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The Campaigns of Alexander. 331 – 323 B.C.E. How did Alexander ‘win the peace’ in Babylon? How did he win the allegiance of Mazaeus and the Babylonians? ( McCarty 2004: 86/87). How did Alexander ‘win the peace in babylon ? How did he win the allegiance of mazaeus and the babylonians ?.

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the campaigns of alexander

The Campaigns of Alexander

331 – 323 B.C.E.

How did Alexander ‘win the peace’ in Babylon? How did he win the allegiance of Mazaeus and the Babylonians? (McCarty 2004: 86/87)

How did Alexander ‘win the peace in babylon? How did he win the allegiance of mazaeus and the babylonians?

By Gerard Lennox


Zeb Marshall


Alexander was happily welcomed in the city of Babylon.

  • Babylon had also been over taken in their recent history as the Persians had conquered them, destroyed their temples and imposed their own religion upon them.
  • Because of this, and Alexander’s hope of defeating the Persians, the Babylonians claimed Alexander as their saviour. As McCarty 2004 States: “they could rightly claim Alexander as their saviour.”
  • The Babylonians asked their priests to place their treasure in the hands of Alexander. From this, Alexander returned the favour by rebuilding all of the temples that the Persians destroyed.
  • Alexander was also allowed to have allegiance with Babylon as long as Mazaeus’s official was recognised.
  • This is how Alexander won the hearts of the Babylonians.
Alexander Entering Babylon

Because the Persians had destroyed the temples and Alexander offered to rebuild them, the Babylonians

Babylonians Gave Alexander their treasure

As McCarty 2004 States: “they could rightly claim Alexander as their saviour.”

What did Alexander find in Susa? Why did Alexander encourage his soldiers to marry local girls? (McCarty 2004: 87/88)
what did alexander find in susa why did alexander encourage his soldiers to marry local girls
What did Alexander find in Susa? Why did Alexander encourage his soldiers to marry local girls?
  • Susa was one of the major cities in the Persian Empire
  • In February 324, Alexander forced many Macedonian soldiers and officers to marry local women in Susa.
  • It was intended as an attempt to unite the European and Asian elites.
  • The marriages was celebrated in traditional Persian custom
  • it was a sad failure: nearly all marriages ended in divorce
  • M.M. Austin. (N/A). Alexander the Great: the Weddings in Susa. Available: Last accessed 13/11/12.

In spring of 330BC

  • Its approaches were protected by tribesman and a force of 20,000 soldiers led by a Persian satrap that blocked the narrow path out of the Persian gates
  • Then dropped down behind the Persian force and engaged the Persians with pressure from both front and rear
  • Once in position alerted army in front of the pass and Persian force was attacked from front and back. No escape for the guards of the pass.
  • Decided to defeat the force at the Persian gates, leaving his march vulnerable to an attack from behind.
what alexander gained in persepolis
What Alexander gained in Persepolis:
  • Persian gold.
  • Persian trade enterprise.
  • Revenge against the Persians for sacking Athens.
  • Swathes of wool.
  • Multi-coloured vats of colour.
what alexander saw in persepolis
What Alexander saw in Persepolis
  • Huge stone pillars with carvings of soldiers, kings and horned bulls etc.
  • Extravagant buildings.
  • Canals cut into the rock.
  • Stone statues in the images of Darius and his court.
  • Specialised tradesmen.
  • McCarty; Babylon, Susa and Persepolis; pg 90-92
  • Arrian; the Anabasis of Alexander; pg 178.
how did darius meet his end how and why was bessus executed mccarty 2004 99 101
How did Darius meet his end? How and why was Bessus executed? (McCarty 2004: 99 – 101)

Darius had been taken prisoner by Bessus, and was being kept alive so he could be used as a bargaining tool, if needed.

  • During Alexanders pursuit of Bessus and the Persians, “Nabarzanes and Barsaentes wounded him and left him there... ...Darius died from his wounds soon after, before Alexander had seen him” (Arrian, The Anabasis of Alexander, p185)
  • McCarty tells us “While still alive, Darius was found by one of Alexanders men, Polystratus, found Darius and gave him the water which he had been begging for. Darius told Polystratus “Friend, this fills the measure of my misfortune, to think that I am not able to reward you for this act of kindness. But Alexander will not let you go without reward and the gods will reward Alexander for his humanity to my mother, to my wife and children. Tell him I give him my hand, for I give it to you in his place”” (McCarty, 2004, p100)
how and why was bessus executed
How and why was Bessus executed?
  • “He was put between two tall trees. The tops of the trees were drawn down and one leg and one arm was tied to each tree. When the ropes tethering the tree tops were cut they sprang powerfully upright tearing Bessus in two.” (McCarty 2004: 100)
  • He was executed because he had betrayed his king for personal gain
  • The oficial reason for his execution was regicide
what plots against alexander materialised how did alexander deal with them mccarty 2004 101 103
What plots against Alexander materialised? How did Alexander deal with them? (McCarty 2004: 101 – 103)

A plot against him by the Pages, fell through.

Alexander, thinking that there was something divine in the warning, returned and went on drinking; and thus the enterprise of the Pages fell through (Arrian, The Anabasis of Alexander, 231).

  • Philotas, who new about the plot refused to tell Alexander. Thus he and his father Parmenion were executed.
  • Calisthenes told a soldier that the only way to become famous was by killing the most famous of Man. Alexander removed any idea of a plot against his life by imprisoning Calisthenes.
the death of cleitus
The Death of Cleitus

☭Cleitus was a rough, tough soldier.

☭served under Alexander and his father before him.

☭Cleitus was enraged at Alexanders change of commands. Given second-rate soldiers to fight nomads.

☭ends up getting Killed in a drunken Rage by the king.

☭ Alexander repents and tries to bring the spear he used to kill his friend with to his neck but is stopped and carried away.


What course did the Battle of Hydaspes take?

  • The Battle of Hydaspes was fought in 326 BC.
  • After Alexander defeated the last of the Achaemenid Empire’s forces under Bessus and Spiyamenes in 328 BC, he began a new campaign to further extend his empire towards India 327 BC. Alexander's army is estimated at about 6,000.
  • Alexander fought against King Porus of the Hindu kingdom on the banks of the Hydaspes River in what is now modern-day Pakistan.
  • Porus drew up on the south bank of the Hydaspes River, and was set to repel any crossings.

Alexander knew that a direct crossing had little chances of success and thus tried to find alternative fords. He moved his mounted troops up and down the river bank each night, Porus shadowing him. Arian describes Alexander using a “suitable crossing, about 27 km upstream of his camp”.

  • He left his general Craterus behind with most of the army, while he crossed the river upstream with a strong contingent, consisting, according to Arrian of 6,000 foot and 5,000 horse, though it is probable that it was larger.
  • Porus perceived his opponent's manoeuvre and sent a small cavalry and chariot force under his son to fight off Alexander, hoping that he would be able to prevent his crossing. Alexander had already passed, and easily routed his opponent.
  • Porus deployed his forces and commenced the attack. The Indians were equipped with cavalry on both flanks, their centre made up of infantry with elephants among or before them in equal intervals. The elephants caused much harm to the Macedonian army but were eventually revolted by the dense pikes of the phallangitai, which then caused much destruction to their own force lines.

The Indians tried to form a double formation, but the necessary manoeuvres were complicated and brought even more confusion into their ranks making it easier for the Macedonian horse to conquer them. The remaining Indian cavalry fled among the elephants for protection, but the elephants were already out of control and soon retreated, exhausted from the field, leaving the rest of Porus's army circled by the Macedonian army.

  • At this time, the phallangitai locked shields and advanced upon the enemy.
  • Porus, after putting up a brave fight, surrendered and the battle was finally over.
  • The battle resulted in a complete Macedonian victory and complete control of Punjab.

Why did Alexander decide to turn back?

Alexander’s men wanted to go home

They didn’t want to follow him to the Ganges

“Conferences were held throughout the camp, in which those who were the most moderate bewailed their lot, while others resolutely declared that they would not follow Alexander any farther, even if he should lead the way.” (Arrian pg. 307)

His officer’s advised him to turn back

Omens were not in favour of continuing and so he told he told the people that the God’s were against going on