There are those who say that Alexander's strategic conception was sound, when he
dismissed his fleet. For Dareius was still to be reckoned with and there was bound to be a
great battle, and he judged that the Macedonians would fight more desperately if he deprived
them of all hope of escape by flight.
He employed the same
device, they say, at the battle of the Granicus, where he placed the stream at his rear, for no
one could think of flight when destruction of any who were followed into the bed of the river
was a certainty. There is also, they note, in later years the case of Agathocles, king of the
Syracusans, who copied the strategy of Alexander and won an unexpected and decisive victory.
He had crossed to Libya with a small force and by burning his
ships deprived his men of any hope of escape by flight, thus constraining them to fight like
heroes and thereby win a victory over the Carthaginians, who had an army numbering many tens of
After the capture of Miletus,
the bulk of the Persians and mercenaries, as well as the most enterprising of the commanders,
concentrated their forces at Halicarnassus. This was the largest city in Caria, containing the
palace of the kings of the Carians, and was well provided with interior fortresses.
About the same time Memnon sent his wife2
and children to Dareius, because
he calculated that leaving them in the king's care was a good way to ensure their safety, while
at the same time the king, now that he had good hostages, would be more willing to entrust
Memnon with the supreme command. And so it turned out.
Dareius straightway sent letters to those who dwelt next the sea, directing them one and all to
take orders from Memnon. Accordingly, having assumed the supreme command, he made all the
necessary dispositions for a siege in the city of the Halicarnassians.