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The battle of issus, 333 bc

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  • Alex was so ill that his doctors refused to treat him. Darius was offering 1000 talents for the person who killed Alex. Only A’s childhood dr dared to treat him. It was while he was being treated that A received the letter about Alexander of Lyncestis.

The battle of issus, 333 bc The battle of issus, 333 bc Presentation Transcript

  • The Battle of Issus, 333 BC
  • Background to the Battle
    • While ill in Tarsus Alexander hears that Darius and his army are marching toward them.
    • Alexander races to Issus, where he expects to meet Darius.
    • Darius moves north, and advances towards Alexander’s rear.
  • A note about the Battle site…
    • If Alexander had stayed where he was camped, the Battle would have been fought on flat, wide, open plains.
    • By moving north towards Issus again, however, Alexander ensured that the Battle would be fought in a narrow space between the sea and the hills, thus removing Darius’ numerical advantage
  •  
  • The two armies meet across the River Pinarus
  • 2 versions of the Battle
    • The events of the Battle of Issus are generally agreed
    • The order in which they happened is more controversial
  • The quick easy victory
    • Alexander’s Companion cavalry smashes through the inexperienced Persian archers and drives around the rear of the Persian lines
  • River Pinarus Greek mercenaries Heavy cavalry Infantry Archers D Macedonian phalanx Thessalian cavalry Companions Light troops
  • The slow hard victory
    • Alexander’s Thessalian cavalry held the line on the left (just)
    • The Phalanx was broken in the centre
    • Alexander’s cavalry charge is a last resort
  • River Pinarus Greek mercenaries Heavy cavalry Infantry Archers D Macedonian phalanx Thessalian cavalry Companions Light troops Macedonian phalanx Greek mercenaries
  • After the Battle
    • Callisthenes said 110,000 Persians died in the Battle, for the loss of 302 Macedonians
    • Though the figures are exaggerated, it is clear that the Battle was won because of the Companion cavalry
    • As soon as it was clear that he had won, Alexander set off in pursuit of Darius, but he never caught up with the Great King
    • Darius’ wife, mother and children had been captured in the Battle, but were treated well by Alexander
    • Again, Alexander visited the wounded
    • The captured loot at the end of the Battle included:
      • 2,600 talents of coins, 500lbs of silver
      • 7000 pack animals
      • 329 female musicians and 306 cooks, 13 pastry chefs, 70 wine waiters, 40 scent makers
      • Two of Alexander’s future wives (Barsine, Memnon’s widow, and Stateira, Darius’ eldest daughter)
  • Effects of the Battle of Issus
    • The coast of Phoenicia was now opened up, and Alexander now controlled the ports along it
    • Alexander had now defeated the Great King Darius and captured his family, but Darius was still alive and Alexander could not rightfully call himself King of Asia…yet!