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Alexander the Great

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Essay title: Alexander the Great

This paper will display Alexander the Great's Battle of Issus. This paper will begin with a background to show the events that led up to the Battle at Issus.

After this background the paper will show the battle itself. This battle although not the most important battle in Persia was the first real test that Alexander faced in his conquest. This battle showed Alexander's great ability to inspire his men and his great military instincts.

Alexander Came to power in 336 and after putting down a revolt he set out for Persia. Even though most Historians can not agree to what Alexander hoped to Accomplish when setting off, Alexander began his march through Persia in the spring of 334.(Weigall) The numbers that are given for Alexander's army are estimated to be around 50,000 men once they meet the forces (lead by Parmenio and Attalus) that had already been sent to Asia Minor. After arriving in Asia Minor he crossed Hellespont and met the Persian army at the Granicus. The Battle only took a few hours because Alexander noticed that the Persians had made the mistake of placing their cavalry on a step embankment were they could not be used to their full potential.

After the first encounter with the Persian army Alexander marched his way through Asia Minor with little trouble before his first Major battle at Issus. Over the next several months went through many small cities and had little trouble getting them under his controle. Then Alexander reached Tarsus "Here Alexander fell ill, form fatigue according to Aristobulus", however Alexander soon recoverd from his illness and marched against the Cilicians holding the heights.(P.A. Brunt) In about a week Alexander had drove most of them out and influenced the others to enter into agreements. Alexander then continued down the coast to Issus, where he would eventually meet The Great King, Darius.

Alexander and his army rejoined Parmenio and the rest of the army in Issus. Parmenio brought news that Darius had set up camp at Sochi east of the Syrian Gates. Knowing that Darius would have an upper hand in battle, because the area was favorable for large scale cavalry maneuvers. Parmenio tried to convince Alexander to hold up at Issus and wait for the Great King to leave his position which would give Alexander and his army the upper hand in the upcoming battle. Alexander would have the upper hand because he would be able to anticipate Darius no matter what passage he decided to come by. However Alexander believed that if Darius moved it all it would be through the Syrian Gates.

There is no way of knowing if the Persians leaked this information to get Alexander to leave Issus or if it is by some chance happening that as Alexander decided to move his healthy army to the south to meet Darius. That Darius would be at the same time moving his army up to Issus. It is clear however that Alexander had did not expect Darius to move up to Issus, because Alexander left his sick and wounded men at Issus leading us to believe that he thought this was a safe place for his men. This in fact was not the case though because as Alexander Marched his army south towards Myriandrus Darius did reach Issus, and when he got there he captured all of the sick and wounded men killing some and others he had their hands cut off and seared with pitch. With the men he let live he told them to report back to Alexander.

Once Alexander received word that he was going in the wrong direction, and in fact Darius was behind them setting up camp he sent a small group to find out if the information was correct. This small group sailed down to the mouth of the Pinarus to see if the information he was given was correct. On their return they told him that it was in fact true and Darius now had a strong hold at issus. This meant that all the Persian army had to do was hold their lines and they would have at least for a while turned back Alexander and his army. Now Alexander began the march back to issus, however he took his time in getting back making sure that the army was fed and rested when they finally made it to battle. After feeding his men that night he marched his army as far as the Jonah Pass were he set up camp were he could see the camp of Darius in the distance. Darius had moved his army up to the Pinarus River were he set up a strong hold and defense against the coming Macedonian army. The next morning after getting clear of the pass Alexander had to march is army about nine miles before they would reach the River. By the time Alexander reached the river there was three miles of area for his armies to maneuver.

Alexander brought up all his troops into the clearing just out of the range of the archers on the other side of the river. Alexander had about 30,000 men arranged across the battle field. There he again feed the troops and gave Parmenio strict orders to not lose contact with the beach that was on the left

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