After this recital, the king ordered the officers of the fleet to sail on
to the Euphrates,1
continued on a great distance with the army, and came to the frontier of Susiane. Here the
who had advanced far in philosophy and was highly regarded by Alexander, put a
remarkable end to his life.
He had lived for seventy-three
years without ever having experienced an illness, and now decided to remove himself from life,
since he had received the utmost limit of happiness both from nature and from Fortune.
He had been taken ill and each day becoming more exhausted he
asked the king to erect for him a huge pyre and, after he had ascended it, to order the
attendants to ignite it.
first Alexander tried to dissuade him from this plan, but when he was unsuccessful, he agreed
to do what was asked. After the project had become generally known, the pyre was erected, and
everybody came to see the remarkable sight.
True to his own
creed, Caranus cheerfully mounted the pyre and perished, consumed along with it. Some of those
who were present thought him mad, others vain-glorious about his ability to bear pain, while
others simply marvelled at his fortitude and contempt for death.
The king gave Caranus a magnificent funeral and then
proceeded to Susa, where he married Stateira, the elder daughter of Dareius, and gave her
younger sister Drypetis as wife to Hephaestion. He prevailed upon the most prominent of his
Friends to take wives also, and gave them in marriage the noblest Persian ladies.3