Thus the king was left alone, and boldly took a step which was as little expected as
it is worthy of mention. It seemed to him out of keeping with his tradition of success to
descend from the wall to his troops without accomplishing anything. In stead, he leapt down
with his armour alone inside the city.
As the Indians thronged
about him, he withstood their attack undismayed. He protected himself on the right by a
which grew close by the wall and on the left by
the wall itself and kept the Indians off, displaying such courage as you would expect from a
king who had his record of achievement. He was eager to make this, if it were the last feat of
his life, a supremely glorious one.
He took many blows upon
the helmet, not a few upon the shield. At length he was struck by an arrow2
below the breast and fell upon one knee, overborne by the
blow. Straightway the Indian who had shot him, thinking that he was helpless, ran up and struck
at him; Alexander thrust his sword up into the man's side, inflicting a mortal wound. The
Indian fell, and the king caught hold of a branch close by and getting on his feet, defied the
Indians to come forward and fight with him.3
At this point Peucestes, one of
the guards, who had mounted another ladder, was the first to cover the king with his shield.
After him a good many appeared together, which frightened the natives and saved Alexander.4
The city was taken by storm. In a fury at the injury to their king, the Macedonians killed all
whom they met and filled the city with corpses.
For many days the king lay helpless under his treatment,5
Greeks who had been settled in Bactria and Sogdiana, who had long borne unhappily their sojourn
among peoples of another race and now received word that the king had died of his wounds,
revolted against the Macedonians.
They formed a band of three
thousand men and underwent great hardship on their homeward route. Later they were massacred by
the Macedonians after Alexander's death.6