EXTRA INFORMATION ON THE CAMPAIGNS OF ALEXANDER PAGE 4 GAZA1 He now moved to Egypt where he had to besiege Gaza which

was built on a steep mound and deemed impossible to take. Alex took it within 10 months of Tyre. 2 He ordered the surrounding ground to be built up to its level (55 ft). Also a tunnel was to be built under its walls so they would collapse. 3 Gaza was ruled by a eunuch called Batis and the story is told that after the 2 month siege Alex did to him what Achilles did to Hector in the Iliad. This is possible but not certain. 4 By now the myth of Alex had taken on a new dimension. The question begins to arise of whether Alex believed himself to be divine or whether it just suited him to have others believe it. It is hard to tell how seriously he took the idea of descent from the gods. Arrian does not have the story but he does seem to have been crowned pharoah in Egypt and this certainly carried connotations of divinity. It was now that he founded Alexandria the most famous of his cities. 5 Next was his visit to Siwah. This was an oasis with a special shrine to the god Ammon. He certainly did nothing to stop the rumours that he was in fact the son of Zeus-Ammon from this on. 6 Arrian certainly believes that he had divine assistance in reaching the place (because it is so likely). But he does see the propaganda value of the exercise too. Both Perseus and Heracles were associated with this shrine and it was famous in Greece. 7 Alex's account of the visit to the oracle is interesting, both mystic and definite at the same time. 8 Alex now went back to Tyre to reorganise the provinces. He returned Athenian hostages and meanwhile Darius was preparing for what everyone knew must be the decisive conflict. 9 By now Alex's forces had grown greatly as military levies were taken from each area under his control. 10 Before the Battle of Gaugamela there was a total eclipse of the moon which was seen as a good omen. 11 Gaugamela was probably Alex's most important battle (See handout on main points of Battle for details). The numbers were probably about 250,000 Persians to 60,000 Macedonians.

12 Crucial things to note are Alex's response to the idea of a night attack, Persian wait all night, Alex's speech, again an attack at an angle this time using a hollow rectangle formation, elephants (15 of them) used by Darius, Alex's use of mixed infantry and horsemen was vital, Parmenio again used as scapegoat.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful