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Near the frontiers of Lycia there is a great rock fortress1 of unusual strength inhabited by people named Marmares. As Alexander marched by, these people attacked the Macedonian rear guard and killed many, carrying off as booty numerous men and pack animals. [2] The king was enraged at this, established a siege, and exerted every effort to take the place by force. The Marmares were very brave and had confidence in the strength of their fortifications, and manfully withstood the attack. For two whole days there were constant assaults and it was clear that the king would not leave until he had captured the "rock." [3]

First, then, the older men of the Marmares advised their younger countrymen to end their resistance and make peace with the king on whatever terms were possible. They would have none of this, however, but all were eager to die together simultaneously with the end of the freedom of their state, so next the elders urged upon them that they should kill with their own hands their children and wives and aged relatives, and those who were strong enough to save themselves should break out through the midst of the enemy at night and take refuge in the neighbouring mountain. [4] The young men agreed, and consequently gave orders to go each to his own house and there, enjoying the best of food and drink with their families, await the dread event. Some of them, however (these were about six hundred), decided not to kill their relatives with their own hands, but to burn them in the houses, and so issuing forth from the gates to make their way to the mountain. [5] These carried out their decision and so caused each family to be entombed at its own hearth, while they themselves slipped through the midst of the enemy encamped about them and made their way to the near-by hills under cover of darkness.

This is what happened in this year.

1 Here and elsewhere, Diodorus uses the term petra for the abrupt and isolated rocky hills which are not uncommon in Asia, and which made excellent fortresses. This story is not otherwise reported. Freya Stark (Journal of Hellenistic Studies, 78 (1958), 116; cp. Alexander's Path (1958), 250 f.) identifies this place with Chandir in Pamphylia.Appian Bell. Civ. 4.10.80 tells the same story of Xanthus, traditionally destroyed in this way three times (Hdt. 1.176; Plut. Brutus 31, and it was something of a literary topos (also Diodorus, Book 18.22.4-7; Strabo 14.5.7. Strabo (Strabo 14.3.9) remarks that this destruction was necessary to open the passes.

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