Download Alexander the Great (Ancient World Leaders) by Samuel Willard Crompton PDF

By Samuel Willard Crompton

ISBN-10: 0791072193

ISBN-13: 9780791072196

ISBN-10: 1438117868

ISBN-13: 9781438117867

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When Cambyses fell ill and died in Egypt, the throne passed to a distant kinsman known as Darius. Darius the First (usually known as Darius the Great) continued the expansion of the Persian Empire. Darius built upon the achievements of Cyrus and upon those of the Medes who were co-rulers of the empire. Median craftsmen shaped and fashioned the beautiful Persian palaces that arose at Susa and Persepolis. The former Median capital of Ecbatana became the summer palace of the Persian leaders, who would then go north to escape the summer heat at Persepolis.

His army was smaller and more mobile than the Persians had been. He wanted speed. The Macedonians crossed in a fleet of merchant ships hired for the occasion. Stories are told that Alexander sacrificed to the Greek god of the sea Poseidon as he crossed, and that as his ship neared the Asian shore he hurled a spear that stuck in the eastern bank — which seemed to declare that Asia would be his. As soon as he had crossed the Hellespont, Alexander visited the ancient city of Troy, which had been the scene of a legendary ten-year siege, commemorated by the poet Homer in his epic song, the Iliad.

Legend had it that the man who could untangle the knot would become the master of all Asia. Alexander naturally went to the site. He spent some time wrestling with the knot, to no avail. Then, looking at the task from a new angle, he pulled out his sword and clove the knot in half. The task was done; he was fated to become the Lord of Asia. Some historians downplay the Gordian Knot; others make it into the greatest stroke of Alexander’s life. What seems most important is that his men, who already thought him the greatest leader they had ever seen, knew about the legend and believed that this confirmed Alexander in his quest.

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