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Further Absurdities

It would be tedious to mention all his other absurdities in connexion with this battle. I must be content with a very few. He says, for instance, that "Alexander took care in arranging his order of battle to be himself personally opposed to Darius; and that at first Darius was equally anxious to be opposite Alexander, but afterwards altered his mind." But he does not vouchsafe to tell us how these kings learnt at what part of their respective forces they were each posted, or to what point in his own line Darius re-transferred himself. Again, how could a phalanx mount to the edge of the river bank, when it was precipitous and covered with brushwood? Such a piece of bad generalship must not be attributed to Alexander, because he is acknowledged by all to have been a skilful strategist and to have studied the subject from childhood: we must rather attribute it to the historian's want of ability to descern between what is or is not practicable in such movements. So much for Ephorus and Callisthenes. . . .

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