Lebanon in History from the Earliest Times to the Present

By Philip K. Hitti | Go to book overview
The American Numismatic Society A COIN OF ALEXANDER THE GREAT STRUCK AT ACRE (PTOLEMAIS-AKE) Obverse and reverse of an Alexander tetradrachm, ca. 327 B.C. Obverse shows head of Herakles. Reverse shows Zeus seated on throne holding sceptre in left, eagle in outstretched right

CHAPTER XI ALEXANDER AND HIS SUCCESSORS, THE SELEUCIDS

PHILIP OF MACEDON, who raised his country to the headship of the Greek states, had projected elaborate plans for the "liberation" of the Greek cities in Asia Minor held by Persia when an assassin's dagger cut short his life. More than that he had cherished eagerness to return the visit paid Greece by Darius and Xerxes. It fell to the lot of his more energetic and more illustrious son to execute those plans.

Starting in the spring of 334 B.C. at the head of some 35,000 men the twenty-year-old Macedonian crossed the Hellespont, swept through Asia Minor -- then a province of the Persian empire --, and as he emerged from the Cilician Gates of the Taurus and traversed the lowlands of North Syria, he encountered Darius III ( 336-330) with a motley host of at least three times that number. Writing about A.D. 70, the Jewish historian Josephus1 declared that all people of Asia "were convinced that the Macedonians would not even come to grips with the

Persian Rout at Issus

____________________
1
Antiquities, Bk. XI, ch. 8, § 3.

-159-

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