The kings, however, were still occupied. When he knew that he
was decisively defeated, Dareius gave himself up to flight and mounting in turn one after
another of his best horses galloped on at top speed, desperately seeking to escape from
Alexander's grasp and anxious to reach the safety of the upper satrapies.
Alexander followed him with the companion cavalry1
best of the other horsemen, eager to get possession of Dareius's person. He continued on for
two hundred furlongs and then turned back, returning to his camp about midnight. Having
dispelled his weariness in the bath, he turned to relaxation and to dinner.
Someone came to the wife and the mother
and told them that Alexander had come back from the pursuit after stripping
Dareius of his arms. At this, a great outcry and lamentation arose among the women; and the
rest of the captives, joining in their sorrow at the news, sent up a loud wail, so that the
king heard it and sent Leonnatus, one of his Friends, to quiet the uproar and to reassure
by explaining that Dareius was still alive and
that Alexander would show them the proper consideration. In the morning he would come to
address them and to demonstrate his kindness by deeds.
heard this welcome and altogether unexpected good news, the captive women hailed Alexander as a
god and ceased from their wailing.
So at daybreak, the king took with him the most valued of his Friends, Hephaestion,
and came to the women. They both were dressed alike, but Hephaestion was taller and more
handsome. Sisyngambris took him for the king and did him obeisance. As the others present made
signs to her and pointed to Alexander with their hands she was embarrassed by her mistake, but
made a new start and did obeisance to Alexander.
cut in and said, "Never mind, Mother. For actually he too is Alexander."4
By thus addressing the aged woman as "Mother," with
this kindliest of terms he gave the promise of coming benefactions to those who had been
wretched a moment before. Assuring Sisyngambris that she would be his second mother he
immediately ratified in action what he had just promised orally.