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In the archonship of Anticles at Athens, the Romans installed as consuls Lucius Cornelius and Quintus Popillius.2 In this year Alexander secured replacements from the Persians equal to the number of these soldiers whom he had released, and assigned a thousand of them to the bodyguards3 stationed at the court. In all respects he showed the same confidence in them as in the Macedonians. [2] At this time Peucestes arrived with twenty thousand Persian bowmen and slingers. Alexander placed these in units with his other soldiers, and by the novelty of this innovation created a force blended and adjusted to his own idea.4 [3]

Since there were by now sons of the Macedonians born of captive women, he determined the exact number of these. There were about ten thousand, and he set aside for them revenues sufficient to provide them with an upbringing proper for freeborn children, and set over them teachers to give them their proper training.5

After this he marched with his army from Susa, crossed the Tigris, and encamped in the villages called Carae. [4] Thence for four days he marched through Sittacene and came to the place called Sambana.6 There he remained seven days and, proceeding with the army, came on the third day to the Celones, as they are called. There dwells here down to our time a settlement of Boeotians who were moved in the time of Xerxes's campaign, but still have not forgotten their ancestral customs. [5] They are bilingual and speak like the natives in the one language, while in the other they preserve most of the Greek vocabulary, and they maintain some Greek practices.7

After a stay of some days he resumed his march at length and diverging from the main road8 for the purpose of sight-seeing he entered the region called Bagistane, a magnificent country covered with fruit trees and rich in everything which makes for good living. [6] Next he came to a land which could support enormous herds of horses, where of old they say that there were one hundred and sixty thousand horses grazing, but at the time of Alexander's visit there were counted only sixty thousand.9 After a stay of thirty days he resumed the march and on the seventh day came to Ecbatana of Media. [7] They say that its circuit is two hundred and fifty stades. It contains the palace which is the capital of all Media and store-houses filled with great wealth.

Here he refreshed his army for some time and staged a dramatic festival, accompanied by constant drinking parties among his friends. [8] In the course of these, Hephaestion drank very much, fell ill, and died. The king was intensely grieved at this and entrusted his body to Perdiccas to conduct to Babylon, where he proposed to celebrate a magnificent funeral for him.10

1 325/4 B.C.

2 Anticles was archon at Athens from July 325 to June 324 B.C. L. Cornelius Lentulus and Q. Publilius Philo were consuls in 327 B.C. (Broughton, 1.145). In his narrative, Diodorus has reached, actually, the late summer of 324 B.C. The narrative of Curtius is lost down to the story of Alexander's death.

3 Arrian. 7.6.3 states that these thousand formed a fifth squadron of the Companion Cavalry.

4 Peucestes had been rewarded with the satrapy of Persia after saving Alexander's life (chap. 99.4). Of all Alexander's generals he showed the greatest willingness to conciliate the Persians. Arrian has described these new units earlier (Arrian. 7.11.3-4) but places this event a year later (Arrian. 7.23.1).

5 Plut. Alexander 71.5; Arrian 7.12 (stating that these were the children of the veterans who returned to Macedonia); Justin 12.4.6 (under 330 B.C.).

6 Diodorus's topography is confused. His tradition (shared by Curtius) does not place the mutiny at Opis, as does Arrian; hence Alexander is still at Susa. The "Carian" villages were in Babylonia (Book 19.12.1) and so on the right bank of the Tigris; Sittacene was on the left bank (chap. 65.2). The location of Sambana is unknown. Perhaps Alexander crossed the Tigris twice. By "Tigris" in the text is not meant the Pasitigris (chap. 67.1), which was south-east of Susa; the city was on the Choaspes and Eulaeus Rivers (Strabo 15.3.4).

7 These are probably the Eretrians whom Herodotus mentions (Hdt. 6.119) as having been carried off by Xerxes, although he places them nearer to Susa. The place is mentioned again, Book 19.19.2. In their tenacious Hellenism, they anticipated the settlers of the Hellenistic period (cp. F. Grosso, Rivista di Filologia Classica, 36 (1958), 350-375).

8 The age-old road from Baghdad to Hamadan, the main route from Mesopotamia to Iran.

9 This was Nysa. Arrian. 7.13.1 gives slightly different figures: formerly 150,000 mares, now 50,000.

10 Justin 12.12.11; Plut. Alexander 72; Arrian 7.14.

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