Posts Tagged With: Caria

21. Calaenae

Crossing Asia Minor with Alexander

‘Four days later [Alexander] reached Celaenae, where the acropolis, rising steep on all sides, was held under the satrap of Phrygia by a garrison of a thousand Carians and a hundred Greek mercenaries. They sent envoys to Alexander assuring him that they would surrender…’
(Arrian I.29.1-2)

Text used: Arrian ‘Alexander the Great‘ OUP 2013 (translated by Martin Hammond)

… but only if Darius didn’t send reinforcements by a certain date. Alexander regarded the acropolis as ‘completely unassailable’ (Arr. I.29.2) and so agreed. He left a detachment behind and set off for Gordium.

For the second day in a row we see Alexander recognising his limits and acting accordingly. Of course, the two cases are sightly different. From what Arrian says, it seems that Alexander believed he could take Telmissus but not quickly enough so decided to leave it. As above, Celaenae looked too strong to take in the first place. 

What happened between Celaenae and Tyre? How could he ever have thought that the former was impervious to attack and the latter wasn’t? I suspect here that Alexander was swayed by the Celaenians offer to surrender. The acropolis looked hard, really hard; I could stay, but… they are offering to surrender; let’s call it impossible and move on to a better target.

A medieval picture of Alexander taking Calaenae

Credit Where It’s Due
Alexander takes Celaenae: Wikipedia

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15. Sardis and Phaselis

Crossing Asia Minor with Alexander

  • Sardis (Parmenion)
  • Phaselis (Alexander)

‘[Alexander] came in person to Phaselis and helped the inhabitants to destroy a strong fort which had been built by Pisidians to threaten the district, and was used as a base from which the barbarians caused much damage to the Phaselite farmers’.
(Arrian I.24.6)

Text used: Arrian ‘Alexander the Great‘ OUP 2013 (translated by Martin Hammond)

After settling affairs in Caria, Alexander ordered Parmenion to go to Sardis and hence to Phrygia. Sardis had already surrendered (see Arr. I.17.3) so it looks like Parmenion was meant only to use it as a staging post.

As for Alexander, he himself marched for Phaselis. Before arriving there, he assaulted and took ‘the fortress of Hyparna (Arr. I.24.4). He then entered the region of Lycia, where he ‘won over the people of Telmissus by agreement’ (Ibid) and received the submission of the following: Pinara, Xanthus, and Patara, as well as ‘about thirty smaller towns’ (Ibid).

The main road at Phaselis

Credit Where It’s Due
Phaselis: Wikipedia

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13. Mycale and Miletus-Halicarnassus

Crossing Asia Minor with Alexander

  • Mycale (Philotas)
  • Miletus-Halicarnassus (Alexander)

‘… Alexander sent Philotas to Mycale with the cavalry and three brigades of infantry, with instructions to prevent the Persians leaving their ships…’
(Arrian I.19.8)

‘… Alexander set out for Caria, on reports that a substantial force of barbarians and foreign mercenaries was concentrated in Halicarnassus [Bodrum]. He captured the cities between Miletus and Halicarnassus…’
(Arrian I.20.2)

Text used: Arrian ‘Alexander the Great‘ OUP 2013 (translated by Martin Hammond)

Map of Asia Minor

Credit Where It’s Due
Map of Asia Minor: ResearchGate

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Alexander: January / Winter Chronology

Alexander’s Chronology

334/333
Winter Alexander conquers Caria, Lycia, Pamphylia and Phrygia (Landmark Arrian*, Livius)
Winter Alexander son of Aeropos arrested (Landmark Arrian)
Winter Alexander subdues Pisidians (Landmark Arrian)

333/332
Winter Alexander asks Tyrians permission to sacrifice to Herakles in Tyre (Landmark Arrian)
332
January (?) Byblos and Sidon submit to Alexander (Peter Green**)
January-July The Siege of Tyre (Livius, Michael Wood***)
NB Landmark Arrian says that the siege took place between winter and summer

332/331
Winter Alexander into Egypt (Landmark Arrian, Wood)
Winter Alexander is informed that the Persian Navy has been defeated in Aegean (Landmark Arrian)
Mid-winter Alexander visits Siwah (Wood)

331
January Alexander in Heliopolis and Memphis (Livius)
January Alexander founds Alexandria (Wood)
NB Landmark Arrian says Alexandria was founded in ‘winter’
331/330
Winter Alexander takes Susa (Landmark Arrian)

330
Winter Macedonian army enters Persia (Wood)
20th January Battle of the Persian Gates (Livius)
30th January Alexander arrives at Persepolis (Livius)
Jan-May Alexander at Persepolis (Livius)
NB Wood agrees that the Battle of the Persian Gates and Alexander’s arrival in Persepolis both took place in January but doesn’t give the specific date of either event; Green places the sack of Persepolis in January but only with a question mark next to the date

330/329
Winter Spitamenes’ second revolt takes place (Landmark Arrian)

329
January Alexander approaches Kabul (Wood)

329/328
Winter Alexander at Zariaspa (Green, Livius, Wood)
Winter Alexander gives orders for Bessos to be mutilated (Landmark Arrian)

328/327
Winter Alexander at Maracanda (Livius)
Winter
Alexander is based at Nautaca (Livius, Wood)
Winter While in Nautaca, Alexander appoints new satraps (Landmark Arrian)
Winter The Rock of Sisimithres is captured (Wood)
Winter After the Rock of Sisimithres falls, Alexander returns to Zariaspa (Wood)
Winter Callisthenes refuses to perform proskynesis to Alexander (Landmark Arrian)

327/326
Winter Alexander stops at Maracanda and Nautaca (Livius)
Winter Hephaestion to the Indus via Khyber Pass (Wood)
Winter Alexander enters the Swat Valley and campaigns there (Wood)
Winter Macedonians at Nysa [where they get drunk en masse] (Wood)
Winter Alexander attacks the Massaga (Wood)

326/325
Winter Alexander campaigns against the Mallians and is badly wounded. His men are unsettled until they see him alive (Landmark Arrian)
Winter Mallians and Oxydrakai submit (Landmark Arrian)

325
January Alexander campaigns against the Mallians and is wounded (Livius)
NB Wood has the Mallian campaign taking place in December
325/324
Winter Alexander reunites Nearchus and Craterus in Carmania (Landmark Arrian)
Winter Alexander Return to Persepolis (where he orders Orsines to be executed (Landmark Arrian)
Winter Alexander visits Pasargadae where he orders Cyrus the Great’s tomb to be restored (Landmark Arrian)

324
January Alexander meets Nearchus in Carmania (Green, Livius)
January Alexander returns to Persia (Wood)
January Alexander’s second visit to Persepolis; also visits Pasargadae (Wood)

324/3
Winter Alexander requests divine honours for Hephaestion (Livius)
Winter Alexander campaigns against Cossaeans (Landmark Arrian, Livius)

* The Landmark Arrian Ed. James Romm (Pantheon Books 2010)
** Green Alexander of Macedon 356 – 323 B.C. A Historical Biography (University of California Press 1991)
*** 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.
  • As can be seen, I have noted where The Landmark Arrian, Livius, Michael Wood and Peter Green have disagreed on the dates; these notes, however, are not comprehensive. My focus has been on recording what each author has said rather than synthesising the dates.

Alternative/Modern Names
Nautaca – ‘Uzunkir near Shakhrisyabz’ (Wood)
Nysa – Jelalabad
Zariaspa aka Bactra – Balkh

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Alexander: December and Winter Chronology

Alexander’s Chronology

336
Nov-Dec Alexander wins Greek support for war against Persia (Livius)

335
Nov-Dec Alexander holds festivals in Dion and Aegae (Livius)

334/333
Winter Alexander conquers Caria, Lycia, Pamphylia and Phrygia (Landmark Arrian*, Livius)
Winter Alexander son of Aeropos is arrested (Landmark Arrian)
Winter The Pisidians harass Macedonian army but are subdued (Landmark Arrian)

333
Dec (?) Darius tries to negotiate with Alexander (Livius)

333/332
Winter Alexander asks Tyrians if he can enter the city to sacrifice to Herakles; he is denied access (Landmark Arrian)
Winter The Siege of Tyre begins (Landmark Arrian)

332/331

Winter Alexander enters Egypt (Landmark Arrian, Michael Wood**)
Winter Alexander founds Alexandria (Landmark Arrian)
Winter Alexander visits Siwah (Landmark Arrian)
Green suggests that the foundation of Alexandria could have taken place in April
Winter Alexander is informed of the Persian navy’s defeat in the Aegean (Landmark Arrian)
Mid-winter Alexander visits Siwah (Wood)
Green has Alexander’s visit take place in early Spring

331
Early Dec Alexander takes Susa unopposed (Peter Green***)
15th Dec Abulites surrenders Susa to Alexander (Livius)
22nd Dec Alexander leaves Susa (Livius)

331/330
Winter Alexander reaches Persia (Wood)
Winter Alexander takes the Susian Gates (Green)
Winter Alexander takes Susa (Landmark Arrian)
Winter Alexander subdues the Ouxioi (Landmark Arrian)
Winter Alexander passes the Persian Gates and enters Persepolis (Landmark Arrian)

330/329
Winter Spitamenes’ second revolt is put down (Landmark Arrian)

329/328

Winter Alexander at Zariaspa (Green, Livius, Wood)
Winter Bessus is mutilated ahead of being executed (Landmark Arrian)
Winter Bessus is executed (Green)

328
December Spitamenes is captured (Livius)

328/327
Winter Alexander in Maracanda and Nautaca (Livius, Wood)
Winter Alexander captures the Rock of Sisimithres (Wood)
Winter Alexander returns to Zariaspa (Wood)
Winter Callisthenes objects to Alexander’s attempt to introduce proskynesis (Landmark Arrian)
Winter In Nautaca, Alexander appoints new satraps (Landmark Arrian)

327/326

Winter Hephaestion to the Indus River via the Khyber Pass (Wood)
Winter Alexander enters the Swat Valley (Wood)
Winter Alexander at Nysa (Wood)
Winter ‘The Dionysus episode’ (Green) i.e. Macedonian army gets drunk en masse
Winter Alexander attacks the Massaga (Wood)
Winter Alexander campaign in the Swat Valley (Wood)

326

December Alexander campaigns against the Mallians (Wood)
December Siege of the Mallian city  (Wood)
The Landmark Arrian gives the Mallian campaign as happening during the winter of 326/5

325
December Satraps punished for wrong-doing (Green, Livius)
December Alexander joins up with Craterus in Carmania (Livius)
December Macedonian army reaches Hormuz (Wood)

325/324
Winter Alexander joins up with Craterus and Nearchus (Landmark Arrian)
Winter Alexander orders the restoration of Cyrus the Great’s Tomb (Landmark Arrian)
Winter Orxines is executed (Landmark Arrian)

324/323
Winter Alexander requests divine honours for Hephaestion (Livius)
Winter Alexander campaigns against Cossaeans (Landmark Arrian, Livius)

***

* The Landmark Arrian Ed. James Romm (Pantheon Books 2010)
** Wood In the Footsteps Of Alexander the Great A Journey from Greece to India (BBC Books 2004)
*** 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.
  • As can be seen, I have noted where The Landmark Arrian, Livius, Michael Wood and Peter Green have disagreed on the dates; these notes, however, are not comprehensive. My focus has been on recording what each author has said rather than comparing it to the others.

***

Modern Names
The Mallian city – Multan
Nysa – Jelalabad
Zariaspa aka Bactra – Balkh

Categories: Chronology of Alexander's Life | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Siege of Halicarnassus

Daily Diodorus
Vol. VIII. Book XVII Ch. 24-27 (Loeb Classical Library)
Read the other posts in this series here

The Headlines
Alexander Restores Ada to her Throne
Ada Adopts Alexander as her Son
Alexander Lays Siege to Halicarnassus
Memnon Breaks the Siege
[Correction: In earlier editions of the paper we incorrectly said that Memnon broke the Macedonian siege. At the time of writing it looked like he had. After the paper went to press, however, the Macedonian veterans made their decisive intervention in favour of Alexander. The man responsible for this error has been executed]
Halicarnassus Falls; Memnon Flees to Cos
Halicarnassus Razed

The Story
Upon hearing that Memnon was in Halicarnassus, Alexander sent ‘his siege engines and provisions’ to the city via sea. As the ships set off, he and his army began their march through south-western Asia Minor ‘winning over the cities that lay on his route by kind treatment’.

Alexander’s march took him out of Lydia and into Caria. While there, he met Ada its deposed queen.

Ada belonged to the Hecatomnid dynasty. One of her brothers was named Mausolus. When he died (c. 353 B.C.) his sister-wife Artemisia II ordered a great tomb to be built for him. The mausoleum was so magnificent it became one of the wonders of the ancient world.

Ada asked Alexander to restore her to power. He did so. She must have been a popular figure as Diodorus says that Alexander ‘won the loyal support of the Carians by the favour that he bestowed on [her]’.

Arriving outside Halicarnassus, Alexander set up camp. His siege engines having already arrived he laid siege to the city. Here is how it unfolded.

One Alexander began just as he did at Miletus – with continual assaults carried out by ‘relays of attackers’.

Two Diodorus says, that at a later – though unspecified – point, Alexander ‘brought up all sorts of engines of war, filled in the trenches in front of the city with the aid of sheds to protect the workers, and rocked the towers and the curtains between them with his battering rams’.

Three ‘Whenever he overthrew a portion of the wall’ Alexander sent men in to force their way into Halicarnassus itself. This strategy, however, was unsuccessful as Memnon was able to repel the attacks.

Four Memnon did not simply wait for the Macedonian soldiers to come. At night, he sent men out of the city with orders to set fire to the siege engines. This led to fierce fighting between the two sides. Diodorus says that the Macedonians were the better fighters ‘but the Persians had the advantage of numbers and… fire power’: as they attacked on the ground, Persians on the wall shot arrows at the Macedonians.

Five As the fighting continued men on both sides cheered their comrades on.

Six Meanwhile, Macedonian soldiers did their best to put out the fires on the siege engines. Behind the crumbling city walls, Persians hastily built secondary walls – stronger than the first – in an effort to thwart the Macedonian attack.

Seven As Memnon directed operations from within Halicarnassus, his commanders joined their men on ‘the front line and offered great rewards to those who distinguished themselves’.

Eight Both sides had a great ‘desire for victory’, and the fighting was fierce and bloody. Whenever any soldier seemed to be ‘on the point of yielding’ he was ‘put in heart by the appeals of [his] officers’ and thus ‘renewed in spirit’.

Nine As the battle raged, two towers fell and two curtain walls were pulled down.

Ten It was night time when some Macedonian soldiers under Perdiccas’ command got drunk and ‘made a wild… attack’ on the city. A Persian detachment sallied out and fell upon them. The Macedonians were routed.

Eleven The mêlée was noticed by other Macedonian soldiers who rushed to their comrades’ support. Before long, Alexander himself arrived at the scene of the fighting. The Persians were forced back and retreated into the city.

Twelve In accordance with the rules of war, Alexander had a herald ask the Persians for a truce so that the  bodies of the Macedonian dead could be recovered. Two Athenians (Diodorus names them as Ephialtes and and Thrasybulus) who were working for the Persians advised Memnon against granting the truce but he gave permission for the bodies to be taken.

Thirteen At the next council of commanders, Ephialtes recommended that a counter-attack be launched. Seeing ‘that Ephialtes was eager to prove himself and, having great hopes of him because of his courage and bodily strength’ Memnon gave permission for the attack.

Fourteen Ephialtes left the city at daybreak with 2,000 men. To half he gave torches. The other half were formed up to fight the Macedonians.

Fifteen The Persian phalanx met the enemy as their comrades set fire to the siege engines ‘causing a great conflagration to flame up at once’.

Sixteen Alexander responded by dividing his army in three. The best fighters were placed at the front, ‘picked men’ in the middle, and another section of good fighters at the back. Men were also sent to put out the fires.

Seventeen The Macedonians marched forward and another fierce battle ensued. Diodorus tells us that the Macedonians stopped the fires from spreading but that ‘Ephialtes’s men had the advantage in the battle’. Once again they were greatly helped by Persians on a (replacement) wall who showered the Macedonians with missiles.

Eighteen Diodorus reports that Ephialtes personally killed many in hand-to-hand combat. Perhaps the real damage, though, was done by the missile throwers who not only claimed many victims but forced the surviving Macedonians to recoil ‘before the thick fire of missiles’.

Nineteen No doubt perceiving that victory was now there for the taking, Memnon came out of the city and ‘threw himself into the battle with heavy reinforcements’. Things were looking extremely bad for the Macedonians, so bad in fact, that ‘even Alexander found himself quite helpless’.

Twenty But just when all seemed lost for the Macedonian king, his veterans – men who were technically too old to fight – decided that enough was enough. The young pups were clearly not capable of getting the job done so they might as well. They ‘closed ranks’ and ‘confronted the foe, who thought himself already victorious’.

Twenty-One What happened next? I think you can guess. The veterans got stuck in. They killed Ephialtes as well as many others’ and ‘forced the rest to take refuge in the city’.

Twenty-Two It was dark when the Macedonians pushed forward and entered Halicarnassus. The Halicarnassians must have thought that this was it; the end of the city and their lives. But even as the Macedonians broke in, a trumpeter sounded the retreat. Alexander’s army withdrew to camp.

Twenty-Three That night, Memnon held another council with his senior officers. They decided to abandon Halicarnassus. A detachment was left in the city’s acropolis, though, while the rest of the army sailed to Cos.

Twenty-Four Alexander did not find out what had happened until daybreak. He destroyed the city and laid siege to the citadel. At the same time he sent a detachment ‘into the interior [of Caria] with orders to subdue the neighbouring tribes’.

Twenty-Five Diodorus states that ‘the whole region as far as greater Phrygia’ was subdued.

Twenty-Six As for Alexander, Diodorus doesn’t say what happened to the citadel just that the king ‘overran the littoral [i.e. coastline] as far as Cilicia, acquiring many cities and actively storming and reducing the strong points’. Rather annoyingly, he concludes by saying that one of those strong points was taken ‘with such a curious reversal of fortune that the account of it cannot be omitted’. Which he then does.

Comments
The appearance of Ada is a lovely interlude as Alexander marches towards his second siege. One of the headlines above states that she adopted him as her son. This comes from Arrian rather than Diodorus. It is said that Ada sent her new charge delicacies and even a cook although Alexander declined his lavish services, preferring a simpler diet.

Regarding the siege it surely shows men at their best and worst. On the one hand we see them fighting bravely for the sake of glory. Then there is Memnon who rather sportingly allows Alexander to retrieve his dead. And Alexander himself refusing to let his men sack Halicarnassus at the end. On the other hand, though, we have Macedonian discipline breaking down when Perdiccas’ soldiers not only get drunk but decide to attack the city!

If I forget all else, though, the one thing that I am sure I will remember about this siege is the decisive intervention of Alexander’s veterans. Men who were, let me say again, technically too old to fight. Let no one ever say again that old people have nothing to contribute to society.

To be fair, these men were more likely in their 40s than 60s or 70s (though I have to admit I don’t know the cut-off age for being in the Macedonian army). Their precise age, though, is besides the point. The fact is, whatever age they were, despite being regarded as too old for the field of battle, they not only entered it but conquered it.

I can only guess at Alexander’s emotions on the night after the siege ended. Of course he would have been happy that Halicarnassus had now fallen but might he not have been a bit annoyed – even if just inwardly – at the fact that it was his father’s men who had made the critical difference?

Interesteingmanmeme

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