Alexander the Great (Lancaster Pamphlets in Ancient History) by R. Stoneman

By R. Stoneman

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Extra resources for Alexander the Great (Lancaster Pamphlets in Ancient History) - 2nd Edition

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The Tyrians soon began to harry the builders with arrows and slingshot: Alexander had protective screens built against them. The Tyrians sent a fireship which burned them down along with much of Alexander’s artillery: he had new towers and artillery built. But he needed ships. Fortunately the news of Issus had resulted in largescale defections of Phoenician and other squadrons from the Persian fleet, and Alexander soon had an armada of over 100 ships which quickly blockaded Tyre on the seaward side.

Darius’ army took up position behind the River Pinarus, somewhere to the south of Issus. There are several streams crossing this plain; the one concerned may have been the Kuru Cay, some 15 kilometres north of the narrowest part of the plain. So, as at the Granicus, a river lay between the armies. This proved disastrous for the Macedonian phalanx, which lost cohesion in the crossing and found itself engaged in hand-to-hand combat with the Persians’ Greek mercenaries, in which the long sarissas were worse than useless.

Nectanebo fled, Egypt capitulated, and Philip made a non-aggression pact with Persia (343) – for the time being. Alexander was by this time 13 years old. He had been born in 356 to Philip’s third wife, Olympias. Philip had several wives, all acquired for dynastic reasons: Olympias was the daughter of Neoptolemus of Epirus. She was the first to produce a son, and jealously guarded Alexander’s succession when Philip in due course took two more wives. The last, Cleopatra, a relative of Attalus, may have been a love-match; certainly Olympias lost no time, when necessity arose, of eliminating her and her infant son Caranus, a potential rival to Alexander.

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