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ALEXANDER. THE. GREAT. KING Alexander. Philip’s ACHIEVEMENTS (Alexander’s inheritance). Alexander’s First Moves. After Alexander was proclaimed King, he had a number of immediate problems to solve, first inside Macedonia, then in the rest of Greece:
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ALEXANDER THE GREAT KING Alexander
Alexander’s First Moves • After Alexander was proclaimed King, he had a number of immediate problems to solve, first inside Macedonia, then in the rest of Greece: • He killed all rivals to the throne, including 2 of the 3 Lyncestian brothers (see Artus, pg.16) and Amyntas (son of Philip’s elder brother). Attalus was also killed. • All Greece was in revolt. He first went south, where he outwitted the Thessalians to gain their support. Athens and the other southern states acclaimed him as Philip’s successor. • He then needed to go north, to deal with revolts in Illyria. • While in the north, there were rumours that he had been killed. Thebes again revolted, with support from Athens. • Alexander laid siege to Thebes and defeated it. (see next slide)
The Sack of Thebes • One of Alexander’s first ‘Acts of Cruelty’. Use Hamilton (p.48-49) to note: • The reasons why Thebes decided to revolt • What happened before Alexander attacked the city. • What happened at the end of the battle. • How and why the League of Corinth dealt with Thebes. • Why Hamilton calls this “a calculated act of terrorism”. (Is this fair?)
ALEXANDER THE GREAT MILITARY GENIUS
Alexander’s Army Thessalian Cavalry Led by Parmenio (2iC) Left-Wing Largely defensive Phalanx 12000 men, led by Craterus and Coenus Centre of Army Fought close together with sarissae and locked shields Hypaspists (Royal Guards) 3000 men Protected RHS of phalanx Provided link between Phalanx and Companion Cavalry Companion Cavalry Led by Alexander / Philotas Right-Wing Main attacking force
The Conquest of Asia Minor Troy Granicus River (334BC) Gordium Miletus Halicarnassus Issus (333BC) Tarsus map: www.wargamer.com
Before the Granicus Battle • Memnon’s Advice to Persian satraps: • Adopt a ‘scorched earth’ policy: • Retreat • Destroy crops as they go • Wait for reinforcements.
Before the Granicus Battle • Parmenio’s Advice to Alexander: • Don’t attack immediately • Wait for dawn • Persians will retreat from river • Macedonians won’t have to fight up steep river banks Above: The Granicus River today – not much to look at.
Phase One: • Alex lines up on right • Persians strengthen their left The Granicus Battle
The Granicus Battle • Phase Two: • Macedonians cross river • Amyntas’ cavalry attacks diagonally to right • Persians move to their left
The Granicus Battle • Phase Three: • Alex leads Companions attack diagonally to the left • Persian line is broken • Greek Mercenaries killed / captured
The Primary Sources on the Battle ““It seemed the act of a desperate madman rather than of a prudent commander to charge into a swiftly flowing river …” - Plutarch The impact of the phalanx assault “But the enemy hardly sustaining the first onset, soon gave ground and fled, all but the mercenary Greeks” – Plutarch Alexander nearly killed by Persian satrap “But as he was about to repeat his stroke, Cleitus, called the black Cleitus, prevented him, by running him through the body with his spear.” - Plutarch Alexander’s ruthless killing of the Greek mercenaries at Granicus “Ordering a combined assault by infantry and cavalry, Alexander quickly had them surrounded and butchered to a man, though one or two may have escaped notice among the heaps of dead. About 2,000 were taken prisoner.” - Arrian
The Conquest of Asia Minor Troy Granicus River (334BC) Gordium Miletus Halicarnassus Issus (333BC) Tarsus map: www.wargamer.com
Miletus and Halicarnassus Read the ‘Course of Events’ sections of the sieges of Miletus and Halicarnassus. What is the main reason why Alexander could take Miletus relatively easily, while he struggled to overcome Halicarnassus?
Disbanding The Fleet The Conquest of Asia Minor Troy Granicus River (334BC) Gordium Miletus Halicarnassus Issus (333BC) Tarsus map: www.wargamer.com Use Artus pages 44 & 46 and Hamilton page 60 to fill out the notes on this event.
From Gordium to Mallus Cilician Gates Tarsus Philip the Arcananian ‘Liberating’ of Soli and Mallus Games in Soli Above: The Cilician Gates were a very narrow pass – in Alexander’s time it was said that you could not pass a loaded camel through here! Image: www.livius.org
Before the Battle of Issus • Alexander’s Mistake: • Wrong intelligence about Darius’ position • Heads south down coast to meet Persians • Darius circled from North-East, cutting off Alex’s supply lines • Alex decides to turn and fight over Pinarus River This turned out to Alexander’s advantage! http://www.ancientbattles.com/Issus/issus_campaign.jpg
The Battle of Issus 1. Darius stood firm behind the Pinarus river • PHASE 3 • Advancing across uneven ground, the phalanx broke up, allowing Persians to break through into gap. • Meanwhile, Alexander charged toward Darius, defeating most of his personal guard. • Under threat of death or capture, Darius turned and fled from battle. • PHASE 4 • Darius’s retreat caused a general retreat amongst Persians • Alexander did not initially follow, as his phalanx was still in disarray. • Parmenio ordered a counter-attack, which turned the Persian cavalry around – many were killed. • PHASE 2 • Alex led Companions against cardaces • Cavalry on mountain side attacked Persian light troops • Persians on seaside attacked, putting Parmenio’s Thessalians under pressure. http://www.livius.org/a/1/maps/issus_map.gif
Success and Failure at Issus Alexander won and Darius lost due to… • The geography of the battle meant Darius could not spread his forces and outflank Alexander (ie. luck!). • Superior training and discipline of Macedonians, particularly the phalanx. • The ability of Alexander to spot weakness in the Persian line. • Alexander’s calculated risk that an attack on Darius would prove decisive.
The Primary Sources on the Battle Darius’s advisors flattery: “First one, then another of them blew up the bladder of his conceit by saying that the Persian cavalry would ride over the Macedonian army and trample it to pieces.” - Arrian “God himself… by suggesting to Darius to leave the open ground and cram his army into a confined space, has taken charge of operations in our behalf” – Arrian “Spotting the worst breach in the Macedonian phalanx, the Greeks [mercenaries fighting for Persia] attacked. The action there was desperate, as the Greeks tried to drive the Macedonians back to the river… while the Macedonians, eager not to fall short of Alexander, whose success was already apparent, tried to preserve the good name of the phalanx. - Arrian [Walking through Darius’ palatial tent and observing all the luxuries the Persian King travelled with] He turned to his companions and remarked: “So this, it seems, is what it is to be a king.” - Plutarch
The Aftermath of Issus Why was this victory so important for Alexander? • Alexander gained a major psychological advantage from his first victory over Darius. • Phoenicia was opened to Alexander and his conquests in Asia Minor secure. • Darius lost a large number of his best troops • Alexander captured the Persian royal family • Alexander could proclaim himself the ‘Lord of Asia’.
The Conquest of Asia Minor Importance of Alexander’s Successes up to 333BC
The Siege of Tyre Use Artus (page 51) and Hamilton (pages 71-73) to complete the notes on this 7 month siege.
The Siege of Tyre Course of the Siege – Problems and Solutions • 800m to New City • Construction of Causeway • Attacks on engineers building causeway • 50m Siege Towers constructed with catapults • Fireship destroyed siege towers and causeway • Built more towers and another causeway • It was difficult for Alex to blockade the harbour • Tyrian part of Persian navy changed sides • Defenders cut ships mooring ropes • Mooring chains used • City walls were thick • Rams and Catapults mounted on ships
The Primary Sources on the Battle “To this Tyrian Heracles, Alexander said he wished to offer sacrifice. But when this message was brought to Tyre by the ambassadors, the people passed a decree to obey any other command of Alexander, but not to admit into the city any Persian or Macedonian; thinking that under the existing circumstances … that it would be the safest course for them to pursue in reference to the issue of the war, which was still uncertain.” - Arrian “The king himself climbed the highest siege-tower [which was full of catapults and other siege-engines]. His courage was great, but the danger greater for, conspicuous in his royal insignia and flashing armour, he was the prime target of enemy missiles.” – Curtius Rufus “The extent of the bloodshed can be judged from the fact that 6,000 fighting-men were slaughtered within the city's fortifications. It was a sad spectacle that the furious king then provided for the victors: 2,000 Tyrians, who had survived the rage of the tiring Macedonians, now hung nailed to crosses all along the huge expanse of the beach.” – Curtius Rufus
Egypt Welcomes Alexander • Three stops: • Memphis (Cairo) • Alexandria • Siwah
The Battle of Gaugamela - Background • From his camp, Alexander could see: • He was outnumbered at least 5 to 1 • Darius had prepared the battlefield to suit the Persians. • Parmenio’s Advice: • Attack at night to surprise Persians Alexander’s Response: “I will not steal victory like a thief” (Arrian)
The Battle of Gaugamela – Orders Prior to Battle “Get a good sleep tonight – we attack in the morning” “Stay alert tonight for a sneak attack.”
The Battle of Gaugamela – Positioning of Troops • Persian Centre: • Darius with bodyguard of spearmen and horsemen, Gk Mercenaries, Indian Cavalry. • In front were elephants and scythe chariots. • Persian Right: • Massive group of cavalry under satrap Mazaeus • Persian Left: • Cavalry and Infantry under satrap Bessus
The Battle of Gaugamela – Positioning of Troops • Macedonian Centre: • Phalanx on oblique angle • Hypaspists • Extra phalanx with orders to face the rear if encircled. • Macedonian Left: • Thessalian Cavalry under Parmenio • Extra Gk cavalry on left to protect flank • Macedonian Right: • Companion cavalry • Extra Gk cavalry on right to protect flank
The Course of the Battle 6. Parmenio was hard pressed by Mazaeus and called for help. Alex did not chase after Darius but moved to assist Parmenio. He came across Persians trying to escape. Many Companions were killed in this fight. 5. Darius decided that the battle was lost and fled. On his left, Bessus and the Bactrian cavalry followed. 3. Darius ordered a general offensive. Mazaeus was launched against Parmenio’s wing and the rest of the cavalry were sent to help Bessus on Alexander’s right. 1. Alex advanced to the right edge of the battlefield. Darius launched a cavalry attack to stop this. 4. This caused a gap to open in the Persian line, to the left of the centre. Alexander, waiting for this opportunity, charged towards Darius 7. By the time Alexander was able to get to Parmenio’s side he was no longer needed. Mazaeus escaped, pursued by Thessalians 2. Darius’ elephants and scythe-chariots attacked but they were stopped by lancers and ‘corridors’ created by the phalanx.
The Battle of Gaugamela – The Significance of the Victory • For Alexander: • He was ‘Lord of Asia’ at 25 • He had destroyed Darius’s army and power • He had access to the key cities of the Persian Empire, including the vast wealth of the Persians. • For Darius: • He lost almost all power and prestige • He continued to flee from Alexander, until he was killed in Northern Persia in 329BC
Alexander’s Military Expertise • Ordering his troops to rest the night before is good man management. • Positioning of the troops shows anticipation of a difficult situation where being outflanked was a strong possibility. • Diagonal movement towards edge of battlefield shows cunning through anticipation of Darius’s response. • Splitting of phalanx to deal with scythe chariots shows how well-drilled Alex’s troops were. • Decisive charge shows Alex’s ability to seize his opportunity to make a decisive break. • Decision not to pursue Darius is wise, because of need to preserve his own army. • Summary: Victory at Gaugamela was against enormous odds. This battle shows the full range of Alex’s skills as a general.
Into the Heart of the Empire Watch the clip of Alexander’s arrival in Babylon. What impressions does this give of a) The Macedonians and b) The Persians?
Troubles in Northern Persia Chasing Darius, then his killers Bessus, Narbarzanes and Barsaentes. Fighting rebellious satraps including Spitemenes. Travelling through unfamiliar mountains in extreme weather. External Problems Unhappy Macedonians: ð Conspiracy of Philotas ð Murder of Cleitus ð Conspiracy of the Pages ð An Endless Quest? Internal Problems
Pursuing Darius After Gaugamela, Alexander pursued Darius for several months into northern Persia. Darius was killed by Bessus (one of his generals) in 329BC and left by the side of the road. Alexander continued to pursue Bessus, the general who now claimed he was ‘The Great King’. Darius’ murder took place here
The Provinces of Bactria and Sogdia Murder of Cleitus Pages Conspiracy • Because the army was now fighting smaller battles in mountainous terrain, Alexander split his army into smaller units, disbanding his phalanx units and discarding the sarissae. • He captured Bessus in 328BC and had him executed, Persian style. • The rebellious satrap Spitemenes was eventually defeated after leading a guerrilla campaign against Alexander. • Other military campaigns in these provinces: • Capturing the Sogdian Rock 327BC • Massacring Indian tribesmen • Capturing the Rock of Aornus 326BC
The Sogdian Rock Use the clip from In the Footsteps of Alexander to answer the following questions: 1. What was it about the Sogdian Rock that made it supposedly impenetrable? 2. How did Alexander overcome the challenge of the Sogdians to find “soldiers who can fly”?
Alexander Gets Married! After the capture of the Sogdian Rock, Alexander fell in love with Roxane the daughter of Oxyartes, the local satrap. They were married in a traditional Persian ceremony. Question: Was it Love or Politics? The picture of the ceremony is from a later Indian source.
The Rock of Aornus Use the clip from In the Footsteps of Alexander to answer the following questions: 1. What Greek legend existed about the Rock of Aornus / Pir Sar? 2. Why would Alexander want to conquer the rock? 3. What difficulties did he overcome? 4. What does this episode say about Alexander’s character?