Alexander III of Macedonia known as Alexander the Great, is the greatest cultural representative of Antiquity, recognized as the most transcendent of the great conquerors, designated as a tyrant. His feats thrilled and amazed the men of Antiquity and continue to amaze even today, as if it were a wonderful and extraordinary adventure. And perhaps it was the fact that, in eleven years, no accident occurred that caused the failure of the the great company he started. He died of a fever at the age of 33, having conquered more territory than any other general up to then and never having been defeated.
Birth and Childhood
Son of Philip II of Macedon and his Epirote wife Olympias, Prince Alexander of Macedon was perhaps born in Pella, the capital of this kingdom, or in Aegas, in July of the year 356.
Many legends subsequently arose about his birth, among them the one that the birth of Alexander the Great coincided with the burning of the temple of Artemis , in Ephesus. He claimed the paternity of him to Zeus-Amon, from which various special physical qualities could derive, such as having leonine appearance , divine characteristic, although to generate it the god took the form of a serpent. The Pseudo Calisthenes He describes him as a peculiar type, The figure had that of a man and the hair of a lion. His eyes were of different colors:the right one dark tones and the left glaucous, but as for his profile, represented on the coins, it varies ostensibly from one issue to another.
Ancient sources also refer to the episode of his conception by a snake, which joined her mother while she was asleep.
Alexander the Great was of an inflexible character and one of those who cannot be taken by force, but who, with reason and discourse, was easily led to what is decorous and just. Filipo II by himself tried more to persuade him than to command him and, later, Alexander the Great received a careful education, in charge, first, of Cleonidas, his pedagogue and child tutor; his music teacher, Leucippus the Umnaeus:of Geometry, Melemno the Peloponnesian; of Rhetoric, Anaximenes.
Influence of Aristotle
When he was fourteen years old, his education was entrusted to the philosopher Aristotle, son of Nicomachus of Stagira for three years.
This philosopher, aroused in the young man the taste for the cultivation of the spirit and especially for the lyric, the tragedy and the Greek epic.
Alexander's fondness for medicine is also attributed to the teachings of Aristotle. His contemporaries give more importance, on the other hand, to the political initiation of the prince, who was in charge of Antipater, on the occasion of a regency exercised by him in the absence of Philip II, perhaps when Philip was going to war with the Byzantines and Alexander did not have more than sixteen years, in which he remained with the government and the seal of Macedonia, then he tamed the maídos who had rebelled, took their capital and repopulated it with people from different countries and gave it the name of Alexandroupolis .
Regarding relations with Aristotle, Alexander the Great had no less love for him than for his father, but these relations, over time, cooled down, although the desire and love for philosophy did not disappear from him, as he would later show in his performances with various philosophers he met.
Whatever and however were the true influences of Aristotle in the formation of the personality of the young prince. Alexander the Great always had a great admiration and veneration for Greek culture, especially for The Iliad, of which he always carried a copy, corrected by Aristotle, the so-called Iliad in the box, which he always put, along with a sword , under his head when he slept, a work he had as a guide to military doctrine.
As for his physical preparation, he must have been good, due to the importance that the physical state of future warriors had for the armies and the conquests. From the age of 10 to 14, he learned horsemanship, in addition to the art of taming and handling horses, as well as riding them without a saddle with sudden jumps, taking them on the three parade steps and carousels.
Stages of the reign of Alexander the Great
The First Years of Reign (336-334)
Alexander the Great and his personality
For Western civilization, Alexander the Great was an exceptional character of whom Aristotle was a tutor, surrounded by the admiration and veneration of his contemporaries, who transcended time and space, reaching our days, a vision perhaps somewhat distorted and, to say the least, , magnified, of the real one, with which not all historians seem to be very satisfied.
Indeed, Alexander the Great intervened in the Battle of Chaeronea, a town located eight kilometers from modern Livadia (Boeotia), between the banks of the Cephisus and the Hemon, at the beginning of September of the year 338, when he was not yet 18 years old. At that time he successfully led a squadron of 225 cuirassiers from the famous cavalry of Helairoi (Companions on horseback or men attached to the king), on the left wing of the Macedonian troops, who decided victory by entering the Theban phalanxes, not less than twelve thousand men, among which was the powerful Holy Squad I bath you. After the battle, he was sent by his father to Athens, with two of his best generals, Antipater and Alcimachus, to carry the ashes of Athenians killed in battle and agree on terms of peace.
Alexander the Great assassin
But we must also admit and recognize his cruelty, obviously a necessary daughter of the circumstances of the Macedonian Court, in which numerous kings who preceded him were assassinated. Thus, upon ascending the throne at the age of twenty, the young Alexander the Great coldly arranged for the execution of his father's second wife, Cleopatra, his young son, Europe (Alexander's half-brother), and another son of Alexander the Great. Filipo, Carano, having been this one with Fila de Elimiotis, in addition to his cousin Amyntas III. Also the Persian tradition and historiography have been, logically, adverse, because from the point of view of the cultural tradition of this people. Alexander was only a blasphemous, heretical and obscene conqueror by his Greek customs, who tried to destroy the ancient Persian traditions. Greek propaganda also went against him and the pamphlets multiplied, both in the circle of Demosthenes, Hyperides and Demades and in that of Aristotle, especially after the assassination of Callisthenes, in 327 BC
Alexander the Great and the throne of Macedonia
It is also possible to ask whether Alexander the Great was a usurper of the Macedonian throne, the son of another usurper. But in this sense, it must be taken into account that, as was said above, when speaking of Philip II, the Macedonian monarchy was elective , and therefore the reign of Alexander the Great, ratified by the Assembly of the Macedonian people, was legitimate on all legal grounds of his own country. But the young man did not assume the throne without problems, since he had a strong opposition, almost normal fact in the Macedonian monarchy. His advent, however, was accompanied by Macedonian bloodshed and precipitated the Theban insurrection. In addition, in this first moment after the death of Philip II, the Illyrian tribes revolted once again.
After the assassination of Philip II, on the occasion of the wedding of his daughter Cleopatra to the king of Epirus, brother of Olympias and therefore brother-in-law of Philip II, Macedonia was seething and all the eyes of the Macedonians were on Amyntas and on the sons of Aeropus, king of Lyncestes:Heromenes, Arrabeus, and Alexander the Great. The first two were eliminated immediately and the third was able to escape, for the time being, because he paid allegiance to Alexander, and perhaps because he was Antipater's son-in-law.
Alexander the Great, King of Macedonia
Actually, the title of king was not officially bestowed on Alexander the Great until at least a month after his father's death, because the most important palace official, Antipater, in his role as regent of Macedonia, had to summon the people Macedonian in arms from the three palaces of Egas, Edessa and Pella. And around October 10, 336, about ten thousand men, the Assembly of the Macedonians he acclaimed Alexander the Great as king of the Macedonians, taking into account the campaigns in which he had participated and the absence of competitors.
This acclamation or designation was somewhat different from a vote or election, since it involved a tacit compromise, agreement or contract between the king and the Macedonian people represented by the Assembly in Arms. The king undertook to assume and guarantee the cults of the nation (religious chief), to lead the soldiers into battle and, of course, to victory, and to be fair in the distribution of the loot obtained and the conquered territories (chief military), as well as having the power to dictate laws and enforce them (supreme judge).
In case of not fulfilling his commitments, the Assembly had the power and the duty to remind him, refusing to obey him, to enter the campaign and could even depose him. But once acclaimed, individual sacred oaths bound Macedonian men to the chief, underscored by solemn sacrifices.
Stages of the monarchy of Alexander the Great
Three successive periods are distinguished in the conquering career of Alexander the Great and in the development of his power:
a) A moderate monarchy , limited his powers by Antipater, powerful general of Alexander the Great who had great influence in this early period.
b) A reaffirmation or slide towards absolutist tendencies , augmented by military successes, marked by the elimination of Parmenion and his friends.
c) A despotism which came to the fore definitively when, after the conquest of India, he attempted to establish his relations with Greece and Macedonia on a new basis.
The reasons that prompted these changes could be diverse, the absolute monarchy created by Alexander the Great in his Persian domain marked a break with the Greek ideal and Macedonian practice. Alexander's work was above all political, since the king knew how to give a new dimension to the monarchical function, assimilating oriental absolutism to Greek democracy, which the Greeks described as despotism , and demanding from them the honors reserved to the gods. But Prince Alexander the Great, in general, was little and poorly known. Only what Philip II wanted to be known was known about him, there was nothing in him that would predict the existence of a precocious genius.
Politics in Greece
Thus, Alexander the Great of Macedon inherited his father and united the various Macedonian factions around him. Going south, in Thessaly, he had the title of governor and defender of the Thessalians ( tagi renewed by the local nobility, gathered in assembly in Farsala. ), previously granted to his father. Later, he crossed Thermopylae and had the title of Hegemon of the League of Corinth confirmed. , succeeding his father in office.
Alexander the Great had gathered all the representatives of the Hellenic League (or Corinthian League ) to renew the clauses of the treaty of the years 338/7 that had named his father Hegemon.
As King of the Macedonians and son of Philip II, Alexander the Great now became, according to the articles of the Treaty, the new Hegemon. But both Philip II and Alexander held two different positions in the Corinthian League:
i. Hegemon , Charge of military and civil function, by which the Macedonian king guaranteed the security of peace and was obliged to intervene against any city that violated the established Treaty.
II. Strategós autokrátor , Charge that gave him command in Asia of the Macedonian army and the allied Greek army. In this way, Philip II was instituted as a general outside of Greece, a position separate from the previous one, which concerned Greece only.
Technically, when Alexander the Great inherited Philip II as King of Macedonia, there was no need to renew the Treaty, since it had clearly established that it was done with Philip and his successors. Alexander, then, was now, legally, Hegemon of the League of Corinth , from the moment that an agreement imposed by force, personal and political, was legitimate. And he had to insist on the renewal of said Treaty or at least, on its recognition at that time, due to the intentions of numerous Greek States to abandon said alliance.
Alexander the Great's campaign in the Balkans
Between March and May of the year 335 BC, the campaign against the peoples of the Balkans led him from Amphipolis, the rallying point of the Macedonian forces and their Balkan allies, to beyond the Danube. He fought against the tribals and Illyrians whom he defeated above all because of the speed with which he acted, one of the best qualities of Alexander the Great. Arrian describes these campaigns in great detail. In this last campaign, Alexander demonstrated his skills as a general, since neither Parmenion (in command of the troops of Asia Minor) nor Antipater (regent in Macedonia) were by his side and he obtained a large number of Thracian, Paeonian and Illyrian mercenaries as well as funds to finance his Asian campaign by selling thousands of slaves to Greek Black Sea traders.
Destruction of Thebes of Boeotia (335BC)
In the same year 335, when the false news of his death spread, many cities of Greece, among which was Thebes of Boeotia, rebelled against Macedonian domination and what they considered a tyranny contrary to the conditions of the King's Peace, encouraged from afar by the Persian king Darius III Codomanus.
The Thebans, who were also encouraged by promises of help from Athens, killed some Macedonian soldiers and laid siege to the Cadmea, a Theban citadel where the Macedonian garrison was encamped. Alexander the Great, still in Devol-Semani, next to the Adriatic, received the news in August of the year 336 and in only thirteen days, he appeared before Thebes of Boeotia, and after negotiating, promising the liberation of the city, without being attended, the he took, leaving to his soldiers and allies the sack and destruction of Thebes in October 335.
From this moment, Thebes ceased to exist until it was restored in the year 316, when Alexander the Great died, by Cassander. The inhabitants who had not been enslaved and were able to escape, sought refuge in neighboring regions such as Attica.
The general discontent of the poleis Greeks, as we have said in connection with Thebes, was encouraged from afar by King Darius III of Persia, who had paid to instigate Demosthenes, whom Aeschines accuses of venality. And the fact that Alexander the Great used the League of Corinth, it seems, was a means of making the Greeks punish each other.
After the destruction of Thebes, the Athenians, sympathetic to the Theban cause, were ordered to hand over a number of prominent politicians, an order that was rescinded after a plea for mercy was granted, although distrust on the part of Alexander the Great it did not vanish and there were very few Greeks from the old poleis -Athens, Sparta or Thebes, mainly-, which the king used in his campaigns. Thus, he used the famous Thessalian cavalry, Greek infantry and twenty Athenian ships, which would be more of a kind of hostages that guaranteed the good behavior of the Greeks in their country. On an individual scale, the Macedonian king used Greek engineers and technicians, as well as valuable individuals in other specialties, such as Eumenes of Cardia, his secretary, the litterateur and philosopher Callisthenes of Olinthus, the Rhodian urban planner Dinocrates, Alexander the Great's naval admiral , Nearco, who was Cretan, and therefore with a long seafaring tradition. Also Onesicritus of Astypalea was a sailor and also some hetairoi greeks.
Thus, by the end of 333, Greece seemed to be firmly under Macedonian control (demosthenes' conspiracies and Sparta's eternal independence aside), structured by the League of Corinth and reinforced by Macedonian arms. Alexander the Great was thus in a position to advance towards Persia. The perhaps limited campaign that Philip II wanted to undertake against the Persians, following the campaign of Aeschines, punish the Persians , was, finally, under way, perhaps with very small sights, which were limited to Asia Minor. And it may never be known if it was only the results of the first battles that decided Alexander the Great to continue the total conquest of the Persian Empire or if this conquest was the result of a preconceived plan.
WaragainstPersia. The conquest of the Achaemenid Empire by Alexander the Great (334-327)
The effective conquest of the great Empire was carried out by Alexander the Great in just a few battles. The first was that of the Gráníco River. Later, those of Isso and Gaugamella are especially remembered.
Battle of the River Granicus
In the Granicus River , near Troy, in May of the year 334, Alexander the Great defeated the Persians commanded by General Memnon of Rhodes, although he left the Persian forces practically intact, especially the cavalry, also letting the best general in the service of Persia escape, Memnon the Rhodian, who was to put Miletus and Halicarnassus in a state of defense. The Granicus River is a small coastal torrent that collects its waters from the Ida de Troade massif that runs through the Dimekota plain and empties into the Sea of Marmara, between the two Greek colonies of Priapus (Karabiga) and Cyzicus (Erdek).
After this battle, Alexander the Great made the coastal cities of the Ionian coast of Asia Minor his own and occupied the regions of Caria, Phrygia, Lycia, Pamfilia and Cilicia. His passage along the western coast of Anatolia was marked by the refounding of two cities:Smyrna and Priene. On the way to Miletus, he met Ada, a woman related to the royal family of Caria, to whom he returned his throne, achieving the friendship of the Carian cities.
The conquest of the coastal cities was easy, since only Miletus and Halicarnassus offered resistance. In the latter case, it was the capital of the Persian satrapy of Caria, defended by Admiral Memnon, a city that was very well walled, resisting the siege for several months in the summer of the year 334, despite being employed by Alexander the Great of the most diverse war machines, until after numerous battles and skirmishes, its defenders abandoned the city, heading for the island of Cos.
Tax Differences between Alexander the Great's Territories
The differentiation made between autonomous cities, which paid a tribute or syntasis (contribution), leaving free, on the other hand, those that belonged to the Hellenic League and in another section the subject territories, which paid phoros (tribute), where he appointed a satrap.
- Alexander the Great appointed two Macedonians to serve as satraps in Asia Minor:Calas from Hellespontic Phrygia and Asander from the Satrapy of Lydia.
- Of the islands, Tenedós was a member of the Hellenic League and established an agreement with Alexander and the Greeks. So were Mytilene and Eresos, on Lesbos. Chios was also a member of the Hellenic League, Philip II perhaps still living. Rhodes had a Macedonian garrison until after the death of Alexander the Great.
- Other cities, further south and east, such as Aspendos, were treated less well, perhaps because, according to their coins, they were not fully Greek.
- The Gordian Knot:Then Alexander the Great headed north towards central Anatolia, visiting the capital of King Midas, the city of Gordion, in Phrygia, where the episode of the Gordian Knot :
In Gordion he saw that celebrated chariot tied with rowan bark and heard the relationship there believed by those barbarians, according to which fate offered the one who untied that knot to be King of all the earth.
This knot had blind ends, entangled with each other with many turns and that, Alexander the Great desperate to untie it, cut it with the sword in between, many ends appearing after being cut. But Aristóbulo says that it was very easy for him to untie it, because he removed the pin from the rudder that joins the yoke to the yoke and then easily. he removed the yoke himself.
This legend has excited the curiosity of ancient and modern scholars, proposing various hypotheses.
Battle of Issos
Later, Alexander the Great turned south again and by the Gulf of Alexandretta, at Issus, in November or December of the year 333, he defeated the Persian army for the second time. A few months before, General Memnon had died suddenly, affected by an unexpected illness and with the plans of the Persian king ended and King Darius himself had to lead the army, not finding a general worthy of succeeding Memnon .
Near the square of Issos, taken by Alexander the Great, the battle took place, in which the performance of the Persian king has been treated differently by historians, because while Diodorus speaks highly of him, Q. Curcio refers to the confusion and disorder that reigned in the Persian army, lacking a single leader.
Flight and Withdrawal of the Persian King, Darius
The Persian king ended up fleeing, leaving his mother, called Sisigambis , in his camp. , his wife, two daughters and a son, as well as other women from his harem and the satraps who accompanied him, women whom Alexander went to visit, reassuring and surrounding them with care. Likewise, Alexander took a large part of the Persian treasure, abandoned after the rapid flight, although part had remained in Damascus and was taken after the battle of Issos by Parmenion, whom Alexander the Great had sent, while he continued along the Phoenician coast with the most of the army.
So great was the loot taken by Alexander the Great from the Persians, that here began the love of luxury and Asian pleasures. of the Macedonians, who got used to going like dogs along the trail in search of and in pursuit of the wealth of the Persians . The performance of the Macedonian king after this battle, protecting and respecting the Persian women of the royal harem earned Alexander the Great high praise from historians. Among them, Diodorus says that, of all the beautiful deeds carried out by Alexander the Great, I, at least, believe that there is none that is greater than this, or more worthy of being told or remembered by history. .
Plutarch says of him that, before marrying, he did not know any other woman, apart from Barsene or Bansine, daughter of Artabazus and widow of Memnon, who had been captured in Damascus, and this at the instigation of Parmenion.
Darius, going to Babylon, concentrated the survivors of the battle of Issos there and contacted Alexander the Great, offering him part of Asia as a proof of his friendship, which was not accepted by the Macedonian, who now had two possibilities before him. :Continue towards Babylon or go south, the latter being the decision he made, for strategic reasons, taking advantage of the vacuum left by the withdrawal of Darius from Mesopotamia to seize the fifth satrapy.
The conquest of the Phoenician cities by Alexander the Great (332-331 B.C.)
In general, Alexander the Great received in his wake the submission of the Phoenician cities, Arados, Sidon and Byblos. The Tyrians, on the other hand, when the Macedonian king manifested his desire to make a sacrifice in the temple of Hercules, somewhat rashly, as Diodorus says, prevented his entry into the city.
The fact that the Tyrians prevented this sacrifice was due, perhaps, to the fact that this was an act that only the kings of Tyre carried out, so if the Macedonian had done it, it would have meant for Tire to recognize the sovereignty of Alexander the Great over the city.
This reason does not seem to be proportionate to the foreseeable consequences that it would entail, since it provoked the irritation of the Macedonian, who declared war on the city, although the Tyrians courageously withstood the siege for seven months (February-August of the year 332), enduring the catapults, bridges, towers and the multitude of defensive devices that Alexander the Great's technicians devised for said siege.
Finally, Tire was taken and a pro-Macedonian king named Azemilkos, from the lineage of the ancient Tyrian kings, settled there.
The delegates of the Greek states sent Alexander the Great ambassadors with a golden crown, sharing their joy at the victory of Issus.
Alexander the Great, meanwhile, left for Gaza, the ancient Minoa, capital of the Philistines, a stronghold that had always been disputed by all the surrounding peoples:Phoenicians, Egyptians, Jews and Cretans and that in September of the year 332 had a garrison Persian and auxiliary Arab troops, all commanded by an energetic Persian general, Batis.
In this siege, Alexander the Great was wounded twice and after a two-month siege, he took it, leaving the Macedonian king to assassinate all its inhabitants due to the fury that their resistance had caused him, later being repopulated with neighboring indigenous people and transformed into Macedonian fortress as a support base for later operations. In this city, a great loot was obtained, composed, above all, of perfumes.
The conquest of Egypt
In the year 332, Alexander the Great entered Egypt, where the Macedonian Amyntas had just committed his folly, a country in which the clergy were always in rebellion against his oppressors.
Accompanied by the naval forces under the command of Hephaestion, Alexander the Great arrived in seven days of Chase at Pelusium, continuing on to Mentis, which he took, immediately handing over command to Hephaestion, while Alexander the Great entered into dealings with the Egyptian clergy, who received as a liberator from Persian oppression, returning their ancient privileges, immolating victims to the ox Apis and other divinities and ordering the reconstruction of the temples, being recognized at the beginning of December of the year 332 as pharaoh.
Sublime Gate, King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Beloved of Amun and Favorite of Ra, Son of Ra at the same time that the old Greek dream was fulfilled, from Ulysses the Cretan to Cimon of Athens, of opening the immense Egyptian market to Greek trade, founding the city of Alexandria in the Delta on February 20 of our calendar.
Alexander the Great later visited the oasis of Siwa, where he was hailed as the son of the god Zeus Ammon. This same year, Sparta, after an attempted uprising, entered the League of Corinth.
The satrapy of Egypt
Alexander reorganized the administration of the ancient Persian satrapy in Memphis, leaving control of finances and tax collection to Cleomenes, a Greek from Naucratis, leaving Egypt to face the armies of Darius, by way of Tyre, where in May year 331 celebrated the festivals of Herakles-Melkart and Dionysus and proceeding to the financial reorganization of Asia Minor. Also, he sent a hundred Cypriot and Phoenician ships to operate together with the Macedonian naval troops in the Peloponnesian issues, also freeing the Greeks who had been taken prisoner in the battle of the Granicus, in an evident attempt to approach Greece, which he couldn't bring himself to fully help Alexander the Great.
Battle of Gaugamela
The following year, in 331, through Sidon, Beirut, Damascus, Homs, Hama and Aleppo, Alexander the Great, after crossing the Euphrates River by a bridge of boats, north of Aleppo, having fled the troops that Darius had left to defend the pass and the Tigris, again defeated the Persian army in the battle of Gaugamela the first of October of the year 331 BC, using the tactic of the oblique line that such good results had given him in previous battles, although on this occasion the Macedonian losses were abundant.
Darius fled to Media and was assassinated in 330 by the satrap Bessos, who tried to proclaim himself king of Persia.
Alejandro Magno viajó hacia el sur, hacia Babilonia, donde fue bien recibido por una población heterogénea que detestaba a los persas. Aquí, Alejandro Magno restauró los cultos caldeos y los sacerdotes y con el apoyo de la casta sacerdotal, impuso más fácilmente el dominio macedonio.
Viajó después Alejandro Magno hacia Susa con todo su ejército, tomando en esta ciudad, que se sometió sin lucha, grandes tesoros en metales preciosos y artísticos, organizando además grandes juegos y diversiones, además de confirmar al sátrapa Abulites en sus funciones.
A finales de enero del año 330 reanudó la marcha, pasando por Elam hasta Persépolis. Estimulado por las quejas de los griegos allí prisioneros, ordenó el saqueo de la ciudad, que entregó al ejército, quemándose el palacio de Jerjes después de una fiesta vengando así a los griegos y demostrando Alejandro Magno que no quería convertir la ciudad en su capital.
Persecución y Muerte del Rey Persa, Darío
Mientras tanto, Darío estaba en Ecbátana, capital de la Media, la moderna Hamadan, de la que huyó antes de llegar Alejandro Magno, que dejó en la ciudadela de esta ciudad parte del tesoro traído de Persépolis y desmovilizó a los contingentes griegos, incluidos los tesalios, después de haberles entregado una buena recompensa, lanzándose a perseguir a Darío con la élite de sus tropas, pasó las Puertas Caspias, a ochenta y dos kilómetros de la actual Teherán y unos días después el primero de julio del año 330, descubrieron el cuerpo sin vida de Darío al oeste del Damghan, en Partia, asesinado por orden de los jefes de los turanios, Bessos, sátrapa de Bactriana, Satibarzanes y Barsaentes.
Bessos se proclamó jefe de la resistencia antimacedonia, apoyándose en la caballería bactriana, proclamándose a finales de agosto del año 330, sucesor legítimo de Darío, con el nombre de Artajerjes, y finalmente fue capturado por el destacamento de Ptolomeo, siendo enviado a Ecbátana para ser juzgado allí por un tribunal persa y ejecutado mientras que Alejandro Magno fue nombrado rey.
Se erigió en sucesor de los Aqueménidas, adoptando la titulatura real persa, sus costumbres y la vestimenta oriental, lo que provocó la oposición de los macedonios, como ya había sucedido con ocasión de la conjura por la que hizo ejecutar a Filotas, hijo del general que mandaba las tropas de Media, Parmenio, al que también mandó asesinar después.
Prosiguió la campaña conquistando las satrapías orientales del Imperio persa:Drangiana, Aracosia y Sogdiana y en el año 327 se casó con Roxana, princesa sogdiana, impulsando los matrimonios mixtos y adaptando diversos ceremoniales persas que le acarrearon, como anteriormente, problemas y protestas de los macedonios, como la llamada Conjura de los pajes , en la que, entre otros, fue condenado a muerte Calistenes, filósofo griego de Olinto, sobrino y discípulo de Aristóteles, cronista oficial de Alejandro Magno, que cometió el error de burlarse del fasto oriental y las para él exageradas pretensiones
de Alejandro Magno, al que resultaron odiosas su severidad y libre franqueza.
Esta muerte, más que ninguna otra, excitó contra Alejandro Magno la malquerencia de los macedonios.
La expedición a La India (326-325)
Invitado por un monarca indio en lucha contra otro rey llamado Poro, inició Alejandro Magno una expedición a la India. Este rey, Poro, del Punjab, fue el general más capaz de todos con los que se enfrentó Alejandro Magno. A su gran ejército unía 200 elefantes.
Batalla del río Hydaspes
En el año 326 tuvo lugar la batalla del río Hydaspes que fue la cuarta y última gran batalla de Alejandro Magno en Asia.
Tras vencer a Poro con grandes dificultades, le convirtió en su aliado y le confió, como sátrapa, el gobierno de su perdido reino, al que añadió otros territorios, consciente Alejandro Magno de que necesitaba alguien para gobernar esta parte de sus dominios, tan apartados de Macedonia.
A consecuencia de la batalla con Poro murió también el caballo de Alejandro Magno, Bucéfalo, algo más tarde, cuando estaba siendo curado de unas heridas, o tal vez porque ya tenía treinta años. En su honor, fundó a orillas del Hydaspes una ciudad, a la que llamó Bucefalia.
Cuando pensaba atravesar la India hasta el Océano, donde según la idea geográfica de entonces, acababa el mundo, sus tropas se sublevaron, negándose a seguirle, sobre todo los macedonios, y Alejandro Magno tuvo que organizar la vuelta a Babilonia, que se hizo siguiendo dos itinerarios:
a) Una flota que hizo construir volvió por mar, bajando el Indo, por el Mar Arábigo y el Golfo Pérsico, al mando de Nearco un oficial macedonio, hasta Babilonia.
b) Alejandro Magno y su ejército volvieron por tierra, a través del desierto de Gedrosía, donde sufrió más bajas que en todas sus anteriores batallas juntas.
Los últimos años del reinado Gobierno del Imperio y muerte de Alejandro Magno (324-323)
Vuelto a Babilonia, Alejandro Magno preparó la conquista de Occidente, que no pudo llevar a cabo pues murió, posiblemente de fiebres, tras una rápida enfermedad, que sólo duró once días, el 13 de junio del año 323, enfermedad que Plutarco y Arriano, siguiendo las Efemérides reales nos han conservado hasta en los detalles más nimios. Sus relatos, aunque difieren externamente, coinciden perfectamente en el fondo. Alejandro Magno, llamado El grande por los historiadores occidentales y El maldito para los persas, murió a los 33 años, habiendo conquistado más tierras que ningún otro general hasta entonces y sin haber sido derrotado nunca. Su cadáver momificado, al que se atribuían cualidades mágicas fue llevado a Egipto por Ptolomeo y enterrado en Menfis y luego transportado a Alejandría.
Solamente, poco antes de su muerte, los presagios funestos se multiplicaron:el viento arrebató su corona real, un loco desconocido apareció sentado en su trono, que el rey acababa de desocupar por un momento, y también los caldeos habían recibido un oráculo amenazador de su dios supremo.
Y así, un caluroso día de verano babilonio, Alejandro Magno dejó de existir, dejando inconcluso un gran proyecto del que había sido el principal arquitecto. De cómo lo había organizado y cuáles fueron los medios con que contó hablaremos en el siguiente artículo.