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Darius Isos’ battle

After the winter, Alexander sets out again to the south and in 331 before JC he his faced with Persian army, commanded by Darius himself, the king of the Persians, at the site of Isos, the current Syria.

Persian contingents are amazing : 300 000 men according to Quint-Curse, and other ones pretend they may be 600 000. But Persians can not deploy so efficiently in the narrow plain of Cilicie and Macedonian soldiers get upper hands really fast. Darius had to beat the retreat and gave up royal insignas such as his coat, his bow and his tank, his mother Sisygambis, his wife Stateira and three of his children.

This scene is illustrated by a famous mosaic located at Pompeii, in the Faun’s home where Darius, on the right, is fleeing.

Phoenicia’s conquest
The way to Phoenicia is clear for Alexander. Sidon opens his gates without fighting but, on the contrary, Tyre refuses to rally to the Macedonian. A long siege of seven months begins in front of the island city at the beginning of the year 332 before 332 before JC and heavy losses would be necessary to make it possible for Alexander’s troops to go through the rampart of the Phoenician city.

The arrival in Egypt

After his victory against Gaza, Alexander arrives in Egypt at the autumn 332 . At this place, he is put up none resistance and takes up straight away at the capitale, Memphis, which is glad to get rid of the Persian tyrant. Later, he fouds in the Nile delta the town Alexandria which will become the capitale of the country. He then goes on a pilgrimage to the Sivab’ oasis, straight into the desert to consult Amon’s oracle who promises him « the Empire of the World ».

babyloneOn the way to Babylon
On the spring 331, Alexander’s troops set off to Babylon. Darius took refuge there and raised a huge army of a million of soldiers according to some authors, what may be exaggerated. This army was setting in a big plain, near the village Gaugamèles and it hopes he could make best use of their famous cavaliers coming from Scythian and Bactrian. On the first October, the confrontation occured : Alexander’s army crossed the Tigris and got upper an achemide army.

Once again, Darius fled and gave up a fabulous treasure of 100 tonnes of silver and let Babylon completely open for Alexander. This last one enters in triumph in the Persian city. For the first time and contrary to the other towns, a Greek citizen does not seize power : Mazée, a former satrap of Darius, is given the responsibility . At the end of December, Suse surrenders in the same conditions and it is up to a Persian to become satrap of the city. Once again, the treasure is prodigious : between 40 and 50 000 talents that is to say between 100 and 1250 tonnes of gold.

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