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Now in his advance Alexander encamped near the Caucasus, which some call Mt. Paropanisum.1 In sixteen days he marched across this range from side to side, and founded a city in the pass which leads down to Media,2 calling it Alexandria. In the midst of the Caucasus there is a "rock"3 ten furlongs in perimeter and four furlongs in height, in which the cave of Prometheus was pointed out by the natives, as well as the nesting place of the eagle in the story and the marks of the chains.4 [2]

Alexander founded other cities also at the distance of a day's march from Alexandria. Here he settled seven thousand natives, three thousand of the camp followers, and volunteers from among the mercenaries.5 [3] Then he marched his forces into Bactria, since news came that Bessus had assumed the diadem and was enrolling an army.

Such was the state of Alexander's affairs. [4]

The generals who had been sent back to Areia found that the rebels had gathered substantial forces under the command of Satibarzanes, who was distinguished both for generalship and for personal bravery, and they encamped near them.6 There was constant skirmishing for a time, and numerous small engagements ; [5] then it came to a general battle. The Iranians were holding their own when their general Satibarzanes raised his hands and removed his helmet so that all could see who he was, and challenged any of the Macedonian generals who wished to fight with him alone. [6] Erigyius accepted and a contest of heroic nature ensued, which resulted in Erigyius's victory. Disheartened at the death of their commander, the Iranians sought their safety in surrender, and gave themselves up to Alexander. [7]

Bessus proclaimed himself king, sacrificed to the gods, and invited his friends to a banquet.7 In the course of the drinking, he fell into an argument with one of them, Bagodaras8 by name. As the quarrel increased, Bessus lost his temper and proposed to put Bagodaras to death, but was persuaded by his friends to think better of it. [8] Bagodaras, however, saved from this danger, escaped by night to Alexander. His safe reception and the gifts promised by Alexander attracted Bessus's leading generals. They banded together, seized Bessus, and carried him off to Alexander.9 [9] The king gave them substantial gifts, and turned Bessus over to Dareius's brother10 and his other relatives for punishment. They inflicted upon him every humiliation and abuse, and cutting his body up into little pieces they scattered them abroad. ...

1 Curtius 7.3.19-23; Arrian. 3.28.4. The Hindu Kush, which the ancients tended to confuse with the Caucasus (Arrian. 5.3.1-4; Strabo 11.5.5).

2 This is clearly a mistake, perhaps a scribal mistake, for India, and editors since Reiske have tended to correct the text accordingly. The city was known as Alexandria of the Caucasus.

3 Cp. the note on chap. 28.1.

4 Curtius 7.3.22. The story was rejected by Eratosthenes (Strabo 11.5.5; Arrian. 5.3.1-4).

5 These cities are not otherwise mentioned. They may have been outlying forts or fortified villages. It is interesting that they received no Macedonian settlers. Arrian's descriptions (e.g., Arrian. 4.4.1) of similar settlements show the same pattern of population. Curtius 7.3.23 assigns these seven thousand to Alexandria of the Caucasus.

6 Continued from chap. 81.3. Curtius, also, breaks his narrative of the revolt, and describes its conclusion and the duel between the leaders after discussing Bessus's assumption of power (Curtius 7.4.33-40). Arrian, on the other hand, tells the whole story at once (Arrian. 3.28.3).

7 Curtius 7.4.1-19.

8 Curtius names this man Gobares (as corrected from the Cobares of the manuscripts).

9 Curtius 7.5.19-26. This is the account of Aristobulus; Ptolemy's version was that he himself had captured Bessus (Arrian. 3.29.8-30.5). Bessus was executed later in Ecbatana (Curtius 7.10.10; Arrian. 4.7.3; cp. Plut. Alexander 43.3).

10 Presumably the Oxathres named in chap. 77.4.

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  • Cross-references to this page (4):
  • Cross-references in notes from this page (14):
    • Strabo, Geography, 11.5.5
    • Plutarch, Alexander, 43.3
    • Arrian, Anabasis, 3.28.3
    • Arrian, Anabasis, 3.28.4
    • Arrian, Anabasis, 4.4.1
    • Arrian, Anabasis, 4.7.3
    • Arrian, Anabasis, 5.3.1
    • Curtius, Historiarum Alexandri Magni, 7.10.1
    • Curtius, Historiarum Alexandri Magni, 7.3.19
    • Curtius, Historiarum Alexandri Magni, 7.3.22
    • Curtius, Historiarum Alexandri Magni, 7.3.23
    • Curtius, Historiarum Alexandri Magni, 7.4.1
    • Curtius, Historiarum Alexandri Magni, 7.4.33
    • Curtius, Historiarum Alexandri Magni, 7.5.19
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