previous next

When Niceratus was archon at Athens, the Romans elected as consuls Marcus Atilius and Marcus Valerius, and the one hundred and twelfth Olympic Games were held, in which Grylus of Chalcis was the victor.2 In this year, Alexander buried the dead from his victory at Issus, including even those of the Persians who had distinguished themselves by courage. Then he performed rich sacrifices to the gods and rewarded those who had borne themselves well in battle with gifts appropriate to each, and rested the army for some days. [2] Then he marched on towards Egypt, and as he came into Phoenicia, received the submission of all the other cities, for their inhabitants accepted him willingly.

At Tyre, however, when the king wished to sacrifice to the Tyrian Heracles,3 the people overhastily barred him from entering the city; [3] Alexander became angry and threatened to resort to force, but the Tyrians cheerfully faced the prospect of a siege. They wanted to gratify Dareius and keep unimpaired their loyalty to him, and thought also that they would receive great gifts from the king in return for such a favour. They would draw Alexander into a protracted and difficult siege and give Dareius time for his military preparations, and at the same time they had confidence in the strength of their island and the military forces in it. They also hoped for help from their colonists, the Carthaginians.4 [4]

The king saw that the city could hardly be taken by sea because of the engines mounted along its walls and the fleet that it possessed, while from the land it was almost unassailable because it lay four furlongs away from the coast.5 Nevertheless he determined to run every risk and make every effort to save the Macedonian army from being held in contempt by a single undistinguished city. [5] Immediately he demolished what was called Old Tyre6 and set many tens of thousands of men to work carrying stones to construct a mole two plethra in width.7 He drafted into service the entire population of the neighbouring cities and the project advanced rapidly because the workers were numerous.

1 332/1 B.C.

2 Nicetes was archon at Athens from July 332 to June 331 B.C. (Arrian. 2.24.6, calls him Anicetus). The consuls of 335 B.C. (Broughton, 1.139) were M. Atilius Regulus Calenus and M. Valerius Corvus. The 112th Olympic Games were held in July 332 B.C.

3 For this Heracles cp. B. C. Brundage, Journal of Near Eastern Studies, 17 (1958), 225-236. The siege of Tyre is described by Curtius 4.2.1-4.18; Justin 11.10.10-14; Plut. Alexander 24.2-25.2; Arrian 2.16-24). It was the time of the great annual festival of the god (Curtius 4.2.10), and the Tyrians may have felt that to allow Alexander to sacrifice at that time would have meant acknowledging his sovereignty.

4 Justin 11.10.12. Curtius 4.3.19 reports that the Carthaginians were unable to send reinforcements.

5 Curtius 4.2.7.

6 Curtius 4.2.18.

7 Two hundred feet.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

load focus Greek (1989)
hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
1958 AD (1)
335 BC (1)
332 BC (1)
331 BC (1)
hide References (11 total)
  • Cross-references to this page (2):
  • Cross-references in notes from this page (8):
    • Plutarch, Alexander, 24.2
    • Arrian, Anabasis, 2.16
    • Arrian, Anabasis, 2.24.6
    • Curtius, Historiarum Alexandri Magni, 4.2.1
    • Curtius, Historiarum Alexandri Magni, 4.2.10
    • Curtius, Historiarum Alexandri Magni, 4.2.18
    • Curtius, Historiarum Alexandri Magni, 4.2.7
    • Curtius, Historiarum Alexandri Magni, 4.3.19
  • Cross-references in general dictionaries to this page (1):
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: