Next Alexander undertook a campaign against the Sydracae1
and the people known
as Mallians, populous and warlike tribes. He found them mobilized in force, eighty thousand
infantry, ten thousand cavalry, and seven hundred chariots. Before the arrival of Alexander
they had been at war with each other; but as he approached, they patched up their quarrel and
made peace, giving and receiving ten thousand young women to establish a friendly relationship
Even so they did not come out to fight together but fell into
a dispute over the command and retired into the neighbouring cities.
Alexander neared the first city and thought to take it by storm, but one of the seers,
came to him and reported that there had
been revealed to him by numerous portents a great danger which would come to the king from a
wound in the course of the operation. He begged Alexander to leave that city alone for the
present and to turn his mind to other activities.
scolded him for dampening the enthusiasm of the soldiers, and then, disposing his army for the
attack, led the way in person to the city, eager to reduce it by force. The engines of war were
slow to come up, but he broke open a postern gate and was the first to burst into the
He struck down many
defenders and, driving the others before him, pursued them to the citadel.
The Macedonians were still busy fighting
along the wall. Alexander seized a ladder, leaned it against the walls of the citadel, and
clambered up holding a light shield above his head. So quick was he to act that he reached the
top of the wall before the defenders could forestall him.
Indians did not dare to come within his reach, but flung javelins and shot arrows at him from a
distance. He was staggering under the weight of their blows when the Macedonians raised two
ladders and swarmed up in a mass, but both broke and the soldiers tumbled back upon the ground.