Alexander the Great and King Darius

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  • Topic: Alexander the Great, Achaemenid Empire, Philip II of Macedon
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  • Published : November 14, 2011
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“Darius III- Noble Enemy or Incompetent Coward?”

The Persians

King Darius of Persia was mostly known as Darius Codomannus at the time of his reign. He was the cousin of Artaxerxes III who was murdered by a eunuch named Bogoas. Bogoas raised Darius Codomannus to the thrown after killing Artaxerxes III and his son Arses. Bogoas tried to also murder Darius by poisoning him but he was forced to drink the poison himself by Darius. Due to the circumstances of his accession as king the empire he was taking charge of as the new king was very unstable and was governed by envious and unreliable satraps. Darius couldn’t do much about the corruption in his empire due to his lack of experience and skills as king.

Numerically Darius has always had the upper hand against his Macedonian rival Alexander. The size of the Persian army has been a great advantage which consisted of peltasts, cavalry, Persian immortals, hoplites, and the Greek mercenaries. At Issus the total modern estimated number of infantry that the Persian army had was around 100,000. And at Gaugamela the Persian army had a modern estimated number of 50,000.Altogether the army is believed to be around 600,000men according to Arrian. The Persian army had the Greek mercenaries that were mainly used for the phalanx; they were armed with spears and a shield each. Their spears were supposedly no longer than 3meters. While the Persian immortals also used spears sizing to 2meters but the immortals were highly skilled in combat and spears were another advantage to them. All Immortals were adorned by golden necklaces, gold embroided clothes and tunics studded with jewels.

The Macedonians
King Alexander is mostly known as Alexander the great and is renowned for his great empires in ancient times. He is also known to be the greatest commanders in battle as he has never lost out in a battle. Alexander was born in Pella in Macedonia and was the son of Phillip II of Macedon. After Phillip II’s assassination...
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