Darius had appointed commander of the whole fleet and of the entire sea-coast, with the design of moving the seat of war into Macedonia and Greece, acquired possession of Chios, which was surrendered to him by treachery. Thence he sailed to Lesbos and brought over to his side all the cities of the island,[1] except Mitylene, the inhabitants of which did not submit to him. When he had gained these cities over, he turned his attention to Mitylene; and walling off the city from the rest of the island by constructing a double stockade from sea to sea, he easily got the mastery on the land side by building five camps. A part of his fleet guarded their harbour, and, intercepting the ships passing by, he kept the rest of his fleet as a guard off Sigrium,[2] the headland of Lesbos, where is the best landing-place for trading vessels from Chios, Geraestus,[3] and Malea.[4] By this means he deprived the Mitylenaeans of all hope of succour by sea. But time be himself fell ill and died, and his death at that crisis, was exceedingly injurious to the king's interests. Nevertheless Autophradates, and Pharnabazns, son of Artabazus, prosecuted the siege with vigour. To the latter indeed, Memnon, when dying, had entrusted his command, as he was his sister's son, till Darius should come to some decision on the matter. The Mitylenaeans, therefore, being excluded from the land, and being blockaded on the sea by many ships lying at anchor, sent to Pharnabazus and came to the following agreement:—That the auxiliary troops which had come to their aid from Alexander should depart, that the citizens should demolish the pillars on which the treaty made by them with Alexander was inscribed,[5] that they should become allies of Darius on the terms of the peace which was made with King Darius in the time of Antalcidas,[6] and that their exiles should return from banishment on condition of receiving back half the property which they possessed when they were banished. Upon these terms the compact was made between the Mitylenaeans and the Persians. But as soon as Pharnabazus and Autophradates once got within the city, they introduced a garrison with Lycomedes, a Rhodian, as its commandant. They also appointed Diogenes, one of the exiles, to be despot of the city, and exacted money from the Mitylenaeans, taking part of it by violence for themselves from the wealthy citizens, and laying the rest as a tax upon the community.


1. The other cities of Lesbos were Methymna, Antissa, Eresus, and Pyrrha.

2. Now called Cape Sigri, the west point of the island.

3. The southern point of Euboea, now called Cape Mandili. Cf. Homer (Odyss., iii. 177).

4. The south-eastern point of Laconia, now called Cape Malia di St. Angelo. It was dreaded by ancient mariners: see Homer (Odyssey, ix. 80); Ovid (Armores, ii. 16, 24); Vergil (Aeneid, v. 193). There was a saying;—Μαλέας δέ Κάμψας των οίκαδε (Strabo viii. p. 250).

5. In accordance with the convention of Corinth. Compare next chapter. For the pillars compare Herodotus (ii. 102, 106); Thucydides v. 18, 47, 56); Aristophanes (Acharnians, 727; Lysistrata, 513).

6. This treaty was concluded by the Spartans with the king of Persia, B.C. 387. It was designed to break up the Athenian supremacy. It stipulated that all the Grecian colonies in Asia were to be given to the Persian king; the Athenians were to retain only Imbros, Lesbos, and Scyros; and all the other Grecian cities were to be autonomous. See Xenophon (Hellenics, iv. 8; v.1).


p.78-79

Ch.2 The Persians capture Tenedus. — They are Defeated at Sea

After accomplishing this, Pharnabazus sailed to Lycia, taking with him the Grecian mercenaries; but Autophradates sailed to the other islands. Meantime Darius sent Thymondas, son of Mentor,[1] down to the maritime districts, to take over the Grecian auxiliaries from Pharnabazus and to lead them up to him; and to tell Pharnabazus that he was to be the ruler of all that Memnon had ruled. So Pharnabazus handed over to him the Grecian auxiliaries and then sailed to join Autophradates and the fleet. When they met, they despatched Datames, a Persian, with ten ships to the islands called Cyclades,[2] whilst they with 100 sailed to Tenedus.[3] Having sailed into the harbour of Tenedus which is called Borēus, they sent a message to the inhabitants, commanding them to demolish the pillars on which the treaty made by them with Alexander and the Greeks was inscribed, and to observe in regard to Darius the terms of the peace which they had ratified with the king of Persia in the time of Antalcidas. The Tenedians preferred to be on terms of amity with Alexander and the Greeks; but in the present crisis it seemed impossible to save themselves except by yielding to the Persians, since Hegelochus, who had been commissioned by Alexander to collect another naval force, had not yet gathered so large a fleet as to warrant them in expecting any speedy succour from him. Accordingly Pharnabazus made the Tenedians comply with his demands rather from fear than good-will.

Meantime Proteas, son of Andronicus, by command of Antipater,[4] succeeded in collecting ships of war from Euboea and the Peloponnese, so that there might be some protection both for the islands and for Greece itself, if the foreigners attacked them by sea, as it was reported they intended to do. Learning that Datames with ten ships was moored near Siphnus,[5] Proteas set out by night with fifteen from Chalcis on the Euripus,[6] and approaching the island of Cythnus[7] at dawn, he spent the day there in order to get more certain information of the movements of the ten ships, resolving at the same time to fall upon the Phoenicians by night, when he would be likely to strike them with greater terror. Having discovered with certainty that Datames was moored with his ships at Siphnus, he sailed thither while it was still dark, and just at the very dawn fell upon them when they least expected it, and captured eight of the ships, men and all. But Datames, with the other two triremes, escaped by stealth at the beginning of the attack made by the ships with Proteas, and reached the rest of the Persian fleet in safety.


1. Cf. ii. 13 infra.

2. "Cyclades ideo sio appellatae, quod omnes ambiunt Delon partu deorum insignem."—Ammianus, xxii. 8, Cf. Horace (Carm.,i. 14, 19; iii. 28, 14).

3. Cf. Vergil (Aeneid, ii. 21).

4. The regent of Macedonia and Greece during Alexander's absence.

5. One of the Cyclades, a little to the north-east of Melos. It was noted for the low morality of its inhabitants. See Aristophanes (Fragment, 558; on the authority of Suidas).

6. Euripus properly means any narrow sea, where the ebb and flow of the tide is violent. The name was especially applied to the strait between Boeotia and Euboea, where the ancients asserted the sea ebbed and flowed seven times in the day (Strabo, ix. 1). Modern observers have noticed these extraordinary tides. The present name of the island, Negropont, is the Italian name formed from Egripo, the modern corruption of Euripus. Cf . Cicero, pro Muraena, xvii.:—Quod freturn, quem Euripum tot motus, tantas, tam varias habere putatis agitationes fluctuum, quantas perturbationes et quantos aestus habet ratio comitiorum. Aristotle, Ethica Nicomachea, ix. 6:—τῶν τοιούτων γὰρ μένει τὰ βουλήματα, καὶ οὐ μεταῤῥεῖ ὥσπερ Εὔριπος.

7. One of the Cyclades, about half-way between Attica and Siphnus.


p.80-81

Ch.3 Alexander at Gordium

When Alexander arrived at Gordium, he was seized with an ardent desire to go up into the citadel, which contained the palace of Gordius and his son Midas. He was also desirous of seeing the wagon of Gordius and the cord which bound the yoke to the wagon. There was a great deal of talk about this wagon among the neighbouring population. It was said that Gordius was a poor man among the ancient Phrygians, who had a small piece of land to till, and two yoke of oxen. He used one of these in ploughing and the other to draw the wagon. On one occasion, while he was ploughing, an eagle settled upon the yoke,[1] and remained sitting there until the time came for unyoking the oxen. Being alarmed at the sight, he went to the Telmissian soothsayers to consult them about the sign from the deity; for the Telmissians were skilful in interpreting the meaning of Divine manifestations, and the power of divination has been bestowed not only upon the men, but also upon their wives and children from generation to generation. When Gordius was driving his wagon near a certain village of the Telmissians, he met a maiden fetching water from the spring, and to her he related how the sign of the eagle had appeared to him. As she herself was of the prophetic race, she instructed him to return to the very spot and offer sacrifice to Zeus the king. Gordius requested her to accompany him and direct him how to perform the sacrifice. He offered the sacrifice in the way the girl suggested, and afterwards married her. A son was born to them named Midas, who, when he arrived at the age of maturity, was both handsome and valiant. At this time the Phrygians were harassed by civil discord, and consulting the oracle, they were told that a wagon would bring them a king, who would put an end to their discord.[2] "While they were still deliberating about this very matter, Midas arrived with his father and mother, and stopped near the assembly with the very wagon in question. They, interpreting the oracular response to refer to him, decided that this was the person whom the god told them the wagon would bring. They therefore appointed Midas king; and he, putting an end to their discord, dedicated his father's wagon in the citadel as a thank-offering to Zeus the king for sending the eagle. In addition to this the following report was current concerning the wagon, that whosoever could loosen the cord with which the yoke of the wagon was tied, was destined to be the ruler of Asia. The cord was made of cornel bark, and neither end nor beginning to it could be seen. It is said by some that when Alexander could find out no way to loosen the cord and yet was unwilling to allow it to remain unloosened, lest it should exercise some disturbing influence upon the multitude, he struck the cord with his sword and cut it through, saying that it had been untied by him. But Aristobulus says that he pulled out the pin of the wagon-pole, which was a wooden peg driven right through it, holding the cord together. Having done this, he drew out the yoke from the wagon-pole. How Alexander performed the feat in connection with this cord, I cannot affirm with confidence. At any rate both he and his troops departed from the wagon as if the oracular prediction concerning the untying of the cord had been, fulfilled. Moreover, that very night, the thunder and lightning were signs from heaven of its fulfilment; and for this reason Alexander offered sacrifice on the following day to the gods who had revealed the signs and assured him that the cord had been untied in a proper way.[3]


1. ἐπιπτῆναι, a poetical form for ἐπιπτέσθαι.

2. Cf. Justin, xi. 7.

3. Cf. Curtius, iii. 2 (Zumpt's edition); Plutarch (Alexander, 18).


p.82-84

Ch.4 Conquest of CappadociaAlexander's Illness at Tarsus

The next day he sent out to Ancyra[1] in Galatia, where he was met by an embassy from the Paphlagonians, offering to surrender their nation to him and to enter into an alliance with him; but they requested him not to invade their land with his forces. He therefore commanded them to submit to the authority of Galas, the viceroy of Phrygia. Marching thence into Cappadocia, he subjugated all that part of it which lies on this side of the river Halys[2] and much of that which lies beyond it. Having appointed Sabictas viceroy of Cappadocia, he advanced to the Gates of Cilicia,[3] and when he arrived at the Camp of Cyrus, who (went) with Xenophon,[4] and saw that the Gates were occupied by strong guards, he left Parmenio there with the regiments of infantry which were more heavily armed; and about the first watch, taking the shield-bearing guards, the archers, and the Agrianians, he advanced by night to the Gates, in order to fall upon the guards when they least expected it. However, his advance was not unobserved; but his boldness served him equally well, for the guards, perceiving that Alexander was advancing in person, deserted their post and set off in flight. At dawn next day he passed through the Gates with all his forces and descended into Cilicia.[5] Here he was informed that Arsames had previously intended to preserve Tarsus for the Persians; but when he heard that Alexander had already passed through the Gates, he resolved to abandon the city; and that the Tarsians were therefore afraid he would turn to plunder their city and afterwards evacuate it. Hearing this, Alexander led his cavalry and the lightest of his light infantry to Tarsus with a forced march; consequently Arsames, hearing of his start, fled with speed from Tarsus to King Darius without inflicting any injury upon the city.

Alexander now fell ill from the toils he had undergone, according to the account of Aristobulus; but other authors say that while he was very hot and in profuse perspiration he leaped into the river Cydnus[6] and swam, being eager to bathe in its water. This river flows through the midst of the city; and as its source is in mount Taurus and it flows through a clean district, it is cold and its water is clear. Alexander therefore was seized with convulsions, accompanied with high fever and continuous sleeplessness. None of the physicians thought he was likely to survive,[7] except Philip, an Acarnanian, a physician in attendance on the king, and very much trusted by him in medical matters, who also enjoyed a great reputation in the army in general affairs. This man wished to administer a purgative draught to Alexander, and the king ordered him to administer it. While Philip was preparing the cup, a letter was given to the king from Parmenio, warning him to beware of Philip; for he heard that the physician had been bribed by Darius to poison Alexander with medicine. But he, having read the letter, and still holding it in his hand, took the cup which contained the medicine and gave Philip the letter to read. While Philip was reading the news from Parmenio, Alexander drank the potion. It was at once evident to the king that the physician was acting honourably in giving the medicine, for he was not alarmed at the letter, but only so much the more exhorted the king to obey all the other prescriptions which he might give, promising that his life would be saved if he obeyed his instructions. Alexander was purged by the draught, and his illness then took a favourable turn. He afterwards proved to Philip that he was a faithful friend to him; and to the rest of those about he proved that he had perfect confidence in his friends by refusing to entertain any suspicion of their fidelity; and at the same time he showed that he could meet death with dauntless courage.[8]


1. Now called Angora. In the time of Alexander the country was named Great Phrygia, the term Galatia being afterwards applied to it, from the fact that it was conquered by the Gauls in the 3rd century B.C.

2. Now called Kizil-Irmak, i.e. the Red River. It is the largest river in Asia Minor, and separated the empires of Persia and Lydia, until the conquest of the latter by Cyrus.

3. The chief pass over the Taurus between Cappadocia and Cilicia. It is more than 3,600 feet above the sea-level. Its modern name is Golek-Boghaz. Cf. Curtius, iii. 9-11. It is called Tauri Pylae by Cicero (Epistolae ad Atticum, v. 20, 2).

4. See Xenophon (Anabasis, i. 2, 20, 21).

5. Curtius (iii. 11) says, that Alexander wondered at his own good fortune, when he observed how easily Arsames might have blocked up the pass. Cyrus the Younger was equally fortunate in finding this impregnable pass abandoned by Syennesis, king of Cilicia. See Xenophon (Anabasis, i. 2, 21).

6. Now called Tersoos-Chai: See Curtius, iii. 12; Justin, xi. 8; and Lucian (De Domo, i.). At Tarsus the emperor Julian was buried. See Ammianus, xxv. 10, 5.

7. Probably none of the physicians would venture to prescribe, for fear of being held responsible for his death, which seemed likely to ensue. Nine years after, when Hephaestion died of fever at Ecbatana, Alexander the physician who had attended him to be crucified. See Arrian, vii. 14; Plutarch (Alexander, 72).

8. Cf. Curtius, iii. 14-16; Diodorus, xvii. 31; Justin, xi. 8; Plutarch (Alex., 19). The barbarous conduct of Alexander towards Philotas four years after, when contrasted with his noble confidence in Philip, shows the bad effect of his unparalleled success, upon his moral character.


p.84-86

Ch.5 Alexander at the Tomb of Sardanapalus.— Proceedings in Cilicia

After this he sent Parmenio to the other Gates which separate the land of the Cilicians from that of the Assyrians, in order to capture them before the enemy could do so, and to guard the pass.[1] He gave him the allied infantry, the Grecian mercenaries, the Thracians who were under the command of Sitalces, and the Theassalian cavalry. He afterwards marched from Tarsus, and on the first day arrived at the city of Anchialus.[2] According to report, this city was founded by Sardanapalus the Assyrian;[3] and both from the circumference and from the foundations of the walls it is evident that a large city had been founded and that it had reached a great pitch of power. Also near the wall of Anchialus was the monument of Sardanapalus, upon the top of which stood the statue of that king with the hands joined to each other just as they are joined for clapping.[4] An inscription had been placed upon it in Assyrian characters,[5] which the Assyrians asserted to be in metre. The meaning which the words expressed was this:—"Sardanapalus, son of Anacyndaraxas, built Anchialus and Tarsus in one day; but do thou, O stranger, eat, drink, and play, since all other human things are not worth this!" referring, as in a riddle, to the empty sound which the hands make in clapping. It was also said that the word translated play had been expressed by a more lewd one in the Assyrian language.

From Anchialus Alexander went to Soli,[6] into which city he introduced a garrison, and imposed upon the inhabitants a fine of 200 talents of silver,[7] because they were more inclined to favour the Persians than himself. Then, having taken three regiments of Macedonian infantry, all the archers, and the Agrianians, he marched away thence against the Cilicians, who were holding the mountains; and in seven days in all, having expelled some by force, and having brought the rest over by composition, he marched back to Soli. Here he ascertained that Ptolemy and Asander[8] had gained the mastery over Orontobates the Persian who was guarding the citadel of Halicamassus, and was also holding Myndus, Caunus, Thera, and Callipolis.[9] Cos and Triopium[10] also had been brought into subjection. They wrote to inform him that Orontobates had been worsted in a great battle; that about 700 of his infantry and 50 of his cavalry had been killed, and not less than 1,000 taken prisoners. In Soli Alexander offered sacrifice to Asclepius,[11] conducting a procession of the entire army, celebrating a torch race, and superintending a gymnastic and musical contest. He granted the Solians the privilege of a democratical constitution; and then marched away to Tarsus, despatching the cavalry under Philotas to march through the Aleian plain to the river Pyramus.[12] But he himself with the infantry and the royal squadron of cavalry came to Magarsus, where he offered sacrifice to the Magarsian Athena. Thence he marched to Mallus, where he rendered to Amphilochus the sacrificial honours due to a hero.[13] He also arrested those who were creating a sedition among the citizens, and thus put a stop to it. He remitted the tribute which they were paying to King Darius, because the Malliotes were a colony of the Argives, and he himself claimed to have sprung from Argos, being a descendant of Heracles.


1. This pass was called the Syrian Gates, lying between the shore of the Gulf of Issus and Mount Amanus. Cyrus the Younger was six days marching from Tarsus through this pass. See Xenophon (Anab., i. 4). The Greeks often gave the name of Assyria to the country usually called by them Syria. The Hebrew name for it is Aram (high-land). Cf. Cicero (ad Diversos, xv. 4, 4); Diod., xiv. 21.

2. A city of Cilicia on the coast, a Little west of the mouth of the Cydnus.

3. Said to have been the last of the Assyrian kings.

4. Cf . Strabo (xiv. 5) for a description of this statue.

5. This was, doubtless, the arrow-headed writing which has been deciphered by Sir Henry Rawlinson. Cf. Herodotus, iv. 87; Thucydides, iv. 50.

6. Now called Mezetlu. It was a Rhodian colony on the coast of Cilicia, between the rivers Cydnus and Lamus. It was afterwards re-named Pompeiopolis. The birthplace of Philemon, Aratus, and Chrysippus.

7. About £49,000.

8. Asander was a nephew of Parmenio. He afterwards brought a reinforcement to Alexander from Greece (Arrian, iv. 7). After the king's death he obtained the rule of Caria, but joining the party of Ptolemy and Cassander, he was defeated by Antigonus, B.C. 313.

9. These were Carian cities.

10. Cos, the birthplace of Apelles and Hippocrates, is one of the group of islands called Sporades, off the coast of Caria. Triopium is the promontory terminating the peninsula of Cnidus, the south-west headland of Asia Minor, Cf. Tibullus, ii. 3, 57; Propertius, i. 2, 1; ii. 1, 5; Herodotus, i. 174.

11. Called by the Romans, Aesculapius. He was the god of the medical art, and no doubt Alexander sacrifiteed to him, and celebrated the games, in gratitude for his recovery from the fever he had had at Tarsus.

12. This plain is mentioned in Homer, vi. 201; Herodotus, vi. 95. The large river Pyramus, now called Jihan, falls into the sea near Mallus.

13. Mallus was said to have been founded by Amphilochus after the fall of Troy. This hero was the son of Amphiaraus, the great prophet of Argos, whom Zeus is said to have made immortal. Magarsus, of Megarsa, was the port of Mallus. The difference of meaning between θύειν and ἐναγίζειν is seen from Herodotus, ii. 44; Plutarch (Moralia, ii. p. 857 D).


p.87-89

Ch.6 Alexander advances to Myriandrus. — Darius Marches against him

While he was still at Mallus, he was informed that Darius was encamped with all his forces at Sochi, a place in the land of Assyria, distant about two days' march from the Assyrian Gates.[1] Then indeed he collected the Companions and told them what was reported about Darius and his army. They urged him to lead them on as they were, without delay. At that time be commended them, and broke up the conference; but next day he led them forward against Darius and the Persians. On the second day he passed through the Gates and encamped near the city of Myriandrus;[2] but in the night a heavy tempest and a violent storm of wind and rain occurred which detained him in his camp. Darius, on the other hand, had been spending a long time with his army, having chosen a plain in the land of Assyria which stretches out in every direction, suitable for the immense size of his army and convenient for the evolutions of cavalry. Amyntas, son of Antiochus, the deserter from Alexander, advised him not to abandon this position, because there was plenty of room for the great multitude of the Persians and for the vast quantity of their baggage. So Darius remained. But as Alexander made a long stay at Tarsus on account of his illness, and not a short one at Soli, where he offered sacrifice and conducted his army in procession, and moreover spent some time in marching against the Cilician mountaineers, Darius was induced to swerve from his resolution. He was also not unwilling to be led to form whatever decision was most agreeable to his own wishes; and being influenced by those who gave him the advice which they thought would be pleasant to him, without consideration of its utility (for kings will always have associates to give them bad advice),[3] he came to the conclusion that Alexander was no longer desirous of advancing further, but was shrinking from an encounter on learning that Darius himself was marching against him. On all sides they were urging him on, asserting that he would trample down the army of the Macedonians with his cavalry.[4] Nevertheless, Amyntas, at any rate, confidently affirmed that Alexander would certainly come to any place where he heard Darius might be; and he exhorted him by all means to stay where he was. But the worse advice, because at the immediate time it was more pleasant to hear, prevailed; moreover he was led by some divine influence into that locality where he derived little advantage from his cavalry and from the sheer number of his men, javelins and bows, and where he could not even exhibit the mere magnificence of his army, but surrendered to Alexander and his troops an easy victory. For it was already decreed by fate that the Persians should be deprived of the rule of Asia by the Macedonians, just as the Medes had been deprived of it by the Persians, and still earlier the Assyrians by the Medes.


1. Usually called the Syrian Gates. See chap. v. note ¹ supra.

2. A city on the Gulf of Issus, being a settlement of the Phoenicians. Herodotus (iv. 38) calls the gulf the Myriandric Gulf. Cf. Xenophon (Anab., i. 4).

3. Cf. Arrian, vii. 29; Curtius, viii. 17.

4. Aeschines tells us in his speech against Ctesiphon (p. 552), that the anti-Macedonian statesmen at Athens at this time received letters from their friends, stating that Alexander was caught and pinned Up in Cilicia. He says Demosthenes went about showing these letters and boasting of the news. Josephus (Antiquities of the Jews, xi. 7, 3) says that "not only Sanballat at Samaria but all those that were in Asia also were persuaded that the Macedonians would not so much as come to a battle with the Persians, on account of their multitude."


p.89-91

Ch.7 Darius at Issus.—Alexander's Speech to his Army

Darius crossed the mountain range by what are called the Amanic Gates, and advancing towards Issus, came without being noticed to the rear of Alexander.[1] Having reached Issus, he captured as many of the Macedonians as had been left behind there on account of illness. These he cruelly mutilated and slew. Next day he proceeded to the river Pinarus. As soon as Alexander heard that Darius was in his rear, because the news did not seem to him trustworthy, he embarked some of the Companions in a ship with thirty oars, and sent them back to Issus, to observe whether the report was true. The men who sailed in the thirty-oared ship, discovered the Persians encamped there more easily, because the sea in this part takes the form of a bay. They therefore brought back word to Alexander that Darius was at hand. Alexander then called together the generals, the commanders of cavalry, and the leaders of the Grecian allies, and exhorted them to take courage from the dangers which they had already surmounted, asserting that the struggle would be between themselves who had been previously victorious and a foe who had already been beaten; and that the deity was acting the part of general on their behalf better than himself, by putting it into the mind of Darius to move his forces from the spacious plain and shut them up in a narrow place, where there was sufficient room for them to deepen their phalanx by marching from front to rear, but where their vast multitude would be useless to their enemy in battle. He added that their foes were similar to them neither in strength nor in courage; for the Macedonians, who had long been practised in warlike toils accompanied with danger, were coming into close conflict with Persians and Medes, men who had become enervated by a long course of luxurious ease; and, to crown all, they, being freemen, were about to engage in battle with men who were slaves. He said, moreover, that the Greeks who were in the two armies would not be fighting for the same objects; for those with Darius were braving danger for pay, and that pay not high; whereas, those on their side were voluntarily defending the interests of Greece. Again, of foreigners, the Thracians, Paeonians, Illyrians, and Agrianians, who were the most robust and warlike of men in Europe, were about to be arrayed against the most sluggish and effeminate races of Asia. In addition to all this, Alexander was commanding in the field against Darius. These things he enumerated as evidences of their superiority in the struggle; and then he began to point out the great rewards they would win from the danger to be incurred. For he told them that on that occasion they would overcome, not merely the viceroys of Darius, nor the cavalry drawn up at the Granicus, nor the 20,000 Grecian mercenaries, but would overcome all the available forces of the Persians and Medes, as well as all the other races subject to them dwelling in Asia, and the Great King present in person. After this conflict nothing would be left for them to do, except to take possession of all Asia, and to put an end to their many labours. In addition to this, he reminded them of their brilliant achievements in their collective capacity in days gone by; and if any man had individually performed any distinguished feat of valour from love of glory, he mentioned him by name in commendation of the deed.[2] He then recapitulated as modestly as possible his own daring deeds in the various battles. He is also said to have reminded them of Xenophon and the ten thousand men who accompanied him, asserting that the latter were in no way comparable with them either in number or in general excellence. Besides, they had had with them neither Thessalian, Boeotian, Peloponnesian, Macedonian, or Thracian horsemen, nor any of the other cavalry which was in the Macedonian army; nor had they any archers or slingers except a few Cretans and Rhodians, and even these were got ready by Xenophon on the spur of the moment in the very crisis of danger.[3] And yet even these put the king and all his forces to rout close to Babylon[4] itself, and succeeded in reaching the Euxine Sea after defeating all the races which lay in their way as they were marching down thither. He also adduced whatever other arguments were suitable for a great commander to use in order to encourage brave men in such a critical moment before the perils of battle. They urged him to lead them against the foe without delay, coming from all sides to grasp the king's right hand, and encouraging him by their promises.


1. There are two passes by which the eastern countries are entered from Cilicia; one on the south, near the sea, leads into Syria. The other pass lies more to the north, and leads to the country near the Euphrates. The latter was called the Amanic, and the former the Syrian gate. Alexander had just passed through the Syrian gate in order to march against Darius, at the very time that Darius was descending into Cilicia by the Amanic gate, and occupying Issus with his advanced guard. Alexander, who had reached Myriandrus in Syria, made a countermarch to meet Darius. Plutarch (Alex., 20) says that they missed each other in the night, which is quite a mistake

2. Cf. Sallust (Catilina, 59); Caesar (Bell. Gall., ii. 25).

3. See Xenophon (Anab., iii. 3).

4. At Cunaxa. Xenophon (ii. 2, 6) does not mention the name of the place where the battle was fought, but says that he was informed it was only 360 stadia (about 40 miles) from Babylon. We get the name Cunaxa from Plutarch (Life of Artaxerxes, c. 8), who says it was 500 stadia (about 58 miles) from Babylon.


p.91-94

Ch.8 Arrangement of the Hostile Armies

Alexander then ordered his soldiers to take their dinner, and having sent a few of his horsemen and archers forward to the Gates to reconnoitre the road in the rear, he took the whole of his army and marched in the night to occupy the pass again. When about midnight he had again got possession of it, he caused the army to rest the remainder of the night there upon the rocks, having posted vigilant sentries. At the approach of dawn he began to descend from the pass along the road; and as long as the space was narrow everywhere, he led his army in column, but when the mountains parted so as to leave a plain between them, he kept on opening out the column into the phalanx, marching one line of heavy armed infantry after another up into line towards the mountain on the right and towards the sea on the left. Up to this time his cavalry had been ranged behind the infantry; but when they advanced into the open country, he began to draw up his army in order of battle. First, upon the right wing near the mountain he placed his infantry guard and the shield-bearers, under the command of Nicanor, son of Parmenio; next to these the regiment of Coenus, and close to them that of Perdiccas. These troops were posted as far as the middle of the heavy-armed infantry to one beginning from the right. On the left wing first stood the regiment of Amyntas, then that of Ptolemy, and close to this that of Meleager. The infantry on the left had been placed under the command of Craterus; but Parmenio held the chief direction of the "whole left wing. This general had been ordered not to abandon the sea, so that they might not be surrounded by the foreigners, who were likely to outflank them on all sides by their superior numbers.[1]

But as soon as Darius was certified of Alexander's approach for battle, he conveyed about 30,000 of his cavalry and with them 20,000 of his light-armed infantry across the river Pinarus, in order that he might be able to draw up the rest of his forces with ease. Of the heavy armed infantry, he placed first the 30,000 Greek mercenaries to oppose the phalanx of the Macedonians, and on both sides of these he placed 60,000 of the men called Cardaces,[2] who were also heavy-armed infantry.[3] For the place where they were posted was able to contain only this number in a single phalanx.[4] He also posted 20,000 men near the mountain on their left and facing Alexander's right. Some of these troops were also in the rear of Alexander's army; for the mountain near which they were posted in one part sloped a great way back and formed a sort of bay, like a bay in the sea, and afterwards bending forwards caused the men who had been posted at the foot of it to be behind Alexander's right wing. The remaining multitude of Darius's light-armed and heavy-armed infantry was marshalled by nations to an unserviceable depth and placed behind the Grecian mercenaries and the Persian army arranged in phalanx. The whole of the army with Darius was said to number about 600,000 fighting men.[5]

As Alexander advanced, he found that the ground spread out a little in breadth, and he accordingly brought up his horsemen, both those called Companions, and the Thessalians as well as the Macedonians, and posted them with himself on the right wing. The Peloponnesians and the rest of the allied force of Greeks he sent to Parmenio on the left. When Darius had marshalled his phalanx, by a pre-concerted signal he recalled the cavalry which he had posted in front of the river for the express purpose of rendering the arranging of his army easy. Most of these he placed on the right wing near the sea facing Parmenio; because here the ground was more suitable for the evolutions of cavalry. A certain part of them also he led up to the mountain towards the left. But when they were seen to be useless there on account of the narrowness of the ground, he ordered most of these also to ride round to the right wing and join their comrades there. Darius himself occupied the centre of the whole army, inasmuch as it was the custom for the kings of Persia to take up that position, the reason of which arrangement has been recorded by Xenphon, son of Gryllus.[6]


1. Callisthenes the historian, who accompanied Alexander into Asia, states that the breadth of the plain between the mountain and the sea was not more than fourteen stadia, or a little more than one English mile and a half. See Polybius, xii. 17.

2. These seem to have been foreign mercenaries. See Polybius, v. 79, 82; Strabo, xv. 3. Hesychius says that they were not a nation, but foreigners serving for pay.

3. Callisthenes—as quoted in Polybius, xii. 18—reckoned the Grecian mercenaries of Darius at 30,000, and the cavalry at 30,000. Airian enumerates 90,000 heavy-armed, not including the cavalry. Yet Polybius tries to prove that there was not room even for the 60,000 troops mentioned by Callisthenes,

4. "The depth of this single phalanx is not given, nor do we know the exact width of the ground which it occupied. Assuming a depth of sixteen, and one pace in breadth to each soldier, 4,000 men would stand in the breadth of a stadium of 250 paces; and therefore 80,000 men in a breadth of twenty stadia. Assuming a depth of twenty-six, 6,500 men would stand in the breadth of the stadium, and therefore 90,000 in a total breadth of 14 stadia, which is that given by Kallisthenes. Mr. Kinneir states that the breadth between Mount Amanus and the sea varies between one and a half mile and three miles."—Grote.

5. Diodorus (xvii. 31), and Plutarch (Alex., 18), give the same number; but Justin (xi. 9) says the Persians numbered 400,000 infantry and 100,000 cavalry. It took five days for them to cross the Euphrates, over bridges of boats (Curtius, iii. 17). The money alone of the king required 600 mules and 300 camels to convey it (Curtius, iii. 8).

6. Cf. Arrian, iii. 11; and Xenophon (Anab., i. 8, 21, 22).


p.94-97

Ch.9 Alexander changes the Disposition of his Forces

Meantime when Alexander perceived that nearly all the Persian cavalry had changed their ground and gone to his left towards the sea, and that on his side only the Peloponnesians and the rest of the Grecian cavalry were posted there, he sent the Thessalian cavalry thither with speed, ordering them not to ride along before the front of the whole array, lest they should be seen by the enemy to be shifting their ground, but to proceed by stealth in the rear of the phalanx.[1] In front of the cavalry on the right, he posted the lancers under the command of Protomachus, and the Paeonians under that of Aristo; and of the infantry, the archers under the direction of Antiochus, and the Agrianians under that of Attalus. Some of the cavalry and archers also he drew up so as to form an angle with the centre[2] towards the mountain which was in the rear; so on the right his phalanx had been drawn up separated into two wings, the one fronting Darius and the main body of Persians beyond the river, and the other facing those who had been posted at the mountain in their rear. On the left wing the infantry consisting of the Cretan archers and the Thracians under command of Sitalces were posted in front; and before these the cavalry towards the left. The Grecian mercenaries were drawn up as a reserve for all of them. When he perceived that the phalanx towards the right was too thin, and it seemed likely that the Persians would outflank him here considerably, he ordered two squadrons of the Companion cavalry, viz. the Anthemusian,[3] of which Peroedas, son of Menestheus, was captain, and that which was called Leugaean, under the command of Pantordanus, son of Cleander, to proceed from the centre to the right without being seen. Having also marched the archers, part of the Agrianians and of the Grecian mercenaries up along his right in the front, he extended his phalanx beyond the wing of the Persians. But when those who had been posted upon the mountain did not descend, a charge was made by a few of the Agrianians and archers at Alexander's order, by which they were easily put to the rout from the foot of the mountain. As they fled to the summit he decided that he could make use of the men who had been drawn up to keep these in check, to fill up the ranks of his phalanx. He thought it quite sufficient to post 300 horsemen to watch the men on the mountain.


1. See Donaldson's New Cratylus, sect. 178.

2. Cf. Xenophon (Cyropaedia, vii. 1, 6).

3. In describing the battle of Arbela, Arrian mentions eight distinct squadrons of Macedonian heavy cavalry, which was known by the name of the Companions. Among the squadrons several, if not all, were named after particular towns or districts of Macedonia, as here, Anthemus, and Leuge. We also find mention of the squadrons of Bottiaca, Amphipolis, and Apollonia. See also Arrian.i. 2; i. 12; iii. 11.


p.97-99

Ch.10 Battle of Issus

Having thus marshalled his men, he caused them to rest for some time, and then led them forward, as he thought the enemy's approach was very slow. For Darius was no longer leading the foreigners against him, as he had arranged them at first, but he remained in his position, upon the bank of the river, which was in many parts steep and precipitous; and in certain places, where it seemed more easy to ascend, he extended a stockade along it. By this it was at once evident to Alexander's men that Darius had become cowed in spirit.[1] But when the armies at length met in conflict, Alexander rode about in every direction to exhort his troops to show their valour; mentioning with befitting epithets the names, not only of the generals, but also those of the captains of cavalry and infantry, and of the Grecian mercenaries as many as were more distinguished either by rank or merit. From all sides arose a shout not to delay but to attack the enemy. At first he still led them on in close array with measured step, although he had the forces of Darius already in full view, lest by a more hasty march any part of the phalanx should fluctuate from the line[2] and get separated from the rest. But when they came within range of darts, Alexander himself and those around him being posted on the right wing, advanced first into the river with a run, in order to alarm the Persians by the rapidity of their onset, and by coming sooner to close conflict to receive little damage from the archers. And it turned out just as Alexander had conjectured; for as soon as the battle became a hand-to-hand one, the part of the Persian army stationed on the left wing was put to rout; and here Alexander and his men won a brilliant victory. But the Grecian mercenaries serving under Darius attacked the Macedonians at the point where they saw their phalanx especially disordered. For the Macedonian phalanx had been broken and disjoined towards the right wing; because Alexander had charged into the river with eagerness, and engaging in a hand-to-hand conflict was already driving back the Persians posted there; but the Macedonians in the centre did not execute their task with equal speed; and finding many parts of the bank steep and precipitous, they were unable to preserve the front of the phalanx in the same line. Here then the struggle was desperate; the aim of the Grecian mercenaries of Darius being to push the Macedonians back into the river, and regain the victory, though their own forces were already flying; the aim of the Macedonians being not to fall short of Alexander's good-fortune, which was already manifest, and not to tarnish the glory of the phalanx, which up to that time had been commonly asserted to be invincible. Moreover the feeling of rivalry which existed between the Grecian and Macedonian races inspired each side in the conflict. Here fell Ptolemy, son of Seleucus, after proving, himself a valiant man, besides about one hundred and twenty other Macedonians of no mean repute.[3]


1. τῇ γνώμῃ δεδουλωμένος. An expression imitated from Thucydides, iv. 34; compare Arrian, iii. 11; v. 19; vi. 16, where the same words are used of Porus and the Indians.

2. κυμῆναν τῆς φάλαγγος. An expression imitated from Xenophon (Anab., i. 8, 18). It is praised by Demetrius (De Elocutione, 84). Krüger reads ἐκκυμῆναν. Cf. Plutarch (Pompey, 69).

3. Curtius (iii. 29) says that on Alexander's side 504 were wounded, and 182 killed. Diodorus (xvii. 36) says, that 450 Macedonians were killed. Justin (xi. 9) states that 280 were slain.


p.99-100

Ch. 11 Defeat and Plight of Darius

Hereupon the regiments on the right wing, perceiving that the Persians opposed to them had already been put to rout, wheeled round towards the Grecian mercenaries of Darius and their own hard-pressed detachment. Having driven the Greeks away from the river, they extended their phalanx beyond the Persian army on the side which had been broken; and attacking the Greeks on the flank, were already beginning to cut them up. However the Persian cavalry which had been posted opposite the Thessalians did not remain on the other side of the river during the struggle, but came through the water and made a vigorous attack upon the Thessalian squadrons.[1] In this place a fierce cavalry battle ensued; for the Persians did not give way until they perceived that Darius had fled and the Grecian mercenaries had been cut up by the phalanx and severed from them. Then at last the flight of all the Persians was plainly visible. Their horses suffered much injury in the retreat, because the riders[2] were heavily armed; and the horsemen themselves, being so many in number and retreating in panic terror without any regard to order along narrow roads, were trampled on and injured no less by each other than by the pursuing enemy. The Thessalians also followed them up with vigour, so that no fewer of the cavalry than of the infantry[3] were slaughtered in the flight.

But as soon as the left wing of Darius was terrified and routed by Alexander, and the Persian king perceived that this part of his army was severed from the rest, without any further delay he began to flee in his chariot along with the first, just as he was.[4] He was conveyed safely in the chariot as long as he met with level ground in his flight; but when he lighted upon ravines and other rough ground, he left the chariot there, divesting himself of his shield and Median mantle. He even left his bow in the chariot; and mounting a horse continued his flight. The night, which came on soon after, alone rescued him from being captured by Alexander;[5] for as long as there was daylight the latter kept up the pursuit at full speed. But when it began to grow dark and the ground before the feet became invisible, he turned back again to the camp, after capturing the chariot of Darius with the shield, the Median mantle, and the bow in it.[6] For his pursuit had been too slow for him to overtake Darius, because, though he wheeled round at the first breaking asunder of the phalanx, yet he did not turn to pursue him until he observed that the Grecian mercenaries and the Persian cavalry had been driven away from the river.

Of the Persians were killed Arsames, Rheomithres, and Atizyes who had commanded the cavalry at the Granicus. Sabaces, viceroy of Egypt, and Bubaces, one of the Persian dignitaries, were also killed, besides about 100,000 of the private soldiers, among them being more than 10,000 cavalry.[7] So great was the slaughter that Ptolemy, son of Lagus, who then accompanied Alexander, says that the men who were with them pursuing Darius, coming in the pursuit to a ravine, filled it up with the corpses and so passed over it. The camp of Darius was taken forthwith at the first assault, containing his mother, his wife,—who was also his sister,—and his infant son.[8] His two daughters, and a few other women, wives of Persian peers,[9] who were in attendance upon them, were likewise captured. For the other Persians happened to have despatched their women along with the rest of their property to Damascus;[10] because Darius had sent to that city the greater part of his money and all the other things which the Great King was in the habit of taking with him as necessary for his luxurious mode of living, even though he was going on a military expedition. The consequence was, that in the camp no more than 3,000 talents[11] were captured; and soon after, the money in Damascus was, also seized by Parmenio, who was despatched thither for that very purpose. Such was the result of this famous battle (which was fought) in the month Maimaoterion, when Nicostratus was archon of the Athenians.[12]


1. Polybius, who lived nearly three centuries before Arrian, censures Callisthenes for asserting that the Persian cavalry crossed the river Pinarus and attacked the Thessalians. No doubt Arrian received this information from the lost works of Ptolemy and Aristobulus (Poly., xii. 18).

2. ἀμπάτης is the poetical form of ἀναβάτης, the word used by Xenophon, Plato, and other Attic writers. The latter is found only once in Arrian (III. xiii. 5).

3. ἢ τῶν πεζῶν is Martin's emendation for ἢ ὡς πεζῶν.

4. Curtius (iii. 27) and Diodorus (xvii. 34) give a graphic description of a direct charge made by Alexander upon Darius, and a sanguinary conflict between Alexander's body-guard and the Persian nobles, in which the Great King's horses were wounded and became unmanageable, whereupon Darius got out, mounted a horse, and fled. We learn from Plutarch (Alex., 20) that Chares affirmed Alexander came into hand-to-hand conflict with Darius, and that he received a wound in the thigh from that king's sword. Plutarch says that Alexander wrote to Antipater that he had been wounded in the thigh with a dagger, but did not say by whom. He also wrote that nothing serious had resulted from the wound. The account of Arrian is far the most trustworthy. Callisthenes stated that Alexander made a direct attack upon Darius (Polybius, xii. 22). We know from Xenophon that the Persian kings were in the habit of occupying the centre, and that Cyrus directed Clearehus to make the attack against the person of his brother Artaxerxes at the battle of Cunaxa. Polybius seems to have been ignorant of this custom of the Persian kings when he wrote his criticism on the statement of Callisthenes.

5. ἀφείλετο. On this word see Donaldson (New Cratylus, sect. 315). Cf. Aeschylus (Persae, 428); Thucydides (iv. 134); Xenophon (Hellenics, i. 2, 16).

6. The victories of the Greeks and Macedonians over the Persians were materially aided by the pusillanimity of Xerxes and Darius. Compare the conduct of Xerxes at Salamis (Herodotus, viii. 97; Aeschylus, Persae, 465-470, with Mr. Paley's note) and that of Darius at Arbela (Arrian, iii. 14).

7. Diodorus (xvii. 36) and Curtius (iii. 29) agree with Arrian as to the number of slain in the army of Darius. Plutarch (Alex., 20) gives the number as 110,000.

8. Justin (xi. 9) agrees with Arrian, that the wife of Darius was also his sister. Grote speaks of the mother, wife, and sister of Darius being captured, which is an error. Diodorus (xvii. 38) and Curtius (iii. 29) say that the son was about six years of age.

9. Cf. Xenophon (Cyropaedia,ii. 1, 3; vii, 5, 85).

10. Damascus,—the Hebrew name of which is Dammesek,—a very ancient city in Syria, at the foot of the Antilibanus, at an elevation of 220 feet above the sea, in a spacious and fertile plain about 30 miles in diameter, which is watered by three rivers, two of which are called in the Bible Abana and Pharpar. It has Still a population of 150,000. The emperor Julian, in one of his letters, calls it " the Bye of all the East."

11. About £730,000.

12. B.C. 333; end of October or beginning of November.


p.101-104

Ch.12 Kind Treatment of Darius's Family

The next day, Alexander, though suffering from a wound which he had received in the thigh from a sword, visited the wounded, and having collected the bodies of the slain, he gave them a splendid burial with all his forces most brilliantly marshalled in order of battle. He also spoke with eulogy to those whom he himself had recognised performing any gallant deed in the battle, and also to those whose exploits he had learnt by report fully corroborated. He likewise honoured each of them individually with a gift of money in proportion to his desert.[1] He then appointed Balacrus, son of Nicanor, one of the royal body-guards, viceroy of Cilicia; and in his place among the body-guards he chose Menes, son of Dionysius. In the room of Ptolemy, son of Seleucus, who had been killed in the battle, he appointed Polysperchon, son of Simmias, to the command of a brigade. He remitted to the Solians the fifty talents[2] which were still due of the money imposed on them as a fine, and he gave them back their hostages.

Nor did he treat the mother, wife, and children of Darius with neglect; for some of those who have written Alexander's history say that on the very night in which he returned from the pursuit of Darius, entering the Persian king's tent, which had been selected for his use, he heard the lamentation of women and other noise of a similar kind not far from the tent. Inquiring therefore who the women were, and why they were in a tent so near, he was answered by some one as follows:—"O king, the mother, wife, and children of Darius are lamenting for him as slain, since they have been informed that thou hast his bow and his royal mantle, and that his shield has been brought back." When Alexander heard this, he sent Leonnatus,[3] one of his Companions, to them, with injunctions to tell them:—"Darius is still alive; in his flight he left his arms and mantle in the chariot; and these are the only things of his that Alexander has." Leonnatus entered the tent and told them the news about Darius, saying, moreover, that Alexander would allow them to retain the state and retinue befitting their royal rank, as well as the title of queens; for he had not undertaken the war against Darius from a feeling of hatred, but he had conducted it in a legitimate manner for the empire of Asia. Such are the statements of Ptolemy and Aristobulus.[4] But there is another report, to the effect that on the following day Alexander himself went into the tent, accompanied alone by Hephaestion one of his Companions. The mother of Darius,[5] being in doubt which of them was the king (for they had both arrayed themselves in the same style of dress), went up to Hephaestion, because he appeared to her the taller of the two, and prostrated herself before him. But when he drew back, and one of her attendants pointed out Alexander, saying he was the king, she was ashamed of her mistake, and was going to retire. But the king told her she had made no mistake, for Hephaestion was also an Alexander. This I record neither being sure of its truth nor thinking it altogether unreliable. If it really occurred, I commend Alexander for his compassionate treatment of the women, and the confidence he felt in his companion, and the honour bestowed on him; but if it merely seems probable to historians that Alexander would have acted and spoken thus, even for this reason I think him worthy of commendation.[6]


1. Alexander erected three altars on the bank of the Pinarus, to Zeus, Heracles, and Athena (Curtius, iii. 33). Cicero, who was proconsul of Cilicia, speaks of "the altars of Alexander at the foot of Amanus," and says that he encamped there four days (Epistolae ad Diversos, xv. 4).

2. About £12,000.

3. This distinguished general saved Alexander's life in India, in the assault on the city of the Mallians. After the king's death, he received the rule of the lesser or Hellespontine Phrygia. He was defeated and slain by the Athenians under Antiphilus, against whom he was fighting in alliance with Antipater, B.C. 323. See Diodorus, xviii. 14, 15; Plutarch (Phocion, 25).

4. Compare Diodorus, xvii. 37, 38; Curtius, iii. 29-32.

5. Named Sisygambis.

6. In a letter written by Alexander to Parmenio, an extract from which is preserved by Plutarch (Alex., 22), he says that he never saw nor entertained the desire of seeing the wife of Darius, who was said to be the most beautiful woman in Asia; and that he would not allow himself to listen to those who spoke about her beauty. Cf. Ammianus (xxiv. 4, 27), speaking of Julian: "Ex virginibus autem, quae speciosae sunt captae, ut in Perside, ubi feminarum pulchritudo excellit, nec contrectare aliquam voluit, nec videre: Alexandrum imitatus et Africanum, qui haec declinabant, ne frangeretur cupiditate, qui se invictos a laboribus ubique praestiterunt."


p.104-106

Ch.13 Flight of Macedonian Deserters into Egypt.—Proceedings of Agis, King of Sparta.—Alexander occupies Phoenicia

Darius fled through the night with a few attendants; but in the daytime, picking up as he went along the Persians and Grecian mercenaries who had come safely out of the battle, he had in all 4,000 men under his command. He then made a forced march towards the city of Thapsacus[1] and the river Euphrates,[2] in order to put that river as soon as possible between himself and Alexander. But Amyntas son of Antiochus, Thymondas son of Mentor, Aristomedes the Pheraean, and Bianor the Acarnanian, all being deserters, fled without delay from the posts assigned them in the battle, with about 8,000 soldiers under their command, and passing through the mountains, they arrived at Tripolis in Phoenicia.[3] There they seized the ships which had been hauled up on shore in which they had previously been transported from Lesbos; they launched as many of these vessel as they thought sufficient to convey them, and the rest they burnt there in the docks, in order not to supply their enemy with the means of quickly pursuing them. They fled first to Cyprus,[4] thence to Egypt; where Amyntas shortly after, meddling in political disputes, was killed by the natives.

Meantime Pharnabazus and Autophradates were staying near Chios; then having established a garrison in this island they despatched some of their ships to Cos and Halicarnassus, and with 100 of their best sailing vessels they put to sea themselves and landed at Siphnus. And Agis, king of the Lacedaemonians,[5] came to them with one trireme, both to ask for money to carry on the war, and also to urge them to send with him into the Peloponnese as large a force both naval and military as they could. At that very time news reached them of the battle which had been fought at Issus; and being alarmed at the report, Pharnabazus started off to Chios with twelve triremes and 1,500 Grecian mercenaries, for fear that the Chians might attempt to effect a revolution when they received the news of the Persian defeat. Agis, having received from Autophradates thirty talents of silver[6] and ten triremes, despatched Hippias to lead these ships to his brother Agesilaus at Taenarum,[7] ordering him also to instruct Agesilaus to give full pay to the sailors and then to sail as quickly as possible to Crete,[8] in order to set things in order there. For a time he himself remained there among the islands, but afterwards joined Autophradates at Halicarnassus.[9]

Alexander appointed Menon, son of Cerdimmas, viceroy of Coele-Syria,[10] giving him the cavalry of the Grecian allies to guard the country. He then went in person towards Phoenicia; and on the march he was met by Strato, son of Gerostratus, king of the Aradians and of the people living near Aradus.[11] But Gerostratus himself was serving in the fleet with Autophradates, as were also the other kings both of the Phoenicians and the Cyprians. When Strato fell in with Alexander, he placed a golden crown upon his head, promising to surrender to him both the island of Aradus and the great and prosperous city of Marathus, situated on the mainland right opposite Aradus; also Sigon, the city of Mariamme, and all the other places under his own dominion and that of his father.


between the ranges of Libanus and Anti-Libanus, in which Damascus and Baalbek are situated; in its wider meaning, it comprises the whole of Northern Syria, in opposition to- the countries of Phoenicia and Palestine.

1. Thapsacus is understood to be identical with the city called Tiphsach (passage) in 1 Kings iv. 24; which is there said to have been the eastern boundary of Solomon's empire. It is generally supposed that the modern Deir occupies the site of the ancient Thapsacus; but it has been discovered that the only ford in this part of the river is at Suriyeh, 165 miles above Deir. This was probably the site of Thapsacus. From the time of Seleucus Nicator the city was called Amphipolis (Pliny, v. 21). See Stephanus of Byzantium, sub voce Amphipolis. Cf . Xenophon (Anabasis, i. 4, 11).

2. The Euphrates is the largest river of western Asia, and rises in the mountains of Armenia. It unites with the Tigris, and after a course of 1,780 miles flows into the Persian Gulf. It is navigable by boats for 1,200 miles. The annual inundation, caused by the melting of the snow in the mountains of Armenia, takes place in the month of May. The Euphrates, Tigris, and Eulaeus had formerly three separate outlets into the Persian Gulf; but the three now unite in a single stream, which is called Shat-el-Arab, The Hebrew name for the river which the Greeks called Euphrates, was Pĕrath (rapid stream). It is called in the Bible, the Great River, and the River (Gen. xv. 18; Exod. xxiii. 31; et passim). In Jeremiah xiii. 4-7, the word Pĕrath stands for Ephrath, another name for Bethlehem; in our Bible it is mis-translated. See Fürst's Hebrew Lexicon.

3. The term Cĕnaan was applied to the lowland plain from Aradus to Gaza. The northern portion, from Aradus to Carmel, is known to as under its Grecian name of Phoenicia, which is probably derived front the Greek phoinix (a palm-tree), which grew abundantly in the country, and was the emblem of some of its towns. Others derive it from another Greek word phoinix (red dye), which formed one of its most important manufactures. The Phoenicians applied the term Cenaan to their land in contrast to the highlands to the west, which they called Aram (highland), the Hebrew name for Syria. The country of Phoenicia was 120 miles long and with an average breadth of 12 miles, never exceeding 20 miles. The chief cities of Phoenicia were Tyre, Sidon, Aradus, Byblus, Berytus, Tripolis, and Accho or Ptolemais. Its central position between the eastern and western countries, early developed its commercial power, and its intercourse with foreign nations at an early period produced an advanced state of civilization and refinement. The Phoenicians were a Semitic nation like the Israelites; and their language bears a remarkable affinity with the Hebrew, as is seen by fragments of the Carthaginian language preserved in Plautus. In an inscription discovered at Marseilles in 1845, out of 94 words 74 were found in the Hebrew Bible. The Phoenicians were asserted by the Greeks to have communicated to them the knowledge of letters; and this statement is corroborated by the similarity of the Hebrew and ancient Greek letters. Their colonies spread from Cyprus to Crete and the Cyclades, thence to Euboea, Greece, and Thrace. The coasts of Asia Minor and Bithynia were dotted with their settlements, and they carried their commerce into the Black Sea. They also had colonies in Sicily, Sardinia, Ivica, and Spain, where they founded Cadiz. The northern coast of Africa was lined with their colonies, the most flourishing of which was Carthage, which rose to be one of the great powers of the world. Strabo says that they had 300 colonies on the western coast of Africa. They visited the coasts of England for tin; and thus, to quote the words of Humboldt, "the Tyrian flag waved at the same time in Britain and the India Ocean." Herodotus (iv. 42, 43) says that under the patronage of Necho, king of Egypt, they circumnavigated Africa; but he states that he does not believe it was a fact. The reason which he assigns for his disbelief is, that the navigators alleged that the sun was on their right hand, which is the strongest argument in favour of the truth of their statement. In Isaiah xxiii. 11, Phoenicia is called Cĕnaan, where the English Bible has erroneously, the merchant city. In the Bible the word Cĕnaanim is frequently used for merchants, because the Phoenicians were the principal commercial people of antiquity (Job xli. 6; Prov. xxxi. 24; Isaiah xxiii. 8; Hos. xii. 7; Zeph. i. 2; Zech. xiv. 21). Tripolis consisted of three distinct cities, 600 feet apart, each having its own walls, but all united in a common constitution with one place of assembly. These cities were colonies respectively of Sidon, Tyre, and Aradus. Tripolis was a flourishing port on a headland whioh is a spur of Lebanon. It is now called Tripoli, and is still a large town. See Dr. Smith's Dictionary of Classical Geography.

4. The oldest towns in Cyprus,— Citium, Amathus, and Paphus,—were Phoenician colonies. These were afterwards eclipsed by the Greek colonies, Salamis, Soli, and New Paphus. In Hebrew the island is called Ceth, and the inhabitants Cittim. Gesenius says, that upon a Sidonian coin Ceth in Cyprus, which the Greeks called Citium, is described as a Sidonian colony. Diodorus (xvi. 42) says there were nine kings in Cyprus. It is probable that the kings of the Hittites mentioned in 1 Kings x. 29, were from Cyprus. Also the Hittite women whom Solomon married were probably Cyprians (1 Kings xi. 1). The kings of the Hittites of whom the Syrians were afraid were also Cypriotes (2 Kings Tii. 6); and the land of the Hittites mentioned in Judges i. 26, probably means Cyprus. Josephus, Eusebius, and Jerome understand these passages to refer to Cyprus. In Isaiah xxiii. 1, the land of Cittim refers to Cyprus, which belonged to Tyre, the revolt of which the prophet announced. This revolt is confirmed by Menander (Josephus, ix. 14, 9).

5. Agis III. was ultimately defeated and slain by Antipater, B.C. 330. See Curtius, vi. 1 and 2; Grote's Greece, vol. xii. pp. 102-106.

6. About £7,300.

7. Now Cape Matapan. Cf. Propertius, iii. 2, 11; Tibullus, iii. 3, 13; Homer (Hymn to Apollo, 411).

8. The Cretans were very early civilized and powerful, for we read in Homer of their 100 cities. Before the Trojan war lived the famous king Minos, who is said to have given laws to Crete, and to have been the first potentate who possessed a navy, with which he suppressed piracy in the Aegean Sea. The Cretans gradually degenerated, so that we find in the New Testament St. Paul quoting from their own poet, Epimenides: "Always liars and beasts are the Cretans, and inwardly sluggish" (Titus i. 12). The lying propensity of the Cretans is proved from the fact that the verb to Cretize, was used in Greek with the meaning "to speak falsely." In Hebrew, Crete is called Caphtor (cypress). It is mentioned in Jer. xlvii. 4. It was the native land of a tribe of Philistines called Caphtorim (Gen. x. 14; Deut. ii. 23; 1 Chron. i. 12). The fact that the Philistines came partly from Crete is also affirmed in Amos ix. 7. Another branch of the Philistines came from Casloach in Egypt. The Caphtorim emigrated originally from Egypt to Crete, from which island they were probably driven by the Greeks. Tacitus asserts that the inhabitants of Palestine came from Crete (Historiae, v. 2); and the early name of Gaza was Minoa, after the famous king of Crete. Another Hebrew name for Crete is Cӗrēth, whence the inhabitants were called Cӗrēthim. They are mentioned in Ezek. xxv. 16, and Zeph. ii. 5; where the Septuagint and the Syriac have Cretans. We find the Philistines, who were partly emigrants from Crete, called Cerethim in 1 Sam. xxx. 14. From among these Cerethim and Philistines David chose his body-guard, which was composed of men skilled in shooting and slinging (2 Sam. viii. 18, xv. 18, xx. 7, 23; 1 Kings i. 38, 44; 1 Chron. xviii. 17).

9. From Diodorus (xvii. 48) it appears that Agis went personally to Crete, and compelled most of the cities to join the Persian side. We also learn that the deputies of the Greeks assembled at the Isthmian games at Corinth sent an embassy to Alexander to congratulate him on his victory at Issus, and to present him with a golden wreath. (See also Curtius, iv. 22.)

10. Coele-Syria, or Hollow Syria, is, in its more limited sense, the country

11. Aradus is an island lying two or three miles from the mainland of Phoenicia. According to Strabo, a State was founded in it by refugees from Sidon. For a long time the island was independent, under its own kings; and even after it fell under the sway of the Macedonian kings of Syria, and subsequently under that of the Romans, it retained a great deal of its commercial prosperity. Aradus appears in Hebrew under the form Arvad. It is evident from Ezek. xxvii. 8, 11, that its inhabitants were skilful sailors and brave warriors. They sent out colonies to Aradus south of Carmel, the island of Aradus near Crete, and the islands in the Persian gulf. The present name of this island is Ruad. The Aradians inhabited the mainland opposite the island, as well as the island itself.


p.106-111

Ch. 14 Darius's Letter, and Alexander's Reply

While Alexander was still in Marathus, ambassadors came bringing a letter from Darius, entreating him to give up to their king his mother, wife, and children. They were also instructed to support this petition by word of mouth. The letter pointed out to him that friendship and alliance had subsisted between Philip and Artaxerxes;[1] and that when Arses, son of Artaxerxes, ascended the throne, Philip was the first to practise injustice towards him, though he had suffered no injury from the Persians. Alexander also, from the time when Darius began to reign over the Persians, had not sent any one to him to confirm the friendship and alliance which had so long existed, but had crossed over into Asia with his army and had inflicted much injury upon the Persians. For this reason he had come down in person, to defend his country and to preserve the empire of his fathers. As to the battle, it had been decided as seemed good to some one of the gods. And now he, a king, begged his captured wife, mother, and children from a king; and he wished to form a friendship with him and become his ally. For this purpose he requested Alexander to send men to him with Meniscus and Arsimas, the messengers who came from the Persians, to receive pledges of fidelity from him and to give them on behalf of Alexander.

To this Alexander wrote a reply, and sent Thersippus with the men who had come from Darius, with instructions to give the letter to Darius, but not to converse about anything. Alexander's letter ran thus: "Your ancestors came into Macedonia and the rest of Greece and treated us ill, without any previous injury from us. I, having been appointed commander-in-chief of the Greeks, and wishing to take revenge on the Persians, crossed over into Asia, hostilities being begun by you. For you sent aid to the Perinthians,[2] who were dealing unjustly with my father; and Ochus sent forces into Thrace, which was under our rule. My father was killed by conspirators whom you instigated, as you have yourself boasted to all in your letters;[3] and after slaying Arses, as well as Bagoas, and unjustly seizing the throne contrary to the law of the Persians,[4] and ruling your subjects unjustly, you sent unfriendly letters about me to the Greeks, urging them to wage war with me. You have also despatched money to the Lacedaemonians, and certain other Greeks; but none of the States received it, except the Lacedaemonians.[5] As your agents destroyed my friends, and were striving to dissolve the league which I had formed among the Greeks, I took the field against you, because you were the party who commenced the hostility. Since I have vanquished your generals and viceroys in the previous battle, and now yourself and your forces in like manner, I am, by the gift of the gods, in possession of your land. As many of the men who fought in your army as were not killed in the battle, but fled to me for refuge, I am protecting; and they are with me, not against their own will, but they are serving in my army as volunteers. Come to me therefore, since I am lord of all Asia; but if you are afraid you may suffer any harsh treatment from me in case you come to me, send some of your friends to receive pledges of safety from me. Come to me then, and ask for your mother, wife, and children, and anything else you wish. For whatever you ask for you will receive; and nothing shall be denied you. But for the future, whenever you send to me, send to me as the king of Asia, and do not address to me your wishes as to an equal; but if you are in need of anything, speak to me as to the man who is lord of all your territories. If you act otherwise, I shall deliberate concerning you as an evil-doer; and if you dispute my right to the kingdom, stay and fight another battle for it; but do not run away. For wherever you may be, I intend to march against you." This is the letter which he sent to Darius.


1. Artaxerxes Ochus reigned B.C. 359-338.

2. Perinthus was a Samian colony on the Propontis. For the siege by Philip, see Diodorus, xvi. 74-76.

3. Impartial historians deny that Philip's murderers were bribed; they committed the murder from private resentment.

4. Ochus was poisoned about B.C. 338, by the eunuch Bagoas, who placed upon the throne Arses, one of the king's sons, killing all the rest. Cf. Aeliau (Varia Historia, vi. 8). Two years afterwards, Bagoas put Arses and all his children to death; thus leaving no direct heir of the regal family alive. He then placed upon the throne one of his adherents, named Darius Codomannus, a descendant of one of the brothers of Artaxerxes Mnemon. Bagoas soon afterwards tried to poison this Darius; but the latter, discovering his treachery, forced him to drink the deadly draught himself (Diod., xvii. 5; Justin., x. 3). From Arrian, iii. 19, we learn that Bistanes, a son of Ochus, was alive after the battle of Arbela.

5. Aeschines, in his speech against Ctesiphon (p. 634), asserts that Darius sent 300 talents to Athens, that the Athenians refused them, and that Demosthenes took them, reserving 70 talents for his own private use. Deinarchus repeats this statement in his speech against Demosthenes. (pp. 9-14). If Demosthenes had really acted thus, it is strange Alexander knew nothing about it.


p.111-114

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