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After this Alexander left Dareius's mother, his daughters, and his son in Susa,1 providing them with persons to teach them the Greek language, and marching on with his army on the fourth day reached the Tigris River.2 [2] This flows down from the mountains of the Uxii and passes at first for a thousand furlongs through rough country broken by great gorges, but then traverses a level plain and becomes ever quieter, and after six hundred furlongs empties into the Persian sea. [3] This he crossed, and entered the country of the Uxii, which was rich, watered by numerous streams, and productive of many fruits of all kinds. At the season when the ripe fruit is dried, the merchants who sail on the Tigris are able to bring down to Babylonia all sorts of confections good for the pleasures of the table.3 [4]

Alexander found the passages guarded by Madetes, a cousin of Dareius, with a substantial force, and he saw at once the difficulty of the place. The sheer cliffs offered no passage, but an Uxian native who knew the country offered to lead soldiers by a narrow and hazardous path to a position above the enemy. [5] Alexander accepted the proposal and sent off with him a body of troops, while he himself expedited the move as far as possible and attacked the defenders in waves. The assault was pressed vigorously and the Persians were preoccupied with the struggle when to their astonishment above their heads appeared the flying column of Macedonians. The Persians were frightened and took to their heels. Thus Alexander won the pass and soon after took all the cities in Uxiane.4

1 Curtius 5.2.17.

2 That is, the Pasitigris (Curtius 5.3.1: "fourth day"; Arrian. 3.17.1).

3 For the character of the country cp. Strabo 15.3.6. No one else so emphasizes its fertility.

4 Curtius 5.3.4-15; Arrian 3.17.

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hide References (11 total)
  • Cross-references to this page (3):
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), COPRATES
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), TIGRIS
    • Smith's Bio, Ma'dates
  • Cross-references in notes from this page (6):
    • Strabo, Geography, 15.3.6
    • Arrian, Anabasis, 3.17
    • Arrian, Anabasis, 3.17.1
    • Curtius, Historiarum Alexandri Magni, 5.2.17
    • Curtius, Historiarum Alexandri Magni, 5.3.1
    • Curtius, Historiarum Alexandri Magni, 5.3.4
  • Cross-references in general dictionaries to this page (2):
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