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XVII.17‑39

This webpage reproduces a section of
The Library of History

of
Diodorus Siculus

published in Vol. VIII
of the Loeb Classical Library edition, 1963

The text is in the public domain.

This page has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
If you find a mistake though,
please let me know!


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XVII.64‑83

(Vol. VIII) Diodorus Siculus
Library of History

(Book XVII, continued)

p231 40 1 When Niceratus was archon at Athens, the Romans elected as consuls Marcus Atilius and Marcus Valerius, and the one hundred and twelfth Olympic Games were held, in which Grylus of Chalcis was the victor.1 In this year, Alexander buried the dead from his victory at Issus, including even those of the Persians who had distinguished themselves by courage. Then he performed rich sacrifices to the gods and rewarded those who had borne themselves well in battle with gifts appropriate to each, and rested the army for some days. 2 Then he marched on towards Egypt, and as he came into Phoenicia, received the submission of all the other cities, for their inhabitants accepted him willingly.

At Tyre, however, when the king wished to sacrifice to the Tyrian Heracles,2 the people overhastily barred him from entering the city; 3 Alexander became angry and threatened to resort to force, but the Tyrians cheerfully faced the prospect of a siege. They wanted to gratify Dareius and keep unimpaired their loyalty to him, and thought also that they would receive great gifts from the king in return for such a favour. They would draw Alexander into a protracted and difficult siege and give Dareius time for his military preparations, and at the same time they had confidence in the strength of their island and the p233military forces in it. They also hoped for help from their colonists, the Carthaginians.3

4 The king saw that the city could hardly be taken by sea because of the engines mounted along its walls and the fleet that it possessed, while from the land it was almost unassailable because it lay four furlongs away from the coast.4 Nevertheless he determined to run every risk and make every effort to save the Macedonian army from being held in contempt by a single undistinguished city. 5 Immediately he demolished what was called Old Tyre5 and set many tens of thousands of men to work carrying stones to construct a mole two plethra in width.6 He drafted into service the entire population of the neighbouring cities and the project advanced rapidly because the workers were numerous.

41 1 At first, the Tyrians sailed up to the mole and mocked the king, asking if he thought that he would get the better of Poseidon.7 Then, as the work proceeded with unexpected rapidity, they voted to transport their children and women and old men to Carthage, assigned the young and able-bodied to the defence of the walls, and made ready for a naval engagement with their eighty triremes. 2 They did succeed in getting a part of their children and women to safety with the Carthaginians,8 but they were outstripped by the abundance of Alexander's labour force, and, not being able to stop his advance with their ships, were compelled to stand the siege with p235almost their whole preparation still in the city. 3 They had a wealth of catapults and other engines employed for sieges and they had no difficulty in constructing more because of engineers and artisans of all sorts who were in the city. 4 All kinds of novel devices were fashioned by them, so that the entire circuit of the walls was covered with machines, especially on that side where the mole was approaching the city.9

5 As the Macedonian construction came within range or missiles, portents were sent by the gods to them in their danger. Out of the sea a tidal wave tossed a sea-monster of incredible size into the midst of the Macedonian operations. It crashed into the mole but did it no harm, remained resting a portion of its body against it for a long time and then swam off into the sea again.10 6 This strange event threw both sides into superstition, each imagining that the portent signified that Poseidon would come to their aid, for they were swayed by their own interest in the matter.

7 There were other strange happenings too, calculated to spread confusion and terror among the people. At the distribution of rations on the Macedonian side, the broken pieces of bread had a bloody look.11 Someone reported, on the Tyrian side, that he had seen a vision in which Apollo told him that he would leave the city. 8 Everyone suspected that the man had made up the story in order to curry favour with p237Alexander, and some of the younger citizens set out to stone him; he was, however, spirited away by the magistrates and took refuge in the temple of Heracles, where as a suppliant he escaped the people's wrath, but the Tyrians were so credulous that they tied the image of Apollo to its base with golden cords, preventing, as they thought, the god from leaving the city.12

42 1 Now the Tyrians were alarmed at the advance of the mole, and they equipped many small vessels with both light and heavy catapults13 together with archers and slingers, and, attacking the workers on the mole, wounded many and killed not a few. 2 As missiles of all sorts in large numbers rained upon unarmed and densely packed men, no soldier missed his mark since the targets were exposed and unsuspecting. The missiles struck not only from the front but also from the back, as men were working on both sides of a rather narrow structure and no one could protect himself from those who shot from two directions.

3 Alexander moved immediately to rectify what threatened to be a shocking disaster, and manning all his ships14 and taking personal command of them, made with all speed for the harbour of Tyre to cut off the retreat of the Phoenicians. 4 They in turn were terrified lest he seize the harbour and capture the city while it was empty of soldiers, and rowed back to Tyre as fast as they could. Both fleets plied their oars at a fast stroke in a fury of determination, and p239the Macedonians were already nearing the entrance, but the Phoenicians, by a narrow margin, escaped losing their whole force and, thrusting their way in, got safely to the city with the loss only of the ships at the tail of the column.

5 So the king failed of this important objective, but nevertheless pushed on with the mole, protecting his workers with a thick screen of ships. As his engines drew close to the city and its capture seemed imminent, a powerful north-west gale blew up and damaged a large part of the mole.15 6 Alexander was at a loss to deal with the harm done to his project by the forces of nature and thought of give up the siege attempt, but driven by ambition he sent to the mountain and felling huge trees, he brought them branches and all and, placing them besides the mole, broke the force of the waves.16 7 It was not long before he had restored the collapsed parts of the mole, and pushing on with an ample labour force until he came within missiles' range, he moved his engines out to the end of the causeway, and attacked the walls with his stone throwers, while he employed his light catapults against the men stationed along the battlements. The archers and slingers joined in the barrage, and wounded many in the city who rushed to the defence.

43 1 The Tyrians had bronze workers and machinists, and contrived ingenious counter-measures.17 p241Against the projectiles from the catapults they made wheels with many spokes, and, setting these to rotate by a certain device, they destroyed some of the missiles and deflected other, and broke the force of all. They caught the balls from the stone throwers in soft and yielding materials and so weakened their force. 2 While this attack was going on from the mole, the king sailed around the city with his whole fleet and inspected the walls, and made it clear that he was about to attack the city alike by land and sea.

3 The Tyrians did not dare to put to sea again with their whole fleet but kept three ships moored at the harbour mouth.18 The king, however, sailed up to these, sank them all, and so returned to his camp. Wanting to double the security of their walls, the Tyrians built a second one at a distance of five cubits within the first; this was ten cubits in thickness, and the passage between the walls they filled with stones and earth, 4 but Alexander lashed triremes together, mounted his various siege engines upon them, and overthrew the wall for the space of a plethron.19 5 Through this breach the Macedonians burst into the city, but the Tyrians rained on them a shower of missiles and managed to turn them back,20 and when night came, they rebuilt the fallen part of the wall.

Now the causeway had reached the wall and made p243the city mainland, and sharp fighting took place along the walls. 6 The Tyrians had the present danger before their eyes and easily imagined what a disaster the actual capture of the city would be, so that they spent themselves so freely in the contest as to despise mortal danger. 7 When the Macedonians moved up towers as high as the walls and in this way, extending bridges, boldly assaulted the battlements, the Tyrians fell back on the ingenuity of their engineers and applied many counter-measures to meet the assault. 8 They forged great tridents armed with barbs and struck with these at close range the assailants standing on the towers. These stuck in the shields, and as ropes were attached to the tridents, they could haul on the ropes and pull them in. 9 Their victims were faced the alternative of releasing their arms and exposing their bodies to be wounded by the missiles which showered upon them, or clinging to their shields for shame and perishing in the fall from the lofty towers. 10 Other Tyrians cast fishing nets over those Macedonians who were fighting their way across the bridges and, making their hands helpless, pulled them off and tumbled them down from bridge to earth.

44 1 They thought of another ingenious device also to offset the Macedonian fighting qualities, by which they involved the bravest of the enemy in a horrible torment which could not be avoided. They fashioned shields of bronze and iron and, filling them with sand, roasted them continuously over a strong fire and made the sand red hot. 2 By means of a certain p245apparatus they then scattered this over those Macedonians who were fighting most boldly and brought those within its range into utter misery. The sand sifted down under breastplates and shirts, and scorching the skin with the intense heat inflicted upon them irremediable disaster. 3 They shrieked supplications like those under torture and there was no one to help them, but with the excruciating agony they fell into madness and died, the victims of a pitiable and helpless lot.21

4 At the same time, the Phoenicians poured down fire and flung javelins and stones, and by the volume of their missiles weakened the resolution of the attackers. They let down long poles or spars equipped with concave cutting edges and cut the ropes supporting the rams, thus rendering these instruments useless. With their fire-throwers they discharged huge red-hot masses of metal into the press of the enemy, and where so many men were packed together they did not miss their mark. With "crows" and "iron hands"22 they dragged over the edge many who were stationed behind the breastworks on the towers. 5 With many hands at work they kept all their engines busy and caused many deaths among the besiegers.

45 1 They caused extreme terror by all of this and the fury of their fighting became hardly resistible, but the Macedonians did not lose their boldness. 2 As those in front kept falling, those behind moved up and were not deterred by the sufferings of their comrades. Alexander mounted the stone-throwing catapults p247in proper places and made the walls rock with the boulders that they threw. With the dart-throwers on the wooden towers he kept up a constant fire of all kinds of missiles and terribly punished the defenders of the walls. 3 In response, the Tyrians rigged marble wheels in front of the walls and causing these to rotate by some mechanism they shattered the flying missiles of the catapults and, deflecting them from their course, rendered their fire ineffective.23 4 In addition, they stitched up hides or pairs of skins and stuffed them with seaweed so as to receive the blows of the stones on these. As these were soft and yielding, the force of the flying stones was lessened. 5 In sum, the Tyrians defended themselves strongly in all regards and showed themselves well provided with the means of defence. They were bold in face of their enemies, and left the shelter of the walls and their position with within the towers to push out onto the very bridges and match the courage of the Macedonians with their own valour. 6 They grappled with the enemy and, fighting hand to hand, put up a stout battle for their city. Some of them used axes to chop off any part of the body of an opponent that presented itself.

There was one of the Macedonian commanders named Admetus who was a conspicuously brave and powerful man.24 He withstood the fury of the Tyrians with high courage and died heroically, killed instantly when his skull was split by the stroke of an axe.

7 Alexander saw that the Macedonians were held in check by the resistance of the Tyrians, and, as it p249was now night, recalled his soldiers by a trumpet call. His first impulse was to break off the siege and march on to Egypt,25 but he changed his mind as he reflected that it would be disgraceful to leave the Tyrians with all the glory of the operation. He found support in only one of his Friends, Amyntas the son of Andromenes,26 but turned again to the attack.

46 1 Alexander addressed the Macedonians, calling on them to dare no less than he. Fitting out his ships for fighting, he began a general assault upon the walls by land and sea and this was pressed furiously. He saw that the wall on the side of the naval base was weaker than elsewhere, and brought up to that point his triremes lashed together and supporting his best siege engines. 2 Now he performed a feat of daring which was hardly believable even to those who saw it.27 He flung a bridge across from a wooden tower to the city walls and crossing by it alone gained a footing on the wall, neither concerned for the envy of Fortune nor fearing the menace of the Tyrians. Having as witness of his prowess the great army which had defeated the Persians, he ordered the Macedonians to follow him, and leading the way he slew some of those who came within reach with his spear, and others by a blow of his sabre. He knocked down still others with the rim of his shield, and put an end to the high confidence of the enemy.

3 Simultaneously in another part of the city the battering p251ram, put to its work, brought down a considerable stretch of wall; and when the Macedonians entered through this breach and Alexander's party poured over the bridge on to the wall, the city was taken. The Tyrians, however, kept up the resistance with mutual cries of encouragement and blocked the alleys with barricades, so that all except a few were cut down fighting, in number more than seven thousand.28 4 The king sold the women and children into slavery and crucified all the men of military age.29 These were not less than two thousand. Although most of the non-combatants had been removed to Carthage, those who remained to become captives were found to be more than thirteen thousand.30

5 So Tyre had undergone the siege bravely rather than wisely and come into such misfortunes, after a resistance of seven months.31 6 The king removed the golden chains and fetters from Apollo and gave orders that the god should be called "Apollo Philalexander."32 He carried out magnificent sacrifices to Heracles, rewarded those of his men who had distinguished themselves, and gave a lavish funeral for his own dead. He installed as king of Tyre a man p253named Ballonymus,33 the story of whose career I cannot omit because it is an example of a quite astonishing reversal of fortune.

47 1 The former king, Straton, was deprived of his throne because of his friendship for Dareius, and Alexander invited Hephaestion to nominate as king of Tyre any personal guest-friend whom he wished. 2 At first he favoured the host with whom he found pleasant lodging, and proposed that he should be designated master of the city. He was prominent among the citizens in wealth and position, but not being related to those who had been kings he would not accept the offer. 3 Hephaestion then asked him to make a choice from among the members of the royal family, and he said that he knew a man of royal descent who was wise and good in all respects, but he was poor in the extreme. 4 Hephaestion nevertheless agreed that he should be given the royal power, and the one who had been given the choice went off to find the man he had named, bearing with him the royal dress, and came upon him drawing water for hire in a garden, dressed in common rags. 5 He informed him of the transformation in his position, dressed him in the king's robe, and gave him the other appropriate trappings of office. Then he conducted him to the market place and proclaimed him king of Tyre. 6 Everyone accepted him with enthusiasm and p255marvelled at the vicissitudes of Fortune. Thus he became a Friend of Alexander's and took over the kingdom, an instructive example to those who do not know the incredible changes which Fortune can effect.

Now that we have described Alexander's activity, we shall turn our narrative in another direction.

48 1 In Europe, Agis king of Sparta engaged the services of those mercenaries who had escaped from the battle at Issus, eight thousand in number, and sought to change the political situation in Greece in favour of Dareius. 2 He received from the Persian king ships and money and sailed to Crete, where he captured most of the cities and forced them to take the Persian side.34

That Amyntas who had fled from Macedonia and had gone up to Dareius had fought on the Persian side in Cilicia. He escaped, however, from the battle at Issus with four thousand mercenaries35 and got to Tripolis in Phoenicia before Alexander's arrival. Here he chose from the whole Persian fleet enough ships to transport his soldiers, and burned the rest. 3 He sailed over to Cyprus, took on additional soldiers and ships, and continued on down to Pelusium. Becoming master of that city, he proclaimed that he had been sent by King Dareius as military commander because the satrap of Egypt had been killed fighting p257at Issus in Cilicia.36 4 He sailed up the river to Memphis and defeated the local forces in a battle before the city, but then, as his soldiers turned to plunder, the Egyptians issued out of the city, attacked his men as they were scattered looting estates located in the countryside, and killed Amyntas and all who came with him to the last man. 5 And that was the end of Amyntas, who had set his hand to great undertakings and failed when he had every prospect of success.

His experience was paralleled by those of the other officers and troop leaders who escaped at the head of their military units from the battle at Issus and attempted to maintain the Persian cause. 6 Some got to important cities and held them for Dareius, others raised tribes37 and furnishing themselves with troops from them performed appropriate duties in the time under review.

The delegates of the League of Corinth voted to send fifteen envoys with a golden wreath as a prize of valour from Greece to Alexander,38 instructing them to congratulate him on his victory in Cilicia. 7 Alexander, in the meantime, marched down to Gaza, which was garrisoned by the Persians, and took the city by storm after a siege of two months.39

49 1 In the archonship of Aristophanes at Athens, the consuls at Rome were Spurius Postumius and Titus Veturius.40 In this year King Alexander set in order p259the affairs of Gaza and sent off Amyntas with ten ships to Macedonia,41 with orders to enlist the young men who were fit for military service. He himself with all his army marched on to Egypt and secured the adhesion of all its cities without striking a blow. 2 For since the Persians had committed impieties against the temples and had governed harshly, the Egyptians welcomed the Macedonians.42

Having settled the affairs of Egypt, Alexander went off to the Temple of Ammon, where he wished to consult the oracle of the god. When he had advanced half way along the coast, he was met by envoys from the people of Cyrenê,43 who brought him a crown and magnificent figures, among which were three hundred chargers and five handsome four-horse chariots. 3 He received the envoys cordially and made a treaty of friendship and alliance with them; then he continued with his travelling companions on to the temple. When he came to the desert and waterless part, he took on water and began to cross a country covered with an infinite expanse of sand. In four days their water had given out and they suffered from fearful thirst. 4 All fell into despair, when suddenly a great storm of rain burst from the heavens,44 ending their shortage of water in a way which had not been foreseen, and which, therefore, seemed to those so unexpectedly rescued to have been due to the action of divine Providence. 5 They refilled their containers from a hollow in the ground, and again with a four p261days' supply in case marched for four days and came out of the desert.45 at one point, when their road could not be traced because of the sand dunes, the guide pointed out to the king that crows cawing on their right were calling their attention to the route which led to the temple.46 6 Alexander took this for an omen, and thinking that the god was pleased by his visit pushed on with speed. First he came to the so‑called Bitter Lake, and then, proceeding another hundred furlongs, he passed by the Cities of Ammon.47 Then, after a journey of one day, he approached the sanctuary.

50 1 The land where this temple lies is surrounded by a sandy desert and waterless waste, destitute of anything good for man. The oasis is fifty furlongs in length and breadth and is watered by many fine springs, so that it is covered with all sorts of trees, especially those valued for their fruit. It has a moderate climate like our spring and, surrounded as it is by very hot regions, alone furnishes to its people a contrasting mildness of temperature.48 2 It is said that the sanctuary was built by Danaüs the Egyptian. The land, which is sacred to the god, is occupied on the south and west by Ethiopians, and on the north by p263the Libyans, a nomadic people, and the so‑called Nasamonians who reach on into the interior.49

3 All the people of Ammon dwell in villages. In the midst of their country there is a fortress secured by triple walls.50 The innermost circuit encloses the palace of the ancient rulers; the next, the women's court, the dwellings of the children, women, and relatives, and the guardrooms of the scouts, as well as the sanctuary of the god and the sacred spring, from the waters of which offerings addressed to the god take on holiness; the outer circuit surrounds the barracks of the king's guards and the guardrooms of those who protect the person of the ruler.51

4 Outside of the fortress at no great distance there is another temple of Ammon shaded by many large trees, and near this is the spring which is called the Spring of the Sun from its behaviour.52 Its waters change in temperature oddly in accordance with the times of day. 5 At sunrise it sends forth a warm stream, but as the day advances it grows cooler proportionally with the passage of the hours, until under the noonday heat it reaches the extreme degree of cold. Then again in the same proportion it grows warmer toward evening and as the night advances it continues to heat up until midnight when again the trend is reversed, p265and at daybreak once more the waters have returned to their original temperature.

6 The image of the god is encrusted with emeralds and other precious stones, and answers those who consult the oracle in a quite peculiar fashion. It is carried about upon a golden boat by eighty priests, and these, with the god on their shoulders, go without their own volition wherever the god directs their path. 7 A multitude of girls and women follows them singing hymns as they go and praising the god in a traditional hymn.53

51 1 When Alexander was conducted by the priests into the temple and had regarded the god for a while, the one who held the position of prophet, an elderly man, came to him and said, "Rejoice, son;54 take this form of address as from the god also." 2 He replied, "I accept, father; for the future I shall be called thy son. But tell me if thou givest me the rule of the whole earth." The priest now entered the sacred enclosure and as the bearers now lifted the god and were moved according to certain prescribed sounds of the voice,55 the prophet cried that of a certainty the god had granted him his request, and Alexander spoke again: "The last, O spirit, of my questions now answer; have I punished all those who were the p267murderers of my father or have some escaped me?" 3 The prophet shouted: "Silence! There is no mortal who can plot against the one who begot him. All the murders of Philip, however, have been punished. The proof of his divine birth will resist in the greatness of his deeds; as formerly he has been undefeated, so now he will be unconquerable for all time." 4 Alexander was delighted with these responses. He honoured the god with rich gifts and returned to Egypt.56

52 1 He decided to found a great city in Egypt, and gave orders to the men left behind with this mission to build the city between the marsh and the sea.57 He laid out the site and traced the streets skilfully and ordered that the city should be called after him Alexandria. 2 It was conveniently situated near the harbour of Pharos, and by selecting the right angle of the streets, Alexander made the city breathe with the etesian winds58 so that as these blow across a great expanse of sea, they cool the air of the town, and so he provided its inhabitants with a moderate climate and good health. 3 Alexander also laid out the walls so that they were at once exceedingly large and marvellously strong. Lying between a great marsh and the sea, it affords by land only two approaches, both narrow and very easily blocked.

p269 In shape, it is similar to a chlamys,a and it is approximately bisected by an avenue remarkable for its size and beauty. From gate to gate it runs a distance of forty furlongs;59 it is a plethron60 in width, and is bordered throughout its length with rich façades of houses and temples. 4 Alexander gave orders to build a palace notable for its size and massiveness. And not only Alexander, but those who after him ruled Egypt down to our own time, with few exceptions have enlarged this with lavish additions. 5 The city in general has grown so much in later times that many reckon it to be the first city of the civilized world, and it is certainly far ahead of all the rest in elegance and extent and riches and luxury. 6 The number of its inhabitants surpasses that of those in other cities. At the time when we were in Egypt, those who kept the census returns of the population said that its free residents were more than three hundred thousand,61 and that the king received from the revenues of the country more than six thousand talents.

7 However that may be, King Alexander charged certain of his Friends with the construction of Alexandria, settled all the affairs of Egypt, and returned with his army to Syria.62

53 1 By the time he heard of his arrival, Dareius p271had already assembled his forces from all directions and made everything ready for battle. He had fashioned swords and lances much longer than his earlier types because it was thought Alexander had had a great advantage in this respect in the battle in Cilicia. He had also constructed two hundred scythe-bearing chariots well designed to astonish and terrify the enemy.63 2 From each of these there projected out beyond the trace horses scythes three spans long,64 attached to the yoke, and presenting their cutting edges to the front. At the axle housings there were two more scythes pointing straight out with their cutting edges turned to the front like the others, but longer and broader. Curved blades were fitted to the ends of these.65

3 All of the force the king adorned with shining armour and with brilliant commanders. As he marched out of Babylon, he had with him eight hundred thousand infantry and no less than two hundred thousand cavalry.66 He kept the Tigris on the right of his route and the Euphrates on the left, and proceeded through a rich country capable of furnishing ample fodder for the animals and food enough for so p273many soldiers.67 4 He had in mind to deploy for battle in the vicinity of Nineveh, since the plains there were well suited to his purpose and afforded ample manoeuvre room for the huge forces at his disposal. Pitching camp at a village named Arbela, he drilled his troops daily and made them well disciplined by continued training and practice. He was most concerned lest some confusion should arise in the battle from the numerous peoples assembled who differed in speech.

54 1 On the other hand, just as he had previously68 sent envoys to Alexander to treaty for peace, offering to concede to him the land west of the Halys River, and also to give him twenty thousand talents of silver, but Alexander would not agree, 2 so now again Dareius sent other envoys praising Alexander for his generous treatment of Dareius's mother and the other captives and inviting him to become a friend. He offered him all the territory west of the Euphrates, thirty thousand talents of silver,69 and the hand of one of his daughters. Alexander would become Dareius's son-in‑law and occupy the place of a son, while sharing in the rule of the whole empire.70 3 Alexander brought together all his Friends into a council and laid before p275them the alternatives. He urged each to speak his own mind freely. 4 None of the rest, however, dared to give an opinion in a matter of this importance, but Parmenion spoke up and said" "If I were Alexander, I should accept what was offered and make a treaty." 5 Alexander cut in and said: "So should I, if I were Parmenion."

He continued with proud words and refuted the arguments of the Persians, preferring glory to the gifts which were extended to him. Then he told the envoys that the earth could not preserve its plan and order if there were two suns nor could the inhabited world remain calm and free from war so long as two kings shared the rule.71 6 He bade them tell Dareius that, if he desired the supremacy, he should do battle with him to see which of them would have sole and universal rule. If, on the other hand, he despised glory and chose profit and luxury with a life of ease, then let him obey Alexander, but be king over all other rulers,72 since this privilege was granted him by Alexander's generosity.

7 Alexander dismissed the council and ordering his forces to resume their march, he advanced on the camp of the enemy. At this juncture the wife of Dareius died and Alexander gave her a sumptuous funeral.73

p277 55 1 Dareius heard Alexander's answer and gave up any hope of a diplomatic settlement. He continued drilling his troops each day and brought their battle discipline to a satisfactory state. He sent off one of his Friends, Mazaeus, with a picked body of men to guard the crossing of the river and to seize and hold the ford. Other troops he sent out to scorch the earth over which the enemy must come. He thought of using the bed of the Tigris as a defence against the advance of the Macedonians.74 2 Mazaeus, however, looked upon the river as uncrossable because of its depth and the swiftness of the current,75 and neglected to guard it. Instead he joined forces with those who were burning the countryside, and having wasted a great stretch of it, judged that it would be unusable by the enemy because of the lack of forage.

3 Alexander, nevertheless, when he came to the crossing of the Tigris River, learned of the ford from some of the local natives, and transferred his army to the east bank. This was accomplished not only with difficulty but even at substantial risk. 4 The depth of the water at the ford was above a man's breast and the force of the current swept away many who were crossing and deprived them of their footing, and as the water struck their shields, it bore many off their course and brought them into extreme danger. 5 But Alexander contrived a defence against the violence of the river. He ordered all to lock arms with each p279other and to construct a sort of bridge out of the compact union of their persons.76 6 Since the crossing had been hazardous and the Macedonians had had a narrow escape, Alexander rested the army that day, and on the following he deployed it and led it forward toward the enemy, then pitched camp not far from the Persians.77

56 1 Casting over in his mind the number of the Persian forces and the decisive nature of the impending battle, since success or failure lay now entirely in the strength of their arms, Alexander lay awake throughout the night occupied with concern for the next day. About the morning watch he fell asleep, and slept so soundly that he could not be wakened when the sun rose.78 2 At first his Friends were delighted, thinking that the king would be all the keener for the battle for his thorough relaxation. As time passed, however, and sleep continued to possess him, Parmenion, the senior among the Friends, issued on his own responsibility the order to the troops to make ready for the battle, 3 and since his sleep continued, the Friends came to Alexander and at last succeeded in waking him. As all expressed astonishment at the matter and pressed him to tell the reason for his unconcern, Alexander said that Dareius had freed him from all anxiety by assembling p281all his forces into one place. 4 Now in one day the decision would be reached on all issues, and they would be saved toils and dangers extending over a long period of time. Nevertheless, Alexander summoned his officers and encouraged them for the battle which they faced with suitable words, and then led out his army deployed for battle against the Persians, ordering the cavalry squadrons to ride ahead of the infantry phalanx.

57 1 On the right wing Alexander stationed the royal squadron under the command of Cleitus the Black (as he was called), and next to this the other Friends79 under the command of Parmenion's son Philotas, then in succession the other seven squadrons under the same commander. 2 Behind these was stationed the infantry battalion of the Silver Shields,80 distinguished for the brilliance of their armour and the valour of the men; they were led by Nicanor, the son of Parmenion. Next to them was the battalion from Elimiotis,81 as it was called, under the command of Coenus; next he stationed the battalion of the Orestae and the Lyncestae, of which Perdiccas held the command. Meleager commanded the next battalion and Polyperchon the one after that, the people called Stymphaeans being under him. 3 Philip the son of Balacrus held the next command and, after him, p283Craterus. As for the cavalry, the line of the squadrons which I have mentioned was continued with the combined Peloponnesian and Achaean horse, then cavalry from Phthiotis and Malis, then Locrians and Phocians, all under the command of Erigyius of Mitylenê. 4 Next were posted the Thessalians who had Philip as their commander; they were far superior to the rest in their fighting qualities and in their horsemanship. And next to these he stationed the Cretan archers and the mercenaries from Achaia.

5 On both flanks he kept his wings back so that the enemy with their superior numbers could not envelop the shorter line of the Macedonians. 6 Against the threat of the scythed chariots, he ordered the infantry of the phalanx to join shields as soon as these went into action against them and to beat the shields with their spears, creating such a din as to frighten the horses into bolting to the rear, or, if they persevered, to open gaps in the ranks such that they might ride through harmlessly. He himself took personal command of the right wing and advancing obliquely planned to settle the issue of the battle by his own actions.82

58 1 Dareius based his formation for battle on the characteristics of his national contingents,83 and posting himself opposite Alexander gave the command to advance on the Macedonians. As the lines approached p285each other, the trumpeters on both sides sounded the attack and the troops charged each other with a loud shout. 2 First the scythed chariots swung into action at full gallop and created great alarm and terror among the Macedonians,84 especially since Mazaeus85 in command of the cavalry made their attack more frightening by supporting with his dense squadrons of horse. 3 As the phalanx joined shields, however, all beat upon their shields with their spears as the king had commanded and a great din arose. 4 As the horses shied off, most of the chariots were turned about and bore hard with irresistible impact against their own ranks. Others continued on against the Macedonian lines, but as the soldiers opened wide gaps in their ranks the chariots were channelled through these. In some instances the horses were killed by javelin casts and in others they rode through and escaped, but some of them, using the full force of their momentum and applying their steel blades actively, wrought death among the Macedonians in many and various forms. 5 Such was the keenness and the force of the scythes ingeniously contrived to do harm that they severed the arms of many, shields and all, and in no small number of cases they cut through necks and sent heads tumbling to the ground with the eyes still open and the expression of the countenance unchanged, and in other cases they sliced through ribs with mortal gashes and inflicted a quick death.86

p287 59 1 As the main bodies now neared each other and, employing bows and slings and throwing javelins, expended their missiles, they turned to hand to hand fighting. 2 The cavalry first joined battle, and as the Macedonians were on the right wing, Dareius, who commanded his own left, led his kinsman cavalry against them. These were men chosen for courage and for loyalty, the whole thousand included in one squadron.87 3 Knowing that the king was watching their behaviour, they cheerfully faced all of the missiles which were cast in his direction. With them were engaged the Apple Bearers,88 brave and numerous, and in addition to these Mardi and Cossaei, who were admired for their strength and daring, 4 as well as all the household troops belonging to the palace and the best fighters among the Indians. They all raised a loud battle cry and, attacking, engaged the enemy valiantly and pressed hard upon the Macedonians because of their superior numbers.

5 Mazaeus was in command of the Persian right wing with the best of the cavalry under him and killed not a few of his opponents at the first onslaught, but sent off two thousand Cadusii and a thousand picked Scythian horsemen with orders to ride around the enemy's flank and to continue on to their camp and p289capture the baggage. 6 This they did promptly, and as they burst into the camp of the Macedonians, some of the captives seized weapons and aided the Scythians in seizing the baggage. There was shouting and confusion throughout the whole camp area at this unexpected event. 7 Most of the female captives rushed off to welcome the Persians, but the mother of Dareius, Sisyngambris, did not heed when the women called upon her, but remained placidly where she was, since she neither trusted the uncertain turns of Fortune nor would sully her gratitude toward Alexander. 8 Finally, after the Scythians had rounded up much of the baggage, they rode off to Mazaeus to report their success.89 During this time, also, part of the cavalry of Dareius in superior numbers continued their pressure on the opposing Macedonians and forced them to give ground.

60 1 This was a second success for the Persians, and Alexander saw that it was time for him to offset the discomfiture of his forces by his own intervention90 with the royal squadron and the rest of the elite horse guards, and rode hard against Dareius.91 2 The Persian king received their attack and fighting from a chariot hurled javelins against his opponents, and many supported him. As the kings approached each other, Alexander flung a javelin at Dareius and missed him, p291but struck the driver standing beside him and knocked him to the ground. 3 A shout went up at this from the Persians around Dareius, and those at a greater distance thought that the king had fallen. They were the first to take to flight, and they were followed by those next to them, and steadily, little by little, the solid ranks of Dareius's guard disintegrated. 4 As both flanks became closed, the king himself was alarmed and retreated. The flight thus became general. Dust raised by the Persian cavalry rose to a height, and as Alexander's squadrons followed on their heels, because of their numbers and the thickness of the dust, it was impossible to tell in what direction Dareius was fleeing. The air was filled with the groans of the fallen, the din of the cavalry, and the constant sound of lashing of whips.92

5 At this time Mazaeus, the commander of the Persian right wing, with the most and the best of the cavalry, was pressing hard on those opposing him, but Parmenion with the Thessalian cavalry and the rest of his forces put up a stout resistance. 6 For a time, fighting brilliantly, he even seemed to have the upper hand thanks to the fighting qualities of the Thessalians, but the weight and numbers of Mazaeus's command brought the Macedonian cavalry into difficulties. 7 A great slaughter took place, and despairing of withstanding the Persian power, Parmenion sent off some of his horsemen to Alexander, begging him to come to their support quickly. They carried out their orders with dispatch, but finding that Alexander was already in full pursuit at a great p293distance from the battlefield they returned without accomplishing their mission. 8 Nevertheless Parmenion handled the Thessalian squadrons with the utmost skill and finally, killing many of the enemy, routed the Persians who were by now much disheartened by the withdrawal of Dareius.93

61 1 Dareius was a clever strategist. He took advantage of the great cloud of dust and did not withdraw to the rear like the other barbarians, but swinging in the opposite direction and covering his movement by the dust, got away safely himself and brought all his troops into villages which lay behind the Macedonian position.94 2 Finally all the Persians had fled, and as the Macedonians kept slaughtering the stragglers, before long the whole region in which the battle had taken place was covered with dead. 3 On the Persian side in the battle fell, cavalry and infantry together, more than ninety thousand.95 About five hundred of the Macedonians were killed and there were very many wounded.96 Of the most prominent p295group of commanders, Hephaestion was wounded with a spear thrust in the arm; he had commanded the bodyguards.97 Perdiccas and Coenus, of the general's group, were also wounded, so also Menidas and others of the higher commanders.98

That was the outcome of the battle near Arbela.

62 1 When Aristophon was archon at Athens, the consular office at Rome was assumed by Gaius Domitius and Aulus Cornelius.99 In this year word was brought to Greece about the battle near Arbela, and many of the cities became alarmed at the growth of Macedonian power and decided that they should strike for their freedom while the Persian cause was still alive. 2 They expected that Dareius would help them and send them much money so that they could gather great armies of mercenaries, while Alexander would not be able to divide his forces. 3 If, on the other hand, they watched idly while the Persians were utterly defeated, the Greeks would be isolated and never again be able to think of recovering their freedom.

4 There was also an upheaval in Thrace at just this time which seemed to offer the Greeks an opportunity for freeing themselves. 5 Memnon, who had been designated governor-general there, had a military force p297and was a man of spirit. He stirred up the tribesmen, revolted against Alexander, quickly possessed a large army, and was openly bent upon war. 6 Antipater was forced to mobilize his entire army and to advance through Macedonia into Thrace to settle with him.100

While Antipater was occupied with this,101 the Lacedaemonians thought that the time had come to undertake a war and issued an appeal to the Greeks to unite in defence of their freedom. 7 The Athenians had been favoured beyond all the other Greeks by Alexander and did not move. Most of the Peloponnesians, however, and some of the northern Greeks reached an agreement and signed an undertaking to go to war. According to the capacity of the individual cities they enlisted the best of their youth and enrolled as soldiers not less than twenty thousand infantry and about two thousand cavalry. 8 The Lacedaemonians had the command and led out their entire levy for the decisive battle, their king Agis having the position of commander in chief.

63 1 When Antipater learned of this Greek mobilization, he ended the Thracian campaign on what terms he could and marched down into the Peloponnesus with his entire army. He added soldiers from those of the Greeks who were still loyal and built up his force until it numbered not less than forty thousand.102 2 When it came to a general engagement, Agis was struck p299down fighting, but the Lacedaemonians fought furiously and maintained their position for a long time; when the Greek allies were forced out of position they themselves fell back on Sparta. 3 More than five thousand three hundred of the Lacedaemonians and their allies were killed in the battle, and three thousand five hundred of Antipater's troops.

4 An interesting event occurred in connection with Agis's death. He had fought gloriously and fell with many frontal wounds. As he was being carried by his soldiers back to Sparta, he found himself surrounded by the enemy. Despairing of his own life, he ordered the rest to make their escape with all speed and to save themselves for the service of their country, but he himself armed and rising to his knees defended himself, killed some of the enemy and was himself slain by a javelin cast; he had reigned nine years.103 (This is the end of the first half of the seventeenth book.)104

5 Now that we have run through the events in Europe, we may in turn pass on to what occurred in Asia.


The Loeb Editor's Notes:

1 Nicetes was archon at Athens from July 332 to June 331 B.C. (Arrian, 2.24.6, calls him Anicetus). The consuls of 335 B.C. (Broughton, 1.139) were M. Atilius Regulus Calenus and M. Valerius Corvus. The 112th Olympic Games were held in July 332 B.C.

2 For this Heracles cp. B. C. Brundage, Journal of Near Eastern Studies, 17 (1958), 225‑236. The siege of Tyre is described by Curtius (4.2.1‑4.18; Justin, 11.10.10‑14; Plutarch, Alexander, 24.2‑25.2; Arrian, 2.16‑24). It was the time of the great annual festival of the god (Curtius, 4.2.10), and the Tyrians may have felt that to allow Alexander to sacrifice at that time would have meaning acknowledging his sovereignty.

3 Justin, 11.10.12. Curtius (4.3.19) reports that the Carthaginians were unable to send reinforcements.

4 Curtius, 4.2.7.

5 Curtius, 4.2.18.

6 Two hundred feet.

7 Curtius, 4.2.20.

8 Curtius, 4.3.20; Justin, 11.10.14. Below, in chap. 46.4, Diodorus states that most of these person were actually removed to safety.

9 Curtius, 4.2.12.

10 Curtius (4.4.3‑4) places this event a little later in the siege.

11 Curtius, 4.2.14. Diodorus omits Alexander's favouring dream of Heracles (Curtius, 4.2.17; Arrian, 2.18.1).

This and the similar if considerably more dramatic Miracle of Bolsena — in which a priest with doubts saw the Host bleed in his hands as he was officiating — may be due to the bacterium Serratia marcescens, which grows on starchy foodstuffs and looks very much like blood; see for example this page at E‑Medicine.

12 Curtius, 4.3.22; Plutarch, Alexander, 24.3‑4.

13 Probably the oxybeleis were armed with heavy wooden arrows or quarrels, while the catapeltas threw balls of stone.

14 Alexander was by now in possession of the fleets of the other Phoenician cities (Arrian, 2.20.7).

15 Curtius, 4.3.6‑7.

16 Curtius, 4.3.9.

17 These "counter-measures" do not appear elsewhere in the sources, and Tarn Alexander the Great, 2.120 f.) may be right in tracing them ultimately to a technical military manual. It is not impossible that they may be insertions of Diodorus himself and were lacking in his source; Diodorus was interested in curiosities. The wheels appear again below (chap. 45.3) in somewhat different form. They are otherwise unknown in antiquity (Tarn, p121). Apparently they were made to whirl in front of the men on the walls, giving them observation through the spokes but protecting them from missiles. The translation here offers difficulties: "wheels divided by thick diaphragms" or "with many barriers at close intervals." Possibly the diaphragms were screens between the wheels.

18 Curtius, 4.3.12; Arrian, 2.20.9.

19 The distances are seven and one-half feet, fifteen feet, and one hundred feet respectively.

20 Arrian, 2.22.7.

21 Curtius, 4.3.25‑26.

22 Two forms of grappling irons.

23 Cp. chap. 43.1 above, and note.

24 He commanded the hypaspistae or infantry of the guard (Arrian, 2.23.2‑5). He was killed by a spear thrust, according to Arrian (2.24.4).

25 Curtius, 4.4.1.

26 A prominent Macedonian noble, who served Alexander in various positions of trust until his death in 330 or 329 B.C. (Berve, Alexanderreich, 2, no. 57).

27 Curtius, 4.4.10‑11. Tarn comments (Alexander the Great, 2, p120) that this description would fit better the descriptionº of a land siege. Arrian's account (2.23.5) is quite different.

28 Curtius (4.4.16) gives the total as 6000, Arrian (2.24.4) as 8000. Justin (11.10.4) states that Tyre was taken by treachery.

29 Curtius (4.4.17) reports that 2000 men were "crucibus affixi."

30 Arrian (2.24.5) gives the number of survivors as 30,000, and Macedonian losses as 400. In chap. 41.2 above, Diodorus stated that only a few of the non-combatants were removed to Carthage.

31 This length of the siege is given by Plutarch also (Alexander, 24.3), and the city was taken in Hecatombaeon (July; Arrian, 2.24.6), probably, if the Macedonian month were equated to the Athenian, on the 29th day. Plutarch (Alexander, 25.2) reports that Alexander, to save a prophecy of Aristander, redesignated that day as the 28th and not the 30th. (In other words, it was a "hollow" month and had no 29th day; Alexander intercalated a second 28th and was prepared to continue the process until the city was taken.)

32 Another version of the same story is given by Plutarch, Alexander, 24.4. The Tyrians suspected that Apollo intended to desert them (chap. 41.8), and tied him to his base, calling him an Ἀλεξανδριστής.

33 Presumably the correct form of the name, Abdalonymus, is preserved in Curtius (4.1.15‑26) and Justin (11.10.8), and it is a proper Phoenician nomenclature, with the meaning "Servant of the gods." Some have wished to see this king as the owner of the Alexander Sarcophagus from Sidon, now in Istanbul; cp., e.g., I. Kleemann, Der Satrapen-Sarkophag aus Sidon (1958), pp28 f. In any case, the mention of King Straton shows that the incident occurred in Sidon, not in Tyre. Plutarch, De Fortuna aut Virtute Alexandri, 2.8. (340C‑E), locates it in Paphos (rendering the name Aralynomus). See Addenda.

34 The narrative is continued later, chaps. 62.6‑63.4; 73.5‑6. Cp. Curtius, 4.1.38‑40; Arrian, 2.13.4‑6; 3.6.3.

35 A prominent Macedonian, son of Antiochus, suspected of hostility to Alexander because of his association with Alexander's cousin Amyntas (SIG3 258). Amyntas had deserted to the Persians about 335 B.C. (Berve, Alexanderreich 2, no. 58). Curtius (4.1.27‑33) also gives him 4000 troops, Arrian (2.13.2‑3) 8000.

36 His name was Sabaces or Tasiaces (chap. 34.5).

37 Tarn (Alexander the Great, 2, p73) sees here very plausibly a reference to the revolt of Cappadocia (Curtius, 4.1.34‑35; 5.13).

38 Curtius, 4.5.11‑12.

39 Full accounts of the siege of Gaza are given by Curtius (4.6.7‑30) and Arrian (2.25.4‑27). Cp. Plutarch, Alexander, 25.3‑4.

40 Aristophanes was archon at Athens from July 331 to June 330 B.C. The Roman consuls of 334 B.C. were Sp. Postumius Albinus and T. Veturius Calvinus (Broughton, 1, p140).

41 This was Amyntas the son of Andromenes (chap. 45.7). Curtius (4.6.30) mentions the same incident. His brother Simmias took over his battalion of the phalanx in his absence. He rejoined Alexander in 331 (chap. 65.1; cp. Arrian, 3.6.10).

42 Curtius, 4.7.1. Arrian (3.1.2) limits this friendliness to Mazaces, the Persian satrap.

43 Curtius, 4.7.9. This incident is omitted by Arrian. For the Siwah visit in general see Curtius, 4.7.6‑32; Justin, 11.11.2‑12; Plutarch, Alexander, 26.6‑27; Arrian, 3.3‑4.

44 Curtius, 4.7.14; Plutarch, Alexander, 27.1; Arrian, 3.3.4.

45 The four days are mentioned by Curtius, 4.7.15.

46 The crows come from Aristobulus; Arrian, 3.3.6; cp. Curtius, 4.7.15; Plutarch, Alexander, 27.2‑3.

47 These localities are not mentioned by the other sources, and the first looks like a mistake for the salt lakes at the Wadi Natrun. There is a small oasis between Mersa Matruh and Siwah, but this could hardly be the "Cities of Ammon." The total map distance from the coast to Siwah is about 90 miles.

48 Curtius, 4.7.17.

49 Curtius's account (4.7.18‑19) is more systematic: Ethiopians on the east and west, Trogodytes on the north, Nasamonians on the north. Strabo (17.3.20) calls the Nasamonians a Libyan people, and states (2.5.33) that they live on the coast near the Syrtes.

50 Curtius, 4.7.20‑21. For a description of Siwah and its antiquities see Ahmed Fakhry, Siwa Oasis, Its History and Antiquities (1944); The Oasis Siwa, Its Customs, History and Monuments (1950). The fortress and the shrine of the oracle were on the hill called Aghurmi, never systematically excavated.

51 Curtius's description of the fortress (4.7.21) is clearer. The inner walls enclosed the palace; the second, the dwellings of wives, concubines, and children, and the shrine of the oracle; the third, the quarters of the guards.

52 Curtius, 4.7.22; Arrian, 3.4.2.

53 Curtius, 4.7. 23‑24. The god gave his responds by nods and signs, as Callisthenes reported (Strabo, 17.1.43), just as did later the Apollo of Hierapolis (Lucian, De Dea Syria, 36). The temple procedure is quite typical of the Egyptian temples, where the god's image was carried about in a boat-shaped litter or tray.

54 Curtius, 4.7.25; Justin, 11.11.2‑12; Plutarch, Alexander, 27.5.

55 It is not clear whose voice this was which uttered "symbols." Perhaps the automatic movements of the bearers were symbols which could be interpreted in oral responds.

56 Curtius, 4.7.27‑28; Justin, 11.11.9; Plutarch, Alexander, 27.3‑4. See Addenda.

57 Curtius, 4.8.1‑6; Justin, 11.11.13; Plutarch, Alexander, 26.2‑6; Arrian, 3.1.5‑2.2. Diodorus, Curtius, and Justin follow the tradition of Aristobulus (Arrian, 3.4.5) in placing the foundation of Alexandria after Alexander's visit to Siwah; Plutarch and Arrian follow Ptolemy in locating it before the visit. The marsh is Lake Mareotis.

58 The north-western winds of summer. This description of Alexandria is based on Diodorus's own observation (Introd. p6), and is lacking in the other Alexander histories.

59 The contemporary description of Strabo (17.1.7‑10) says thirty furlongs. The ancient circuit of the walls has not been traced.

60 One hundred feet.

61 A papyrus of later date has been interpreted as stating that the citizens of Alexandria numbered 180,000, but this is very uncertain (H. A. Musurillo, The Acts of the Pagan Martyrs, 1954, no. III, col. i.15).

62 Further details are given by Curtius, 4.8.4‑9; Arrian, 3.5.2‑7. Alexander reached Thapsacus in the Attic month Hecatombaeon (Arrian, 3.7.1; about July/August 331; see below, p278, note 77).

63 Curtius, 4.9.3‑5; Arrian, 3.8.6.

64 About twenty-seven inches.

65 Curtius, 4.9.5 is a little clearer than Diodorus. He adds that a spear projected forward from the end of the chariot pole and that blades below the chariot reached towards the ground. He also mentions swords projecting from both ends of the yoke, as would be possible in a two-horse chariot. But Diodorus's trace horses would seem to make these impossible.

66 The Persian forces numbered 500,000 according to Justin (11.12.5), 1,000,000 according to Plutarch (Alexander, 31.1), 1,000,000 foot and 40,000 horse according to Arrian (3.8.6). Curtius gives the totals later (4.12.13) and more reasonably: 45,000 horse and 200,000 infantry.

67 In Curtius also (4.9.6), Dareius started his march from the left bank of the Euphrates at Babylon and crossed over to the left bank of the Tigris at some unspecified point upstream. Arrian suggests (3.8.3‑6) that Dareius's army mustered east of the Tigris, perhaps not far from the actual battlefield.

68 The diplomatic exchanges between Dareius and Alexander are discussed above on chap. 39, p228, note 79.

69 These figures are variously reported in the manuscripts; see notes 1 and 2 on the opposite page.

The note "1" mentioned is a critical note to the Greek text, at δισμύρια (τάλαντα δισμύρια), which reads:

δισμύρια Fischer; δισχίλια R; πεντακισχίλια F.

The note "2" is a critical note to the Greek text, at τρισμύρια (τάλαντ᾽ ἀργυρίου τρισμύρια), which reads:

τρσιμύρια F (in first hand); τρισχίλια RX and F (second hand).

70 It was a common practice among the Persians as later among the Seleucids for the king to share the administration of his huge realm with the crown prince. According to this offer, Dareius would rule the east, Alexander the west, but the kingdom would remain a unit. The territory offered to Alexander was approximately that which later became a part of the Roman Empire.

71 The quip, "So should I if I were Parmenion," occurs in all the sources. The "two suns" metaphor is given otherwise only by Justin (11.12.15).

72 This is a concept in keeping with the feudal organization of the Persian empire. The king was, quite literally, "king of kings"; if he accepted Alexander's overlordship, he might still be king of all the other kings of "Iran and non-Iran."

73 Plutarch, also (Alexander, 30), places this incident after Dareius's embassy. Curtius (4.10.18‑34) and Justin (11.12.6‑7) place it before the embassy. This was the summer of 331. She had been taken prisoner in November, 333, but Plutarch, Alexander, 30.1, states that she died in childbirth. This may reflect a tradition that Alexander had not taken as good care of her as was generally believed.

74 According to Arrian (3.7.1), Mazaeus was also supposed to defend the line of the Euphrates, and this plan is reported in a different form by Curtius, 4.9.7 and 12.

75 The Tigris is said to owe its name to the "arrow-swift" character of its current (Curtius, 4.9.16).

76 Curtius, 4.9.15‑21. Arrian (3.7.5) merely remarks that Alexander crossed with difficulty.

77 The tradition of the date of the battle is confused. Eleven days before it (Plutarch, Alexander, 31.4) there occurred in the Attic month Boedromion an eclipse of the moon which has been identified as that of 20/21 September 331 B.C. (Curtius, 4.10.2; Arrian, 3.7.6). If the Attic month followed the moon in practice as it did in theory, this should have been on the 15th of Boedromion, and the battle fought on the 26th or 27th. Arrian, however, states that the battle took place in Pyanepsion (3.15.7), presumably the month of the eclipse also. Justin (11.13.1) simply says that the battle occurred "postero die" after the dismissal of Dareius's embassy.

78 Curtius, 4.13.17‑24; Plutarch, Alexander, 32.1‑2.

79 This term is somewhat unexpectedly used instead of the usual term "Companions" (Arrian, 3.11.8). Cp. note 15, p14. The full accounts of the Battle of Gaugemelaº are those of Curtius (4.12‑16) and Arrian (3.11‑15); cp. also Justin, 11.13‑14.3; Plutarch, Alexander, 32‑33.

80 These were the infantry of the guard, the hypaspistae, called by the name which came into use only in the period of the Successors (Tarn, Alexander the Great, 2, p116; cp. p14, note 15). Curtius (8.5.4) writes of the introduction of silver and gold trappings in 327.

81 The battalions of the Macedonian phalanx were organized on a territorial basis and known by the names of their component elements.

82 Diodorus's account of Alexander's dispositions agrees generally with those of Curtius (4.13.26‑35) and Arrian (3.11.8‑125), with the exceptions that Arrian gives only six squadrons of the Companions in addition to that of Cleitus, and names Simmias as battalion commander instead of Philip (who is named also by Curtius, 4.13.28; a Philip appears in 327 as a battalion commander with Alexander in operations north of the Kabul River, Arrian, 4.24.10).

83 The Persian dispositions are given by Curtius (4.12.5‑13) and Arrian (3.11.3‑7) from captured records.

84 Curtius, 4.15.3; Arrian, 3.13.5.

85 Mazaeus appears below (chap. 59.5) in command of the Persian right wing, not the left.

86 Curtius, 4.15.14‑17. Arrian is not interested in such descriptions.

87 Curtius, 4.15.24‑25. This was the royal chiliarchy, commanded by the chiliarch or grand vizier. The members had the court rank of Royal Relatives. Like Diodorus, Curtius (4.12) writes only of left and right wings in the Persian army, with the king in the former position (4.14.8). Arrian (3.11.5) places the king correctly in the centre.

88 So called from the fact that the butts of their spears were carved in the likeness of apples. They constituted the royal foot guards. Arrian (3.11.3‑4) gives from an official list captured after the battle Kinsmen, Melophoroi, Indians, Carians, and Mardi. The Cossaei are named by Curtius also (4.12.10), certainly an error, since they were not subjects of the king (chap. 111.4).

89 Curtius, 4.15.5‑11. The "baggage" included persons as well as objects, and it may be that this attack was a calculated attempt to recover the Persian women captured at Issus. Arrian (3.14.5‑6) views it as a purely military manoeuvre. Arrian reports that it was a break through the Macedonian line carried out by Indians and Persian cavalry, while Curtius and Plutarch (Alexander, 32.3), who do not identify the troops, agree with Diodorus that the operation was a sweep around the Macedonian left wing.

90 This same motivation is ascribed to Alexander, Curtius, 4.15.19.

91 Curtius, 4.15.24‑33; Arrian, 3.14.1‑3.

92 Curtius, 4.15.33.

93 This incident is variously reported. According to Diodorus, Alexander did not receive Parmenion's plea for help, and Parmenion extricated himself without it. According to Curtius (4.15.6‑8; 16.1‑4) and Plutarch (Alexander, 32.3‑4; 33.7), Alexander received the message but did not turn back, and Parmenion extricated himself without help. According to Arrian (3.15.1), Alexander received the message, returned, and helped Parmenion.

94 Diodorus is confused as to Dareius's movements after the battle, perhaps from a confusion of the Greater and the Lesser Zab. He placed the battle at Arbela (chap. 53.4), which lies between the two rivers. If Dareius made his escape up the valley of the Greater Zab, to the north, he would have moved into the Macedonian rear. Actually, of course, the battle took place at Gaugamela, in the plain north of the Greater Zab, and Dareius fled to the south to Arbela, escaping up the valley of the Lesser Zab (Curtius, 4.16.8; Arrian, 3.15.4‑5). Diodorus's repeated reference to the dust cloud may be an attempt to cover what he felt to be an inherent improbability. It is true that, accidentally or intentionally, dust played a part in many ancient battles (cp. E. Echols, Classical Journal, 47 (1952), 285‑288).

95 This figure is given variously as 40,000 (Curtius, 4.16.26) and 300,000 (Arrian, 3.15.6). The writer of P. Oxyrhynchus 1798 gives a total of 53,000.

96 The Macedonian casualties are given variously as 100 (Arrian, 3.15.6), 300 (Curtius, 4.16.26), and 1000 foot and 200 horse (P. Oxyrhynchus 1798).

97 Curtius, 4.16.32; Arrian, 3.15.2. The meaning of this designation of Hephaestion is obscure. He did not command the footguards, the ὑπασπισταί, for Nicanor, Parmenion's son, was still their commander in 330 (Arrian, 3.21.8) and only died later in that year (Arrian, 3.25.4). The small group of bodyguards proper had no commander, and it is quite uncertain when Hephaestion became a member. He is first so called in 325 (Arrian, 6.28.4) and is conspicuous not so called in 328 (Arrian, 4.12.6; but Arrian's usage is not consistent, cp. 4.24.10). He was presumably not a bodyguard in 330 when he and Cleitus divided Philotas's command of the Companion Cavalry. This seems to exclude the translation: "fighting first among the bodyguards."

98 Curtius, 4.16.32. Menidas had commanded a cavalry unit on the extreme right (Arrian, 3.12.3).

99 Aristophon was archon at Athens from July 330 to June 329 B.C. The consuls of 332 B.C. were Cn. Domitius Calvinus and A. Cornelius Cossus Arvina (Broughton, 1.141).

100 He had been appointed by Alexander before the start of the Asian campaign (Berve, Alexanderreich, 2, no. 499). Antipater was Alexander's viceroy in Macedonia. The campaign ended with an agreement leaving Memnon in his governorship. Some years later he conducted reinforcements to Alexander and took part in his later operations in the East (Curtius, 9.3.21). His revolt is not otherwise mentioned.

101 The narrative is continued from chap. 48.1 and concluded, chap. 73.5‑6. Cp. Curtius, 6.1; Justin, 12.1.8‑11.

102 Alexander sent him 3000 talents for the campaign (Arrian, 3.16.10).

103 The battle took place near Megalopolis, probably rather before than after Gaugamela (Curtius, 6.1.21).

104 See the division of the book into two parts in the Table of Contents (p106) and note 2 below.

The "note 2" mentioned is a critical note to the Greek, after the end of the printed text of 63.4 (ἄρξας ἔτη ἐννέα), which reads:

At this point the following notations appear in the manuscripts: τέλος τοῦ α βιβλίου τῆς ιζ′ RX; τῆς ἑπτακαιδεκάτης τῶν Διοδώρου βίβλων εἰς δύο διῃρημένης τὸ τέλος τῆς α′ F.


Thayer's Note:

a One would think that a reference to the shape of the commonest of Greek garments would be very helpful; alas, this isn't so: see F. B. Tarbell, The Form of the Chlamys.


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