Philip, Alexander's father, had been king of Macedonia and completely changed Macedonia from a backward kingdom into a strong state with a powerful army. In order to achieve this goal, he started an expansionist policy. Every year, he would wage war, and the Macedonian aristocrats benefited. Philip had to continue his conquests if he wanted to keep his monarchy intact.
Shortly before the end of his life, Philip had thought about waging a war against the Persian empire, which was weak due to the death of King Artaxerxes III. Philip however, had been murdered before he could begin the war. Antipater and Parmenion, two powerful courtiers, aided Alexander in his rise to power and thus, ...view middle of the document...
Egypt was taken by Alexander in early 331 BC. After Egypt was captured, Persia had no more ports left. Since Alexander still wanted to conquer all of Persia he decided it best to continue his conquest.
While the war raged on, something was different. Alexander had always been the leader of the Macedonians and something like an ordinary nobleman. After taking Issus however, he claimed to be a real king, and after his visit to Egypt, he claimed that he was the holy son of the chief god of Greece, Zeus, in his reincarnation as the Egyptian god Ammon. Not everyone wanted to accept this though, and history tells that sometimes courtiers would be doubting Alexander's leadership. News of this reached Alexander so he started to spy upon Philotas, Parmenion's son.
Alexander's army traveled across the Euphrates river, in the summer of 331 BC, and wished to proceed South to Babylon to take the Babylonian capital city. However, the threat of Mazaeus, a Persian commander, and his forces, forced them to a less preferable northern route. This brought them to a plain just east of the Tigris. Darius waited for Alexander in Gaugamela, but unfortunately for Darius, a lunar eclipse occurred that night. Darius took the eclipse as a bad omen. His astrologers foretold that the eclipse predicted that the ruler of Babylon and Persia would be defeated and his successor would come from the west and have a successful eight year reign.
Alexander reached Babylon and Susa, in the autumn of 331, and in January the Macedonians fought their way through a mountain pass in the Zagros, known as the Persian gate. The Macedonian army spent the winter of 330 in the Persian capital Persepolis, which they had captured in the spring.
In the meantime, Darius was amassing another army in the city of Ecbatana, but unfortunately some of his reinforcements never arrived to the city, which caused Darius to decide to go to the east, where he was hoping find new troops. Alexander was right on Darius' heels however, and stopped King Darius in the town called Choara where he was murdered (Hammond). According to the Macedonian propaganda, the assassin was Darius' cousin. Alexander was very displeased when he found out that Darius had already been killed because he wanted to capture him alive. Apparently, Philotas had known of the conspiracy to kill Darius, and he had not told Alexander of it. Alexander had him killed along with his father, Parmenion. After this incident,...