The Anabasis of Alexander/7a

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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 Alexander's Plans. — The Indian Philosophers

When Alexander arrived at Pasargadae and Persepolis,[1] he was seized with an ardent desire to sail down the Euphrates and Tigres[2] to the Persian Sea, and to see the mouths of those rivers as he had already seen those of the Indus as well as the sea into which it flows. Some authors[3] also have stated that he was meditating a voyage round the larger portion of Arabia, the country of the Ethiopians, Libya (i.e. Africa), and Numidia beyond Mount Atlas to Gadeira (i.e. Cadiz),[4] inward into our sea (i.e. the Mediterranean); thinking that after he had subdued both Libya and Carchedon (i.e. Carthage), he might with justice be called king of all Asia.[5] For he said that the kings of the Persians and Medes called themselves Great Kings without any rights since they did not rule the larger part of Asia. Some say that he was meditating a voyage thence into the Baxine Sea, to Scythia and the Lake Maeotis (i.e. the Sea of Azov); while others assert that he intended to go to Sicily and the Iapygian Cape,[6] for the fame of the Romans spreading far and wide was now exciting his jealousy. For my own part I cannot conjecture with any certainty what were his plans; and I do not care to guess. But this I think I can confidently affirm, that he meditated nothing small or mean; and that he would never have remained satisfied with any of the acquisitions he had made, even if he had added Europe to Asia, or the islands of the Britons to Europe ; but would still have gone on seeking for unknown lands beyond those mentioned. I verily believe that if he had found no one else to strive with, he would have striven with himself. And on this account I commend some of the Indian philosophers, who are said to have been caught by Alexander as they were walking in the open meadow where they were accustomed to spend their time.[7] At the sight of him and his army they did nothing else but stamp with their feet on the earth, upon which they were stepping. When he asked them by means of interpreters what was the meaning of their action, they replied as follows: "king Alexander, every man possesses as much of the earth as this, upon which we have stepped; but thou being only a man like the rest of us, except in being meddlesome and arrogant, art come over so great a part of the earth from thy own land, giving trouble both to thyself and others.[8] And yet thou also wilt soon die, and possess only as much of the earth as is sufficient for thy body to be buried in."


1. Pasargadae was the ancient capital of Cyrus, but Persepolis was that of the later kings of Persia. The tomb of Cyrus has been discovered at Murghab; consequently Parsagadae was on the banks of the river Cyrus, N.E. of Persepolis. The latter city was at the junction of the Araxes and Medus. Its extensive ruins are called Chel-Minar, "the forty columns."

2. The Tigris rises in Armenia, and joins the Euphrates ninety miles from the sea, the united stream being then called Shat-el-Arab. In ancient times the two rivers had distinct outlets. In the Hebrew the Tigris is called Chiddekel, i.e. arrow. The Greek name Tigres is derived from the Zend Tighra, which comes from the Sanscrit Tig, to sharpen. Its present name is Dijleh. The respective lengths of the Euphrates and Tigris are 1,780 and 1,146 miles.

3. Among these were Curtius (x. 3); Diodorus (xviii. 4); and Plutarch (Alex., 68).

4. Gadeira or Gades was a Phoenician colony. The name is from the Hebrew 'li, a fence. Cf. Pliny (iv. 36); appellant Poeni Gadir ita Punica lingua septum significante. Also Avienus (Ora Maritima, 268): Punicorum lingua conseptum locum Gaddir vocabat. According to Pliny (v. 1), Suetonius Paulinus was the first Eoman general who crossed the Atlas Mountains.

5. See note 3, page 309.

6. Now called Capo di Leuoa, the south-eastern point of Italy. 7. Cf. Arrian (Indica, 11). 8. Cf. Alciphron (Epistolae, i. 30, 1), with Bergler and Wagner's notes.

p.369-371

Ch.2 Alexander's Dealings with the Indian Sages

On this occasion Alexander, commended both the words and the men who spoke them; but nevertheless he did just the opposite to that which he commended. When also in the Isthmus he met Diogenes of Sinope, lying in the sun, standing near him with his shield-bearing guards and foot Companions, he asked if he wanted anything. But Diogenes said that he wanted nothing else, except that he and his attendants would stand out of the sunlight. Alexander is said to have expressed his admiration of Diogenes's conduct.[1] Thus it is evident that Alexander was not entirely destitute of better feelings, but he was the slave of his insatiable ambition. Again, when he arrived at Taxila and saw the naked sect of Indian philosophers, he was exceedingly desirous that one of these men should live with him; because he admired their power of endurance.[2] But the oldest of the philosophers, Dandamis by name, of whom the others were disciples, refused to come himself to Alexander, and would not allow the others to do so.[3] He, is said to have replied that he was himself a son of Zeus, if Alexander was[4]; and that he wanted nothing from him, because he was quite contented with what he had. And besides he said that he saw his attendants wandering over so much of the land and sea to no advantage and that there was no end to their many wanderings. Therefore he had no desire that Alexander should give him anything which was in his own possession, nor on the other hand was he afraid that he should be excluded from anything which Alexander ruled over. For while he lived the country of India, which produces the fruits in their season, was sufficient for him; and when he died he should be released from the body, an unsuitable associate. Alexander then did not attempt to force him to come with him, considering that the man was free to do as he pleased. But Megasthenes has recorded that Calanus, one of the philosophers of this region, who had very little power over his desires, was induced to do so; and that the philosophers themselves reproached him, for having deserted the happiness existing among them, and serving another lord instead of the God.[5]


1. This must have occurred B.C. 336. See Plutarch (Alex. 14); Cicero (Tusculanae Disputationes, v. 32). Alexander said: " If I were not Alexander, I should like to be Diogenes." Cf. Arrian, i. 1; Plutarch (de Fortit. Alex., p. 331).

2. Cf. Strabo, xv. 1.

3. Strabo calls this sage Mandanis.

4. Strabo says, Alexander's messengers summoned Mandanis to the son of Zeus.

5. Plutarch (Alex., 65) says this philosopher's name was Sphines; but the Greeks called him Calanus, because when he met them, instead of using the word χαῖρε in greeting them, he said καλέ The same author says that he was persuaded to come to Alexander by Taxiles. See also Strabo (xv. 1).

p.371-372

Ch.3 Self-sacrifice of the Indian Calanus

This I have recorded, because in a history of Alexander it is necessary also to speak of Calanus; for when he was in the country of Persis his health became delicate, though he had never before been subject to illness.[1] Accordingly, not being willing to lead the life of a man in infirm health, he told Alexander that in such circumstances he thought it best for him to put an end to his existence, before he came into experience of any disease which might compel him to change his former mode of living. For a long time the king tried to dissuade him; however, when he saw that he was not to be overcome, but would find some other way of release, if this were not yielded to him, he ordered a funeral pyre to be heaped up for him, in the place where the man himself directed, and gave instructions that Ptolemy, son of Lagus, the confidential body-guard, should have the charge of it. They say that a solemn procession, consisting both of horses and men, advanced before him, some of the latter being armed and others carrying all kinds of incense for the pyre. They also say that they were carrying gold and silver goblets and royal apparel; and because he was unable to walk through illness, a horse was prepared for him. However, not being able to mount the horse, he was conveyed stretched out upon a litter, crowned with a garland after the custom of the Indians, and singing in the Indian language. The Indians say that he sang hymns to the gods and eulogiums on his countrymen.[2] Before he ascended the funeral-pyre he presented the horse which he should himself have mounted, being a royal steed of the Nisaean breed,[3] to Lysimachus, one of those who attended him to learn his philosophy. He distributed among his other disciples the goblets and rugs which Alexander had ordered to be cast into the pyre as an honour to him. Then mounting the pyre he lay down upon it in a becoming manner, and was visible to the whole army. To Alexander the spectacle appeared unseemly, as it was being exhibited at the cost of a friend; but to the rest it was a cause of wonder that he did not move any part of his body in the fire.[4] As soon as the men to whom the duty had been assigned set fire to the pyre, Nearchus says the trumpets sounded, in accordance with Alexander's order, and the whole army raised the war-cry as it was in the habit of shouting when advancing to battle. The elephants also chimed in with their shrill and warlike cry, in honour of Calanus. Authors upon whom reliance may be placed, have recorded these and such-like things, facts of great import to those who are desirous of learning how steadfast and imrdovable a thing the human mind is in regard to what it wishes to accomplish.


1. Strabo (xv. 1) says that the voluntary death of Calanus occurred at Pasargadae; Aelian (Varia Historia, v. 6) says it was at Babylon; but Diodorus (xvii. 107) says it happened at Susa, which statement is confirmed by the fact of Nearchus being seemingly present.

2. Cf, Arrian (Indica, 10).

3. Cf. Arrian, vii, 13 infra; and Herodotus, vii. 40.

4. Cf. Cicero (Tuse. Disput. v. 27).

p.372-374

Ch.4 Marriages between Macedonians and Persians

At this time Alexander sent Atropates away to his own viceroyalty,[1] after advancing to Susa; where he arrested Abulites and his son Oxathres, and, put them to death on the ground that they were governing the Susians badly.[2] Many outrages upon temples, tombs, and the subjects themselves had been committed by those who were ruling the countries conquered by Alexander in war; because the king's expedition into India had taken a long time, and it was not thought credible that he would ever return in safety from so many nations possessing so many elephants, going to his destruction beyond the Indus, Hydaspes, Acesines, and Hyphasis.[3] The calamities that befell him among the Gadrosians were still greater inducements to those acting as viceroys in this region to be free from apprehension of his return to his dominions. Not only so, but Alexander himself is said to have become more inclined at that time to believe accusations which were plausible in every way, as well as to inflict very severe punishment upon those who were convicted even of small offences, because with the same disposition he thought they would be likely to perform great ones.[4] In Susa also he celebrated both his own wedding and those of his companions. He himself married Barsine, the eldest daughter of Darius,[5] and according to Aristobulus, besides her another, Parysatis, the youngest daughter of Ochus.[6] He had already married Roxana, daughter of Oxyartes the Bactrian.[7] To Hephaestion he gave Drypetis, another daughter of Darius, and his own wife's sister; for he wished Hephaestion's children to be first cousins to his own. To Craterus he gave Amastrine, daughter of Oxyartes the brother of Darius; to Perdiccas, the daughter of Atropates, viceroy of Media; to Ptolemy the confidential body-guard, and Eumenes the royal secretary, the daughters of Artabazus, to the former Artacama, and to the latter Artonis. To Nearchus he gave the daughter of Barsine and Mentor; to Seleucus the daughter of Spitamenes the Bactrian. Likewise to the rest of his Companions he gave the choicest daughters of the Persians and Medes, to the number of eighty. The weddings were celebrated after the Persian manner, seats being placed in a row for the bridegrooms; and after the banquet the brides came in and seated themselves, each one near her own husband. The bridegrooms took them by the right hand and kissed them; the king being the first to begin, for the weddings of all were conducted in the same way. This appeared the most popular thing which Alexander ever did; and it proved his affection for his Companions. Bach man took his own bride and led her away; and on all without exception Alexander bestowed dowries.[8] He also ordered that the names of all the other Macedonians who had married any of the Asiatic women should be registered. They were over 10,000 in number; and to these Alexander made presents on account of their weddings.


1. Media. See vi. 29 supra.

2. Oxathres wag killed by Alexander himself with a sarissa, or long Macedonian pike. See Plutarch (Alex. 68), who calls him Oxyartes.

3. For this use of φθείρομαι, cf. Aristophanes (Plutus, 610); Alciphron, i. 13, 3; with Bergler's note.

4. Cf. Curtius, x. 5.

5. She was also called Statira. See Diodorus, xvii. 107; Plutarch (Alex., 70). She is called Arsiuoe by Photius.

6. "By these two marriages, Alexander thus engrafted himself upon the two lines of antecedent Persian kings. Ochus was of the Achaemenid family, but Darius Codomannus, father of Statira, was not of that family; he began a new lineage. About the overweening regal state of Alexander, outdoing even the previous Persian kings, see Pylarchus apud Athenaeum, xii. p. 539."—Grote.

7. See p. 242.

8. Cf. Aelian (Varia Historia, viii. 7). A copious account of this celebrated marriage feast is given in Athenaeus, xii. p. 538.

p.374-376

Ch.5 The Soldiers Rewarded

HE now thought it a favourable opportunity to liquidate the debts of all the soldiers who had incurred them1; and for this purpose he ordered that a register should be made of how much each man owed, in order that they might receive the money. At first only a few registered their names, fearing that this had been instituted as a test by Alexander, to discover which of the soldiers found their pay insufficient for their expenses, and which of them were extravagant in their mode of living. When he was informed that most of them were not registering their names, but that those who had borrowed money on bonds were concealing the fact, he reproached them for their distrust of him. For he said that it was not right either that the king should deal otherwise than sincerely with his subjects, or that any of those ruled by him should think that he would deal otherwise than sincerely with them. Accordingly, he had tables placed in the camp with money upon them; and he appointed men to manage the distribution of it. He ordered the debts of all who showed a money-bond to be liquidated without the debtors' names being any longer registered. Consequently, the men believed that Alexander was dealing sincerely with them; and the fact that they were not known was a greater pleasure to them than the fact that they ceased to be in debt. This presentation to the army is said to have amounted to 20,000 talents2. He also gave presents to particular individuals, according as each man was held in honour for his merit or valour, if he had become conspicuous in crises of danger. Those who were distinguished for their personal gallantry he crowned with golden chaplets: first, Peucestas, the man who had held the shield over him; second, Leonnatus, who also had held his shield over him, and moreover had incurred dangers in India and won a victory in Ora3. For he had posted himself with the forces left with him against the Oritians and the tribes living near them, who were trying to effect a revolution, and had conquered them in battle. He also seemed to have managed other affairs in Ora with great success. In addition to these, he crowned Nearchus for his successful voyage round the coast from the land of the Indians through the Great Sea; for this officer had now arrived at Susa. Besides these three, he crowned Onesicritus, the pilot of the royal ship; as well as Hephaestion and the rest of the confidential body-guards.


1. Cf. Curtius, X. 8.

2. About £4,600,000. Justin, xii. 11, agrees with Arrian; but Diodorus (xvii. 109); Plutarch (Alex., 70); Curtius (x. 8) say 10,000 talents.

3. Cf. Curtius (ix. 41); Arrian (vi. 22) supra.

p.376-377

Ch.6 An Army of Asiatics Trained under the Macedonian Discipline

THE viceroys from the newly-built cities and the rest of the territory subdued in war came to him, bringing with them youths just growing into manhood to the number of 30,000, all of the same age, whom Alexander called Epigoni(successors)1. They had been accoutred with Macedonian arms, and exercised in military discipline after the Macedonian system. The arrival of these is said to have vexed the Macedonians, who thought that Alexander was contriving every means in his power to free himself from future need of their services. For the same reason also the sight of his Median dress was no small cause of dissatisfaction to them; and the weddings celebrated in the Persian fashion were displeasing to most of them, even including some of those who married, although they had been greatly honoured by their being put on the same level with the king in the marriage ceremony. They were offended at Peucestas, the satrap of Persis, on account of his Persianizing both in dress and in speech, because the king was delighted by his adopting the Asiatic customs. They were disgusted that the Bactrian, Sogdianian, Arachotian, Zarangian, Arian, and Parthian horsemen, as well as the Persian horsemen called the Evacae, had been distributed among the squadrons of the Companion cavalry; as many of them at least as were seen to excel in reputation, fineness of stature, or any other good quality; and that a fifth cavalry division was added to these troops, not composed entirely of foreigners; but the whole body of cavalry was increased in number, and men were picked from the foreigners and put into it. Cophen, son of Artabazus, Hydarnes and Artiboles, sons of Mazaeus, Sisines and Phradasmenes, sons of Phrataphernes, viceroy of Parthia and Hyrcania, Histanes, son of Oxyartes and brother of Alexander's wife, Roxane, as well as Autobares and his brother Mithrobaeus were picked out and enrolled among the foot-guard in addition to the Macedonian officers. Over these Hystaspes the Bactrian was placed as commander; and Macedonian spears were given to them instead of the barb arian javelins which had thongs attached to them.2 All this offended the Macedonians, who thought that Alexander was becoming altogether Asiatic in his ideas, and was holding the Macedonians themselves as well as their customs in a position of contempt.3


1. The Epigoni, or Afterborn, were the sons of the seven chiefs who fell in the first war against Thebes. See Herodotus, Pindar, Sophocles, etc.

2. For this mesanculon see Gellius (Noctes Atticae, x. 25); Polybius, xxiii., 1, 9; Euripides (Phoenissae, 1141; Andromache, 113S); Alciphron, iii. 36.

3. It was at this time that Harpalus, viceroy of Babylon, having squandered a great deal of the treasure committed to his charge, became frightened at the return of Alexander, and fled to Greece with 50,000 talents and 6,000 mercenary troops. See Diodorus, xvii. 108.

p.378-379

Ch.7 Navigation of the Tigres

Alexander now ordered Hephaestion to lead the main body of the infantry as far as the Persian Sea, while he himself, his fleet having sailed up into the land of Susiana, embarked, with the shield-bearing guards and the body-guard of infantry; and having also put on board a few of the cavalry Companions, he sailed down the river Eulaeus to the sea.[1] When he was near the place where the river discharges itself into the deep, he left there most of his ships, including those which were in need of repair, and with those especially adapted for fast sailing he coasted along out of the river Eulaeus through the sea to the mouth of the Tigres. The rest of the ships were conveyed down the Eulaeus as far as the canal which has been cut from the Tigres into the Eulaeus, and by this means they were brought into the Tigres. Of the rivers Euphrates and Tigres which enclose Syria between them, whence also its name is called by the natives Mesopotamia,[2] the Tigres flows in a much lower channel than the Euphrates, from which it receives many canals; and after taking up many tributaries and its waters being swelled by them, it falls into the Persian Sea.[3] It is a large river and can be crossed on foot nowhere as far as its mouth,[4] inasmuch as none of its water is used up by irrigation of the country. For the land through which it flows is more elevated than its water, and it is not drawn off into canals or into another river, but rather receives them into itself. It is nowhere possible to irrigate the land from it. But the Euphrates flows in an elevated channel, and is everywhere on a level with the land through which it passes. Many canals have been made from it, some of which are always kept flowing, and from which the inhabitants on both banks supply themselves with water; others the people make only when requisite to irrigate the land, when they are in need of water from drought.[5] For this country is usually free from rain. The consequence is, that the Euphrates at last has only a small volume of water, which disappears into a marsh. Alexander sailed over the sea round the shore of the Persian Gulf lying between the rivers Eulaeus and Tigres; and thence he sailed up the latter river as far as the camp where Hephaestion had settled with all his forces. Thence he sailed again to Opis, a city situated on that river.[6] In his voyage up he destroyed the weirs which existed in the river, and thus made the stream quite level. These weira had been constructed by the Persians, to prevent any enemy having a superior naval force from sailing up from the sea into their country. The Persians had had recourse to these contrivances because they were not a nautical people; and thus by making an unbroken succession of weirs they had rendered the voyage up the Tigres a matter of impossibility. But Alexander said that such devices were unbecoming to men who are victorious in battle; and therefore he considered this means of safety unsuitable for him; and by easily demolishing the laborious work of the Persians, he proved in fact that what they thought a protection was unworthy of the name.


1. The Eulaeus is now called Kara Su. After joining the Ooprates it was called Pasitigris. It formerly discharged itself into the Persian Gulf, but now into the Shat-el-Arab, as the united stream of the Euphrates and Tigris is now called. In Dan. viii. 2, 16, it is called Ulai. Cf. Pliny, vi. 26, 31; xxxi. 21.

2. The Greeks and Romans sometimes speak of Mesopotamia as a part of Syria, and at other times they call it a part of Assyria. The Hebrew and native name of this country was Aram Naharaim, or "Syria of the two rivers."

3. The Tigris now falls into the Euphrates.

4. Cf. Arrian, iii. 7, supra; Curtius, iv. 37.

5. Cf. Strabo, xvi. 1; Herodotus, i, 193; Ammianus, xxiv. 3, 14.

6. Probably this city stood at the junction of the Tigris with the Physcus, or Odoneh. See Xenophon (Anab. ii. 4, 26); Herodotus, i. 189; Strabo, (xvi. 1) says that Alexander made the Tigris navigable up to Opis.

p.379-381

Ch.8 The Macedonians Offended at Alexander

WHEN he arrived at Opis, he collected the Macedonians and announced that he intended to discharge from the army those who were useless for military service either from age or from being maimed in the limbs; and he said he would send them back to their own abodes. He also promised to give those who went back as much extra reward as would make them special objects of envy to those at home and arouse in the other Macedonians the wish to share similar dangers and labours. Alexander said this, no doubt, for the purpose of pleasing the Macedonians; but on the contrary they were, not without reason, offended by the speech which he delivered, thinking that now they were despised by him and deemed to be quite useless for military service. Indeed, throughout the whole of this expedition they had been offended at many other things; for his adoption of the Persian dress, thereby exhibiting his contempt for their opinion often caused them grief, as did also his accoutring the foreign soldiers called Epigoni in the Macedonian style, and the mixing of the alien horsemen among the ranks of the Companions. Therefore they could not remain silent and control themselves, but urged him to dismiss all of them from his army; and they advised him to prosecute the war in company with his father, deriding Ammon by this remark. When Alexander heard this (for at that time he was more hasty in temper than heretofore, and no longer, as of old, indulgent to the Macedonians from having a retinue of foreign attendants), leaping down from the platform with his officers around him, he ordered the most conspicuous of the men who had tried to stir up the multitude to sedition to be arrested. He himself pointed out with his hand to the shield-bearing guards those whom they were to arrest, to the number of thirteen; and he ordered these to be led away to execution1. When the rest, stricken with terror, became silent, he mounted the platform again, and spoke as follows :-


1. Cf. Justin (xii. 11); Diodorus (xvii. 109); Curtius (x. 10, 11). These authors put the punishment of the ringleaders after the speech instead of before.

p.381-382

Ch.9 Alexander's Speech

"The speech which I am about to deliver will not be for the purpose of checking your start homeward, for, so far as I am concerned, you may depart wherever you wish; but because I wish you to know what kind of men you were originally and how you have been transformed since you came into our service. In the first place, as is reasonable, I shall begin my speech from my father Philip. For he found you vagabonds and destitute of means, most of you clad in hides, feeding a few sheep up the mountain sides, for the protection of which you had to fight with small success against Illyrians, Triballians, and the border Thracians.[1] Instead of the hides he gave you cloaks to wear, and from the mountains he led you down into the plains, and made you capable of fighting the neighbouring barbarians, so that you were no longer compelled to preserve yourselves by trusting rather to the inaccessible strongholds than to your own valour. He made you colonists of cities, which he adorned with useful laws and customs; and from being slaves and subjects, he made you rulers over those very barbarians by whom you yourselves, as well as your property, were previously liable to be plundered and ravaged. He also added the greater part of Thrace to Macedonia, and by seizing the most conveniently situated places on the sea-coast, he spread abundance over the land from commerce, and made the working of the mines a secure employment.[2] He made you rulers over the Thessalians, of whom you had formerly been in mortal fear[3]; and by humbling the nation of the Phocians, he rendered the avenue into Greece broad and easy for you, instead of being narrow and difficult.[4] The Athenians and Thebans who were always lying in wait to attack Macedonia, he humbled to such a degree,—I also then rendering him my pergonal aid in the campaign,[5]—that instead of paying tribute to the former[6] and being vassals to the latter,[7] those States in their turn procure security to themselves by our assistance. He penetrated into the Peloponnese, and after regulating its affairs, was publicly declared commander-in-chief of all the rest of Greece in the expedition against the Persian, adding this glory not more to himself than to the commonwealth of the Macedonians. These were the advantages which accrued to you from my father Philip; great indeed if looked at by themselves, but small if compared with those you have obtained from me. For though I inherited from my father only a few gold and silver goblets, and there were not even sixty talents in the treasury, and though I found myself charged with a debt of 500 talents owing by Philip,[8] and I was obliged myself to borrow 800 talents in addition to these, I started from the country which could not decently support you, and forthwith laid open to you the passage of the Hellespont, though at that time the Persians held the sovereignty of the sea. Having overpowered the viceroys of Darius with my cavalry, I added to your empire the whole of Ionia,[9] the whole of Aeolis, both Phrygias[10] and Lydia, and I took Miletus by siege. All the other places I gained by voluntary surrender, and I granted you the privilege of appropriating the wealth found in them. The riches of Egypt and Cyrene, which I acquired without fighting a battle, have come to you. Coele-Syria, Palestine, and Mesopotamia are your property. Babylon, Bactra, and Susa are yours. The wealth of the Lydians, the treasures of the Persians, and the riches of the Indians are yours; and so is the External Sea. You are viceroys, you are generals, you are captains. What then have I reserved to myself after all these labours, except this purple robe and this diadem?[11] I have appropriated nothing myself, nor can any one point out my treasures, except these possessions of yours or the things which I am guarding on your behalf.[12] Individually, however, I have no motive to guard them, since I feed on the same fare as you do, and I take only the same amount of sleep. Nay, I do not think that my fare is as good as that of those among you who live luxuriously; and I know that I often sit up at night to watch for you, that you may be able to sleep.


1. Thracians mean mountaineers; Hellenes, warriors; Dorians, high-landers; Ionians, coast-men; and Aeolians, mixed men. See Donaldson (New Cratylus, sect. 92).

2. The gold and silver mines at Mount Pangaeon near Philippi brought Philip a yearly revenue of more than 1,000 talents (Diodorus, xvi. 8). Herodotus (v. 17) says that the silver mines at Mount Dysorum brought a talent every day to Alexander, father of Amyntas.

3. This is a Demosthenic expression. See De Falsa Legatione, 92; and I. Philippic, 45.

4. B.C. 346.

5. He here refers to his own part in the victory of Chaeronea, B.C. 336. See Diodorus, xvi. 86; Plutarch (Alex. 9).

6. This fact is attested by Demosthenes (De Haloneso, 12).

7. The Thebans under Pelopidas settled the affairs of Macedonia, and took young Philip to Thebes as a hostage, B.C. 368.

8. About £122,000. Cf. Plutarch (Alex. 15); Curtius, x. 10.

9. Ion is the Hebrew Javan without the vowel points. In the Persian name for the Greeks Iaones, one of these vowels appear. See Aeschylus Persae, 178, 562).

10. Larger Phrygia formed the western part of the great central table-land of Asia Minor. Smaller Phrygia was also called Hellespontine Phrygia, because it lay near the Hellespont. See Strabo, xii. 8.

11.A blue band worked with white, which went round the tiara of the Persian kings.

12. Cf. Ammianus, xxv. 4, 15: "(Julianus) id aliquoties praedicans, Alexandrum Magnum, ubi haberet thesauros interrogatum, apud amicos benevole respondisse."

p.383-385

Ch.10 Alexander's Speech (continued)

"BUT some one may say, that while you endured toil and fatigue, I have acquired these things as your leader without myself sharing the toil and fatigue. But who is there of you who knows that he has endured greater toil for me than I have for him? Come now, whoever of you has wounds, let him strip and show them, and I will show mine in turn; for there is no part of my body, in front at any rate, remaining free from wounds; nor is there any kind of weapon used either for close combat or for hurling at the enemy, the traces of which I do not bear on my person. For I have been wounded with the sword in close fight, I have been shot with arrows, and I have been struck with missiles projected from engines of war; and though oftentimes I have been hit with stones and bolts of wood for the sake of your lives, your glory, and your wealth, I am still leading you as conquerors over all the land and sea, all rivers, mountains, and plains. I have celebrated your weddings with my own, and the children of many of you will be akin to my children. Moreover I have liquidated of all those who had incurred them, without inquiring too closely for what purpose they were contracted, though you received such high pay, and carry off so much booty whenever there is booty to be got after a siege. Most of you have golden crowns, the eternal memorials of your valour and of the honour you receive from me. Whoever has been killed has met with a glorious end and has been honoured with a splendid burial. Brazen statues of most of the slain have been erected at home1, and their parents are held in honour, being released from all public service and from taxation. But no one of you has ever been killed in flight under my leadership. And now I was intending to send back those of you who are unfit for service, objects of envy to those at home; but since you all wish to depart, depart all of you! Go back and report at home that your king Alexander, the conqueror of the Persians, Medes, Bactrians, and Sacians2; the man who has subjugated the Uxians, Arachotians, and Drangians; who has also acquired the rule of the Parthians, Chorasmians, and Hyrcanians, as far as the Caspian Sea; who has marched over the Caucasus, through the Caspian Gates; who has crossed the rivers Oxus and Tanais, and the Indus besides, which has never been crossed by any one else except Dionysus; who has also crossed the Hydaspes, Acesines, and Hydraotes, and who would have crossed the Hyphasis, if you had not shrunk back with alarm; who has penetrated into the Great Sea by both the mouths of the Indus; who has marched through the desert of Gadrosia, where no one ever before marched with an army; who on his route acquired possession of Carmania and the land of the Oritians, in addition to his other conquests , his fleet having in the meantime already sailed round the coast of the sea which extends from India to Persia - report that when you returned to Susa you deserted him and went away, handing him over to the protection of conquered foreigners. Perhaps this report of yours will be both glorious to you in the eyes of men and devout I ween in the eyes of the gods. Depart!"


1. Cf. Arrian, i. 16 supra.

2. It is supposed that the Saxones, i.e. Sacasuna, sons of the Sacae, originated from this nation.

p.386-387

Ch.11 Reconciliation between Alexander and his Army

Having thus spoken, he leaped down quickly from the platform, and entered the palace, where he paid no attention to the decoration of his person, nor was any of his Companions admitted to see him. Not even on the morrow was any one of them admitted to an audience; but on the third day he summoned the select Persians within, and among them he distributed the commands of the brigades, and made the rule that only those whom he had proclaimed his kinsmen,[1] should have the honour of saluting him with a kiss.[2] But the Macedonians who heard the speech were thoroughly astonished at the moment, and remained there in silence near the platform; nor when be retired did any of them accompany the king, except his personal Companions and the confidential body-guards. Though they remained, most of them had nothing to do or say; and yet they were unwilling to retire. But when the news was reported to them about the Persians and Medes, that the military commands were being given to Persians, that the foreign soldiers were being selected and divided into companies, that a Persian footguard, Persian foot Companions, a Persian regiment of men with silver shields,[3] as well as the cavalry Companions, and another royal regiment of cavalry distinct from these, were being called by Macedonian names, they were no longer able to restrain themselves; but running in a body to the palace, they cast their weapons there in front of the gates as a sign of supplication to the king. Standing in front of the gates, they shouted, beseeching to be allowed to enter, and saying that they were willing to surrender the men who had been the instigators of the disturbance on that occasion, and those who had begun the clamour. They also declared they would not retire from the gates either day or night, unless Alexander would take some pity upon them. When he was informed of this, he came out without delay; and seeing them lying on the ground in humble guise, and hearing most of them lamenting with loud voice, tears began to flow also from his own eyes. He made an effort to say something to them, but they continued their importunate entreaties.[4] At length one of them, Callines by name, a man conspicuous both for his age and because he was captain of the Companion cavalry, spoke as follows:—"O king, what grieves the Macedonians is, that thou hast already made some of the Persians kinsmen to thyself, and that Persians are called Alexander's kinsmen, and have the honour of saluting thee with a kiss; whereas none of the Macedonians have as yet enjoyed this honour." Then Alexander interrupting him, said:—" But all of you without exception I consider my kinsmen, and so from this time I shall call you." When he had said this, Callines advanced and saluted him with a kiss, and so did all those who wished to salute him. Then they took up their weapons and returned to the camp, shouting and singing a song of thanksgiving to Apollo. After this Alexander offered sacrifice to the gods to whom it was his custom to sacrifice, and gave a public banquet, over which he himself presided, with the Macedonians sitting around him; and next to them the Persians; after whom came the men of the other nations, honoured for their personal rank or for some meritorious action. The king and his guests drew wine from the same bowl and poured out - the same libations, both the Grecian prophets and the yians commencing the ceremony. He prayed for other blessings, and especially that harmony and community of rule might exist between the Macedonians and Persians. The common account is, that those who took part in this banquet were 9,000 in number, that all of them poured out one libation, and after it sang a song of thanksgiving to Apollo.[5]


1. At the Persian court, kinsman was a title bestowed by the king as a mark of honour. Curtius says they were 15,000 in number. Cf. Diodorus, xvi. 50; Xenophon (Cyropaedia, i. 4, 27; ii. 2, 31).

2. As to this Persian custom, see Xenophon (Agesilaus, v. 4; Cyropaedia i. 4, 27).

3. Cf. Justin, xii. 7; Plutarch (Eumenes, 16); Curtius, viii. 17; Livy xxxvii. 40; Polybius, v. 79,

4. ἔμενον λιπαροῦντες. The more usual construction would be ἐλιπάρουν μένοντες. Cf. Herodotus, ix. 45 (λιπαρέετε μένοντες); iii. 51 (ἐλιπάρεε ἱστορέων).

5. The paean was sung, not only before and after battle, but also after a banquet, as we see from this passage and from Xenophon (Symposium, ii. 1).

p.387-390

Ch.12 Ten Thousand Macedonians sent Home with Craterus.—Disputes between Antipater and Olympias

Then those of the Macedonians who were unfit for service on account of age or any other misfortune, went back of their own accord, to the number of about 10,000. To these Alexander gave the pay not only for the time which had already elapsed, but also for that which they would spend in returning home. He also gave to each man a talent in addition to his pay.[1] If any of them had children by Asiatic wives, he ordered them to leave them behind with him, lest they should introduce into Macedonia a cause of discord, taking with them children by foreign women who were of a different race from the children whom they had left behind at home born of Macedonian mothers. He promised to take care that they should be brought up as Macedonians, educating them not only in general matters but also in the art of war. He also undertook to lead them into Macedonia when they arrived at manhood, and hand them over to their fathers. These uncertain and obscure promises were made to them as they were departing; and he thought he was giving a most indubitable proof of the friendship and affection he had for them by sending with them, as their guardian and the leader of the expedition, Craterus, the man most faithful to him, and whom he valued equally with himself.[2] Then, having saluted them all, he with tears dismissed them likewise weeping from his presence. He ordered Craterus[3] to lead these men back, and when he had done so, to take upon himself the government of Macedonia, Thrace, and Thessaly, and to preside over the freedom of the Greeks. He also ordered Antipater to bring to him the Macedonians of manly age as successors to those who were being sent back. He despatched Polysperchon also with Craterus, as his second in command, so that if any mishap befell Craterus on the march (for he was sending him back on account of the weakness of his health), those who were going might not be in need of a general.[4] A secret report was also going about that Alexander was now overcome by his mother's accusations of Antipater, and that he wished to remove him from Macedonia.[5] This report was current among those who thought that royal actions are more worthy of honour in proportion to their secrecy, and who were inclined to impute what is worthy of belief to a bad motive rather than to attribute it to the real one; a course to which they were led by appearances and their own depravity. But probably this sending for Antipater was not designed for his dishonour, but rather to prevent any unpleasant consequences to Antipater and Olympias from their quarrel which he might not himself be able to rectify. For they were incessantly writing to Alexander, the former saying that the arrogance, acerbity, and meddlesomeness of Olympias was exceedingly unbecoming to the king's mother; insomuch that Alexander was related to have used the following remark in reference to the reports which he received about his mother:—that she was exacting from him a heavy house-rent for the ten months.[6] The queen wrote that Antipater was overweeningly insolent in his pretensions and in the service of his court, no longer remembering the one who had appointed him, but claiming to win and hold the first rank[7] among the Macedonians and Greeks. These slanderous reports about Antipater appeared to have more weight with Alexander, since they were more formidable in regard to the regal dignity. However no overt act or word of the king was reported, from which any one could infer that Antipater was in any way less in favour with him than before.[8]


1. About £240.

2. Literally "with his own head," an Homeric expression. We learn from Plutarch (Eumenes, 6), that Craterus was a great favourite with the Macedonians because he opposed Alexander's Asiatic innovations. See also Plutarch (Alexander, 47); Diodorus, xvii. 114:—Κράτερον μὲν γὰρ εἶναι φιλοβασιλέα, Ἡφαιστίωνα δὲ φιλαλέχανδρον.

3. The use of κελεύειν with the dative, is in imitation of Homer. Cf. i. 26, 3 supra.

4. We learn from Diodorus (xviii. 4) that when Alexander died, Craterus had got no farther than Cilicia on his return journey. He had with him a paper of written instructions, among which were projects for building an immense fleet in Phoenicia and the adjacent countries for conveying an expedition against the Carthaginians and the other western nations as far as the pillars of Hercules; for the erection of magnificent temples, and for the transportation of people from Europe into Asia and from Asia into Europe. Alexander's generals put these projects aside, as too vast for any one but Alexander himself.

5. Cf. Curtius, x. 31.

6. The Greeks reckoned according to the lunar months, and therefore they talked of ten months instead of nine as the period of gestation. Cf. Herodotus, vi. 63; Aristophanes (Thesmoph. 742); Menander (Plocion, fragment 3); Plautus (Cistell, i. 3, 15); Terence (Adelphi, iii. 4, 29).

7. For this expression, cf. Dion Cassius, xlii. 57; Homer (Iliad, 23, 538); Pausanias, vii. 10, 2; Herodotus, viii. 104.

8. Here there is a gap in the manuscripts of Arrian, which probably contained an account of the flight of Harpalus, the viceroy of Babylon, with the treasures committed to his care, and also a description of the dispute between Hephaestion and Eumenes. See Photius (codex 92).

p.390-392

Ch.13 The Nisaean Plain — The Amazons

It is said that Hephaestion much against his will yielded to this argument and was reconciled to Eumenes, who on his part wished to settle the dispute.[1] In this journey[2] Alexander is said to have seen the plain which was devoted to the royal mares. Herodotus says that the plain itself was named Nisaean, and that the mares were called Nisaean[3]; adding that in olden times there were 150,000 of these horses. But at this time Alexander found not many above 50,000; for most of them had been carried off by robbers. They say that Atropates, the viceroy of Media, gave him a hundred women, saying that they were of the race of Amazons.[4] These had been equipped with the arms of male horsemen, except that they carried axes instead of spears and targets instead of shields. They also say that they had the right breast smaller than the left, and that they exposed it in battle. Alexander dismissed them from the army, that no attempt to violate them might be made by the Macedonians or barbarians; and he ordered them to carry word to their queen that he was coming to her in order to procreate children by her.[5] But this story has been recorded neither by Aristobulus nor Ptolemy, nor any other writer who is a trustworthy authority on such matters. I do not even think that the race of Amazons was surviving at that time; for before Alexander's time they were not mentioned even by Xenophon,[6] who mentions the Phasians, Colchians, and all the other barbaric races which the Greeks came upon, when they started from Trapezus or before they marched down to Trapezus. They would certainly have fallen in with the Amazons if they were still in existence. However it does not seem to me credible that this race of women was altogether fictitious, because it has been celebrated by so many famous poets. For the general account is, that Heracles marched against them and brought the girdle of their queen Hippolyte into Greece.[7] The Athenians also under Theseus were the first to conquer and repulse these women as they were advancing into Europe[8]; and the battle of the Athenians and Amazons has been painted by Micon,[9] no less than that of the Athenians and Persians. Herodotus also has frequently written about these women[10]; and so have the Athenian writers who have honoured the men who perished in war with funeral orations. They have mentioned the exploit of the Athenians against the Amazons as one of their special glories.[11] If therefore Atropates showed any equestrian women to Alexander, I think he must have shown him some other foreign women trained in horsemanship, and equipped with the arms which were said to be those of the Amazons.[12]


1. Cf. Plutarch (Eumenes, 2).

2. The march was from Opis to Media, as we see from the next chapter.

3. Cf. Herodotus (iii. 106; 7ii. 40); Strabo, xi. 7 and 14; Diodor. xvii. 110; Ammianus, xxiii. 6. Sir Henry Rawlinson says: " With Herodotus, who was most imperfectly acquainted with the geography of Media, originated the error of transferring to that province the Nisea (Nesd) of Khorassan, and all later writers either copied or confounded his statement. Strabo alone has escaped from the general confusion. In his description we recognise the great grazing plains of Khawah, Alishtar, Huru, Silakhur, Burburud, Japalak, and Feridun, which thus stretch in a continuous line from one point to another along the southern frontiers of Media." Alexander probably visited the westernmost of these pastures which stretch from Behistun to Ispahan along the mountain range. The form διαρπαγῆναι is used only by the later writers for διαρπασθῆναι.

4. Cf. Strabo, xi. 5; Diodorus, xvii. 77; Curtius, vi. 19; Justin, xii. 3; Arrian, iv. 15; Homer (Iliad, iii. 189); Aeschylus (Eumenides, 655); Hippocrates (De Aere, Aquis, et Locis, p. 553).

5. The queen is called Thalestris by Diodorus and Curtius.

6. This is a mistake, for Xenophon does mention the Amazons in the Anabasis (iv. 4, 16). For Trapezus and the Phasians see his Anabasis (iv. 8, 22; v. 6, 36.)

7. See Diodorus, iv. 16. This was one of the twelve labours of Hercules.

8. See Plutarch (Theseus, 26).

9. "The Battle of the Amazons" was a celebrated painting in the Stoa Poecile at Athens, executed by Micon, son of Phanichus, a contemporary of Polygnotus about B.C. 460. Cf. Aristophanes (Lysistrata, 678): "Look at the Amazons whom Micon painted on horseback fighting with the men." See also Pausanias (i. 15; viii. 11).

10. Cf. Herodotus, iv. 110-117; ix. 27.

11. See Isocrates (Panegyricus, 19); Lysias (Oratio Funebris, near the beginning).

12. Strabo (xi. 5) declined to believe in the existence of the Amazons altogether. However, even Julius Caesar spoke of them as having once ruled over a large part of Asia. See Suetonius (Life of Julius Caesar, 22). Eustathius, on Dionysius Periegetes, p. 110, derives the name Amazones from ἀ, not, and μᾶζα, barley-bread:—διδ καὶ Ἀμαζόνες ἐκαλοῦντο οἶα μὴ μάζαις ἀλλὰ κρέασι θηρίων ἐπιστρεφόμεναι. This is not the usual derivation of the word. p.393-395

Ch.14 Death of Hephaestion

In Ecbatana Alexander offered sacrifice according to his custom, for good fortune; and he celebrated a gymnastic and musical contest. He also held drinking parties with his Companions. At this time Hephaestion fell sick; and they say that the stadium was full of people on the seventh day of his fever, for on that day there was a gymnastic contest for boys. When Alexander was informed that Hephaestion was in a critical state, he went to him without delay, but found him no longer alive.[1] Different authors have given different accounts of Alexander's grief on this occasion; but they agree in this, that his grief was great. As to what was done in honour of Hephaestion, they make diverse statements, just as each writer was actuated by good-will or envy towards him, or even towards Alexander himself. Of the authors who have made these reckless statements, some seem to me to have thought that whatever Alexander said or did to show his excessive grief for the man who was the dearest to him in the world, redounds to his own honour; whereas others seem to have thought that it rather tended to his disgrace, as being conduct unbecoming to any king and especially to Alexander. Some say that he lay prostrate on his companion's body for the greater part of that day, bewailing him and refusing to depart from him, until he was forcibly carried away by his Companions. Others that he lay upon the body the whole day and night. Others again say that he hanged the physician Glaucias, for having indiscreetly given the medicine[2]; while others affirm that he, being a spectator of the games, neglected Hephaestion, who was filled with wine. That Alexander should have cut off his hair in honour of the dead man, I do not think improbable, both for other reasons and especially from a desire to imitate Achilles, whom from his boyhood he had an ambition to rival.[3] Others also say that Alexander himself at one time drove the chariot on which the body was borne; but this statement I by no means believe. Others again affirm that he ordered the shrine of Asclepius in Ecbatana to be razed to the ground; which was an act of barbarism, and by no means in harmony with Alexander's general behaviour, but rather in accordance with the arrogance of Xerxes in his dealings with the deity, who is said to have let fetters down into the Hellespont, in order to punish it forsooth.[4] But the following statement, which has been recorded, does not seem to me entirely beyond the range of probability:—that when Alexander was marching to Babylon, he was met on the road by many embassies from Greece, among which were some Epidaurian envoys, who obtained from him their requests.[5] He also gave them an offering to be conveyed to Asclepias, adding this remark:—" Although Asclepius has not treated me fairly, in not saving the life of my Companion, whom I valued equally with my own head."[6] It has been stated by most writers that he ordered honours to be always paid to Hephaestion as a hero; and some say that he even sent men to Ammon's temple to ask the god if it were allowable to offer sacrifice to Hephaestion as a god; but Ammon replied that it was not allowable. All the authorities, however, agree as to the following facts:—that until the third day after Hephaestion's death, Alexander neither tasted food nor paid any attention to his personal appearance, but lay on the ground either bewailing or silently mourning; that he also ordered a funeral pyre to be prepared for him in Babylon at the expense of 10,000 talents; some say at a still greater cost[7]; that a decree was published throughout all the barbarian territory for the observance of a public mourning.[8] Many of Alexander's Companions dedicated themselves and their arms to the dead Hephaestion in order to show their respect to him; and the first to begin the artifice was Eumenes, whom we a short time ago mentioned as having been at variance with him.[9] This he did that Alexander might not think he was pleased at Hephaestion's death. Alexander did not appoint any one else to be commander of the Companion cavalry in the place of Hephaestion, so that the name of that general might not perish from the brigade; but that division of cavalry was still called Hephaestion's and the figure made from Hephaestion went in front of it. He also resolved to celebrate a gymnastic and musical contest, much more magnificent than any of the preceding, both in the multitude of competitors and in the amount of money expended upon it. For he provided 3,000 competitors in all; and it is said that these men a short time after also competed in the games held at Alexander's own funeral.


1. Cf. Plutarch (Alex. 72); Diodorus (xvii. 110).

2. Plutarch makes this statement.

3. See Homer (Iliad, xxiii. 141, 162); Arrian (i. 12).

4. See Herodotus (vii. 35). Xerxes means the venerable king. Cf. Herod., vi. 98. See Donaldson's New Cratylus, sections 161, 479.

5. Epidaurus in Argolis was celebrated as the chief seat of the worship of Aesculapius.

6. This is an Homeric expression, meaning myself.

7. Equal to £2,300,000. Plutarch (Alex. 72) agrees with Arrian. Diodorus (xvii. 115) and Justin (xii. 12) say 12,000 talents.

8. Cf. Aelian (Varia Historia, Tu. 8); Diodorus (xvii. 114, 115); Plutarch(Alex. 72, 75; Eumenes, 2; Pelopidas, 34).

9. See p. 392, note 3.

p.395-398

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