Mutiny at Hyphases, The Mallians, Alexanders near death,
Mutiny at Hyphases, The Mallians, Alexanders near death, the Gedrosian desert, tomb of Cyrus, mutiny at Opis, death of Hephaestion Mutiny at Hyphasis River After Alexander had captured the city of Sangala he returned to a river called Hyphasis. Beyond this river there were reports of lush land, herds of elephants, efficient farmers and civilized social systems. Alexander wanted to explore further but his men
had had enough, they wanted to return home. Having heard their grumbling, Alexander called a meeting with his men. He began by outlining all the fine conquests they had achieved from the Hellespont, into Persia and beyond the Indus. Mutiny at Hyphasis River Alexander argued that across the Hyphasis River there were new lands to conquer and then their labours would be complete. The natives beyond the Hyphasis would either surrender or run away at the sight of
the combined army. Alexander argued that the land yet to be conquered was relatively small but having conquered it, all the great oceans of the area would be connected and his empire would be great, having no boundaries to it at all. Mutiny at Hyphasis River Further more Alexander argued that if they left territory unconquered, then these tribesmen might stir up trouble among the natives. If this happened all the efforts thus far would have
been wasted. Indeed the conquests of these boarder territories would have to be undertaken again. Having travelled and conquered regions beyond the reach of Hercules and Dionysus, Alexander implored his fellow Greeks to complete the conquest such glories were not to be found back in Greece. Mutiny at Hyphasis River Finally, Alexander told his men that he had shared both the toils and rewards of conquest with all of them. It was their empire as much as his.
Those who stayed and remained on would be the envy of those who return, because more rewards and glory awaited them. Coenus Reply After a hushed silence, Coenus plucked up the courage to reply to Alexander. He told Alexander that many men, who started on the campaign from Greece with him, were not there today. Some were sent home (the Thesssalian cavalry), other sick and injured were left to settle in the towns annexed by
Alexander, many were killed and disabled in these wars. Every man wished to go back to his family and home with the riches acquired in these wars and settle there in peace. Coenus Reply He told Alexander that he might return to Macedonia, visit his own people, bring order to Greece and if he so desired begin new conquests with fresh and eager troops, who would willingly follow him. These younger troops, not knowing the horrors of war,
hoping for riches, would be all the eager to follow him. In short a man should know when to stop. This speech was greeted by applause from the men. After some sulking, the outraged Alexander eventually gave in and some days later a decision was made to return home. Before he did this he built altars, made sacrifices to the gods and held ceremonial games. Returning Home Alexander began the journey home travelling down the river Hydaspes; other regiments shadowed his journey on land following him
along the riverbank. Some natives even came out to jeer the expedition on as it sailed past. At a junction in the river (between the Hydaspes and Acesines) the strong under current capsized some of Alexanders warships and many men were lost. Eventually the danger past and Alexander returned to dry land. The Mallians On his return home from India Alexander had to deal with a tribe of independent Indians known as
Mallians. Alexander confronted them, taking town after town. Every time he took one of their forts, those who survived, withdrew to another settlement. The Mallians even abandoned their principal town and crossed the river Hydroates to try and escape him. The Mallians managed to hold Alexander at the river, but when he was reinforced by other troops coming up to assist him, the Indians fell back and locked them selves into a well fortified settlement. The Mallians Alexander attacked without the support of
Perdiccas, (he had not arrived yet)as he was impatient with the delay. He ordered scaling ladders to be brought up. When they arrived, he grabbed a ladder from a nearby troop and ascended the wall jumping inside this inner fort. Standing on the wall all alone, he waited for the others to follow, but as his troops tried to get up, the ladders broke under their weight. The Mallians Alexander jumped inside and fought in hand to
hand combat with the Indians who approached him. Alexander was struck in the lungs with an arrow; he was weak and bleeding heavily. Leonnatus and Peucestas came to his safety and protected him with the shield of Troy. Having witnessed Alexanders bravery, his troops doubled their efforts to climb the wall. They also managed to pull down agate that was protecting the inner fort. The Mallians When the Macedonians got inside the slaughter
of the Mallians began in earnest. Alexanders injury was so critical that it was feared he would die. Arrian then discusses the many false stories about Alexander that had been handed down by various authorities. As Alexander was been treated for his wounds, a rumour did the rounds that he had died. This news plunged the men into helpless despair. The Mallians Who would led them back to Babylon and defeat
the many hostile tribes they found themselves among? These natives were going to fight hard for their own freedom. News reached them that Alexander was alive. The king even wrote them a letter saying that he was going to pay them a visit. Some troops were suspicious and suspected this letter was a forgery. Alexander, fearing a breakdown of discipline among his men, travelled down the river Hydroates to meet his men at their headquarters.
Alexander Survives Alexander's vessel was brought to the river bank and he raised his hand to greet them. The ecstasy and relief among his men was demonstrated by their shouts of joy, some burst into tears. Alexander refused a stretcher and called for a horse. When he was on his horse there was a storm of applause. He then dismounted and walked to his tent. His men saw their king and crowded around him, issuing prayers of thanksgiving and flinging
wreaths and flowers towards Alexander. Reading Read Arrians account of the mutiny at Hyphases: Arrian p. 291 300 Read Arrian and Plutarchs accounts of the Mallians and Alexanders near death experience: Arrian p. 309 319 Plutarch point 62 and 63 Assignment
Summarise Alexanders attack on the Mallian fort -Was Alexander foolish here? The Gedrosian Desert On his way back to Persia in a region called Oria, Alexander passed through a very barren territory. He ran short on fresh supplies and provisions. He eventually came across some supplies and put a seal on the baggage. But the men transporting the baggage to the ships broke open the seals and
devoured the contents of the baggages. Alexander generously pardoned them for this act. The native Indians were ordered to sell as much supplies as they could to Alexanders army (grain, sheep, dates etc.) and bring these to the coast, where his fleet was. The Gedrosian Desert Alexander then brought his men through the Gedrosian desert, knowing full well how treacherous this region was. A previous Persian king, Cyrus tried to go
through this route when invading India. He got through with only 7 men. Assyrian queen, Semiramis also got through with 20 men but endured terrible hardship as well. The Gedrosian Desert Alexander wanted to do better than these two people; this was the first reason for going through the desert. He also believed he could keep in touch with his fleet and procure supplies for it.
The experience was a disaster. Alexander and his army got lost. They lost contact with their ships. The sandy ground made travelling difficult, both for men horses and wagons. Men and animals died of thirst as the heat was intolerable. The Gedrosian Desert Horses were killed for food, a crime that Alexander turned a blind eye to. Sick or fallen men were abandoned, left to die where they lay; survival of the army took priority
over individual men. The torrential rains and monsoon flooding were also a risk. At one point a camp was set up beside a stream. Over night a deluge of rain flooded the river and drowned many, who were encamped along the river, having taken all by surprise. The Gedrosian Desert When water was found, after a long march in the sun, some men drank the water too quickly and died. Alexander had to stop his men from jumping too quickly
into the water with their horses, so he stopped at a distance from any stream or water supply he found. Arrian tells the following story: on one occasion during the crossing (in the midst of the blazing sun and extraordinary heat) some men from his infantry who had located a stream, presented Alexander with a helmet of water. In full view of his troops Alexander poured the water onto the ground. Arrian comments here on Alexanders powers of endurance and of his genius for leadership. The Gedrosian Desert The guides had to admit they were lost.
The desert sands had blocked out all the landmarks. Alexander took a small band of men and keeping to the left rode ahead. He eventually found the sea and afterwards his men caught up with him. The guides found their bearings once more and set out for the interior again. The Gedrosian Desert Alexander eventually reached the capital
of Gedrosia. Arrian does not comment on Alexanders foolishness here or the massive losses he endured, however his foolishness and arrogance must be questioned. He was trying to shorten his journey home but this was a risk he almost certainly should not have taken. Reading Read Arrian and Plutarchs accounts of the march through the Gedrosian desert:
Arrian p.334 340 Plutarch: p. 323 324 (Point 66) Tomb of Cyrus At the royal park at Pasargadae, Alexander came upon the tomb of King Cyrus, a famous Persian king. The park where the tomb was located was lush. It had woods, meadows and streams of running water. The base of the tomb was built of stone; on top of it was a roofed chamber, also built of stone with a small access door.
Inside the chamber there was a golden coffin containing Cyrus body and a great bed with feet of hammered gold. Spread over this bed were brightly coloured material, Persian rugs, Median jackets, dyed robes, elaborate jewellery and precious stones etc. Tomb of Cyrus Another building had been constructed for the magi, who had the duty of guarding the tomb. This job was passed on from father to son. They had an allowance of a one sheep meal a
day, wine and one horse a month to sacrifice to Cyrus. The tomb had an inscription, O man I am Cyrus son of Cambyses, who founded the empire of Persia and ruled over Asia, do not grudge me my monument. Tomb of Cyrus When he did come across it, all but the divan and coffin had been removed. Even the coffin had been desecrated; the lid of the coffin had been lifted off and chipped. Cyrus body was thrown out of it.
Alexander was furious at the state of the tomb. He had the priests tortured to find out who tampered with the tomb and stole its contents. They revealed no information, so Alexander released them, uncertain whether they were guilty or not. Alexander restored the tomb to its previous splendid state and finery. He then had the door covered up with a royal seal. Calanus Suffering from an intestine problem, Calanus, a respected sage, asked for a funeral pyre to be
built for him. He travelled to this pyre, said prayers and poured libations for himself. He also cut off a lock of his own hair and threw it into the fire. He addressed the men, urging them to make the day one of celebration, and to drink deep with the king. He then lay on the flames, allowing himself to be engulfed without moving away. This practice was acceptable to the gods and customs of the philosophers own country, India. Reading Read Arrian and Plutarchs accounts of his visit
to the tomb: Arrian p. 344 346 Plutarch p. 326 327 (Point 69) Orientalism At Susa Alexander took another wife, Barsine, daughter of Darius. At the same time he matched a number of daughters and women connected with the Persian royal family to many of his senior officers. He followed the Persian rite of marriage: the bridegrooms sat in chairs in order of importance,
and when drinks had been taken, saluting their health, the brides entered and sat beside their bridegroom taking them by the hand and kissing them. Orientalism Alexander like the rest of his men followed the Persian marriage custom. Arrian says that 10,000 Macedonians married Persian women and each were registered. Alexander is said to have given gifts to all. Also at Susa, some 30,000 young men,
(Persians) dressed in Macedonian battle dress and trained along Macedonian lines were presented to Alexander. Orientalism The Macedonians resented this; they believed this proved that Alexander was not depending on his own countrymen for his future campaigns. Neither did the Macedonians like the Persian dress Alexander was sporting, nor the foreign marriage ceremony they had witnessed. To add insult to injury, they were also disgusted
with one of their own generals, Peucestas, who had learned the Persian language and wore Persian dress. All of this was whole heartedly supported by Alexander. Reading Read Arrians account of Alexanders orientalism and the Macedonians resentment: p. 356 - 357
Mutiny at Opis Alexander called an assembly of his troops and proposed to discharge any elderly or disabled men home. The veterans were annoyed with this because it seemed to be another example of where he publicly devalued them. They were also disgruntled by Alexanders preferences for Persians, taking them into his Companion regiments and adopting Persian customs. The men said they all should be sent home and that on his next campaign; Alexander should
take his father (the God Ammon) with him. Mutiny at Opis Alexander leapt to the platform and in a fit of fury. He was becoming impatient with his Macedonian subjects, who were less compliant than the Persians he surrounded himself with. Alezander singled out 13 ringleaders and executed them and decided to address his men again, telling them all he had done for them. He reminded them of how Phillip made Macedonia great and powerful, raising them up
from hill people to be the greatest power in Greece. Philip had given them law, made them city dwellers, and enabled them to conquer all of their old neighbours and master them. Mutiny at Opis Alexander, told his men he used the meagre resources left to him, brought these same Macedonians into Persia and beyond into India. Moreover he had shared all his wealth with them, making many as rich as himself. He had also shared in their sufferings, being wounded
several times, for their glory and gain. Finishing off Alexander repeated their achievements, from Persia to the Hydaspis. Mutiny at Opis Alexander finally ordered them out of his sight, calling then deserters who abandoned their king and left him among the barbarians. Alexander then withdrew to his quarter, neither eating nor washing himself that day. On the third day he met some Persian officers and divided out commands of army units among them.
When the Macedonians heard about the Persian appointments to various army units, they rushed to the palace begging Alexander to admit them. Mutiny at Opis Alexander finally appeared and took pity on them. One of the Macedonian officers said that what hurt them most is that Alexander had made Persians his kinsmen. He even allowed them to kiss him no Macedonian had that honour. Alexander replied, Every man among you I
regard as my Kinsman and from now on that is what I shall call you. The Macedonians, each in turn, came up to Alexander and kissed him. Mutiny at Opis Alexander completed the reconciliation by holding a great banquet for both the Persians and Macedonians. Sacrifices were offered to the gods that both of these peoples might rule in harmony together. 10,000 unfit men volunteered to return home; they were given full pay and enough money to
see them home to Greece. Any man, who had children with a Persian or Asian woman, was permitted to leave them behind, (to avoided trouble with their Greek wives). Mutiny at Opis Alexander promised to give the children a Macedonian upbringing and military training. When they grew up he would send the children back to their fathers. Craterus was given the task of leading the men home. There was then an emotional farewell.
Craterus was also told to take control of Macedonia, Thrace and Thessaly and assure the freedom of Greece. Antipater was instructed to send fresh troops to replace the ones sent home. Reading Read Arrians account of the Mutiny at Opis: p. 359 - 367 Death of Hephaestion: Arrian
While Alexander was at Ecbatana, he heard that his friend Hephaestion had become ill. Alexander hurried away to see him, but his friend was dead before he could reach him. Arrian says there are many different accounts of Alexanders grief (some favourable, others not). Some of these accounts wanted to discredit Alexander for his lack of propriety, believing his reaction to be unworthy of a great king. Either way, Alexanders tremendous grief is beyond doubt.
Death of Hephaestion: Arrian He clung on to the dead body all day until soldiers eventually removed him. He had the doctor executed for letting Hephaestion die. He may even have cut his hair short, to signify mourning He had the shrine of Asclepius at Ecbatana dismantled, believing that the god of medicine did not look after his friend properly. He ordered sacrifices to be made to
Hephaestion, as if he were a demigod Death of Hephaestion: Arrian At the day of the funeral Alexander neglected all his bodily needs, (food, drink, sleep etc). Instead he moaned and lamented for his dead friend. He ordered a massive funeral pyre to be built for his friends funeral, at a cost of 10,000 talents. A period of mourning was held right throughout the east. No replacement was ordered for Hephaestions' regiment, its name was kept to honour him. Funeral games were held to celebrate his dead friend.
Eventually he got a grip of himself and a swift campaign against mountain people, (the Cossaeans), assured all that Alexanders grief for his dear friend had run its course. Death of Hephaestion: Plutarch When he was suffering from a severe fever, Hephaestion was ordered to stick to a diet by his doctor, Glaucus. But when the doctor was away, Hephaestion broke loose and had himself a feast of boiled fowl and a cooler-full of wine. The fever that he had already worsened and
he died. Alexanders grief was uncontrollable Death of Hephaestion: Plutarch As a sign of his mourning the king ordered the manes and tails of all his horses to be shorn, Glaucus was crucified. Battlements of nearby towns were torn down and the playing of music or flutes was forbidden. An oracle from the temple of Ammon ordered Hephaestion to be honoured and sacrificed to as hero.
As for the Cossaeans, in a campaign against them, the entire population was butchered as a sacrifice to the spirit of Hephaestion. 10,000 talents were spent on his funeral and a very expensive tomb was built for his friend. Reading Read the account of Hephaestions death: Arrian p. 371 373 Plutarch p. 329 330 (Point 72) Events Leading to Alexanders Death
When Alexander crossed the Tigris, he encountered some wise men of the Chaldaeans (priests of Bel). They told the king not to enter Babylon. Their god had warned them that this would prove fatal for Alexander. They asked him not to bring his army westward, but to go east instead. Arrian says that Alexander was suspicious of these priests and he ignored their advice. However when the king entered Babylon, he noticed some ravens pecking one another overhead. Some of them dropped dead and fell at his feet.
Events Leading to Alexanders Death Plutarch also relates the episode of the examinations of the bird by Pythagoras. Apollodorus asked him to conduct the service to determine what fate awaited Alexander on his return from the east. When Alexander heard this he ordered Pythagoras to appear before him. The priest said he noticed that the liver of the bird had no lobe. He explained to Alexander that this signified great danger for the king. Alexander is said to have moved his quarters
outside the city rarely venturing inside its walls. He regretted not taking Nearchus advice about going into Babylon. Events Leading to Alexanders Death On another occasion a tame donkey attacked the finest lion in Alexanders menagerie and kicked it to death: another strange omen. Another time, Alexander was playing games with some of his men. When they returned, a stranger was sitting silently, occupying the royal throne.
This stranger wore the kings diadem and royal robes. When the man was questioned he said that he was from Messina and his name was Dionysus. Accused of crimes he had been brought to Babylon from the coast. Events Leading to Alexanders Death He said the god Serapis came to him, cast off his chains, brought him to this place and commanded him to put on the diadem, don
the royal robes and mount the throne. Alexanders priests urged him to put this man to death, which he did. However after this Alexander began to lose confidence in his priests and in the gods. He saw suspicion everywhere he looked, even among his closest friends. Events Leading to Alexanders Death Alexander feared most of all the sons of Antipater; Iolas and Cassander.
When Cassander saw some barbarians prostrating themselves before Alexander for the first time (he had just arrived in Babylon) he laughed aloud, mockingly. He, coming fresh from Greece, had never seen such a spectacle in his life. Alexander was so furious that he grabbed him by the hair and smashed his head against a wall. Events Leading to Alexanders Death On another occasion, Cassander was
defending his father, Antipater, from charges brought before Alexander by a visiting delegation. The king interrupted Cassander and said, do you think these men have come all this way to make false accusations. Alexander said if the delegation had been done the smallest wrong, you, (Antipater and his sons) will be very sorry for it. Events Leading to Alexanders Death After this a type of fear was implanted in
Cassanders mind. Even years later, when Alexander was dead and Cassander was king of Macedonia, the mere sight of a statue of Alexander struck him with horror, Towards the end Alexander had, become obsessed by the fears of the supernatural. Every strange or unusual event was interpreted, no matter how trivial. He surrounded himself soothsayers, priests, sacrificers and purifiers etc. Alexanders Death: Arrian
One night Alexander was at dinner and a drinking party with his friends began afterwards. Alexander left to retire from the party and go to bed but Medius, a companion, invited him to a party he was holding in his quarters. Alexander drank heavily and finished the night by taking a bath and eating a little. By the next day a heavy fever had already set in. Alexanders Death: Arrian
He was carried out on his bed, to perform religious sacrifices. He issued orders, gave out commands and told his officers what had to be done. The next day, still under the grip of fever, he continued to run the empire from his bed. He also took regular baths to deal with the fever. As the fever took hold over the next days he made plans, issued orders to officers, held religious services and bathed regularly. He was eventually moved to an area near a swimming pool a park on the other side of the palace
Alexanders Death: Arrian Although he was weakened by his illness, the routine of running an empire and performing religious ceremonies continued, all throughout this ordeal. Towards the end all his officers were told to see him. When he was moved back to the palace, the officers filed in to see him. But although he recognised them he could not speak. A rumour had been put about that Alexander was already dead and all his officers wanted to see
him (or his corpse). Alexanders Death: Arrian Still they continued to come, but Alexander could only force eye contact. Some of Alexanders officers spent the night in the temple of Serapis. They wanted Alexander to be brought in to the temple. But he remained where he was and died of his fever. Alexanders Death: Plutarch
Alexander was holding a banquet in honour of Nearchus, He left this and had a bath. His intention was to go to bed, but Medius persuaded him to come to a party he was holding in his quarters. After drinking all the next day he was seized with a raging fever. Some sources say that the fever made him very thirsty and he began to drink more and more wine, which made him delirious. Plutarch gives us a detailed account of his last days.
Alexanders Death: Plutarch On the 21th day the fever became more intense. The next day he had his bed placed beside a great plunge pool. He met with his commanders to discuss vacant posts. On the 24th day, his fever was so bad that he had to be carried out to perform sacrifices. Alexander gave orders for his senior commanders to remain on call in the courtyard and of the commanders of the Companions to spend the night outside. On the 25th day Alexander was moved to the
palace on the other side of the river, he slept here, but his fever did not abate. Alexanders Death: Plutarch His commanders remained with Alexander on the 26th day but he remained speechless. The Macedonians thronged to Alexanders palace believing he was dead. The commanders were obliged to throw the doors open and let them in. They filed slowly past Alexanders bedside one by one. The suggestion to move Alexander to the
temple of Serapis was rejected. On the evening of the 28th day Alexander died. Reading Read the accounts of Alexanders death: Arrian p. 390 394 Plutarch p. 330 333 (Point 73 76) Conspiracy Theories: Plutarch At the time of Alexanders death nobody suspected foul play. However five years later information was given and on the strength of this Olympias
put many men to death and had the ashes of Iolas, Antipaters son, scattered to the winds on the supposition that he had administered the poison. Some believe medicine sent by Antipater, led to the death of the king. Aristotle is said to have made this up. The poison consisted of ice-cold water from cliffs near the town of Nonacris, where it was gathered up like thin dew and stored in an ass hoof. Conspiracy Theories: Plutarch No other vessel could hold the substance as it
would eat through any other substance. Plutarch does not believe in the poison story, he believes they are pure inventions. Alexanders body remained uncorrupted; it was pure and fresh for days after his death, even though it lay there all that time without receiving any care. Alexanders commanders argued with each other for days after his death. Conspiracy Theories: Arrian Arrian also mentions the role Aristotle played in
the death of the king. It was Antipater who prepared the potion that had been brought to Alexander by Cassandra (Antipater's son). Aristotle played a part in preparing the drug because of what had happened to Callisthenes, a friend of his. Others say Iollas, Cassander's brother, because he had been hurt by Alexander in some way before his death, administered the poison. Another source says that it was Medius, (Iollas lover), also played a part in the plot. Conspiracy Theories: Arrian
It was at Medius party that Alexander felt a sharp pain, having taken a drink from the cup. Another story holds the view that when Alexander learned of his impending death; he tried to jump into the river Euphrates. Posterity would believe that the gods had taken him and this would account for his sudden disappearance. However, Roxanne prevented him from doing this. Conspiracy Theories: Arrian
Alexander apparently rebuked her for stopping him from winning his eternal divine fame. Arrian believes that these accounts are no more that stories and does not expect us to believe them either. Reading Read the accounts of these theories: Arrian p. 394 395 Plutarch p. 333 334 (Point 77)
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