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Now the most prudent of the Macedonians looked on this reversal of fortune with compassion and felt pity for the case of those who had seen their former lot so violently changed; everything belonging to their high rank was far removed from them, and they were encompassed by what was foreign and hostile. (This, however, was not the attitude of most of the soldiery,)1 and the women were herded off into a luckless and humiliating captivity. [2]

What particularly moved to tears of pity those who saw it was the family of Dareius, his mother, wife, two daughters of marriageable age, and a son who was a mere boy.2 [3] In their case, the change in fortune and the magnitude of their loss of position, incredible as it was, was a spectacle that might well inspire compassion in those who beheld it. [4] They knew nothing of Dareius, whether he lived and survived or had perished in the general disaster, but they saw their tent plundered by armed men who were unaware of the identity of their captives and committed many improper acts through ignorance. They saw the whole of Asia taken prisoner with them, and as the wives of the satraps fell at their feet and implored their help, they were not able to assist any one of of them, but themselves sought the assistance of the others in their own misfortunes. [5]

The royal pages now took over the tent of Dareius and prepared Alexander's bath and dinner and, lighting a great blaze of torches, waited for him, that he might return from the pursuit and, finding ready for him all the riches of Dareius, take it as an omen for his conquest of the empire of all Asia.3 [6]

In the course of the battle there died on the Persian side more than one hundred thousand infantry and not less than ten thousand cavalry4; on the Macedonian side, the casualties were three hundred infantry and one hundred and fifty cavalry.5 This was the conclusion of the battle at Issus of Cilicia.

1 There seems to be an omission in the manuscript here. The words in parenthesis represent what may have been the original sense.

2 In chap. 38.2, he is said to have been six years old.

3 Curtius 3.11.23; Justin 11.10.1-5; Plut. Alexander 20.6-8. Justin and Plut. Alexander 21.4 state that Alexander married Barsine at this time (above, 23.5, note). Curtius mentions Barsine (Curtius 3.13.14) but not the marriage.

4 These same figures are given by Curtius 3.11.27, Plut. Alexander 20.2, and Arrian. 2.11.8. Justin gives (Justin 11.9.10) 61,000 infantry and 10,000 cavalry killed and 40,000 captured.

5 Curtius gives 4500 wounded, 302 missing, 150 killed (Curtius 3.11.27); Justin 11.9.10, 130 infantry killed and 150 cavalry; Arrian. 2.10.7, 120 Macedonians killed.

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  • Cross-references in notes from this page (7):
    • Plutarch, Alexander, 20.2
    • Plutarch, Alexander, 20.6
    • Plutarch, Alexander, 21.4
    • Arrian, Anabasis, 2.10.7
    • Arrian, Anabasis, 2.11.8
    • Curtius, Historiarum Alexandri Magni, 3.11.2
    • Curtius, Historiarum Alexandri Magni, 3.13.1
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