Arrian Anabasis Book 7a
2. ON this occasion Alexander commended both the words and the men who spoke them; but nevertheless he did just the opposite to that which he commended. When also in the Isthmus he met Diogenes of Sinope, lying in the sun, standing near him with his shield-bearing guards and foot Companions, he asked if he wanted anything. But Diogenes said that he wanted nothing else, except that he and his attendants would stand out of the sun. Alexander is said to have expressed his admiration of Diogenes. Thus it is evident that Alexander was not entirely destitute of better feelings; but he was the slave of his insatiable ambition. Again, when he arrived at Taxila and saw the naked sect of Indian philosophers, he was exceedingly desirous that one of these men should live with him; because he admired their power of endurance. But the oldest of the philosophers, Dandamis by name, of whom the others were disciples, refused to come himself to Alexander, and would not allow the others to do so. He is said to have replied that he was himself a son of Zeus, if Alexander was; and that he wanted nothing from him, because he was quite contented with what he had. And besides he said that he saw his attendants wandering over so much of the land and sea to no advantage, and that there was no end to their many wanderings. Therefore he had no desire that Alexander should give him anything of which he was possessor, nor on the other hand was he afraid that he should be excluded from anything which Alexander ruled over. For while he lived the country of India, which produces the fruits in their season, was sufficient for him; and when he died he should be released from the body, an uncongenial associate. Alexander therefore did not attempt to force him to come to him, considering that the man was free (to do as he pleased). But Megasthenes has recorded that Calanus, one of the philosophers of this region, who had very little power over himself, was induced to do so; and that the philosophers themselves reproached him, for having deser te d the happiness existing among them, and serving another lord instead of God.’
3. THIS I have recorded, because in the history of Alexander it is necessary also to speak of Calanus; for when he was in the country of Persis his health became delicate, though he had never before been subject to illness. accordingly, not being willing to lead the life of a man in infirm health, he told Alexander that in such circumstances he thought it best or him to put an end to his existence, before he came into experience of any disease which might compel him to change his former mode of living. For a long time the king tried to dissuade him; however, when he saw that he was not to be overcome, but would find some other way of release, if this were not yielded to him, he ordered a funeral pyre to be heaped up for him, in the place where the man himself directed, and gave instructions that Ptolemy, son of Lagus, the confidential bodyguard, should have the charge of it. They say that a solemn procession, consisting both of horses and men, advanced before him, some of the latter being armed and others carrying all kinds of incense for the pyre. They also say that they carried gold and silver goblets and royal apparel; and because he was unable to walk through illness, a horse was prepared for him. However, not being able to mount the horse, he was conveyed stretched out upon a litter, crowned with a garland after the custom of the Indians, and singing in the Indian language. The Indians say that he sang hymns to the gods and eulogiums on his countrymen. Before he ascended the funeral-pyre he presented the horse which he should himself have mounted, being a royal steed of the Nisaean breed, to Lysimachus, one of those who attended him to learn his philosophy. He distributed among his other disciples the goblets and rugs which Alexander had ordered to be cast into the pyre as an honour to him. Then mounting the pyre he lay down upon it in a becoming manner, and was visible to the whole army. To Alexander the spectacle appeared u nseemly, as it was being exhibited at the cost of a friend; but to the rest it was a cause of wonder that he did not move any part of his body in the fire. As soon as the men to whom the duty had been assigned set fire to the pyre, Nearchus says the trumpets sounded, in accordance with Alexander’s order, and the whole army raised the war-cry as it was in the habit of shouting when advancing to battle. The elephants also chimed in with their shrill and warlike cry, in honour of Calanus. Authors upon whom reliance may be placed, have recorded these and such-like things about Calanus the Indian, facts of great import to those who are desirous of learning how steadfast and immovable a thing the human mind is in regard to what it wishes to accomplish.
4. AT this time Alexander sent Atropates away to his own viceroyalty, after advancing to Susa; where he arrested Abulites and his son Oxathres, and put them to death on the ground that they were governing the Susians badly. Many outrages upon temples, tombs, and the subjects themselves had been committed by those who were ruling the countries conquered by Alexander in war because the king’s expedition into India had taken a long time, and it was not thought credible that he would ever return in safety from so many nations possessing so many elephants, going to his destruction beyond the Indus, Hydaspes, Acesines, and Hyphasis. The calamities that befell him among the Gadrosians were still greater inducements to those acting as viceroys in this region to be free from apprehension of his return to his dominions. Not only so, but Alexander himself is said to have become more inclined at that time to believe accusations which were plausible in every way, as well as to inflict very severe punishment upon those who were convicted even of small offences, because with the same disposition he thought they would be likely to perform great ones.[lacuna] ... In Susa also he celebrated both his own wedding and those of his companions. He himself married Barsine, the eldest daughte r of Darius, and according to Aristobulus, besides her another, Parysatis, the youngest daughter of Ochus. He had already married Roxana, daughter of Oxyartes the Bactrian. To Hephaestion he gave Drypetis, another daughter of Darius, and his own wife's sister; for he wished Hephaestion's children to be first cousins to his own. To Craterus he gave Amastrine, daughter of Oxyartes the brother of Darius; to Perdiccas, the daughter of Atropates, viceroy of Media; to Ptolemy the confidential body-guard, and Eumenes the royal secretary, the daughters of Artabazus, to the former Artacama, and to the latter Artonis. To Nearchus he gave the daughter of Barsine and Mentor; to Seleucus the daughter of Spitamenes the Bactrian. Likewise to the rest of his Co mpanions he gave the choicest daughters of the Persians and Medes, to the number of eighty. The weddings were celebrated after the Persian manner, seats being placed in a row for the bridegrooms; and after the banquet the brides came in and seated themselves, each one near her own husband. The bridegrooms took them by the right hand and kissed them; the king being the first to begin, for the weddings of all were conducted in the same way. This appeared the most popular thing which Alexander ever did; and it proved his affection for his Companions. Each man took his own bride and led her away; and on all without exception Alexander bestowed dowries, He also ordered that the names of all the other Macedonians who had married any of the Asiatic women should be registered. They were over 10,000 in number; and to these Alexander made presents on account of their weddings.
5. HE now thought it a favourable opportunity to liquidate the debts of all the soldiers who had incurred them; and for this purpose he ordered that a register should be made of how much each man owed, in order that they might receive the money. At first only a few registered their names, fearing that this had been instituted as a test by Alexander, to discover which of the soldiers found their pay insuffic ient for their expenses, and which of them were extravagant in their mode of living. When he was informed that most of them were not registering their names, but that those who had borrowed money on bonds were concealing the fact, he reproached them for their distrust of him. For he said that it was not right either that the king should deal otherwise than sincerely with his subjects, or that any of those ruled by him should think that he would deal otherwise than sincerely with them. Accordingly, he had tables placed in the camp with money upon them; and he appointed men to manage the distribution of it. He ordered the debts of all who showed a money-bond to be liquidated without the debtors' names being any longer registered. Consequently, the men believed that Alexander was dealing sincerely with them; and the fact that they were not known was a greater pleasure to them than the fact that they ceased to be in debt. This presentation to the army is said to have amounted to 20,000 talents. He also gave presents to particular individuals, according as each man was held in honour for his merit or valour, if he had become conspicuous in crises of danger. Those who were distinguished for their personal gallantry he crowned with golden chaplets: first, Peucestas, the man who had held the shield over him; second, Leonnatus, who also had held his shield over him, and moreover had incurred dangers in India and won a victory in Ora. For he had posted himself with the forces left with him against the Oritians and the tribes living near them, who were trying to effect a revolution, and had conquered them in battle. He also seemed to have managed other affairs in Ora with great success. In addition to these, he crowned Nearchus for his successful voyage round the coast from the land of the Indians through the Great Sea; for this officer had now arrived at Susa. Besides these three, he crowned Onesicritus, the pilot of the royal ship; as well as Hephaestion and the rest of the confidential body-guards.
6. THE viceroys fro m the newly-built cities and the rest of the territory subdued in war came to him, bringing with them youths just growing into manhood to the number of 30,000, all of the same age, whom Alexander called Epigoni. They had been accoutred with Macedonian arms, and exercised in military discipline after the Macedonian system. The arrival of these is said to have vexed the Macedonians, who thought that Alexander was contriving every means in his power to free himself from future need of their services. For the same reason also the sight of his Median dress was no small cause of dissatisfaction to them; and the weddings celebrated in the Persian fashion were displeasing to most of them, even including some of those who married, although they had been greatly honoured by their being put on the same level with the king in the marriage ceremony. They were offended at Peucestas, the satrap of Persis, on account of his Persianizing both in dress and in speech, because the king was delighted by his adopting the Asiatic customs. They were disgusted that the Bactrian, Sogdianian, Arachotian, Zarangian, Arian, and Parthian horsemen, as well as the Persian horsemen called the Evacae, had been distributed among the squadrons of the Companion cavalry; as many of them at least as were seen to excel in reputation, fineness of stature, or any other good quality; and that a fifth cavalry division was added to these troops, not composed entirely of foreigners; but the whole body of cavalry was increased in number, and men were picked from the foreigners and put into it. Cophen, son of Artabazus, Hydarnes and Artiboles, sons of Mazaeus, Sisines and Phradasmenes, sons of Phrataphernes, viceroy of Parthia and Hyrcania, Histanes, son of Oxyartes and brother of Alexander's wife, Roxane, as well as Autobares and his brother Mithrobaeus were picked out and enrolled among the foot-guard in addition to the Macedonian officers. Over these Hystaspes the Bactrian was placed as commander; and Macedonian spears were given to them instead of the barb arian javelins which had thongs attached to them. All this offended the Macedonians, who thought that Alexander was becoming altogether Asiatic in his ideas, and was holding the Macedonians themselves as well as their customs in a position of contempt.
7. ALEXANDER now ordered Hephaestion to lead the main body of the infantry as far as the Persian Sea, while he himself, his fleet having sailed up into the land of Susiana, embarked with the shield~bearing guards and the bodyguard of infantry; and having also put on board a few of the cavalry Companions, he sailed down the river Eulaeus to the sea. When he was near the place where the river discharges itself into the deep, he left there most of his ships, including those which were in need of repair, and with those especially adapted for fast sailing he coasted along out of the river Eulaeus through the sea to the mouth of the Tigris. The rest of the ships were conveyed down the Eulaeus as far as the canal which had been cut from the Tigris into the Eulaeus, and by this means they were brought into the Tigris. Of the rivers Euphrates and Tigris which inclose Syria between them, whence also its name is called by the natives Mesopotamia, the Tigris flows in a much lower channel than the Euphrates, from which it receives many canals; and after taking up many tributaries and its waters being swelled by them, it falls into the Persian Sea. It is a large river and can be crossed on foot nowhere as far as its mouth, inasmuch as none of its water is used up by irrigation of the country. For the land through which it flows is more elevated than its water, and it is not drawn off into canals or into another river, but rather receives them into itself. It is nowhere possible to irrigate the land from it. But the Euphrates flows in an elevated channel, and is everywhere on a level with the land through which it passes. Many canals have been made from it, some of which are always kept flowing, and from which the inhabitants on both banks supply themselves with water; others the people make only when requisite to irrigate the land, when they are in need of water from drought. For this country is usually free from rain. The consequence is, that the Euphrates at last has only a small volume of water, which disappears into a marsh. Alexander sailed over the sea round the shore of the Persian Gulf lying between the rivers Eulaeus and Tigris; and thence he sailed up the latter river as far as the camp where Hephaestion had settled with all his forces. Thence he sailed again to Opis, a city situated on that river. In his voyage up he destroyed the weirs which existed in the river, and thus made the stream quite level. These weirs had been constructed by the Persians, to prevent any enemy having a superior naval force from sailing up from the sea into their country. The Persians had had recourse to these contrivances because they were not a nautical people; and thus by making an unbroken succession of weirs they had rendered the voyage up the Tigres a matter of impossibility. But Alexander said that such devices were unbecoming to men who are victorious in battle; and therefore he considered this means of safety unsuitable for him; and by easily demolishing the laborious work of the Persians, he proved in fact that what they thought a protection was unworthy of the name.
8.WHEN he arrived at Opis, he collected the Macedonians and announced that he intended to discharge from the army those who were useless for military service either from age or from being maimed in the limbs; and he said he would send them back to their own abodes. He also promised to give those who went back as much extra reward as would make them special objects of envy to those at home and arouse in the other Macedonians the wish to share similar dangers and labours. Alexander said this, no doubt, for the purpose of pleasing the Macedonians; but on the contrary they were, not without reason, offended by the speech which he delivered, thinking that now they were despised by him and deemed to be quite useless for milita ry service. Indeed, throughout the whole of this expedition they had been offended at many other things; for his adoption of the Persian dress, thereby exhibiting his contempt for their opinion often caused them grief, as did also his accoutring the foreign soldiers called Epigoni in the Macedonian style, and the mixing of the alien horsemen among the ranks of the Companions. Therefore they could not remain silent and control themselves, but urged him to dismiss all of them from his army; and they advised him to prosecute the war in company with his father, deriding Ammon by this remark. When Alexander heard this (for at that time he was more hasty in temper than heretofore, and no longer, as of old, indulgent to the Macedonians from having a retinue of foreign attendants), leaping down from the platform with his officers around him, he ordered the most conspicuous of the men who had tried to stir up the multitude to sedition to be arrested. He himself pointed out with his hand to the shield-bearing guards those whom they were to arrest, to the number of thirteen; and he ordered these to be led away to execution. When the rest, stricken with terror, became silent, he mounted the platform again, and spoke as follows :
9. "THE speech which I am about to deliver will not be for the purpose of checking your start homeward, for, so far as I am concerned, you may depart wherever you wish; but for the purpose of making you understand when you take yourselves off, what kind of men you have been to us who have conferred such benefits upon you. In the first place, as is reasonable, I shall begin my speech from my father Philip. For he found you vagabonds and destitute of means, most of you clad in hides, feeding a few sheep up the mountain sides, for the protection of which you had to fight with small success against Illyrians, Triballians, and the border Thracians. Instead of the hides he gave you cloaks to wear, and from the mountains he led you down into the plains, and made you capable of fighting the neighbouring b arbarians, so that you were no longer compelled to preserve yourselves by trusting rather to the inaccessible strongholds than to your own valour. He made you colonists of cities, which he adorned with useful laws and customs; and from being slaves and subjects, he made you rulers over those very barbarians by whom you yourselves, as well as your property, were previously liable to be carried off or ravaged. He also added the greater part of Thrace to Macedonia, and by seizing the most conveniently situated places on the sea-coast, he spread abundance over the land from commerce, and made the working of the mines a secure employment. He made you rulers over the Thessalians, of whom you had formerly been in mortal fear; and by humbling the nation of the Phocians, he rendered the avenue into Greece broad and easy for you, instead of being narrow and difficult. The Athenians and Thebans, who were always lying in wait to attack Macedonia, he humbled to such a degree, I also then rendering him my personal aid in the campaign, that instead of paying tribute to the former and being vassals to the latter, those states in their turn procure security to themselves by our assistance. He penetrated into the Peloponnese, and aft er regulating its affairs, was publicly declared commander-in-chief of all the rest of Greece in the expedition against the Persian, adding this glory not more to himself than to the commonwealth of the Macedonians. These were the advantages which accrued to you from my father Philip; great indeed if looked at by themselves, but small if compared with those you have obtained from me. For though I inherited from my father only a few gold and silver goblets, and there were not even sixty talents in the treasury, and though I found myself charged with a debt of 500 talents owing by Philip, and I was obliged myself to borrow 800 talents in addition to these, I started from the country which could not decently support you, and forthwith laid open to you the passage of the Hellespont, though at that time the Persians held the sovereignty of the sea. Having overpowered the satraps of Darius with my cavalry, I added to your empire the whole of Ionia, the whole of Aeolis, both Phrygias and Lydia, and I took Miletus by siege. All the other places I gained by voluntary surrender, and I granted you the privilege of appropriating the wealth found in them. The riches of Egypt and Cyrene, which I acquired without fighting a battle, have come to you. Coele-Syria, Palestine, and Mesopotamia are your property. Babylon, Bactra, and Susa are yours. The wealth of the Lydians, the treasures of the Persians, and the riches of the Indians are yours; and so is the External Sea. You are viceroys, you are generals, you are captains. What then have I reserved to myself after all these labours, except this purple robe and this diadem? I have appropriated nothing myself, nor can any one point out my treasures, except these possessions of yours or the things which I am guarding on your behalf. Individually, however, I have no motive to guard them, since I feed on the same fare as you do, and I take only the same amount of sleep. Nay, I do not think that my fare is as good as that of those among you who live luxuriously; and I know that I ofte n sit up at night to watch for you, that you may be able to sleep.
10. "BUT some one may say, that while you endured toil and fatigue, I have acquired these things as your leader without myself sharing the toil and fatigue. But who is there of you who knows that he has endured greater toil for me than I have for him? Come now, whoever of you has wounds, let him strip and show them, and I will show mine in turn; for there is no part of my body, in front at any rate, remaining free from wounds; nor is there any kind of weapon used either for close combat or for hurling at the enemy, the traces of which I do not bear on my person. For I have been wounded with the sword in close fight, I have been shot with arrows, and I have been struck with missiles projected from engines of war; and though oftentimes I have been hit with stones and bolts of wood for the sake of your lives, your glory, and your wealth, I am still leading you as conquerors over all the land and sea, all rivers, mountains, and plains. I have celebrated your weddings with my own, and the children of many of you will be akin to my children. Moreover I have liquidated of all those who had incurred them, without inquiring too closely for what purpose they were contracted, though you received such high pay, and carry off so much booty whenever there is booty to be got after a siege. Most of you have golden crowns, the eternal memorials of your valour and of the honour you receive from me. Whoever has been killed has met with a glorious end and has been honoured with a splendid burial. Brazen statues of most of the slain have been erected at home, and their parents are held in honour) being released from all public service and from taxation. But no one of you has ever been killed in flight under my leadership. And now I was intending to send back those of you who are unfit for service, objects of envy to those at home; but since you all wish to depart, depart all of you! Go back and report at home that your king Alexander, the conqueror of the Persians, Medes, Bactrians, and Sacians; the man who has subjugated the Uxi ans, Arachotians, and Drangians; who has also acquired the rule of the Parthians, Chorasmians, and Hyrcanians, as far as the Caspian Sea; who has marched over the Caucasus, through the Caspian Gates; who has crossed the rivers Oxus and Tanais, and the Indus besides, which has never been crossed by any one else except Dionysus; who has also crossed the Hydaspes, Acesines, and Hydraotes, and who would have crossed the Hyphasis, if you had not shrunk back with alarm; who has penetrated into the Great Sea by both the mouths of the Indus; who has marched through the desert of Gadrosia, where no one ever before marched with an army; who on his route acquired possession of Carmania and the land of the Oritians, in addition to his other conquests , his fleet having in the meantime already sailed round the coast of the sea which extends from India to Persia - report that when you returned to Susa you deserted him and went away, handing him over to the protection of conquered foreigners. Perhaps this report of yours will be both glorious to you in the eyes of men and devout I ween in the eyes of the gods. Depart!"
11. HAVING thus spoken, he leaped down quickly from the platform, and entered the palace, where he paid no attention to the decoration of his person, nor was any of his Companions admitted to see him. Not even on the morrow was any one of them admitted to an audience; but on the third day he summoned the select Persians within, and among them he distributed the commands of the brigades, and made the rule that only those whom he proclaimed his kinsmen should have the honour of saluting him with a kiss. But the Macedonians who heard the speech were thoroughly astonished at the moment, and remained there in silence near the platform; nor when he retired did any of them accompany the king, except his personal Companions and the body-guards. Though they remained most of them had nothing to do or say; and yet they were unwilling to retire. But when the news was reported to them about the Persians and Medes, that the military commands were being given to Persians, that the foreign soldiers were being selected and divided into companies, that a Persian footguard, Persian foot Companions, a Persian regiment of men with silver shields, as well as the cavalry Companions, and another royal guard of cavalry distinct from these, were being called by the Macedonian names, they were no longer able to restrain themselves; but running in a body to the palace, they cast their weapons there in front of the gates as signs of supplication to the king. Standing in front of the gates, they shouted, beseeching to be allowed to enter, and saying that they were willing to surrender the men who had been the instigators of the disturbance on that occasion, and those who had begun the clamour. They also declared they would not retire from the gates either day or night, unless Alexander would take some pity upon them. When he was informed of this, he came out without delay; and seeing them lying on the ground in humble guise, and hearing most of them lamenting with loud voice, tears began to flow also from his own eyes. He made an effor t to say something to them, but they continued their importunate entreaties. At length one of them, Callines by name, a man conspicuous both for his age and because he was a captain of the Companion cavalry, spoke as follows, "O king, what grieves the Macedonians is that you have already made some of the Persians kinsmen to yourself, and that Persians are called Alexander's kinsmen, and have the honour of saluting you with a kiss; whereas none of the Macedonians have as yet enjoyed this honour." Then Alexander interrupting him, said, "But all of you without exception I consider my kinsmen, and so from this time I shall call you." When he had said this, Callines advanced and saluted him with a kiss, and so did all those who wished to salute him. Then they took up their weapons and returned to the camp, shouting and singing a song of thanksgiving. After this Alexander offered sacrifice to the gods to whom it was his custom to sacrifice, and gave a public banquet, over which he himself presided, with the Macedonians sitting around him; and next to them the Persians; after whom came the men of the other nations, preferred in honour for their personal rank or for some meritorious action. The king and his guests drew wine from the same bowl and poured out the same libations, both the Grecian prophets and the Magians commencing the ceremony. He prayed for other blessings, and especially that harmony and community of rule might exist between the Macedonians and Persians. The common account is, that those who took part in this banquet were 9,000 in number, that all of them poured out one libation, and after it sang a song of thanksgiving.
12. THEN those of the Macedonians who were unfit for service on account of age or any other misfortune went back of their own accord, to the number of about 10,000. To these Alexander gave the pay not only for the time which had already elapsed, but also for that which they would take in returning home. He also gave to each man a talent in addition to his pay. If any of them had children by Asiatic wives, he ordered them to leave them behind with him, lest they should introduce into Macedonia a cause of discord, taking with them children by foreign women who were of a different race from the children whom they had left behind at home born of Macedonian mothers. He promised to take care that they should be brought up as Macedonians, educating them not only in general matters but also in the art of war. He also undertook to lead them into Macedonia when they arrived at manhood, and hand them over to their fathers. These uncertain and obscure promises were made to them as they were departing; and he thought he was giving a most indubitable proof of the friendship and affection he had for them by sending with them, as their guardian and the leader of the expedition, Craterus, the man most faithful to him, and whom he valued equally with himself. Then, having saluted them all, he with tears dismissed them likewise weeping from his presence. He ordered Craterus to lead these men back, and when he had done so, to take upon himself the government of Macedonia, Thrace, and Thessaly, and to preside over the freedom of the Greeks. He also ordered Antipater to bring to him the Macedonians of manly age as successors to those who were being sent back. He despatched Polysperchon also with Craterus, as his second in command, so that if any mishap befell Craterus on the march (for he was sending him back on account of the weakness of his health), those who were going might not be in need of a general. A secret report was also going about that Alexander was now overcome by his mother's accusations of Antipater, and that he wis hed to remove him from Macedonia. This report was current among those who interpret royal actions more jealously the more they are concealed, and who are inclined to construe fidelity into something bad rather than to accept it as real; a course to which they are led by appearances and their own depravity. But perhaps this sending for Antipater was not designed for his dishonour, but rather to prevent any unpleasant consequences to Antipater and Olympias from their quarrel which he might not himself be able to rectify. For they were incessantly writing to Alexander, the former saying that the arrogance, acerbity, and meddlesomeness of Olympias was exceedingly unbecoming to the king's mother; insomuch that Alexander was related to have used the following remark in reference to the reports which he received about his mother: that she was exacting from him a heavy house-rent for the ten months. The queen wrote that Antipater was overweeningly insolent in his pretensions to sovereignty as well as in the service of his court, no longer remembering the one who had appointed him, but claiming to win and hold the first rank among the Greeks and even the Macedonians. These slanderous reports about Antipater appeared to have more weight with Alexander, since they were more formidable in regard to the regal dignity. However, no overt act or word of the king was reported, from which any one could infer that Antipater was in any way less in favour with him than before.
13. IT is said that Hephaestion much against his will yielded to this argument and was reconciled to Eumenes, who on his part wished to settle the dispute. In this journey Alexander is said to have seen the plain which was devoted to the royal mares. Herodotus says that the plain itself was named Nisaean, and that the mares were called Nisaean; adding that in olden times there were 150,000 of these horses. But at this time Alexander found not many above 50,000; for most of them had been carried off by robbers. Here they say that Atropates, the viceroy of Media, gave him a hundred women, saying that they were of the race of Amazons. These had been equipped with the arms of male horsemen, except that they carried axes instead of spears, and targets instead of shields. They also say that they had the right breast smaller than the left, and that they exposed it in battle. Alexander dismissed them from the army, that no attempt to violate them might be made by the Macedonians or barbarians; and he ordered them to carry word to their queen that he was coming to her in order to procreate children by her. But this story has been recorded neither by Aristobulus nor Ptolemy, nor any other writer who is a trustworthy authority on such matters. I do not even think that the race of Amazons was surviving at that time, or even before Alexander’s time; otherwise they would have been mentioned by Xenophon, who mentions the Phasians, Colchians, and all the other barbaric races which the Greeks came upon, when they started from Trapezus or before they marched down to Trapezus. They would certainly have fallen in with the Amazons there, if they were still in existence. However it does not seem to me credible that this race of women had no existence at all, because it has been celebrated by so many famous poets. For the general account is, that Heracles marched against them and brought the girdle of their queen Hippolyte into Greece; and that the Athenians under Theseus were the first to conquer and repulse these women as they wer e advancing into Europe. The battle of the Athenians and Amazons has been painted by Micon, no less than that of the Athenians and Persians. Herodotus also has frequently written about these women and so have the Athenian writers who have honoured the men who perished in war with orations. They have mentioned the exploit of the Athenians against the Amazons as one of their special glories. If therefore Atropates showed any equestrian women to Alexander, I think he must have shown him some other foreign women trained in horsemanship, and equipped with the arms which were said to be those of the Amazons.
14. IN Ecbatana Alexander offered sacrifice according to his custom, for his good fortune; and he celebrated a gymnastic and musical contest. He also held drinking parties with his Companions. At this time Hephaestion fell sick; and they say that the stadium was full of people on the seventh day of his fever, for on that day there was a gymnastic contest for boys. When Alexander was informed that Hephaestion was in a critical state, he went to him without delay, but found him no longer alive. Different authors have given different accounts of Alexander’s grief on this occasion; but they all agree in this, that his grief was great. As to what was done in honour of Hephaestion, they make diverse statements, just as each writer was actuated by good-will or envy towards him, or even towards Alexander himself. Of the authors who have made these reckless statements, some seem to me to have thought that whatever Alexander said or did to show his excessive grief for the man who was the dearest to him in the world, redounds to his honour; whereas others seem to have thought that it rather tended to his disgrace, as being conduct unbecoming to any king and especially to Alexander. Some say that he threw himself on his companion’s body and lay there for the greater part of that day, bewailing him and refusing to depart from him, until he was forcibly carried away by his Companions. Others that he lay upon the body the whol e day and night. Others again say that he hanged the physician Glaucias, for having indiscreetly given the medicine; while others affirm that he, being a spectator of the games, neglected Hephaestion, who was filled with wine. That Alexander should have cut off his hair in honour of the dead man, I do not think improbable, both for other reasons and especially from a desire to imitate Achilles, whom from his boyhood he had an ambition to rival. Others also say that Alexander himself at one time drove the chariot on which the body was borne; but this statement I by no means believe. Others again affirm that he ordered the shrine of Asclepius in Ecbatana to be razed to the ground; which was an act of barbarism, and by no means in harmony with Alexander’s general behaviour, but rather in accordance with the arrogance of Xerxes in his dealings with the deity, who is said to have let fetters down into the Hellespont, in order to punish it forsooth. But the following statement, which has been recorded, does not seem to me entirely beyond the range of probability —that when Alexander was marching to Babylon, he was met on the road by many embassies from Greece, among which were some Epidaurian envoys, who obtained from him their requests. He also gave them an offering to be conveyed to Asclepius, adding this remark: “Although Asclepius has not treated me fairly, in not saving the life of my Companion, whom I valued equally with my own head.” It has been stated by most writers that he ordered honours to be always paid to Hephaestion as a hero; and some say that he even sent men to Ammon’s temple to ask the god if it were allowable to offer sacrifice to Hephaestion as a god; but Ammon replied that it was not allowable. All the authorities, however, agree as to the following facts: that until the third day after Hephaestion’s death, Alexander neither tasted food nor paid any attention to his personal appearance, but lay on the ground either bewailing or silently mourning; that he also ordered a funeral pyre to be prepared for him in Babylon at the expense of 10,000 talents; some say at a still greater cost; and that a decree was published throughout all the barbarian territory for the observance of a public mourning. Many of Alexander’s Companions dedicated themselves and their arms to the dead Hephaestion in order to show their respect to him; and the first to begin the artifice was Eumenes, whom we a short time ago mentioned as having been at variance with him. This he did that Alexander might not think he was pleased at Hephaestion’s death. Alexander did not appoint any one else to be commander of the Companion cava lry in the place of Hephaestion, so that the name of that general might not perish from the brigade; but that division of cavalry was still called Hephaestion’s and the figure made from Hephaestion went in front of it. He also resolved to celebrate a gymnastic and musical contest, much more magnificent than any of the preceding, both in the multitude of competitors and in the amount of money expended upon it. For he provided 3,000 competitors in all; and it is said that these men a short time after also competed in the games held at Alexander’s own funeral.
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