The Tyrians had bronze workers and machinists, and contrived
Against the projectiles from the catapults they made wheels
with many spokes, and, setting these to rotate by a certain device, they destroyed some of the
missiles and deflected others, and broke the force of all. They caught the balls from the stone
throwers in soft and yielding materials and so weakened their force.
While this attack was going on from the mole, the king sailed around the city with his
whole fleet and inspected the walls, and made it clear that he was about to attack the city
alike by land and sea.
Tyrians did not dare to put to sea again with their whole fleet but kept three ships moored at
the harbour mouth.2
The king, however,
sailed up to these, sank them all, and so returned to his camp. Wanting to double the security
of their walls, the Tyrians built a second one at a distance of five cubits within the first;
this was ten cubits in thickness, and the passage between the walls they filled with stones and
but Alexander lashed triremes together, mounted his
various siege engines upon them, and overthrew the wall for the space of a plethron.3
Through this breach the Macedonians burst into the city,
but the Tyrians rained on them a shower of missiles and
managed to turn them back,4
and when night came, they rebuilt the fallen part of the
Now the causeway had reached the wall and made the city
mainland, and sharp fighting took place along the walls.
Tyrians had the present danger before their eyes and easily imagined what a disaster the actual
capture of the city would be, so that they spent themselves so freely in the contest as to
despise mortal danger.
When the Macedonians moved up towers as
high as the walls and in this way, extending bridges, boldly assaulted the battlements, the
Tyrians fell back on the ingenuity of their engineers and applied many counter-measures to meet
They forged great tridents armed with barbs and
struck with these at close range the assailants standing on the towers. These stuck in the
shields, and as ropes were attached to the tridents, they could haul on the ropes and pull them
Their victims were faced with the alternative of releasing
their arms and exposing their bodies to be wounded by the missiles which showered upon them, or
clinging to their shields for shame and perishing in the fall from the lofty towers.
Other Tyrians cast fishing nets over those Macedonians who were
fighting their way across the bridges and, making their hands helpless, pulled them off and
tumbled them down from bridge to earth.