History – The Battle of Arbela

History – The Battle of Arbela

The Battle of Arbela

In this article we will see: “The Battle of Arbela”, history, the chronicle of human civilization, serves as a window to the past, illuminating the triumphs, struggles, and evolution of societies over millennia. Through the study of historical events, we unravel the complexities of our collective heritage and gain insight into the forces shaping our present and future.

Summary : History – The Battle of Arbela

In the annals of history, few figures loom as large as Alexander the Great, whose conquests reshaped the ancient world. From his ascent to power to his legendary campaigns, Alexander’s life is a testament to ambition, strategy, and the thirst for glory. Born in 356 BC, he ascended to the Macedonian throne at the age of 20, inheriting a kingdom ripe for expansion. With unmatched military genius and a relentless drive, he swept across continents, forging an empire that stretched from Greece to Egypt to India. This is the story of Alexander, the warrior-king who left an indelible mark on civilization.

History – The Battle of Arbela

As soon as Alexander crossed the Euphrates, his scouts warned him: a massive deployment of enemy armies awaited him in the plain between Arbela and Gaugamela. The Persian soldiers covered the plain and even occupied the surrounding hills. Undeterred, Alexander ordered his troops to set up camp and gave them a full day to rest and prepare for battle.

During the following night, he climbed a height and observed the enemy. One of his generals suggested attacking under cover of darkness to surprise and rout the enemy. Furious, Alexander thundered, “I do not steal my victories!”, in his proudest tone. And with that, he returned to camp to await dawn.

At dawn, he led his men to the outskirts of the plain of Gaugamela. The wings of the enemy army extended so widely that the Persians, it seemed, could have won just by closing in on their own army. But Alexander, as a shrewd strategist, had reinforced his own wings at the expense of his center. He had his own idea. He hoped that once the battle was engaged, the farthest Persian units would have to come to the aid of the center.

For once, he refrained from charging and waited for the enemy steadfastly. The first to move were the chariots equipped with scythes. They advanced and, with a terrible crash, headed straight for Alexander’s soldiers. The infantry remained in place. Only the archers took action: their carefully aimed arrows neatly brought down the charioteers. And when they came within range, they seized the horses by the bridle, while the phalanx gracefully stepped aside, without excessive haste, to avoid the sharp blades.

Angry at this missed opportunity, the Persians launched their attack. They charged in the center, led by Darius. Alexander’s eagle eye spotted a gap in the enemy ranks and, without delay, ordered his cavalry to rush into it. Suddenly, Darius’s chariot broke free from the melee: the Persian king was shamelessly fleeing, far from the battlefield. Bewildered, his soldiers stood silent. Then they regained their composure and, following their leader’s example, fled in all directions.

The plain of Gaugamela belonged to Alexander, and all of Persia with it! The gates of Babylon were to open before him without even having to fight. Making an exception to the rule, he settled for a while in the city conquered so peacefully. No news of Darius! Alexander ordered a small investigation into his whereabouts and eventually learned that his enemy had been assassinated by one of his officers. 

The following year, in 330 BC, deeming that he had rested enough, Alexander set off again to conquer and visit the eastern empire that was now his. He crossed Iran and then headed south towards the Indus, followed by a city of tents. For Alexander’s camp was both his court and the capital of Persia.

He took both wherever he went. In the evening, once the camp was set up, races and other sporting competitions were organized, when it was not simply music contests. In the morning, they packed up and everyone set off again. For five years, Alexander traveled through his vast, strange empire, which he knew so little about. And then those who accompanied him began to murmur. They had had enough and wanted to go home. Alexander acceded to their legitimate desire.

The return journey took no less than two years. The endless caravan followed the shore of the Indian Ocean, escorted on the water by the fleet that Alexander had built on the Indus. The last part of the journey was through an especially arid desert. Water became scarce, food scarce. Many men perished. In the end, however, they reached Babylon.

Alexander had learned to love the world of the East. His dream was to rule over an empire that was both Greek and Asian, the east and the west, in his opinion, should interpenetrate, understand each other, and unite. During his many travels, he founded many cities: Greek cities. Furthermore, he spent enormous sums of gold to have thirty thousand young Persians raised like Greeks. At his court, he entertained both Persians and Greeks or Macedonians.

He also married a Persian princess and strongly advised his officers and officials to take Oriental wives. Great festivities were then organized to celebrate the official union of the East and the West.

Insatiable, Alexander soon wanted to add Africa and the western Mediterranean to his immense possessions. After doing his calculations, he declared that a thousand warships would be enough to accomplish this enterprise. He also planned to build a road to allow his troops to move safely in North Africa. And then, in the spring of 323 BC, the fever struck him down. He realized it was the end. His excesses had undermined him. He had always spent himself to the extreme on the battlefield, and his old wounds added to his weakness.

Brave in the face of death, he asked his doctors to let his generals and friends come to his bedside, who filed into his room. Many were the simple soldiers who wanted to greet one last time the one they had accompanied in so many battles. After lingering for a few days, Alexander the Great died. The invincible conqueror was not yet thirty-three years old, but his memory would remain imperishable.

Last word about : History – The Battle of Arbela

In death, Alexander the Great left behind a legacy that reverberated throughout the ages. His conquests not only expanded the boundaries of empires but also spread Greek culture, language, and ideas far and wide. Despite his untimely demise at the age of 32, his achievements endure as a testament to human ambition and the pursuit of greatness. The Battle of Arbela, among many others, stands as a testament to his military prowess and strategic brilliance. As we reflect on his life and legacy, we recognize Alexander as one of history’s most enduring and influential figures, whose impact continues to shape our world today.

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