Alexander The Great III


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Examining the decisions of Alexander and Darius III from an economic point of view. Learning how to read a textbook for economic view points; learning how to build an economic point of view into your writing.

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  • Alexander The Great III

    1. 1. Alexander the Great: III 1 8 F e b r u a ry 2 0 1 0
    2. 2. Homework: Economy Read pp. 142-144. Write a paragraph about the economics of warfare in Alexander the Great’s era.
    3. 3. Reading: Economics 50,000 - 75,000 soldiers @ 2 drachmas a day x 60 days = 6 million drachmas 1 drachma = c. $US 25 $150 million Minimum
    4. 4. Reading: Economics Conquest of Egypt Tax revenue to Alexander: 200 million drachmas Darius III loses that same tax revenue Thus insistence on battle!
    5. 5. Reading: Politics/ Military Conquest of Egypt Tax revenue to Alexander: 200 million drachmas Darius III loses that same tax revenue Thus insistence on battle!
    6. 6. Reading: Politics/ Military Battle of Gaugamela Use of Chariots Alexander’s army about 50% of Darius’s but... Darius panics
    7. 7. Reading: Politics/ Military Battle of Gaugamela Alexander breaks through the right wing of Persian Army Darius presses on Macedonian camp Alexander returns, attacks Darius from rear
    8. 8. Primary Source: Arrian "When the armies drew near each other, Darius and the men especially around him were observed opposite Alexander himself and his royal squadron of cavalry. Alexander led his own army more towards the right, and the Persians marched parallel along with him, far outflanking him upon their left. Then the Scythian cavalry rode along the line and came into conflict with the front men of Alexander's army; nevertheless he still continued to march towards the right, and almost entirely got beyond the ground that had been cleared and leveled by the Persians. Then Darius, fearing that his chariots would become useless if the Macedonians advanced upon the uneven ground, ordered the front ranks of his left wing to ride round the right wing of the Macedonians, where Alexander was commanding, to prevent him from marching his wing any further.
    9. 9. Primary Source: Arrian Meantime the Thessalian cavalry in a splendid struggle were not falling short of Alexander's own success in the combat. For the Barbarians on the right wing were already beginning to fly when be came on the scene of [this] conflict; so that again he wheeled, and started in pursuit of Darius once more, keeping up the chase while daylight lasted. [After resting his men till midnight, Alexander pursued again all next day, but did not take the king, for] Darius went on fleeing without any rest. However, the money and all his other wealth were captured, likewise his chariot; and his spear and bow were also taken, as they had been after Issus. Of Alexander's men about 100 were killed and more than 1000 of his horses; either from wounds or exhausted in the pursuit. . . Of the Barbarians there are said to have been 300,000 slain, and far more taken prisoners than were killed.
    10. 10. Primary source: Babylonian astronomical diary, 4 days after the battle. The twenty-fourth [day of the lunar month], in the morning, the king of the world [i.e., Alexander] [erected his] standard [lacuna]. Opposite each other they fought and a heavy defeat of the troops [of the king he inflicted]. The king [i.e., Darius], his troops deserted him and to their cities [they went]. They fled to the land of the Guti.[18]
    11. 11. Economics: Arrian On making himself master of Susa, Alexander came into possession of forty thousand talents of coined money in the palace, and of untold furniture and wealth beside. Among this they say was found five thousand talents' weight of purple from Hermione, which, although it had been stored there for a hundred and ninety years, still kept its colors fresh and lively. The reason for this, they say, is that honey was used in the purple dyes, and white olive oil in the white dyes; for these substances, after the like space of time, are seen to have a brilliancy that is pure and lustrous. Moreover, Deinon says that the Persian kings had water also brought from the Nile and the Danube and stored up among their treasures, as a sort of confirmation of the greatness of their empire and the universality of their sway.
    12. 12. Defining Terms Talent = 6,000 drachmae 40,000 talents X 6000 drachmae = 240 million drachmae 240 m drachmae x $25 US $6 billion US!
    13. 13. Write: Politics & Economics Use: drachma, talent, mercenary, tax receipts, Gaugamela, emergency conscription, denial of revenue, credit, debt Make clear that you understand how economic factors influence Alexander and Darius’ actions.