After suppressing revolts in and near his own country, in the year 335 BC, Alexander crossed Hellespont into Asia, and this marked the beginning of his Persian Conquest.
First Battles of Alexander’s invasion
His army fought their first Persian battle with the army of Darius in the Battle of The Granicus River in the May of 334 BC. This army was led by Memnon of Rhodes, a Greek Mercenary, who aligned himself with the Persians.
This battle was won by Alexander using clever military tactics. Persian chariots, known to be deadly in war, were overcome easily by Alexander, as he drew the battle to the river bank where the chariots became useless.
Once this threat of the Persian Army was overcome, Alexander moved towards the Persian Navy, which was posed a constant danger to him.
Alexander’s new mother in Persia
This was followed by the Siege of Halicarnassus, where it is said that Alexander met the former Queen of Halicarnassus; Ada of Caria, and formed an emotional bond with her, wherein he considered her to be more of a mother than his biological mother Olympias.
At this point, Alexander had in a way distanced himself from both his parents, by the notion of this ‘new’ mother, and considering himself to be the son of Zeus-Ammon.
To win this Battle Alexander had sent spies into the walled city, and after almost losing the battle he managed to get in the city. Memnon, after realising that the city could not be salvaged, set fire to it, and withdrew his army. Ada now adopted Alexander, thus ensuring that even if she died; her kingdom would be passed on to Alexander.
Debacle by the King of Persia
Next was the Battle of Syria, the victory of which found its way through the recklessness of Darius; when he ordered the execution of his only competent General, Karademas, over an argument.
Karedamas wanted to lead Darius’s army instead of Darius because at some level he thought it was too dangerous for Darius but more importantly it seems because he believed himself to be superior owing to his Greek blood.
Alexander almost lost his life
After reaching Mount Taurus, by crossing a narrow defile, which wasn’t guarded well by the Persians, Alexander jumped into a river, as he and his army hadn’t seen water for over one hundred and fifty kilometres.
The water was so cold that Alexander suffered a cramp and was pulled out of the water almost dead, and later developed pneumonia, which none on his physicians agreed to treat, fearing they’d be held responsible if he died. He was finally treated by a physician Philip, who had treated him since he was a kid.
After this, Darius decided to take matters in his own hands and cut off the line of supply to the Greek Army. But foolishly, Darius staged the battle near the mouth of the Pinarus River, losing the numerical advantage he had over Alexander’s army.
The battle for Persia turns in favor of Alexander
After some initial difficulties for the Greek army due to Alexander choosing difficult ground, Alexander mounted his beloved horse Bucephalus and led the army in a direct assault against Darius.
Darius’s horses were injured after which he fled and the Battle of Issus was won by Alexander in Anatolia, in the November of 333 BC. This was the first time the Persian Army was defeated under the leadership of its king.
Scared for his life, Darius sent a diplomatic letter to Alexander, offering to split the empire; to which Alexander replied by blaming Darius for the death of his father, and claiming that he would pursue Darius and kill him if he disputed Alexander’s claim to the Empire. It was at this point that Alexander revealed for the first time his intentions to conquer the entire Persian Empire.
Battle for the Persian Gates
After losing the battles of Issus and Guagemala, the Persian forces were demoralized and it was this time they almost made the last stand at the narrow mountain pass in the Zagron mountains known as the Persian Gates. Alexander almost walked into a trap with no conflicts leading up to the mountains and then was ambushed by the Persian forces. The much smaller Persian was able to hold Alexander’s for almost a month before getting by a surprise attack from behind after getting information from captured Persian prisoners leading his forces behind the Persians. This victory opened them up to the Persian heartland and the capital, Persepolis.
Final Battles for Persia
Tyre, located on the Mediterranean Coast, was the only remaining strategic coastal base of the Persian Empire. After Alexander was refused to offer sacrifices to the God Melqart, God of the people of Tyre, he offered a peace treaty one last time, which was taken as a sign of weakness by the Tyrians, who then killed his envoys.
A plan of Alexander to build a kilometer-long causeway to the island of Tyre, previously rejected, was now taken up and completed, once again showcasing Alexander’s brilliant knowledge of warfare and engineering.
Unfortunately though, this causeway was burnt down by the Tyrians. But as fate would have it, eighty Persian ships, who returned to find their states aligned to Alexander and one hundred and twenty Cyprian ships(they had heard of his victory and wanted to join him), came under Alexander’s command, leading to his victory in the Siege of Tyre. It is also said that Alexander took thirty thousand Tyrians as slaves.
With this came the end of Alexander’s Persian conquest, after which he turned his eyes towards Egypt.
Who were the Persian wives of Alexander?
After defeating Darius at the battle of Issus he had taken his family as his captive and after his conquest of Persia, he arranged a mass wedding in 324 BC at the Persian city of Susa in a bid to unite Persian and the Greeks. He had already married Roxana, a Bactrian princess in 327 BC. In the Susa weddings, he married Darius’ daughter, Stateira, and also another daughter of a Persian noble, Parysatis ll who is even rumored to have been murdered by Alexander’s first wife, Roxana.
What was alexander’s Persian name?
Alexander the Great was referred to as Iskandar and Sikandar in classical Persian literature
Which river did alexander’s troops cross in Persia?
Alexander with his army had crossed the Granicus river in 334 BC at Hellespont, which was a narrow strait between the Aegean Sea and the Sea of Marmara.
Did Alexander wear a Persian dress?
During his stay in Persia, he adopted many of their cultural traits like Persian dress and their custom, like Pyrokinesis. And after the death of Darius, he started wearing the Diadem which was a girdle and a white-and-purple striped tunics at court considered to be Persian Royal vest. This was his effort at securing the support of the local nobles.
Who ruled Persia after alexander the great?
After the death of Alexander, the generals of Alexander fought amongst themselves for about 40years and it led to the formation of three different dynasties ruling Persia and they were: the Antigonids from Asia Minor and Greece, the Ptolemies in Egypt, and the Seleucids from present-day Lebanon to Persia.
Was Alexander from Persia?
Alexander ll, commonly referred to as Alexander the Great, was from the ancient Greek kingdom of Macedon and succeeded his father, Philip ll, to the throne of Macedon.
Did Alexander the Great Like Persia?
Just like the Geeks, whose admiration for the Persians went back to the time of Xenophon Alexander admired or liked Persia so much that he became keen to take over their lands.
Why did Persia lose to Alexander?
The Persians with a vast amount of resources and also numerical superiority against Alexander’s army lost mainly because of tactical mistakes and also luck favoring Alexander a lot of times. Darius faced Alexander at the mouth of the Pinarius river nullifying their numerical advantage at the battle of Issus. The flight the king Darius also many times demoralized the troops and turned the tide of the battle like the battle of Guagemala.
At many crucial stages, luck seemed to favor Alexander. In all three of the battles at Granicus, Issus, and Guagemala at one stage, the battle seemed to have been lost for Alexander but some decisive charges which can also be said to have been reckless became decisive. He got help from captured soldiers at the battle of the Persian gates when he seemed to have been held off and also from the fateful Persian ships in the battle for Tyre which ultimately led to the downfall of the Persians.
What did Alexander do in Persia?
Alexander invaded Persia with his army and after inflicting decisive victories against Darius lll managed to conquer the whole of the Achaemenid Empire. He is even rumoured to have even burned the palace of Xerxes l as revenge for the burning of Athens.