Posts Tagged With: Aornos Rock

Alexander the Hungover Conqueror?

In an article for The Sydney Morning Herald, on how we can say and do things that we regret while hungover as well as drunk, columnist Sam de Brito states that

Alexander the Great (who died of alcoholism) conquered most of the known world, putting endless cities to the sword while hungover.

You can read it here.

First of all, I should say that I don’t know the background to the article: it doesn’t reference any particular event and the heading – ‘Victoria Bitterly divorced’ – appears as no more than a pun on the name of an Australian brewer. Perhaps a high ranking member of the family or company that owns it is going through a messy divorce case.

So far as this blog post is concerned, however, that is by-the-bye as I am going to focus solely on de Brito’s statement regarding Alexander.

***

Firstly, he states as fact that Alexander ‘died of alcoholism’. Actually, the cause of Alexander’s death is not known with any certainty. The Macedonian king might have died of alcoholism but he also might have died of malaria, typhoid or been poisoned. The ultimate cause of his death might just have been natural causes – his body worn out by the damage done to it during thirteen plus years of campaigning. In short, though, De Brito has no grounds to assert that alcohol was the killer.

Secondly, he states that Alexander ‘conquered most of the known world, putting endless cities to the sword while hungover.’

This is the kind of statement that seems reasonable until you actually think about it. Yes, Alexander ‘conquered most of the known world’ but is it very likely that a person could conduct a successful thirteen year military campaign in an inebriated state?

I personally doubt it but let’s say – for the sake of argument – that it is, what of Alexander specifically? de Brito’s charge finds no favour with Plutarch. In Chapter 23 of his Life of Alexander, he states

Alexander was also more moderate in his drinking than was generally supposed. The impression that he was a heavy drinker arose because when he had nothing else to do, he liked to linger over each cup, but in fact he was usually talking rather than drinking: he enjoyed holding long conversations, but only when he had plenty of leisure. Whenever there was urgent business to attend to, neither wine, nor sleep, nor sport, nor sex, nor spectacle could ever distract his attention, as they did for other generals. The proof of this is his life, which although so short was filled to overflowing with the most prodigious achievements.

I am sure Sam de Brito researched his article before filing it so it is unfortunate that he missed this.

***

But perhaps de Brito only had a limited amount of time to write his article and happened to use Curtius instead. If anyone is going to present a picture of a warrior-king slaughtering his way across the world while being slaughtered, it is surely him. Curtius writes,

Alexander had some great natural gifts: a noble disposition surpassing that of all other monarchs; resolution in the face of danger; speed in undertaking and completing projects; integrity in dealing with those who surrendered and mercy towards prisoners; restraint even in those pleasures which are generally acceptable and widely indulged. But all these were marred by his inexcusable fondness for drink.
(Curtius 5.7:1)

de Brito’s article gives the impression that he has read the last sentence in the quotation above and used it as the lens through which he sees Alexander, either in ignorance or dismissal of Plutarch’s words.

***

To be honest, I doubt de Brito has read any of the sources – his allegation comes across as the kind of thing someone who-got-it-from-his-mate-who-was-told-it-by-his-old-man-(probably-while-hungover)-who-knew-all-that-old-stuff would say use.

However, let’s take de Brito seriously and ask what does Curtius have to say about the role of alcohol during the course of Alexander’s career? After all, the above quotation certainly speaks of a man whose life was coloured by it. Does Curtius present Alexander as being hung over during his conquests? Let’s find out.

***

de Brito talks about Alexander being hungover while ‘putting endless cities to the sword’. To get a more representative look at what role alcohol might have played in his career, I have picked ten major military actions that Alexander took part in. Obviously, as Books I and II of Curtius’ have been lost, I am starting with Book III.

The Siege of the Celaenaeans’ Citadel
(III.1.1-8)
After entering Celaenae without any difficulty, Alexander laid siege to its citadel. At first, the Celaenaeans were defiant, but as the days passed, and – presumably – their food and water ran low they offered to surrender if Darius did not send a relieving force within the next sixty days. Alexander agreed, and when no Persians arrived, the Celaenaeans duly surrendered. Two months is plenty of time for Alexander to have got drunk once, twice or maybe sixty times. However, not only does Curtius make no mention of any drinking taking place in the Royal Tent, he says that Alexander left Celaeanae after just ten days. He was a man with a mission and didn’t have time to mess around with alcohol.

The Battle of Issus
(III.7-10)
In the lead up to Alexander’s first confrontation with Darius, we see him stopping in Soli and enjoying a holiday. No doubt he enjoyed a drink there but Curtius does not mention it – neither does he record Alexander drinking at any other point before the start of the battle.

The Siege of Tyre
(IV.2-4)
This siege lasted for six months so Alexander undoubtedly enjoyed a few drinks along the way. And indeed, Curtius does state that ‘excessive drinking’ took place – but by the Tyrians. It occurred after ‘a sea-creature of extraordinary size’ beached itself on the Macedonian mole before slipping back into the sea. The Tyrians interpreted this as a sign of Neptune’s* anger with the Macedonians and the sure failure of their siege so started to celebrate.

* Curtius was a Roman

The Siege of Gaza
(IV.6.7-31)
Part of Curtius’ manuscript is missing here but in the portion we have there is no reference to Alexander drinking at any time during the siege.

The Battle of Gaugamela
(IV.11-14)
From the arrival of the ten ambassadors to the start of the battle at Gaugamela there is once again no mention of Alexander drinking. The night before the battle he stayed up late (IV.13.16) but not to drink – his mind was completely occupied by the fight to come.

The Susian Gates
(V.3.16-4.34)
Neither on the way to the Gates, not despite the humiliation of having to withdraw from them after the Persian boulder ambush, did Alexander turn to drink. Instead, he regrouped, found a new route, and took the fight to his enemy – winning.

The Sogdian Rock
(VII.11.1-27)
Upon his arrival at the Rock, Alexander examined ‘the difficulties of the terrain’ before him. The Sogdian Rock seemed too well protected to be taken and the Macedonian king ‘decided to…’ drink his frustration away? No. ‘leave, but then… was overcome by a desire to bring even nature to her knees’. During the siege, Alexander spent the whole day watching for any sign that his men had successfully completed their ascent. Curtius describes how, when night came and darkness fell, Alexander ‘withdrew to take refreshment’. Perhaps this included a little wine? I expect so but no so much as the king was up before daybreak the next morning to continue his watch.

The Aornos* Rock
(VIII.11.2-25)
At first, Alexander was baffled as to how this outcrop might be taken but soon found help – not from wine but a local guide. When the time came to launch an attack, Alexander was the first to clamber over the makeshift ramp that the Macedonians had built to cover the gap between the rock and surrounding land. The fight was hard fought and when mounting casualties forced Alexander to order a retreat it looked like the Indians had won. But, though forced back, the Macedonians had unnerved them and, two nights later, the Indians tried to flee from the rock. Alexander was sufficiently clear headed to order them to be pursued and cut down.

* Curtius calls it the Aornis Rock

The Battle of the Hydaspes River
(VIII.13.5-27)
When Alexander arrived at the Hydaspes he did not know how to cross its broad expanse without being cut down by Porus’ army, which was waiting for him on the other side. At the Aornos Rock, a guide had shown him the way. This time, he used his own guile – his own clear-headed, no reference to alcohol once again, guile.

The Mallian City
(IX.4.15-33)
Before carrying out what must surely rank as one of the most famous jumps in military history, Alexander had to quell a potential mutiny in the Macedonian ranks. His army had thought that after turning west at the Hyphasis River, they were ‘quit of danger’. Realising that this was not so, they ‘were suddenly terror-stricken’. Alexander met his men’s fear head on and inspired them to follow him into battle once more. Could he have done this while hungover? I doubt it. By now it can go without saying that, there is – yet again – no reference to Alexander drinking at this time.

***

Ten military actions ranging from Asia Minor to India. No direct references to Alexander drinking alcohol let alone being hungover during operations. Curtius accuses Alexander of marring his talents ‘by his inexcusable fondness for drink’, I accuse him (once again) of resorting to sensationalism and exaggeration.

As for Sam de Brito, I am sure he is an excellent journalist, but on this occasion, I can’t help but feel that he trusted to his historical knowledge more than was perhaps wise. Maybe he wrote his article while hungover.

Categories: Of The Moment, On Alexander, Quintus Curtius Rufus | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Alexander: March/Spring Chronology

Alexander’s Chronology

337
Spring Philip orders Alexander back to Pella (Peter Green*)

336
Spring Parmenion and Attalus lead the Macedonian advance army into Asia Minor (Livius, Peter Green)

335
Early Spring Alexander campaigns in Thrace and Illyria (Peter Green)
NB The Landmark Arrian** dates this campaign to Spring (as opposed to Early Spring. This applies to all similar references below)

Spring Alexander razes Thebes; Greek cities submit (Landmark Arrian)

334
March – April Alexander crosses into Asia Minor; beginning of his anabasis (Peter Green)
NB
Michael Wood*** dates the crossing of the Hellespont to May
The
Landmark Arrian dates the crossing to Spring

333
March – June Memnon’s naval offensive (Livius)

Early Spring
Memnon dies (Peter Green)

Spring Alexander arrives in Gordion where he undoes the famous knot (Landmark Arrian)

Spring (Possibly late spring?) Alexander passes through the Cilician Gates having taken Pisidia and Cappadocia (Landmark Arrian)

NB With reference to the death of Memnon, referred to above, the Landmark Arrian dates it to ‘Spring’ 333, during the Persian navy’s fight against the Macedonians. Contra Livius (below), it adds that after his death, and in the same year, the ‘Persian naval war falter[ered]’

332
Spring The Persian Fleet disintegrates (Livius)
January – September The Siege of Tyre continues (Michael Wood)

331
March Alexander visits Siwah (Livius)
NB Peter Green dates Alexander’s Siwah visit to ‘Early Spring’

Spring Alexander resumes his march towards Darius (Landmark Arrian)

330
Spring Alexander orders the royal palace in Persepolis to be burnt (Landmark Arrian)
Spring Alexander finds the body of Darius (Landmark Arrian)

329
Spring First crossing of the Hindu Kush (Michael Wood)
NB Peter Green dates the crossing to ‘March – April’

Spring Alexander pursues Bessus across Bactria/Sogdia (Landmark Arrian)
Spring Bessus is betrayed by his officers and handed over to Alexander (Landmark Arrian)
Spring Alexander quells an uprising along the Jaxartes (Tanais) River (Landmark Arrian)

328
Spring Alexander campaigns in Bactria and Sogdia (Michael Wood)
Spring The Sogdian Rock is captured (Michael Wood)

327
Early Spring Alexander marries Roxane (Michael Wood)
NB The Landmark Arrian dates the wedding to Spring

Early Spring The Pages’ Plot (Michael Wood)
NB The Landmark Arrian dates the Pages’ plot (and Callisthenes subsequent arrest/possible death) to Spring

Early Spring Callisthenes is executed (Michael Wood)
Spring Pharasmanes and Scythians seek an alliance with Alexander (Landmark Arrian)
Spring
The Sogdian Rock is captured (Livius, Peter Green, Landmark Arrian)
Spring The Rock of Chorienes is captured (Landmark Arrian)
Spring Craterus eliminates the last rebels (following Spitamenes’ death in the Autumn of 328) (Landmark Arrian)
Late Spring Second crossing of the Hindu Kush (Michael Wood)

326
Early Spring The Aornos Rock is captured (Michael Wood)
NB The Landmark Arrian dates the capture of the Aornos Rock to Spring

Early Spring Alexander meets Hephaestion and Perdiccas at the Indus River, which the reunited army then crosses (Michael Wood)
NB The Landmark Arrian dates the crossing of the Indus to Spring

Early Spring Alexander reaches Taxila (Michael Wood)

NB
The Landmark Arrian lists the sequence of events following Alexander’s capture of the Aornos Rock slightly differently to Michael Wood:
Wood Siege of Aornos > Alexander meets Hephaestion & Perdicas at the Indus > Macedonians cross the Indus > Alexander arrives in Taxila
Landmark Arrian Siege of Aornos Alexander sails down the Indus to Hephaestion’s and Perdiccas’ bridge > Alexander visits Nysa > Alexander receives Taxiles’ (‘son of the Taxiles he met in the Indian Caucasus’ the previous summer) gifts > Alexander crosses the Indus > Alexander meets Taxiles

Spring Battle of the Hydaspes River (Landmark Arrian)
Spring Bucephalus is buried (Landmark Arrian)
Spring Alexander founds Nicaea and Bucephala (Landmark Arrian)
Spring Abisares submits to Alexander (Landmark Arrian)

325
Spring – Summer Journey down the Indus River (Michael Wood)
Spring Alexander defeats the Brahmins, Musicanus, and Sambus (Landmark Arrian)

324
February – March Alexander’s journey to and arrival in Susa (Peter Green)
NB The Landmark Arrian dates Alexander’s arrival to Spring. It adds that after his arrival he purged the corrupt satraps, held the mass wedding ceremonies,and forgave his soldiers’ debts/awarded ‘gold wreaths to officers’; this did not, howeverm stop tensions rising ‘over Alexander’s moves to integrate the army’
March Alexander meets Nearchus in Susa (Livius)
March Susa Marriages (Livius)
March Alexander issues the Exiles’ Decree (Peter Green)
March Alexander issues the Deification Decree (Peter Green)
Spring Alexander explores lower Tigris and Euphrates (Landmark Arrian)
Spring The 30,000 epigoni arrive in Susa (Peter Green)

323
Spring Alexander returns to Babylon after campaigning against the Cossaeans (Peter Green)
Spring Bad omens foreshadow Alexander’s death (Landmark Arrian)
Spring Alexander sends ‘spoils of war to Greece; he is hailed as a god by Greek envoys
Spring Alexander makes preparations for an Arabian campaign (Landmark Arrian)
Spring Alexander orders ‘extravagant’ honours to be given to Hephaestion (Landmark Arrian)

*Peter Green Alexander of Macedon 356 – 323 B.C. A Historical Biography (University of California Press 1991)
** The Landmark Arrian Ed. James Romm (Pantheon Books 2010)
***Michael Wood In the Footsteps Of Alexander the Great A Journey from Greece to India (BBC Books 2004)

Notes

  • This chronology is part of an on-going work. If you see any mistakes or omissions please feel free to let me know!
Categories: Chronology of Alexander's Life | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Locating the Rock of Aornos and Other Links

Linked to Alexander (8)
More Links here

16th January 2015
Who Lost Persia The Conflict between Alexander and Darius was cast as a face-off between zeal and decadence
(James Romm | Wall Street Journal)
22nd January 2015
Darius in the Shadow of Alexander, by Pierre Briant, translated by Jane Marie Todd
(Lloyd Llewelyn Jones | Times Higher Education)
14th February 2015
Darius III: Alexander’s Stooge The last ruler of the Persian empire will always be eclipsed by his famous adversary Alexander the Great, according to a review of Darius by Pierre Briant
(Tom Holland | The Spectator)
Book Reviews

18th January 2015
How Alexander the Great demonstrated strong leadership
(Manfred Kets de Vries | The National)
Seven keys to success

18th January 2015
Astronomical alignment of geoglyph in Republic of Macedonia may point to Royal connection
(April Holloway | Ancient Origins)
I don’t know what to make of this article – comments below are very welcome!

22nd January 2015
Pale Riders: Adrienne Mayor’s “The Amazons” shows how a myth developed
(Edith Hall | New Statesman)

31st January 2015
Locating the Rock of Aornos
(Llewelyn Morgan | The Nation)
Pir Sar or Mount Elam?

3rd February 2015
A Hunger for Profits Today it borders on madness to suggest that the primary goal of a company would not be profits
(Tjaco Walvis | live mint)
Alexander – the richest man ever to live?

11th February 2015
What Alexander the Great Left His Empire to One Person?
(MINA)
Don’t look for a happy ending

Categories: Linked to Alexander | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Alexander: February / Winter Chronology

Alexander’s Chronology

332
The Siege Tyre continues (January – September)(Michael Wood*)

329
Macedonian armies unite in Arachosia (Livius)
NB
The Landmark Arrian** dates the siege of Tyre to winter 333/2 to summer 332
Peter Green*** dates a. the siege of Tyre to January 332 onwards to 29th July that year and b. the march through Arachosia to late August 330 B.C. onwards

326
Hephaestion marches through Gandara to the Indus River (Livius)
Alexander campaigns in the Swat Valley (Livius)
Alexander seizes the Aornus Rock (Livius)
NB
The Landmark Arrian** states that the seizure of the Aornos Rock took place in Spring
Peter Green dates the capture of the Aornos Rock to (winter) 327/6
Michael Wood dates a. Hephaestion’s passage to the Indus River b. Alexander’s Swat campaign to the winter of 327/6 and c. the capture of the Aornos Rock to early spring 326.

325
Journey down the Indus (Michael Wood)
Macedonian fleet damaged at confluence of Acesines and Indus Rivers (Livius)
NB The Landmark Arrian states that the journey down the Indus River took place in Spring

324
Alexander returns to Pasargadae (Livius)
Calanus dies (Livius)
NB
The Landmark Arrian dates Alexander’s arrival in Pasargadae to the winter of 325/4
Michael Wood dates Alexander’s visit to Pasargadae to January
Peter Green dates Alexander’s visit to Pasargadae to January onwards

* Michael Wood In the Footsteps Of Alexander the Great A Journey from Greece to India (BBC Books 2004)
** The Landmark Arrian Ed. James Romm (Pantheon Books 2010)
*** Peter Green Alexander of Macedon 356 – 323 B.C. A Historical Biography (University of California Press 1991)

***

Notes

  • This chronology is part of an on-going work. If you see any mistakes or omissions please feel free to let me know
  • Re: “325 Macedonian fleet damaged at confluence of Acesines and Indus Rivers (Livius)” Unless I have misidentified it, this entry actually refers to the trouble that Alexander experienced at the confluence of the Hydaspes and Acesines rivers according to Arrian (VI.4-6) and Curtius (IX.4.8-14)
Categories: Chronology of Alexander's Life | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mophis’ Approach

Daily Diodorus
Vol. VIII. Book XVII Ch. 86 (Loeb Classical Library)
Read the other posts in this series here

The Headlines
Aphrices Murdered by own men: Head presented to Alexander
Alexander and Mophis: Friends or Enemies?
Two Kings, One Peace

The Story
Chapter 86 opens with the conclusion to Alexander’s siege of the Aornos Rock. Because of that, I discussed it, in my last post.

Chapter 86 opens properly with the assassination of an Indian king named Aphrices. While he was camped ‘in the vicinity’ of the Macedonians with ‘twenty thousand troops and fifteen elephants’ he was assassinated by some of his men. They cut off his head and presented it to Alexander. In so doing, they ‘saved their… lives’. Diodorus doesn’t say why Aphrices was in the area but Alexander’s reaction to the assassins indicates that he was either hostile or believed to be so.

Aphrices’ men joined the Macedonian army. The elephants, which had been left to wander, were rounded up – presumably for military use as well.

Once that had been done, the king moved on and in due course came to the Indus River. There, he ‘found his thirty-oared boats in readiness and fully equipped, and the stream spanned by a floating bridge’, by which I assume is meant a pontoon.

Upon reaching the river, Alexander rested his men for thirty days. During that time, he offered splendid sacrifices to the gods’. After crossing the river, however, he ‘experienced a startling fright and relief’. It’s not often we see Alexander being scared. What caused it?

The answer is ‘a great army in warlike array’ and, as it seemed, in battle formation as it moved towards him. Worse still was the fact that Alexander knew who its commander was, and had believed him to be a friend. Recovering himself, the king drew his own men up in battle formation and awaited the traitor’s arrival.

So, who was the unexpected enemy? Diodorus tells us of Mophis, son of Taxiles, who had contacted Alexander while the Macedonian king was still in Sogdiana ‘promising to join him in a campaign against his enemies among the Indians’.

Further to that, Mophis had only just sent messengers forward to inform Alexander that he also wished to give him his kingdom. This is why Alexander now felt deceived.

The day would certainly have had a tragic ending had it not been for Mophis’ sharp eye and quick response. Seeing the Macedonians form up against him, and guessing the reason for its own aggressive stance, he rode out with just ‘a few horsemen’ and came up to Alexander. Breathlessly, perhaps, he explained why he had come and formally handed his army over to the king.

‘Alexander, much relieved’ confirmed Mophis as king and declared him to be both ‘a friend and ally. He also changed his name to Taxiles’. I wonder why he did that?

Comments
That Aphrices was indeed hostile to Alexander is indicated by Curtius who, according to the Footnotes, says that he ‘blocked’ the king’s advance.

I keep reading that in his memoir, Ptolemy was hostile to Perdiccas. With that in mind, it is interesting to read in the Footnotes that it is Curtius who gives Hephaestion sole credit for preparing the boats and bridge while Arrian – who used Ptolemy as his chief source – credits both Hephaestion and Perdiccas.

I am very intrigued by Diodorus’ statement that Alexander was ‘much relieved’ by Mophis’ declaration of friendship. He wasn’t just happy to receive Mophis’ army and kingdom but ‘much relieved’. What – if anything – is hiding behind this statement? Was Alexander aware of a weakness in his army that would have made fighting on that day very difficult? Had he received a bad omen? We will find out in Chapter 87.

A Gandharan Agony Aunt Writes
Q One of Aphrices’ elephants has wandered into my living room. How can I get rid of it?
A I can’t answer this as I really don’t see the problem

Categories: Diodorus Siculus | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Aornus Rock

Daily Diodorus
Vol. VIII. Book XVII Ch. 85 (Loeb Classical Library)
Read the other posts in this series here

The Headlines
Alexander Achieves the Impossible: Takes the Aornos Rock

The Story
After leaving Mazagae, the next few cities that Alexander encountered were taken by force. Presently, he arrived at the Aornus (aka Aornos) Rock, where the survivors from his earlier assaults had taken refuge.

‘It is said’, Diodorus tells us, that Herakles wanted to lay siege to the rock but decided not to following an earthquake ‘and other divine signs’. Upon being told this, Alexander was far from discouraged. In fact, he became even more determined to capture the rock ‘and so… rival the god’s reputation’.

Here are the Aornus Rock’s vital statistics:

  • Circumference 100 furlongs (12 miles)
  • Height 16 furlongs (2 miles)
  • Surface Even
  • Shape Circular
  • Rock Wall Sheer on north, east and west side dipping into ‘deep gorges’; on the south side the cliff was banked by the Indus River

The rock appeared to have no weak points at all. Realising this, Alexander decided ‘that its forcible capture was impossible’. Before he could make any decision about moving on, however, an old man and his two sons presented themselves to him and informed the king that, actually, the rock could be taken, and offered to show him the way up it.

It turned out that the old man and his sons (none of whom are named) lived in a cave cut out of the rock. We are not told how long they had lived there but it must have been a while as they knew ‘the country intimately’ including, as it turned out, its secret paths.

Alexander accepted the man’s help, and promised him ‘rich gifts’ in return for it. In the end, the man and his sons only took the Macedonians as far as the gorge that cut off the only path leading to the refugees’ camp.

At this point, I assume that the refugees reached their fastness over a bridge which they then destroyed because Alexander now ordered his men to start filling in the gorge. Having built mounds to attack Gaza and a mole to attack Tyre I am sure simply flinging – admittedly a lot of – earth into the gorge did not discourage the Macedonians at all. Except maybe the first clods, which simply disappeared into the emptiness below.

However deep the gorge was, a ramp was soon created. The Macedonians advanced up it. Using relays of teams (for the first time since the sieges of Miletus and Halicarnassus?), Alexander attacked the refugee camp for seven days and nights.

The continual assaults did not go well. The refugees had the higher ground and killed ‘many [Macedonians] who attacked rashly’. When the ramp was finished, though, Alexander brought up his siege engines. The sight of them, the nearing ramp, and Alexander’s evident determination to see the siege through to the end made the refugees quailed. The Aornus Rock was, it seemed, now there for the taking.

What happened next, though, was not that Alexander broke into the refugee camp, slaughtered the men and enslaved the women and children. Rather, sensing the refugees’ fear, and, ‘craftily anticipating what would happen’ next, he withdrew his forces. That night, the Indians who wished to leave the rock were allowed to do so.

At the start of Chapter 86, Diodorus justifies what Alexander did by claiming he ’employed the false alarms of war to outgeneral the Indians and… gain possession of the “rock” without further fighting’.

With the greatest respect to Diodorus, I cannot bring myself to believe that this is really what happened. Alexander had control of the rock in his grasp. All he needed to do was put his siege engines to work and the refugees would surely have either surrendered, or been wiped out when their camp was penetrated. Instead – without even agreeing a truce or signing a treaty with the Indians – we are asked to believe that Alexander let them go, for all he knew, to fight him again. It is all very un-Alexander like behaviour.

Comments
On Herakles – Alexander claimed descent from the demigod on his father’s side.

The Footnotes say that Alexander gave the old man eighty talents for his help. If he ever found out about it, the Lycian goatherd must have been quite annoyed – he ‘only’ got thirty talents for taking Alexander all the way to to the Susian (Persian) Gates, and beyond.

By-the-bye, the Footnotes quote Arrian (4. 29. 1) as saying it was “some of the neighbouring tribesmen” who helped Alexander rather than an old man and his sons.

I used this converter to convert furlongs into miles

In 1926, Sir Aurel Stein visited Gandhara where he claimed to have found the Aornos Rock. Here is a contemporary report of his find, from The Northern Star newspaper of New South Wales. I have to admit, though, that as interesting as the report is, I was rather taken by the one following regarding the Odyssean dog…!

When asked, 8/10 Macedonian women
confirmed that they would rather
conquer
 a different Rock.

Dwayne_Johnson

 

Categories: Diodorus Siculus | Tags: , | Leave a comment

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