THE LIFE and DEATH OF ALEXANDER the GREAT▪ KING, OF MACEDONIA.
A LEXANDER,* surnamed the Great was the Son of Phi∣lip, King of Macedonia, and of his Queen Olympias. He was born on the sixth day of our June, called by the Ma∣cedonians Lous. Upon the very same day that the Temple of Diana in Ephesus was burned down; whereupon the Priests, Magicians, and South-sayers ran about the City, crying, that some great Plague and mischief to Asia was surely born that day. Three Messengers came to King Philip, presently after he had won the City of Potidaea, upon the same day, who brought him great News, the first, that Parmenio his General, had won a notable Battel of the Illyrians: the second that his Horse had won the prize at the Olympian Games: and the third, that his Wife Olympias had brought him a Son,* that was named Alexander, born at Pella in Mace∣donia.
Philip being marvellous glad to hear these Newses, the South-sayers much added to his joy; assuring him, that his Son that was thus born, should be invincible. He had naturally a very fair white colour mingled with red, which chiefly appeared in his face and breast: His Skin had a marvellous sweet savour, and his breath was very sweet, which sheweth his excellent constitu∣tion. He was naturally hot and Cholerick, which made him to be addicted to drink, and hasty, and yet was chast withall. His Father was very careful of his Education, and therefote gat for him excellent Tutors, as Leonidas, which had the chiefest Government of him. Then Lysimachus, an Acarnanian:Page 42 and Aristotle,* the Best Philosopher of his time, to whom Philip allowed a very honourable stipend.
He delighted much in hunting divers kind of wild Beasts, and playing at the Staff. On a time while he was young, Ambassadors were sent to his Fa∣ther from the King of Persia, and it fell out that Philip was in some jour∣ney out of his Kingdom. Alexander therefore intertained them familiarly, not using any childish questions to them, nor enquiring about trifling, and trivial matters, but what distance it was from one place to another, and which way they went into the higher places of Asia;* Also about the King of Persia himself, how he behaved himself towards his enemies, and what power he had, &c. insomuch as they were ravished with delight to hear him, judging him to be of great Courage, and of a Noble mind, and one that was like to attempt great enterprises. When at any time news was brought him that his Father had taken some famous City, or had won some great Battel, he was no whit glad to hear it, but would say to his Play-fellows: Sirs, My Father will do all, I shall have nothing left me to Conquer with you that will be ought worth.
Upon a time Philonicus,* a Thessalian brought a brave Horse, called Bu∣cephalus, to sell unto king Philip, demanding thirteen Talents for him, and they went into the Field to try him: But the Horse was found to be so unruly, and churlish, that they which should have ridden him, said, that he would never be made serviceable: For he would let no man get upon his Back, nor abide any of the Gentlemens voices that were about Philip, but would yerk at them with his heels; whereupon Philip, being afraid, bad them take him away as a wild, untamable, and unprofitable Beast: which they had done accordingly, had not Alexander, that stood by, said, O Gods! what a Horse do they turn away for lack of skill, and courage to handle and break him? Philip heard what he said, but held his peace. Alexander often repeat∣ing those words, and seeming sorry that the Horse should be sent back, Philip said, Why doest thou control them that have more skill and experience than thy self; and that know better how to handle a Horse than thou doest; Alex∣ander answered, and yet me-thinks I could handle him better than all they have done. But if thou canst do no more than they (replied Philip) what wilt thou forfet for thy folly? I am content (said Alexander) to forfeit the price of the Horse. Every one laughed to hear his answer, and the match was made between the Father and the Son. Then ran Alexander to the Horse, and took him by the Bridle, and turned him towards the Sun. It seems he had obser∣ved how mad the Horse was to see his own shadow, which was before, al∣ways before his eyes as he sturred too and fro. Then Alexander speaking gently to the Horse, and clapping him on the back with his hand, till he had left his fury and snorting, softly let fall his Cloak from him, and lightly leaped on his back, and so gat up without any danger, and holding the reins of the Bridle hard, without striking or stirring the Horse, made him to be gentle enough. And when he perceived that the fury of the Horse was calmed, he put him forward, and began to Gallop; Then he put him to his full carrier, spurring, and switching him. Philip at first, seeing his Sons confidence, began to fear lest he should catch any hurt. But when he saw him readily to turn the Horse at the end of his carrier, and shewing bravery for what he had done, all the Spectators gave a great shoot for joy: and the Father fell a weeping for joy: and when Alexander was alighted from the Horse, his Father went and kissed him, saying, O Son! thou must have a Kingdom that is meet for thee; for Macedonia is not sufficient for thee: Considering also that he was not to be rigorously dealt with, and that by gentle means and perswasions he could make him do what he would, he ever sought rather to perswade than to com∣mand him what he would have done.
Page 43Alexander in these his younger days was very mild,* and of a patient dispositi∣on, insomuch as being told that some of his Friends used in secret, to speak against him, he said, Regium est malè audire c•m benefeceris. Its a Kingly thing to hear ill, when one doth well.
King Philip being dead,* his Son Alexander succeeded, being a Prince no less Valiant by Nature than by Education, being well instructed, and inriched with all sorts of Learning. He began his Reign in Macedonia, four hundred and seventeen years after Rome was built, being himself about twenty years old.
Upon this change of the King the neighbour Nations, whom Philip had oppressed, adventured to endeavour the recovery of their former liberty by force of Arms, the young years of Alexander giving some hope of prevailing, and his suspected severity encreasing the courage of others, who could easilier resolve to die, than to live in slavery: But Alexander gave no respite to these discontented humours;* For after revenge taken upon the Conspiratours against his Father, whom he slew upon his Tomb, and the celebration of his Funerals, he first engaged his Macedonians to him by freeing them from all exactions, and bodily slavery, other than his service in the Wars, and to others that contemned his youth, he used such austerity, and such clemency to the rest; that having calmed these neerer discontents, he presently went into Peloponnesus, and so insinuated himself amongst them, that by the Council of the States of Greece, he was chosen Captain General to manage the War a∣gainst the Persians, as his Father had been before him, who was so intent up∣on that War, that he had sent over into Asia part of his Army under the Con∣duct of Parmenio, and Attalus, with order to take in some place which might secure the descent of the rest.
Upon this enterprise against the Persians was Alexander wholly busied,* his restless thoughts both sleeping and waking, presenting to him the Riches, Ho∣nour, and large Dominions which he hoped to attain thereby. Yet was he again crossed, and retarded by the Athenians, Thebans, and Lacedemonians, who had united themselves against him, hoping by the assistance of the Per∣sians, to recover their former liberty; and they were to this, encouraged by Demosthenes, whom the Persian Gold had bribed thereunto. This unexpect∣ed rub, and loss of time was very grievous to Alexander, who was troubled that he should turn his Sword from the base and effeminate Persians, against the manly, and famous Grecians, of whose assistance in his intended Wars he had assured himself;* He therefore made such expedition against them, that himself, with his Army at his heels, brought them the first news of his pre∣parations. This celerity of his made them begin to stagger, and the Atheni∣ans, as they were the first that moved, so were they the first that fainted, and by their Ambassadours sought to pacifie him. Alexander was not long in re∣solving, but admitted their excuses, and made peace.
Having now quieted his Borderers on the South, he resolved also to assure himself of those Nations which lay on the North of Macedonia,*viz. the Thra∣cians, Triballes, Peones, Getes, Agrians, and others, who by their frequent incursions had much molested his Father; and withal those, after he had gi∣ven then divers overthrows, he made peace, or brought them into his Sub∣jection: and yet could he not find the way out of Europe.
The Thebans, which had one thousand Macedonians in Garrison in their Ci∣tadel, being impatient of slavery, endeavoured to force it; which Alexander being informed of, hastened to their succour with thirty thousand Foot, all old Souldiers, and three thousand Horse, and presenting himself before their City, he gave the Thebans time to resolve whether they would have peace or War, only demanding that they should deliver up to him the two chief In∣cendiaries, Phoenix and Prothytes, which they took in such scorn, that they Page 44 demand Philotas, and Antipater, two of his chief Captains. This so incen∣sed Alexander,* that whilst he assailed the City before, the Macedonian Garri∣son did the like behind, and so breaking into the City, he slew ninety thou∣sand of them, and sold thirty thousand more for slaves, and this he did for a terrour to the other Grecians.
Many Arguments were used by Cleadas (one of the Prisoners) to disswade him from destroying the City of Thebes, but all proved fruitless; for he ra∣zed the City, only out of his respect to learning, he pardoned all of the race of Pindarus the Poet, and set at liberty Timoclea, the Sister of Theagines, who died in the defence of the liberty of Greece against his Father Philip. This Noble Woman,* being taken by a Thracian, and ravished, he threatned to kill her unless she would discover her Treasure to him: She led him to a Well, and told him that she had cast it therein, and when he stooped to look into the Well, she thrust him in, and stoned him to Death.
Alexander shortly after at a Common Council of Greece, being chosen Ge∣neral a second time against the Persians, went to visit Diogenes the Philosopher, there. Then returned into Macedonia, where, in a Town called Dios, as he was wholly taken up with thoughts of subduing Asia, there appeared to him in his Sleep the resemblance of the High Priest of Jerusalem,* who bad him be couragious and bold, and speedily with his Army to put over into Asia, pro∣mising that he would be his Conductor in the Conquest of the Persian Empire, as Alexander himself reported.
All being now quieted at home,*Alexander leaving the Government of Ma∣cedon, and Greece to Antipater, in the beginning of the Spring he passed the Helle∣spont, and being ready to dis-imbark, he threw a Dart towards the Asian shore, as a token of defiance, commanding his Souldiers not to wast, and destroy the Country, or to burn those buildings which themselves were presently, and in future to possess. Then landed he his Army consisting of thirty two thousand Foot, and five thousand Horse, all old Souldiers, neer unto Troy, where he offered a sacrifice upon the Tomb of Achilles, his Maternal An∣cestor.
But before he left his own Country,* he put to death, without an offence given him, all his Mother in Laws Kinsmen, whom his Father had greatly advanced, not sparing such of his own as he suspected, thinking by unjust cru∣elty to secure himself for the present, and future: Yet the end fell out contrary to the Policy which his Ambition taught him, though well agreeing with the Justice of God:* For within a few years all that he had planted was rooted up; those whom he most trusted were most Traiterous: His Mother, Friends and Children fell by such another merciless Sword as his own, and all manner of confusion followed his dead Body to the Grave, and left him there.
When Darius,* The King of Persia, was informed that Alexander was landed in Asia, he so much scorned the Macedonian Army, and contemned Alexander himself, that writing to him, he stiled him his Servant, and reprehended him for his presumption, and disloyalty (For Darius Intitled himself King of Kings, and Kinsman of the Gods) and withal, he wrote to his Lieutenants in the Lesser Asia, that they should take Alexander alive, whip him with Rods, and then convey him to his presence; that they should sink his Ships, and send his Ma∣cedonians prisoners beyond the Red Sea.
Notwithstanding these brags Alexander soon discovered what manner of men the Persians were: For two of Darius his Generals [Spithredates and Rhae∣saces] at the River of Granick (which severs the Territories of Troy from Pro∣pontis) with a huge Army both of Horfe and Foot, sought to stop his passage, taking the higher ground, and the bank of the River to defend, which Alex∣ander was forced to climb up unto from out of the Channel,* yet was his victo∣ry so easie, that the Persians flying, he slew twenty thousand of the Foot, and Page 45 two thousand five hundred Horsemen, with the loss of twelve of his own Foot, and two and twenty of his Horsemen, which shews that the Persians were rather killed in their backs whilst they ran away, than hurt in their bosoms by resisting.
It was wisely done of Alexander to pass this River of Granick in the face of the enemy, without seeking any other place, or means to convey his men over. For having beaten the Asiaticks upon their own ground, he did there∣by cut off no less of their reputation, than of their strength, leaving the par∣takers of such Cowards without hope of Succour.
Presently after this Victory,* he recovered Sardis; Ephesus, and the City of the Trallians, and Magnesia, all which were soon rendred to him, the Inha∣bitants he received with great grace, suffering them to be governed by their own Laws: and about the same time, by Parmenio, he wan Miletus, and by force took in Halicarnasseus, which because it resisted obstinately, he razed it to the ground. From thence he went into Caria, where Ada, the Queen, who had been cast out of all that she held (except the City of Alinda) by Da∣rius his Leiutenants,* presented her self to him, and adopted him for her Son, and Successour, which Alexander took so kindly that he left the whole King∣dom to her disposal. Then entred he into Lycia, and Pamphilia, and assured to him all the Sea-coasts, and subjecting to him Pisidia, he steared his course towards Darius vvho (as he was informed) vvas marching towards him with a marvellous great Army) by the vvay of Phrygia, and this he might the easi∣lier do, for that his first Victory had laid under his feet all the Provinces of Asia the less, which bordered upon the Sea-coast.
Then gave he order for the setling and Government of Lycia, and Pamphi∣lia, and so marching towards the North, he entred Celenas, seated on the River Meander, which was abandoned to him, only the Castle held out, which yet after forty days, vvas surrendred to him also: for so long time he gave them to attend succour from Darius. From Celenas, he passed on thorow Phrygia towards the Euxine Sea, till he came to the City of Gordium, somtimes the Regal City of King Midas,* vvhere he found the Gordian Knot, which when he knew not hovv to undo, he cut it asunder vvith his Svvord: For there vvas an old Prophesie vvhich promised him that could unty it, the Lordship of all Asia: vvhereupon Alexander, not respecting the manner so it vvere done, assumed to himself the fulfilling of the Prophesie by hevving it in pieces.
Novv before he left this part of Asia to go to the East,* he took care to clear the Sea-coast on his back, and to thrust the Persians out of the Islands of Lesbos, Chio, and Coos, the charge vvhereof he committed to tvvo of his Captains, giving them such directions as he judged most meet for that service, and de∣livering to them fifty Talents for defraying the charges thereof: and vvithal, out of the spoil gotten by his first Victory, he sent sixty Talents more to Anti∣pater, vvhom he had left for the Government of Macedonia and Greece. From Celenas he vvent to Ancira, standing on the same River of Sanguarius, vvhich runs through Gordium: there he mustered his Army, and so entred into Paph∣lagonia, vvhose Inhabitants submitted themselves to him, and thereby ob∣tained freedom from Tribute. There he left Catus Governour vvith one Re∣giment of Macedonians newly come to him.
Here he heard of the Death of Memnon,*Darius's Lieutenant, which much encouraged him to pass on towards him: For of this one Commander he had more respect than of all the multitude assembled by Darius, and of all the Captains he had besides. Then did he travel hastily towards Cilicia, with a desire to recover the Streights thereof before Darius should arrive there. The Governour of Cilicia hearing of Alexanders hasty march, left some Companies to keep the Streights, which were indeed very defensible, and Page 46 now (though too late) began to prize, and put in Execution the advice of Memnon,* who in the beginning of the Wars, had counselled to wast all the provisions both for Man, and Horse that could not be conveyed into strong holds, and always to give ground to the Invader, till he found some such no∣table advantage as might secure to him the Victory. For the fury of an inva∣ding army is best broken by delays, change of diet, and want, and other inconve∣niences bringing, and breeding many diseases upon all Nations out of their own Country. And had Darius kept the Macedonians but a while without meat, and sleep, refusing to give or take Battel, and had wearied them with his light Horsemen (as the Parthians afterwards did the Romans) in all probability he might have saved both his life, and Estate. For it was one of the greatest encourage∣ments given by Alexander to his Macedonians before the third, and last fatal Bat∣tel, that they were now to fight with all the strength of Persia at once.
But where God hath a purpose to destroy, wise men are taken away, and the charge of things is committed unto such as either cannot see what is for their good, or that know not how to put in execution any sound advice; the courte which Memnon had propounded, must in all liklyhood have brought the Macedoni∣ans into great straits, and stopt them at those narrow passages of Cilicia. For had Cappadocia, and Paphlagonia being wasted when Alexander was far off, and the Streights of Cilicia been defended by Arsenes with his best Souldiers, hun∣ger would not have suffered the enemy to stay the tryal of all means for the forcing of that passage: Or if the place could not have been defended, yet might Cilicia at leasure have been throughly spoiled, that the heart of A∣lexanders Army should have been broken, whilest they sought out miseries by painful travel.
But Arsenes leaving a small number to defend the Streights, took the best of his Army with him to wast and spoil the Country; or rather, as it seemed, to make himself some work, under which pretence he might with honesty run the further from Alexander; And in truth he so handled the matter, that he gave cause to the Cicilians to wish for Alexanders coming, and as great cause to the Keepers of the Passage not to hinder it. For Cowards are wise in apprehending all forms of danger. These Guardians of the Streights, hearing that Arsenes hasted to joyn himself with Darius, burning down all as he went, as one despairing to defend it, began to think, that surely their General (who gave for lost the Country behind their backs) had exposed themselves to cer∣tain ruin, as men that were fit only to dull the Swords of the Macedonians; Wherefore, not being ambitious to die for their Prince and Country (which honour they saw that Arsenes himself could well forbear) they presently fol∣lowed the footsteps of their General, gleaning what he had left. And thus Alexander without hazard, got, both the entrance into Cilicia, abandoned by the cowardliness of his enemies,* and also that whole Province whose minds were now alienated from the Persians through the imprudent carriage of Arsenes.
When Alexander with great speed was come to Tarsus, taking pleasure in the River Cydnus, which ran through the City, all hot as he was, he threw off his Armour, and leaped into the cold water, whereupon he grew in∣stantly so benumb in all the Nerves of his Body, that he lost the use of his Tongue; and so far was he from hope of recovery, that nothing was expected but present Death: But one Philip a Physician, gave him a Potion, which he took, and it cured him out of hand, though Parmenio had fore∣warned him, that this Philip was set on work to poison him.
In the mean time Darius approached,* having gathered together an Army of two hundred and ninety thousand men of divers Nations (saith Q. Cur∣tius) or of three hundred thousand Foot, and one hundred thousand Horse, (as Justine numbers them,) Or of six hundred thousand, as Plutarch relates.
Page 47 The manner of his coming was rather like a Masker,* than a man of War; and like one that took more care to shew his Glory and Riches, than to provide for his own safety. For before his Army there were carried the holy Fire, which the Persians worshipped for their God; attended by their Priests, and after them three hundred sixty and five young men, answering to the days of the year, clothed in Skarlet. Then the Chariot of Jupiter, drawn with white Horses, with their Riders clothed in white, and carrying Rods of Gold in their hands. Next after them came the Horse of the Sun, and after him ten sumptuous Chariots Inlay'd and garnished with Gold and Silver:* and then the Vaunt Guard of their Horse, compounded of twelve several Nations, which, the better to avoid confusion, did hardly understand one anothers Language, and these, marshelled in the head of the rest, being beaten, might serve very fitly to disorder all that followed them. In the tail of these, marched the Regiment of foot stiled by the Persians, Immortal; because if any died, their place was presently supplied by others; and these were armed with chains of Gold, and theit Coats embroidered with the same, having their sleeves garnished with Pearl: Baits fit either to intice the poor Mace∣donians, or to perswade them that it were great incivility to cut or deface such goodly Garments.
Then marched after them fifteen thousand, more rich and glittering than the former, but apparelled like Women, and these were honoured with the Title of the Kings Kinsmen. Then came Darius himself with the Gentlemen of his Guard-robe, riding before his Chariot, which was supported by the Gods of his Nation, cast and cut in pure Gold: the head of this Chariot was set with precious Stones, with two Golden Idols, covered with an open winged Eagle of the same mettal. The hinder part being raised high, where∣on Darius sat, had a covering of inestimable valew.
This Chariot of the Kings was followed with ten thousand Horsemen, ha∣ving lances plated with Silver, and their heads guilt. He had for the pro∣per Guard of his own Person, two hundred of the blood Royal: blood too Royal, and precius to be spilt in any Noble adventure, and these were back∣ed with thirty thousand Footmen, after whom again were led four hundred spare Horses for the Kings own use. Then followed the Rereward, being led by Sisygambis, the Kings Mother, and by his Wife, drawn in glorious, and glittering Chariots, followed by a great train of Ladies on Horseback, with fifteen rich Wagons of the Kings Children, and the Wives of the Nobili∣ty, waited upon by two hundred and fifty Concubines, and a World of Nurses, and Eunuches most sumptuously apparelled: Between these, and a Company of slight Armed Slaves, was the Kings Treasure, loaden on six hundred Mules and three hundred Camels.
In this sort came this May-game King into the field, encumbred with a most unnecessary train of Sumpters, attended with Troops of divers Nations, speaking divers Languages, impossible to be well Marshalled by reason of their numbers, and for the most part so effeminate, and so rich in Gold and costly Garments, as the same could not but have encouraged the Na∣kedst Nation against them.
When Alexander met with these effeminate Asiaticks,* it may easily be guessed what a cheap Victory he had over them. Some say that he slew in this Battel sixty thousand Footmen, and ten thousand Horsemen., Q. Cur∣tius saith, an hundred thousand Foot, with as many Horsemen, and took forty thousand Prisoners, whilest of Alexanders Army there miscarried but two hundred and eighty of all sorts, of which number some Historians cut off almost one half. He took Prisoners also Darius his Mother, Wife, Daughters, and other the Kings Children. Darius by this time found it true, that Charidemus, a banished Grecian of Athens, had told him when he made a Page 48 view of his Army about Babylon, to wit, That the multitude which he had assembled of divers Nations, richly attired but poorly Armed, would be found more terrible to the Countries through which they should pass, than to the Macedonians whom they went to assail, who being all old, Well-disciplined Souldiers, imbattelled in gross Squadrons, which they cal∣led their Phalanx, well covered with Armour for defence, and furnished with advantagious Weapons for offence, would make so little account of his deli∣cate Persians, ill Armed, and worse Disciplin'd, that except he would (ha∣ving such abundance of Treasure) entertain a sufficient number of the same Grecians, and so encounter the Macedonians with men of equal cou∣rage, he would repent overlate, as taught by the miserable success like to follow.
But so unpleasing was this discourse to Darius, (who used to hear no∣thing but his own praises) that he caused this poor Grecian to be present∣ly slain,* who whilst he was under the Tormentors hand, said, to the King, that Alexander, against whom he had given this good counsel, should cer∣tainly revenge his Death,* and deservedly punish Darius for refusing this advise. Darius likewise slighted the counsel given him by the Grecian Soul∣diers that served under him, who intreated him not to fight in those streight places where Alexander could bring as many hands to fight as Darius could: and these old Blades, when Darius was overthrown with all his cowardly, and confused Rabble, under their Captain Amyntas, held firm, and made a brave retreat in despite of the vanquishers.
These Grecians also after their retreat, advised Darius to draw back his Ar∣my into the plains of Mesopotamia, where he might have environed the Macedonians on all sides with his multitudes; they counselled him also to divide his huge Army into parts, and not to cast his Empire upon one Bat∣tel, &c. But this advise was so contrary to the cowardly spirits of the Per∣sians, that they perswaded Darius to environ these Greeks with his Army, and to cut them in pieces as Traitors. But Darius was so infatuated that he would needs fight with Alexander in such a streight place, neer unto the City of Issus, where he could bring no more hands to fight than Alexander could (who by the advice of Parmenio staid there as in a place of advantage) whereby he was utterly overthrown, his Treasure lost, his Wife, Mother, and Children (whom the Grecians had perswaded him to leave in Babylon) taken Prisoners, and all their train of Ladies spoiled of their rich Garments, Jewels, and Honour. Indeed the Queen, with her Daughters, who had the good hap to be brought to Alexanders presence, were entertained with all respect due unto them, their Honours preserved, and their Jewels, and rich Garments restored; and though the Queen was a most beautiful Lady, and her Daughters of excellent features,* yet Alexander mastered his affections towards them all: Only he embraced the Wife of the Valiant Memnon, who was lately dead, she being taken by Parmenio, as she fled from Da∣mascus, at which time the Daughters of Ochus, who reigned before Darius, and the Wives and Children of almost all the Nobility of Persia, fell into Captivity, together with the Treasure of Darius (not taken at Issus) was seized upon, amounting to six thousand and two hundred Talents in ready Coin, and in Bullion, five hundred Talents, with a world of Riches besides.
Parmenio also in his Letter to Alexander sent him word, that amongst other things, he had taken at Damascus three hundred twenty nine of the Kings Women, which were Skilful in Musick; forty six Weavers, or Knit∣ters of Crowns; Pastry Women two hundred seventy seven; Cook Maids twenty nine; White-meat-makers thirteen; Makers of drinking Cups se∣venteen; Wine-cellar men seventy; Apothecaries, and Confectioners for∣ty. Thirty thousand Men, and seven thousand Camels.
After this overthrow given to Darius, all Phoenicia (the City of Tyre ex∣cepted) yielded unto Alexander, who made Permenio Governour of it. Al∣so Aradus, Zidon, and Biblos, which were Maritine Cities of great impor∣tance, of which one Strato was King (but hated of his People) submit∣ted unto Alexander:* Yea, good success attended him every where. For Antigonus, who was his Lieutenant in Asia the Less, overthew the Cappado∣cians, Paphlagonians, and others lately revolted. Aristodemus also, who was Darius his Admiral, had his Fleet partly taken, and partly drowned by the Macedonians. Likewise the Lacedemonians, who rose up against Antipater, were beaten: and four thousand of those Greeks, that made so brave a re∣treat at the last Battel, being led by Amyntas into Egypt, intending to hold it for themselves, were there slain: for the time to divide Kingdoms was not yet come.
Alexander to honour his beloved Ephestion, gave him power to dispose of the Kingdom of Zidon, and Ephestion, to shew his gratitude, offered to bestow it upon his Host with whom he quartered;* But the Man, not being of the King∣ly Race, refused it, saying, It is not our Country fashion, that any should be king, but such as are of the Kingly Line, And such an one (saith he) lives hard by, a good, and a wise man, but very poor, and one that lives by his hard la∣bour. Then did Ephestion (taking Kingly apparrel along with him) go to this poor Man, and saluted him King, bidding him, wash off his dirt, and put off his rags, and put on that Royal Apparel; The poor Mans name was Abdolo∣minus, who thought he had been in a dream, but being by the standers by, washed, and adorned, Ephestion led him into the Pallace, saying, When thou sittest on thy Throne, and hast power over the lives of all thy Subjects, forget not thy former condition. Alexander hearing of it, sent for him, and asked him, with what pacience, he, being of so Noble an Extraction, could bear his former poverty? To whom Abdolominus answered; I pray God that I may bear the King∣dom with the same mind. For (said he) these hands have provided for my ne∣cessities, and as I had nothing, so I wanted nothing.
While Alexander staid in those parts,* he received a Letter from Darius, wherein he desired to ransom his Mother, Wife, and Children, with some other conditions of Peace, but such as rather became a Conqueror, than one who had been so shamefully beaten, not vouchsafing in the Endorsement to give Alexander the Title of King. Alexander disdained his offers, and sent him word, that he was not only a King, but the King of Darius himself.
When Alexander came neer the City of Tyre, he received from them the present of a Golden Crown, and great store of Victuals, with some other things, which he took very thankfully, sending them word, that he desired to offer a Sacrifice to Hercules, the Protector of their City, from whom he was descended. The Tyrians, not liking his presence within their Walls, returned answer, that the Temple of Hercules, was seated where the old City stood;* but Alexander was resolved to enter Tyre by force, though in most mens Judgments the City was impregnable; for the Island where∣on it was built, was eight hundred furlongs from the Land, yet with the labor of many hands, having great store of Stone from old Tyre, and Timber sufficient from Libanus, he stopped up the passage between the Island and the Main, being more than once carried away by Storms, and sometimes fired by the Tyrians,* yet with the help of his Navy, he overcame all difficul∣ties, and prevailed, having spent seven moneths in that attempt. The Ty∣rians in the beginning of the Siege, had barbarously drowned some Messen∣gers sent by Alexander to perswade them to yield, in respect whereof, and of his great loss of time and men,* he put eight thousand to the Sword, Page 50 and caused two thousand of those that had escaped the first fury, to be hanged on Crosses upon the Sea-shore, and reserved for slaves thirteen thou∣sand, some say thirty thousand, and many more of them had died, if the Zi∣donians, that served Alexander, had not conveyed great numbers of them by shipping to their own City. Alexander gave the Government of this Territo∣ry to Philotas, the Son of Parmenio, Ephestion had the charge of the Fleet, and was commanded to meet Alexander at Gaza in the way to Egypt.
Whilst Alexander lay at the Siege of Tyrus, he sent to Jaddus, the High Priest at Jerusalem, demanding of him supplies, and provisions for his Army; and withal, such Tribute as they formerly paid to Darius: But when Jaddus answered, that he was tyed by a former Oath of Allegiance to Darius, from which he could not be free so long as Darius lived: Alexander growing wroth at this answer, swore, that as soon as he had taken Tyrus, he would march against Jerusalem.
At the same time also came Sanballat, the Cuthaean to Alexander; who, haing forsaken Darius, brought with him eight thousand men: Him did Alexander receive very graciously; Whereupon he asked leave of him to build a Temple upon his own Land, and to make high Priest thereof, his Son in Law, Manasses, who was Brother to Jaddus, the High Prist at Jerusalem; and having obtained leave, because he now grew old, he fell presently to work, and built a Temple, and made Manasses High Priest of it, thinking hereby to leave a great Honour to the Posterity of his Daughter.
In the mean while Darius sends again to Alexander, setting before him all difficulties he should meet with in his passing on to the East,* laying the loss of the late Battel to the streightness of the place: He bids him to consider how impossible it was for him to pass the Rivers of Euphra∣tes, Tygris, Araxes, &c. with all such other dreadful things as he thought might discourage him. Moreover he profered to him all the Kingdoms which lay between the River Halis, and the Hellespont, as a Dower with his beloveed Daughter:* But Alexander rejected all, saying, That he profer∣red him nothing but what already was his own, and what Victory, and his Vir∣tue had possessed him of. That he was in a capacity to give conditions, and not to receive any: and that having passed the Sea it self, he disdained to think of resistance in transporting his Army over Rivers. Indeed Parmenio, who was now old, and full of Honour and Riches, told the King, that if he were Alexander he would embrace the offers of Darius; to which A∣lexander answered, that so would he if he were Parmenio.
Then did Alexander march on towards Egypt, and when he came to Gaza,* Getes the Governour, a faithful servant to Darius, shut the Gates against him, and defended the Town with a Noble Resolution, at the Siege whereof Alexander received a wound in the shoulder which was dan∣gerous, and a blow on his Leg with a stone. He found better men in this place than he had done in the former Battels: For he left so many of his Macedonians buried in the Sands of Gaza, that he was fain to send for a new supply into Greece. Here it was that Alexander began to shew his cruelty:* For after he had taken Gaza by assault, and Getes the Governour, who was weakened with divers wounds, and who never gave ground to the Assailants,*Alexander caused holes to be bored through his feet, and himself to be dragged about the streets whilst he was yet alive, who being as Valiant a man as himself, scorned to ask him either for life, or the mitigation of his Torments.
From Gaza Alexander led his Army towards Jerusalem,* a City for the Antiquity, and great fame thereof, well known unto him; while he Page 51 lay before Tyre, he had sent for some supplies thither, which Jaddus the High Priest, being Subject, and Sworn to Darius, had refused him. The Jews therefore fearing revenge, and unable to resist, committed the care of their Lives and Estates to Jaddus, who had recourse to God by Suppli∣cations and Sacrifices for the Common safety; and was by him warned in a Dream that he should make Holy-day in the City, and set the Gates wide open, and that he and the rest of the Priests, every one in his Priestly Raiment, and the People all clothed in white, should go forth and meet Alexander; and accordingly he Issued out of the City, arrayed in his Pontifical Robes, to wit, an upper garment of Purple, Embroidered with Gold, with his Mitre, and the Plate of Gold, wherein was engra∣ved the Name of God, the Priests and Levites also in their rich Orna∣ments, and the People in White Garments, in a manner so unusual, state∣ly, and grave, as Alexander greatly admired it; and when he came neer to the High Priest,* he fell to the ground before him, as reverencing the Name of God, and when Parmenio reproved him for it, Alexander told him, that in Dios, a City of Macedonia, his mind being busied about the Conquest of Asia,* he saw in his sleep such a Person as Jaddus, and so ap∣parelled, by whom he was encouraged to pursue his purpose, with assu∣rance of Victory; and now beholding with his bodily eyes him who be∣fore was only represented to his fancy, he was so exceedingly pleased, and encouraged, as (contrary to the expectation of the Phaenicians, who ho∣ped to have sackt,* and destroyed Jerusalem) he gave the Jews all, and more than all that they desired; During his abode there, Jaddus shewed him the Prophesie of Daniel, wherein he saw himself; and his Conquest of Persia so directly pointed at, as that nothing from thenceforth could ei∣ther affright, or discourage him therein.
The next day Alexander assembled the People, and bad them ask what they would of him: But they asked nothing but that they might live according to the Laws of their own Country, and that every seventh year (vvherein they were to have no harvest) they might be exempted from paying any Tribute, all which he granted. And when they asked fur∣ther, that he would suffer the Jews, vvhich dwelt in the Countries of Babylon, and Media, to live according to their own Rites and Laws, he answered that he vvould satisfie their desires in that point also, so soon as he should get those Countries into his power. And vvhen he told them, that if any of them vvould follovv him in his Wars, they should use their own Rites vvheresoever they came, many listed themselves to serve him.
From Jerusalem Alexander turned again towards Egypt,* and entring in∣to it, Astaces, vvho vvas Darius's Lieutenant, received him, and deliver∣ed into his hands, Memphis, vvith eight hundred Talents of Treasure, and all other the Kings Riches; and vvhen Alexander had set things in order in Egypt, he began to affect a Deity, at the Temple of Jupiter Ham∣mon, so foolish had prosperity made him. He vvas to pass over dan∣gerous and dry Sands, vvhere, vvhen the Water vvhich he brought on his Camels backs vvas spent, he must needs have perished, had not an ex∣traordinary shower of Rain fallen, just vvhen his Army vvas in extream despair.* Indeed it nevever Rains in Egypt; but the purposes of Almigh∣ty God are secret, and he bringeth to pass vvhatsoever pleaseth him. Its said also that vvhen he had lost his vvay in those vast Desarts, a flight of Crows flew before his Army, making sometimes more, sometimes less hast, till they had guided him over those pathless Sands to Jupiters Temple.
When Alexander came neer the place,* he sent some of his Parasites to corrupt the Priests attending the Oracle, that their answer might be given in all things according to his mad ambition, vvho affected to be ac∣counted Page 52 the Son of Jupiter: and accordingly he was saluted Jupiters Son, by the Devils Prophet, for which he was richly rewarded, and presently a rumour was spread abroad, that Jupiter had owned him for his Child: and the better to confirm his followers in the belief of his Deity, he sub∣orned the Priests to give answer to such as consulted with the Oracle, that it would be very pleasing to Jupiter to Honour Alexander as his Son. But this is certain, and very observable, that at Christs coming, and at the first preach∣ing of the Gospel,* the Devil in this, and in all other his Oracles became speech∣less.
From the Temple of Hammon, Alexander returned to Memphis, where among many other learned men, he heard the Philosopher Psammones, who under∣standing that he affected the Title of Jupiters Son, told him, that God was the Father King of all men: and, refining the Pride of this haughty King, he brought him to acknowledg, that God was the Father of all mortal men, but that he acknowledgeth none for his Children, save good men.
The charge of the several Provinces of Egypt, Alexander gave to several Go∣vernours, following therein the Rules of his Master Aristotle, that a great Do∣minion should not be continued in the hands of any one man; Then gave he order for the building of Alexandria upon the most Westernly branch of Nilus;* and thus having setled (as he could) the State of Egypt, with the Kingdoms of the Lesser Asia, Phoenicia, and Syria, he Conducted his Army towards Euphrates.* which passage (though the same was committed to Mazeus to be defended by him) yet did he abandon it, and Alexander without resistance, passed it. From thence he marched towards Tygris, a River, for the swiftness thereof, called by the Persians, The Arrow: here might Darius easily have repelled him; for the violent course of the stream was such, as it drave before it many weigh∣ty stones, and those that moved not, but lay in the bottom were so round, and smooth by continual rolling, that no man was able to fight upon so slip∣pery a standing: Nor were the Macedonian Footmen able to wade through the River, otherwise than by joyning their hands, and interlacing their Arms each in others, making thereby one intire, and weighty Body to resist the im∣petuousness of the stream; and besides this; the Channel was so deep towards the Eastern Shore,* where Darius should have opposed him, that the Footmen were enforced to lift their Bows, Arrows, and Darts over their Heads to keep them from being made unserviceable by the Water. Indeed it cannot be denied, that as all Estates of the World, by the surfeit of misgovernment, have been subject to many grievous, and sometimes, mortal diseases: So had the Empire of Persia at this time brought it self into a burning Feavour, and there∣by became frantick, and without understanding, foreshewing manifestly the death, and dissolution thereof.
But Alexander had now recovered the Eastern Shore of Tygris without any opposition but what the Nature of the River made, where Mazeus, who had the charge to defend the banks, both of Euphrates, and it, pre∣sented himself to the Macedonians, being attended with certain Troops of Horsemen, as if with uneven forces, he durst have charged them up∣on even ground, when as with a multitude far exceeding them he forsook those advantages which no valour of the enemy could easily have overcome. But its commonly seen that timorous and cowardly Persons do ever follow those ways,*and counsels, whereof the opportunity is already lost.
Its true, that he sets all provisions on fire wherewith the Macedonians might be assisted in their passage over Tygris, thinking thereby greatly to have distressed them: but the execution of good counsel is fruitless, when unseasonable. For now was Alexander so well furnished with carriages, that no conveniences were wanting to the Army which he conducted. Those things also which Mazeus now sought to destroy, Alexander being in Page 53 sight,* by his Horsemen, saved and recovered them. This Mazeus might have done some days before at good leasure; yea, at this time he might have done it with so great a strength of Horsemen, as the Macedonians might not have dared to pursue, leaving the Body of their Foot out of sight, and so far behind.
Darius upon Alexanders first return out of Egypt, had assembled all those Forces which the Countries next to him could afford; and now also were the Arians, Scythians, Indians, and other Nations come to him. Nations (saith Curtius) that rather served to make up a number, than to make re∣sistance. Some reckon them to amount to the number of ten hundred thou∣sand Foot, and four hundred thousand Horse, besides armed Chariots, and some few Elephants. Curtius numbers them but two hundred thousand Foot, and about fifty thousand Horse, which is more probable: And yet seeing Da∣rius had more confidence in the number, than in the Valour of his Souldiers, probably he had brought together some three or four hundred thousand of all sorts, with which, he hoped in those fair plains of Assyria, to have overborn the small number of the invading Army. But its most true, That in every Battel skil and practice do more towards attaining the Victory, than multitudes, and rude audacity.
Whilest Alexander rested,* and refreshed his Army after their hard passage over Tygris, their happened an Eclipse of the Moon, at which the Macedonians (being ignorant of the cause, and reason of it) were much troubled; taking it as a certain presage of their ruin and destruction, insomuch as they began not only to murmur, but to speak boldly, that to satisfie the ambition of one man, and of such a one as disdained Philip for his Father, and would needs be called the Son of Jupiter, they should all perish: For he enforced them, not only to War against a world of enemies, but against Rivers, Mountains, and the Hea∣vens themselves.
Hereupon Alexander, who was now ready to advance, made an halt, and to quiet the minds of the multitude, he led before him the Aegyptian Astrologers, that by them the Souldiers might be assured that this Eclipse of the Moon, was a sure presage of his good success. But they never informed them that it came to pass by natural causes, but reserved that as a secret fit to be kept among them∣selves. These Astrologers gave no other reason for it than this, That the Grecians were under the Aspect of the Sun, and the Persians under that of the Moon, and therefore the Moon losing her light, did foreshew that the state of Persia was now in danger of falling, and their Glory of being obscured. This being noised through all the Army, every man was satisfied, and quieted, and their courage redoubled.
As Alexander drew near the Persian Army, certain Letters were intercepted, written by Darius to the Grecians, proffering and promising them a great sum of money, if they would either kill or betray Alexander. But these, by the advice of Parmenio, were suppressed.
About this time also Darius his beautiful Wife,* being oppressed with sor∣row, and wearied with travel, died: which accident Alexander seemed to bewail no less then Darius: who, upon the first report of it, suspected, that some dishonorable violence had been offered to her; but being satisfied by an Eunuch of his own that attended her, of Alexanders kind, and Kingly respect towards her from the very time of her being taken, he prayed the immortal Gods, that if they had decreed to set a new Master over the Persian Empire, that then it would please them to confer it on so just & chast an enemy as was Alexander, to whom, once more before the last tryal by Battel, he offered these conditions of peace.
That if he would marry his Daughter,* he would deliver, and resign up to him all Asia the less, with Egypt, and all those Kingdoms between the Phaenician Sea and the River Euphrates. That he would pay him for the Ransom of his Mother, Page 54 and other Daughters, thirty thousand Talents, and that for performance there∣of he would leave his Son Ochus in Hostage; and they sought by sundry Argu∣ments to perswade Alexander to accept hereof. Alexander causing the Am∣bassadors to withdraw, advised with his Councel, yet heard no man speak but Parmenio, who was the very right hand of his good Fortune, and he per∣swaded him to accept of such fair conditions: He told him, that the Empire be∣tween Euphrates and the Hellespont, was a large addition to Macedonia: That the retaining of those Persian Prisoners was a great cumber to him; and that the Treasure offered for them was of far better use than their Persons, with di∣vers other Arguments, yet Alexander, rejected all; though it was very pro∣bable, that if he had followed his advice, and set bounds to his ambition with∣in those limits, he might have been as famous for his virtue, as he was for his great successes, and might have left a successor of fit age to have enjoyed his estate, which afterwards, indeed he much enlarged, rather to the greatning of others than himself, who to assure themselves of what they had Usurped, left not one of his issue alive within a few years after. Besides, Alexander by going so far into the East, left behind him the reputation which he brought with him out of Macedonia, of a just and prudent Prince: A Prince temperate, advised, and grateful; and learned by abundance of prosperity, to be a lover of Wine, of Flatterers, and of extream cruelty.
But the Persian Ambassadors waited for their answer,* which was to this ef∣fect: that what curtesies soever he had bestowed upon the Wife, and Children of Darius, proceeded from his own natural clemency, and magnanimity, without all respect to their Master, but thanks to an enemy was improper: That he made no Wars against adversity, but against those that resisted him: Not against Women, and Children, but against armed enemies: And also that by the reiterated practices of Darius, to corrupt his Souldiers, and by great sums of money, to debauch his Friends to attempt something against his Person, he had reason to doubt whether the peace offered were really in∣tended, yet could he not (were it true and faithful) resolve in hast to accept of it, seeing Darius had Warred against him, not as a King, vvith Royal and over forces, but as a Traytor, by secret, and base practices. Besides, the Territories which he offered him were already his own; and if Darius, could beat him back again over Euphrates, he would then believe that he offered him something that was in his power to give: Otherwise he propounded to himself, as a reward of his enterprizes, all those Kingdoms which Darius as yet had in his possession; wherein, vvhether he was abused by his own hopes or no, the Battel vvhich he meant to fight the day following, should de∣termine. And in conclusion, he told them, that he came into Asia, to give Kingdoms, and not to receive them: That the Heavens could not hold two Suns, and therefore if Darius could be content to acknowledg Alexander his Superi∣our, he might perchance be perswaded to give him condition fit for a second Person,* and an Inferiour.
The Ambassaders being returned with this answer, Darius prepares to fight, and sent Mazeus to defend a Pass, which yet he never dared so much as to haz∣zard. Alexander consulting with his Captains, Parmenio, perswaded him to force the Camp of Darius by night, that the multitudes of his enemies might not af∣fright his Macedonians, being comparatively but a few. But Alexander replied, that he scorned to steal a Victory,*and resolved to bring with him Daylight to witness his Valour. Indeed the success commended Alexanders resolution, though the Coun∣sel given by Parmenio was more sound. Yet when he came to view the multi∣tude of his enemies, he began to stagger, and entrenched himself upon a Ground of advantage, which foolishly the Persians had abandoned. And when as Darius, for fear of a Camizado, had stood with his men in Armour all the day, and for∣born all sleep in the Night; Alexander on the contrary, gave his men rest, and Page 55 store of food, knowing, that Souldiers do better stand to it in fight, if they have their bellies full of meat and drink: for hunger within, fights more ea∣gerly than steel without.
The numbers which Alexander had,* were about forty thousand Foot, and seven thousand Horse, which were of the Europaean Army: And besides these, he had Aegyptians, Syrians, Judaeans, and Arabians which followed him out of those Countries. He used but a short speech to his Souldiers to encourage them, neither need he; For one Victory begets another, and puts courage into the Conquerors, and taketh away spirits from those that have been beaten.
Some make large descriptions of this Battel,* fought at Gaugamela, but in conclusion they tell us but of three hundred of Alexanders men that were slain, and some say less; but of the Persians there fell forty thousand: But what can we judg of this great encounter, other than (as in the two former Battels at Granick, and in Cilicia) that the Persians, upon the first charge, ran away, and that the Macedonians pursued them. For if that every man whom Darius brought into the Field, had but cast a Dart, or a Stone, the Macedonians could not have bought the Empire of the East at so easie a rate, as six or seven hundred in three such notorious Battels. Certainly if Darius had fought with Alexander upon the Banks of Euphra∣tes, and had Armed but fifty or sixty thousand of this great multitude, only with Spades (for most of his men were fit for no other Weapon) it had been impossible for Alexander to have passed that River so easily, much less the River of Tygris.* But as a man, whose Empire God was putting a Period to, he abandoned all places of advantage, and suffered Alexander to enter so far into the bowels of his Kingdom, as all hope and possibility of escaping by retreat being taken from the Macedonians, they were put to the choise, either to Die or Conquer, to which Election Darius could no way constrain his men, seeing they had many large Regions to run into from their Invaders.
Darius,* after the rout of his Army, fled to Arbela that Night, better attend∣ed in his flight than in the fight, and to them that fled with him, he propound∣ed his purpose of retreating into Media, perswading them that the Macedoni∣ans, who were greedy of spoil and riches, would rather attempt Babylon, Susa, and other Cities filled with Treasure, than to pursue the vanquished. This miserable resolution his Nobility rather obeyed, than approved.
Soon after the departure of Darius,* came Alexander to Arbela, vvhich, with a great mass of Treasure, and many Princely Ornaments, was surren∣dred to him. For the fear which accompanied Darius, took nothing with it but shame, and dishonour. He that had been twice beaten before, should have sent his Treasure into Media rather than to have brought it to Ar∣bela, so neer the place where he intended to wait the coming of his ene∣my. If he had been victorious, he might have brought it back at leasure: But being overcome, he knew it impossible to drive Mules and Camels loaden with Gold, from the pursuing Enemy, seeing himself, at the overthrow which he had in Cilicia, cast the Crown from his head, to run away the lighter: But its easier to reprehend, than to amend what is past.
From Arbela,*Alexander marched towards Babylon, where Mazeus, in whom Darius had most confidence, rendred to him, himself, his Children, and the City. Also the Captain of the Castle where the Treasure was kept; strewed the Streets with Flowers, burnt Frankincense upon the Silver Altars, as Alexander passed by, and delivered to him whatsoever was committed to his trust. The Magi also, who were the Chaldean Astrologers, followed this Captain to entertain their new King: After these, came the Babylonian Horsemen, infinitely rich in attire, but exceeding poor in Warlike furniture. Between these and himself, Alexander caused his Macedonian Footmen to march. When he entred the Castle he admired the Glory thereof, and Page 56 the abundance of Treasure which he found therein, amounting to fifty thou∣sand Talents of Silver uncoined. In this City, rich in all things, but most of all in voluptuous pleasures, the King rested himself and his vvhole Army thirty four days, spending that time in Banquetting, and in all sorts of effeminate exercises, which so much softned the minds of the Macedonians, not acquainted till now with such delicacies, as the severe Discipline of War, which taught them to endure hunger and thirst, painful travel, and hard lodging, began rather to be forgotten than neglected. Alexander, as he was rowed upon a Lake neer Babylon in his Gally, a sudden tempest arising blew off his Hat, and Crown fastened upon it, into the Lake, whereup∣on one of the Marriners, leaping into the vvater, swam, and fetched it to him, and to keep it the drier, he put it upon his own head. Alexander re∣warded him with a Talent for saving his Crown;* but vvithal, caused his Head to be cut off, for presuming to put his Crown upon it.
During his abode here, Alexander instituted those Regiments consisting of a thousand Souldiers, appointing Colonels over them, who thereupon were cal∣led Chiliarks. This new order Alexander brought in, vvas to honour those Cap∣tains, which were found by certain Judges, to have deserved best in the late War.
While Alexander vvas yet at Babylon, there came to him a great supply out of Europe. For Antipater sent him six thousand Foot, and five hundred Hore out of Macedonia; and of the Thracians three thousand Foot, and as many Horse, and out of Greece four thousand, and four hundred Horse, by vvhich his Army vvas greatly strengthened. For those that were in∣fected with the pleasures of Babylon, could hardly be brought again to change their soft beds for hard boards, and the cold ground.
Alexander left the City and Castle of Babylon, with the Territories ad∣joyning, in charge with three of his own Captains, Agathon, Minetus, and Apolidorus, leaving a thousand Talents to supply their wants: But to grace Mazeus, who delivered up the City to him, he gave him the Ti∣tle of his Lieutenant General, and took along with him Bagistines, who surrendred the Castle to him; and having distributed to every Souldier a part of the Treasure, he left Babylon and entred into the Province of Sa∣trapene, marching from thence towards Susa in Persia, situated on the Ri∣ver Euleus, which City vvas sometime Governed by the Prophet Daniel. Here Abulites,* the Governour of this famous City, gave it up to the Con∣querour, with fifty thousand Talents of Silver in Bullion, and twelve E∣lephants for the War, with all other the Treasure of Darius there; such as the Persian Kings had for a long time heaped up together, leaving it from Father to Son; all which in one hour came into his hands who ne∣ver cared for it. In this sort did those Vassals of Fortune; those lovers of the Kings prosperity, not of his Person, purchase their own peace, and safety with their Masters Treasure; and herein was Alexander well advised, that whatsoever Titles he gave to the Persians, yet he left all places of impor∣tance in trust vvith his own Captains, as Babylon, Susa, Persepolis, with other Cities, and Provinces that were Conquered by him: for had Darius but beaten the Macedonians in one Battel, all the Persian Nobility would have turned again to their natural Lord.
Whilest Alexander was ransacking Arbela,*Mazeus might have furnished Darius from Babylon; and whilest he stayed those thirty four days at Baby∣lon, Abulites might have holpen him from Susa: and whilest he was Feast∣ing, and Frolicking there; Teridates from Persepolis might fully have supplied him: for the chiefest bulk of his Treasure was laid up in that City: But bene∣fits bind not the ambitious but the honest; for those that are selfish, do in all changes, consult only the conservation of their own greatness.
The Government of Susa, with the Castle and treasure, Alexander committed Page 57 to his own Macedonians, making Abulites, who rendred it to him, his Lieutenant, as he had done Mazeus before, giving them Honourable Titles, but neither trust nor power. For he left three thousand old Souldiers to Garrison that City, and with them, the Mother and Children of Darius to repose themselves there.
From Susa Alexander marched with his Army towards Persepolis;* but when he sought to pass those Mountains that sunder Susiana and Persia, he was sound∣ly beaten by Ariobarzanes, who defended those Streights against him, called Pilae Persidis, and after the loss of many of his Macedonians, he was forced to save himself by retreat, causing his Foot to march close together, and to co∣ver themselves with their Targets, from the Stones that were tumbled upon them from the Mountain-tops. Yet in the end, he found out another passage, which was discovered to him by a Lycian that lived in that Countrey, and thereby, coming suddenly upon Ariobarzanes, who now was enforced to fight upon even ground, he overthrew him, who from thence fled to Persepolis: But the Citizens refusing to admit him, he returned, and gave a second charge upon the Macedonians, in which he was slain.
Many Greeks (for Authors agree not upon their number) having been ta∣ken Prisoners by the Persians, presented themselves here to Alexander.* These had the Barbarians so maimed, by cutting off their Hands, Ears, Noses, and other Members, as that they could not have been known to their own Coun∣trey men, but by their Language. To each of these Alexander gave three hundred Crowns, with new Garments, and such Lands as they liked to live upon.
Tiridates, one of Darius his false hearted Grandees, hearing of Alexander's approach to Persepolis, made him know that Persepolis was ready to receive him, and intreated him to double his pace, because there was a determination amongst the People to Plunder the Kings Treasury.* This City was forsaken by many of her Inhabitants upon Alexanders arrival, and they that staid, fol∣lowed the worst Counsel. For the City was given up to the Liberty of the Souldiers, to spoil and kill at their pleasure. There was no place in the world at that time, which, if it had been lain in the balance with Persepolis, would have weighed it down. Indeed, Babylon and Susa were very rich, but in Per∣sepolis lay the bulk, and greatest store of the riches of Persia. For after the spoil that had been made, of money, curious Plate, Bullion, Images of Gold and Silver, and other Jewels, there remained to Alexander himself, one hun∣dred and twenty thousand Talents, and as much other Treasure as twenty thousand Mules, and ten thousand Camels could carry away; much whereof had been reserved there from the dayes of Cyrus. Here it was that Alexander, setting himself down upon Darius his Throne, it was so high that his feet could not reach the ground; whereupon one of his Attendants brought him a little Table, and set it under his feet. One of Darius's Eunuchs standing by, sighed, and wept grievously, which Alexander taking notice of, asked him the reason of it? the Eunuch answered, I weep to see a Table that was so highly prized by my Master Darius, now to be made thy foot-stool. Here he left the same number of three thousand Macedonians, in Persepolis, as he had done in Susa, and gave the same formal honour to the Traitor Tiridates, as he had done to Abulites; but he committed the charge of the place to Nicarides, a Creature of his own.
The Body of his Army he left there for thirty dayes,* and the care of Par∣menio and Craterus, and with a thousand Horse, and certain chosen Bands of Foot, he would needs view in the Winter time, those parts of Persia which now were covered with Snow: a fruitless and foolish enterprize. Some speak it in his praise, that when his Souldiers cryed out against him, because of the extrem Frost and Snow, through which they could not make way but with Page 58 great difficulty, that Alexander forsook his Horse, and marched on foot before them: But what can be more ridiculous, than for a man to bring other men into extre∣mity, thereby to shew how well himself can endure it; being his walking on foot did no oherwise take off their weariness that followed him, than his sometime for∣bearing to drink, did quench their thirst that could less endure it.
Alexander being returned to Persepolis,* those Historians that were most en∣amoured of his Virtues, complain, that the opinion of his Valour, of his Li∣berality, of his Clemency towards the vanquished, and all other his Noble conditions, were drowned in Drink. That he smothered in his carousing cups all the reputation of his former actions, and that by descending as it were frow the awful Throne of the greatest King, into the company and familiarity of the basest Harlots; He began to be despised both of his own, and of all other Nations. For when he was enflamed with Wine, and being perswaded by the infamous Strumpet Thais, he caused the most sumptuous, and goodly Ca∣stle and City of Persepolis to be consumed with fire,* notwithstanding all the Arguments that Parmenio could use to the contrary, who told him, that it was a dishonour to destroy those things by the perswasion of others, which by his proper virtue and force he obtained: and that it would be a certain evi∣dence to the Asiaticks, to think hardly of him, and thereby alienate their hearts from him. For they might well believe, that he which demolished the good∣liest Ornaments they had, meant nothing less, than after such vastations, to hold the possession of them.
About this time Alexander received another supply of Souldiers out of Cili∣ca,* and advanced to find out Darius in Media. Darius had there formed his fourth, and last Army, which he meant to have encreased in Bactria, had he not heard of Alexander's coming on, with whom (trusting to his present numbers, which yet were but thirty or forty thousand) he intended once again to try what he might do against him. He therefore called together his Captains and Commanders, and propounded his resolution to them, who, despairing of good success, stood for a while silent: But at last Artabazus, one of his eldest men of War, who had sometime lived with King Philip the Fa∣ther of Alexander, brake the silence, protesting that he could never be beaten by any adversity of the Kings, from the Faith that he had ever ought him, with firm confidence that all the rest were of the same mind, whereof they likewise assured Darius, by the like protestation, and so they approved of the Kings resolution.* Two onely, and they the greatest, to wit, Naburzanes, and Bessus, who was Governour of Bactria, had conspired against their Master, and therefore advised the King to lay a new foundation for the War, and to pursue it for the present by some such person against whom, neither the Gods, nor Fortune had in all things declared themselves to be an enemy.
This preamble Naburzanes used, and in conclusion, advised the election of his fellow Traitor Bessus, with promise that when the War should be ended, the Empire should be again restored to Darius. The King, swoln with disdain, pressed towards Naburzanes, to have slain him; but Bessus and the Bactrians, whom he commanded, being more in number than the rest, with-held him. Hereupon Naburzanes withdrew himself, and Bessus followed him, making their Quarters apart from the rest of the Army. Artabazus, the Kings faith∣ful Servant, perswaded him to be advised, and to comply for the time, the rather because Alexander was at hand, and that he would at least make shew of forgetting the offence: which the King (being of a gentle Disposition) easily yielded to. Then came Bessus to the King, and made his submission: But Patron,* who commanded a Brigade of four thousand Greeks, which had in all the former Battels served Darius faithfully, and had alwayes made their retreat in despite of the Macedonians, offered himself to Darius, to guard his Person, protesting against the Treason of Bessus, (But God had otherwise deter∣mined Page 59 of the Empire, and therefore so sar was the King infatuated, that be ever rejected their Counsel from the beginning of the War, who were most faithful to him.) And now hearkened to Bessus, who told him, that the Greeks, with Patron their Captain, were corrupted by Alexander, and practiced the division of his faithful servants: Yet, even this while, Bessus had corrupted, and drawn to himself thirty thousand of the Army, promising them all those things by which, the lovers of the world and themselves, are wont to be allured, to wit, Riches, Honour, and Safety.
Now the day following,*Darius plainly discovered the purposes of Bessus, and being overcome with passion, as judging himself unable to make head against these ungrateful and unnatural Traitors, he prayed Artabazus, his faithful Servant, to depart from him, and to provide for his own safety. In like manner he discharged the rest of his Attendants, all save a few of his Eunuchs. For his Guards had voluntarily abandoned him. His Persians, be∣ing most base cowards, durst not undertake his defence against the Bactrians, though they had four thousand Greeks to assist them, who of themselves were able to beat both the Parties. But it's most true, That him that forsakes him∣self, will no man follow. It had been far more man-like, and King-like, to have dyed in the head of those four thousand Greeks, who offered him the dis∣posal of their Lives, (to which Artabazus also perswaded him) than to have lain upon the ground bewailing himself, and suffering himself to be bound like a Slave,* by those Ambitious Monsters that laid violent hands on him; whom, neither the consideration of his former great estate, nor the Honour he had conferred upon them, nor the trust he had reposed in them, nor the world of benefits he had bestowed on them, could move to pity: No, nor his present adversity, which above all things should have prevailed with them, could pierce their viperous and ingrateful hearts.
Darius, thus forsaken, was bound by them, and laid in a Cart covered with Hides of Beasts, that he might not be discovered; and to add despite and derision to his adversity, they bound him with Chains of Gold, and so drew him amongst their ordinary Carriages. For Bessus and Naburzanes perswaded themselves that they might redeem their lives, and be setled in their Provinces that they held, either by delivering him Prisoner to Alexander, of if that hope failed, to make themselves Kings by his murther, and then to defend them∣selves by force of Armes. But their expectations were frustrate in both. For it was against the Nature of God,* who is most just, to suffer such villany to go unpunsihed, yea, though against an Heathen King, and an Idolator.
Alexander hearing that Darius was retreated towards Bactria,* not daring to abide his coming, hastned after him by a violent march, and because he would not force his Footmen beyond their strength, he mounted on Horseback cer∣tain select Companies of them, and those which were best Armed, and with six thousand other Horse, he rather ran than marched after Darius. Now such as hated the Treason of Bessus, secretly forsook him, and gave intelli∣gence to Alexander of all that had happened, informing him of the way that Bessus took, and how near he was unto him. Hereupon Alexander again doubled his pace, and his Vant-guard being come within sight of Bessus his Rear, Bessus brought a Horse to the Cart where Darius lay bound, perswading him to mount thereon, and to save himself by flight. But the unfortunate King refusing to follow those that had betrayed him, they cast Darts at him,* and gave him some mortal wounds: they wounded also the Beasts that drew him, and slew two poor servants that attended his person. This done, they all fled that could, and left the rest to the mercy of the Macedonians.
Polystratus, a Macedonian, in his pursuit after Bessus, being extream thirsty, as he was refreshing himself with some water that he had found out, espied a Cart drawn by wounded Beasts, that were now scarce able to go, whereupon he Page 60 searched it, and there found Darius bathed in his own bloud: and by a Persian Captain that Polystratus had, he understood that it was Darius, and was in∣formed of that barbarous Tragedy. Darius also seemed greatly comforted (if dying men, ignorant of the living God can be comforted) that he vented not his last sorrows unheard; but that by this Macedonian, Alexander might be informed of the truth, and take vengeance on those Traitors, who had dealt no less unworthily, than cruelly with him, recommending the revenge there∣of to Alexander by this messenger,* beseeching him to pursue the Traytors, not for Darius his sake, but for his own Honour, and for the safety of all that did, or should hereafter wear Crowns. He also having nothing else to present to Alexander, rendred him thanks for his Kingly Grace and Favour used to his Wife, Mother, and Children; desiring the immortal Gods to subject to him the Kingdom of the whole World. As he was thus speaking, importunate Death pressing out his few remaining spirits, he desired a little Water, which Polystratus presented unto him; after which, he lived but to tell him, that of all the good things which of late he was Master of, he had nothing remaining but his last breath, wherewith to desire the Gods to reward his compassion.
The Macedonians began now to hope that their Travels were near an end; and therefore every man was preparing for his return: whereof, when Alex∣ander was informed,* he was much troubled at it. For the bounded Earth sufficed not for his boundless Ambition. Many Arguments he therefore used to draw on his Army farther into the East: But that which prevailed most was, that Bessus, a base Traitor to his Master Darius, having at his Devotion the Hircanians and Bactrians, would in a short time, if the Macedonians should now return, make himself Lord of the Persian Empire, and reap the fruit of all their former Travels. In conclusion, Alexander won their consents to go on: Which done, leaving Craterus with certain Regiments of Foot, and Amyntas with six thousand Horse in Parthia,* he entred (not without some op∣position) into Hyrcania. For the Mardons and other barbarous Nations, de∣fended certain passages for a while. But at last prevailing, he passed the River of Zioberis, which, taking its rise in Parthia, empties it self into the Caspian Sea. It runneth under the ledge of Mountains which bound Parthia and Hyr∣cania, where, hiding it self under ground for three hundred furlongs, it then riseth again, and follows its former course, as is said before. In Zadracarta, the Metropolis of Hircania, Alexander rested fifteen dayes, Banquetting, and Feasting therein.
About this time Pataphernes, one of Darius his greatest Commanders, with some others of his followers,* submitted themselves to Alexander, and were restored to their places and Government. But above all other, he Graced Ar∣tabazus most highly, for his approved and constant Faith and Loyalty to his Master Darius. Artabazus brought along with him ten thousand and five hundred Greeks, the remainder of all those that had served Darius. He treat∣ed with Alexander for their pardon before they came; but in the end, they rendred themselves simply without promise or compostion: Alexander par∣doned all but the Lacedemonians, whom he imprisoned, their Captain ha∣ving slain himself. He was also prevailed with (though to his great disho∣nour) to pardon Nabarzanes, that had joyned with Bessus in the Murther of Darius.
Here (as some write) Thalestris,* Queen of the Amazons come to visit him, and her suit was, (which she easily obtained) that she might accompany him, till she proved with child by him: which done, she refused to go along with him into India, but returned into her own Country.
Now as Alexander had begun to change his conditions after the taking of Persepolis; so at this time Prosperity had so much corrupted his Virtue, that he accounted Clemency to be but baseness, and the Temperance, which all Page 61 his life before he had used, to be but a poor and abject humour, rather be∣coming the instructers of his youth, than the condition and state of so mighty a King as the World could not equal. For he perswaded himself, that he now represented the greatness of the Gods;* and he was pleased when those that came before him, would fall down on the ground and adore him. He wore the Garments and Robes of the Persians, and commanded his Nobles to do the like. He entertained into his Court and Camp the same shameless Rabble of Curtizans and Catamites, as Darius had done, whom he imitated, in all the proud, voluptuous, and detested manners of the Persians, whom he had vanquished, and became a more foul and fearful Monster than Darius, from whose Tyranny, he vaunted, to have delivered so many Nations; Insomuch as they that were nearest and dearest to him, began to be ashamed of him, en∣tertaining each other with this, or the like scornful discourse; That Alexan∣der of Macedonia was become one of Darius's licentious Courtiers:* That by his Example, the Macedonians, after so many, and tedious travels, were more impoverished in their Virtues, than enriched by their Victories; and that it was hard now to judge, whether the Conquerors or conquered were the baser slaves. Neither were these things so whispered in corners, but that they came to Alexanders ears: He therefore with great Gifts sought to stop the mouthes of the better sort, and of such, of whose judgments he was most jealous.
Then did he make it known to the Army, that Bessus had assumed the title of a King, and called himself Artaxerxes; and that he had compounded a great Army of the Bactrians and other Nations, whereby he perswaded them to go on; to the end, that all which they had already gotten, together with themselves (so far engaged) might not be cast away and lost. And because they were pestered with the plunder of so many rich Cities, that the whole Army seemed but the guard of their Carriages, he commanded that every mans Fardel should be brought into the Market place; which, when it was done, he, together with his own,* caused all to be consumed with fire. This, in probability, might have proved very dangerous unto him: For the Com∣mon Souldiers had more interest in that which they had purchased with their painful travel, and with their blood, than in the Kings Ambition; had not this happy temerity overcome all difficulties.
As he was upon his march, news was brought that Satribarzanes, whom he had established in his former Government over the Arians,* was revolted; Whereupon, leaving the way of Bactria, he sought the Traytor out: But the Rebell hearing of his coming, fled with two thousand Horse to Bessus. Then marched Alexander on against Bessus, and by setting a great Pile of wood on fire, with the advantage of a strong wind, he won a passage over an high an unaccessible Rock, which was defended against him by thirty thousand Foot, the extremity of the fire and smoke forcing them to quit the place, which otherwise had been invincible: After which, he found no resistance, till he came into Aria, on the East of Bactria, where the chief City of that Province, called Artacoana, was a while defended against him, by the revolt of Satribarzanes; but in the end, he received the Inhabitants to mercy. At this place his Army was recruited with a new supply of five thousand, and five hundred Foot, and near five hundred Horse, out of Greece, Thessaly, and other places.
At this time it was, that the Treason of Dimnus was discovered, of which, Philotas the Son of Parmenio was accused,* at least as accessary, if not princi∣pal. This Dimnus, with some others, having conspired against the life of Alexander, went about to draw Nicomacus, a young man whom he loved, in∣to the conspiracy: The youth, although he was first bound by Oath to secre∣sie, when he heard so foul a matter uttered, began to protest against it so ve∣hemently, Page 62 that his Friend was like to have slain him, to secure his own life; and so constrained by fear, he made shew as if he had been won by perswasion, and by seeming at length to like well of the business, he was told more at large who they were that had undertaken it. There were nine or ten of them, all men of rank, whose Names Dimnus (the better to countenance the enter∣prize) reckoned up to him, Nicomachus had no sooner freed himself from the company of this Traytor Dimnus, than he acquainted his own Brother, Ce∣ballinus, with the whole design; whereupon it was agreed between them, that Ceballinus, (who might do it with the least suspition) should go to the Court, and utter all. Ceballinus meeting with Philotas, told him the whole business, requesting him to acquaint the King with it, which he promised to do, but yet did not.
Two dayes passed, and Philotas never brake with the King about the mat∣ter, but still excused himself to Ceballinus, by the Kings want of leisure. This his coldness bred suspition, and caused Ceballinus to apply himself to one Me∣tron, Keeper of the Kings Armory, who forthwith brought him to Alexan∣ders presence. Alexander finding by examination what had passed between Ceballinus and Philotas,* fully perswaded himself, that this concealment of the Treason argued Philotas to have a hand in it; When Dimnus therefore was brought before him, he asked him only this Question; Wherein have I so of∣fended thee, that thou shouldst think Philotas more worthy to be King than my self? Dimnus, when he was first apprehended, perceiving how the matter was like to go, had so wounded himself, that he lived no longer than to give his last groan in the Kings presence.
Then was Philotas sent for, and charged with the suspition which his silence might justly breed. His answer was, that when the Treason was revealed to him by Nicomachus, he judged it to be but frivolous, and therefore forbore to acquaint Alexander with it, till he could procure better information. This errour of his (if it were but an errour) though Alexander, for the notable ser∣vices done by his Father Parmenio, and his Brother Nicanor, lately dead, and by Philotas himself, had freely pardoned him, and given him his hand for assu∣rance: Yet, by the instigation of Craterus, he falsified his Princely promise, and made the Enemies of Philotas his Judges.*Craterus indeed perswaded him∣self, that he could never find a better occasion to oppress his private enemy, than by pretending Piety, and Duty to his Prince. Whence a Poet saith,
Now the King, following the advice of Craterus,* had resolved the next day to put Philotas to the Torment, yet in the very evening of the same night, in which he was apprehended, he called him to a Banquet, and discoursed as fa∣miliarly with him as at any other time. But, when in the dead of the night, Page 63Philotas was taken in his lodging, and that they which hated him, began to bind him, he cried out upon the King, in these words: O Alexander, the ma∣lice of mine enemies hath surmounted thy mercy, and their hatred is far more constant than the word of a King. Many circumstances were urged against him by Alexander himself; and this was not the least (not the least offence indeed against the Kings humour, who desired to be adored as a God) that when A∣lexander wrote unto him concerning the Title given him by Jupiter Hammon, he answered, That he could not but rejoyce that he was admitted into the Sacred fellowship of the Gods, and yet he could not but withall grieve for those which should live under such a one as would exceed the nature of man. This, said Alexander, assured me that his heart was estranged, and that he despised my Glory.
Philotas was brought before the multitude,* to hear the Kings Orati∣on against him. He was brought forth in vile Garments, and bound like a Thief, where he heard himself, and his absent Father, the greatest Captain in the World, accused, and also his two other Brothers, Hector and Nicanor, who had lost their lives in these Wars; wherewith he was so overcome with grief, that, for a while, he could utter nothing for tears; and sor∣row had so wasted his Spirits, that he sank between those that led him. In the end, the King asked him, in what Language he would make his defence? He answered, In the same wherein it had pleased the King to accuse him: which accordingly he did, to the end that the Persians as well as the Macedonians might understand him. But hereof the King made this advantage, perswading the Assembly, that he disdained the Language of his own Countrey, and so withdrawing himself, he left him to his merciless enemies.
This proceeding of the Kings, Philotas greatly lamented, seeing the King, who had so sharply inveighed against him, would not vouchsafe to hear his answer. For hereby his enemies were emboldned against him, and all the rest, having discovered the Kings mind and resolution, contended amongst themselves, which of them should shew the greatest hatred to∣wards him. Amongst many Arguments which he brought for his own defence, this was not the least, that when Nicomachus desired to know of Dimnus, of what quality and power his partners in the Conspiracy were, seeming unwilling to adventure himself amongst mean and base Compa∣nions, Dimnus named unto him Demetrius, of the Kings Bed-Chamber, Nicanor, Amyntas, and some others, but spake not a word of Philotas, who, being Master of the Horse, would greatly have graced the cause, and encou∣raged Nicomachus. And to make it more clear that he knew nothing of their intents, there was not any one of the Conspirators that in their tor∣ments would accuse him. Yet at the last, himself being put to extream torments,* by the device of his professed enemies, Craterus, Cenus, Ephe∣stion, and others, Philotas accused himself, hoping that they would have slain him immediately: But he failed even in that miserable hope, and suffering all that could be inflicted on flesh and blood, he was forced to confess, not what was true, but what might best please them, who were far more merciless than Death it self. Cruelty is not a humane vice: It is unwor∣thy of man: It's even a boasting rage to delight in bloud and wounds, and casting away the nature of man, to become a savage Monster.
Now whilst Alexanders hands were yet died in blood,* he commanded that Lyncestes, Son in Law to Antipater, who had been three years in Pri∣son, should be slain. The same dispatch had all those that were accused by Nicomachus. But Parmenio was yet living. Parmenio, who had served with great fidelity, as well Philip, the Kings Father, as himself. Parmenio that first opened Alexanders way into Asia: That had cast down Attalus the Page 64 Kings enemy: That had alwayes, and in all hazards, the leading of the Kings Vaunt-guard: That was no less prudent in Counsel, than success∣ful in all his enterprizes. A man, beloved of the men of War, and to say the truth, he that had purchased for the King the Empire of the East, and of all the Glory and Fame which he had attained to. That he might not therefore revenge the Death of his Son, though not upon the King (for it was unlikely that he would have stained his fidelity in his old age, ha∣ving now lived seventy years) yet upon those who by base Flattery had possessed themselves of the Kings affection; It was resolved that he should dye also: and Polydamus was employed in this business, a man, whom of all others, Parmenio trusted most, and loved best. Who (to be short) find∣ing him in Media,* and having Cleander, and other Murtherers with him, slew him as he was walking in his Garden, and reading the Kings letters. This was the end of Parmenio (saith Curtius) who had performed many no∣table things without the King; but the King without him did never effect any thing worthy of Praise.
These things being ended, Alexander marched on with his Army,* and subdued the Araspitans, and made Amenides (sometime secretary to Da∣rius) their Governour. Then he Conquered the Arachosians, and left Me∣non to command over them. Here the Army (that was sometime led by Parmenio) found him, which consisted of twelve thousand Macedonians and Greeks, with whom (though with much difficulty) he passed through some cold Regions. At length, he came to the foot of the Mountain Tau∣rus, towards the East,* where he built a city, which he honoured with his own Name, and peopled it with seven thousand of his old Macedoni∣ans, worn out with age, and the travels of War. The Arians, who since he left them, were revolted, he again subdued, by the industry and valour of Caranus and Erigius: and now he resolved to find out the new King Bessus in Bactria; who hearing of his coming, prepared to pass over the great River of Oxus, which divides Bactria from Sogdiana. Bessus having now abandoned Bactria, Alexander made Artabazus Governour of it, and himself marching forward with his Army,* they suffered great want of wa∣ter, insomuch as when they came to the River Oxus, there died more of them by immoderate drinking, than Alexander had lost in any one Battel against the Persians. He found upon the Banks of this great River, no manner of Timber, or other materials wherewith to make Bridges, or Boats, or Rafts, but was forced to sew together Hides that covered his Carriages, and stuffing them with straw, he was six dayes in passing over his Army after that manner, which Bessus might easily have distressed, if he had dared but to look the Macedonians in the face. He had formerly complained of Darius for neglecting to defend the Banks of Tigris, and other Passes; and yet now, when this Traiterous slave had stiled himself a King, he durst not perform any thing worthy of a slave: and therefore they that were nearest to him, and whom he most trusted, to wit, Spicamenes, Dataphernes, Cantanes, and others, the Commanders of his Army, moved, both by the care of their own safety, and the remembrance of Bessus his Treason and cruelty against Darius,* bound him, as he had done his Ma∣ster, only his chain was closed about his neck, like a Mastiff Dog, and so they dragged him along to present him to Alexander.
In the mean time, Alexander was arrived at a certain Town inhabited by Greeks of Miletum, brought thither by Xerxes, when long before he returned out of Greece, whose children had now almost forgotten their Coun∣trey Language. These entertained him with great joy: but he most cruelly put them all to the Sword,* and destroyed their City. At this place he received Bessus, and having rewarded Spitamenes, and his Associates, he delivered the Page 65 Traitor into the hands of Oxatre,* Brother to Darius, to be tormented by him.
But now when he thought himself most secure, and out of danger, some twenty thousand Mountainers assaulted his Camp, in repelling whom, he received a shot in his leg, the Arrow head sticking in the flesh,* so that he was fain to be carried in a Horse-Litter for some time after.
Shortly after he came unto Maracanda, judged by some to be the same with Samarcand, the Imperial City of the Great Tamerlain, which was in compass seventy furlongs. Here he received the Ambassadors of the Scy∣thians (called Avians) who offered to serve him.
Presently after, the Bactrians, with the Sogdians, were again stirred up to Rebellion, by the same Spitamenes, and Catanes, who had lately delivered Bessus into Alexanders hands. Many Cities were stoutly defended against him, all which, after he had subdued them, he utterly defaced, killing all therein.* At the Siege of one of these he received a blow in the neck, which struck him to the ground, and disabled him from action many dayes after: In the mean while, Spitamenes had recovered Samarcand, against whom he sent Menedemus, with three thousand Foot, and eight hundred Horsemen.
In the heat of these affairs, Alexander marched to the River Jaxartes, that runs between Sogdiana and Scythia, which he passed over, while Me∣nedemus was employed in the recovery of Samarcand. Upon the Banks of this River he built another Alexandria, sixty furlongs in compass, which he beautified with Houses seventeen dayes after the walls were built: But the Scythian King,* perswading himself that this City was built on purpose to keep him under, made some attempts to hinder the erection of this new City; but being naked of defensive Arms, he was easily beaten a∣way. Sixty of the Macedonians are said to be slain in this conflict, and eleven hundred wounded, which might easily be done in passing a great River, defended against them by good Archer. Of the Scythian Hor∣ses, eighteen hundred were brought into the Camp, and many Priso∣ners.
Whilst Alexander was securing himself against those Scythians, border∣ing upon Jaxartes,* he received the ill news that Menedemus was slain by Spitamenes, his Army broken, and most of them killed; to wit, two thou∣sand Foot, and three hundred Horse. He therefore, intending revenge upon Spitamenes, made all the haste he could, but Spitamenes fled into Bactria. Whereupon Alexander killed, burned, and laid waste all before him, not sparing the innocent Children, and so departed, leaving a new Gover∣nour in that Province.
To repair this loss, he received a great supply of nineteen thousand men out of Greece, Lycia, and Syria, with all which, and his old Army, he returned towards the South, and passed the River of Oxus on the South∣side whereof he built six Towns, near each to other, for their mutual se∣curity. But he found a new upstart Rebell,* one Arimazes, (a Sogdian) who was followed by thirty thousand Souldiers, that defended against him a strong piece of ground on the top of an High and steep Hill. Alex∣ander sought (but in vain) to win him with fair words: wherefore he made choice of three hundred young men, and promised ten Talents to the first, nine to the second, and so proportionably to the rest, that could find a way to creep to the top thereof. This they performed with the loss of thirty two of their number, and then made a sign to Alexander that they had accomplished his Commandment. Hereupon he sent one Cophes to perswade Arimazes to yield up the place; who, being shewed 〈◊〉CophesPage 66 that the Macedonians were already gotten up, he yielded simply to A∣lexanders mercy, and was, with all his Kindred, scourged, and crucifi∣ed: which punishment they well deserved, for keeping no better a watch in so dangerous a time. For the place might have been defended against any power.
After these Sogdian and Scythian Wars, Alexander committed the Go∣vernment of Samarcand, and the Country about it, to Clytus, whom yet he slew soon after,* for preferring the Virtue of Philip the Father, before that of Alexander the Son; or rather, because he objected to the King the Death of Parmenio, and derided the Oracle of Hammon: for therein he touched him to the quick; his Speech being in publick, and at a drun∣ken Banquet. Clytus, indeed, had deserved as much at the Kings hand as any man living, having saved his life; which the King well remembred, when he came to himself, and when it was too late to repent. As Clytus in his Cups, forgat whom he offended, so Alexander in his drunkenness forgat whom he slew; for grief whereof, he afterward tore his Face, and sorrowed so inordinately, that had he not been over-perswaded by Calisthe∣nes, he would have slain himself.*Drunkenness both kindles and discovers every vice: It removes shame, which gives impediment to bad attempts. Where Wine gets the Mastery, all the evil which before lay hidden, breaks out. Drunken∣ness indeed rather discovers vices than makes them.
Soon after this, Spitamenes, who slew Bessus, and had lately revolted from Alexander, was murthered by his own Wife, and his Head was pre∣sented to Alexander. Spitamenes being thus taken away, the Dahans also sei∣zed upon his fellow Conspirator, Dataphernes, and delivered him up: So that Alexander being now freed from all those petty Rebels, and disposed of the Provinces that he had quieted, marched on with his Army into Gabaza, where it suffered so much Hunger, Cold, Lightning, Thunder, and such Storms,* that in one of them he lost a thousand men. From hence he invaded the Sacans, and destroyed their Country. Then came he into the Territories of Cohortanes, who submitted himself to him, and presented him with thirty beautiful Virgins; amongst whom, Roxane, af∣terwards his Wife, was one; which, although all the Macedonians sto∣mached, yet none of them durst use any freedome of speech after the death of Clytus. From hence he directed his course towards India, having so increased his numbers, as amounted to one hundred and twenty thousand Armed men.
In the mean while, he would needs be honoured as a God, whereun∣to, that he might allure his Macedonians,* he implyed two of his Parasites, Hagis and Cleo, whom Calisthenes opposed. For amongst many other ho∣nest Arguments which he used in the Assembly, he told Cleo, that he thought that Alexander would disdain the Title of a God from his Vas∣sals: That the opinion of Sanctity, though it did sometimes follow the Death of those, who in their Life-time had done the greatest things, yet it never accompanied any one as yet living in the world: He said, that neither Hercules, nor Bacchus, were Deified at a Banquet, and upon drink, (for this matter was propounded by Cleo at a carousing Feast) but for the more than manly acts performed by them in their Life-time, for which they were in succeeding Ages numbred amongst the Gods. Alex∣ander stood behind a partition, and heard all that was spoken, waiting but for an opportunity to be revenged on Calisthenes, who, being free of speech, Honest, Learned, and a Lover of the Kings Honour, was yet shortly af∣ter tormented to Death. For upon occasion of a Conspiracy made against the King,* by one Hermelaus, and others, who confessed it, he caused Cali∣sthenes, without confession, accusation, or tryal to be torn asunder upon the Rack.
Page 67 This deed, unworthy of a King, is thus censured by Seneca. Thus (saith he) is the eternal crime of Alexander, which no Virtue, or felicity of his in War, shall ever be able to blot out. For as often as any man shall say, He slew many thousands of Persians, it will be replied, He did so, and he slew Calisthe∣nes too. When it shall be said that he won all as far as to the very Ocean, whereon also he adventured with unusual Navies, and extended his Empire from a corner of Thrace, to the utmost bounds of the East; it shall be said withall; But he killed Calisthenes. Let him have out-gone all the ancient Examples of Captains and Kings, none of all his Acts make so much to his Glory, as the Death of Calisthenes to his reproach.
With the Army before mentioned,* of one hundred and twenty thousand Foot and Horse, Alexander entred into the borders of India, where, such of the Princes as submitted themselves to him, he entertained lovingly, the others he enforced, killing man, woman, and child, where they re∣sisted. He then came before Nisa, built by Bacchus, which, after a •ew dayes, was rendred to him. From thence he removed to a Hill at hand, which on the top had goodly Gardens, filled with delicate fruits and Vines, dedicated to Bacchus, to whom he made Feasts for ten dayes together. And when he had drank his fill,* went on to Dedula, and from thence to Acadera, Countries spoiled, and abandoned by the Inhabitants; by reason whereof, Victuals failing,* he divided his Army. Ptolomy led one part, Ce∣non another, and himself the rest. These took in many Towns, whereof, that of greatest fame was Muzage, which had in it three hundred thou∣sand men, but after some resistance, it was yielded to him by Cleophe the Queen, to whom he again restored it. At the Siege of this City he received a wound in the leg.
After this, Nola was taken by Polisperchon; and a Rock of great strength by Alexander himself: He won also a passage from one Eryx, who was slain by his own men, and his Head presented to Alexander: This was the sum of his Actions in those parts, before he came to the great River Indus. And when he came thither, he found there Ephestion, who (being sent before) had prepared Boats for the transportation of his Army, and before Alex∣anders arrival, had prevailed with Omphis, King of that part of the Coun∣try, to submit himself to this great Conquerour. And hereupon, soon after Alexanders coming, Omphis presented himself, with all the strength of his Country, and fifty six Elephants, unto him; offering him his ser∣vice and assistance: He told Alexander also, that he was an enemy to the two next great Kings of that part of India, named Abiasares, and Porus; wherewith Alexander was not a little pleased, hoping by this their disunion, to make his own Victory be the far more easie.
This Omphis also presented Alexander with a Crown of Gold, the like did the rest of his Commanders; and withall he gave him eight Talents of Sil∣ver, coined; which Alexander not only refused, but to shew that he co∣veted Glory,* not Gold, he gave Omphis a thousand Talents of his own Trea∣sure, besides other Persian rarities.
Abiasares being informed that Alexander had received his enemy Omphis into his protection, he resolved to make his own peace also. For, know∣ing that his own strength did but equal that of Omphis, he thought it but an ill match, when Alexander, who had already subdued all the great∣est Princes of Asia, should make himself a party, and head of the quar∣rell. So then now Alexander had none to stand in his way, but Porus, to whom he sent a command, that he should attend him at the Borders of his Kingdom,* there to do him Homage: But the gallant Porus return∣ed him this manly answer: That he would satisfie him in the first demand, which was, to attend him on his Borders, and that well accompanied; but Page 68 for any other acknowledgment, he was resolved to take counsel of his Sword. To be short, Alexander resolved to pass over the River of Hydaspes, and to find out Porus at his own home: But Porus saved him that labour, attend∣ing him on the farther bank, with thirty thousand Foot, ninety Elephants, and three hundred armed Chariots, and a great Troop of Horse. The River was half a mile broad, and withal, deep and swift. It had in it many Islands, amongst which there was one much overgrown with Wood, and of good capacity.
Alexander sent Ptolomy, with a good part of the Army up the River, shrowd∣ing the rest from the sight of Porus under this Island, by this devise, Porus being drawn from the place of his first encamping, set himself down op∣posite to Ptolomy, supposing that the whole Army of Alexander was there, intending to force their passage: But in the mean while Alexander with his men, recovered the the farther shore without resistance, and ordering his Troops, he advanced towards Porus, who at first imagined them to be A∣biasares his confederate, come over Hydaspis to assist him: But finding it to be otherwise, he sent his Brother Hagis with four thousand Horse, and a hundred armed Chariots to entertain him. Each Chariot had in it four to •ight,* and two to guide it: But they were at this time of little use, by reason that much rain having fallen, the fields were so foul that the Horses could hardly trot.
In this fight the Scythians and Dahans had Alexanders Vantguard, who so galled the Indians with their Darts and Arrows, that the Horses brake their reins, and overturned the Chariots, and those that were in them. Perdiccas also charged the Indian Horsemen, who were by him forced to recoil. Then did Porus move forward with the Gross of his Army, that his Vantguard, who were scattered, might retreat into his Rear. Alexan∣der, being followed by Ephestion, Ptolomy, and Perdiccas, charged the In∣dian Horsemen in the left wing, commanding Cenon to set upon the right. He directed also Antigonus and Leonatus to charge Porus his Battel of Foot, strengthened with Elephants, Porus himself riding upon one of the biggest of them. By these Beasts the Macedonian Foot received the great∣est dammage; but the Archers and Darters being well guarded with the long and strong Pikes of the Macedonians, so galled them, that the Elephants being inraged, turned Head, and ran over their own Footmen that followed them. In the end, after a long and doubtful fight, by the advantage of weapons,* and the skill and courage of the Macedonian Cap∣tains, the Victory fell to Alexander, who also far exceeded Porus in num∣ber of men. For, besides the Macedonians, and other Eastern and Nor∣thern Nations, Alexander was assisted by Porus his Confederates, and Coun∣try people: Yet, for his own person, he never gave ground, otherwise than with his Sword towards his enemies, till, being weakned by many wounds, and abandoned by his Army, he became a Prisoner to the Con∣querour, from whom again he received his Kingdom,* with a great en∣largement.
I forbear to mention other petty Victories which Alexander obtained after this, in his sailing down the River of Indus. The description of pla∣ces about the Head, and branches thereof, are better known to us by rea∣son of our late Navigations and Discoveries, than they were in former times. The magnificence and Rights of those Indian Kings, we could in no sort be perswaded to believe, till our own experience had taught us, that there are many stranger things in the world than we see in our own Countrey.
Alexander, having by this time over-wearied his Army, he discovered the rest of India by Fame. The Indian Kings whom he had subdued, in∣formed Page 69 him, that a King called Aggramenes, ruled over many Nations be∣yond the River Ganges, who was able to bring into the Field two hundred thousand Foot, twenty thousand Horse, three thousand Elephants, and two thousand armed Chariots. With this report, though Alexander was more enflamed than ever, to proceed in his Discoveries and Conquests, yet all his Oratory could not prevail with his Souldiers to adventure over those waste Desarts beyond Indus and Ganges, which were more terrible to them, than the greatest Army that the East could gather. Yet at last they were overcome by many perswasions to follow him towards the South, to discover such parts of the Ocean as were nearer at hand, unto which the River Indus was their infallible guide.
Alexander seeing it would be no otherwise, devised a pretty trick, by which he hoped to beguile after-ages,* and make himself seem greater than he was. For which end, he enlarged his Camp, made greater Trenches, greater Cabins for Souldiers, greater Horse-stalls, and higher Mangers than Horses could seed in. Yea, he caused all furniture both for Men and Hor∣ses, to be made larger than would serve for use, and scattered these Ar∣mours and Bridles about his Camp, to be kept as Reliques, and wondred at by those barbarous People. Proportionable unto these, he raised up twelve great Altars, to be Monuments of his Journeys end.
This done, he returned again to the Banks of Asesines, and there deter∣mined to build his Fleet, where Ausines and Hydaspes meet; and to testifie by a surer Monument, how far he had passed towards the East, he built by those Rivers two Cities: the one he called Nicaea, and the other Buce∣phalon,* after the name of his beloved Horse Bucephalus. Here again he re∣ceived a new supply of six thousand Thracian Horse-men, seven thou∣sand Foot, and from his Lieutenant of Babylon, twenty five thousand Ar∣mours, garnished with Silver and Gold, which he distributed amongst his Souldiers.
About these Rivers he won many Towns, and committed great slaugh∣ter on those that resisted.* It's said, that besieging a City of the Oxidra∣cans, he leaped from the top of the wall into it, and fought long against all the Inhabitants, till his Souldiers, forcing a Gate, came in to his rescue. Finally, he passed down the River with his Fleet, at which time news was brought him of a Rebellion in Bactria, and then of the arrival of a hundred Ambassadours from a King in India, who submitted himself to him. These Ambassadours he Feasted upon a hundred Beds of Gold, with all the sumptuousness that could be devised; who, soon after their dispatch, returned again, and presented him with three hundred Horses, and one hun∣dred and thirty Wagons, and in each of them four Horses, a thousand Targets, with many other things rare and rich.
Then sailed Alexander towards the South,* passing through many obscure Nations, which all yielded to him, either quietly, or by force: Amongst these, he built another Alexandria. Of the many places which he took in his passage, one was called Samus, the Inhabitants whereof fought against him with poysoned Swords; with one of which, Ptolomy (afterwards King of Egypt,) was wounded, and was cured by an Herb which Alexander dream∣ed he had seen in the mouth of a Serpent.
When he came near to the out-let of Indus, (being ignorant of the Tides of the Sea) his Gallies on a sudden were shuffled one against another, by the coming of the Flood, and in the Ebb, they were left on the dry ground, and on the Sandy banks in the River, wherewith the Macedonians were much amazed: But after he had a few dayes observed the course of the Sea, he passed out of the Rivers mouth some few miles, and then offer∣ing Sacrifice to Neptune, he returned; and the better to inform himself, Page 70 he sent Nearchus and Onesicritus to discover the Coast towards the mouth of Euphrates.
Near the out-lets of this River,* he spent some part of Winter, and from thence, in eighteen dayes march, he recovered Gredosia, in which passage his Army suffered such misery through the want of food, that of one hundred and twenty thousand Foot, and twelve thousand Horse, which he carried into India, not a fourth part returned alive.
From Gredosia, Alexander led his Army into Caramania, and so drawing near to Persia,* he gave himself wholly unto Feasting and Drinking, imi∣tating the Triumphs of Bacchus. And though this Swinish Vice be hateful enough in it self; Yet it alwayes inflamed this King to cruelty. For (saith Curtius) the Hangman followed the Feast: For Haspastes, one of his Provincial Governours, he commanded to be slain; so as, Neither did the excess of Voluptuousness qualifie his Cruelty, nor his Cruelty at all hinder his Voluptu∣ousness.
While he refreshed his Army in these parts, there came a new supply to him of five thousand Foot, and a thousand Horse, which were conduct∣ed to him by Cleander and his Fellows, that had been employed in the mur∣ther of Parmenio.* Against these murtherers great complaints were made by the Deputies of the Provinces, in which they had commanded; and their offences were proved to be so outragious, that Alexander was perswaded, that, had they not altogether despaired of his return out of India, they durst not have committed them. All men were glad of the occasion, remem∣bring the Virtue of him whom they had slain. The end was, that Clean∣der and the other chief, together with six hundred Souldiers, who had been the instruments of their ravages, were delivered over to the Hangman; every one rejoycing that the wrath of the King was at last poured out upon the Ministers of his Anger.
Nearchus and Onesicritus were now returned from searching the Coast, and made report of an Island they had discovered, rich in Gold, and of other strange things; whereupon they were commanded to make some farther discovery, after which they should come up Euphrates, and meet the King at Babylon.
Alexander drawing near to Babylon,* went to visit the Sepulchre of Cyrus in Pesagardes, where he was presented with many rich Gifts by Orsanes, one of the Princes of Persia, of the race of Cyrus. But because Bagoas, an Eunuch, who was in special favour with the King, was neglected, he sub∣orned some loose fellows to accuse Orsanes for robbing Cyrus his Tomb; for which he was condemned to dye,* and Bagoas assisted the Hangman with his own hands to torment him. At this time also Alexander caused Phradi∣tes to be slain, suspecting his greatness. Hence (saith Curtius) he began un∣reasonably to shed blood, and to believe false reports. Indeed he took the way to make all men weary of him, and his Government, seeing Tyranny is more dreadful than all adventures that can be made against it.
About this time,*Calanus the Philosopher burnt himself, having lived se∣venty three years; and Historians say, that before his Death he foresaw, and foreshewed the Death of Alexander, promising to meet him shortly after at Babylon.
From Pesagardes,*Alexander went to Susa, where he married Statyra, the Eldest Daughter of Darius, giving her younger Sister to his beloved Ephe∣stion, and eighty other Persian Ladies to other of his Captains. To his Wed∣ding Feast he invited six thousand Guests, to each of which he gave a Cup of Gold.
Unto this place came to him three thousand young Souldiers out of his Conquered Provinces, whereat the Macedonians greatly murmured. Har∣palus,Page 71 his Treasurer in Babylon, having lavishly consumed the money in his keeping, fled with five thousand Talents, and six thousand hired Souldiers; but when he came into Greece, he was there slain.*Alexander much rejoyced at the fidelity of the Greeks, who would not be corrupted with Harpalus his Bribes: Yet he sent a command to them, that they should receive their banished men again; whereunto they all for fear yielded, except the Athenians, though they saw that it was a manifest preparation to their bondage.
After this,* there followed a marvellous discontent in his Army, be∣cause he had resolved to send into Macedonia all those old Souldiers which could no longer endure the travell of the War, and to keep the rest in Asia. He made many Orations to satisfie them, but all his words were in vain, during the heigth of their fury; Yet, when their first passions were evaporated, they became more tractable. And with such as were licenced to depart, he sent Craterus,* to whom he gave the Lieutenantship of Mace∣donia, Thessaly, and Thrace, which Antipater had Governed from the time of Alexanders departure out of Europe, who (during that time) had sub∣dued the rebellious Greeks, discharged the trust committed to him with great fidelity, and sent him from time to time so many strong supplies into Asia.
Certainly, if Alexander had not taken counsel of his Cups, he would have cast some better colour upon this alteration, and given Antipater some stronger reasons of his remove, than to employ him in conducting a new sup∣ply of men to Babylon, the War being now at an end. For Antipater could make no other construction of this remove, but that he had a purpose to send him after Parmenio, and the rest. The truth is, the King, notwithstanding his undauntedness, had no great mind to grapple with Antipater.
Alexander having thus sent for Antipater,* made a journey into Media, to settle things there, where Ephestion, whom he loved and favoured above all others, died. The King greatly lamented his loss, hanged the Physician that could not cure him, and built him a Monument that cost twelve thou∣sand Talents. After which he returned to Babylon. Thither Antipater came not, but sent, and that, not to excuse, but to free himself; And if we may believe Curtius, he suborned his Sons, Cassander, Philip, and Jolla, who were Alexander Cup-bearers,* to give him poyson; Thessalus (who was one of the conspiracy) having invited him to a Drinking-Feast for that purpose. Others say, that by his inordinate drinking he fell into a Fever, whereof he died.
A little before his Death,* his Friends about him asked him, to whom he would leave his Empire? He answered, To the most worthy man. Then asked they him, when they should give him Divine Honours? He answer∣ed, When they themselves were happy; which were the last words that he spake, and so he died, having lived not all out thirty three years, nor reigned thirteen.
As soon as he was Dead,* his great Captains sought to inrich themselves by his Spoils, and whilst they were sharing the World amongst themselves, his dead Body lay many dayes in that hot Countrey unburied, stinking above ground: A notable emblem of the Vanity of all Earthly things. Besides this, his vast Empire was divided amongst his great Captains;* To Ptolomaeus Lagi was allotted Egypt and Africa; To Laomedon, Syria and Phoenicia; To Py∣thon, Media; To Eumenes, Paphlagonia and Cappadocia; To Antigonus, Pam∣philia, Lycia, and Phrygia the Greater; To Cassander, Caria; To Menander, Lydia; To Leonatus, Phrygia the less; To Lysimachus, Thracia, with the neigh∣bouring Countries; To Antipater, Macedonia, and the neighbouring Nati∣ons. But these men, not contented with their shares, fell out amongst them∣selves, Page 72 making War one upon another to their own destruction; For,*Perdic∣cas, warring upon Egypt, was slain by his own Souldiers; Antipater died; Eumenes was betrayed by his own Souldiers, and slain by Antigonus; Olym∣pias, the Mother of Alexander, was slain by Cassander; Cleopatra, Sister to A∣lexander, was slain by the treachery of Antigonus; Antigonus himself was slain in Battel by Cassander and Lysimachus; Roxane, the beloved Wife of Alexander, together with her Son Alexander, and Barsine, another of his Wives, which was Daughter to Darius, were all slain by Cassander. And presently after, the whole Family of Cassander was rooted out; Ptolomy died in Egypt; Lysima∣chus was slain by Seleuchus; and Seleuchus himself presently after by Ptolomy. So that all the Family of Alexander, within a few years after his Death, was wholly extirpated; and all his Friends and great Captains, by their Ambition and mutual contentions, came most of them to untimely ends.
When the dead body of Alexander had lain seven dayes upon his Throne, at last the Chaldeans and Egyptians were commanded from thenceforth to take the care of it; But when they came about it, they durst not at first approach to touch it: But anon after, saying their Prayers, that it might be no sin unto them, being but mortals, to lay their hands upon so Divine a Body, they fell to work, and dissected it; the Golden Throne whereon he lay, being all stuffed with Spices, and hung about with Pendants and Banners, and other Emblems of his high State and Honour.
The care of his Funeral, and of providing a Chariot wherein to carry his Body to the Temple of Jupiter Hammon, was committed to Aridaeus, who spent two whole years in making provision for it; which made Olympias, his Mother, (seeing him lye so long unburied) in great grief of heart to cry out, and say, O my Son! Thou that wouldst needs be accounted amongst the Gods, and keptest such adoe about it, canst not now have that which every poor man hath, a little Earth, and Burial.
Long after, when Julius Caesar had Conquered Pompey, and was idle in Egypt, Lucan tells us, that he visited the Temples, and the Cave wherein the Body of Alexander the Great lay, In these Verses;
Alexander was very Learned,* and a great Lover of Learning, and Learned men, insomuch as he rewarded his Master Aristotle with eighty Talents, for his History of Living Creatures. He so prized Homers Iliads, that in all his Wars he carried it in his Pocket, and laid it under his Pillow a nights. He loved his Master Aristotle as if he had been his Father, and used to say, We have our being from our Parents, but our well-being from our School-Masters.
His Mother Olympias was very severe and morose in her carriage; and once Page 73Antipater, his Vice-Roy in Europe, wrote large Letters of complaint to him, against her;* to whom he returned this answer: Knowst thou not that one little tear of my Mothers, will blot out a thousand of thy Letters of complaint? When he heard the Philosophers conclusion concerning the unity of the World, he wept, because there were no more Worlds for him to Conquer but one. An evident note of his great Ambition: which also manifested it self hereby;* That when he came to the Tomb of Achilles, he fell as weeping, considering that Achilles had a Homer to sing his Praises, and to perpetuate his memory, whereas he had no such Poet to set forth his Commendati∣ons. Also he commanded, that no man should draw his Picture, but Apelles, the most exquisite Painter in the World, and that none should make his Statue in Brass but Lycippus, the most excellent Workman in that kind.
Alexander used to carry his Head on one side, inclining to the left,* where∣in his Court-Parasites (to ingratiate themselves with him) imitated him. One desiring to see his Treasures, and his Jewels, he bad his Servants sh•w him, not his Talents of Gold and Silver, and such other precious things, but his Friends.
When he had overcome Darius, and gotten possession of all his Domini∣ons and Treasures,* he began to degenerate into the Asian Luxury. His Cha∣stity and Moderation were turned into Pride and Lust. He judged his Country manners, and the Discipline of the former Macedonian Kings, too sordid and mean for him. He imitated the Pride of the Persian Kings, he made him a Crown, and Robes like unto Darius. He grew so proud and insolent, that he suffered his Souldiers to fall down and worship him like a God. Yea, he commanded his Servants, and Slaves to do so. He cloathed his Captains and Horse-men like unto the Persians, which though they disliked they durst not refuse. He gat him three hundred sixty five Con∣cubines, of the beautifullest Virgins that could be found in Asia, after the manner of the Persian Kings, one of which lay with him every night. He had his Troops of Eunuchs, with Musicians, Jesters, Singing women, &c. He spent whole days and nights in profuse Feasting, and Revelling. All which was very offensive to his old Captains, and Souldiers.
When he was a Boy, he took both his hands full of perfumes, and cast them into the fire as he was Sacrificing, whereupon Leonidas, one of his School-Masters said to him: O Alexander, when thou hast Conquered those Countries wherein these odors grow, then thou maist be so liberal, but in the mean time be more sparing. Afterwards, when he had conquered Arabia Foelix, he sent to Leonidas a hundred Tallents of Myrrhe, and five hundred of Frankincense, bid∣ding him to be hereafter more liberal in his service of the Gods.
He was of so bountiful a disposition,* that it was a greater trouble to him not to be asked than not to give. He wrote to Phocian, that he would make use of his friendship no more if he refused his Gifts. Serapion, a young Boy that used to play at Ball with him, gat nothing because he asked nothing; whereupon the next time he played, he threw the Ball to all but Alexander, the King marvelling at it, asked him why he threw not the Ball to him? For∣sooth (said Serapion) because you asked it not. Alexander laughing at the jest, sent him a liberal Gift.
As he was travelling through the Desarts of Persia, himself and his Ar∣my were in great straits for want of water: One of his Souldiers having two Sons ready to dye of thirst, sought up and down, and at last found a little water, wherewith he filled a leather Bottel, and was running with it to his Sons: but meeting Alexander by the way, he filled it out into a dish, and profered it to him. Alexander asked him, whither he was car∣rying it? the man told him that his two Sons were ready to die Page 74 with thirst: But (said he) pray you Sir, do you drink it; For if my Sons die I can get more, but if you die we shall not have such an other King. Alexander hearing this, gave him the water again, and bid him carry it to his Sons.
Alexander in his younger days was so moderate,* and temperate, that he would often open his chests, and look upon his Garments, to see if his Mother had not provided him, either delicate or superfluous Ap∣parel.
Also when the Queen of Caria, to shew her great love to him, sent him dayly variety of Dishes and Dainties, and at last sent her Cooks, and Bakers to him, he returned them back again, saying, That he had no need of their service; for his Master Leonidas had provided him better Cooks, by teach∣ing him to dine and sup Frugally, and sparingly. Also when he had any rare, and Dainty Fruits, or Fishes sent him from the Sea, he used to di∣stribute them amongst his Friends, reserving very little or none for his own use.
One craving a small gift of him, he gave him a whole City, and when the Poor man said, That it was too much for him to receive: Yea (said Alexander) but not for me to give.
As he was advanceing to conquer a Kingdom in India, Taxilis, who was King thereof, came and met him, saying, O Alexander, What need we fight, if thou comest not to take away my food and water, for which its only fit for wise men to •ight? If thou seekest after Riches, if I have more than thou, I will give thee part of mine: if thou hast more than I, I will not refuse part of thine. Alexander being much taken with his speech, said to him, Go to, I will contend with thee in bounty, and so they mutually gave and received many Gifts. At last Alex∣ander gave him a thousand Tallents, which much grieved his Friends, and rejoyced the Barbarian.
He shewed an admirable Example of his Chastity in the heat of his youth,* when having taken the Mother, Wives, and Daughters of Darius, women of admirable beauty, yet, neither by word, nor deed did he profer them the least indignity, thinking it a greater honour to overcome himself than his Adversaries: And when he looked upon o∣ther Captive Ladies that excelled in stature and beauty, he merrily said, Persides oculorum dolores esse: That the Persian women were a disease of the eyes, and yet he looked on them but as on so many Sta∣tues. When he was informed that two of his Captains under Permenio, had ravished two of the Persian Ladies, he wrote to him to enquire after the matter, and if he found it true, he should cut off their Heads, as of Beasts born for the hurt of mankind. He also sent him word, that himself was so far from contemplating the Beauty of Darius his Wife, that he would not so much as suffer her to be commended in his pre∣sence; and that he was so careful of their Chastity, that they lived in his Camp, shut up in their Tent, as if they had been in a Temple.
At the Death of Ephestion, his Favorite, he did not only clip the Haire of his Horses, and Mules, but plucked down also the Battle∣ments of the City walls, that they might seem to mourn for his Minions Death, shewing now deformity instead of their former Beau∣ty.
Porus, an Indian King, fighting valiantly against him, receiving many wounds, and at last, being overcome, and falling into his enemies hands, they brought him to Alexander, who hearing of his coming, went forth, with some of his Friends, to meet him, and asked him what he would have him to do for him, Porus answered, My only desire is, that thou use me like a King: Alexander, admiring his magnanimity, replyed, This I Page 75 will do for my own sake: but what wouldest thou have me do for thine? Porus an∣swered, That all was contained in his former demand of Kingly usage: Alexander was so pleased with this, that he restored him to his Kingdom, and gave him another bigger than his own.
Alexander the Great (saith Plutarch) built seventy Cities, He brought ma∣ny barbarous Nations to civility. He taught the People Hircani the use of Marriage: and the Arachosians, Tillage and Husbandry: The Sogdians, that they should nourish and cherish their aged Parents, and not kill them: The Persians, to honour their Mothers, and not to use them for their Wives: The Scythians, that they should not eat their Dead, but bury them in the Earth. &c.
His Clemency to those whom he conquered, was very exemplary. The same day that he took, he restored again the Kingdom to Porus King of India. Darius his Mother he entertained honourably, as a Queen. Darius his Wife, and beautiful Daughters, he would not so much as see, as careful to preserve their Chastity.
His Liberality and Magnificence exceeded all his other Virtues. He gave at one time three and twenty thousand Talents among his Souldiers, to pay their Debts. At his Marriage, he invited ten thousand Guests, and gave to every one of them a Cup of Gold. To one that asked something of him, he gave a City; and when the Party would have refufed it, as too great a Gift for him, Alexander said, Non quaero quid te decet accipere, sed quid me decet dare: I regard not what is meet for thee to take, but what is meet for me to give. Whereupon Plutarch saith, that those Virtues for the which severally sundry worthy men have been commended, did all concur and meet in him: As the Valour of Achilles: the Chastity of Agamemnon: the Piety of Diomedes: the Courage of Cyrus: the Policy of Themistocles: the Boldness of Brassida: And the Prudence of his Father Philip.
His Military Virt•es were remarkable: As, his Courage, in that with thirty thousand Footmen, and five thousand Horsemen (for he had no more when he first passed over into Asia) he durst bid defiance to all the World. His Patience, in enduring Hunger and Thirst, Heat and Cold. His dexteri∣ty, and celerity, in omitting no opportunity of advantage to his affairs, so that in seven years he accomplished all his great Conquests: And to these may be added, his singular success; For he never besieged any City, but he took it.
But after he had glutted himself with the Pleasures of Asia, the Vices that he fell into were not inferiour to his afore-named Virtues. Among the rest, these four notable Vices were apparent in him. First, Drunken∣ness: for he would drink so excessively, that he would lie two or three dayes senseless, till he had slept out his Drink. Secondly, In his Drunken∣ness he was cruel and outragious: In one of those fits he slew his dear Friend Clitus, whose loss he greatly bewailed afterwards. Thirdly, He was much given to Wantonness, and Fleshly Lusts. Fourthly, At length he grew so intolerably Proud, that he would needs be accounted the Son of Jupiter, and commanded Calisthenes (one of his great Commanders,) to be slain, be∣cause he would not worship him.
He accounted Achilles happy, because he had such a man as Homer to set forth his Praises: But himself had many worthy men to Register his Acts; As Ptolomy, King of Egypt: Hecataeus: Aristobulus: Calisthenes: Onesicratus: Diodorus Siculus: Trogus Pompeius: Justin: Quintus Curtius: with divers others.
Lycippus the Painter, made Alexanders Picture looking up to Heaven, with this Motto,
Page 76 O Jupiter, I have taken the Earth to my self; Take thou Heaven: with which Alexander was so well pleased, that he published a Proclamation, that none should draw his Picture but Lycippus.
Apelles drew Alexander's Picture with a Thunderbolt in his hand, to shew his admirable celerity, and unresistableness in his Conquests.
This bloudy man lived not out half his Dayes, and not long after his Death all his Posterity was rooted out.
His Posterity and Kindred that he left behind him, were; his Mother Olymtias; his Unkle Pyrrhus, King of Epirus: His Brother Arideus, and his Sister Cleopatra: His two Wives, with their two Sons; Roxane with Alexander, and Bursines with Hercules▪ Olympias caused Arideus to be Kil∣led: Cassander thereupon took occasion to put Olympias to death, being al∣most fourscore years old: and then he poysoned both Alexanders Sons, [Alexander and Hercules] with Roxane Alexanders Wife. Cleopatra, Alex∣anders Sister, the Governour of the Sardians, who was base Brother to Phi∣lip, Alexanders Father, procured her to be killed, therein thinking to gratifie Antigonus: And last of all, Pyrrhus was vanquished by Antigonus, the Son of Demetrius, by whom his Head was cut off.