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Alexander the Great (Ancient World Leaders) by Samuel Willard Crompton

By Samuel Willard Crompton

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Though he had been defeated in battle, lost his palaces and his treasury, the King of Kings remained an important symbol. Alexander’s victory would not be complete until Darius was his. Alexander left 3,000 Macedonians under Parmenion to guard the palaces at Susa and Persepolis. The tiny size of this force indicates how thorough Alexander’s conquest had been: resistance had evaporated in the face of his victories and his growing legend. The chase led northeast from Persepolis. Alexander moved his men at a furious pace; to the north, Darius did the same with his men.

There were monuments to the “Immortals,” the 10,000-man bodyguard of the King of Kings. Yet all was empty and was Alexander’s for the taking. By now, Alexander had learned that Darius was at Ecbatana, hundreds of miles to the north. Since there was no threat from Darius, Alexander settled in for the winter at Persepolis. Alexander paid a special visit to the tomb of Cyrus the Great at nearby Passeragarde. , and then had led them in the creation of the Persian Empire which Alexander now had conquered.

Stateira, the wife of Darius, died in Alexander’s camp shortly before the battle. Alexander sent his condolences to Darius and then set about his preparations. It is not clear whether Stateira died of natural causes or whether her treatment at the hands of the Macedonians had been unchivalrous. Knowing that he was outnumbered about five-to-one, Alexander refused to fight a conventional battle. As he gazed across the plain, Alexander clearly saw that the Persian army was made up of different national groups.

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