Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Alexander at Issus

Fig. 1 - Alexander Charging Darius
     One of the decisive battles of history is Alexander the Great's victory over the Persians at Issus, in what is now Turkey. Alexander had defeated a Persian army commanded by one of Darius III's Satraps (provincial governors) in 334 B. C. and moved East. A second Persian army, commanded by Darius in person, collided with Alexander in 333 B. C.

Fig. 2 Darius on his Chariot
     Alexander fought from a horse among his cavalrymen and led a charge directly at Darius, who fled the field. The Persian army collapsed as their King left the field and the Persian Empire, which was the largest in the world at the time, was brought to an end. Alexander eventually marched to the Persian capital of Persepolis, which was looted and burned.

     In Pompeii, a now famous mosaic was found showing Alexander on horseback charging a panic stricken Darius. This mosaic is now in a museum, but a copy of it has been put in the house in Pompeii where the original was found.
Fig. 3 - Close up of Darius
     The photos here are of the copy that is now in Pompeii. Figure 1 shows Alexander on horseback leading the charge against the Persian King. Figure 2 shows Darius fleeing the battlefield on his chariot, while figure 3 shows a lose up of the panicked expression on Darius' face.

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