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CLA364H1F – Hellenistic World (Lecture 3).docx

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Gillian Ramsey

CLA364H1F – Hellenistic World (Lecture 3) 9/16/2013 8:09:00 AM  The Campaign Against the Persisan Leadership  After conquering Asia minor and taking Egypt did Alex decide to take the Persian empire away from Darius  Summer 331 BC o He moved out of Egypt towards Syria o Samaria  People of Samaria had killed Persian satrap – Andromachus – punishes those who did it  Installs new starap of Koile Syria: Leonnatus  Replaces population of Samaria with Macedonians o Syria  New satrap: Asclepiodorus o Antipiter (regent of Macedon) sent a regent of new troops – Alex waited in N.Syria for them o Syria had a lot of good pastures – good place to keep animal herds  July of 331 BC o Alex heads East towards the Euphrates river o Instead of following the road at the Eurphates he goes north and follows it up stream towards a narrower region and crosses at Thapsacus – had engineers build a couple bridges – pretty easy o Persian opposition: Mazaeus  Sept 20/21 of 331 BC: Tigris crossing o We know the exact dates b/c there was an eclipse the night that the army crossed the river o Tigris is a faster following river than the Euphrates o Once they crossed the river, they were met by 1000 Persian troops which Alex captured – they told him that Darius’ army was close  Battle of Gaugmela o Many accounts of this battle – some reliable, some unreliable o Sources? Callisthenes, Cleitarchus (in Diod & Curtius); Aristoboulus, Ptolemy (in Arrian) o Darius had a huge army – inflated reports say there were 1 million men – wasn’t this big, but it was bigger than Alex’s  Probably 100,000+ o Alexander’s army was larger now (and was growing) than when he crossed the Hellespont – he had been recruiting soldiers from captured cities o Landscape of Gaugmela suited Darius’ army (it was a place choosen by him) o Darius drew on manpower from all over Mesopotamia eastward o Groups in upper satrapies were generally Iranian tribes consisting mainly of cavalry and archers o Persian royal guard – elite Persian soldiers who faught beside the king o Darius had already prepared what he thought would be the battle ground to suit his 'side chariots' which slice everything the wheels touch o Darius had elephants o Behind Darius was more royal guards and more special units - on his two wings were the rest of cavalry and chariots o Darius placed his Greek mercenaries where he thought the Macedonian heavy infantry would be o Alexander had left all his supplies behind except weapons where they crossed the Euphrates o Alexander kept his men in their marching order which looked like they would enter right in the trap that Darius had set for them o At somepoint as they were moving up the left-hand side, Darius moved his Bactrian calvarymen in front of him o Once they got close, Alexander abruptly changed his battle formation rightward – they formed a diamond shaped arrow - so they wouldn’t meet Darius’ line right on o Everyone in the Macecdonian line were instructed to keep silent so they would know when to rearrange o At this oblique change, Darius had to rearrange parts of his army – couldn’t use his chariots the way he had planned o Cavalry, Archers, Javelineers and light infantry took on chariots? o Alexander and his men drove a ‘wedge’ and engaged the Persian (line) centre from the side which is not what they expected o Darius realized that Macedonians were come straight for him – had his Chariot driver turn around and leave the battle ground o Just when Alexander was going to chase after Darius like he did after Issus – he took his men to go help Parmenon who was having trouble with the Persian army to the left  After the battle: o Alexander’s group of companions and heavily cavalry then took off from the battle field and pursued Darius  They chased him to the Great Zab river – they stopped there to rest the horses and carried on through the night to Arbela  25% of Alexander's horses died in this pursuit  Strategically Alexander triumphed and Darius made some big mistakes even though he fled with his best troops – Darius didn’t have a specialized group of troops to go after Alexander o Alexander + Phillip had trained their army to be very maneuverable and easily respond to situations, whereas everyone in the Persian army relied on Darius to make choices o As Darius had fled the battle he claimed himself as 'King of Asia’  Over next few months, Alexander travelled through the heart land of Mesopotamia  First to Babylon, which he had liberated in the way he had done in Egypt  Alexander sacrificed to the local gods  He established a new mint at Babylon b/c he would collect tons of booty capturing the rest of the Persian empire  Susa – capital of Elam was the next major city on the itinerary  Inhabitants of Susa surrendered in advance – they sent conveys to Alex before he reached the city  B/c of this Alex kept the existing satrap  50-100 drachmas given to all Alex’s army depending on rank to keep them happy  Bonus’ given to wounded and those chosen to stay in new cities o Darius’ royal army is now ineffective – won’t be used by king/satraps for any reason  Moving Eastward o Topography eastward was becoming much more mountainous – Alex would have to adapt his military style (gorilla style warfare) – emphasis now on mobility and ability to be able to siege mountainous fortresses o ‘Chiliarchs’ (commanders of 1000)  8,000 best cavalry men became a new special force o Companions remained at core of Alexander’s cavalry o Alex refitted foot soldiers and retrained them to fight ‘gorilla style’ – smaller, lighter weapons rather than Sarsa o So while at Susa Alex trained his cavalry and infantry to be able to fight in more than one way  Persis: Uplands of Persian Gulf (Persian Homeland) – was an individual satrapy o Route to Perisan Gates (Zagros Mts) vs. Uxii  Alexander went ahead with 50,000 men towards Persepolis  He detached a small force of men to find a position to attack the rear of the Persian satrap’s army  After securing the highway, Alex calls the rest of his army o After this engagement he got to the Persian gates which lay 10 miles within the Zagros mountains o In order to deal with the path the Persis starap, Ariobarzanes he needed his whole army o Ariobarazanes had built a big wall which his archers lined o Alexander captured some locals which he used for intelligence – they told him another route through the mountains over the gates so th
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