Alexander the Great: journey to the end of the earth by Norman F. Cantor & Dee Ranieri

Alexander the Great: journey to the end of the earth by Norman F. Cantor & Dee Ranieri

Author:Norman F. Cantor & Dee Ranieri [Cantor, Norman F.]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Tags: History, Biography & Autobiography
ISBN: 9780060570125
Goodreads: 305552
Publisher: HarperCollins
Published: 2005-12-01T05:00:00+00:00

While Alexander was consolidating his support with the towns in Asia Minor, the Persian fleet was anchored off the coast trying to provoke an engagement. The naval abilities of the Persians were far superior to those of Alexander, and he had no desire to engage in any naval battle at this point in his journey. Eventually the fleet sailed away to establish a new defense at Halicarnassus.

Memnon had petitioned Darius for command of the army of lower Asia and command of the fleet, sending his wife and children to Susa as a guarantee of his loyalty. Since he was the only competent general the Persian army had, Darius gave the command to Memnon as Alexander marched south toward Halicarnassus.

The rightful queen of this city, Ada, had been driven from her throne by a usurping relative who had since died, and the city was being governed by an administrator appointed by Darius. Instead of marching straight to Halicarnassus, Alexander sidetracked to the town of Alinda, where Ada was living in exile. The inhabitants of Alinda were thrilled at the opportunity to have their rightful queen restored. Here Alexander was able to achieve true liberation. Ada voluntarily surrendered her forces to Alexander, and in return he gave her back her throne. She and Alexander developed an emotional bond, and she showered Alexander with gifts. He called her “mother,” finding her much more amenable than his actual (maniacal) mother, Olympias.

“Ada pampered Alexander, sending him many cooked delicacies and cakes every day and finally sending men thought to be the most talented cooks and pastry-makers available.”1 She must have learned that Alexander had a sweet tooth. When Ada died, she made Alexander her heir to inherit her city.

Alexander had said that his father, Philip of Macedon, was only his “so-called” father. As stated previously he preferred to regard the supreme deity Amnion Zeus as his true father. Now he had divested his mother, Olympias, of her biological status in preference of the more amiable and loving Ada of Halicarnassus. Thus Alexander had liberated himself from both his biological parents.

All through Asia Minor, Alexander followed the same pattern: He found cities under Persian rule, many of which were disaffected, and restored their “freedom.” He replaced the Persian satraps with Macedonians, collected a “contribution” instead of a tax, and left their customs and institutions alone; and they gave him homage instead of giving it to Darius. This had been a rather peaceful conquest so far. But the fun was about to end; Alexander had restored Ada to her throne, but now he had to take the town of Halicarnassus.

Memnon had fortified the city with substantial troops, and his fleet controlled access by water. Alexander met with dissidents inside the city who made promises to open the gates one night and allow Alexander’s troops to enter. However, the night Alexander appeared, the gates were barred and a fierce though small-scale battle ensued. He finally managed to break down one section of wall, and his men were able to enter the city through the rubble.


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