Arrian 1.13-15; Plut. 16; Diod. 17.19.1-3
forces: 32000 infantry, 5100 cavalry, plus navy and allied forces = 90000 total.
Persian forces 20000 cavalry and approximately the same number of infantry. His
siege train also included haulers, engineers, surveyors, camp planners, a secretariat,
court officials, medical staff, grooms for the cavalry
and muleteers for the baggage. Some 182 war ships and supply vessels supported
his force, 160 allied warships. Alexander arrived in Bithynia with 70 talents
in bullion and sufficient supplies for 30 days’ campaign. Memnon,
a Greek mercenary commander serving with the Persians, recommended a strategy
of calculated retreat with scorched earth, but Persian commanders, many closely
related to King Darius III, insisted on a confrontation and chose the Granicus River. Alexander left 12000 infantry, 1500 horse
with Antipater in Macedonia.
Recorded force components: 12000 Macedonian Pezhetairoi; 7000 allied infantry; 5000 mercenary infantry all under Parmenio; Odrysians Triballians, Illyrians = 7000; archers and Agrianians 1000 = 3200; cavalry 1800 hetairoi under Philotas; 1800 Thessalians, under Callas son of Harpalus; 600 Greek cavalry under Erigyius; 900 Thracians and Paeaonian scouts under Cassander, equaling a sum total of 5100 cavalry. Parmenio recommended a delayed night crossing down river, but Alexander overruled him. He ordered a direct assault on the Persian formation arranged on the opposite bank of the river.
Plut: Alexander immediately plunged down the bank and into the water with
13 squadrons into swiftly flowing water that surged about them and swept men
off their feet. Despite this he pressed forward and with a tremendous effort
attained the opposite bank which was a wet treacherous slope covered with mud.
There he was immediately forced to engage the enemy in a confused hand to hand
struggle, before the troops who were crossing behind him could be organized
into any formation. The moment his men set foot on land the enemy attacked them
with loud shouts matching horse against horse, thrusting with their lances and
fighting with the sword when their lances broke. Many of them charged against
Alexander himself, for he was easily recognizable by his shield and by the tall
white plume which was fixed on either side of his helmet. His breast plate was
pierced by a javelin. Spithradates (a Persian noble)
rode at him, and hit him on head with a battle axe, splitting the crest of his
helmet. Cleitus the Black, the brother of Alexander’s
wet nurse, ran him through and saved Alexander’s life. While Alexander’s
cavalry was engaged in this furious and dangerous action, the Macedonian
phalanx crossed the river and the infantry of both sides joined the battle. The
Persians offered little resistance but quickly broke and fled, and it was only
the Greek mercenaries who held their ground. The latter fought to the
death. The Persians lost 20000 infantry
and 2500 horse; Alexander lost 34 cavalry, 9 in the infantry. Captured shields were sent to
Arrian 1.13-15: the cavalry charged in a wedged formation. [The Persian cavalry was arranged in a line 16 deep; the Macedonian phalanx was arranged 8 deep; Alexander’s cavalry unit was arranged 10 deep.] Alexander led the cavalry in an oblique attack across the water so that the army would not get flanked: oblique to the current. This enabled him to prevent a flank attack as he emerged from the water and to engage the enemy with a front as solid as he could make it. The Persians were arranged with mounted troops in front and infantry to the rear…it was a cavalry battle with, as it were, infantry tactics: horse against horse, man against man, locked together. The Macedonians did their utmost to thrust the enemy once and for all back from the river bank and to force him into open ground; whereas, the Persians fought to prevent the landings or to hurl their opponents back into the water.
The Greek mercenaries fight to the death because of Philip II’s warning that all Greeks who supported the Persians would be executed. Some 2000 were enslaved and sent to Macedonia.
cities paid taxes to him as their “liberator”; non Greek peoples paid tribute.
suppressed internal conflicts in cities and won the respect of native peoples.
He was adopted by
The Strategic Threat: Persian army could invade from the Anatolian Plateau; the Persian Navy from along the coast. Alexander’s solution, to seize the “rail heads” of the interior (Dascylium, Sardis) and to deny the Persian fleet any coastal safe harbors.
Siege of Miletus, he brought his fleet of 160 warships to Lade, 3 days later a Persian fleet of 400 arrived. Alexander avoided a sea battle and concentrated on a siege of the city with his fleet blocking the harbor. The Persian garrison surrendered. Alexander now had Persian granaries to feed his army, so he dismissed his fleet (he could not afford to keep it in any event; though he kept 20 Athenian triremes for good behavior). Tribute and contributions now arrived from various parties. The Persian fleet were left with no port facilities in the Aegean.
Halicarnassos, walls 150ft high, Alexander assaulted the defenses with siege
weaponry and 20 Athenian triremes. He was able to take the lower city but not
the acropolis which guarded the harbor (Memnon was
commanding the resistance; he was now in command of the Persian fleet and lower
Parmenio was dispatched into the plateau from
the winter 334/3 Persian agent Sisenes was arrested
by Parmenio with a plan to kill Alexander, while
communicating with Alexander the Lyncestrian and Amyntas. Alexander had Parmenio
arrest the Lyncestrian (who was then commanding the Thessalian cavalry); Amyntas was
executed. Olympias had written Alexander warning of
this plot. Parmenio was in
334/3 Memnon sailed with 700 warships from