Darius III - Wikipedia
Battle of Gaugamela, also called Battle of Arbela, (Oct. 1, bc) battle in which Alexander the Great completed his conquest of Darius III's Persian Empire. This battle would be the first of two meetings between Alexander the Great and King Darius of Persia -- both would end in a defeat of the. The Battle of Gaugamela also called the Battle of Arbela was the decisive battle of Alexander Darius offered Alexander a marriage with his daughter Stateira II and all the territory west of the Halys River. Justin is less specific, not mentioning .
Notwithstanding this, the Macedonians sustained their assaults, and assailing them violently squadron by squadron, they succeeded in pushing them out of rank. By then, however, the battle had been decided in the center by Alexander himself.
The Persians also who were riding round the wing were seized with alarm when Aretes made a vigorous attack upon them. In this quarter indeed the Persians took to speedy flight; and the Macedonians followed up the fugitives and slaughtered them.
- Battle of Gaugamela
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Those chariots who made it through the barrage of javelins charged the Macedonian lines, which responded by opening up their ranks, creating alleys through which the chariots passed harmlessly.
The Hypaspists and the armed grooms of the cavalry then attacked and eliminated these survivors. Alexander's decisive attack[ edit ] Alexander's decisive attack Darius flees 18th-century ivory relief As the Persians advanced farther and farther to the Greek flanks in their attack, Alexander slowly filtered in his rear guard. He disengaged his Companions and prepared for the decisive attack. Behind them were the guard's brigade along with any phalanx battalions he could withdraw from the battle.
He formed his units into a giant wedge, with him leading the charge. The Persian infantry at the center was still fighting the phalanxes, hindering any attempts to counter Alexander's charge. This large wedge then smashed into the weakened Persian center, taking out Darius' royal guard and the Greek mercenaries. Darius was in danger of being cut off, and the widely held modern view is that he now broke and ran, with the rest of his army following him.
This is based on Arrian's account: For a short time there ensued a hand-to-hand fight; but when the Macedonian cavalry, commanded by Alexander himself, pressed on vigorously, thrusting themselves against the Persians and striking their faces with their spears, and when the Macedonian phalanx in dense array and bristling with long pikes had also made an attack upon them, all things together appeared full of terror to Darius, who had already long been in a state of fear, so that he was the first to turn and flee.
The twenty-fourth [day of the lunar month], in the morning, the king of the world [i. Opposite each other, they fought and a heavy defeat of the troops [of the king he inflicted]. They fled to the land of the Guti. However, he received desperate messages from Parmenion an event that would later be used by Callisthenes and others to discredit Parmenion on the left.
Parmenion's wing was apparently encircled by the cavalry of the Persian right wing; being attacked from all sides, it was in a state of confusion. Alexander was faced with the choice of pursuing Darius and having the chance of killing him, ending the war in one stroke but at the risk of losing his army, or going back to the left flank to aid Parmenion and preserve his forces, thus letting Darius escape to the surrounding mountains.
He decided to help Parmenion, and followed Darius later. The Persian and Indian cavalry in the center with Darius broke through. Instead of taking the phalanx or Parmenion in the rear, however, they continued towards the camp to loot.
They also tried to rescue the Queen Mother, Sisygambisbut she refused to go with them. These raiders were in turn attacked and dispersed by the rear reserve phalanx as they were looting.
What happened next was described by Arrian as the fiercest engagement of the battle, as Alexander and his companions encountered the cavalry of the Persian right, composed of Indians, Parthians and "the bravest and most numerous division of the Persians", desperately trying to get through to escape. Sixty Companions were killed in the engagement, and HephaestionCoenus and Menidas were all injured. Alexander prevailed, however, and Mazaeus also began to pull his forces back as Bessus had.
However, unlike on the left with Bessus, the Persians soon fell into disorder as the Thessalians and other cavalry units charged forward at their fleeing enemy. After the battle, Parmenion rounded up the Persian baggage train while Alexander and his bodyguard pursued Darius.
As at Issussubstantial loot was gained, with 4, talents captured, the King's personal chariot and bow and the war elephants. It was a disastrous defeat for the Persians and one of Alexander's finest victories. Darius managed to escape with a small corps of his forces remaining intact. The Bactrian cavalry and Bessus caught up with him, as did some of the survivors of the Royal Guard and 2, Greek mercenaries. At this point the Persian Empire was divided into two halves—East and West.
On his escape, Darius gave a speech to what remained of his army. He planned to head further east and raise another army to face Alexander, assuming that the Greeks would head towards Babylon. At the same time he dispatched letters to his eastern satraps asking them to remain loyal. The satraps, however, had other intentions. Bessus murdered Darius before fleeing eastwards. When Alexander discovered Darius murdered, he was saddened to see an enemy he respected killed in such a fashion, and gave Darius a full burial ceremony at Persepolis, the former ceremonial capital of the Persian Empire, before angrily pursuing Bessus, capturing and executing him the following year.
The majority of the remaining satraps gave their loyalty to Alexander and were allowed to keep their positions. The Achaemenid Persian Empire is traditionally considered to have ended with the death of Darius.
Alexander of Macedon, — B. Berkeley and Los Angeles, California: Rather than being daunted by such odds, Alexander mapped out a strategy destined to be emulated by later generals such as Napoleon Bonaparte.
At one point in the wee hours General Parmenion came to him, proposing a night attack on the unsuspecting enemy. In addition to the obvious difficulty of maintaining the coherence of his forces at night, Alexander gave Parmenion a more personal reason for rejecting such stealthy action: Alexander must defeat his enemies openly and honestly.
As the sun rose on September 30, Alexander delivered a brief address to his officers. They did not need speeches to inspire them, he declared—they had their own courage and pride to sustain them.
He asked them to remember that they were not merely fighting for Asia Minor or Egypt, but for sovereignty over all Asia. Then he led his army forward, trailing the main line behind him at an oblique angle of about 30 degrees. Armed primarily with the xiston, a shortened version of the infantry sarissa, the Companions were divided into eight squadrons and fought in a wedge-shaped or triangular formation, an innovation credited to Philip II.
A unit of men most often 16 deep, its spears extended much farther than the swords of the enemy, giving it great strength in the attack. The flanks of the phalanx were protected by some 3, troops specially trained for the task, called the Royal Adjutants. At Gaugamela, Alexander had a rough total of 12, men in his phalanx battalions, supported from the rear by an additional 12, foot soldiers, most of them slingers and javelineers.
Extending to the left of the central phalanx battalions were light infantry and Greek horsemen, including the powerful Thessalian cavalry under General Parmenion.
Each Thessalian squadron formed a tactical unit arranged in rhomboid or diamond formation, whose primary task was to hold the left wing steady. Again, the cavalry protected the flanks of a force of mercenaries.
His foot soldiers were screened by cavalry so that his line appeared much weaker than it was—an intentional arrangement. As Alexander marched, he offered Darius the tempting bait of a shorter Macedonian right flank against a longer Persian left.
Still, the Persians stood fast, and as Alexander continued extending his line, he threatened to move the battle off the ground specially prepared for cavalry and chariot maneuvers. It became a contest of nerves. But the intention of their attack was to entice, and therefore irretrievably commit the Persian left wing.
The Persian left pursued vigorously, not expecting the scores of infantry lying in wait behind the Macedonian right. Darius then called his next shot. The main body of cavalry, a fighting force of roughly 8, commanded by his cousin, Bessus, thundered into the assault. Meanwhile, Darius launched his scythe chariots and sent his elephants into action. Alexander deployed his javelineers, whose missiles killed or disabled most of the chariot drivers before they had a chance to inflict any damage.
Still, Darius must have felt confident. The elephants were an experiment. The chariots, though they had failed in other confrontations, had been worth another try.
But the Macedonian right wing was heavily engaged. Darius ordered a general advance, pouring more men into the mayhem on his left. Adding to that fact, an awkward situation was developing near the junction of the Persian center and the Persian left wing.
As men poured into the Macedonian right wing and the struggle there intensified, the battle line stretched still farther to the left, thinning and therefore weakening the Persian front.
At that point, the only Persian cavalry still not committed to the battle were those roughly opposite Alexander and his Companions.
Battle of Gaugamela | Summary | dubaiairporthotel.info
The Persians had sacrificed depth in the process of extending their line in an effort to keep their front continuous. The Companions were now ready to crash into the loosely woven Persian ranks. Alexander gathered his still-available forces into a gigantic wedge. At the tip of this wedge was the Royal Guard and Companion Cavalry.
Trailing down on the left were the remaining phalanx battalions; on the right were the Thracian infantry and archers as well as the javelineers who had been previously deployed against the chariots.
Through the dust rising out of the conflict, Darius watched Alexander and his dreaded cavalry emerge in nearly perfect order. With the assistance of his phalanx, Alexander beat back the Persian line in the direction of Darius, threatening him in both flank and rear. Although they created a certain degree of havoc, the rescuers were unsuccessful, either killed or chased away by the Macedonian slingers and javelineers.
Bessus was still battling the Macedonian right when he saw the Companions break through the Persian line. Probably fearing the possibility that Alexander would turn these forces to the already heavily engaged Persian left, he ordered a withdrawal. The Persians began to retreat, but were chased down and slaughtered as they fled. Darius realized the battle was out of control and, just as he had done at Issus, abandoned his army.
Behind him, his infantry and Royal Guard fought desperately for their lives. They managed to break through the encircling Macedonian forces and follow their king. At that point, Alexander turned to assist Parmenion but encountered a large force of Persians and Indians, resulting in the heaviest fighting of the battle and the deaths of 60 of his Companions.
Enraged that despite his victory on the battlefield, he had not been able to capture the Persian king, Alexander ordered horsemen to accompany him as he began a relentless pursuit of the fleeing Darius.
Darius raced north toward the pass of the Caspian Gates with some 30, infantry, a depleted treasury and a handful of personal attendants.
He had hoped to meet reinforcements, but they failed to materialize. As his situation became increasingly desperate, he was betrayed by his own commanders. One of the leaders of his cavalry, Nabarzanes, plotted with Bessus, urging him to assume the throne.
Through the night, the traitors calculated how to rid themselves of Darius, then renew the war with Macedonia. Although he had been forewarned, a despairing Darius allowed himself to be taken away the next night in a common cart. Resistance would have been futile—the weary sovereign had not sufficiently retained the loyalty of his army to have prevented his murder.
Meanwhile Alexander followed on his heels, covering miles in 11 days. Two Persian nobles willing to help rode to the site where the Macedonians were encamped.
Before Alexander arrived at the place where Darius had been, however, Bessus had stabbed his cousin to death, then fled into the night. When Alexander found him, the Persian king had breathed his last. From a tactical point of view, Alexander had emerged the overwhelming victor of Gaugamela, a success that can be attributed to several factors. Among the most important was the fact that his troops had superior morale, not only because of their string of military successes, but also because of the close ties of loyalty they had developed with their commander.
They fought with much less resolve against a force better disciplined, trained and equipped than they were. In the preceding century, Macedonian military inventions—in particular the phalanx—had converted the Macedonian army into a fine instrument of war. But under a less talented general, the army might still have been overwhelmed by the sheer weight of Persian numbers.
Alexander later claimed that about of his men were killed at Gaugamela and some 5, wounded, while the most conservative and perhaps least exaggerated estimate of Persian dead was 40, Much of the world would be influenced and largely molded by the amenities of classical Greek education, literature, art and science. One campaign, one victory, one man accomplished that.
For further reading, Colorado-based author Stormie Filson recommends: The Campaign of Gaugamela, by E.